Khuddaka Nikāya

[Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]




Canto VII.
Psalms of Seven Verses


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

Public Domain



Reborn in the time of our Master at Sāvatthī in a wealthy family, he was named Bhaddiya, but from his extreme shortness, he was known as Lakuṇṭaka (Dwarf)-Bhaddiya. Hearing the Master preach, he entered the Order, and becoming learned and eloquent, he taught others their work with a sweet voice. Now on a festival-day, a certain woman of the town, driving with a brahmin in a chariot, saw the Thera and laughed, showing her teeth.[1] The Thera, taking that row of teeth as an object-sign, evoked jhāna, and on that basis established insight and became a Non-Returner.[2] And after practising mindfulness regarding the body,[3] admonished by the Captain of the Norm,[4] he was established in arahantship. Later he thus confessed aññā:

[466] Beyond the gardens of Ambāṭaka,[5]
In woodland wild, craving and craving's root
Withdrawn, and rapt in deepest reverie,
There happy sits fortunate Bhaddiya.

[467] [231] And some are charmed by cymbals,[6] lutes and drums,
And I in leafy shadow of my trees
Do dwell entranced by the Buddha's Rule.

[468] Let but the Buddha grant one boon to me,
And if that boon were mine, I'd choose for all
Perpetual study in control of self.

[469] They who decry me for my shape, and they
Who listen spell-bound to my voice, such folk
In toils of lust and impulse know me not.

[470] The fool hemmed in on every side knows not
The inner life, nor sees the things without,
And by a voice forsooth is led away.

[471] And if the inner life he knoweth not,
Yet can discern the things that are without,
Watching alone the outer fruits that come,
He also by a voice is led away.

[472] He, who both understands the inner life,
And doth discern the things that are without,
Clear-visioned, by no voice is led away.[7]


[1] Someone's teeth proved equally efficacious for Thera Mahā Tissa of Ceylon. See Atthasālinī, p. 200; Bud. Psy., p. 70 n.

[2] The grade of salvation next below the arahant, in which final death is to come after one more life in one of the remoter heavens.

[3] Cf. Dialogues, ii. 328 f.

[4] Sāriputta.

[5] This park is probably that at Macchikasaṇḍa, given by Citta to the Order (Dhammapada Commentary, ii. 74).

[6] Mutingehi means a variety of drum. Our drum nomenclature is insufficient for the number of Indian species of this instrument. The sweet voice probably went with a musical ear, and this is why he ranks music as second only to his own supreme source of delight.

Kāyagatāsatiṃ. is not 'Study in control of self' but 'minding the gates of the senses' (minding the gates to body)

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[7] Bhaddiya (the name means Felix, Fortunatus; his soubriquet distinguishes him from the other Bhaddiya, cf. CCLIV.) is in Ang., i. 25, ranked as the sweetest voiced among all the brethren. This distinction is said to have been the result of an aspiration made in past ages, before Padumuttara Buddha. The evolutionary momentum of this caused him rebirth, under Vipassi Buddha, as a 'variegated-feathered cuckoo' (citta-pattakokila), a sweet warbler in India. The Cy. does not allude to the realization of his wish, but the poem betrays it. 'Study in control of self': kāyagatāsatiṅ.


Copyright Statement