Ja 31 The Story about the Nestlings

In the present one monk, driven by necessity kills living beings by drinking unfiltered water, against the rules of the order. When the Buddha hears of this he tells a story of how Sakka, king of the Devas, had avoided hurting living beings, by ordering his charioteer Mātali to change course, and had thereby won the day in the war between the Devas and the Asuras (full story).

1. Kulāvakā Mātali simbalismiṁ
Īsāmukhena parivajjayassu,
Kāmaṁ cajāma Asuresu pāṇaṁ,
Mā me dijā vikulāvā ahesun-ti.

May nestlings amongst the silk-cotton trees avoid the chariot pole, Mātali, we forsake our lives to the Asuras, gladly, let not the birds be without nests.

In this connection, nestlings means the young of Supaṇṇas.

Mātali, he addresses the charioteer. i.e. it is a vocative.

In the silk-cotton forest, see these silk-cotton trees standing there and hanging down, this is the explanation.

Avoid the chariot pole, let not these be killed by the chariot pole of this chariot, in this way you should avoid them.

We forsake our lives to the Asuras, gladly, if the forsaking of our lives is auspicious for these Asuras, gladly we will forsake them, certainly we forsake our lives for these Asuras.

Let not the birds be without nests, these birds, these young of Garuḷas, let these nestlings not be without their crumbling, crushed nests, let not these suffer through us by being thrown upwards, turn the chariot round!