Ja 4 The Story about the Little Merchant

In the present the story is told of Mahāpanthaka and his brother, Cūḷapanthaka. The former, gaining faith, attained easily, while the latter struggled till he was directly guided by the Buddha himself. The Buddha then tells a story showing how, in a previous life, Cūḷlapanthaka had taken his advice and become rich beyond measure (full story).

1. Appakena pi medhāvī pābhatena vicakkhaṇo,
Samuṭṭhāpeti attānaṁ, aṇuṁ aggiṁ va sandhaman-ti.

Even with little, an intelligent, skilled person, by a present, raises himself up, like a small fire that has been fanned is raised up.

In this connection, even with a little means even with a little, even with a small amount.

A intelligent (person) means a wise (person).

By a present means by giving wares or money.

A skilled one means one skilled in business.

Raises himself up means having produced great wealth and fame, he establishes, sets himself up there.

Why is that? Like a small fire that has been fanned a wise person gradually builds a small fire, having placed cow-dung and so on, and blowing with the mouth, produces and develops a large bonfire, even so can a wise man, having received a present, engaging in various means, develop wealth and fame, and having produced them can establish himself there, and through that great wealth and fame he establishes himself, and makes himself well-known and famous, this is the meaning.