[399. {402.}1 Puṇṇaka2]

The Self-Become, Unconquered One,
the Buddha, who had an illness,
was living amidst the mountains,
near the top of a mountain slope. (1) [3919]

All around my hermitage [there,]
when Buddha was passing away,3
there was shouting out all the time,
there was [brilliant] light all the time. (2) [3920]

Throughout that forest grove all the
bears4 and wolves,5 kara bānā bears,6
the tigers7 and the lions too,
are roaring loudly all the time. (3) [3921]

After seeing those strange omens8
I ascended9 the mountain slope.
There I saw [him], the Sambuddha,
passed away,10 the Unconquered One,
like a regal sal tree in bloom,
like the risen hundred-rayed [sun],
aglow like charcoal [that’s still hot],
passed away,11 the Unconquered One. (4-5) [3922-3923]

Making it full of grass and sticks,
I [then] made a pyre [for him] there.
Having made [that] well-fashioned pyre,
I cremated [the Buddha’s] corpse. (6) [3924]

After I’d cremated [his] corpse,
I sprinkled scented water [there].
A spirit12 standing in the sky
fixed a name for me for all time: (7) [3925]

“That13 duty was fulfilled by you
for the Great Sage, the Self-Become.
O sage you’re always going to be
named “the full one”14 [in each lifetime].” (8) [3926]

After falling from that body,
I went to the world of the gods.
There a divinely-made perfume15
is [then] exuded in the sky. (9) [3927]

Even in that [world of gods] the
name assigned me was “the full one.”16
[Whether] born human or divine,
I fulfill [all] my intentions. (10) [3928]

This is the final time for me;
[my] last rebirth is proceeding.17
And here as well “the full one” is
the name assigned me [that’s] well known. (11) [3929]

Having regaled the Sambuddha,
Gotama, Bull of the Śākyas,
knowing well all the defilements,
I am [now] living, undefiled. (12) [3930]

In the ninety-one aeons since
I did that [good] karma back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
the fruit of duties for the corpse. (13) [3931]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Knowing well all the defilements,
I am [now] living, undefiled. (14) [3932]

Being in Best Buddha’s presence
was a very good thing for me.
The three knowledges are attained;
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (15) [3933]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (16) [3934]

Thus indeed Venerable Puṇṇaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Puṇṇaka Thera is finished.


  1. Apadāna numbers provided in {fancy brackets} correspond to the BJTS edition, which contains more individual poems than does the PTS edition dictating the main numbering of this translation.

  2. “Full One,” a historical monk, to whom the Puṇṇovāda Sutta (M. iii. 267ff.;S. iv. 60 ff) was preached. Cty (p. 484) says he was the leader of an army of yakkhas, but I do not see that detail in the extant text.

  3. buddhe nibbāyamānamhi (loc. abs. construction)

  4. acchcha°, Sinh. gloss valassu

  5. koka, etymological cousin of vāka, vṛka, above, see RD

  6. taracchchā, Sinh. gloss kara bānā (‘submissive” “bent over”) valassu, Note BJTS omits the second mention of “wolves” so may be taking koka in compound with taracchchā (i.e., kokataracchchā), in specifying this particular type of bear (cf. Sorata, kara baāna valasā, s.v.)

  7. reading vyagghā with BJTS for PTS vālā (= vāḷā, snakes?)

  8. uppādaŋ taŋ…disvā, lit., “after seeing that strange omen,” but the plural is obviously implied as three strange omens have been mentioned.

  9. lit., “went”

  10. nibbutaŋ

  11. nibbutaŋ

  12. yakkho

  13. BJTS reads yaṃ (“which”) for PTS (and BJTS alt.) taŋ

  14. puṇṇako

  15. divyamayo (BJTS and PTS alt. read dibbamayo) gandho

  16. puṇṇako

  17. ccharimo vattate bhavo