[436. {439.}1 Ambapiṇḍiya2]

I was then an elephant-king,
with tusks like plough-poles, fully grown.
Wandering in a large forest,3
I saw the Leader of the World. (1) [4701]

Taking a cluster of mangoes,4
I gave [them] to [him,] the Teacher.
The Great Hero accepted them,
Siddhattha, Leader of the World. (2) [4702]

While I5 meditated [on him],
the Victor then consumed [that fruit].
Bringing pleasure to [my] heart there,
I was reborn in Tusitā.6 (3) [4703]

After falling down from there, I
was a monarch who turns the wheel.
[Then] through that very method, I,
having enjoyed [great] good fortune,7
being one bent on exertion,
calmed,8 devoid of grounds for rebirth,9
knowing well all the defilements,
am living [here now,] undefiled. (4-5) [4704-4705]

In the ninety-four aeons since
I gave that fruit [to him] back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
that is the fruit of giving fruit. (6) [4706]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (7) [4707]

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! (8) [4708]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (9) [4709]

Thus indeed Venerable Ambapiṇḍiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Ambapiṇḍiya 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. “Mango-Cluster-er”

  3. reading brahāraññe with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS Brahmāraññe (“Brahmā’s forest”)

  4. ambapiṇḍi. The term can mean “lump”or “round mass” too, but it’s not clear how an elephant would get or make a lump or ball of mango to present a Buddha; “mango-cud” seems unlikely. Wild elephants eat by breaking branches, fronds or stems off trees and shrubs with their trunks, and the image here seems to be along those lines: mangoes fruit in clusters along branches, and the protagonist has apparently broken off such a branch, clustered with mangoes, to give the Buddha.

  5. reading mama with BJTS (and PTS. alt.; gen. abs. construction) for PTS mamaŋ (acc.)

  6. the heaven of happiness

  7. sampadā, [good] achievements, etc.

  8. upasanto

  9. nirūpadhi