[525. {528.}1 Bodhisammajjaka2]

Formerly I took Bodhi leaves,
fallen in the stupa-courtyard,
and [having swept,] threw [them] away.
I [then] obtained twenty virtues:3 (1) [5585]

Through the power of that karma,
transmigrating from birth to birth,
I transmigrate in [just] two states:
that of a god, or of a man. (2) [5586]

Falling from the world of the gods,
having come to the human state,
I’m being born in [just] two clans:
the kṣatriyan and the brahmin. (3) [5587]

I possess perfected limbs, [with
proper] length and circumference;
I’m very handsome [and] splendid,
[with] complete limbs, no[thing] lacking. (4) [5588]

In the world of gods or of men,
in whichever place I‘m reborn,
I am golden-colored for life,
to be compared with molten gold.4 (5) [5589]

Due to5 well-thrown-out Bodhi leaves,
all of the time my outer skin
is pliable [and] soft [and] smooth,6
[and] fine like a very young boy’s.7 (6) [5590]

When my body has arisen
in whatever state of rebirth,8
I am not soiled with dirt and dust:9
the result of10 thrown-away leaves. (7) [5591]

When there is heat or burning wind,
[or] through the heat of fire on it,
on my body no sweat’s released:
the result of thrown-away leaves. (8) [5592]

On [my] body there’s no ringworm,11
rashes,12 abscesses,13 leprosy,14
and likewise [neither] moles15 [nor] boils:16
the result of thrown-away leaves. (9) [5593]

And it has another virtue,
being reborn life after life;
in [my] body there’s no disease:17
the result of thrown-away leaves. (10) [5594]

And it has another virtue,
being reborn life after life;
there’s no torment born of the mind:
the result of thrown-away leaves. (11) [5595]

And it has another virtue,
being reborn life after life;
for it there are no enemies:18
the result of thrown-away leaves. (12) [5596]

And it has another virtue,
being reborn life after life;
there is no lack of possessions:
the result of thrown-away leaves. (13) [5597]

And it has another virtue,
being reborn life after life;
there is no fear in the water,
nor from19 fire, from kings, [and] from thieves. (14) [5598]

And it has another virtue,
being reborn life after life;
slaves [and] slave-girls are serving [me,]
in accordance with [their own] hearts.20 (15) [5599]

When he’s21 born in a human state,
with whatever measure lifespan,
that lifespan does not then decline,
it lasts the lifespan’s full extent. (16) [5600]

Moving about inside and out,
those from [my] city and country,
are all engaged22 all of the time,
wishing to grow and be happy.23 (17) [5601]

I’m wealthy, famous, splendorous;
on the side of my relatives.
Free of trembling and fear of ghosts,24
from every life [to each new] life. (18) [5602]

Gods [and] men [and] titans25 [as well],
music-nymphs, spirits26 [and] demons;27
they are protecting [me] always,
transmigrating in existence. (19) [5603]

Having enjoyed both [kinds of] fame,
in the world of gods and of men,
at the end I have [now] attained
peaceful, unsurpassed nirvana. (20) [5604]

For a rich man making28 merit,
specifying the Sambuddha,
or the Bodhi of the Teacher,
what is there that’s hard to obtain? [5605]29

Being better than the others
in path-fruit in the religion,
in trance, special knowledge, virtue;
I reach nirvana, undefiled. (21) [5606]

Formerly, with a happy mind,
I threw away [those] Bodhi leaves;30
endowed with these twenty [virtues]31
I am existing all the time. (22) [5607]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (23) [5608]

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! (24) [5609]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (25) [5610]

Thus indeed Venerable Bodhisammajjaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Bodhisammajjaka 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. “Bodhi [Tree] Sweeper”

  3. guṇe. I count the twenty here as: (1) always a god or a human, (2) as a human, always a kṣatriyan or a brahmin, (3) perfected limbs, (4) golden-colored, (5) great skin, (6) unsullied by dirt, (7) untroubled by heat and sweat, (8) free of skin diseases, (9) free of all diseases, (10) no mental torment, (11) no enemies, (12) no lack of possessions, (13) no fear of water, fire, kings and thieves, (14) slaves and slave-girls serve of their own accord, (15) live the full lifespan, (16) folks in his city and country are dedicated to god, (17) wealthy, famous, resplendent, on the side of relatives, no fear of ghosts, (18) protected by all sort of supernatural beings, (19) fame, (20) nirvana.

  4. uttattakanakūpamo, lit., “in a simile to molten gold”

  5. lit., “in” or “when”, following BJTS gloss “through the merit of…”

  6. reading siniddha (which has a wide range of meanings that could refer to beautiful skin, depending on the standard for or imagination of beauty: wet, moist, oily, greasy, fatty. smooth, glossy, resplendent, charming, pliable) with BJTS for PTs niddhā (?)

  7. BJTS reads sukumārikā (“like a very young girl’s) for PTS sukumārakā

  8. reading yato kutocchi gatisu with BJTS for PTS yato kuto ccha, and following BJTS Sinhala gloss yamkisi gatiyaka

  9. lit., “dirt and dust are not smeared [on me]”

  10. lit., “in”

  11. dadduñ

  12. kuṭṭha

  13. gaṇḍo

  14. kilāso

  15. tilakā

  16. pilakā

  17. lit., “there are no diseases”

  18. āmittā, lit., “not-friends”

  19. lit., “by” “through”

  20. i.e., because they want to

  21. jāyate. The use of the third person is odd; apadāna typically uses the first person for describing one’s anisaṃsas.

  22. anuyuttā, lit., “applying themselves” “dedicated to” “practicing”

  23. lit., “desiring increase and wishing for happiness”

  24. apetabhayasantāso

  25. asurā

  26. yakkhā

  27. rakkhasā

  28. pasave, lit., “who would produce” “who is begetting”

  29. PTS omits this verse. BJTS reads sabuddhamuddisitvāna/bodhiṃ vā tassa satthuno/yo puññaṃ pasave poso/tassa kiṃ nāma dullabhaṃ//

  30. lit., “leaf”

  31. lit., “limbs” “parts” °aṅgehiṅ