[495. {498.}1 Puḷinathūpiya2]

In the Himalayan region,
there’s a mountain named Samaṅga.3
I had a well-built hermitage
furnished with halls of leaves [there then]. (1) [5304]

Named Nārada, with matted hair,
[I] practiced fierce austerities.
Fourteen thousand4 students [back then]
are worshipping5 me [in that place]. (2) [5305]

Being off in solitude [then,]
I contemplated [in this way]:
“All of the people worship6 me
[but] I don’t worship anyone. (3) [5306]

I do not have an advisor;
there is no one who speaks to me;
no teacher [and no] preceptor,
I come to a home in the woods. (4) [5307]

There is not a teacher for me
whom I am giving honor to,
and serving with respectful heart;
my forest-dwelling’s meaningless. (5) [5308]

I’ll search for one to give gifts to,
and to be respected [by me];
I will live [enjoying] his help,
whom no one will find blameworthy.7 (6) [5309]

[Very] near my hermitage,
there was a river with high banks,
with good slopes, which was beautiful
[and] strewn about with pure white sand. (7) [5310]

Having approached it at that time,
the river named named Amarika,
after piling up [some] sand, I
built a stupa [out of that] sand. (8) [5311]

“Those [men] who were the Sambuddhas,
Enders of Becoming, Sages,
I’ll make [this] with the marks of a
stupa such-like [those built] for them.” (9) [5312]

Having built [my] stupa of sand,
[as though] I made it out of gold,
I covered [it]8 with9 three thousand
gold-colored kiṅkhani10 flowers. (10) [5313]

I am praising evening and morn,
filled with joy, hands pressed together.
As though facing the Sambuddha,
I worshipped [that] stupa of sand. (11) [5314]

When defilements get produced11 [or]
pre-occupations with the house,12
I recall [that] well-made13 stupa,
and always look at [them like this]: (12) [5315]

“Living14 having depended on
the Meaning-Conveyor,15 the Guide,16
it’s not appropriate for you
to live with17 defilements, Good Sir.18 (13) [5316]

When I bend down at the stupa,
then respect arises in me;
I drive out bad reflections19 like
an elephant pained20 by the goad. (14) [5317]

The King of Death21 [then] trampled me,
conducting [my] life22 in that way.
Passing away23 [right] on the spot,
I went to the world of Brahmā. (15) [5318]

Dwelling there for the whole lifespan,24
I was born among the thirty.25
Eighty times the lord of the gods,
I exercised divine rule [there]. (16) [5319]

And [then] three hundred times I was
a king who turns the wheel [of law],
[and I enjoyed] much local rule,
innumerable by counting. (17) [5320]

I’m enjoying the results of
three [thousand] kiṅkhani26 flowers.
Twenty-two thousand [people are]
waiting on me in [every] life. (18) [5321]

Due to worshipping27 the stupa,
I am not soiled with dirt and dust;28
my limbs are not exuding sweat;
I’m radiantly beautiful. (19) [5322]

O! the stupa well-made by me;
Amarika River’s well-seen!
Having built a stupa of29 sand,
I’ve attained the unshaking state. (20) [5323]

“Field” or “Not-Field” aren’t [distingished]
by a person seeking the pith,30
who desires to do wholesome deeds;
[his] practice is [thus] accomplished.31 (21) [5324]

Just as a person with great strength
is able to cross a river;32
carrying a protective stick,
he would spring across a large lake,
so I, depending on this stick,
will cross the great sea [of being]:
through [his] effort and energy
a man would cross over the sea. (22-23) [5325-5326]

And so too the karma I did,
which was [my] little protection;33
depending on [that] karma done,
I crossed over re-becoming.34 (24) [5327]

When [my] last rebirth was attained,
incited by [my] wholesome roots,
I am reborn in Śrāvasti,35
in a wealthy [clan] with big halls.36 (25) [5328]

My mother and father had faith,
gone to the Buddha for refuge;
they had both seen the [deathless] state,
turning to the dispensation. (26) [5329]

Taking bark37 from the Bodhi [tree]
they built a stupa [made of] gold.
They’re praising it evening and morn,
face to face with the Śākyas’ Son. (27) [5330]

They passed three watches of the night,
praising the Buddha’s appearance,
outside38 the stupa made of gold,
on a day when the moon was full.39 (28) [5331]

I, having seen the [gold] stupa,
remembered the stupa of sand.
Sitting down on a single seat,
I attained [my] arahantship. (29) [5332]

The Twenty-Second Recitation Portion
Searching for him, the [Great] Hero,
I saw the Dhamma’s general.40
Having departed from the house,
I went forth in that one’s presence. (30) [5333]

Being [only] seven years old,
I attained [my] arahantship.
Knowing [my] virtue, the Buddha,
the Eyeful One, [then] ordained [me]. (31) [5334]

The work has been completed by
me, even when [I] was a child;
what’s to be done was done by me,
in the Buddha’s41 dispensation. (32) [5336]42
All hate [and] fear is in the past;
all bonds overcome, [I’m] a sage.
I’m you’re follower, Great Hero:
the fruit of a golden stupa.43 (33) [5337]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (4) [5338]

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! (5) [5339]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (6) [5340]

Thus indeed Venerable Puḷinathūpiya44 Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Puḷinathūpiya45 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. “Sand-Stupa-er.” BJTS reads Pulina°

  3. BJTS reads Yamako

  4. reading cchatuddasasahassāni with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS cchatuddasaŋ sahassānaŋ (“of fourteenth thousand”)

  5. pariccharanti

  6. lit., “do pūjā

  7. no koci garahissati

  8. lit., “I did pūjā [to it]”

  9. lit., “of”

  10. BJTS reads kiṅkaṇi°

  11. reading jāyanti with BJTS for PTS jhāyanti (“are meditating”)

  12. vitakkā gehanissitā, lit., “initial reflections connected with the house,” i.e., domestic concerns, perseveration about things of the lay world; BJTS Sinh. gloss is kāmaniḥśrita (“connected with lust/sense-pleasures”)

  13. BJTS (and PTS alt.) read sugataṃ (“the Well-Gone-One”) for PTS sukataŋ. BJTS Sinhala gloss then treats it adjectivally, sarvajñastupaya (“the stupa of the Omniscient One”)

  14. viharam, fr. viharati.

  15. sātthavāhaŋ

  16. vināyakaŋ

  17. saŋvaseyyāsi, lit., “were you to live with” or “that you should live with”

  18. mārisa, BJTS glosses nidukāṇeni (“O you without suffering”)

  19. reading kuvitakke (pl.) with BJTS for PTS kuvitakkaŋ (sing., “bad reflection” or, following the translation in the preceeding verse, “bad pre-occupation”)

  20. BJTS reads tuttāṭṭito, the more correct (acc. to RD) spelling of PTS °addito

  21. maccchchurājā = Māra

  22. vharamānaŋ maŋ

  23. kālakato santo, lit., “being passed away”

  24. yavatāyuŋ, lit., “for as long as the lifespan [in the Brahmā world],” which is very extensive

  25. i.e., the thirty[-three] gods, in Tāvatiṃsa heaven

  26. BJTS reads kiṅkaṇi

  27. paricchiṇṇattā

  28. lit., “dirt and dust are not smeared [on me]”

  29. lit., “in”

  30. reading sāragāhinā (BJTS understands sāra, “the pith,” as nirvana) for PTS pāragāminā (“who has gone to the opposite shore), though the meaning of the latter is close to that of the former.

  31. reading sādhaka with BJTS for PTS sārikā (= “pithy”? PTS alt. are sāraṇā [“remembered”] and sārakā [”pithy”] )

  32. or “flood,” aṇṇavaŋ

  33. reading thokakañ ccha yaṃ with BJTS for PTS thokakañcchanaŋ (“a little gold”)

  34. saŋsāraŋ, frequently described as “an ocean”

  35. lit., “in the city, Śrāvasti,”

  36. mahāsāle, a mark of wealth (which is further emphasized as su-aḍhake, “very wealthy” or “very influential”)

  37. or a sprout: papaṭikaŋ

  38. vinīharuŋ, lit., “they went out of,” “they threw away”. BJTS Sinhala gloss bähäraṭa gat ha

  39. lit., “on an uposatha day”

  40. dhammasenāpat’, i.e., Sāriputta. Cf. Sāriputta-apadāna (#1), v. 210, v. 229 (= [349], [368]) and Upāli-apadāna (#6), v. 99 (= [544])

  41. lit., “in the Śākyas’ Son’s”

  42. BJTS jumps from [5334] to [5336] here, inadvertently (I assume) omitting [5335] from its numbering.

  43. BJTS reads soṇṇapuphass’idaṃ phalaṃ, “that is the fruit of a gold-colored flower,” referring back to the kṅikaṇi (PTS: kiṅkhani) flowers offered to the sand-stupa (see above, v. 10 [5313], cf. v. 18 [5321])

  44. BJTS reads Pulina°

  45. BJTS reads Pulina°