[545. {548.}1 Lomasakaṅgiya2]

In this [present] lucky aeon
Brahmā’s Kinsman, Greatly Famed One,
known by the name of Kassapa,3
Best Debater,4 [Buddha,] arose. (1) [6247]

Back then [both] CChandana and I,
gone forth5 in the dispensation,
fulfilling Dhamma to the end
of life in the dispensation, (2) [6248]

fallen from there were both reborn
[as gods] in Tusitā heaven.
Having surpassed the others6 there,
through dances which were divine, and
through songs [and] through speeches and the
ten attainments starting with looks,
living [our] lifespan’s [full] extent,
we’re enjoying great happiness. (3-4) [6249-6250]

Falling from there, CChandana was
reborn among the thirty [gods];
I was a son of the Śākyas,7
in Kapilavastu city. (5) [6251]

When [the Buddha], the World’s Leader,
asked by the Elder, Udāyi,8
with compassion for the Śākyas
returned9 to Kapilavastu, (6) [6252]

the proud among the Śākyans then,
not knowing the Buddha’s virtue,
aren’t bowing to the Sambuddha,
caste-conceited,10 disrespectful.11 (7) [6253]

Discerning what they were thinking,
walking back and forth in the sky,
the Victor rained like the Rain-God,12
[and] blazed forth like the God of Fire.13 (8) [6254]

Displaying his unequaled form,
he made [it] disappear again.
Having been one, he was many,
[and then] again he was alone. (9) [6255]

He showed [himself] in varied forms,
in darkness as well as bright light.
Having performed that miracle,
the Sage instructed [his] kinsmen. (10) [6256]

A huge cloud four continents[-wide]
rained forth [on the world] all the time.
Then the Buddha preached [to them all]
the Vessantara Jātaka.14 (11) [6257]

At that time all those kṣatriyans,
having slain [their] caste-born conceit,
approached the Buddha for refuge.
Then [King] Suddhodana15 said this: (12) [6258]

“O Very Wise One16 this is the third time I’m
worshipping your feet, One with Eyes on All Sides;17
[the first time was] when [your] birth caused the earth to quake,
[next] when the rose-apple’s shade did not leave you.”18 (13) [6259]19

Seeing the Buddha’s majestic
power,20 I [too] was astonished.21
Having gone forth right on that spot,
I dwelt, worshipped by [my] mother.22 (14) [6260]

CChandana, [now] son of a god,
approached me, then examined23 [me]
on the Bhaddekaratta Sutta,24
in abridged [and] extended forms.25 (15) [6261]

Then being incited by him,
I approached the Leader of Men.26
Hearing the Bhaddekaratta,
moved,27 I longed for the forest[-life]. (16) [6262]

Then I asked [my] mother [about]
going alone to the forest.
My mother said, “You’re Delicate.
Refrain from that [course].”28 Then I said: (17) [6263]

“[When] I’m practicing solitude,29
I will push away with [my] chest
sacrificial grass30 [and] cane grass,31
cuscus grass,32 tender grass,33 coarse grass.34 (18) [6264]

Gone into the woods, recalling
the Victor’s dispensation, the
advice [in] Bhaddekaratta,
I attained [my] arahantship. (19) [6265]

The past is not to be pursued;
the future's not to be longed for.
What is past has been left behind,
and the future is unattained. (20) [6266]

Everywhere35 he who sees clearly
a thing which arises [then falls],
that wise one36 fosters37 [nirvana],
unconquerable [and] steady. (21) [6267]

[Now,] today38 effort should be made;39
who knows40 [if there’s] death tomorrow?
There exists no contract for us41
with the massive army of Death. (22) [6268]

“Living thus, making great effort,
day and night, without laziness,
that indeed’s Bhaddekaratto,”
[so] says42 the Sage, the Peaceful One.”43 (23) [6269]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (24) [6270]

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! (25) [6271]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (26) [6272]

Thus indeed Venerable Lomasakaṅgiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Lomasakaṅgiya 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. “Hair on his own Body,” a historical monk so-named for the delicate hair on the soles of his feet (and general lack of hair elsewhere on his body). See DPPN II: 789-790

  3. One BJTS alt. reads gottena, “by lineage”

  4. vadataŋ varo

  5. pabbajitvāna, lit., “going forth” “having gone forth” “after having gone forth”

  6. lit., “the rest” “the remainder”

  7. i.e., a kinsman of the Buddha’s, born in the same (Sākiya = Śākya) clan as the Buddha

  8. that is, Kāḷudāyi, #543 {546}, above, v. 25 [6212]

  9. upesi, lit., “came up to”

  10. jātitthaddhā

  11. anādarā

  12. pajjunno viya, = Parjanya, Vedic God of Rain (also “rain-cloud”)

  13. pajjalittha yathā sikhī, a Vedic name for Agni, the Fire (also “fire”)

  14. the bodhisatta’s final human rebirth precursor, prior to being born as Siddhattha, recorded in the Jātaka or “Book of Past Lives” of the Buddha (which parallels and is closely alligned with Apadāna), recounting how in his boundless generosity, being requested, the Bodhisatta gave away his wealth, his kingdom, his children, and his wife.

  15. the Buddha’s father

  16. bhūripañña

  17. samantacchakkhu. or “All-Seeing One” or “Far-Seeing One”

  18. this refers to a moment in the Buddha’s early life when the bodhisatta was left beneath a rose-apple (jambu) tree during a festival. His nurses returned to find him sitting cross-legged, having attained the first jhana, upon which the shade of the tree stood still, shading him as long as he remained there (see DPPN I: 789).

  19. both BJTS and PTS present this as a verse in the more complex xxx meter, with eleven-syllable feet, and both have a (flawed?) third foot with twelve syllables, making the verse as it stands 11-11-12-11

  20. buddhānubhāvan taŋ

  21. lit., “had an astonished mind”

  22. this sets the stage for his mother’s initial reluctance to see him enter the forest life, fearing for his health.

  23. reading ‘upagantvāna pucchchatha with BJTS for PTS upagantvā ‘nurañjatha (“having approached lit up [the place]”)

  24. or Ānanda-bhaddekaratta-sutta, M.iii.187ff. Lomasakaṅgiya and CChandana vowed during their previous life as monks together that in the future CChandana would ask Lomasakaṅgiya about this particular sutta, and that Lomasakagiya would then explain it to him. The account of this encounter is called Lomasakaṅgiya-Bhaddekaratta-sutta, M.iii.199ff. See DPPN II: 359-360, for details and a summary of the text

  25. reading saṅkhepavitthāranayaŋ with BJTS for PTS saṅkhepaŋ vitthāraŋ naraŋ (“the abridged [and] extended man”)

  26. naranāyakaŋ

  27. saŋviggo, or “stirred up” “shaken up”

  28. reading vārayi taṃ with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS dhārayiŋ te (“I carried you”)

  29. vivekam anubrūhayam. BJTS Sinh. gloss says this means doing meditation in the three postures of sitting, standing and walking back and forth

  30. dabbhaŋ kusaŋ = the kind of kusa grass or “sacrificial grass” known as dabbha, a sweet-smelling grass, Sinh. kusa taṇa, kuśa tṛṇa (Bot. Dict. = arrow grass, Paspalum sanguinale (Gram.); note: Bot. Dict. also gives Sinh. ītaṇa, Andropogon contortus (Gram.) as arrow grass, and says kuśa also can mean iḷuk, Imperata arundinacea (Gram.))

  31. poṭakilam = a kind of grass, Sacchcharum spontaneum, Sinh. väluk, “vining sugarcane,” which Bot. Dict. identifies as Phragmites karka (Gram.), a reed growing in marshes and near rivers which resembles sugar cane.

  32. usīraŋ, RD: the fragrant root of Andropogon Muricatum, Sinh. sävänna, babus taṇa mul, Bot. Dict. gives Andropogon squarrosus (Gram.), called cuscus grass

  33. muñja°, a kind of grass, Sing. mudu taṇa (= mṛdu taṇa, “tender grass”)

  34. °babbajaŋ, a sort of coarse grass, babus taṇa. RD: used to make slippers, etc.

  35. tattha tattha

  36. reading vidvā with BJTS for PTS saŋviggam (“emotion”)

  37. anubrūhaye, or “is devoted” “practices”

  38. ajjeva, lit., “even today” or “today itself”, “today” with emphasis.

  39. reading kiccchcha ātappaṃ with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS kiccchcha kātabbaŋ (“what should be done should be done”)

  40. reading jaññu with BJTS for PTS jaññā

  41. reading na hi no saṅgaraṃ tena with BJTS for PTS na hi tosaŋ karontena (“there is no making satisfaction” ?)

  42. reading ācchikkhate with BJTS for PTS ācchikkate

  43. santo