SHE too, having made her resolve under former Buddhas, and heaping up good of age-enduring efficacy in this and that rebirth, thoroughly preparing the conditions of emancipation, was born, when Koṇāgamana was Buddha, in a clansman's family. When she was of age, she and her friends, clansmen's daughters, agreed together to have a great park made, and handed it over to the Buddha and his Order. Through the merit of that act, she was reborn in the heaven of the Three-and-Thirty. After a glorious period there, she arose once more among the Yāma gods, then among the Blissful gods, then among the Happy Creators, then among the Disposers of others' creations, 410 and there became Queen of the King of the gods. Reborn thereafter, when Kassapa was Buddha, as the daughter of a wealthy citizen, she acquired splendid merit as a lay-believer, winning another rebirth among the gods of the Three-and-Thirty. Finally reborn, in this Buddha-age, at the city of Mantāvatī, as the daughter of King Koñca, 411 she was named Sumedhā. And when she was come to years of discretion, her mother and father agreed to let Anikaratta, the Rāja of Vāraṇavatī, see her. But she from her childhood had been in the habit of going with Princesses of her own age and attendant slaves to the Bhikkhunīs' quarters to hear them preach the Doctrine, and for a long time, because of her pristine resolve, she had grown fearful of birth in the round of life, devoted to religion and averse to the pleasures of sense.
Wherefore, when she heard the decision of her parents and kinsfolk, she said: 'My duty lies not in the life of the house. I will leave the world.' And they were not able to dissuade her. She thinking, 'Thus shall I gain permission to leave the world,' laid hold of her purpose, and cut off her own hair. Then using her hair in accordance with what she had heard from the Bhikkhunīs of their methods, she concentrated her attention on repugnance to physical attraction, and calling up the idea of 'Foul Things,' 412 then and there attained First Jhāna. And when she was thus rapt, her parents came to her apartments in order to give her away. But she made them first and all their retinue and all the Raja's people believers in religion, and left the house, renouncing the world in the Bhikkhunīs' quarters.
Not long after, establishing insight, and ripe for emancipation, she attained Arahantship, with thorough grasp of the Norm in form and in meaning. And reflecting on her victory, she broke forth in exultation:
King Heron's daughter at Mantāvatī,
Th' afflicted mother wept; the father, stunned
Th' afflicted mother wept; the father, stunned
O wondrous this! O marvellous in sooth!
Nibbāna for the daughter of a king!
Her state and conduct in her former births,
E'en as she told in her last life were these: (517)
'When 446 Koṇāgamana was Buddha here,
And in a new abode, the Order's Park,
Took up his dwelling, two o' my friends, 447 and I
Built a Vihāra for the Master's use. (518)
And many scores and centuries of lives
We lived among the gods, let alone men. (519)
Mighty our glory and our power among
The gods, nor need I speak of fame on earth.
Was I not consort of an Emperor,
The Treasure-Woman 'mongst the Treasures Seven? 448 (520)
Endurance 449 in the Truth the Master taught–
This was the cause, the source, the root,
This the First Link in the long Causal Line,
This is Nibbana if we love the Norm. (521)
Thus acting, 450 they who put their trust in Him,
Wisdom Supreme, 451 lose every wish and hope
Of coming back to be–and thus released
They from all passion's stain are purified. 452 (522)
The Psalms of them who through the Gospel's grace
Thus endeth the Commentary on the Therigāthā, by the Teacher, Brother Dhammapāla, residing at the Padara-Tittha-Vihāra.
410 See Ps. lxi., n.
411 The two Kings and their capitals are all names unknown in Indian records. Vāraṇavatī=having elephants, or ramparts. Koñca = heron.
412 Cf. Ps xli. In the Commentary, p. 273, read, for patikulamanasikāraŋ, paṭikkūla°.
413 Sāsanakārā=, according to the Commentary, Ariyans–i.e., Arahants, including the Buddhas. Just below, sāsana is rendered by 'system.' Sumedhā=very wise.
414 See note, verse 436.
415 In Pali 'no eternal rebirth.'
416 Rebirth in 'hell,' as animal, as 'ghost,' as demon, are the four ('purgatorial lives,' vinipāta, in 452); as human or as god. the two.
417 The Ten Powers peculiar to a Tathāgata are: (1) He knows thoroughly right and wrong occasions; (2) he knows thoroughly the effect of all karma-series; (3) the methods for accomplishing anything; (4) the elements (data) of the world; (5) the various tendencies, inclinations, of beings; (6) the capacities of beings; (7) the nature and procedure of all contemplative disciplines; (8) former lives; (9) he has the 'celestial vision'; (10) he has realized the intellectual emancipation of the Arahant (A., v. 33 ſſ.).
418 Kāyakalinā asārena. The rendering of the former obscure term is, perhaps, a trifle forced, but was chosen from the use of kali in Jātaka, v. 134 (=khela, spittle, froth), because of the juxtaposition of asāra=pithless, without essence (cf. Saŋy. Nik., iii. 140), in preference to the more usual association of kali with gambling. See ver. 501.
419 Vāreyyam. So above, lit., 'Let there be choosing for thee, child,' the term for marriage in high life, whether or no the woman had any voice in the matter.
420 Lit., 'What is it like?'
422 Yoniso aruciŋ. Cf. Pss. xxx., xxxviii., lvii.
423 Cf. Samyutta Nikāya, iii. 149: 'Eternal, brethren, is the wandering (saŋsāro)–nor is the beginning thereof revealed–of them, who, hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving, run to and fro, and wander (among rebirths). . . .' So op. cit., v. 431: 'It is because we had not grasped the Four Truths, brethren, that we have run and wandered up and down so long, both I and you.'
424 'In the Nirayas.' See p. 162, n. 1.
425 The Commentary holds she went on to the other 'signs'–Ill, or Sorrow, and Soullessness.
426 A mythical ancestor of Sumedhā's and the Buddha's people, the Sākiyas. Mentioned in Ang. Nik., ii. 7; Jātaka, ii. 310, iii. 454 ſſ.; Dīpavansa, iii. 5; Mahāvansa, 8, 231; Milindapañha, 115, 291, etc.
427 These similes are all quoted from Majjhima Nikāya, i. 130, 364 ſſ. Cf. Saŋy. Nik., i. 128; Ang. Nik., iii. 97. See below.
428 The text in these four lines gives merely the metaphor As this would call up no associated similes in us, I expand the terms after the similes in Majjhima Nikāya, 54th Sutta, whence they are borrowed.
429 A simile frequent in the Nikāyas. Presumably muslin turbans, let alone oily hair-dressing, often caused such mishaps. Cf. Saŋy. Nik., i. 108, v. 440; Any. Nik., ii. 93, etc.
430 These and the following verses are apparently allusions to the first Vagga of the Anamatagga Saŋyutta ('World-without-end' Collocation) in the Saŋyutta Nikāya, vol. ii., 178 ſſ. The only feature lacking there is the perennial blood-flow–a point not without interest in the history of the Pali Canon. The bone-cairn gāthā in the Vagga is quoted by the Commentator, and runs thus:'But one man's bones who has one æon livedi.e., the ancient hill fortress of the Magadhese before they built their capital Rājagaha in the plain. No more ancient remains than these in India have yet been identified (Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, 37).
Might form a cairn–so said the Mighty Seer–
High as Vipulla, higher than the Peak
Of Vultures, mountain-burg of Magadha'–
The repetition in verses 496, 497 is curious in a work where redundancy is so severely repressed. Either it goes to strengthen the symptoms that the last two Psalms are by a different and later hand, or else two versions have here been incorporated. In 496 Sumedhā first speaks to all her three chief hearers: 'Call ye to mind' (saratha); the following admonitions are to the Prince only: 'bear in mind' and 'remember' (sarāhi, sara).
431 In the Vagga just alluded to, the earth itself, and not India (Jambudīpa), is the insufficient source. The 'squares of straw' is from the same Vagga.
432 This simile is from Majjhima Nik., iii. 169, and Saŋyutta Nik., v. 455. The 'body-parable' is from the latter work (iii. 140). The body (rūpa) is as empty of essence (soul) as the clot of foam drifting down the Ganges.
433 The danger from crocodiles is, in two of the Nikāyas, used metaphorically for gluttony, one of the four perils of 'those who go down to the water'; it is in the Canon applied only to a Bhikkhu's temptations (Majjh. Nik., i. 460; Ang. Nik., ii. 124).
434 Nectar=amataŋ, rendered elsewhere in this work by 'ambrosia,' its etymological equivalent. Usually considered one of the many terms for Nibbana, it is here by the commentarial tradition associated with the Dhamma–'the Amata of the Norm brought to us by the Very Buddha in his great compassion.'
435 Lit., 'Are bitterer by the fivefold-bitter,' explained by the Commentary as 'by the following after of the yet sharper Ill' (dukkhaŋ). Fivefold, referring to the five senses.
436 Kuthitā may be from one of three roots: kuth, smell; kuth, distressed; kvath, cook (cf. Müller, Pali Grammar, 41). The first, chosen by Dr. Neumann, seems forced here. The last accords best with the other three metaphors of heating process.
437 Lit., 'The unhostile being' (locative absolute). The Pali has no metaphor of place whatever.
438 Mokkhamhi vijjamāne, lit., exists. Mokkho, probably substituted metri causa for vimutti, is a relatively late term.
439 These two terms are, in the text, the same as the corresponding pair in the preceding line.
440 In Majjhima Nik., i. 365, where the torch is said to be borne against the wind, not held too long.
441 A simile from Saŋyutta Nik., ii. 226,–iv. 158; Jātaka, v. 389; vi. 416, 432, 437.
442 The dog, according to the Commentary, being unable to get away from them, is killed, and presumably eaten. There is no suggestion to the effect that it was acting as watch-dog, and that the pariahs were thieves, beyond stealing the dog. 'Will they do'=kāhinti; Commentary= karissanti. Pischel pronounced the other reading khāhinti as 'no doubt correct,' because of a passage in Hemacandra's Prakrit Grammar. But Dhammapāla, nearer to the age of the Therigāthā Pali by at least 500 years, seems to me to have the stronger claim, let alone plausibility.
443 She now, says the Commentary, turns to show forth the excellence of Nibbana.
444 Asambādhaŋ. The Commentary takes this figuratively: 'from the absence of the crowd of corruptions' (or torments, kilesā.). In view of the cardinal importance in the Vinaya of cultivating solitude (cf. Dhammadinnā in Ps. xii.), because, too, of its being the path of the minority, and because of the Suttanta phrase calling the lay life sambādha, and the religious life abbhokāsa, free as air, I incline to take it literally.
445 [No footnote matches this number in the original text.]
446 This narrative repeated in from the Apadāna.
447 The two friends are said to have been Khemā (Ps. lii.) and Dhanañjānī, a brahminee convert (Saŋ. Nik., i. 160).
448 For these, see Buddhist Suttas (S.B.E., xi.), pp. 251 ſſ.
449 Khanti. See Dīgha Nik. ii. 49.
450 Another reading is, 'Thus telling.'
451 Lit., 'Who has immeasurable wisdom.'
452 This line expands the Pali word virajjati, according to the commentary, which supplements 'purified' by 'set free.' On the metre of the whole Psalm, see Introduction.
453 On these, see my Buddhist Psychology, xx.-xxii.