Ja 154 The Story about the Snake
In the present two persons of high rank are always arguing with each other, and not even the king can prevent them. The Buddha teaches them loving-kindness and they are reconciled. He then tells a story of how he stopped the fighting of a Nāga and a Supaṇṇa in a past life.
1. Idhūragānaṁ pavaro paviṭṭho,
Selassa vaṇṇena, pamokkham-icchaṁ.
Brahmañ-ca vaṇṇaṁ apacāyamāno,
Bubhukkhito, no vitarāmi bhottun-ti.
Here amongst the snakes the noble one has entered, being a rock with colour, desiring safety. Paying homage to the holy man of high class, though hungry, I overcame the desire to eat.
In this connection, here amongst the snakes the noble one has entered, amongst the snakes in this bark garment These snakes are not mentioned in the story itself. the noble king of the Nāgas has entered.
Of the rock with colour, having the colour of a jewel, having become a large jewel, he entered, this is the meaning.
Desiring safety means wishing for safety from my presence.
Paying homage to the holy man of high class, your high class, the best class, I am worshipping, paying respect to.
Though hungry, I overcame the desire to eat, this Nāga has entered inside the bark garments, though ravenous, I am unable to eat him.
2. So Brahmagutto ciram-eva jīva,
Dibyā ca te pātubhavantu bhakkhā.
Yo brahmavaṇṇaṁ apacāyamāno,
Bubhukkhito no vitarāsi bhottun-ti.
Guarded by Brahmā, may you live for a long time, and may divine food manifest itself to you. Whoever, honouring the holy man of class, though hungry, you overcame the desire to eat.
In this connection, guarded by Brahmā means you, being protected by Brahmā, guarded by Brahmā.
And may divine food manifest itself to you means, may the food worthy of being enjoyed by the Devas manifest itself to you, do not be one who, having killed living beings, eats their flesh.
last updated: August 2022