[406. {409.}1 Jatukaṇṇika2]

In the city, Haṃsavatī,
I was the son of a rich man.3
I amuse myself all the time,
endowed with sensual pleasures. (1) [4165]

Ascending [one] palace [of] three4
raised up5 [for me by] architects,6
I amuse myself constantly
with dancing and with singing there. (2) [4166]

Musical instruments7 played8 for
me, keep up the right melody.9
All of the women are dancing;
they’re carrying my mind away. (3) [4167]

Head-twisters,10 tiny dwarf-dancers,11
bower-crouchers,12 in-the-middlers,13
leapers14 and comedy-dancers15
are always entertaining me. (4) [4168]

Cymbal-beaters,16 kumbhathūn-ers,17
many dancers,18 puppet-masters;19
[those] dancers and puppet-masters
are always entertaining me. (5) [4169]

Bath boys20 [and] those who dress the hair,21
cooks,22 garland-makers,23 dice-players,24
all the boxers25 [and] the wrestlers26
are always entertaining me. (6) [4170]

When those well-trained27 professionals28
are playing at those [different29 arts],
I do not know the night from day,
like Indra30 with the thirty gods.31 (7) [4171]

Wayfarers,32 people on the road,33
beggars34 and many travelers,35
they are always approaching [me,]
[and] taking [their] meals at my house. (8) [4172]

[Buddhist] monks and also brahmins,
the unexcelled fields36 for merit,
working to increase37 my merit
are [also] coming to my house. (9) [4173]

All the Jains: the Padakas38 the
Laṭakas,39 Pupphasāṭakas,40
Tedaṇḍakas,41 Ekasikhas42
are [also] coming to my house. (10) [4174]

Ājīvikas: the Godhammas,43
Viluttāvīs,44 Devadhammis,45
[and the] Rajojalladharas,46
are [also] coming to my house. (11) [4175]

Ascetics and forest dwellers:
Parivattakas,47 Siddhipattas48
many Koṇḍas,49 Puggalikas,50
are [also] coming to my house. (12) [4176]

Oḍḍakas,51 also Damiḷas,52
Sākulas,53 Malayāḷakas,54
Sabaras,55 and Yonakas56 too
are [also] coming to my house. (13) [4177]

Andhakas,57 all the Muṇḍakas,58
Kolakas,59 Sānuvindakas,60
and Ārāvacchīnaraṭṭhas61
are [also] coming to my house. (14) [4178]

Alasandakas,62 Pallavakas,63
Babbaras,64 Bhagga-kārusas,65
Rohitas66 and CChetaputtas,67
are [also] coming to my house. (15) [4179]

Madhurakas,68 Kosalakas,69
Kāsikas,70 Hatthiporakas,71
Isiṇḍas,72 and Matthalas73 [too]
are [also] coming to my house. (16) [4180]

Velāvakas74 and Arammas,75
Okkalas,76 many Mekalas,77
Khuddakas78 and Suddakas79 [too]
are [also] coming to my house. (17) [4181]

Rohanas,80 also Sindhavas,81
CChittas82 [and] Ekakaṇṇikas,83
Suraṭṭhas84 and Aparantas85
are [also] coming to my house. (18) [4182]

Suppārikas,86 Kikumāras87
Malayas,88 Soṇṇabhūmakas,89
Vajjihāras90 too, all of them
are [also] coming to my house. (19) [4183]

Basket-makers,91 also weavers,92
leather workers93 and carpenters,94
metal-smiths95 as well as potters96
are [also] coming to my house. (20) [4184]

Gem-sellers97 and bronze-purveyors,98
workers in gold99 and cloth-merchants,100
and those who work in tin, they all
are [also] coming to my house. (21) [4185]

Fletchers101 and the makers of bows,102
weavers103 and makers of perfumes,104
as well as tailors,105 all of them
are [also] coming to my house. (22) [4186]

Oil-handlers106 and wood-gatherers,107
water-carriers108 and servants,
cooks109 and those who protect the soup110
are [also] coming to my house. (23) [4187]

Gate-keepers111 and sentinels,112
eulogizers,113 flower-pluckers,
elephant riders114 and keepers115
are [also] coming to my house. (24) [4188]

I gave [wealth] to the indolent
Maharaja [named] Ānanda,
covering116 his deficiency
with gems of the seven colors. (25) [4189]

I satisfied with gemstones all
those people who were praised by me,
the multi-colored populace,
discerning what they were thinking. (26) [4190]

When the lovely words were spoken,
when the drums were being sounded,
when the conch-shells were being blown,
I’m delighting in [my] own house. (27) [4191]

The Buddha117 in that period
was Leader Padumuttara.
He was with one hundred thousand
whose defilements were [now] extinct.118 (28) [4192]

The Eyeful One had gone onto
the road, together with the monks.
Lighting up Every119 Direction,
he blazed forth like a tree of lamps. (29) [4193]

They all are pounding on120 [their] drums
for the traveling World-Leader.
His [brilliant] light is being shed,
like the sun [when it] has risen. (30) [4194]

Even behind121 paneled windows
not penetrated by its rays,
all the time, inside the houses,
there was an enormous brilliance. (31) [4195]

After seeing the Buddha’s light,
I said to the assemblymen,
“Without a doubt the Best Buddha
is this one going on the road.” (32) [4196]

Having come down from the palace,
I quickly went to the bazaar.
Having greeted the Sambuddha,
I spoke these words [to him back then]: (33) [4197]

“O may the Buddha pity me,
the Leader [named] Supreme Lotus.”
The Sage [then] consented [to come],
with the hundred thousand masters. (34) [4198]

[Thus] inviting the Sambuddha,
I led him to [my] own [great] house.
There I satisfied the Great Sage
with food [to eat] and drinks [to drink]. (35) [4199]

Knowing it grew too late to eat
for the Best Buddha, Neutral One,
I served the Best Buddha with a
hundred musical instruments. (36) [4200]

Padumuttara, World-Knower,
Sacrificial Recipient,
sitting down inside [my own] house,
spoke these verses [about me then]: (37) [4201]

“He who served me with instruments,
and who gave me [alms] food and drink,
I shall relate details of him;
[all of] you listen to my words: (38) [4202]

This man is going to make the [whole]
world122 into a single kingdom.
Possessing gold, possessing wealth,
he’ll be one with abundant food. (39) [4203]

Undertaking the five precepts,123
[and] then the ten ways of acting;124
undertaking, making progress,
he will [then] train his retinue. (40) [4204]

Sixty thousand instruments [and]
women who are all-adorned
will play for this one constantly:
that is the fruit of attendance. (41) [4205]

For thirty thousand aeons he
will delight in the world of gods.
Sixty-four times the lord of gods,
he will exercise divine rule. (42) [4206]

And seventy-four times he’ll be
a king who turns the wheel [of law],
[and there will be] much local rule,
innumerable by counting. (43) [4207]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (44) [4208]

In whichever womb he’s reborn,
[whether] it’s human or divine,
being one with no lack of wealth,
he will go to the human state. (45) [4209]

Having become a learned man,
a master of the three Vedas,
this one will wander the [whole] earth,
searching for ultimate meaning. (46) [4210]

And afterwards he will go forth,
incited by his wholesome roots.
He’ll thrill in the dispensation
of Gotama, the Blessed One. (47) [4211]

After pleasing the Sambuddha,
Gotama, Bull of the Śākyas,
having burnt up [his] defilements,
this one will become an arahant.” (48) [4212]

Like a tiger-king in the woods,
like a lion, king of the beasts,
today I’m living without fear
in the Buddha’s125 dispensation. (49) [4213]

I do not see me being born
in want or in a bad rebirth
in the world of gods or people:
that is the fruit of attendance. (50) [4213]

I’m [now] intent on seclusion,126
calmed,127 devoid of grounds for rebirth;128
like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (51) [4215]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (52) [4216]

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! (53) [4217]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (54) [4218]

Thus indeed Venerable Jatukaṇṇika Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Jatukaṇṇika 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, another of Bāvarī’s students whose questions put to the Buddha, and his answer, are contained in the Jatukaṇṇi Sutta (a.k.a. Jatukaṇṇimāṇavapucchchā) of SN (vv. 1096-1100; the eleventh sutta of the Parāyana Vagga). BJTS reads Jatukaṇṇi.

  3. seṭṭhiputto, “a millionaire’s son”

  4. reading tayo with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS tato, “then” “after that” “from that”

  5. ubbiddhā, Skt. udviddha, a rare term outside Apadāna (and J) meaning (according to Cone) “high, elevated.” BJTS glosses it as a verb rather than an adjective (which would produce “tall architects”), “constructed [a building]” (goḍanäguha). I follow BJTS in making sense of this verse.

  6. gehalañcchhakā, lit., “those who know [make, do] the marks of houses;” BJTS Sinh. gloss is just that: geval lakuṇu dannō. Lilley says all the mss give lañjaka, but variants are not noted by BJTS (°lañcchhakā)

  7. turiyā

  8. lit., “beaten,” “struck:” āhaṭā

  9. reading samma-tāla-samāhitā with BJTS for PTS sāma-tāla-samāhitā (“keep up [be attentive to, stay fixed on, put down] the same melody”). The difference is slight — the point is that they are played well — but BJTS is (like Indian classical music) open to a wider range of “proper” performances (harmonics) than all instruments playing the same melody, so I prefer its reading; in this context “proper” is not necessarily synonymous with “the same.”

  10. reading velāpikā with BJTS (and PTS alt) for PTS velāmikā (RD: “some sort of servants, especially in demand for a noble’s retinue”); BJTS gloss piḷi hisa sisārannō, “people who twirl around their heads completely”

  11. vāmanikā, read fr. vāmanaka, dwarfish, vāmana, a dwarf. BJTS (and PTS alt.) read lāmaṇikā, BJTS gloss for this is also aṅguṭumiṭi° = “extremely small dwarf” + °nätum naṭannō, “-dance-dancers”

  12. reading kuñjavāsī (“dwelling in a bower,” “living in a place covered with vines”) with BJTS for PTS kujjā vā sīhi. BJTS glosses: kudu vūven men naṭannō, “those who dance as though they have become small,” crouched up (as though they are under a bower or in a place covered over with vines).

  13. reading timajjhikā (“third in the middle-ers”) with BJTS for PTS sīhi-majjhikā (“in the middle of lionnesses”), though BJTS gloss sihadenakagē men mäda pedesa penvamin naṭannō (“dancers who put on a show like they are in the area between two lions”) preserves the meaning of the latter

  14. laṅghikā, lit., “deer-like-[dancers]” (fr. laṅghi); BJTS gloss uḍaṭa matuvemin naṭannō (“dancers who rise upwards”), figuratively “leaping like a deer”

  15. sokajjhāyī, lit., “sorrow-destroyers”. BJTS gloss usuḷu-visuḷu pāmin naṭannō (“dancers who present absurdities and fooleries”)

  16. vetālino, according to RD practitioners of a (forbidden) art which was already not understand in the commentaries, Bdgh. def. “cymbal beating which some take to be raising the dead by magic” (cf. vetāla, ghost); RD: chanting of bards for a king. BJTS gloss ghanatālampoṭa gasannō (“people who play the Tamil cymbal [Sinh-Eng dict: tālampaṭaya, played along with tambourine and dancing]”)

  17. kumbhathūnī, BJTS gloss “those who play a certain kind of instrument strapped to the face,” apparently a sort of drum.

  18. naccchchakā, which like the naṭa (see next note) can refer to dancers, mimes, actors, etc.

  19. naṭā, BJTS gloss rūkaḍa naṭavannō (“people who make puppets dance”)

  20. nahāpakā, BJTS gloss diyavaḍannō (“those who bring the water”)

  21. kappakā, RD barber, hairdresser, bath attendant; BJTS gloss karaṇuvǟmiyo (“barbers”)

  22. sūdā, BJTS gloss arakkämiyo (“cooks”)

  23. mālakārakā

  24. sumāpakā, following BJTS Sinh. gloss mänavin pasäṭa (= pasa äṭaya) keḷinnō (“people who play dice well”)

  25. jallā, RD: athlete, acrobat; BJTS Sinh. gloss pora badannō (“people who box”)

  26. reading mallāni with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS mallā ti (“‘wrestlers’”)

  27. sikkhite

  28. katupāsane, lit., “those who have done the practice” (or read, as RD directs, “skilled archers?,” “those who have done archery”? The more general meaning follows BJTS Sinh. gloss palapurudukam äti

  29. contract to diff’rent in chanting, metri causa

  30. Indo, king of the gods, = Indra, Sakka, Śakra

  31. tidasa-gaṇe, lit., “in the company of the thirty [for thirty-three] gods,” BJTS Sinh gloss “in the highest heaven of happiness (Tusitā).”

  32. reading addhikā with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS aṭṭhikā (“those with bones” or “those with kernels” or “eightfold”?)

  33. pathikā

  34. cchaka

  35. ccharakā

  36. pronounce as two syllables to keep meter when chanting

  37. vaḍḍhayantā

  38. BJTS reads paṭakas (“clothed”?). I follow BJTS in treating the following list as a series of designations of specific groups of ascetics, though most of these names/descriptors have intelligible meanings which could be construed as so many characteristics of the groups mentioned. For example: “All of the Jains who wear clothing/are dressed in vines [or just] flowers/[who] own three sticks and their top-knots/are coming to my house//[4174] The Ājīvikas, taught by cows/plundered, with teachings [based on] gods/dressed in [robes smeared with] muddy dirt/are [also] coming to my house.” [4175] Ascetics and forest dwellers/who whirl ‘round [then say] that’s the goal/lots with fam’lies [and] private [things]/are [also] coming to my house// [4176].” The context might support such a reading. Each verse is structured around a large designation of an actual group (e.g., “Jains”), and the verses which follow these (i.e., (13-19) [4177-4183]) certainly refer to actual (political, geographical) groups of people. However, the verse which precedes those in question (i.e., (9) [4173]) is similarly-structured but includes (only) a series of epithets that are certainly descriptive of all Buddhists and brahmins, rather than being names of separate groups. Similarly, rajojalladharā (see 4175]) is used below [4321], and elsewhere in the early texts, as a general adjective rather than the name of a specific group. While I find the possibilities here intriguing and worthy of further thought, given these reservations I have adopted the BJTS readings and followed the BJTS gloss here.

  39. BJTS reads laṭakas (“[dressed] in creepers,” fr. latā?)

  40. “flower-robed,” i.e. naked, a play on the Jain distinction of “sky clad” (digambara) from “wearing white” (śvetambara)?

  41. “three sticks,” i.e. “who possess only three sticks”? or “three-punishments,” who undertake three (excessive) forms of asceticism? The Jaine and Ājīvikas, not to mention the schools of Brahmanical renouncers, were of course famously the rivals of the Buddha and the Buddhists; these terms may be neither names of sects nor characteristics of those in the groups described

  42. “one top-knot” (or “one peacock crest” “one flame” etc.). Might calling the Jains “people who own [only] three sticks and their top-knots” poke fun at specific aspects of Jain practice? Jain renunciants can use walking sticks, and have whisks to gently clear their paths; what might the third “stick” be”? They famously rip out their hair with their own hands, making rather ironic the reference to their top-knots. Or perhaps they are pointing to Jain non-renouncers wearing top-knots like brahmins, a different kind of poke at a different segment of the Jain population?

  43. “cow-teachings”. This is the BJTS reading; PTS reads Gotamā (= Gautamas?)

  44. “plundered” “robbed” “stripped”

  45. texts read devadhammikā, “god-teaching-ers” or perhaps“teachings [for] the king”

  46. “dust-and-dirt wearers,” BJTS Sinh gloss “(having robes) that are soiled with filth [rajo = rajas] and sand (däli),” RD rajo s.v., “dust and (wet) dirt, muddy dirt.” Elsewhere in Apadāna [e.g., 3463, 3521, 5322] being not covered in rajojalla is a fruit of previous-life merit.

  47. “turning around”

  48. “goal-attainers”. Note that both editions of the text — and the mss. — give a nine-syllable foot here; I do too, mostly out of necessity: these names of groups of ascetics and forest dwellers do not lend themselves to eight-syllable feet

  49. Rd would lead us to look fr. kuṇḍa, “bent” “crooked” or kuṇḍi, pot? PSI does not give “crooked” as a meaning of kuṇḍa, but rather “pot” (säḷiya) or “iguana” (talagoyā), either of which could evoke something specific about the group in question, is RD is right to derive the word this way. PSI also gives a defn for koṇḍa (which I follow in the mock-translation in the fn on v. (10) [4174] above), “having a family,” Sinh. “being a family man connected with having a wife”

  50. “Individuals” “private ones”

  51. DPPN I:464 says “the name of a tribe” and cites this list

  52. Tamils

  53. DPPN II:1084 “A tribe mentioned in a nominal list,” citing this text

  54. Malalyalis

  55. DPPN II: 1032, 1029, equates with Sapara and Savara, people from Sabaragamuwa Province in Sri Lanka, Veddas.

  56. Greeks

  57. Andhrans

  58. DPPN II: 641: “Name of a tribe, mentioned in a nominal list,” citing this text

  59. DPPN II: 688: “Mentioned in a list of tribes,” citing this text

  60. cf. Sānupabbata, in the Himalayas (DPPN II: 1096)

  61. PTS treats this as two separate groups: Āras and CChīnaraṭṭhas, Chinese-countries

  62. Alexandrians

  63. = Pallavas? Note that both editions of the text — and the mss. — give a nine-syllable foot here; I do too, mostly out of necessity: these names of tribes or peoples do not lend themselves to eight-syllable feet

  64. DPPN II: 268, “Name of a tribe,” citing this list

  65. DPPN I:571, cites this text for Kārusā. DPPN II:345, Bhaggā, s.v.: “The name of a tribe and a country, the capital of which was Suṃsumāraglri (q.v)”

  66. reading with BJTS; PTS gives bahikā

  67. DPPN I:910: “The name of a tribe given in a nominal list [citing this text]; probably the inhabitants of CCheta.”

  68. people from Madhura

  69. people from Kosala

  70. people from Kāsi, Benares

  71. people from Hastipura?

  72. DPPN I:320, citing only this text

  73. DPPN II:432, citing only this text

  74. not in DPPN

  75. not in DPPN

  76. DPPN I:460: “Okkalā.—The people of Okkalajanapada [MA ii.894]; mentioned also in the Apadāna in a list of tribes [citing this text].” Cf. I:330: “Ukkalā.—A district (janapada) in the region identified with modern Orissa.’ The merchants Tapassu and Bhalluka were on the way from Ukkalā…Ukkulas are mentioned in lists of people at several points in Mhb”

  77. DPPN II:651, mentions only this text, and says the readinig is “very uncertain.”

  78. DPPN I: 722, citing only this text

  79. not in DPPN

  80. DPPN II:760, citing only this text

  81. DPPN II:1137 connects this reference with the people of Sindhu, a reasonable connection

  82. Not in DPPN

  83. Not in DPPN but cf. I:451, the two monks named Ekasaññaka known (only) in Apadāna

  84. not in DPPN but cf. II:1253 Suraṭṭha, s.v., “The country is identified with modern Kathiawad”

  85. DPPN I:118 citing only this text, but cf. I:117-118 on Aparānta, “The country comprises the territory of Northern Gujarat, Kāthiāwar, Kachch and Sindh.”

  86. DPPN II:1241, citing only this text

  87. DPPN I:596, citing only this text

  88. not in DPPN but cf. II:449-450, three locales called Malaya, mountainous districts in South India, Sri Lanka and Burma.

  89. = Suvaṇṇabhūmi, Burma (?). Cf. DPPN II:1263, “Suvaṇṇabhūmi is generally identified with Lower Burma, probably the Pagan and Moulmein districts. It probably included the coast from Rangoon to Singapore. The chief place in Suvaṇṇabhūmi was Sudham¬ managara—i.e., Thaton—at the mouth of the Sittaung River.’ Fleet suggests.’ however, that it might be the district in Bengal called by Hiouen Thsang “ Ka-lo-na-su-fa-la-na ” (Karṇasuvarṇa), or else the country along the river Son in Central India, a tributary of the Ganges, on the right bank of the river which is also called Hiraṇyavāha. The probability is that there were two places of the same name, one originally in India itself and the other in Further India.”

  90. DPPN II:813, citing only this text, but should it be connected with Vajji, s.v. (II:813-815)?

  91. reading naḷakārā with BJTS (and PTS alternate reading) for PTS nalakārā

  92. pesakārā

  93. cchammikā

  94. tacchchakārā

  95. kammārā

  96. kumbhakārā, lit., “wate-jug-makers”

  97. maṇikārā

  98. lohakārā

  99. soṇṇakārā. Could also mean sellers of gold

  100. dussikā

  101. usukārā, arrow-makers

  102. cchāpakārā. BJTS reads bhamakārā (?)

  103. pesakārā

  104. gandhikā

  105. tunnavāyā, lit., “needle-weavers”

  106. telikā, perhaps oil-pressers, or oil-sellers

  107. kaṭṭhahārā

  108. udahārā

  109. sūpikā

  110. reading supa [read sūpa with gloss] rakkhā (“soup-guards”) with BJTS for PTS rūdasakkā (?)

  111. dovārika fr. dvāra.

  112. anīkaṭṭhā, BJTS reads anīkaṭṭhā and glosses “those who protect the army camp (bala-äṇi raknō)”

  113. reading vandikā with BJTS (gloss tuti pävasum karaṇa, “makers of pleasing recitations”) for PTS sandhikā (“people who join things together,” welders?)

  114. hatth’ārūḷhā, those mounted on elephants

  115. hatthipālā, keepers or guardians or protectors

  116. pūrayām’ ahaŋ, lit., “I fulfilled,” “I filled in for” “I filled up”

  117. lit., “the Blessed One”

  118. i.e., he was with 100,000 perfected arahants.

  119. contract as ev’ry (two syllables) for chanting, to keep the meter

  120. vajjanti, lit., “sounding”

  121. lit., “in the inside of”

  122. cchatuddīpe, lit., “the four great islands” “all the continents”

  123. pañcchasīle: to practice restraint from taking life, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech and becoming careless through the use of alcohol.

  124. dasakammapathe: RD: “divided into kusala (meritorious, good) and akusala (demeritorious, evil) and classified according to the three manifestations” of body (3 kammapathas), speech (4 kammapathas) and mind (3 kammapathas), for a total of ten.

  125. lit., “the Son of the Śākyas’”

  126. vivekaŋ anuyutto

  127. upasanto

  128. nirūpadhi