Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto XIV.
Psalms of Fourteen Verses


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

Public Domain



This Thera's verse has already been recorded in the first Canto,[1] where is incorporated the admonition to his sisters' sons to be mindful. Here are incorporated the verses he published during his life in the Order. This is the point of them: When he had won arahantship, he went from time to time with the great Theras, Sāriputta and the rest, to visit the Master, and after staying for a while, returned to the Acacia Wood, dwelling in the bliss of fruition won and in the Sublime Moods.[2] And thus he continued till he was an aged man. Going thus one day to visit the Buddha, he stayed not far from Sāvatthī in a forest. Now the police came round on the track of thieves. The thieves running by the Thera dropped their booty near him and ran. And the police, running up, arrested the Thera, dragged him before the king, and said: 'This, Sire, is the thief!' The king[3] had him released, and asked him: 'Has your reverence committed this robbery or not?' Then the Thera, who had never from his birth done anything of the sort, taught the Norm, by way of showing his incapacity for such an act, in these verses:

[645] [280] Since I went forth from home to homeless life,
Ne'er have I harboured conscious wish or plan
Un-Ariyan or linked with enmity.

[646] Ne'er mine the quest, all this long interval; -
'Let's smite our fellow-creatures, let us slay,
Let them be brought to pain and misery.'[4]

[647] Nay, love I do avow, made infinite,
Well trained, by orderly progression grown,
Even as by the Buddha it is taught.

[648] With all am I a friend, comrade to all,
And to all creatures kind and merciful;
A heart of amity I cultivate,
And ever in good will is my delight.

[649] A heart that cannot drift or fluctuate
I make my joy; the sentiments sublime
That evil men do shun I cultivate.

[650] Whoso hath won to stage of ecstasy[5]
Beyond attention's range of flitting sense,
He, follower of the Enlightened One Supreme,
To Ariyan silence straightway doth attain.[6]

[651] E'en as a mountain crag unshaken stands
Sure-based, a Brother with illusions gone
Like very mountain stands unwavering.[7]

[652] The man of blameless life, who ever seeks
For what is pure, doth deem some trifling fault,
That is no heavier than the tip of hair,
Weighty as [burden of the gravid] cloud.

[653] E'en as a border city guarded well
Within, without, so guard ye well yourselves.
See that the Moment pass not vainly by.[8]

[654] [281] With thought[9] of death I dally not, nor yet
Delight in living. I await the hour
Like any hireling who hath done his task.

[655] With thought of death I dally not, nor yet
Delight in living. I await the hour
With mind discerning and with heedfulness

[656] The Master hath my fealty and love,
And all the Buddha's bidding hath been done.
Low have I laid the heavy load I bore,
Cause for rebirth is found in me no more.

[657] The Good for which I bade the world farewell,
And left the home to lead the homeless life,
That highest Good have I accomplished,
And every bond and fetter is destroyed.

[658] Work out your good with zeal and earnestness:
This is my [last] commandment unto you.[10]
For lo! now shall I wholly pass away,
To me comes absolute enfranchisement.[11]


[1] XLII. Revata is a brother of Sāriputta, and hence a brother of Upasena (CCXXXVIII.) and of Cunda (CXXXI.). The summary reference is in Dhammapāla's own words.

[2] See verse 286, n.

[3] Pasenadi, King of Kosala, was a warm lay-adherent, and was alive in the Buddha's last years (Majjh., ii. 124). Cf. the similar episode, with a very different judge, on p. 109.

[4] Cf. XLVIII.; CCXL., verse 603.

[5] - verses 999 ff. in his brother's poem.

[6] Namely, in the second stage of Jhāna (Commentary). The Commentary cites Majjh. Nik., i. 161. Cf. Saɱy. Nik., ii. 273.

[7] See CXLVI. and preceding Ps., verse 643.

[8] Cf. verses 231, 403, and Sisters, verse 5, and note. Here the Commenitary pertinently adds being born in the 'Middle Country' (p. 107) to the great 'conjuncture.'

[9] = verses 606, 607, 604, 605.

[10] Cf. the Buddha's last words (Dialogues, ii. 173), and Sāriputta's, below, verse 1017.

[11] The Chronicle relates that he then and there passed away — lit., 'became extinct' — like a flame going out. There is no 'passing hence' in the Pali term parinibisṃ, as originally conceived.


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