Ja 83 The Story about the Unlucky Man

In the present Anāthapiṇḍika has a childhood friend with the unfortunate name Kāḷakaṇṇi (Unlucky). He is urged to dismiss him, but refuses to, saying it is only a name. Later the friend does a great service protecting his property. The Buddha tells how the same things played out in a previous life also (full story).

1. Mitto have sattapadena hoti,
Sahāyo pana dvādasakena hoti,
Māsaḍḍhamāsena ca ñāti hoti,
Tat-uttariṁ attasamo pi hoti,
Sohaṁ kathaṁ, attasukhassa hetu,
Cirasanthutaṁ Kāḷakaṇṇiṁ jaheyyan-ti?

He is certainly a friend with seven steps, but with twelve he is a companion true, with a month or a fortnight he is like kin, more than that he is just the same as my self, how would I, the cause of my own happiness, abandon my long time friend Kāḷakaṇṇi?

In this connection, being friendly he is a friend, he establishes friendliness, he is loving, this is the meaning.

But with seven steps, he takes at least seven strides on his journey as though one, this is the meaning.

But with twelve he is a companion true, because of doing all of his duties together, he goes together in all postures, thus he is a companion. There is a play of words between saha, together, and sahāyo, a companion. But with twelve, because of living together for twelve days, this is the meaning.

With a month or a fortnight means with a month or with a fortnight.

More than that means because of dwelling as one for more than that he is just the same as my self.

Would ... abandon means: “How would I abandon such a companion?” He spoke of his friend’s virtue. Again from the start, whatever his internal behaviour, it is not because of his name.