Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto X.
Psalms of Ten Verses


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

Public Domain



Reborn before the manifestation of our Exalted One at Sāvatthī, in a brahmin family from Udicca,[1] he grew up an expert in the Vedas and an unrivalled orator.

Now our Exalted One, having arisen and started the rolling of the wheel of the Norm, after converting Yasa and his friends,[2] came on to Sāvatthī at the urgent request of Anāthapiṇḍika. Gotama the brahmin saw and heard him, and asked for ordination. Ordained by a bhikkhu at the Master's bidding, he attained arahantship even as his hair was being shaved. After a long residence in the Kosala country, he returned to Sāvatthī. And many of his relations, eminent brahmins, waited upon him and asked him which, of the many gospels[3] as guides to life that were current, he judged should be followed. He addressed them thus:

[587] Let the recluse discern his own real good,
And let him well consider all the Word
He heareth preached, and what therein beseems
The holy life whereunto he hath come.

[588] Religious friendships in the Rule, a course
Of ample training, and the wish to hear
Men fit to teach: - this the recluse beseems.

[589] For Buddhas reverence; towards the Norm
Honour sincere; for the Fraternity
Care and esteem: - this the recluse beseems.

[590] Of decorous habit and in living pure,
In conduct blameless, and the intelligence
[265] Adjusted well: - this the recluse beseems.

[591] In what he does and what he leaves undone
Using deportment that doth favour find;
To higher training of the heart and mind
Fervently given: - this the recluse beseems.

[592] Haunts of the forest, lone, remote, where sounds
May hardly come, 'mong these the earnest sage
Should make his choice: - this the recluse beseems.

[593] And virtue, and much learning, and research
To know how in themselves things really are,
Grasp of the Truths: - this the recluse beseems.

[594] To meditate upon the Impermanent,
And on the absence of all soul, and on
The foul, and in the world to find no charm
To bind the heart: - this the recluse beseems.

[595] To meditate on Wisdom's seven arms,
On paths to mystic potency, on powers
And forces five, and on the eightfold Path,
The Ariyan[4]: - this the recluse beseems.

[596] Let the true sage put Craving far away;
Let him uproot and crush the Intoxicants;
Let him live Free: - this the recluse beseems.

Thus the Thera, in praising the course suitable to a recluse, magnified the efficiency of his Order, and contrariwise the ineffectualness of a recluse not of it. Then those brahmins, mightily approving of the Rule, were established in the precepts and so forth.


[1] A north-western district. Cf. p. 79, n.

[2] See above, CXVII.; Bud. Birth Stories, p. 130.

[3] Lit., purity-doctrines (suddhivādā). It would appear from Ang., iii. 277 (cf. Dialogues, i. 220), that among such doctrinaires were those called Gotamakas, or Gotamists. Apparently none of the three Theras called Gotama (CXXIX., CLXXXIII., and above) was this doctrinaire. In the Cy. he is termed 'Another' (Apara-) Gotama.

[4] Cf. 'Ariyan' conveyed to Buddhists much what our 'Christian' does to us. Originally a racial term, it had come to mean 'noble, gentle,' and specifically, a saintly 'confessor' of the Dhamma. These subjects are the thirty-seven 'bodhipakkhiyā dhamma,' or Factors of Enlightenment, less the four Onsets of Mindfulness (verses 166, 352) and the four Supreme Efforts. See Compendium, p. 179 f.


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