Ja 209 The Story about the Chicken
In the present one monk is very clever at taking care of himself. When the Buddha hears of it, he tells about a previous life in which the monk had been a bird who took good care to avoid being caught by a hunter.
1. Diṭṭhā mayā vane rukkhā, assakaṇṇā vibhīṭakā,
Na tāni evaṁ sakkanti yathā tvaṁ rukkha’ sakkasi.
I saw many trees in the woods, like sal trees and myrobalan, but these trees do not walk around like this tree of yours walks around.
This is the meaning: dear hunter, in this wood many kinds of trees I have seen previously, like sal trees and myrobalan, but these trees, unlike Yathā seems to take on negative meaning here, or maybe this is an idiom that is acceptable in Pāḷi but not in English. In either case a contrast is being made between the majority of trees and this one, which is not behaving as expected. yours, which walks around, goes around, travelling from here to there, do not walk around, do not go around, do not wander around.
2. Purāṇakukkuṭo ayaṁ, bhetvā pañjaram-āgato,
Kusalo vālapāsānaṁ apakkamati bhāsatī ti.
This old chicken has departed, having broken out of the cage, the skilful one, departing away from those horse hair snares, speaks out.
In this connection, the skilful one, departing away from those horse hair snares, from snares made out of horse hair, the skilful one, having not given himself into bondage, departs away and speaks out, and having spoken, he flees.
last updated: August 2022