Ja 231 The Story about the Shoes
In the present Devadatta repudiates the Buddha and becomes his foe, leading to his own destruction. The Buddha tells a story of an elephant trainer and his pupil, and how the latter judged himself of the same worth as the former, until he was shown to have less skill in front of the king.
1. Yathā pi kītā purisassupāhanā
Sukhassa atthāya, dukhaṁ udabbahe,
Ghammābhitattā thalasā papīḷitā,
Tasseva pāde purisassa khādare.
Just as when someone, buying men’s shoes for ease and use, so suffering could be removed, oppressed by the scorching heat on the feet, they chafe at the feet of that person.
2. Evam-eva yo dukkulīno anariyo,
Tumhāka Cst: tammāka, which doesn’t make sense. vijjañ-ca sutañ-ca ādiya,
Tam-eva so tattha sutena khādati,
Anariyo vuccati pānadūpamo ti.
So he of bad family, ignoble, stealing this science and learning of yours, being consumed by his learning right there, the ignoble one is like a bad shoe.
In this connection, oppressed by the scorching heat on the feet, oppressed by the scorching heat on the sole of the feet. Same words, but restated more clearly.
Of that, because of having been bought for ease, strapped on the feet they are the wrong shoes for that person.
They chafe means by causing a wound, they chafe the feet.
Of bad family means of bad birth, a son of a bad family.
Ignoble means being devoid of conscience and concern, a bad person.
Stealing this science and learning of yours, here it should be said he bows down to this and that of yours, he practices, employs this and that craft of yours, this is the meaning, this is actually your teacher’s, therefore yours is said, but for the comfortable arrangement of the verse it is said in short form.
Science means whatever is in the eighteen branches of science. This is the four Vedas (g, Sāma, Yajur and Atharva), and their ancillaries: pronunciation (śikṣa), procedures (for the ritual) (kalpa), linguistics (vyākaraṇa), grammar (nirukti), metre (chandas) and astronomy (jyotiṣa). Then enquiry (mīmāṁsā), reasoning (nyāya), traditions (purāṇa), law (dharmaśāstra); and medicine (āyurveda), martial arts (dhanurveda), theatre (gandharvaveda) and governance (arthaśāstra).
Learning means whatever is scriptural study.
Being consumed by his learning right there, his means being himself consumed. There must be doubt about this interpretation, taṁ is not normally possessive.
He means whoever is of bad family, ignoble, having stolen this science and learning from the teacher, he.
Being consumed by his learning right there, he consumes himself by learning in his presence, this is the meaning. But the commentary says: “Being consumed with that learning right there,” this is another reading. Being consumed by his own learning right there, this is the meaning.
The ignoble one is like a bad shoe, thus the ignoble one is like a bad shoe, like a badly made shoe, is said. Since a badly made shoe chafes a person, so when being consumed by learning he chafes himself by himself. The definition is playing on the various meanings of khādati: chew, bite, eat, chafe, devour and consume. Or, pānadu means pained A meaning found in Sanskrit. by the shoe, having a painful shoe, this is known as the feet being hurt This meaning is established in Sanskrit, but rare in Pāḷi. by the sandal. Therefore he who hurts himself by his learning, because of being hurt by that learning, is said to be ignoble like a bad shoe, like the foot that is hurt by a shoe is said, this is the meaning here.
last updated: August 2022