[403. {406.}1 Nanda2]

I was a deer-hunter back then,
within a grove in the forest.
[While] searching after3 spotted deer,
I saw the Self-Become One [there]. (1) [4050]

The Sambuddha named Anuraddha,4
the Self-Become, Unconquered One,
Seclusion-Lover, the Wise One,5
plunged into the forest6 back then. (2) [4051]

Having gathered four sticks of wood,
I placed them in four [corner-]spots.
Building a well-built pavilion,
I covered [it] with lotus blooms.7 (3) [4052]

Having covered the pavilion,
I greeted the Self-Become One.
Laying aside my bow right there,
I went forth into homelessness. (4) [4053]

A short time after going forth,
I was afflicted with illness.8
Transmigrating through past karma,
I passed away [right then and] there. (5) [4054]

Bound up with [my] former karma,
I went to Tusitā heaven.
There a mansion made out of gold9
is produced according to wish. (6) [4055]

[My] divine carriage stands in wait,
a thousand-horse-yoked vehicle.
Ascending into that carriage,
I travel according to wish. (7) [4056]

When I am going out10 from there,
having been reborn as a god,11
a pavilion’s held up for me
a hundred leagues on every side. (8) [4057]

I [always] nestle12 on a bed
that’s constantly strewn with flowers.
And from the sky, pink lotuses
are raining [on me] all the time. (9) [4058]

When the rays of light are throbbing,
and the sun’s heat scorches [the world],
the heat is not oppressing me:
that’s the fruit of a pavilion. (10) [4059]

I pass beyond [all] bad rebirth;
the states of woe13 are closed to me.
In a pavilion or tree-root,
burning heat is not known by me. (11) [4060]

Fixing perception on the earth,14
I cross over the [great] ocean.15
That’s my well-done karma, the fruit
of [doing] that Buddha-pūjā. (12) [4061]

Making roads, even with no road,
I am traveling16 in the sky.
O! that karma well-done by me:
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (13) [4062]

I know former existences,
the “divine eye” is purified,
my defilements are [all] destroyed:
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (14) [4063]

Buddha’s legitimate offspring,
worthy heir to the Great Teaching,
I’ve renounced my earlier birth:
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (15) [4064]

I’m one who pleased the Well-Gone-One,
Gotama, Bull of the Śākyas,
the Dhamma’s heir, I bear its flag:17
that’s the fruit of Buddha-pūjā. (16) [4065]

After serving the Sambuddha,
Gotama, Bull of the Śākyas,
I asked the Leader of the World
[about] the path that goes beyond.18 (17) [4066]

Being asked, the Buddha [then] told
the deep and subtle state [beyond].
Having heard that Teaching of his,
I attained [my] arahantship.19 (18) [4067]

O! that karma well-done by me!
I’m fully freed from being born;
I have destroyed all defilements;
now there will be no more rebirth. (19) [4068]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (20) [4069]

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! (21) [4070]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (22) [4071]

Thus indeed Venerable Nanda Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Nanda 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. “Joy”. BJTS reads Nandaka

  3. PTS reads pasadamigaŋ gavesanto; BJTS reads pasadaṃ migam esanto. The two readings have virtually the same meaning; unlike the PTS reading, however, the BJTS reading keeps the meter

  4. PTS and BJTS agree on this reading, even though it breaks meter; following the text, this first foot contains nine syllable. One would prefer “the Buddha named Anuruddha” (anuruddho nāma buddho, eight syllables) to keep the meter, but as many of the other Buddhas have three-syllable names, the pattern is “X nāma Sambuddho” and here the manuscripts (and the authors?) have followed suit.

  5. reading so dhīro with BJTS for PTS so vīro, “the Hero”

  6. vanamajjh’, lit., “in the middle of the forest”

  7. padumapupphehi, lit., “with pink lotus flowers”

  8. vyādhi me udapajjatha (BJTS reads upapajjatha), lit “illness came into existence for me”

  9. BJTS reads sovaṇṇamayaṃ for PTS sovaṇṇayaŋ, thereby breaking meter.

  10. BJTS reads niyamāna for PTS niyyamāna, to the same end (“[the one] taking that carriage and going”)

  11. devabhūtassa me sato, lit., “when I am being born as a god”

  12. reading tuvaṭṭāmi with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS tuvaṭṭhāmi. The term means to share with, cuddle, snuggle up; BJTS provides the less evocative gloss “I sleep” (nidimi)

  13. apāyā, “hells,” reckoned as four: hell proper (niraya) and rebirth as an animal, a ghost (peta), or a titan (asura).

  14. mahīsaññam adhiṭṭhāya, lit., “having fixed [my] mind (or concentrating) on perception of the earth”

  15. loṇatoyaŋ, lit., “the salt water”. This interpretation follows BJTS

  16. lit., “going”

  17. dhammaddhajo dhammadāyādo, lit., “[I am] one who possesses the flag (or banner) of the Teaching, worthy heir of the Teaching”

  18. pāraṅgamaniyaŋ maggaŋ

  19. lit., “I attained the destruction of the outflows”