[480. {483.}1 Bhisadāyaka2]

I, having plunged into a pond,
served by various elephants,
am pulling up lotus root there,
because [they’re what] I’m eating then. (1) [5057]

The Buddha3 in that period
bore the name Padumuttara.
Wearing cloth [dyed] red,4 the Buddha
is traveling5 through the sky [there],
shaking [his] robes made out of rags.
Then I heard the sound [of his robes],
[and] looking6 upward [at the sky,]
I saw the Leader of the World. (2-3) [5058-5059]

Remaining in that very place,
I invited the World-Leader:
“Honey is flowing from the roots
[and] milk [and] oil7 [flow] from the stems;
let the Buddha, the Eyeful One,
with pity accept [some] from me.”
Then the Teacher, Compassionate,
the Greatly Famed One, descended. (4-5a-b) [5060-5061]8

The Eyeful One, with pity then,
accepted [that] alms food of mine.
Accepting [it], the Sambuddha
expressed [his] thanks to me [like this]: (5c-d, 6a-b) [5062]

“Be happy, O merit-filled one;
let your rebirth be accomplished.
Due to this gift of lotus root,
may you receive huge happiness.” (6c-f) [5063]

Having said that, the Sambuddha,
the one whose name was “Best Lotus,”
the Sambuddha, taking [that] food,
the Victor flew off9 through the sky. (7) [5064]

Having taken [more] lotus root,
I came [back] to my hermitage.
Hanging that root up in a tree,
I remembered my offering. (8) [5065]

A massive wind[-storm] then arose:
it agitated10 the forest.
The space was filled up with the noise
of thunderbolts bursting forth [there]. (9) [5066]

Then lightening falling [from the sky,]
struck11 [me right] on [top of] my head.
[Because of that,] sitting down,
I passed away [right] on the spot. (10) [5067]

[Then] bound up with my good12 karma,
I was reborn in Tusitā.
[When] my [human] body fell down,
I delighted in the gods’ world. (11) [5068]

Eighty-six thousand women [then,]
decked out [in fine clothes and jewelry,]
wait on me evening and morning:
the fruit of giving lotus root. (12) [5069]

Having come to a human womb,
I am then happy all the time.
I have no lack of possessions:
the fruit of giving lotus root. (13) [5070]

Having [then] been pitied by him,
the God of Gods, the Neutral One,
all defilements are exhausted;
now there will be no more rebirth. (14) [5071]

In the hundred thousand aeons
since I gave that alms food back then,
I’ve come to know no bad rebirth:
the fruit of giving lotus root. (15) [5072]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (16) [5073]

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! (17) [5074]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (18) [5075]

Thus indeed Venerable Bhisadāyaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Bhisadāyaka 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. “Lotus-Root Donor.” This same apadāna is repeated below, virtually verbatim (see note there for slight variations), as #{558}. There it is ascribed to the historical monk Bhaddajī

  3. lit., “the Blessed One”

  4. rattambaradharo, lit., “bearing red ambara,” the latter referring to a type of cloth as well as an upper garment made out of it.

  5. lit., “going,” elsewhere translated as “flying” given the context

  6. nijjhāyamāno, lit., “meditating” “reflecting” “thinking;” I follow BJTS Sinhala gloss balannā vu mama

  7. sappi, lit., ghee, clarified butter (gī tel)

  8. PTS treats [5060-5061a-b] as a six-footed verse,

  9. lit., “went”

  10. reading sañcchālesi with BJTS for PTS sañjālesi

  11. lit., “fell down”

  12. lit., “meritorious”