[12. Ekatthambhika1]

The Blessed One [named] Siddhattha
had a large group of followers.
They had taken [the lay] refuge
with faith in the Thus-Gone Buddha. (1) [686]

They all gathered and decided
to build a hut2 for the Teacher.
Still in need of one more pillar3
they were searching the thick forest. (2) [687]

Having seen them in the forest
I then went up to that group [there].
Pressing both my hands together
I made inquiries of that group. (3) [688]

Those morally-restrained layfolk
asked by me then gave [their] reply,
“we desire to build a māḷa
but we are [still] one pillar short.” (4) [689]

“Give me the one pillar [duty];
I will give it to the Teacher.
I will take that pillar [to him],
all of you please [now] be at ease.” (5) [690]

Pleased [and] with minds [full of] delight
they felled that pillar for me [there],
then having turned around to leave
they went back to their own houses. (6) [691]

Not long after that big group left
I then did give [him] that pillar.
I was the first one to raise it,
happy, [and] with a happy heart. (7) [692]

Because of the pleasure in [my] heart
I was born in a god’s mansion.
That lofty residence of mine
was one hundred stories in height. (8) [693]

When the drums are being beaten,
I am then being entertained.4
I was the king, Yasodhara,5
in the fifty-fifth aeon [thence]. (9) [694]

There too I had a residence
which was seven stories in height.
Appointed with fine gabled cells
there was one pillar, mind’s delight. (10) [695]

In the twenty-first aeon [thence]
I was the king6 known as Udena.
There too I had a residence
which was a hundred stories tall. (11) [696]

In whichever womb I’m reborn,
[whether] it’s human or divine,
I experience all of that;
that is the fruit of one pillar. (12) [697]

In the ninety-four aeons since
I gave [him] that pillar back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth;
that is the fruit of one pillar. (13) [698]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (14) [699]

Thus indeed Venerable Ekatthambhika Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Ekatthambhika Thera is finished.

  1. his name means “One Pillar-er”.

  2. māḷa, a building with one peak in its roof, perhaps Engl. “lean-to” or “A-frame”

  3. lit “they having not acquired one pillar”.

  4. reading paricchārem’ (BJTS, PTS alt) for parivārem’ (“being surrounded,” PTS, but also with the sense of “waiting upon”).

  5. “Fame-Bearer”

  6. lit., “kṣatriyan”.