[397. {400.}1 Ajita2]

The Victor,3 Padumuttara,
was the Master of Everything.4
Plunged into the Himalayas,
the Leader of the World sat down. (1) [3856]

I did not see the Sambuddha,
I also did not hear [his] sound.
Searching for food for me to eat,
I was wandering in the woods. (2) [3857]

There I did see the Sambuddha,
Bearing the Thirty-two Great Marks.5
Seeing [the Buddha] made me think,6
“what sort of7 being8 might this be?” (3) [3858]

Examining [his body’s] marks,
I recalled my [studies of] lore,
the good words which I [once] had heard,
from9 elderly10 men of wisdom:11 (4) [3859]

“According to that word of theirs,
this [person] will be a Buddha;
well then I ought to honor [him];
it will purify my station.”12 (5) [3860]

Quickly coming to [my] ashram,
I grabbed13 [some] buffalo ghee,14 and
taking a pot [to carry it,]
I approached [him], the Bull of Men.15 (6) [3861]

Taking a three-legged [stool],16 I
stood it [up] in an open space.
Lighting a lamp [placed on that stool,]
I worshipped [the Buddha] eight times. (7) [3862]

Seven nights and days the Buddha,
sat [there], the Ultimate Person.
Then at the end of the [last] night,17
[Buddha] stood up, the World-Leader. [3863]

Happy, with pleasure in [my] heart,
for seven nights and days I lit
[that] lamp for the [seated] Buddha,
[feeling well-]pleased by my own hands. [3864]

All the good scents of the forests18
on Gandhamādana Mountain,
by means of Buddha’s majesty19
then went up to [him], the Victor. [3865]

[All of] the trees [were then] in bloom.
By means of Buddha’s majesty
all of the floral scents produced,20
assembled into one right then. [3866]

Throughout the Himalayas, both
the snake-gods and the garuḷas,
desiring to hear the Teaching,
came into the Buddha’s presence. [3867]

The monk whose name was Devala
was the Buddha’s chief attendant.
With one hundred thousand masters,
he [also] approached the Buddha.21 [3868]

Padumuttara, World-Knower,
Sacrificial Recipient,
seated in the monks’ Assembly,
[then] spoke these verses [about me]: [3869]

“He who has lit a lamp for me,
[feeling well-]pleased by his own hands,
I shall relate details of him;
[all of] you listen to my words: [3870]

For sixty thousand aeons he
will delight in the world of gods.
A thousand times he’ll be a king,
a king who turns the wheel [of law]. [3871]

Thirty-six times lord of the gods,
he will exercise divine rule.
Seven hundred [times]22 on the earth,
he’ll rule an extensive kingdom,23
[and he will have] much local rule,
innumerable by counting. [3872]24

Because of this lamp-offering,
he will develop “divine eye.”
This one is always going to see
eight kosas25 in all directions.26 [3873]

Fallen from the world of the gods,
when this person has been reborn,
whether by day or else by night,
a lamp will be carried [for him]. [3874]

When this person’s27 being reborn,
a possessor of good karma,
he will illuminate [the world]
throughout the city [where] he is. [3875]

In whichever womb he’s reborn,
[whether] it’s human or divine,
because of his lamp-offering,
due to the fruit of [those] eight lamps,
people will not surpass this one:
that is the fruit of giving lamps. [3876]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. [3877]

Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
knowing well all the defilements,
he’ll reach nirvana, undefiled. [3878]

Having pleased [him], the Sambuddha,
Gotama, Bull of the Śākyas,
he’ll be the Teacher’s follower,
[and his] name [will be] Ajita.” [3879]

For sixty thousand aeons I
delighted in the world of gods.
In that place too my hundred lamps
are burning [brightly] all the time.28 [3880]

In the gods’ world or that of men,
my [own] effulgence29 is diffused.
Remembering the Best Buddha,
I generate enormous mirth. [3881]

Falling from Tusitā heaven,
I came out of a mother’s womb.
While that person30 was being born,
there was [always] a lot of light. [3882]

Having departed from the house,
I went forth into homelessness.
Having gone up to Bāvarī,
I agreed to be his student.31 [3883]

Living in the Himalayas,
I heard [about]32 the World-Leader.
Searching for ultimate meaning,
I approached [the Buddha], the Guide.33 [3884]

The Tame One, Buddha, He who Tames,
the Flood-Crosser, Beyond Rebirth,34
the Buddha spoke of nirvana,
liberation from all dis-ease. [3885]

His coming to me succeeded;
I entertained [him], the Great Sage.
Attaining the three knowledges,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! [3886]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I gave [him] that lamp back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that’s the fruit of giving lamps. [3887]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
All defilements are exhausted;
now there will be no more rebirth. (26) [3888]

Being in Best Buddha’s presence
was a very good thing for me.
The three knowledges are attained;
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (27) [3889]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (28) [3890]

Thus indeed Venerable Ajita Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Ajita Thera is finished.

The summary:

Pilindavacchcha35 and Sela,
Sabbakitti, Madundada,
Kūṭāgārī and Bakkula,
Giri, Salaḷasavhaya,36
Sabbada and Ajita too:
the verses here are counted at
one hundred and five verses and
twenty more beyond that [number].

The Pilindavacchcha37 Chapter, the Fortieth.

Then there is the Summary of Chapters:

Paduma and Ārakkhada,
Ummā and Gandhodakena,
Ekapadama, Saddasaññi,
Mandāraṃ, Bodhiavandaka,
Avaṇṭa and Pilindi [too].
And these verses are counted too,
seventy-four verses [beyond]
eleven hundred [verses here].

The Ten Chapters38 called Paduma.

The Fourth Hundred39 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. “Unconquered”

  3. lit., “the Victor named Padumuttara”

  4. lit., “master of all things (dhamma)” (or “Master of All Teachings”)

  5. on the bodies of those destined to become a wheel-turning monarch or a Buddha

  6. cchittam āpajjiŋxi, lit., “I produced the thought”

  7. ko nāma

  8. or “person,” “living being,” “creature:” satto

  9. lit., “of” (gen. case)

  10. reading vuddhānaṃ with BJTS for PTS Buddhānaŋ

  11. paṇḍitānaŋ

  12. gatiŋ me sodhayissati, i.e., “it will clean up my karma;” “it will get me a better rebirth”

  13. gahim

  14. reading madhutelaṃ (Sinhala gloss: mītel) with BJTS for PTS dumatelaŋ (“tree oil”). The term could also be read as a compound, “honey and oil;” the PTS reading could be sustained by taking mītel as the tree oil of that name, which is produced from the seeds of the tree, Bassia longifolia (Sapot.). Indeed, madhu (“honey”) can also refer to this oil. However, buffalo ghee would be a more likely oil for lamp-lighting than oil (which is used primarily in the making of medicines), so I have followed the BJTS reading here, leaving open these other possibilities.

  15. reading narāsabhaṃ with BJTS for PTS (and BJTS alt.) vināyakaŋ (“Guide”)

  16. tindaṇḍake, lit., “three-sticked”. BJTS glosses the term as piriväjipuṭuwa, “the stool (or chair) [used by] ascetics”

  17. ratyā vivasāne, read ratyā vivasane, “at the end of the night,” a stock phrase.

  18. sabbe vanā gandhamayā, lit., “all the forests made of good scents.” I am assuming that despite the Buddha’s magical power, the trees themselves did not come to him, though that is the Pāli (and BJTS glosses in Sinhala accordingly). Rather, I take the meaning to be that the scents of those forests came to him.

  19. anubhāvena, BJTS notes that all the texts give ānubhāvena

  20. pupphagandhāse, following BJTS Sinhala gloss here

  21. lit., “went up to the Buddha’s presence”

  22. following BJTS Sinhala gloss: satsiya varak

  23. vipulaṃ rajjaṃ karissati, following BJTS Sinhala gloss

  24. PTS and BJTS agree in presenting this as a six-footed verse.

  25. BJTS understands this as a measure of distance, krōśa = 500 bow-lengths, 80 bull-lengths, 8000 riyan (Śri Sumaṅgala Śabdakoṣaya, s.v.)

  26. samantato, “on all sides” “everywhere”

  27. sattassa, also “being” “creature” (gen. abs. construction)

  28. lit., “every day”

  29. prabhā

  30. sattassa (gen. abs. construction)

  31. sissattaṃ ajjupāgamiṃ

  32. following the BJTS Sinhala gloss “(geṇa)”

  33. vināyakaṃ

  34. nirūpadhi, i.e., “devoid of the ground for rebirth,” “free of the upadhis

  35. BJTS: Piḷindavacchcha

  36. BJTS: Salala°

  37. BJTS: Piḷindavacchcha

  38. vaggadasakaŋ

  39. Sataka is a common structure in Sanskrit and Pāli poetry, usually referring to one hundred verses, rather than (as here) one hundred stories.