[65. Bhisadāyaka1]

The [Sambuddha] named Vessabhu,
the third Sage [born in that aeon,]2
plunging3 into a forest grove
lived [there], the Ultimate Person. (1) [1377]

Taking [some] lotus roots and stems,4
I5 went into Buddha’s presence
and gave that [food] to the Buddha
[feeling well-] pleased by [my] own hands. (2) [1378]

And feeling the touch of the hand
of Vessabhu the One Most Wise,
I was happy beyond compare;
could anything ever top that?6 (3) [1379]

My final [life] is taking place;
all existence is [now] destroyed.
When I was an elephant king
I planted wholesome [seeds back then]. (4) [1380]

In the thirty-one aeons since
I did that [good] karma back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that’s the fruit of a lotus root. (5) [1381]

In the thirteenth aeon [ago]
there were sixteen lords of people,
kings [all known as] Samodhāna
wheel-turning monarchs with great strength. (6) [1382]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (7) [1383]

Thus indeed Venerable Bhisadāyaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Bhisadāyaka Thera is finished.

  1. “Lotus-root Donor”

  2. this follows BJTS Sinhala gloss and the cty, which explains that Vessabhu was born in that aeon [thirty-one aeons ago] after Vipassi and then Sikhi

  3. reading ogayha (BJTS) for oggayha (PTS). Cty also reads oggayha, but glosses it with the proper gerund (ogahetvā), which it clarifies to mean “he entered” (pāvisi).

  4. bhisa refers to the lotus root or “potato” (Sinh. ala) found under the mud; muḷāla refers to the lotus “stem” (Sinh. daṇḍu, dictionary gives däli). The former is starchy and crunchy; the latter is like a green vegetable. Both are delicious staples of village diets to this day.

  5. the cty explains that he had been born in an elephant’s womb at that time. Cf. v. [1380], below.

  6. this rather loose translation follows the Sinhala gloss. The last two pādas would literally be: “I was happy, I didn’t experience the same [happiness before], beyond that what would be?”