Ja 267 The Story about (the Immense) Crab

In the present a landowner goes into the country and is attacked by thieves, but his wife manages to secure his release. The Buddha tells a story of an immense crab who used to kill elephants, and how, when an elephant was once caught by the crab, his mate flattered the crab, and secured her husband’s release, which led to the crab’s destruction.

1. “Siṅgī migo āyatacakkhunetto,
Aṭṭhittaco vārisayo alomo,
Tenābhibhūto kapaṇaṁ rudāmi,
Mā heva maṁ pāṇasamaṁ jaheyyā ti.” [This verse is omitted by accident in the digital transcription of Cst.]

“Hornéd creature having extended eyes, bones for skin, lying in water, hairless, overcome by him I cry wretchedly, you should not abandon me, dear as life.”

In this connection, hornéd creature means a golden creature with horns. There is some ambiguity about how to interpret this, as siṅgī means both golden and horned. With his two claws doing the duty of a horn, because of this he is horned, this is the meaning.

Creature, a crab is meant here by taking all the living beings as a whole.

Having extended eyes, here an eye in the sense that it sees, a guide It seems in English we do not have many useful synonyms for eye, but in Pāḷi there are numerous: eye, (nt.) akkhi, cakkhu, nayana, locana, netta, of which two are used here. in the sense of leading, what are considered extended eyes, his guides, this is having extended eyes, long eyed, this is the meaning.

Having bones doing the duty of skin, this is bones for skin.

Overcome by him, overcome, overwhelmed by that creature having been grabbed and fixed.

I cry wretchedly means having become pitiful I cry, I wail.

You should not abandon me, having met with such a disaster, being like your own life, you should not abandon your dear master.

2. “Ayya na taṁ jahissāmi, kuñjaraṁ saṭṭhihāyanaṁ,
Pathabyā cāturantāya suppiyo hosi me tuvan-ti.”

“Dear sir, I will not abandon you, elephant of sixty years, by the four quarters on the earth you are the one most dear to me.”

In this connection, of sixty years, after sixty years of life, the strength of elephants falls away, I do not abandon him who lost strength, who met with this disaster, do not fear, having come to the ocean in the four directions, through being based on the four quarters of this earth, you are most dear to me.

3. “Ye {2.344} kuḷīrā samuddasmiṁ, Gaṅgāya Yamunāya ca,
Tesaṁ tvaṁ vārijo seṭṭho, muñca rodantiyā patin-ti.”

“Those crabs in the ocean, and in the Ganges and the Yamunā, of these you’re the best born in water, through my cries free my husband.”

This is the meaning: whatever crabs in the ocean, or in the Ganges, or in the Yamunā, of all these the handsomest, the greatest, the best, the supreme is you. Because of this I beg you: free my master through my cries.