Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses


Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.

Public Domain



Reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī as a son of the great lay-lady Visākhā,[1] he would often go to the Vihāra [217] to hear the Norm. Finally he entered the Order, and in due course won arahantship. Confessing aññā he said:

[417] Well taught it is by Him who seeth all -
The Buddha, offspring of the sun's high race[2] -
Through it all bonds are bygone things, through it
All constant rolling on[3] is razed away;

[418] It leadeth on and out,[4] it beareth o'er,
Through it the root of craving withers up;
Cutting the poison-root, our tragic doom,
It bringeth us to evil's utter end;[5]

[419] By severing the root of ignorance,
It breaks in pieces Kamma's living car;[6]
It hurls the bolt of insight on the goods
That dower consciousnesses at rebirth;[7]

[420] The truth 'neath all our sentience laying bare,
And from all fevered grasping setting free,
Revealer 'tis to us, by knowledge given,
Of rebirth as a fiery pit of coals;[8]

[421] Of mighty properties, far-reaching, deep,
Averter of decay and death to come: -
Assuager of all ill, auspicious, blest.[9]

[422] Action it knoweth, - what the act doth mean, -
And fruit of action as the fruit indeed.
[218] Showing a vision by the light of truth
Of things as come to be by way of cause.
Yea, to the mighty Haven[10] doth it wend;
High peace it brings and bliss lies at the end.[11]

Thus the Thera, showing in manifold ways the Ariyan Norm, declared how he himself had followed it as confession of aññā.


[1] See Sisters, p. 16 n.

[2] See XXVI., CXXXIX.

[3] Sabbavaṭṭavināsano, 'because it destroys the rolling on of the results of corrupt karma.' Cy.

[4] Niyyāniko. Cf. Bud. Psy., p. 82, n. 2.

[5] Nibbuti = nibbāna - i.e., of all kamma and kilesa. Cy.

[6] Kammayanta: attabhāvayanta. Cy.

[7] Viññāṇaṇ pariggahe: kamabhavādīsu yathāsakakammunā viññāṇagahaṇe upaṭṭhite. Cy. Cf. Dialogues, i. 313, n. 1.

[8] Cf. Majjhima, i. 74. Here rebirth in purgatory is specified; the simile is elsewhere (ibid., p. 365) applied to sensuous desires, by which rebirth is incurred.

[9] Two words for sivo (cf Śiva, the later popular Hindu deity).

[10] Khema (ver. 32, 227, 310). 'Haven' implies here its primary meaning of 'safe place,' or 'hold,' and not anything marine (cf. verse 415).

[11] The whole of this most eloquent gāthā is a rosary of adjectival terms and phrases, in praise of the Dhamma, a connexion confirmed by the Commentary. This is rightly indicated in the Oldenberg text by the absence of stops. By Dr. Neumann the epithets are twisted to apply to the Buddha - twisted from the instrumental, in which case they would have stood, to the nominative. The English rendering mocks the glowing poetry of the original.


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