Ja 240 The Story about (the Unjust King) Mahāpiṅgala

In the present, after attacking the Buddha multiple times, Devadatta is finally swallowed up by the earth and everyone rejoices. The Buddha tells a story of how one vicious king called Piṅgala died and his death was celebrated except by one porter, who feared hell would reject Piṅgala and he might come to life again.

1. Sabbo jano hiṁsito Piṅgalena,
Tasmiṁ mate paccayā vedayanti,
Piyo nu te āsi akaṇhanetto?
Kasmā nŭ tvaṁ rodasi dvārapālā ti?

All people were harassed by Piṅgala, now, because he is dead, they feel delight, what was the one with tawny eyes to you? Why are you crying, watchman of the door?

In this connection, harassed means afflicted in various ways by punishment and fines, and so on.

By Piṅgala means by the tawny-coloured one. Piṅgala seems to have been quite a popular name at the time. Literally it means one who is tawny coloured, or has tawny-coloured eyes, hence the definition here. It seems his two eyes were tawny-flecked, the colour of cats’ eyes, because of this the name Piṅgala was given.

They feel delight means they truly feel delight.

The one with tawny eyes means the one with tawny eyes. Literally a-kaṇha-netta means one with non-black eyes, which is awkward, hence in the translation of the verse I follow the definition given in the commentary here.

Why are you means for what reason are you crying?

2. Na me piyo āsi akaṇhanetto,
Bhāyāmi paccāgamanāya tassa,
Ito gato hiṁseyya Maccurājaṁ,
So hiṁsito āneyya punā idhā ti.

The one with tawny eyes wasn’t dear to me, but his coming back I truly do fear, going from here should he harrass Death’s King, being harrassed he may sent him back here.

3. Daḍḍho vāhasahassehi, sitto ghaṭasatehi so,
Parikkhatā ca sā bhūmi, mā bhāyi, nāgamissatī ti!

He’s burned by thousands of cartloads, cooled by hundreds of water pots, the earth has been dug up, please do not fear, he is not coming back! For reasons that are not clear neither of these verses has a commentary, although they would seem to require a paraphrase at the least! Note that the 3rd verse is extra to the two verses required in this section.

[There is no word commentary to these verses.]