Ja 185 The Story about Discontent
In the present one young brahmin learns the Vedas, but through the worries and occupations of his household life he forgets what he had learned. The Buddha tells a similar story from the past, showing how only a tranquil mind has good recollection.
1. Yathodake āvile appasanne,
Na passatī sippikasambukañ-ca,
Sakkharaṁ vālukaṁ macchagumbaṁ, This and the following line, and the equivalent two lines in the next verse, do not appear to be metrical as they stand, and I can see no easy way to repair the metre. BJT reads: Na passati sippisambukaṁ macchagumbaṁ, followed by Evaṁ āvile hi citte; this doesn’t help the metre either.
Evaṁ āvilamhi citte,
Na passatī attadatthaṁ paratthaṁ.
Just as in agitated and disturbed water, one cannot see oyster shells or other shellfish, pebbles, sand and schools of fish, so in an agitated mind, one does not see one’s own or another’s welfare.
2. Yathodake acche vippasanne,
So passatī sippikasambukañ-ca,
Sakkharaṁ vālukaṁ macchagumbaṁ,
Evaṁ anāvile hi citte,
So passatī attadatthaṁ paratthaṁ.
Just as in transparent and undisturbed water, one can see oysters and also other shellfish, pebbles, sand and schools of fish, so in an unagitated mind, one sees one’s own welfare and another’s welfare.
In this connection, in agitated water means in agitated and muddy water.
Disturbed means water that is agitated and not tranquil.
Oysters and also other shellfish means oysters and shellfish.
Schools of fish means clusters of fish.
So in an agitated mind means so in a mind agitated by lust and so on.
One’s own or another’s welfare, one does not see one’s own welfare, nor another’s welfare, this is the meaning.
One sees means as in an unagitated mind that person sees one’s own welfare and another’s welfare.
last updated: August 2022