[467. {470.}1 Nimittavyākaraṇiya2]

Plunged into the Himalayas,
I’m reciting mantras back the,
[and] fifty-four thousand students
attended on me [in that place]. (1) [4922]

They all learned by heart,3 true knowers,4
were masters of Vedic science;5
having come of their own accord,6
they dwelt in the Himalayas. (2) [4923]

The Son of a God, Greatly Famed,
falling from Tusitā [heaven],7
was reborn in a mother’s womb,
attentive [and] remembering. (3) [4924]

When the Buddha8 was being born,
the ten-thousand world-system quaked,
[and] those who were blind obtained9 eyes,10
when the Leader was being born. (4) [4925]

This entire [great bountiful]11 earth
quaked in every manner.12
Having heard the sound of shouting,
the populace was frightened [then]. (5) [4926]

All the people came together,
and they came into my presence.
“The [great bountiful] earth has quaked,
what will this be the result of?” (6) [4927]

I answered them, “Don’t be frightened;
there is nothing for you to fear.
Let all of you be confident;
this omen portends happiness. (7) [4928]

[This great bountiful] earth quakes through
contact13 with [one of] eight causes.
Likewise [this] sign is [also] seen:
there’s a huge effulgence [of light]. (8) [4929]

Without a doubt a Best Buddha,
an Eyeful One, will [soon] be born!”
Having [thus] informed the people,
I spoke about the five precepts.14 (9) [4930]

Hearing of the five precepts,15 and
a Buddha’s birth, hard to obtain,
happy [and] full of excitement,16
their hair stood on end in delight.17 (10) [4931]

In the ninety-two aeons since
I explained the signs [at that time],
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that is the fruit of explaining. (11) [4932]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (12) [4933]

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! (13) [4934]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (14) [4935]

Thus indeed Venerable Nimittavyākaraṇiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Nimittavyākaraṇiya Thera is finished.

The Summary:

Sālakusumiya Thera,18
Pūjā and Nibbāpaka [too],
Setuda and Tālavaṇṭī,
Avaṇṭa,19 Labuja-ppada,
Pilakkha20 and Paṭibhāṇī,
brahmin Veyyakaraṇaka:
exactly two hundred verses
are counted [here] by those who know.

The Sālakusumiya Chapter, the Forty-Seventh


  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. “Explanation of the Signs-er” or “Explanation of Omens-er”

  3. adhītā fr. adhīyati

  4. vedagū, i.e., those who have the higher or highest knowledges (veda) as opposed to (acc. to RD) those who are masters of “the Vedas”. The protagonist, in this case, is both.

  5. chalaṅgaŋ, lit., “the six branches.” RD: “the set of six Vedāngas, disciplines of Vedic science, viz. 1. kappa, 2. vyākaraṇā, 3. nirutti, 4. sikkhā, 5. chando (vicchiti), 6. joti-sattha (thus enumd at VvA 265; at PvA 97 in sequence 4, 1, 3, 2, 6, 5): D iii.269; Vv 6316; Pv ii.613; Miln 178, 236.” BJTS understand this as an adjective modifying “[reading] marks,” i.e., “the six branches of the science (śāstraya) of marks,” but given the use of the term to refer to the six branches of Vedic science above ([3605] = Sela (#389 {392}), v. 24,

  6. sakavijjāh’

  7. lit., “body,” kāyā, i.e., the body he was born in and bore in Tusitā heaven, a “happy body”

  8. lit., “the Sambuddha”

  9. alatthiŋsu, PTS alt. aladdhiŋsu, BJTS alabhiṃsu all to labhati

  10. or “vision,” cchakkhuŋ

  11. the lit. meaning of the term used here for “earth,” vasudhā

  12. reading sabbākāraṃ with BJTS (and PTS alt as sabbakāraŋ, sic) for PTS chabbikāraŋ, (“six circumstances”)

  13. PTS samphassa, BJTS samphussa, “touching on”

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

  15. pañcchasīlāni

  16. ubbegajātā sumanā, lit., “excitement-born [and] good-minded”

  17. tuṭṭhahaṭṭhā āsiŋsu te, lit., “they were all horripilating with delight”

  18. reading sālakusumiya thero with BJTS; PTS gives Sālapupphī ccha yo thero

  19. PTS reads Avaṭa

  20. PTS reads Pilakkhu