[542. {545.}1 Nandaka2]

The Victor, Padumuttara,
the One with Eyes for everything,
the Leader [of the World,] arose
a hundred thousand aeons hence. (1) [6165]

Out of friendship for all beings,
for [their] happiness and profit,
the Best Debater, Well-Bred Man,
practiced3 in [the world] with [its] gods. (2) [6166]

Who Reached the Height of Fame,4 Splendrous,5
Supported by Praise,6 the Victor,
the Worshipped One7 of every world,
Well-Known8 in all directions, (3) [6167]

who Crossed Over Perplexity,9
who Moved Beyond Saying “How? How?,”10
whose Mind’s Intentions are Fulfilled,11
Attained supreme Awakening.12 (4) [6168]

The Ultimate Man, Producer13
of the road to non-production,14
declared what had not been declared
and gave birth to what was unborn. (5) [6169]

Road-Knower,15 Road-Discerner,16 he’s
the Road-Teller,17 the Bull of Men.
Skilled18 on19 the road, the Teacher is
the Ultimate Best20 of drivers.21 (6) [6170]

Then the Great Compassionate One,
the Leader is preaching Dhamma,
lifting up beings who are stuck
on the road [known as] delusion. (7) [6171]

The Great Sage praised a follower
who was regarded as the best
in exhorting of [Buddhist] nuns,
[and] placed22 [him] in that foremost place. (8) [6172]

After hearing that I was thrilled.
Inviting [him], the Thus-Gone-One,
having fed [him] with Assembly,
I aspired to that supreme place. (9) [6173]

At that time, the Lord, [also] thrilled,
the Great Sage said [these words] to me:
“Be happy, O long-lived one; you
will receive that beautiful [place]. (10) [6174]

In one hundred thousand aeons,
arising in Okkāka’s clan,
the one whose name is Gotama
will be the Teacher in the world. (11) [6175]

Worthy heir to that one’s Dhamma,
Dhamma’s legitimate offspring,
the one whose name is Nandaka
will be the Teacher’s follower.” (12) [6176]

Due to that karma done very well,
with intention and [firm] resolve,
discarding [my] human body,
I was gone to Tāvatiṃsa. (13) [6177]

And now, in [my] final rebirth,
I’m born in a millionaire’s clan,
rich, prosperous, very wealthy,
in the great city, Śrāvasti. (14) [6178]

Seeing the Well-Gone-One at the
city gate, I was astonished;23
when [he] got Jeta Hermitage,24
I went forth into homelessness. (15) [6179]

After not a very long time,
I attained [my] arahantship.
Then I’m one who’s crossed existence,
instructed by the All-Seer.25 (16) [6180]

I preached Dhamma to the nuns [and]
performed the question and answer.
Instructed by me, all of them
became [arahants], undefiled. (17) [6181]

Five hundred [of them], none lacking;
the Great Friend,26 gladdened at that time,
placed me in the foremost place of
those who give instruction to nuns. (18) [6182]

Karma done a hundred thousand
[aeons hence] showed me [its] fruit here:
well-liberated, arrow-quick,
I have destroyed my defilements. (19) [6183]

My defilements are [now] burnt up;
all [new] existence is destroyed.
Like elephants with broken chains,
I am living without constraint. (20) [6184]

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! (21) [6185]

The four analytical modes,
and these eight deliverances,
six special knowledges mastered,
[I have] done what the Buddha taught! (22) [6186]

Thus indeed Venerable Nandaka Thera spoke these verses.

The legend of Nandaka 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. a historical monk, famous as foremost among the exhorters of nuns. See DPPN II: 17-18. His name means “Joyful” or “Joy-er”

  3. or “observed”: paṭipanno

  4. yasaggapatto

  5. sirimā

  6. kittivaṇṇabhato, lit., “Feeding (°bhato) on Praise (kittivaṇṇa°)”

  7. lit., “pūjā-recipient” (pūjito)

  8. suvissuto

  9. utiṇṇavicchikicchcho

  10. vītivatta-kathaŋkatho

  11. paripuṇṇa-mana-saṅkappo

  12. patto sambodhiŋ uttamaŋ

  13. uppādetā

  14. anuppannassa maggassa

  15. maggaññū

  16. maggavidū

  17. maggakkhāyī

  18. kusalo

  19. lit., “of”

  20. varuttamo

  21. sārathīnaŋ, lit., “charioteers” “coachmen”

  22. lit., “appointed”

  23. lit., “I had an astonished mind”

  24. jetārāmapaṭiggahe, i.e., when Anāthapiṇḍika gave him the Jetavana grove as his hermitage

  25. sabbadassinā

  26. mahāhito