[336. {339.}1 Dhammasavaniya2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
was the Master of Everything.3
[While] preaching the Four Noble Truths,
he ferried many folks across. (1) [3042]

A matted-haired ascetic4 then,
I practiced fierce austerities.5
Throwing off [my] clothes made of bark,
I traveled in the sky back then. (2) [3043]

Then I was unable to fly6
over [him], the Best of Buddhas.
Like a bird hitting7 a mountain,
I did not get to journey on.8 (3) [3044]

My movement had not formerly
been obstructed in such a way;9
as though rising up10 from water,
I easily11 flew12 through the sky. (4) [3045]

“A lofty human being must13
be sitting underneath [me now].
It’s good14 for me to search for him;
I might obtain something worthwhile.”15 (5) [3046]

Then descending from the sky, I
heard the sound of the Teacher,
who was preaching impermanence;
I learned that [lesson] at that time. (6) [3047]

Learning to see16 impermanence
I went back to my hermitage.
Dwelling there the rest of my life,
I passed away [right] on the spot. (7) [3048]

In [my] subsequent existence,
I recalled hearing that Teaching.
Due to that karma done very well,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa [then]. (8) [3049]

For thirty thousand aeons I
delighted in the world of gods.
And I exercised divine rule,
one more than fifty [different] times. (9) [3050]

And seventy-one [different] times
I was a wheel-turning monarch.
There was [also] much local rule,
innumerable by counting. (10) [3051]

[Then] seated in my father’s house,
a monk with senses [well-]controlled,
illustrating [the truth] in verse,17
spoke of things as impermanent.18 (11) [3052]

Remembering that perception,
transmigrating from birth to birth,
I [still] did not perceive the end,
nirvana, everlasting state. (12) [3053]

“In flux indeed is all that is;
things come to be [and then] decay.
They arise [and then] they dissolve;
their cessation19 is happiness.” (13) [3054]20

After hearing [him say] that verse,21
I recalled my past perception.
Seated in a single sitting,
I achieved the arahant-state. (14) [3055]

Being [only] seven years old,
I attained [my] arahantship.
Recognizing [my] virtue the
Buddha, Eyeful One ordained me. (15) [3056]

Even though I was a [mere] boy,
I finished what needs to be done.
Today what do I need to do
in the Śākyan’s dispensation?22 (16) [3057]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I did that [good] karma then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
the fruit in hearing the Teaching.23 (17) [3058]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (18) [3059]

Thus indeed Venerable Dhammasavaniya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Dhammasavaniya Thera is finished.

  1. Apadāna numbers 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.

  2. “Dharma-Hearer” or “Hearer of the Teaching”

  3. lit., “Master of All Things (dhamma)” (or “Master of All Teachings”)

  4. jaṭila, an ascetic who wears his hair in a matted braid (jaṭā)

  5. lit., “I was one who practices fierce austerities,” reading ugga-tāpano with BJTS (and PTS alternative) for PTS uggata-āpaṇa, “rising over the bazaar”

  6. lit., “to go”

  7. āsajja, lit., “having hit/struck”

  8. lit., “I did not receive a journey”. BJTS (and PTS alt.) reads na ālabhiṃ for PTS na labhe; the grammar is clearer but the meaning is the same.

  9. lit., “this obstruction of movement had not formerly transpired for me”

  10. reading dake yathā ummujjitvā with BJTS for PTS dake yathā ummisitvā (“as though opening one’s eyes in the water”)

  11. evaŋ, lit., “thus,” “in this way”

  12. lit., “am going” (“went”)

  13. lit., “will” (bhavissati, future tense)

  14. handa me, “well then for me”

  15. lit., “I might obtain a thing of value”

  16. lit., “the perception of”

  17. reading gāthāya with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS kathāya, “through [his] speech”

  18. BJTS reads, more straightforwardly, aniccchchataṃ udāhari, “[then] spoke about impermanence”

  19. reading vūpasamo with BJTS for PTS vupasamo

  20. cf. S iv.28; A i.152, 299

  21. saha gāthaŋ sunitavāna, lit., “after hearing [his sermon] together with that verse” or “in conjunction with that verse”

  22. lit., “in the dispensation of the Śākyan Son”

  23. saddhammasavane phalaŋ, lit., “the fruit in the Great Teaching”