Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto X.
Psalms of Ten Verses


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

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He going on in rebirth among gods and men, was born on the same day as our Bodhisat, in the family of one of the king's ministers at Kapilavatthu. Yea, on that one day were born these seven: the Bodhisat, the Bodhi-tree, the mother of Rāhula, and the four treasures: — the riding-elephant, the horse Kaṇthaka, Channa, and Kāḷudāyin.[1] Now on his naming day, the child was called Udāyin, and because he was dark of feature he became known as Kāḷ'-Udāyin. He grew up as the play-fellow of the Bodhisat. But later, when the Lord of the World had gone forth in the Great Renunciation, had become omniscient, and was staying in the Bamboo Grove near Rājagaha, rolling on the excellent wheel of the Norm, King Suddhodana heard thereof, and sent a minister with a suite of a thousand, saying: 'Bring my son hither.' And that minister and suite, arriving when the Norm was being preached, heard, and all becoming arahants, the Master stretched forth his hand, saying: 'Come ye, bhikkhus!' ... And they abiding among the Ariyas, did not deliver the king's message. And the like happened with other messengers. So the king sent Kāḷudāyin, saying: 'This Udayin is of the same age as the Ten- [249] powered, and is akin to me and affectionate; I will send him; go you, my dear, with a thousand men, and bring the Ten-powered One.' So he went, saying: 'If I, sire, may leave the world, then will I bring hither the Exalted One.' 'Whatever you do, show me my son,' was the reply. He, too, fared like the first minister and became arahant. Now he thought: 'Not yet is it time for Him to go to the city. When the rains have come, and the woods are in flower and the earth is covered with verdure, then 'twill be time.' And when the time was come, he spoke these verses to the Master, praising the beauty of the journey:

[527] Now crimson glow the trees, dear Lord, and cast
Their ancient foliage in quest of fruit.[2]
Like crests of flame they shine irradiant,
And rich in hope, great Hero, is the hour.

[528] Verdure and blossom-time in every tree,
Where'er we look delightful to the eye,
And every quarter breathing fragrant airs,[3]
While petals falling, yearning comes for fruit: -
'Tis time, O Hero, that we set out hence.

[529] Not over hot, nor over cold, but sweet,
O Master, now the season of the year.
O let the Sakiyans and the Koḷiyans
Behold thee with thy face set toward the West,
Crossing the [border-river] Rohinī.[4]

[530] [250] In hope the field is ploughed, in hope the seed is sown,
In hope of winning wealth merchants fare over sea.
The hope I cherish, may that hope be realized!

[531] Again and yet again is seed in furrow sown.
Again and yet again the cloud-king sends down rain,
Again and yet again the ploughmen plough the field,
Again and yet again comes corn into the realm.

[532] Again and yet again do beggars go their round;
Again and yet again the generous donors give;
Again and yet again when many gifts are given,
Again and yet again the donors find their heaven.

[533] Surely a hero lifts to lustrous purity
Seven generations past wherever he be born.
And so methinks can He, the vastly wise, the god
Of gods. In Thee is born in very truth a Seer.

[534] Suddhodana is named the mighty prophet's sire,
And mother of the Buddha was [our queen] Māyā.
She, having borne the Wisdom being in her womb,
Found, when the body died, delight in Tusita.[5]

[535] She, Gotamid, dying on earth, deceasing hence,
Now lives in heavenly joys attended by those gods.

Now when the Exalted One, thus besought, discerned salvation coming for many by his going, he set out attended by 20,000 arahants, walking a yojana each day. And the Thera went by power of iddhi to Kapilavatthu, into the king's presence. 'Who are you?' he was asked; and he: 'If you know not the minister's son whom you sent to the Exalted One, know that I am he':

[536] Son of the Buddha I, yea, e'en of such as He,
Th' Angīrasa, to whom there lives not any peer,
[251] Who that which is insuperable hath o'ercome.
And father of my Father art thou, Sākiyan,
To me thou, Gotamid, art grandsire in the Norm.[6]


[1] On these seven 'Connatal Ones' see Bud. Birthstories, 68 n.; cf. Dialogues, ii. 202-208.

[2] 'Though without will, they express the setting about a voluntary act,' is the comment.

[3] Pavanti: gandhaɱ visajjenti (Commentary).

[4] 'From this river, flowing through the land of those two clans, from north to south,' writes Dhammapāla, 'Rājagaha lies S.E., therefore to go from thence to Kapilavatthu, one crosses it facing W.,' or north-west, a journey of 60 yojanas (p. 9; about 435 miles). On this river, now the Rowai, or Rohwaini, see the detailed account in Cunningham's Archaeological Survey of India, xii., p. 190 ff. Kāḷudāyin 'then makes known his own aspirations by similes' (Commentary).

[5] The Heaven of Delight, fourth above this world. Cf. Sisters, p. 3.

[6] The Commentary gives two explanations of Angīrasa, a name applied to the Buddha elsewhere - e.g., Dīgha, iii. 196; Saɱy., i. 196; Ang., iii. 239; Jāt., i. 116. One is Commentator's etymology; the other calls it a second personal name, like Siddhattha. The first three graceful gāthās are given more briefly in the Jātaka Commentary (Buddhist Birthstories, p. 121). The next gāthā is in ślokas; all the rest is triṣṭubh (upavajira); but it is a little difficult to believe that the musioal opening and the clumsy sequel are by the same hand.
The specific distinction awarded to Kāḷudāyin, in Ang. Nik., i. 25, is recorded to have been won by this embassy - that of 'him who best satisfied the clans.'


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