[276. Potthadāyaka1]

I gave a plastering2 gift for
the Gift-Worthy, Unexcelled One3
in the name of4 the Great Sage, the
Teacher, and the Teaching, and monks.5 (1) [2605]

In the ninety-one aeons since
I did that [good] karma back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that’s the fruit of a plaster-gift. (2) [2606]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (3) [2607]

Thus indeed Venerable Potthadāyaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Potthadāyaka Thera is finished.

  1. “Plastering Donor” (or perhaps to be read, “Bark-Donor,” see next note)

  2. potthadāna. The basic meaning of pottha is plaster, a mortar made with limestone, soil, cow dung and water (RD, s.v.). The poem gives no contextual reason to take it, as apparently do both BJTS gloss and cty (p. 471), as potthaka, “fibrous cloth” (cp. Sinh. potta, bark, which seems to be in the mind of cty when it explains: “it means that a cloak was given by me to the Triple Gem after pounding a strip of pottha, dampened pottha; rubbing it with a cow’s jawbone [until it is] the same [thickness] as a prepared cloak; taking measured threads; cutting them; [then] having a cloak woven with that thread for the sake of sitting upon or for the sake of carpeting.” BJTS glosses the term as mā visin niyanda vatak dena ladi, “a hempen cloth was given by me.” Given the association of Apadāna with the emergent stupa cult, however, the audience would easily have imagined the pious gift to have been a contribution of plaster, or participation in the actual work of plastering, rather than a gift of bark. On the other hand, in typical fashion, the name is reworked for the sake of meter as Potthaka, in the colophonic summary, which might support reading it as “cloth” after all. Cf. below, v. 176 of Pilindavacchcha-apadāna (#388 {391}) = [3550], where the term is definitely used for a type of cloth.

  3. dakkhiṇeyye anuttare, following BJTS Sinhala gloss (kerehi) in reading these locatives as indicating that the gift was “for” the Buddha. But these epithets could equally well stand in for the gift-worthy, unexcelled stupa of a Buddha, which is often represented in Apadāna as the Buddha himself, and would make sense of the gift of plaster, if that is the meaning of pottha. If the reference is to the living Buddha (as BJTS seems to assume), then plastering does not make sense, which may explain why BJTS (and cty) read it as a cloth instead.

  4. more lit., “with reference to,” “concerning,” ārabbha

  5. satthā (= Buddha), dhamma and saṅgha, i.e., the Triple Gem.