[533. {536.}1 Bāhiya2]

One hundred thousand aeons hence
the Leader arose [in the world],
the Great Light,3 Chief of the Three Worlds,4
who name was Padumuttara. (1) [5839]

My mind thrilled, having heard the Sage,
praising the virtue of a monk
who had instant comprehension;5
doing a deed for the Great Sage,
having given alms for a week
to the Sage with [his] students, I
saluting [him], the Sambuddha,
then aspired [to attain] that place. (2-3) [5840-5841]

The Buddha6 prophesied [of] me:
“All of you look at this brahmin,
fallen down in front of my feet,
broad-shouldered, contemplating [me],
gold brahmin’s cord7 on [his] torso,
skin that’s white upon his body,
who has pouty,8 copper-red lips,
teeth that are white, sharp and even,
with the utmost strength of virtue,
[his] body hair growing upward,
with senses flooded by virtue,9
with a face blossoming in joy,
wishing for the place of the monk
who has instant comprehension.
In the future, a Great Hero
will come to be, named Gotama. (4-7) [5842-5845]

Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
the one whose name is Bāhiya
will be the Teacher’s follower.” (8) [5846]

Then very happy, being roused,
for as long as [I] lived, doing
deeds for the Sage, fallen, I went
to heaven, as though my own home. (9) [5847]

Born as a god or as a man,
because of the power of that
karma, transmigrating I [then]
enjoyed good fortune [everywhere]. (10) [5848]

Again, when Hero Kassapa’s
dispensation had reached [its] goal,
ascending to a mountain-top,
engaged in the Victor’s teachings,10 (11) [5849]

of pure morals, wise, doers
of the Victor’s dispensation,
fallen from there, [we] five people,11
[then] went to the world of the gods. (12) [5850]

Then I was born as Bāhiya,12
in Bhārukacchcha,13 best city.
From there by boat I venture forth
on the ocean full of danger.14 (13) [5851]

After going for a few days
from there, the boat was broken up;15
then I fell into16 [the ocean],
awful, fearful, sea-monster-mine.17 (14) [5852]

At that time, after [much] struggling,
having crossed over the ocean,
disoriented,18 I arrived
at the good seaport Suppāra.19 (15) [5853]

Having dressed20 in robes made of bark,
I entered the village for alms.
Then a man [there], delighted, said,
“This is an arahant who’s come;21
honoring him22 with food [and] drink,
with clothes and [also] with a bed,
and [furthermore] with medicine,
we’ll be happy [through that karma].” (16-17) [5854-5855]

Receiving [that], then going back,
[thus] honored and worshipped by them,23
wrongly I gave rise to the thought
[that] “this one is an arahant.” (18) [5856]

Afterward, discerning my mind,
the non-returner god24 reproached:25
“You don’t know the path, the method;26
how could you be an arahant?” (19) [5857]

Reproached by him I was then moved;
I questioned him back [in this way]:
“Who, or where in the world are they,
[those] supreme men, the arahants?” (20) [5858]

“Of Vast Wisdom,27 Greatly Very Wise,28 the
Victor, in Śrāvasti, in Kosala’s palace,
the Śākyas’ Son, the Arahant, Undefiled One
is preaching Dhamma for reaching arahantship.” (21-22) [5859]29

Then having heard [that] word of him [I was] well-gladdened,
very astonished like a pauper finding treasure,
mind thrilled [for] ultimate arahantship, [and] to
know30 the Good-Looking One,31 the Limitless Pasture.32 (23-24) [5860]

Delighting at that time, departing for the Teacher,33
always I see the Victor whose Face is Stainless.34
Approaching the delightful grove named Vijita,35
I questioned brahmins, “Where is the World’s Delighter?”36 (25-26) [5861]

Then they replied, “the One Worshipped by Men [and] Gods37
has entered the city wishing to eat some food;38
very quickly indeed,39 zealous to see the Sage,
approach and worship him, the Foremost of People.40 (27-28) [5862]

[And] then, having gone speedily
to Śrāvasti, the best city,
I saw the [Buddha] wandering
for alms, without greed or desire,
bowl in hand, eyes undistracted,
as though dividing ambrosia,41
like the abode of good fortune,42
face bearing the blaze of the sun. (29-30) [5863-5864]

Coming together, bowing down,
I [then] spoke these words to him [there]:
“O Gotama, be the refuge
for one who’s lost on the wrong road.” (31) [5865]

The Seventh Sage said this [to me]:
“I’m wandering on [my] alms-round
to help living beings cross; not
the time to tell you the Dhamma.” (32) [5866]

Again [and] again I asked the
Buddha, being greedy for Dhamma.
He then preached the Dhamma to me,
the state that is deep and empty. (33) [5867]

Hearing his Teaching, I attained
the destruction of the outflows,43
[my] lifespan obliterated.
O!44 the Teacher’s mercifulness!45 (34) [5868]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (35) [5869]

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! (36) [5870]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (37) [5871]

Thus46 prophesied the elder [named]
Bāhiya Dārucchīriya.47
He fell down on a garbage heap48
when he had been gored49 by a cow. (38) [5872]

Having detailed his own former
conduct, he who was very wise,
that hero fully passed away50
in Śrāvasti, supreme city. (39) [5873]

[Then] departing from the city,
the Seventh Sage, having seen him —
the wise one who wore robes of wood,
outsider come to the outside,51
now fallen onto the safe ground,52
like the fallen flag of Indra,
lifespan gone, defilements gone,53 a
doer of the Victor’s teachings54 — (40-41) [5874-5875]

the Teacher said to followers
who delighted in the teachings:55
“get, and having taken [it] burn,
the body of your fellow monk.56 (42) [5876]

Build a stupa [and] worship57 it;
this great wise one reached nirvana,
foremost in58 instant comprehension,
follower who heeded my words. (43) [5877]

One word in a verse, hearing which,
one becomes calm, is better than
even a thousand verses, if
they possess words without meaning.59 (44) [5878]

Where the waters and the earth, the
fire and the wind have no footing,
there the stars are not shining, [and]
the sun [remains] invisible;
the moon does not shed light there, [and]
darkness is not to be found there. (45, 46a-b) [5879]60

And when one knows [that place] oneself,
a sage, a brahmin with wisdom,
he’s freed from form and formlessness,
from happiness and suffering.”
Thus [he] spoke, [the Buddha], the Lord,
the Sage, Refuge of the Three Worlds. (46c-d, 47) [5880]

Thus indeed Venerable Bāhiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Bāhiya 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. “Outsider” or “Foreigner,” the literal meaning (fr. bāhira, “outside”) of a given name which is played on below (see v. 40 [5874]). A historic monk, famous for being foremost among those who immediately comprehend the Dhamma (or quick at the special powers: khippābhiññā. “Bāhiya” was his given name; he was called “Bāhiya the Bark-Clad” (see v. 38 [5872] below) as a result of his experiences after the shipwreck (see v. 16 [5854], below). See DPPN II:281-282

  3. mahāppabho

  4. tilokaggo

  5. khippābhiñassa, lit., “who quickly grasped the special knowledges”

  6. lit., “then the Buddha…”

  7. reading hemayaññopavītaṅgaṃ with BJTS for PTS hemayaññopacchitaṅgaŋ (“body heaped up with sacrifices of gold”?). The yaññopavīta (or more correctly yaññopanīta), lit., “sacrificial cord,” is a distinctive accoutrement of brahmin dress; the protagonist’s was gold-colored or made of gold. In the gloss on this passage BJTS does not venture a guess which, but elsewhere (see the gloss on [5701]) prefers the latter reading

  8. palimba°, lit., “hanging down”

  9. reading guṇoghāyataībhūtaṃ with BJTS for PTS guṇe kāyatanībhūtaŋ (“in virtue the body []”?)

  10. jinasāsanaŋ, lit., “the Victor’s dispensation”

  11. i.e., Bāhiya together with Dabbamalla, Sabhiya, Kumāra-Kassapa and Pukkusāti; see above, v. [5801]-[5802]. Reading the adjectives in this verse as plurals (to agree with pañcchajanā) with BJTS, for PTS singulars.

  12. reading bāhiyo with BJTS for PTS bāhiko

  13. = Bharukacchcha, a seaport from which merchants traveled abroad, modern Broach in Kathiawar. See DPPN II: 365

  14. appasiddhiyaŋ, one BJTS alt. reads more correctly appasiddhikaṃ, “of little welfare” = “dangerous”

  15. following BJTS Sinhala gloss, which apparently takes abhijjhittha (for PTS abhijjhiṭṭha) as aor. of bhijjati, passive form if bhindati, to break, i.e., be broken up.

  16. lit., “was fallen into”

  17. bhiŋsanake ghore…makarākare

  18. reading mandamedhiko with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS mandavedhito (“stupid [or slow or lazy] and trembling” “a little trembling” ). BJTS Sinh. gloss manda vū väṭahīm nuvaṇa ättem, lit., “with intelligence in application (or intelligibility) that was slow (or lazy, or stupid)” and adds that this was due to the struggling in the ocean

  19. suppārapaṭṭanam varaŋ. Suppāra or Suppāraka (Skt. Sūrpāraka) is identified with the modern town of Sopāra in the Thāna district, to the north of Bombay, and figured in many Pāli texts, especially with regard to sea-crossings. See DPPN II: 1222-1223.

  20. because he lost his clothes in the shipwreck and subsequent travails

  21. idhâgato, lit., “who has come here”

  22. lit., “this one”

  23. tehi sakkatapūjitaŋ

  24. pubbadevatā, lit., “a former god,” which acc. to RD means an asura, “a titan,” but I follow BJTS Sinh. gloss in taking this to be the former monastic companion who had become a non-returner, coming down from the world of Brahmā to chastise his former companion, an allusion back to v. [5800] and [5801] in the parallel apadāna of Dabbamalla Thera (#531 {534}, vv. 32, 33)

  25. lit., “having reproached” “reproaching”

  26. or “the path to the method,” or “the path of expedient means” na tvaŋ upāyamaggaññu, lit., “you are not a knower of the path, the method.”

  27. pahūtapañño

  28. reading varabhūrimedhaso with BJTS for PTS varabhurimedhaso

  29. PTS construes (and numbers) the deity’s answer and subsequent reflection by the protagonist and his inquiring of Brahmins the location of the Buddha as eight verses with feet of six syllables; BJTS (correctly I think) construes (and numbers) this passage as four verses with feet of twelve syllables, recognizing that they are composed in a more elaborate and noticeably different meter, which I’ve tried to emulate here.

  30. lit., “see,” etymological cousin of sudassanaŋ (“Good-Looking”); “to see the one who’s good to see”. Here I am reading BJTS daṭṭhum anantagoccharaṃ (and following BJTS Sinh. gloss) for PTS duṭṭhamanantagoccharaŋ (“pasture at the end of evil minds”)

  31. sudassanaŋ, i.e “the Buddha”

  32. anatagoccharaŋ

  33. PTS satthuno (dative), BJTS sattharaṃ (accusative)

  34. vimalânanaŋ

  35. “Victory”

  36. lokanandano

  37. naradevavandito

  38. reading asanesanāsayo (asana-esana-āsayo), lit., “he who has a wish to eat [some] food” with BJTS for PTS (and BJTS alt.) asanesanāya so (“he in order to eat some food”)

  39. reading sa ve hi khippaṃ with BJTS for PTS saso va khippaŋ (“quick as a rabbit”)

  40. aggapuggalaŋ

  41. reading bhājayantaṃ viyāmataṃ with BJTS for PTS bhājayantaŋ idhāmataŋ (“dividing ambrosia here”)

  42. sirinilayasaṅkāsañ

  43. āsavakkhayaŋ, i.e., arahantship

  44. reading aho with BJTS for PTS atho

  45. reading anukampako with BJTS for PTS anukampito

  46. This eulogy of Bāhiya, spoken by the Buddha after the former's refrain (and parinibbāna) is unusual, though not unique, in Apadāna; cf. Gotamī-therī-apadāna, below (#17 of Therī-apadāna)

  47. “Bāhiya the Bark-Clad” (or “Wood-Clad”)

  48. he was searching for a rag-robe at the time

  49. reading bhūtāviṭṭhāya (= °āviddhāya) with BJTS for PTS °adhiṭṭhāya (“while standing on”)

  50. parinibbāyi

  51. bāhiyaŋ bāhitāgamaŋ, or “Bāhiya come from the outside,” or “Bāhiya come to the outside,” a play on the literal meaning of the monk’s name, reduplicating the alliteration of the previous foot (dārucchīradharaŋ dhīraŋ)

  52. reading bhūmiyan patitaŋ dantaŋ with BJTS for PTS bhumiyaŋ. Danta-bhūmi, “the safe ground” or “the place which is (or for) the tamed,” refers to nirvana; see RD s.v.

  53. gatāyusaŋ gataklesaŋ; note the Skt. spelling of kilesa, in both BJTS and PTS

  54. jinasāsanakārakaŋ, lit., “a doer of the Victor’s dispensation”

  55. sāvake sāsane rate

  56. sabrahmacchārino, lit., “of he who lived the holy life [with you]” or “of your fellow celibate”

  57. lit., “do pūjā

  58. lit “of those who possess….”

  59. or “without profit,” anatthapadasaŋhitā. This is Dhammapada, v. 101

  60. the first two feet here = D.1.223 = S. i.15. BJTS treats this and the following as two verses with six feet each (as are the corresponding verses in D. and S.); PTS treats them as three verses with four feet each.