[485. {488.}1 Taraṇiya2]

Atthadassi, the Blessed One,
the Self-Become One, World-Leader,
the Thus-Gone-One then came up to
the banks of river Vinatā.3 (1) [5177]

A water-dwelling4 tortoise then,
[I had] come out from the water.
I went up to the World-Leader,
the Buddha; he desired to cross. (2) [5178]

“Let the Buddha climb onto me,
O Atthadassi, O Great Sage;
I will carry you across; you
are the Ender of Suffering.” (3) [5179]

Discerning what I was thinking,
Atthadassi, the Greatly Famed,
after climbing onto my back,
stood [there], the Leader of the World. (4) [5180]

As far back as I remember,5
ever since I reached discretion,6
I have not had such happiness
as when his soles [then] touched7 [my back]. (5) [5181]

After crossing, the Sambuddha,
Atthadassi, the Greatly Famed,
remaining on the river bank,
spoke these verses [about me then]: (6) [5182]

“Just as I ferry folks across
the stream of doubt which is the mind,
this turtle king, full of merit,
ferries me across [the river]. (7) [5183]

Through this Buddha-ferrying and
practice of loving-heartedness,
for eighteen hundred aeons he
will delight in the world of gods. (8) [5184]

Coming [back] here from the gods’ world,
incited by [his] wholesome roots,
sitting down on a single seat,
he’ll cross over the stream of doubt. (9) [5185]

As with a seed which is planted,
in a field which is bountiful:8
when it rains,9 with proper support,10
fruit pleases the cultivator;
so too [within] this Buddha-field,
preached by the Sammāsambuddha:
when it rains,11 with proper support,
the fruit will be pleasing to me.” (10-11) [5186-5187]

I am one bent on exertion,
calmed,12 devoid of grounds for rebirth,13
knowing well all the defilements,
I am [now] living, undefiled. (12) [5188]

In the eighteen hundred aeons
since I did that karma back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that is the fruit of ferrying. (13) [5189]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (14) [5190]

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! (15) [5191]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (16) [5192]

Thus indeed Venerable Taraṇiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Taraṇiya 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. “Ferryman”. Cf. #204, #270, #280 for parallel apadānas of monks with this name.

  3. PTS reads CChinatā. BJTS reads Vinaka°, PTS alt. Vinatā is the spelling preferred by DPPN (see II:883), and used without divergence between PTS and BJTS in #380 {383}, v. 1 = [3292]; cf. also #511 {514} v. 1 = [5473], below.. Malalasekera says it was presumably in the Himalayas.

  4. kacchchapo vārigoccharo

  5. yato sarāmi attānaŋ, lit., “starting from when I remember myself”

  6. or “since I reached puberty,” yato patto ‘smi viññuta, lit., “starting from when I reached puberty;”

  7. reading phuṭṭhe pādatale yathā with BJTS for PTS yathā pādatale muni

  8. bhaddake, or “lucky” “fortunate” etc

  9. BJTS pavacchchante (cf. pavecchchante, the reading in [5004] below, note pavacchchante as PTS alt. there [v, 5 of #499, Ekapattadāyaka]; RD = “give, bestow,” PSI “[rainwater] falls down”) for PTS pavassante, more straightforwardly “when raining”

  10. sammādhāre (loc. abs. construction)

  11. here PTS also reads pavecchchante, which may exploit the more literal meaning of that term (acc. to RD), give, bestow; “when proper support is provided”. However, in the parallel verses below (5-6 of #499, Ekapattadāyaka, PTS reads pavassante). “Raining” is a frequent metaphor for Dhamma-preaching, and it would be possible to construe the second pāda that way, “when it rains the preaching of the Sammāsambuddha, with proper support…”

  12. upasanto

  13. nirūpadhi