[536. {539.}1 Rādha2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
the Sage, Knower of Every World,
the One who had [Five] Eyes, arose
a hundred thousand aeons hence. (1) [5956]3
The Admonisher,4 Instructor,5
Crosser-Over6 of all that breathe,
Skilled at Preaching,7 [he], the Buddha,
caused many folks to cross [the flood]. (2) [5957]

Merciful,8 Compassionate One,9
Well-Wisher10 of all that breathe, he
established in the five precepts
all the rivals who had arrived. (3) [5958]

In this way he was Unconfused11
and Very Well-Known12 by rivals,
Ornamented13 by arahants
who were masters [and] neutral ones. (4) [5959]

The [body of the] Sage So Great
rose up fifty-eight cubits14 [tall];
he was Valuable Like Gold,15
Bearing the Thirty-Two Great Marks. (5) [5960]

[People’s] lifespan at that time was
[fully] one hundred thousand years.
Remaining [in the world] so long,
he ferried many folks across. (6) [5961]

I then [lived] in Haṃsavatī,
brahmin master of the mantras.
Approaching the Excellent Man,16
I heard the preaching of Dhamma, (7) [5962]

the Great Hero, the [World-]Leader,
Confident among Multitudes,17
appointing18 a monk with quick wit,19
in that [quality’s] foremost place. (8) [5963]

After doing deeds at that time
for the Leader and Assembly,
having bowed [my] head at [his] feet,
I aspired [to attain] that place. (9) [5964]

With his lovely voice20 conveying
away [all] defilements [and] stains,
he as Shiny as Gold Ingots,21
the Blessed One then said to me,
“May you be happy and long-lived;
your intention is accomplished.
Hugely22 [fruitful] for you [will be]
[this] deed done for the monks23 and me. (10-11) [5965-5966]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (12) [5967]

Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
the one given the name Rādha
will be the Teacher’s follower.” (13) [5968]

Glad by reason of your virtue,24
the Śākyas’ Son, the Bull of Men,
the Leader’s going to appoint [you]
foremost of those who have quick wit.” (14) [5969]

After hearing that I was thrilled,
[and] then for as long as [I] lived,
mindful, loving-hearted [and] wise,
I waited on25 [him], the Victor. (15) [5970]

Due to that karma done very well,
with intention and [firm] resolve,
discarding [my] human body,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa [then]. (16) [5971]

Three hundred times [the lord of gods,]
I exercised divine rule [there],
and [then] five hundred times I was
a king who turns the wheel [of law]. (17) [5972]

[There was also] much local rule,
innumerable by counting.
Through the power of that karma,
I was happy in every place. (18) [5973]

When [my] last rebirth was attained,
I was born in a brahmin clan,
poor,26 [and] wanting for clothes and food,
in Rajgir, ultimate city.27 (19) [5974]

I gave a ladle’s worth of food
to Sāriputta, neutral one,
when [I] was old and decrepit,
and I came to [his] hermitage. (20) [5975]

Nobody was ordaining28 me,
being old [and] of failing strength;29
due to that, old and discolored,
I was sorrow[ful] at that time. (21) [5976]

Having seen me, Great Compassion,30
the Sage So Great said [this] to me:
“What meaning has this sorrow, son?
Tell me of your mental anguish.” (22) [5977]

“I’m not getting ordained, Hero,
in your well-preached dispensation;
thus I’m miserable with grief;
be [my] refuge, O Leader.” (23) [5978]

Then calling the monks together,
the Seventh Sage questioned [them thus]:
“Let them speak, those who remember
the service of this one [for us].” (24) [5979]

Sāriputta spoke at that time:
“I remember his deed [for us].
He gave a ladleful of food
to me [then] wandering for alms.” (25) [5980]

Excellent, Excellent, grateful
Sāriputta! [Now] you ordain
this [man, an] elderly brahmin;
he’s going to be a thoroughbred.31 (26) [5981]

Then [I] got to go forth [and got]
ordained with proper ritual.32
In a short time [I then] attained
destruction of the defilements.33 (27) [5982]

Thrilled [and] mindful, I’m listening
carefully to the Sage’s words.
Then the Victor placed me in the
foremost place of those with quick wit. (28) [5983]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (29) [5984]

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! (30) [5985]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (31) [5986]

Thus indeed Venerable Rādha Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Rādha 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. a historical monk, see DPPN II: 730-731

  3. this and the following five verses also appear, verbatim, as the first six verses of Dabbamalla’s apadāna (#531 {534}, above; [5769]-[5774]), and also of Mahākoṭṭhita’s apadāna (#534 {537}, above; [5881]-[5886]), and also of Uruvela-Kassapa’s apadāna (#535 {538}, above; [5911]-[5916])

  4. ovādako

  5. viññāpako

  6. tārako

  7. desanākusalo

  8. anukampako

  9. kāruṇiko

  10. hitesi

  11. nirākulaŋ

  12. suñññataŋ, or “empty [of ill-will],” which is BJTS Sinhala gloss reading; I construe the epithet as su + ñata

  13. vicchittaŋ

  14. ratanāna-aṭṭha-paññāsaŋ uggato. A ratana (Sinh. riyan) is figured as twelve-fingers (aṅgula), according to Sinh-Eng Dictionary about eighteen inches. The claim here then is that Padumuttara Buddha was 1044 inches (or 87 feet) tall.

  15. kañcchanagghiyasaṅkāso, lit., “like a gold valuable thing” or “like a gold festoon work”

  16. naravaraŋ

  17. parisāsu visārado

  18. paññāpentaŋ

  19. paṭtibhāneyyakaŋ bhikkhuŋ

  20. or “sound”: sarena

  21. siṅgīnikkhasamappabho. °Nikkha° can mean gold coins, or a particular weight of gold, cf. nekkha. “Gold Ingots” similarly evokes both the weight of the gold and the [minted] coin or bar that contains that weight

  22. atīva vipulaŋ

  23. lit., “with the Assembly”

  24. reading sa te hetuguṇe tuṭṭho with BJTS for PTS sake hetuguṇe tuṭṭho (which could be “happy by reason of [his] own virtue”)

  25. paricchariŋ, “waited on” “attended to”

  26. PTS reads vippakule n’iddhe; BJTS reads vippakule ‘niddhe; both convey the same meaning.

  27. giribbajapuruttame. Giribbaja or Girivraja is another name for Rajgir (also for Vaṅkagiri; see DPPN I:770)

  28. pabbajenti, lit., “giving me the ‘going forth’”

  29. dubbalathāmakaŋ, lit., “of bad strength [and] vigor”

  30. mahākāruṇiko

  31. hessat’ ājāniyo ayaŋ

  32. kammavācchupsampadaŋ, “higher ordination according to monastic rites”

  33. or of the outflows, āsavakkhayaŋ, i.e., “I attained my arahantship”