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Saɱyutta Nikāya
I. Sagātha Vagga
10. Yakkha-Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
I. Kindred Sayings with Verses
10. The Yakkha Suttas

Sutta 7

Punabbasu Suttaɱ


Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by Sūriyagoḍa Sumangala Thera
Copyright The Pali Text Society. Public Domain.




The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthī,
at the Jeta Vana,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

And on that occasion he was instructing,
and inspiring the brethren by a sermon bearing on Nibbāna.

And the brethren,
with their whole mind applied,
attentive and intent,
were listening with rapt hearing to the Norm.[1]

[270] Then a yakkha, known as Punabbasu's mother,[2] hushed her little children thus: —

"0 silence, little Uttarā! Be still,
Punabbasu, that I may hear the Norm
Taught by the Master, by the Wisest Man.[3]
'Nibbāna,' the Exalted One did say,
'Is the Deliverance from every tie';[4]
And for that truth my love is passing great.
Dear unto us is our own child, and dear
Our husband; dearer still than these to me
Is't of this Doctrine to explore the Path.
For neither child nor husband, though they be
So dear to us, can save us from all ill,
As can the hearing of the blessed Norm
From pain and sorrow set a creature free.
And in the sequent sorrows of this life,
Linked as they are with age, decay, and death.
That Norm in which He found enlightenment
How there might be release from age and death: —
[271] That is the doctrine I am fain to hear,
Wherefore, Punabbasu, my son, be still."

[Punabbasu: —]

"Mother, I will not speak a word, and see,
Still too is Uttarā. So hearken thou,
For sweet it is to listen to the Norm.
Because we haven't known the blessed Norm,
Mother, we go on suffering here and now.
To gods and men all in a muddled maze
This is the giver of the light: — that He,
The Buddha to his final body born,
The Man who Sees doth teach the Norm to men."[5]

[The Mother: —]

"0 blessed words! and wise the son I bore
And cradled at my breast, for now this son
Loves the pure Norm taught by the Wisest Man.
0 mayst thou happy be, Punabbasu!
For now am I uprisen from the round
Of life renewed. The Ariyan Truths we see.
Thou too, my Uttarā! listen to me."


[1] 'The hour,' according to the Comy., 'was toward sunset time; the Master after his dinner had preached to a general assembly, had then gone to the bath-rooms, and thereafter had rested on the 'Buddha-seat in the cell of the Fragrant Gable, surveying the eastern view.' Then certain ascetic brethren, in ragged attire, almsmen, who had been touring singly, in pairs, or other numbers, came out from their quarters and, saluting, disposed themselves round the Teacher like the red swathing (round a jewel). He, discerning their wish, discoursed to them.

[2] Nothing of special interest is recorded about this earnest-minded mother. 'With daughter on hip and the boy's hand in hers, she comes round by the back fence or wall (pakāra) of the Grove to the entrance opposite the aisle (vīthi) leading to the Buddha's seat, and seeing the hushed rapt audience fancies some market transaction is being proposed, whence she may get scraps.' Comy.

[3] Buddha-seṭṭhassa, lit. of the best of Buddhas (enlightened persons).

[4] Iti-vuttaka, § 102 [cf. § 122; A. ii, 24).

Not by the slothful undiscerning man,
The fool, may the Nibbāna be attained
That is Deliverance from every tie.

The last of verses concluding a short discourse on Nibbāna.

[5] Read cakkhumā ti.

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