Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto VI.
Psalms of Six Verses


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

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Reborn in this Buddha-age at Suṅsumāragira in a brahmin family, he entered the Order through faith got on hearing the Master teaching in the Bhesakala Wood.[1] One feast-day, while he was seated where the Pāṭimokkha was [225] to be recited at the end of the recitation of the introduction[2] ...' for [a fault] when declared shall be light to him,' he pondered on the advantage gained by the confession of faults concealed, and thereupon exclaimed with eager interest and gladness: 'Oh, how utterly pure is the rule of the Master!' And so expanding insight he attained arahantship. Reviewing the course thereto with a glad heart, he admonished the brethren:

[447] Heavily falls the rain of guilt on fault
Concealed; less heavy where the fault lies bare[3]

[448] By death the world is smitten sore; by age
And by decay 'tis shrouded and beset,
Pierced by the dart of craving evermore,
By itch of pestering desires assailed.

[449] By death the world is held enslaved; by age
And by decay escorted, guarded sure,[4]
Without a refuge, everlastingly
Struck as by thief with bludgeon and with sword.[5]

[450] Like forest fires behold them drawing nigh: -
Death and disease, decay, dread trinity,
Whom to confront no strength sufficeth, yea,
No swiftness aught avails to flee away.

[451] Make thou the day not futile, not in vain,
Whether it be by little or by much.
For every day and night[6] that thou dost waste,
By so much less thy life remains to live.

[452] Whether thou walk or stand or sit or lie,
For thee the final day of life draws nigh;
No time hast thou to dally heedlessly.[7]


[1] Cf. XVIII.

[2] The Nidāna. See Vinaya Texts, i. 1 f.

[3] This verse is, in Vinaya Texts, iii. 805, ascribed to the Buddha. 'Guilt,' 'fault' are glosses, the context there and the Commentary here justifying the application of the simile.

[4] Occurs in Saṅy., i. 40.

[5] 'Reading satthadaṇḍo.

[6] Lit., 'night' only. The Indian reckoned as much by 'nights' as by 'days.'

[7] Cf. Sisters, verse 95.


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