[424. {427.}1 Ekadhammasavanīya2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
was the Master of Everything.
[While] preaching the Four Noble Truths,
he ferried many folks across. (1) [4548]

A matted-haired ascetic3 then,
I practiced fierce austerities.4
Throwing off [my] clothes made of bark,
I traveled in the sky back then. (2) [4549]

I am not [then] able5 to go
over [him,] the Best of Buddhas.
Like a bird that has struck a rock,
I am unable to proceed.6 (3) [4550]

Having walked7 upon the water,
so I am flying through the sky.
Previously my behavior
never had been interrupted. (4) [4551]

“Well now I’ll investigate that.
I might get some small benefit.”
Descending from the sky I then
heard the [sweet] sound of the Teacher,
who was preaching impermanence
with a voice that was enticing,
good to listen to, beautiful.
I took up that [Teaching] back then. (5-6) [4552-4553]

Having perceived impermanence,8
I went [back] to my hermitage.
Remaining as long as I lived,
I [later] passed away [right] there. (7) [4554]

In subsequent existences,
I recalled hearing the Teaching.9
Due to that karma done very well,
with intention and [firm] resolve,
discarding [my] human body,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa [then]. (8) [4555]10

For thirty thousand aeons I
delighted in the world of gods,
and fifty-one times [while there], I
exercised rule over the gods. (9) [4556]

And twenty-one times I was [then]
a king who turns the wheel [of law].
[And I enjoyed] much local rule,
innumerable by counting. (10) [4557]

I enjoyed [my] own good karma,11
being happy from birth to birth.
Recalling that perception, I
transmigrated from birth to birth.
I do not comprehend the end,12
nirvana, the eternal state. (11) [4558]13

Sitting down in my father’s house,
a monk with senses [well-]controlled
was [then] explaining this sermon,14
spoken about impermanence:15 (12) [4559]

“In flux indeed is all that is;
things that arise and [then] decline
are being born [and then] dying;
happy is the relief from them.” (13) [4560]

Right after having heard [that] verse,
I recalled my past perception.
Sitting down on a single seat,
I attained [my] arahantship. (14) [4561]

When [only] seven years of age,
I attained [my] arahantship.
The Buddha [himself] ordained me:
the fruit of hearing the Teaching. (15) [4562]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I heard the Teaching back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
the fruit of hearing the Teaching. (16) [4563]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (17) [4564]

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! (18) [4565]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (19) [4566]

Thus indeed Venerable Ekadhammasavanīya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Ekadhammasavanīya 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. “One-Teaching-Hearer.” BJTS spells the name Ekadammasavaṇīya

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

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

  5. na gantuŋ visahām’ ahaŋ

  6. lit., “I do not receive going”

  7. reading ‘vokammitvāna (“set out”) with BJTS for PTS vomisitvāna (?).

  8. lit., “taking the perception of impermanence”

  9. lit., “the Good Teaching,” saddhamma°

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

  11. lit., “merit,” sakaŋ puññaŋ

  12. na koṭi paṭivijjhāmi

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

  14. kathāyaŋ (BJTS reads kath’ ayaṃ)

  15. reading aniccchchatam udāhari