Ja 71 The Story about the Temple Tree

In the present one monk, who should have been striving, fell asleep and broke his thigh after falling. The Buddha tells a story of a past life in which the same person had slept his way through his work time, and on arising had hurt his eye, and brought green wood from a Varuṇa tree back, which hindered his companions from receiving their meal (full story).

1. Yo pubbe karaṇīyāni, pacchā so kātum-icchati,
Varuṇakaṭṭhabhañjo va, sa pacchā-m-anutappatī ti.

One who before had duties, and later still desires to do them, like the one who broke off the Varuṇa branch, regrets it later.

In this connection, regrets it later means whatever person, having not investigated: “This should be done first, this later,” previously had duties, but first does the work to be done later, like our student who broke off the Varuṇa branch, that foolish person regrets, grieves, laments later, this is the meaning.