[18. Raṭṭhapāla]

A rare elephant, fit for kings,1
with chariot-pole tusks was given by me
to Blessed Padumuttara,
the World’s Best One, the Neutral One. (1) [769]

It included all the trappings,2
white umbrella [and] a mahout;
taking the value of all that
I had a monastery built. (2) [770]

The palaces that I built [there]
[numbered] fifty-four thousand [then];
holding a massive almsgiving3
I gave it4 to the Sage So Great. (3) [771]

The Great Sage gave thanks [to me then],
the Self-Become One, Best Person,
[then] he preached the path beyond death
to all of the smiling people. (4) [772]

Then Buddha, named for the lotus5
made this prophesy about me;
seated in the monks’ Assembly
he uttered these verses [aloud]: (5) [773]

“I’ll relate the karmic results
of this one6 who constructed [here]
fifty-four thousand palaces;
[all of] you listen to my words: (6) [774]

Eighteen thousand huts with gables
will come into being upon
[his] superb heavenly mansion;
they all will be made out of gold. (7) [775]

Fifty times as the king of gods
he will exercise divine rule.
And fifty-eight times he will be
a king who turns the wheel [of law]. (8) [776]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (9) [777]

Falling down from the world of gods,
incited by [his] wholesome roots,
every time he will be reborn
in a rich clan with lots of food. (10) [778]

He afterwards leaving the world,
incited by [his] wholesome roots,
will be the Teacher’s follower,
known by the name Raṭṭhapāla. (11) [779]

Being one bent on exertion,
calmed,7 devoid of grounds for rebirth,8
knowing well all the defilements,
he’ll reach nirvana, undefiled.” (12) [780]

Rising up, having left the world,
abandoning abundant food,
like one for whom almsfood is phlegm
I have no taste for any food. (13) [781]

My effort bearing the burden
brought me release from attachments.
[Now] I’m bearing my last body
in the Buddha’s9 dispensation. (14) [782]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (15) [783]

Thus indeed Venerable Raṭṭhapāla Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Raṭṭhapāla Thera is finished.

  1. lit., “a vehicle for kings”. See note to [666]

  2. reading sakappaṇo (“with the trappings for an elephant,” BJTS, alt. in cty) for sātappaṇo (“with a reciter of the Artharva Veda,” PTS, also cty though the latter understands the term to mean “decorated with the ornaments of an elephant”).

  3. BJTS, cty read mahoghaṃ, “a great flood,” interpreting it as a flood of alms; PTS reads, more straightforwardly, mahābhattaŋ, “a huge almsgiving/rice”. The meaning is anyway clear: after giving an almsgiving, Raṭṭhapāla Thera’s rebirth precursor dedicated everything to the Buddha.

  4. reading niyyādesiṃ (“dedicated,” “put into charge,” BJTS) for niyyātesiŋ (“departed, went out,” PTS, cty)

  5. see above v. [701] and note there.

  6. reading ayam (“this one,” BJTS) for aham (“I,” the reading of PTS which causes the editor to place the first two lines in quotes, to the effect, “[the one who thought], ’I had 54,000 palaces built.’”).

  7. upasanto

  8. nirūpadhi

  9. sammāsambuddhasāsane, lit., “in the Supreme (or Great Perfected) Buddha’s dispensation”