[479. {482.}1 Buddhasaññaka2]

In [reading] marks3 and history,4
with glosses5 [and] ritual law,
[I was] learned, mantra-knowing,6
a master of the three Vedas. (1) [5039]

[Many] students came to me then,
resembling a river stream.
I am teaching mantras to them,
night and day, [I am] not lazy. (2) [5040]

The Sambuddha named Siddhattha
arose in the world at that time.
Having driven out the darkness,
he displayed the light of knowledge. (3) [5041]

A certain one of my students
conversed with7 my [other] students;
having heard the fact [he discussed],
they then announced [the fact] to me: (4) [5042]

“A Buddha’s risen in the world,
an Omniscient One, World-Leader.
The people are turning to him;
we’re not going to get [anything].”8 (5) [5043]

“Buddhas are Born Spontaneously,9
[those] Eyeful Ones, Greatly Famed Ones.
Why then don’t I also [go] see
the Best Buddha, the World-Leader?”10 (6) [5044]

Having taken my deer-leather,
[my] robes of bark, [and] water-pot,11
departing from [my] hermitage,
I advised [my] students [like this]: (7) [5045]

“Like a glomerous fig tree bloom,12
[and] like the rabbit in the moon,13
[and] like the [mother’s] milk of crows,14
a World-Leader’s hard to obtain. (8) [5046]

A Buddha’s risen in the world!
Even human birth’s hard to get,
and hearing’s15 very hard to get,
when both of them occur [at once]. (9) [5047]

A Buddha’s risen in the world!
We’ll get to see [him in] our lives.16
Come, we will [now] all go into
the Sammāsambuddha’s presence.” (10) [5048]

They all were holding water-pots,
[and] dressed in rough [bark and] deer-hide.
They,17 bearing weights of matted hair,18
then departed from the forest. (11) [5049]

Looking but a plough’s length ahead,19
searching for ultimate meaning,
coming like baby elephants,
[they were] without fear, like lions. (12) [5050]

Free of cares and unwavering,20
clever and living peacefully,
wandering about for gleaning,21
they approached the Best of Buddhas. (13) [5051]

When a league and a half was left22
[to go], illness arose in me.
Remembering the Best Buddha,
I passed away [right] on the spot. (14) [5052]

In the ninety-four aeons since
I obtained that perception then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
the fruit of perceiving Buddhas. (15) [5053]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (16) [5054]

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! (17) [5055]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (18) [5056]

Thus indeed Venerable Buddhasaññaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Buddhasaññaka 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. “Buddha Perceiver”

  3. lakkhaṇe

  4. itihāse

  5. sa-nighaṇḍu

  6. lit., “mantra-bearer”

  7. lit., “to”

  8. lābho amhaŋ na hessati, lit., “there will not be receiving for us”

  9. pronounce as spontan’yasly (4 syllable) to keep the meter

  10. this verse is presumably thought by the protagonist upon hearing the worries of his students.

  11. like the deer-leather (ajina) and bark-robes (vākacchīraŋ), the water-pot (kamaṇḍalu, a long-spouted jar for carrying water) is a distinctive possession, and signifier of non-Buddhist ascetics

  12. odumbarakapupphaŋ va. Odumbaraka (BJTS odumbarika) means “related to the udumbara tree, which is Ficus Gomerata, Sinh. dimbul.

  13. cchandamhi sasakaŋ yathā

  14. cty (p. 488) explains, “”as milk is hard to obtain for (or of) crows due to their being oppressed by [having] little, day and night”

  15. i.e., hearing the Buddha, “a listening” (savanaŋ)

  16. lit., “we will receive eyes/vision our life”. BJTS gloss is weak here:

  17. PTS Je is obviously a typographical mistake for Te (BJTS’ reading)

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

  19. yugamattañ pekkhamānā, lit., “looking ahead the extent of a plough,” i.e., just a little, keeping their eyes on the ground in front of them

  20. reading appakiccchchā aloluppā with BJTS for PTS appabhāsā alīlatā, “saying little and having no playfulness (or very serious),” a possible but unusual reading; both terms of the BJTS reading, unlike those of the PTS reading, have solid witness in other texts.

  21. cchhāya ccharamānā

  22. diyaḍḍhayojane sese, lit., “when a half less than two leagues remained,” following BJTS Sinhala gloss