Why the Buddha Suffered

[6. Pierced by a Splinter]


Chaṭṭhapañhe, sakalikāvedho ti sakalikāya ghaṭṭanaṁ.
In the sixth enquiry, (called) pierced by a splinter, (we hear about how) he was struck by a splinter.

Atīte kira Bodhisatto ekasmiṁ kule nibbatto,
In the past, it seems, the Buddha-to-be was reborn in a certain family,

daharakāle mahāvīthiyaṁ kīḷamāno,
and while playing on the main street during his childhood,

vīthiyaṁ piṇḍāya caramānaṁ Paccekabuddhaṁ disvā:
after seeing an Independent Buddha walking along that street for alms, thinking:

“Ayaṁ muṇḍako samaṇako kuhiṁ gacchatī?” ti
“Where is this little shaveling ascetic going?”

pāsāṇasakalikaṁ gahetvā, tassa pādapiṭṭhiyaṁ khipi.
and taking a splinter of stone, he threw it at his toes.

Pādapiṭṭhicammaṁ chinditvā ruhiraṁ nikkhami.
After cutting the skin on the toes blood flowed forth.


So tena pāpakammena,
Through that wicked deed,

anekavassasahassāni Niraye mahādukkhaṁ anubhavitvā,
after undergoing great suffering in Niraya hell for countless thousands of years,

Buddhabhūto pi.
he became a Buddha.

Because of the connection with that deed,

pādapiṭṭhiyaṁ pāsāṇasakalikaghaṭṭanena ruhiruppādaṁ labhi.
by being struck with a stone splinter on his toes blood flowed forth. Lit: he suffered the arising of blood. The story again doesn't fit the verse, which tells that the Buddha was attacked by archers sent to kill him; they did not, however, manage to hurt him, and certainly did not cut his foot which belongs to the rock throwing incident, reported in the previous story.1

Tena vuttaṁ:
Therefore it is said:


Purehaṁ dārako hutvā, kīḷamāno mahāpathe,
Having become a boy in the past, while playing on the highway,

Paccekabuddhaṁ disvāna magge sakalikaṁ khipiṁ; [80]
Seeing an Independent Buddha on the road, I threw a stone;

Tena kammavipākena idha pacchimake bhave
Through that deed and through its result here in (this) my last existence

Vadhatthaṁ maṁ Devadatto abhimāre payojayī. ti This last verse reads differently in SHB and PTS: Tena kammavipākena Buddhabhūtassa me sato, Paviddhesi silaṁ tattha Devadatto vighaṭṭavā ti (PTS: vigātavā ti); through that deed and its result, when I had become a Buddha, Devadatta who was angry threw a rock (at me) in that place.2 [81]
Devadatta tried to kill me by employing evil bandits. Actually archers provided by King Ajātasattu.3