[415. {418.}1 Yāgudāyaka2]

Taking someone unknown to me,3
I went4 to a village back then.
Seeing a very full river,
I approached a monastery.5 (1) [4416]

Forest-dwellers,6 punctilious,7
meditators,8 [clad in] coarse9 robes,
wise, lovers of seclusion, were
living in [that] monastery. (2) [4417]

Their destinies10 had been cut off,
well-liberated, neutral ones;
they did not go begging for alms
if the river obstructed [them].11 (3) [4418]

Happy, with pleasure in [my] heart,
awe-struck,12 with hands pressed together,
taking [some] rice-grain that I had,13
I made a gruel-donation [then]. (4) [4419]

Giving gruel [to those monks] five times,14
[feeling well-]pleased by [my] own hands,
satisfied with [my] own karma,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa then. (5) [4420]

A mansion made of gems was born
for me in the group of thirty.15
I joyed with a group of women
in that superb mansion [of mine]. (6) [4421]

Thirty-three times the lord of gods,
I exercised divine rule [there].
Thirty times a wheel-turning king,
I exercised overlordship.16 (7) [4422]

There was [also] much local rule,
innumerable by counting.
In the world of gods or humans,
I [always] enjoyed [great] fame. (8) [4423]

When [my] last rebirth was attained,
I went forth into homelessness.
As soon as17 [my] hair was cut off,
I realized18 complete success.19 (9) [4424]

Due to decay, due to old age,20
contemplating21 this corpse22 [of mine],
before the training rules were taught,23
I attained [my] arahantship. (10) [4425]

Well-given was my superb gift;
[my] trade24 was very well-applied.25
Because of that very gruel-gift,
I’ve attained the unshaking state. (11) [4426]

I have no experience of26
sorrow [and] wailing [and] illness,
[nor] distress that torments the mind:
that is the fruit of giving gruel. (12) [4427]

O! [that] gruel was very well spent!
Giving the monks’ Assembly gruel,
in the unsurpassed merit-field,
I enjoy [these] five good results: (13) [4428]

I don’t get ill, I’m beautiful,
the Teaching quickly is observed,
I receive [lots of] food [and] drink,
and [my long] lifespan is the fifth. (14) [4429]

Whoever struck by awe would give
gruel to the Assembly of monks,
that wise person would [also] get
these five [most welcome] benefits.27 (15) [4430]

What should be done has all been done;
I have put an end to rebirths.28
All defilements are exhausted;
now there will be no more rebirth. (16)29

I am wandering from village
to village, city to city,
extolling [him], the Sambuddha,
and [Buddha’s] virtuous Teaching. (17)30

In the thirty thousand aeons
since I gave that gift at that time,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that is the fruit of giving gruel. (18) [4431]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (19) [4432]

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! (20) [4433]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (21) [4434]

Thus indeed Venerable Yāgudāyaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Yāgudāyaka 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. “Gruel Donor”

  3. atithiŋ me gahetvā, lit., “taking [someone who was] a stranger to me” or “taking a stranger with me.” Cone, s.v., reads this usage of atithiŋ within the common meaning of that term, “stranger” or “newcomer,” and I follow suit. BJTS says an atithi is some sort of “instrument for the road,” presumably a type of vehicle, or a walking stick, or what have you; that would result in a translation like “taking my aitithi, I…” As becomes clear below (v. 11; [4426]), the protagonist is a merchant, traveling for the purpose of trade. Thus atithi might also refer to the merchandise he takes to sell or exchange.

  4. reading agacchchiṃ with BJTS for PTS āgacchchiŋ, “I came”

  5. saṅghārāmam upāgamiŋ, lit., “I approached a residence [or “garden”] for the Sangha [or “assembly of monks”]”

  6. āraññakā

  7. dhūtavādā, lit., “inculcators of punctiliousnes”

  8. jhāyino

  9. reading lūkha° with BJTS for PTS lukha°

  10. gatī, i.e., liability for rebirth

  11. oruddhanadikā yadi. BJTS reads oruddhanadikāya hi, “because of the river obstructing [them]”

  12. vedajāto

  13. lit., “of mine”

  14. pacchannaŋ yāguŋ datvāna, lit., “having given the fifth gruel[-donation]”

  15. tidase gaṇe, i.e. “among the thirty[-three] gods,” “in Tāvatiṃsa heaven”

  16. mahārajjam, lit., “great sovereignty” or “maharajah-ship”

  17. lit., “when,” loc. abs. construction

  18. lit., “pierced,” “struck” “hit”

  19. sabbasampatti°, lit., “all the attainments,” i.e., “I reached nirvana, I became an arahant”

  20. omitting cchāpi, “and also”

  21. sammasanto (fr. sammasati), “thinking about” “meditating upon” “thoroughly understanding”

  22. kalebaraŋ, “body,” especially “dead body”.

  23. reading pure sikkhāpadā dānā with BJTS for PTS pure sikkhāpadādāne; lit., “before the training rules were given”

  24. reading vāṇijjaṃ (trade, trading, i.e., his work as a traveling merchant) with BJTS for PTS vānijjaŋ

  25. or, “was a very good business” or “was well-directed:” suppayojitaŋ

  26. nâbhijānāmi uppanna, lit., “I do not know through experience the arising [of]” or “I am not conscious of the arising [of]”

  27. imāni pañcchaṭhānāni, lit., “these five conditions” “these five states of being”

  28. bhavā ugghāṭitā mayā, lit., “rebirths have been eliminated by me”

  29. this verse does not appear in BJTS

  30. this verse does not appear in BJTS