Metteyya Chapter, the Forty-First

[398. {401.}1 Tissametteyya2]

The ascetic named Sobhita
was living amidst the mountains,
near the top of a mountain slope,
eating [only] wild fruits [he found]. (1) [3891]

After bringing [some] fire [and] wood,
I am causing it to blaze up,
seeking the ultimate goal of
being reborn in Brahma’s world. (2) [3892]

Padumuttara, World-Knower,
Sacrificial Recipient,
with a desire to lift me up,
did come into my presence [then]. (3) [3893]

[Padumuttara Buddha]:
“Why are you working, merit-filled
one? Give the fire [and] wood to me.
I will worship3 the fire [and] then
it will be4 purity for me.” (4) [3894]

“You are very fortunate, Sir,5
you understand, O divine one.6
You attend to7 the fire [for me];
here then is the fire [and] the wood.” (5) [3895]

After that, taking the firewood,
the Victor caused the fire to blaze
without burning8 the firewood there:
a marvel [wrought] by the Great Sage. (6) [3896]

[Padumuttara Buddha]:
“[This] fire of yours is not burning;
your oblation does not exist;
[this] vow of yours is meaningless;
you should worship [this] fire of mine.” (7) [3897]

“What sort of fire, O Great Hero,
is that one that you speak about?
You should tell that to me as well;
we’ll both worship that [fire of yours].” (8) [3898]

[Padumuttara Buddha]:
“Cessation of things with causes,
the burning up of defilements,
and giving up anger and hate:
those three things are my oblations.” (9) [3899]

“What sort are you, O Great Hero?
What is your clan, O Happy One?
Your procedure for practicing
is extremely pleasing to me.” (10) [3900]

[Padumuttara Buddha]:
“I’m born in a warrior9 clan,
master of special knowledges.
All defilements are exhausted;
now there will be no more rebirth.” (11) [3901]

“If you’re a Buddha, All-Knower,10
Light-Maker,11 Darkness-Dispeller,12
[then] I shall praise13 you, Divine One;14
you are the Ender of Dis-ease.” (12) [3902]

Spreading out [my] deer-leather [robe,]
I gave [a place] for [him] to sit.
“Please sit there, O Omniscient One;
[and] I shall [then] attend on you.” (13) [3903]

The Blessed One did sit down there,
on [that] deer-leather, well spread out.
Inviting [him], the Sambuddha,
I [then] went [into] the mountains. (14) [3904]

Having filled up a shoulder-bag,15
I brought [some] wild mangosteen16 fruit.
Having mixed [it] up with honey,
I gave [that] fruit to the Buddha. (15) [3905]

While I meditated [on him,]
the Victor then consumed [that fruit].
I brought pleasure to [my] heart [there],
gazing upon the World-Leader. (16) [3906]

Padumuttara, World-Knower,
Sacrificial Recipient,
[still] sitting in my hermitage,
[then] spoke these verses [about me]: (17) [3907]

[Padumuttara Buddha]:
“He who regaled me with [this fruit],
[feeling well-]pleased by his own hands,
I shall relate details of him;
[all of] you listen to my words: (18) [3908]

Twenty-five times [in the future,]
he will exercise divine rule.
A thousand times he’ll be a king,
a king who turns the wheel [of law]. (19) [3909]

For him, endowed with past karma,
discerning what he is thinking,
there will be food and drink and clothes
and beds which are very costly. (20) [3910]

He will be reborn all the time
conforming with [his] good karma;17
this one is going to be happy
and always free of affliction. (21) [3911]

In whichever womb he’s reborn,
[whether] it’s human or divine,
being happy in every place,
he will attain18 the human state. (22) [3912]

A scholar [and] mantra-knower,19
a master of the three Vedas,
having approached the Sambuddha,
he’s going to become an arahant.” (23) [3913]

As far as I recall my lives,
as long as I have had knowledge,
there is no lack of wealth for me:
that is the fruit of giving fruit. (24) [3914]

Attaining the supreme Teaching,
I slew [all my] lust and hatred;
all defilements are exhausted;
now there will be no more rebirth. (25) [3915]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (26) [3916]

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) [3917]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (28) [3918]

Thus indeed Venerable Tissa-metteyya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Tissa-metteyya 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. BJTS reads Tissa-metteyya. He was a historical monk to whom the Tissa-metteyya-sutta of SN was preached.

  3. paricare

  4. hehi, (future 3rd sing. of bhavati)

  5. manuja (“Man”), BJTS reads manuje (also, presumably, a vocative)

  6. reading devate with BJTS for PTS deva te

  7. paricchara

  8. lit., “he did not burn”

  9. lit., “kṣatriyan”

  10. sabbaññu, “Omniscient One”

  11. pabhaṅkara

  12. tamonuda

  13. namassissāmi

  14. deva

  15. khāribhārañ

  16. tindukaŋ phalaŋ = timbiri, diospyros embryopteris, a.k.a. Indian persimmon, wild mangosteen

  17. puññakammena saŋyuttā, lit., “with [his] meritorious karma”

  18. lit., “will become”

  19. lit., “bearing”