Ja 157 The Story about Virtue
In the present the king of Kosala gives 1,000 robes to Ven. Ānanda, who then gives 500 to monks in need, and 500 to his attendant monk, who passes them to other novices. The king asks the Buddha if this is proper, and the latter tells a story of how a jackal saved a lion, and the lion, who had a jealous wife called Unnadantī, thereafter looked after the jackal and his family.
1. Yena kāmaṁ paṇāmeti dhammo balavataṁ, migī.
Unnadantī vijānāhi: jātaṁ saraṇato bhayan-ti.
The nature of one strong is he dismisses whatever he likes, beast. Unnadantī, know you this: fear has arisen from our refuge.
In this connection, the nature of one strong is he dismisses whatever he likes, normally a strong ruler’s own attendant, in whatever direction he desires, in that direction he dismisses him, drives him away. This is the nature of one strong, this is a lineage characteristic of rulers, therefore if you do not like our dwelling, straight we will drive you away by harming you, thus he speaks explaining what the meaning is.
Beast, he addresses the lion. Because he is the king of animals, the animals are his, therefore beast Lit: possessor of animals. is said.
Unnadantī, he addresses her. Because of the existence of prominent teeth, that is her prominent teeth, she is called Unnadantī.
Know you this: “This is the nature of rulers,” this you must know.
Fear has arisen from my refuge, refuge in the sense of you esablishing support for us, from being near you fear has arisen, therefore we will go to my dwelling place, this is the explanation.
Another method: your beast, the lionness Unnadantī, scares my wife and children, he dismisses whatever he likes, in whatever way he desires to, that he continually dismisses, and annoys, and puts to flight, thus you must know what can be done by us in that place.
The nature of one strong, this is the characteristic of those who are strong, now we will go.
Why? Fear has arisen from our refuge.
2. Api ce pi dubbalo mitto, mittadhammesu tiṭṭhati,
So ñātako ca bandhu ca, so mitto so ca me sakhā,
Dāṭhini mātimaññittho, siṅgālo mama pāṇado ti!
Although he is a weak friend, he is established in friendliness, he is my relative and kin, that friend is a comrade to me, O sharp-fanged one, do not despise him, that jackal preserved my life!
In this connection, although, one meaning of the sound api is support, another meaning is supposition. I don’t think this is expressed well by the commentator, what he means I think is api sometimes has the function of joining words or clauses; and at other times as separating them; so also/and is one meaning, although/even though is another.
In this connection, this is the construction: if a friend is weak, but is established in friendliness, if he is able to remain, he is my relative and kin, he is my friend with a friendly mind, he is a comrade to me, in the position of a comrade.
O sharp-fanged one, do not despise him, madam, lioness endowed with fangs, do not scorn my friends, male or female, for that jackal preserved my life.
last updated: August 2022