[405. {408.}1 Todeyya2]

In Ketumati, best city,
there was a king named Vijaya,3
a hero, endowed with great strength,4
inhabiting [that] city then. (1) [4113]

Because of that king’s indolence,
wild men of the forest5 rose up.
They were spies,6 and men with foul mouths;7
they laid waste to the country then. (2) [4114]

When the borderlands angered [him],
the king8 then quickly assembled
[his] dependents9 and officers,10
to restrain11 [all those] enemies. (3) [4115]

Elephant-riders,12 sentinels,13
champions,14 shield-bearing soldiers,15
archers16 and mighty noblemen:17
they all assembled at that time. (4) [4116]

The cooks18 [and] those who dress the hair,19
the bath boys,20 the garland-makers,21
heroes22 [and] conquering soldiers:23
they all assembled at that time. (5) [4117]

The swordsmen24 as well as the waiters,25
bowmen and people in armor,
hunters26 and conquering soldiers:27
they all assembled at that time. (6) [4118]

Mātaṅgas28 rutting in three ways29
[and] tuskers sixty years of age,
adorned with headdresses of gold:
they all assembled at that time. (7) [4119]

The soldiers30 who have done the job,31
enduring32 cold [as well as] heat,
also excrement-removal:33
they all assembled at that time. (8) [4120]

The sound of conchs, the sound of drums,
and thus the sound of trumpets;34
they being gladded by those [sounds]
did all assemble at that time. (9) [4121]

Those who crush and those who injure35
with tridents36 [and] knives37 [and] mantras,38
suits of armor, also lances:
they all assembled at that time. (10) [4122]

Dressing in a suit of armor39
that king, victory-less victor,40
impaled on tridents at that time
sixty thousand living beings. (11) [4123]

The people then let out the cry,41
“Alas! the king is unrighteous.
When will there [ever] be an end
for one who is roasting in hell?”42 (12) [4124]

On the bed I then tossed and turned,43
[as though]44 I’m lying down45 in hell:46
I do not sleep by day and night;
they torture me with a trident. (13) [4125]

“What good is47 [this] careless kingship,
[these] vehicles [or this] army?
They aren’t able to support [me];
they terrify me all the time. (14) [4126]

What good are [these] sons [and these] wives,
[as well as this] entire kingship?
Well then why don’t I [now] go forth?
I will cleanse the road to rebirth. (15) [4127]

Disregarding [all my] wealth [and]
fighting battles I abandoned
[my] sixty thousand elephants
decked out in all the ornaments,
mātaṅgas with gold headdresses,
clothed in harnessing made of gold,
mounted by elephant-trainers
with lances and goads in [their] hands.48
Frightened by [my] own [bad] karma,
I went out into homelessness. (16-18a-b) [4128-4129]49

[My] sixty thousand horses [too],
decked out in all the ornaments,
thoroughbreds of good pedigree,50
horses from Sindh, fast vehicles,
mounted by trainers of horses51
wearing armor with bows in hand —
having abandoned all of them,
I went out into homelessness. (18c-d-20a-b) [4130-4131]

Sixty thousand chariots [too],
decked out in all the ornaments,
covered in52 the skins of leopards
and likewise tigers,53 flags hoisted —
having abandoned all of them,
I went forth into homelessness. (20c-d-21) [4132]54

Sixty thousand milch-cows [as well],
[and] all the metal pails for milk55
eliminating even them,
I went forth into homelessness. (22) [4133]

[My] sixty thousand women [too],
decked out in all the ornaments,
with varied clothes and jewelry
and wearing earrings made of gems,
with long eyelashes, lovely smiles56
and slim waists, pleasant to look at57
abandoning them as they wept,
I went forth into homelessness. (23-24) [4134-4135]

[And] sixty thousand villages,
completely full in all regards —
throwing away that [whole] kingship,
I went forth into homelessness. (25) [4136]

Having gone out from the city,
I approached the Himalayas.
On Bhāgīrathī58 River’s banks,
I constructed a hermitage. (26) [4137]

Having built a hall out of leaves
I made [myself] a heated room;59
bent on exertion,60 resolute,61
I’m living in my hermitage. (27) [4138]

Terror does not arise in me;
I don’t see frights or fearful [things]
when meditating under trees,
in pavilions62 or empty homes. (28) [4139]

The Sambuddha named Sumedha,
Chief, Compassionate One, the Sage,
blazing with the light of knowledge,
arose in the world at that time. (29) [4140]

There was a powerful spirit63
living near my hermitage [then].
When the Best Buddha came to be,
he then announced [that fact] to me: (30) [4141]

“A Buddha’s risen in the world,
an Eyeful One named Sumedha;
he’s [helping] all the folk to cross;
he will ferry you across too.” (31) [4142]

After hearing the spirit’s words,
all the time I was64 deeply moved;65
thinking, “A Buddha! A Buddha!”
I made my hermitage ready. (32) [4143]

After chopping wood for the fire
and smoothing out [my] sleeping mat,
having worshipped my hermitage,
I went out from the forest [then]. (33) [4144]

Taking sandalwood from village
to village, city to city,
searching for [him], the God of Gods,
I then came up to [him], the Guide. (34) [4145]

At that moment, the Blessed One,
Sumedha, Leader of the World,
was preaching the Four [Noble] Truths,
enlightening the people then. (35) [4146]

Pressing both my hands together
with66 the sandalwood on my head,
having greeted the Sambuddha,
I spoke these verses [to him then]: (36) [4147]

“When jasmine trees67 are flowering
[their] scents are diffused around them;68
Hero, with the scent of virtue you
permeate every69 direction. (37) [4148]

When the sal trees70 are flowering,
champak,71 ironwood,72 vanika,73
hiptage vines,74 and and [also] screw-pine,75
[their scents] get diffused with the wind. (38) [4149]

Having smelled your [perfume-like] scent,
I came here from Himalaya.
I worship you,76 O Sage So Great,
World’s Best One, O One of Great Fame.” (39) [4150]

I anointed the World-Leader,
Sumedha, with good sandalwood.
Bringing pleasure to [my] own heart
I stood silently at that time. (40) [4151]

The Blessed One named Sumedha,
the World’s Best One, the Bull of Men,
seated in the monks’ Assembly
spoke these verses [about me then]: (41) [4152]

“This one who praised my virtues and
who worshipped me77 with sandalwood,
I shall relate details of him;
[all of] you listen to my words: (42) [4153]

For twenty-five aeons he is
going to be a handsome man
who speaks welcome words, pious78
[and] upright, full of great power.79 (43) [4154]

In the twenty-sixth aeon he
will delight in the world of gods.
A thousand times he’ll be a king,
a king who turns the wheel [of law]. (44) [4155]

Thirty-three times the lord of gods,
he will exercise divine rule,
[and there will be] much local rule,
innumerable by counting. (45) [4156]

Being fallen from there, this man
will go on to the human state.
Bound up with [his] good80 karma he’s
going to be Brahma’s kinsman.81 (46) [4157]

Learned, knowing82 [all] the mantras,
a master of the three Vedas,
endowed with three auspicious marks
[will be] the brahmin, Bāvarī. (47) [4158]

Having become that man’s student,
he’ll be a master of mantras.
Going up to the Sambuddha,
Gotama, Bull of the Śākyas,
having asked [him] subtle questions,
cultivating the straight [path, he]
knowing well all the defilements,
will reach nirvana, undefiled.” (48-49) [4159-4160]

The three fires83 are blown out in me;
all [new] existence is destroyed;
knowing well all the defilements,
I am [now] living, undefiled. (50) [4161]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (51) [4162]

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! (52) [4163]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (53) [4164]

Thus indeed Venerable Todeyya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Todeyya 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. a historical monk, follower of Bāvarī whose questions to the Buddha, and his answers, are recorded as the Todeyya-māṇava-pucchchā. See SN v. 1006, 1088-1091; cf. DPPN I:1038 (read SN. for S. in the references)

  3. “Conqueror,” reading the name with BJTS (and PTS alt., and Cty) for PTS Ajitañjaya, “Unconquered Vanquisher”.

  4. sūro vikkamasampanno

  5. aṭaviyo

  6. PTS occharā, BJTS (and PTS alt.) otārā, both meaning someone who seeks out or investigates in a bad way, people who pry or spy; BJTS gloss = “searching for holes”. The implication is that they violate others, perhaps as thieves who steal what they discover.

  7. tuṇḍikā from ṭuṇḍa, “beak,” RD: “peckers” and cf. ahituṇḍika, snake charmer. BJTS gloss: mukharayō, bold speakers, noisy, foul-mouthed. The implication, whatever the exact meaning, is certainly that they were louts.

  8. arindamo, lit., “tamer of enemies”

  9. bhate

  10. all the mss. apparently read balatthe for balaṭṭhe, military officers, royal guard; BJTS glosses the term as balasenaṅga, “the officers’ branch of the army”

  11. reading niggāhayī with BJTS for PTS niggāhayiŋ, “I restrained”. The verb means “to hold back,” “restrain” “control” “censure” “rebuke” or “rebuff”

  12. PTS hatthārūḷhā, BJTS (and PTS alt.) hatthārohā

  13. anīkaṭṭhā

  14. or “heroes:” sūrā

  15. cchammayodhino, RD: “soldiers in cuirass”

  16. dhanuggahā

  17. uggā

  18. āḷārikā

  19. kappakā

  20. nahāpakā

  21. mālakārakā

  22. sūrā

  23. vijitasaṅgāmā

  24. or “sword-bearers”: khaggahatthā, lit., “those with swords in [their] hands”

  25. purisā. BJTS takes this with khaggahatthā, swordsmen, but the “ccha” as well as the list-like structure of the whole passage lead me to take these as referring to two different classes of people who assembled, in this case swordsmen and “men,” that is (acc. to RD) attendants or waiters.

  26. or “tribals,” luddā, BJTS gloss väddō

  27. vijitasaṅgāmā. The repetition of the term opens the possibility that in this verse and the previous one it is used as a qualifier of “hero” and “hunter,” but I follow BJTS Sinhala gloss in treating them as separate classes of people.

  28. see n. to #1, v. 25 [164].

  29. i.e., showing their rut in their eyes, ears, and genitals. See cty, p. 288.

  30. yodhājīvā, lit., “those who live as warriors”

  31. katakammā

  32. khamā

  33. PTS ukkārūharaṇassa, BJTS ukkaraharaṇassa, both with the same meaning. I suppose this refers to latrine duty in army camps, or else those who clean up animal feces, but is open to a variety of interpretations (and livelier translations, e.g., “and even shoveling up shit”)

  34. PTS uddhavasaddakaŋ, “the sound of upper [pitches?],” BJTS reads udhamasaddakaṃ (?) and glosses the term kālam haḍa, “the sound of trumpets,” which I follow here. Cone says this reading is “probably wrong” and suggests the possibility that the correct reading is uddhaka, which RD (and Abhidānappadiīikā) defines as a sort of drum

  35. reading koṭṭayantā nipātentā with BJTS for PTS koṭṭentānaŋ nivattantā, “turning back of the crushers (?)”?

  36. trisūla°

  37. °konti°

  38. °mantehi. Cone, following RD (whose uncertain entry would yield “leather shields”), treats kontimantehi as a tatpurusa rather than danda compound, taking the term as “leather-worker’s sharp knife”. I follow BJTS in seeing “mantra” as a kind of injurious weapon, too.

  39. BJTS reading is considerably different: kimevāt’ nisāmetvā, “having observed ‘what now?” (?), a reading it glosses, “having asked, ‘what punishment is appropriate (according to the law)?’”

  40. reading ajitaṃ jino with BJTS for PTS Ajitañjayo, “that king [named] Ajitañjaya,” which as noted in the note to v. 1 [4113], above, BJTS rejects (giving Vijaya as the king’s name). But these first two feet are in any event confused and problematic).

  41. reading saddaṃ mānusakā’ kaṃsu with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS saddam amānus’ âkāsuŋ, “non-humans made (sic, taking akāsuŋ as 3rd pl. aor. of karoti on the model of akāsi, 3rd sing. aor; it would more likely come fr. ākāsati, i.e., “shined”) the sound”

  42. niraye paccchchamānassa

  43. tuvaṭṭento, causative, lit., “being made to turn” (as opposed to the indicative sense of the same verb, translated at [1487], [1597] as “snuggle” and at [4058] as “nestle”)

  44. this follows the BJTS gloss “(men)”

  45. reading sayāmi (“I lie down”) with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS vasāmi (“I am living”). PTS also offers passāmi (“I am seeing”) as another alt.

  46. vasāmi niraye

  47. lit., “what [for me] with…?”

  48. tomaraṅkusapāṇihi

  49. BJTS presents [4129] as a six-footed verses; PTS includes the last two feet of the verse [4129e-f] as the first two feet of v. 18 (a-b).

  50. jātiyā, lit., “well-born” or simply “excellent,” the term connotes lineage, genealogy, caste, breed. Here it seems to substitute for “those fast like the wind” (vātajavā) in parallel lists (see above, [1293], [2692], [3981])

  51. gāmaṇīya usually means elephant-trainers, as in v. 26 [4097], above, but here the context makes “horse-trainer” a more suitable translation, so I have taken the same liberty taken by the poet in treating the term that way. PSI indicates that these are trainers of “elephants, etc.” (ätun ādīn puhuṇu karana ācchāryyaya), allowing for the extended meaning in this context.

  52. sannaddhā, RD: fastened, bound; put on, clothed (with), armed, accoutred. The term has a wide enough range to leave open the possibility that rather than covered in the hides of these big cats, the poet imagines the chariots pulled by leopards and tigers, which would make sense of the specification below that they are also mounted by animal-trainers, in this case perhaps leopard- and tiger-trainers, paralleling the elephant-trainers who mount the elephants and the horse-trainers who mount the horses.

  53. dīpā, fr. dīpī, leopard. Both RD and PSI give cart covered with a tiger skin as one of the meanings of dīpā, and the same (i.e., covered with a tiger skin) for veyyagghā, but here the “and also too” (atho pi) connecting the two terms clearly indicates that they are not simple synonyms, but rather two types of decorated or armored carts: those covered with leopard skins (dīpā) and those covered with tiger skins (veyyagghā).

  54. BJTS presents this as a six-footed verse; it spans two verses in BJTS

  55. sabbā kaŋsūpadhāraṇā

  56. hasulā = ?

  57. RD gives “good hips,” referring to this text. I don’t see the warrant, and take the term susaññā from saññā, sense, perception, as does BJTS

  58. this is the BJTS spelling (here as Bhāgirathi, sic). PTS reads Bhāgirasī

  59. PTS agyāgāraŋ, BJTS aggyāgāraṃ

  60. āraddhaviriyo

  61. pahitatto

  62. maṇḍape

  63. yakkho āsi mahiddhiko, lit., “a spirit with great iddhi

  64. āsi, lit., “there was [for me]”

  65. saŋviggo, fr. saṃvega

  66. lit., “making” “placing”

  67. vassike

  68. santike, i.e., in their immediate vicinity

  69. contract to ev’ry when chanting, to keep the meter

  70. sālesu, shorea robusta

  71. the cchampaka (Sinh. sapu) tree is Magnolia champaca, formerly classified as michelia champaca. English names for the tree include Champak, Joy Perfume Tree, Yellow Jade Orchid Tree and Fragrant Himalayan Champaca. It was the Bodhi tree of the seventeenth Buddha of the Buddhavaṃsa, Atthadassi. It has highly fragrant cream to yellowish-colored blossoms.

  72. nāga = Sinhala , ironwood, Mesua Ferrea Linn, Bodhi tree of Mangala, Sumana, Revata, Sobhita buddhas; national tree of Sri Lanka. It has brilliant, fragrant white flowers containing four petals each, as well as a red fruit eaten by birds.

  73. vanike, Sinh. gloss kōmbu. RD: vanika = vanaka, of the forest, only in the cpd. nāgavanika, = “of the elephant forest,” = a hunter. BJTS glosses nāga° as (ironwood), so vanika here must refer to another kind of flowering plant.

  74. atimuttaka. RD: a plant, Gaertnera Racemosa = Hiptage, hiptage benghalensis, stout, high-climbing vine, now invasive species in Florida, scented pink-white flowers, medicinal uses. BJTS glosses Sinh. yohombu (Bot. Dict. = yohombu väla = yon tumba, an annual creeper, Trichodesma zeylanicum).

  75. ketaka, Pandanus odoratissima, Sinhala väṭakē or väṭakeyiyā.

  76. lit., “I do pūjā

  77. lit., “did pūjā

  78. brahmā (III)

  79. °patāpavā

  80. puñña, lit., “meritorious”

  81. i.e., a brahmin by caste

  82. lit., “bearing,” °dharo

  83. the cty here explains these as the fires of rāga (lust), dosa (anger) and moha (ignorance, folly)