[24. Pañcchasīlasamādāniya1]

In the city, CChandavatī,2
I was a servant-man back then.
Bound in the service of others
I could not renounce the world [yet]: (1) [948]

“Being shrouded in great blindness
I’m being scorched by the three fires.3
By what strategy might I then
be set free [from this samsara]? (2) [949]

I lack the things to be given;
I am a miserable servant.
Why then don’t I guard and fulfill
the five [basic] moral precepts? (3) [950]

Nisabha is a follower
of the Sage, Anomadassi.
Having approached him I’ll adopt
the five moral training precepts.” (4) [951]

In those days the normal lifespan
was [full] one hundred thousand years.
For all that time I did protect
the five moral precepts fully. (5) [952]

When the time for [my] death arrived
the gods [all then] consoled me [thus]:
“Happy one, [you will] be served [by]
this one-thousand-horse chariot.” (6) [953]

In my heart, as I breathed my last,4
I recalled those [five] moral rules.
Through that karma which was done well
I went on to Tāvatiṃsa. (7) [954]

Thirty times as the king of gods
I exercised divine rule [there].
Anointed by celestial nymphs
I enjoyed [much] divine pleasure. (8) [955]

[Fully] five hundred times I ruled
as a monarch who turns the wheel,
[and I did have] much local rule
innumerable by counting. (9) [956]

Falling down from the world of gods,
incited by [my] wholesome roots,
I was born in a rich family
with a big house in Vesāli.5 (10) [957]

When the rainy season started,
the Victor’s dispensation shined.
My mother and my father too
took on the five moral precepts. (11) [958]

And I, hearing [that word] “moral”
recalled my [past] morality.
I sat down on a single seat
[and] attained [my] arahantship. (12) [959]

Though I was [only] five years old
I attained [my] arahantship.
Knowing virtue the Eyeful One,
the Buddha [then] ordained [me there]. (13) [960]

Having perfectly protected
those five [basic] moral precepts,
for aeons beyond measure I
went to no place of suffering. (14) [961]

That I experienced [great] fame
due to those [five] moral precepts.
Talking for ten million aeons
I still could tell but part of it.6 (15) [962]

Guarding the five moral precepts
I received the three [good] results:7
I had long life, abundant food
and developed piercing wisdom. (16) [963]

[My] outstanding human action
is [now] proclaimed to everyone.
Transmigrating from birth to birth
I obtain those [three good results].8 (17) [964]

If a pupil of the Victor
should [thus] delight throughout his lives
in the limitless moral rules,
what might [his] result [then] be like? (18) [965]

The five precepts9 were practiced well
by me, a wise servant-man [then].
Due to that moral discipline
today I’m freed10 from every bond. (19) [966]

I guarded the five moral rules
uncountable aeons ago.
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that’s the fruit of the five precepts.11 (20) [967]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (21) [968]

Thus indeed Venerable Pañcchasīlasamādāniya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Pañcchasīlasamādāniya Thera is finished.

  1. “Accepter of the FIve Moral Precepts”

  2. see DPPN I:851; the city is only “known” to have existed during the time of previous Buddhas (and during the previous lives of Gotama Buddha).

  3. cty here explains these as the fires of rāga (lust), dosa (anger) and moha (ignorance, folly)

  4. lit., “as the last was taking place”

  5. lit., “in the city of Vesāli”

  6. I follow the cty in understaṇḍing desaka (ordinarily teacher, lecturer) as “only one part” (ekakoṭṭhāsam eva).

  7. lit., “causes” or bases for good or bad action. The BJTS Sinhala gloss is anusas (karmic results)

  8. lit., “I obtain those places”.

  9. pañcchasīlān’:

  10. reading mocchayiṃ (BJTS) for poṭhayiŋ (PTS).

  11. pañcchasīle: to practice restraint from taking life, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, false speech and becoming careless through the use of alcohol.