Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto X.
Psalms of Ten Verses

Upasena, Vanganta's son

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

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Reborn in this Buddha-age at the village of Nālaka as the son of Rūpasārī, the brahminee, he was named Upasena.[1]

[262] Having come of age and learnt the three Vedas, he renounced the world after hearing the Master teach the Norm. Ordained but one year, he thought, 'I will multiply the breed of the Ariyas,' and himself ordained another bhikkhu, and with him went to wait upon the Master. The latter, having heard of this, rebuked his hasty procedure. Then Upasena thought: 'If now, on account of having a following, I am blamed by the Master, on that same account will I earn his praise.'[2] And studying for insight, he won in due course arahantship. Thereafter, himself adopting the austerer practices,[3] he persuaded others to do likewise, and with such success that the Exalted One ranked him foremost among those who were generally popular.[4]

At another time he was asked by that other bhikkhu, when at Kosambī, what was to be done during the dissensions and the schism there?[5] Upasena taught him thus:

[577] Lonely the spot and far away where noise
Scarce comes, the haunt of creatures of the wild:
'T is there the Brother should his couch prepare
For purposes of studious retreat.

[578] From rubbish-pile, or from the charnel-field,
Or from the highways let him take and bring
Worn cloths and thence a cloak of patchwork make,
And in such rough apparel clothe himself.

[579] In lowliness of mind from house to house,
In turn unbroken[6] let the Brother fare
[263] Seeking his alms, sense guarded, well controlled;

[580] With any fare content rough though it be,
Nor fain for other than he gets, or more,
For if he once indulge in greed for tastes,
Ne'er can his mind in jhāna take delight.

[581] In great content, with very sparse desires,
Remote, secluded: so the sage should live,
Detached from housefolk and the homeless, both.

[582] Let him so show himself as he were dull
And dumb, nor let the wise man speech prolong
Unduly, when in midst of gathered folk.

[583] Let him not any man upbraid; let him
Refrain from hurting; let him be in rule
And precept trained, and temperate in food.

[584] Let him be one who concentrates upon
The symbol, skilled in genesis of thought.
To practise Calm let him devote himself,
And Intuition also in due time.

[585] With energy and perseverance armed,
Let him be ever to his studies yoked;
Nor till he have attained the end of I11,
Let the wise man go forth in confidence.

[586] Thus if the Brother, fain for purity
[Of knowledge and of vision][7] shall abide,
The working of th' Intoxicants shall cease,
And he shall reach and find Nibbāna's peace.[8]

Now the Thera, in so admonishing that bhikkhu, showed his own attainment, and confessed aññā.


[1] Brother therefore to Sāriputta (CCLIX.) and the three sisters Cālā, etc. Cf. Dhammapada Cy., ii. 84.

[2] Told in Vin. Texts, i. 175 f.; Jāt. ii., No. 300.

[3] The Dhutangas. See Milinda, vol. ii., book vi.

[4] Ang., i. 24. Cf. Milinda, ii. 270; also 289, 326, 329.

[5] See p. 16, n. 2; Vinaya Texts, ii. 312.

[6] Sapadānaɱ. On this term see JPTS, 1909, p. 72; JRAS, 1912, p. 786 ff. Dhammapāla defines it as gharesu avakhaṇḍa-rahitaɱ, anugharaɱ.

[7] So Cy.

[8] Nibbuti, explained as Nibbāna in life and at death.


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