Ja 182 The Story about the Entry into Battle

In the present Ven. Nanda is lax in effort, thinking of his former love. The Buddha promises him a reward much greater than his fiancee, and he decides to strive harder. The other monks, though, scorn him for having such lowly ends, and he makes even greater effort and attains Awakening. The Buddha tells a story about an elephant who was scared of war, but when advised by his trainer, won a kingdom.

1. Saṅgāmāvacaro sūro balavā iti vissuto,
Kiṁ nu toraṇam-āsajja paṭikkamasi, kuñjara?

Accustomed to battle, the hero is renowned as being strong, why have you returned after assaulting the gateway, elephant?

2. Omadda khippaṁ palighaṁ, esikāni ca abbaha,
Toraṇāni ca madditvā, khippaṁ pavisa, kuñjarā ti.

Quickly trample down the cross-bar, and you must pull out the pillars, having crushed the gateways, you must enter quickly, O elephant.

In this connection, is renowned, dear, you being present at the fight, having crushed those in battle, from your behaviour you are accustomed to battle, being firm of heart you are a hero, being endowed with power you are strong, so being renowned you are well known, famous.

Assaulted the gateway means arriving at the gateway, what is reckoned as the town gates.

Returned means why have you retreated? What is the reason you turned back? is what is said.

Trample down means trample down, bring low.

You must pull out the pillars, having entered the grounds eight or sixteen cubits to near the town’s gates, standing firm, there are the strong pillars dug in, quickly pull those up, uproot them, this is the order.

Having crushed the gateways, having crushed the doorposts of the town gates.

Enter quickly means enter the town rapidly.

Elephant, he addresses the elephant. I.e. it is a vocative.