[96. Tipupphiya1]

In the past, in a forest grove,
I was a man who hunted deer.
Seeing [Buddha’s] green pāṭali2
I scattered three flowers [on it]. (1) [1582]

Then picking up the fallen3 leaves
I threw them [all] away outside.
Worshipping the pāṭali [tree],
pure inside and pure outside [too],
as though facing the Sambuddha,
Vipassi, Leader of the World,
well-liberated, undefiled,
I passed away [right] on the spot.4 (2-3) [1583-1584]

In the ninety-one aeons since
I performed that Bodhi-pūjā,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that’s the fruit of Bodhi-pūjā. (4) [1585]

In the thirtieth aeons hence
there were thirteen kings who were [all]
named Samantapāsādika,5
wheel-turning monarchs with great strength. (5) [1586]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (6) [1587]

Thus indeed Venerable Tipupphiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Tipupphiya Thera is finished.

  1. “Three-Flower-er”

  2. the pāṭali or trumpet-flower tree (Sinh. paḷol gasa) was the tree under which Vipassi Buddha attained Bodhi or Awakening, hence it is his “Bodhi Tree” even though it is a species different from the “Bodhi Tree” of Gotama Buddha, the ficus religiosa (Skt. Aśvattha).

  3. reading patita (BJTS alt) for satta (“seven,” PTS, BJTS, though BJTS Sinhala gloss takes it as meaning “fallen” [Sinhala väṭunu).

  4. “Sambuddha, Vipassi, World Lord, well-liberated, undefiled” are all accusatives which, in addition to explicating the phrase “facing the Sambuddha”, therefore stand in grammatical apposition with pāṭali. He worships the tree “as though facing the Sambuddha” because, in this reading, the tree is the Buddha.

  5. “Pleased on all Sides.” This (coincidentally, I presume) is the name of Buddhaghosa’s commentary on the Vinaya-piṭaka (5th c., A.D.).