[312. Bhojanadāyaka1]

Of good birth like a sal tree’s2 bough,
rising up like a drumstick tree,3
[streaking] the sky like Indra’s bolt,4
the Victor was always shining. (1) [2771]

With a mind that was very clear,
I donated edibles to
him, the God Over Other Gods,
Vessabhu [Buddha], the Great Sage. (2) [2772]

The Self-Become, Unconquered One,
the Buddha, gave me thanks5 for that:
“let it be born as fruit for you,
as [you’re] reborn in existence.”6 (3) [2773]

In the thirty-one aeons since
I gave that gift [to him] back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that is the fruit of [giving] food. (4) [2774]

In the twenty-five aeon hence
there was one man, Amittabhā,7
a wheel-turning king with great strength,
possessor of the seven gems. (5) [2775]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (6) [2776]

Thus indeed Venerable Bhojanadāyaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Bhojanadāyaka Thera is finished.

  1. “Food Donor”

  2. = sāla, shorea robusta

  3. sobhañjana. RD (sole cchitation J v. 405) says Hyperanthica moringa, but that designation seems to be known only here and in cchitations of this dictionary. The proper designation of the tree (Sinh. murunga) is Moringaceae moringa (it is the only genus of that larger family, with thirteen species indigenous to Africa and Asia). English “Drumstick Tree” “Horseradish tree” (due to horseradish-like flavor of the roots,) “Benzoil Tree” for an oil extracted from its seeds, produces clusters of fragrant pale yellowish flowers followed by a long seedpod which is eaten as a vegetable across the Indian world (in which it grows easily; broken branches will bear fruit within a year of replanting, and it grows for the light, tall and lanky, such that it’s demise is often the result of its size, whether through breaking off or becoming a nuisance)

  4. indalaṭṭhi, i.e., lightening (or the rainbow, in which case translating “[painting] the sky like Inda’s bow” would preserve the play in the original, which parallels this simile with the comparison to the sal branch or sprout [also °laṭṭhi] in the first line). Cone has an entry on indalaṭṭhi, based on Ap witness alone, which similarly leaves the ambiguity between rainbow and lightening unresolved.

  5. anumodi

  6. lit., “in existence,” in the cycle of reincarnation, bhave

  7. ”Light for the Friendless”