[486. {489.}1 Dhammarucchī2]

When Dipaṅkara was Buddha,
the Victor said of Sumedha:
“Aeons beyond measure from now,
this one will become a Buddha. (1) [5193]

The one named Māyā’s going to be
the birth-mother of this [person];
Suddhodhana the father’s name;
this one will be [named] Gotama. (2) [5194]

Being one bent on exertion,
having practiced austerities,
the Sambuddha will awaken3
Great Famed, at the Bodhi tree’s roots.4 (3) [5195]

Upatissa5 and Kolita6
will be the [two] chief followers;7
the one whose name is Ānanda
will attend upon this Victor. (4) [5196]

Khemā and Uppalavaṇṇā
will be chief female followers;8
CChitta and Ālavaka will
be the chief pious laymen.9 (5) [5197]

Khujjuttarā, Nandamātā
will be chief pious laywomen;10
the Bodhi tree of this Hero
is known as the Aśvattha tree.”11 (6) [5198]

After having heard those words of
the Great Sage, the Unequaled One,12
overjoyed, [both] gods13 and men, are
praising [him], hands pressed together. (7) [5199]

At that time I was a young man,
well-educated, named Megha.14
Having heard [that] best prophesy
for Sumedha, [then] a great sage,
cultivating confidence in
Sumedha, font15 of compassion,
[when] that hero renounced the world,16
I renounced right along with [him]. (8-9) [5200-5201]

Restrained17 in the monastic rules,18
and [also] in the five senses,
he lived pure, mindful, a hero,
doer of what the Victor taught.19 (10) [5202]

[While] I was living in that way,
I strayed away20 from the good road,
urged into bad behavior by
a certain evil friend [of mine]. (11) [5203]

Having been controlled by reason,21
I fell from the dispensation;22
afterward, by that bad friend, the
murder of [my] mother was schemed. (12) [5204]

I did no-interval karma,23
and I killed with an evil mind;
I fell from there [right into] hell,24
born in a very cruel [place]. (13) [5205]

Being gone to that woeful state,25
I long transmigrated in pain,26
not seeing the Hero again,
Sumedha, the Bull among Men. (14) [5206]

In this aeon, in the ocean,
I was a timiṅgala fish.27
Having seen a ship in the sea,
I approached it looking for food. (15) [5207]

Seeing me, the traders, afraid,
remembered the Best of Buddhas;
I heard a huge sound shouted out,
“Gotama!” [they cried in terror]. (16) [5208]

Recalling the past perception,
I passed away [right] on the spot.
I was reborn in Śrāvasti,
a brahmin in a high-ranked clan. (17) [5209]

My name was Dhammarucchī [then],
a loather of every evil.
Having seen the Lamp of the World,
being [only] seven years old, (18) [5210]

I went to great Jetavana,28
[and] went forth into homelessness.
I approach the Buddha three times
[every] night, also [every] day. (19) [5211]

Seeing [me], seeing [me,] the Sage
called [me] “long time Dhammarucchī.”
After that I told the Buddha
[how my] past karma had progressed: (20) [5212]

Very long, marked with hundreds of good deeds,29
conditions [then] gradually30 purified.
Today I am looking closely indeed,
I am seeing your body without compare. (21) [5213]31

Very long, darkness is destroyed by it.32
Through guarding33 purity, the stream34 has been cleansed.
Very long, [now] purified without fault,
is the eye made out of knowledge, O Great Sage. (22) [5214]

A long time, [now] come together with you;
not destroyed, again the interval was long;
today, again come together with you,
O Gotama, deeds do not [just] disappear. (23) [5215]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (24) [5216]

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! (25) [5217]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (26) [5218]

Thus indeed Venerable Dhammarucchī Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Dhammarucchī 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. “Splendor of the Teaching”.

  3. bujjhissati, from the same root as Buddha (lit., “Awakened”)

  4. lit., “of an asattha tree.” The asattha (Skt. aśvattha) tree, ficus religiosa, is the Bodhi tree of Gotama Buddha (Sinh. bō gasa)

  5. i.e., Sāriputta (Thera-apadāna #1)

  6. i.e., Mahā-Moggallāna (Thera-apadāna #2)

  7. sāvakā, “voice-hearers,” accompished arahant monks

  8. sāvikā

  9. upāsakā, devout laymen who observe eight precepts, more monk-like than ordinary Buddhists who observe the five precepts.

  10. upāsikā

  11. The asattha (Skt. aśvattha) tree is ficus religiosa (Sinh. bō gasa)

  12. asamassa

  13. °marū, in the more general sense of “gods” (as opposed, I suppose, to the maruts of Vedic mythology to which the term most directly applies

  14. “Cloud”

  15. āsaya, lit., “abode” “haunt” “support for” “vessel of”

  16. or “went forth”

  17. saŋvuto

  18. lit., “in the recitation,” “in the Pātimokkha,” the (in the Pāli vinaya, 227) rules recited at monthly uposatha gatherings of Buddhist monks, ideally encapsulating the whole of monastic law.

  19. jinasāsanakārako

  20. or “was lost,” paridhaŋsito

  21. or thinking, vitakka-vasa-go (BJTS vitakka-vasīko)

  22. sāsanato, lit., “from the dispensation”

  23. anantariyañ, a deed whose result is immediate descent into the lowest Avīcchi (“no interval”? “no pleasure”?) hell, “a deadly sin,” of which there are five: patricide, matricide, killing an arahant, shedding the blood of a Buddha (it is impossible to kill one), and dissension in the Sangha (monks’ Assembly).

  24. lit., “into avīcchi, which is particularly gruesome. See DPPN I:199ff.

  25. or “suffering,” vinīpatagato

  26. or “suffering,” dukkhito

  27. of mythical proportions, the largest fish in the sea, maybe even “sea monster”

  28. the “Jeta Grove” in which Anāthapiṇḍika built the famous hermitage for the Buddha, the location of many of the suttas.

  29. lit., “merits,” °puñña°

  30. reading patipubbena with BJTS for PTS patipubbe na (“in the past, not…”)

  31. PTS and BJTS agree in presenting this and the following two verses in a different, more complex meter than the rest of the poem (and indeed, different from the meter in the vast majority of the whole Apadāna collection), with 10-11-10-11 syllable counts per quatrain (10-11-10-12 in the present instance, perhaps due to the superfluous ‘haŋ). I have translated accordingly.

  32. reading tayā with BJTS (and PTS alts.) for PTS mayā (“by me”)

  33. suci-rakkhena, a play on words that echoes the “very long [time]” (su-cchiraṃ) governing these verses. Or is this succhira + akkhena, “by the eye for very long,” picking up the “eye” (nayana) reference in the fourth foot?

  34. or river (nadī) of existence, or of doubt (as in #485 {488} above, v. 7 = [5183]