Bhaddiya Chapter, the Fifty-Fifth

[538. {541.}1 Lakuṇṭakabhaddiya2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
the One with Eyes for everything,
the One who had [Five] Eyes, arose
a hundred thousand aeons hence. (1) [6023]

I then [lived] in Haṃsavatī,
a millionaire’s son, very rich.
[While] wandering about on foot,
I went to the monks’ hermitage.3 (2) [6024]

At that time, the Torch for the World,
the Leader was preaching4 Dhamma.
He heaped praised on a follower,
distinguished among the sweet-voiced. (3) [6025]

After hearing that, being thrilled,
I did a deed for the Great Sage.
Having worshipped the Teacher’s feet,
I aspired [to attain] that place. (4) [6026]

Then amidst the monks’ Assembly,
the Buddha, the Guide,5 prophesied:
“Very far into the future,
he’ll receive that delightful [place]. (5) [6027]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (6) [6028]

Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
the one whose name is Bhaddiya
will be the Teacher’s follower.” (7) [6029]

Due to that karma done very well,
with intention and [firm] resolve,
discarding [my] human body,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa [then]. (8) [6030]

[Then] ninety-two aeons ago,
the Leader [named] Phussa arose,
Hard to Approach,6 Hard to Subdue,7
Supreme in All Worlds,8 the Victor. (9) [6031]

He was Endowed with Good Conduct,9
Lofty,10 Upright [and] Majestic,11
Wishing Well for every being,12
he freed many [folks] from bondage. (10) [6032]

I was [then] a speckled cuckoo,13
in his fine hermitage, “Nanda.”14
I’m living in a mango tree,
near [Phussa Buddha’s] perfumed hut.15 (11) [6033]

Having seen the Supreme Victor,16
Worthy of Gifts,17 going for alms,
bringing pleasure to [my own] heart,
I cried out with a sweet tone then. (12) [6034]

Then going to the royal park,
taking a cluster of mangoes,
very ripe, with gold[-colored] skin,
I brought [them] to the Sambuddha. (13) [6035]

Then knowing my heart, the Victor,
with Great Compassion, the Leader,
took [his] bowl [for accepting alms]
from the hand of [his] attendant.18 (14) [6036]

“Happy-hearted I’m giving the
Great Sage19 a mango-cluster placed
in the bowl with [both] my wings pressed
[in praise,”] I cried20 with a sweet tone,
a sound delightful [to the ears],
worth hearing, [very] beautiful,
for the sake of Buddha-pūjā,
[then] going to [my] nest21 laid down. (15-16) [6037-6038]

Then a hawk22 with an evil mind,23
after flying up24 slaughtered me,
loving-kindness in [my] heart, [my]
wishes turned25 to love of Buddha. (17) [6039]

Fallen from there, in Tusitā,
having enjoyed great happiness,
I came into a human womb ,
through the power of that karma. (18) [6040]

In this [present] lucky aeon
Brahmā’s Kinsman, Greatly Famed One,
named Kassapa through [his] lineage,26
Best Debater,27 [Buddha,] arose. (19) [6041]

Lighting up the dispensation,
overcoming evil rivals,
instructing the instruct-able, he
reached nirvana,28 with followers.29 (20) [6042]

When the World-Chief reached nirvana,
a numerous multitude, pleased,
are building the Teacher’s stupa,
in order to worship30 Buddha. (21) [6043]

They counseled [one another] thus:
“Let’s build for [him], the Sage So Great,
a stupa that’s seven leagues [tall],
adorned with [all] the seven gems.” (22) [6044]

As31 the leader of the army
of the king of Kāsi,32 Kiki,
I spoke of a trifling measure,
as the measure of33 the stupa. (23) [6045]

At that time, because of my word,
they built a stupa one league [tall]
for [him] the Hero among Men,34
[which was] adorned with varied gems. (24) [6046]

Due to that karma done very well,
with intention and [firm] resolve,
discarding [my] human body,
I went to Tāvatiṃsa [then]. (25) [6047]

And now, in [my] final rebirth,
I’m born in a millionaire’s clan,
rich, prosperous, very wealthy,
in the great city, Śrāvasti. (26) [6048]

At the city’s entrance seeing
the Buddha,35 [my] mind astonished,
going forth, in not a long time,
I attained [my] arahantship. (27) [6049]

Due to the karma of making
the stupa’s measure [smaller],
I’m born with a dwarfish body,
which is worthy of disrespect. (28) [6050]

Having worshipped36 the Seventh Sage
with a sound which was honey[-sweet],
I attained the top place among
the monks with voices that are sweet. (29) [6051]

Due to giving the Buddha fruit,
and [my] conforming with virtue,
endowed with the fruit of monkhood,
I am [now] living, undefiled. (30) [6052]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (31) [6053]

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! (32) [6054]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (33) [6055]

Thus indeed Venerable Lakuṇṭakabhaddiya Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Lakuṇṭakabhaddiya 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. “Bhaddiya the Dwarf,” a historical monk. “Bhaddiya” means “Lucky One,” so the full name could be translated “Lucky, the Dwarf”. See DPPN II: 764-766

  3. lit., “the Assembly’s hermitage”

  4. lit., “preached”

  5. vināyako

  6. durāsado

  7. duppasaho

  8. sabbalokuttamo

  9. ccharaṇena sampanno

  10. brahā

  11. ujupatāpavā

  12. hitesi [read hitesī with BJTS] sabbasattānaŋ

  13. phussakokilo. BJTS takes phussa (“speckled” “gaily colored”) as a proper name, “the cuckoo named Phussa”. While “Phussa” is indeed a proper name for the Buddha of the era in question, I follow RD in taking it here as a particular type of cuckoo. Be that as it may, there is a play on the name of the Buddha in that same age, Phussa

  14. “Joy”

  15. gandhakuṭi-samāsanne, lit., “in the same vicinity as the perfumed hut…”

  16. junuttamaŋ

  17. dakkhineyyaŋ

  18. reading upaṭṭhākassa with BJTS for PTS uppaṭṭhākassa (presumably a typographical error)

  19. lit., “for the Great Sage” (voc)

  20. vassanto, lit., “uttering a bird-cry

  21. reading niḷaṃ with BJTS for PTS nihhaŋ

  22. sakuṇagghi, a particular kind of hawk (BJTS Sinh. gloss and PSI dict. give ukussā, Sinh-Eng Dict: kite, hawk, goshawk, harrier. The term lit., means “bird-killer”

  23. reading duṭṭhamānaso with BJTS (and PTS alt.) for PTS duṭṭhamānasā (instr. would translate the same, “with an evil mind” but would have to function adverbially in the Pāli

  24. upagantvā, lit., “having approached”

  25. °gata°, lit., “gone”

  26. gottena

  27. vadataŋ varo

  28. nibbuto

  29. sasāvako

  30. lit., “do pūjā

  31. hutvā, lit., “being”

  32. i.e., Benares

  33. lit., “in” “for”

  34. naravīrassa

  35. lit., “the Well-Gone-One”

  36. lit., “done pūjā