[407. {410.}1 Udena2]

In the Himalayan region,
there’s a mountain named Paduma.3
My well-built hermitage [is there,]
with well-fashioned halls made of leaves. (1) [4219]

The rivers that are flowing there
have good banks and are beautiful,
with clear water, water that’s cool;
[those] rivers are always lovely. (2) [4220]

There are sheatfish,4 pāvusa5 fish,
valaja,6 reed-fish7 [and] red-fish.8
They are shining9 in the river;
the rivers always transport [them].10(3) [4221]

They’re veiled11 in mango,12 rose-apple,13
kareri14 [and] coral-bean tree,15
golden shower,16 trumpet-flower,17
beautifying my hermitage. (4) [4222]

Alangium,18 red bimbijāl,19
and māyākārī20 [trees] in bloom
are diffusing perfumes [there],
beautifying my hermitage. (5) [4223]

Hiptage vines21 and sattalika,22
ironwood23 [and] sal24 in flower
are wafting divine fragrances,
beautifying my hermitage. (6) [4224]

Neem,25 salalā,26 yellow cheesewood27
and aṭṭhaṅga28 [trees] in full bloom,
are wafting divine fragrances,
beautifying my hermitage. (7) [4225]

My hermitage has lots of fruit:
myrobalan29 [and] gooseberry,30
mango,31 rose-apple,32 bahera,33
jujube,34 markingnut,35 bel.36 (8) [4226]

There kadam37 and banana [trees]
are flowering in my hermitage.
Wafting divine fragrances, they’re
beautifying my hermitage. (9) [4227]

Asokapiṇḍī,38 cchavarī,39
and yellow cheesewood40 [trees] in bloom,
are wafting divine fragrances,
beautifying my hermitage. (10) [4228]

Laurel41 [and] mountain laurel42 [trees]
[and] timira [trees] in bloom there,
are wafting divine fragrances,
beautifying my hermitage. (11) [4229]

Nigguṇḍi,43 sirinigguṇḍi44
and champak trees45 which are in bloom,
are wafting divine fragrances,
beautifying my hermitage. (12) [4230]

Near [the hermitage] there’s a pond,
[full of] the songs of ruddy geese,46
covered with mandālaka blooms47
and with pink and blue lotuses.48 (13) [4231]

It has clear water, cool water,
good bathing-fords49 which are lovely.
It is clear, the same as crystal,
beautifying my hermitage. (14) [4232]

Pink lotuses are blooming there,
and white and blue lotuses [too].
It’s covered in mandālaka,50
beautifying my hermitage. (15) [4233]

Sheatfish51 [also] pāvusa52 fish,
valaja,53 reed-fish54 [and] red-fish55
are swimming around56 in that [pond],57
beautifying my hermitage. (16) [4234]

Crocodiles58 and alligators,59
tortoises and [other] fierce beasts,60
ogāhas,61 [and] pythons62 [too are]
beautifying my hermitage. (17) [4235]

Pigeons63 and ravi-swans64 as well,
ruddy geese65 and nadīccharas,
lapwings,66 [also] mynah birds67 are
beautifying my hermitage. (18) [4236]

Shrubs like nayita, ambagandhi,
and screw-pine68 are blossoming there,
wafting [their] divine fragrances,
beautifying my hermitage. (19) [4237]

Lions and tigers and leopards,
bears69 [and] wolves,70 kara bānā bears71
are roaming about in the woods,
beautifying my hermitage. (20) [4238]

Those bearing weights of matted hair,72
who wear deer-leather outer robes,
are roaming about in the woods,
beautifying my hermitage. (21) [4239]

Those [hermits] wearing deer-leather
are clever, living peacefully,
and they’re all eating little food,
beautifying my hermitage. (22) [4240]

Carrying their73 shoulder yokes,74
plunging into the forest then,
eating [only] roots and [wild] fruits,
[they] live in the hermitage then.75 (23) [4241]

They do not carry wood for fires
nor water for washing [their] feet;
through their collective majesty,76
[that all] gets carried by itself. (24) [4242]

Those eighty-four thousand sages
gathered together in that place;
all practice meditation77 and
are seeking ultimate meaning. (25) [4243]

All are ascetics, celibates,
reproving,78 with vows for fixed minds79
and able to fly through the sky;80
[they] live in the hermitage then. (26) [4244]

For five days they would congregate,
tranquil [and] living peacefully,
[then] worshipping one another,
they’re departing the way they face.81 (27) [4245]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
was the Master of Everything.82
Doing away with the darkness,
the Victor arose at that time. (28) [4246]

There was a powerful spirit83
[then,] living near my hermitage.
He praised84 the Sambuddha to me,
the one named “Ultimate Lotus.”85 (29) [4247]

“It is a Buddha who arose,
the Great Sage, Padumuttara;
having gone quickly, Sir,86 you now
should visit [him], the Sambuddha.”87 (30) [4248]

After hearing the spirit’s words,
with a mind that was very clear,
having shored up88 the hermitage;
I then set out from the forest. (31) [4249]

As though [my] clothes were now in flames,89
quickly leaving the hermitage,
staying over a single night,90
I came up to [Buddha], the Guide. (32) [4250]

Padumuttara, World-Knower,
Sacrificial Recipient,
explaining the Four Noble Truths,
was declaring the deathless path. (33) [4251]

Taking a pink lotus in bloom,91
I went up to the Sage So Great.
Happy, with pleasure in [my] heart,
I offered it to the Buddha. (34) [4252]

Having worshipped92 the Sambuddha
whose name was “Ultimate Lotus,”
placing deer-hide on one shoulder,
I praised the Leader of the World: (35) [2453]

“That knowledge by which the Buddha
[now] dwells here without defilements,
I shall eulogize that knowledge;
[all of] you listen to my words. (36) [2454]

Blocking the stream of existence,93
you ferry all creatures across.
Having listened to your Teaching,
they’re crossing the stream of craving.94 (37) [2455]

You’re the Teacher for those who breathe,
the Banner, the Flag and the Pole;
you are the Goal, the Solid Ground,
the Island,95 the Best of Bipeds. (38) [2456]

The heads of groups96 throughout the world
are said to be leading teachers.97
You are the Chief, Omniscient One;
they [have all] come into your fold.98 (39) [4257]

Through your knowledge, Omniscient One,99
you ferry many folks across.
Coming to take a look at you,
they make an end to suffering. (40) [4258]

Whatever perfumes are produced,
waft through this world, O Eyeful One.
None is equal to your [sweet] scent,
O Field of Merit, O Great Sage. (41) [4259]

O Eyeful One, you liberate
from woeful states,100 [and] wombs of beasts.101
O Great Sage, you are explaining
the unconditioned path of peace.” (42) [4260]

Padumuttara, World-Knower,
Sacrificial Recipient,
seated in the monks’ Assembly,
spoke these verses [about me then]: (43) [4261]

“He who [thus] worshipped102 my knowledge,
[feeling well-] pleased by [his] own hands,
I shall relate details of him;
[all of] you listen to my words: (44) [4262]

For thirty thousand aeons he
will delight in the world of gods.
A thousand time’s he’ll be a king,
a king who turns the wheel [of law].” (45) [4263]

The gain for me was well-received,
having pleased [him], the Sambuddha.
Knowing well all the defilements,
I am [now] living, undefiled. (46) [4264]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (47) [4265]

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! (48) [4266]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (49) [4267]

Thus indeed Venerable Udena Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Udena Thera is finished.

The Summary:

Metteyya, Puṇṇaka Thera,
Mettagu, and Dhovaka too,103
Upasīva, also Nanda,
and Hemaka seventh from there.
Todeyya and Jatukaṇṇi,
and Udena, greatly famed one.
There are three hundred verses here,
plus eighty-three beyond that [count].

The Metteyya Chapter, the Forty-First


  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. “Coming Up” (?)

  3. “Pink Lotus”

  4. read pāṭhīna, Silurus Boalis, “a kind of shad” (RD); wikipedia gives “sheatfish,” related to catfish, includes all the siluridae. BJTS glosses peṭiyō

  5. pāvusa, glossed as “large-mouth fish”, cf. pāgusa, patusa, BJTS glosses lūllu

  6. reading valajā with BJTS, which treats it as a type of fish (Sinh. valayō), for PTS jalajā, lit., “water-born”, a generic word for “fish”.

  7. muñja, more common as a kind of reed, also the name of a fish (BJTS glosses moddu), always in dvandva compound with rohita, “red-fish”

  8. rohita, BJTS glosses reheru

  9. reading sobhentā with BJTS for PTS sobhanti (“they are beautifying”)

  10. vahanti (“proceeding,” “carrying [them in the current],” PTS alt. is savanti (“flowing”)

  11. sañcchhannā, lit., “covered;” the f. pl. presumably fixes these as modifiers of “the rivers,” the unspecified “they” which is the subject of the first foot.

  12. amba

  13. jambu

  14. a small tree, Crataeva Roxburghii (Cappar.), Sinh. luṇuvaraṇa

  15. tilaka, BJTS glosses as madaṭa cf. botanical dictionary = madaṭiya, a tree which yields false yellow sandalwood, and seeds that are used as beads and a jeweler’s weight of about 1.25 troy ounce, adenanthera pavonina, coral bean tree a.k.a. Saga, Sagaseed tree, Red-bead tree, kolkriki

  16. uddālaka = Cassia fistula, Sinh. äsaḷa

  17. pāṭali is Sinh. paḷol, Bignonia suaveolens, sterospermum suaveolens (Bignon.), trumpet-flower tree, the Bodhi Tree of Vipassi Buddha.

  18. reading aṅkolaka with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS Ākolakā. The plant in question is alangium hexapetalum, a.k.a. sage-leaved alangium, Sinh. rukaṅguna

  19. bimbijāla, the Bodhi tree of the previous Buddha, Dhammadassi Buddha, Sinh. rat karavū, momordica monadelpha

  20. this is the BJTS spelling, PTS reads māyācchārā. Cf. māyākāra, “magician, conjuror”?

  21. 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).

  22. BJTS glosses as satpeti däsaman = “hundred-petaled” saman piccchcha mal, a fragrant species of jasmine, Jasminum sambac. Note that at [3432] BJTS says vassika is (regular) däsaman.

  23. nāgā

  24. sāla, shorea robusta

  25. PTS kosumbhā, BJTS kosambā, also spelt kosambhā, - Sinh. kohomba, neem or margosa tree, Azadirachta indica

  26. PTS salaḷā, BJTS salalā, BJTS Sinh.gloss = hora = “large timber tree yielding rezin and oil, Dipterocarpus zeylanicus (Dipterocarp.)” (Bot. dict.)

  27. nīpa = Sinhala kolom, nauclea orientalis; also called Leichhardt tree

  28. “eight-limbed,” BJTS takes this as the name of another type of tree, rather than an adjective

  29. harītakā, Sinh. araḷu, myrobalan, black- or chebulic myrobalan; Terminalia chebula.

  30. āmalāka, Sinh. nelli, emblic myrobalan, Indian gooseberry, a.k.a. Malacca tree, or amla; Phyllanthus emblica

  31. ambā, Magnifera indica

  32. jambū, Sinh. damba, jambu, Syzygium samarangense

  33. vibhīṭakā, Sinh. buḷu, Terminalia bellirica (sic bellerica), beleric myrobalan or bastard myrobalan. Together with myroblan proper (araḷu) and Indian gooseberry (nelli), bahera is one of the three myroblans upon which many Ayurvedic and Sinhala medicines are based; the dried nuts are typically pounded into powder which is then used in oils and other decoctions. Here, on the contrary, the reference is likely to the fresh fruit of these trees, which is also used in medicines and eaten (especially gooseberrry).

  34. kola, Sinh. debara phala, Ziziphus Mauritania, Zyzyphus Jujuba, Indian jujube or Chinese apple.

  35. bhallātakā, bhallī, badulla = semecarpus anacardium, Sinh. badulu

  36. bellā, billaŋ = Aegle marmelos, Sinh. beli geḍiya, bael, bel, Bengal quince; bilva or vilva tree; also billā, beluvā

  37. kadamba (Sinh. koḷom) is Nauclea cordifolia = Neolamarckia cadamba, with orange-colored, fragrant blossoms

  38. “round-mass Asoka” (?)

  39. this reading follows BJTS for PTS ccha vārī (alt. °bari) but cf. setavārī at v. [4011], above.

  40. nīpa = Sinhala kolom, nauclea orientalis; also called Leichhardt tree

  41. punnāga = Sinhala domba, Alexandrian laurel, Calophyllum inophyllum

  42. giripunnāga

  43. a kind of medicinal tree or shrub, Vitex nigunda. Sinh: nika

  44. = “resplendent nigguṇḍi,” Sinh. gloss sirinika

  45. cchamparukkh’ ettha. The cchampa (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.

  46. cchakkavākā, BJTS Sinh. gloss sakvālihiṇiyō = cchakravākayā, an aquatic bird, brahminy goose, brahmany kite, haliastur indus

  47. RD says this is a water-plant, a kind of lotus, referencing J iv.539; vi.47, 279, 564. Here (and at [4233], [4313]) BJTS glosses helmällen nohot diyakandarayen, “if not helmälla then diyakandara.” Heḷmäli = edible white water-lily, Nymphaea Lotus. I don’t find diyakandaraya in the dictionaries. BJTS gloss at [324] is “a water-born plant named Mandālā”. At [171] BJTS Sinh. gloss is taḍāgayangen, “from the moss,” following its reading of [170] “well fixed [in the mosses]”. Bot. Dict. taḍāga = sevela. At [4313], [6332] BJTS gloss is likewise helmällen (= heḷmäli)

  48. reading padumuppalakehi ccha with BJTS for PTS padumapphalakehi ccha (“and with pink lotuses and fruit” or “and with pink lotus fruits”.

  49. supatitthā, following BJTS gloss here (elsewhere “good banks”). Should I do the same elsewhere?

  50. RD says this is a water-plant, a kind of lotus, referencing J iv.539; vi.47, 279, 564. Here BJTS Sinh. gloss suggests helmäliyen = heḷmäli, also the (or a) gloss at [4231], [4313], [6332] = edible white water-lily, Nymphaea Lotus. But elsewhere BJTS gives different glosses: at [4007] BJTS glosses it as madāra tree [mountain-ebony, Bauhinia purpurea (Legum.)] and says the blossoms fell into the water from overhanging trees. BJTS gloss at [324] is “a water-born plant named Mandālā”. At [171] BJTS Sinh. gloss is taḍāgayangen, “from the moss,” following its reading of [170] “well fixed [in the mosses]”. Bot. Dict. taḍāga = sevela.

  51. read pāṭhīna, Silurus Boalis, “a kind of shad” (RD); wikipedia gives “sheatfish,” related to catfish, includes all the siluridae. BJTS glosses peṭiyō

  52. pāvusa, glossed as “large-mouth fish”, cf. pāgusa, patusa, BJTS glosses lūllu

  53. reading valajā with BJTS, which treats it as a type of fish (Sinh. valayō), for PTS jalajā, lit., “water-born”, a generic word for “fish”.

  54. muñja, more common as a kind of reed, also the name of a fish (BJTS glosses moddu), always in dvandva compound with rohita, “red-fish”

  55. rohita, BJTS glosses reheru

  56. viccharantā, moving around, traveling about

  57. tattha, lit., “there”

  58. kumbhīlā

  59. suṃsumārā, lit., “child-killing,” is actually a different sort of crocodile, but to avoid the inevitable redundancy in English I have chosen to translate the term “alligator,” a species not actually found in this region.

  60. gahā, lit., “seizers.” BJTS glosses this above (at [4011]) as a third type of crocodile (gäṭa-kimbulō), underlining (as does my translation here) the main point that fierce water-beasts are born there.

  61. oguhā, fr. ogāhati, ogāhana, plunging? = watersnakes?

  62. ajagarā. RD says “a large snake…a Boa Constrictor”

  63. parevatā

  64. ravihaŋsā

  65. cchakkavākā, BJTS Sinh. gloss sakvālihiṇiyō = cchakravākayā, an aquatic bird, brahminy goose, btahmany kite, haliastur indus

  66. dindibhā, Sinh. gloss kirallu, kiraḷā = red-wattled or yellow-wattled lapwing. PSI dictionary gives “bluejay”

  67. reading °sālikā with BJTS for PTS °sāḷi ccha. Sāḷlka (Skt. śārika) = Sinh. säḷalihiṇiyō, Indian mynah birds (Hindi maina, Skt. madana)

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

  69. acchcha°, Sinh. gloss valassu

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

  71. 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 bāna valasā, s.v.)

  72. jaṭābhārabharitā (PTS), jaṭābhārena bharitā (BJTS)

  73. that is, ascetics, who carry around all their possessions, limited to the basic necessities they require. Cty: khāribhāran ti : udañcchanakamaṇḍalu-ādikam tāpasaparikkharabhāram.

  74. khāribhāriŋ (BJTS reads khāribhāraṃ) gahetvāna. These are specified as ascetics who carry all their requisites, which are few, on their persons.

  75. in this verse BJTS reads sadā (“always” “all the time”) for PTS tadā, “then,” but agrees with the latter in subsequent repetitions of this foot.

  76. sabbesam anubhāvena, lit., “through the majestic (or even magical) powers of all of them.” The point here is that their power is so great that they do not need to perform mundane chores; those chores perform themselves, as it were.

  77. jhāyino

  78. or “exhorting,” “questioning,” “criticizing,” “reprimanding,” “accusing,” reading cchodentā with BJTS for PTS cchodito, “reproved” (etc.)

  79. appanā [BJTS reads appaṇā] vate, Sinh. gloss arpaṇāvratayehi yodunā vu. Appanā is fixing the mind on its object (the samādhis or the Path), that conception itself, ecstasy. In Sinhala this implies “giving up,” “renunciation,” of other objects of thought

  80. ambarā +avaccharā, lit., “[people who are] possessed of wandering in the sky”

  81. pakkamanti disāmukhā, lit., “they are going out with faces toward a direction,” i.e., they went according to their inclinations

  82. lit., “Master of All Things (dhamma)” (or “Master of All Teachings”)

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

  84. PTS pasaŋsi, BJTS saṃsittha, both past tense, 3rd singl. forms of verbs from the same root, with a similar range of meanings: praise, announce, commend

  85. i.e., Padumuttara

  86. mārisa,BJTS glosses nidukāneni (“O one without suffering”)

  87. though the meaning of both is about the same, there is considerable variation between the readings of the final foot in BJTS (payirupāsaya mārisa), which I follow, and PTS (payirupāsassu tam muni), which I find garbled.

  88. saṃsāmetvāna, “smooth out,” “roll up [one’s bed mat]” “leave”

  89. cchele (BJTS ccheḷe) va ḍayhamānamhi, BJTS gloss, “like at the time when [one’s] clothes were burning.” This seems to be idiomatic, and to express haste, cf. “pants on fire”

  90. ekarattiŋ vasitvā, lit., “having dwelt [out somewhere on the road] for one night [only]”

  91. lit., “in full bloom”

  92. lit., “done pūjā

  93. saŋsārasotaŋ chinditvā

  94. or “the stream of clinging,” tanhāsotaŋ

  95. or “lamp,” dīpo

  96. gaṇino, leaders or teachers who have large followings

  97. satthavāhā, more typically translated as “caravan leaders” or even “merchants,” but here the “teacher” aspect seems especially significant, as these are heads or teachers of groups of followers.

  98. tava antogadhā va te, or perhaps “they are all now under you” or “they’re all encompassed by you”

  99. reading sabbaññū with BJTS for PTS sapañño (“the one who has wisdom”)

  100. nirayaŋ

  101. tiracchchayoniŋ, i.e., rebirth as an animal

  102. lit., “did pūjā

  103. BJTS (and PTS alt.) read Dhotaka