[332. {335.}1 Phussitakammiya2]

The Sambuddha named Vipassi,
the World’s Best, the Bull among Men,
dwelt in the monks’ hermitage3 [then],
together with the arahants.4 (1) [2969]

Vipassi, Leader of the World,
went out from the hermitage door
with those devoid of defilements,5
[who numbered] eight hundred thousand. (2) [2970]

I was then dressed in a deer-hide,
and also wore clothes made of bark.
Carrying safflower6 water,
I came up to the Sambuddha. (3) [2971]

Bringing pleasure to [my] own heart,
happy, my hands pressed together,
taking the safflower water,7
I sprinkled it on the Buddha. (4) [2972]

Due to that deed, the Sambuddha
known by the name Supreme Lotus,8
after praising [that] deed of mine,
went according to [his] wishes. (5) [2973]

There were five thousand [scented] drops,
which I offered9 to the Victor.
Because of twenty-five hundred,
I ruled over the [world of] gods;
because of twenty-five hundred,
I was a wheel-turning monarch;
due to the remaining karma,
I attained [my] arahantship.10 (6-7) [2974-2975]

When I am a king of the gods,
and likewise [when] a lord of men,
that very name’s assigned to me:
my name is [always] “Phussita.”11 (8) [2976]

Whether I have become a god,
or likewise [whether] I’m a man,
it’s as though drops are12 raining forth
a fathom13 in all directions.14 (9) [2977]

My existence is opened up,15
my defilements are [all] burnt up,
all the outflows are [now] destroyed:
that is the fruit of [giving] drops. (10) [2978]

My rain [smells] like it’s sandalwood,
and it diffuses such fragrance.
My body odor’s [also sweet];
a small room is permeated. (11) [2979]

A divine fragrance is diffused
to [people] who have good karma.16
After smelling17 that scent they know,
“Phussita18 has come to this place.” (12) [2980]

Branches, leaves, sticks, even grasses,
throughout [the world] it’s as though [plants,]
recognizing what I’m thinking,
in an instant produce fragrance. (13) [2981]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I did sandalwood-pūjā,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that is the fruit of [giving] drops. (14) [2982]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (15) [2983]

Thus indeed Venerable Phussitakammiya19 Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Phussitakammiya20 Thera is finished.

  1. Apadāna numbers henceforth provided in {fancy brackets} correspond to the BJTS edition, which contains more individual poems than does the PTS edition dictating the main numbering of this translation. This invented convention parallels the use in this translation of [square brackets] to cross-reference the BJTS numbering of individual verses with that of the PTS edition.

  2. “Karmically [named] Phussita” or “Karmically [named] Drop” (see v. 8). Here probably a [mis]spelling of phusita, rain-drop, sprinkle, Sinh. poḍak, see v. 9; summary of the chapter [see below] also gives Phusita rather than Phussita as here and in the texts; BJTS gives Phusita° throughout, and reads the name Phusitakampiya, “Rain Shaker” or “Shaken by Rain”.

  3. saṅghārāma

  4. lit., “together with those without defilements,” khīṇâsavehi

  5. khīṇâsavehi, i.e., arahants.

  6. kusumbha + odaka, water infused with safflower, Carthamus tinctorius, used for dying things red. Sinh. vanuk mal. There is some slippage from this water (dyed red, and presumably scented of safflower) to rain in a future life which smells like sandalwood, to the description in v. 14 of the original offering as “sandalwood-pūjā,” cchandanam abhipūjayin, unless we imagine sandalwood to have been part of (and the scent of) the safflower-[dyed]-water that Phusita originally offered. A modern parallel would be kiri handun pän, “milk-sandal-water”.

  7. I suspect this repetition of the prior foot, too, is in error. The transmission of these pages of the text is especially fraught, it seems. I have chosen the alternate translation of the verb to maintain the narrative flow.

  8. jalajuttamanāmaka

  9. Ilt. “with which I did pūjā

  10. though this is an almost economic depiction of karmic equivalency — one might think in terms of bonus points or frequent flyer rules — both in the exactitude by which he “spends” the karma he earned in doing the pūjā and the explicit statement that attaining arahantship is the remaining fruit of that karma, this final line is quite enigmatic given that 2500 plus 2500 presumably depletes the original 5000 drops of water. What then is the “remaining karma” with which arahantship is purchased?

  11. BJTS Phusita; “[water] drop”

  12. lit., “it’s as though a drop is”

  13. vyāma

  14. lit., on all sides

  15. ugghāṭitā

  16. lit., “meritorious karma” or “meritorious deeds,” puññakamma-samaṅginaŋ

  17. ghatvāna. I follow BJTS Sinhala gloss (and the obvious context) in this translation.

  18. BJTS Phusita

  19. BJTS reads Phusitakampiya

  20. BJTS reads Phusitakampiya