Ja 259 The Story about (the Brahmin) Tirīṭavaccha

In the present the king of Kosala gives 1,000 robes to Ven. Ānanda, who then gives 500 to monks in need, and 500 to his attendant monk, who passes them to other novices. The king asks the Buddha if this is proper, and the latter tells a story of how when he was an ascetic named Tirīṭavaccha in a previous life he had saved the king’s life, and had been honoured because of it. The honour was questioned, but the king stood by his decision.

1. Na-y-imassa vijjāmayam-atthi kiñci,
Na bandhavo no pana te sahāyo,
Atha kena vaṇṇena Tirīṭavaccho,
Tedaṇḍiko bhuñjati aggapiṇḍan-ti?

There is nothing done with wisdom in him, he is not your kin or companion, for what reason does Tirīṭavaccha, the one with three sticks, eat the choicest food?

In this connection, there is nothing done with wisdom in him, in this ascetic there is no deed done with wisdom. I take maya here as being added merely to fill the metre, which is noted as the last of the six usages by Dhammapāla in the Vimānavatthu commentary, when explaining this term, called pada-pūraṇa matte.

He is not your kin, kin through friendship, kin through craft-relation, kin through clan, kin through family, he is none of these.

Or your companion, he is not a companion who played together with you in the mud. Perhaps the definition here is meant to indicate one who grew up with you, i.e. a long time friend, rather than, say, a casual companion.

Tirīṭavaccha, this is his name.

The one with three sticks means having taken three sticks in order to make a stand for his waterpot, he wanders. Having these sticks was a sign of being a wanderer, or ascetic.

The choicest food means the best food, endowed with good taste, worthy of a king.

2. Āpāsu me yuddhaparājitassa,
Ekassa katvā vivanasmi ghore,
Pasārayī kicchagatassa pāṇiṁ,
Tenūdatāriṁ dukhasampareto.

In distress, being defeated in war, being alone in an awful desert, he stretched out his hand when I was troubled, by that I escaped torment and suffering.

3. Etassa kiccena idhānupatto,
Vesāyino visayā jīvaloke,
Lābhāraho tāta Tirīṭavaccho,
Dethassa bhogaṁ, yajathañ-ca yaññan-ti.

By him doing his duty I reached here, from death’s realm to the world of the living, Tirīṭavaccha, dear, is worthy to receive, give him wealth, offer him an offering.

In this connection, alone means without a companion. Lit: without a second.

Being means being More literally making compassion, but again we have to translate idiom as well as words, to get the sense. compassionate, giving rise to love.

In an awfu) desert means in a wilderness bereft of water.

Awful means savage.

He stretched out his hand when I was troubled, having bound a rope ladder, descended into a pit, in order to help me, who was afflicted with suffering, he energetically stretched out his hand.

By that I escaped torment and suffering, by that cause I, who was surrounded by suffering, emerged from that pit.

By him doing his duty I reached here, by doing his duty to the ascetic, by the power of this duty being done, I reached here.

From death’s realm, Vesāyī is said to be Yama the god of death, his realm.

To the world of the living means to the human world. Surely continuing in the world of the living having gone to what is known as Yama’s realm, death’s realm, the next world, for this reason from there I again came here, this is what is said.

Worthy to receive means worthy to receive, being suitable to receive the four requisites.

Give him wealth, the wealth that is reckoned as the four requisites, the requisites of an ascetic, that are to be used, give to him.

Offer him an offering, you ministers and city-dwellers, all of you give wealth to him, offer him an offering. Literally a yañña (Skt: yajña) means a sacrifice, but the sacrifice, even in ancient times, meant an offering not just to the gods, but to the worthy persons conducting the ritual. In Buddhism, as always, the act of giving to the worthy person becomes the important part of the action. By giving a gift to him the wealth is to be used by him, the gift-offering to another is an offering. Therefore this is said: give him wealth, offer him an offering.