Ja 79 The Story about the Beating Drum

In the present a minister makes an agreement with thieves and withdraws his men from protecting a village, which is then plundered. The Buddha tells how he did the same thing in a past life (full story).

1. Yato viluttā ca hatā ca gāvo,
Daḍḍhāni gehāni jano ca nīto,
Athāgamā puttahatāya putto,
Kharassaraṁ ḍiṇḍimaṁ vādayanto ti.

When cattle are plundered, murdered, houses burned, and people led off, then the son returned a dead son, playing a drum with a harsh sound.

In this connection, when means whenever.

Plundered and murdered means after plundering, binding and leading them off, they killed them in order to eat meat.

Cattle means those in the form of cows.

Burned means after setting them on fire, they burned them down.

And people led off means after grabbing and capturing them, they were led off.

The son ... a dead son means the shameless son was a dead son, this is the meaning. Having cut off conscience and concern he has nothing called a mother, thus although she lives, still he remains in the condition of a dead son, he is called a son who is a dead son.

A harsh sound means a hard sound.

A drum means a war drum.