Ja 177 The Story about the Ebony Tree

In the present the Buddha’s wisdom is being praised. He tells a story of how, in the olden days, he had calmed a trapped troop of monkeys he was leading, until an escape could be had from the predicament they were in.

1. Dhanuhatthakalāpehi, nettiṁsavaradhāribhi,
Samantā parikiṇṇamha, kathaṁ mokkho bhavissatī ti?

They stand there with quivers in hand, and bows, and bearing noble blades, we are surrounded on all sides, how will there be freedom for us?

In this connection, with quivers in hand, and bows, with quivers and bows in hand, having taken up bows and quivers of arrows, while standing there, this is the meaning.

And bearing noble blades, blades are said to be swords, bearing supreme swords, this is the meaning.

We are surrounded means we are surrounded. Synonym.

How means using by what means will there be freedom for us?

2. Appeva bahukiccānaṁ, attho jāyetha koci naṁ,
Atthi rukkhassa acchinnaṁ, khajjathañ-ñeva tindukan-ti.

Perhaps, to those with many duties, some benefit may arise, there is some not cut off the tree, eat the fruit of the ebony.

In this connection, perhaps, to those people with many duties, some other benefit may rise up, this is the meaning here.

There is some not cut off the tree, there is much fruit on this tree that is not cut off by pulling or plucking, still standing there.

Eat the fruit of the ebony, eat the ebony fruit. As long as there is some benefit for you, eat that much, we will know our time to strike.