Ja 273 The Story about (the Biting) Turtle

In the present two persons of high rank are always arguing with each other, and not even the king can prevent them. The Buddha tells a story of how a monkey attacked a turtle and was bitten in return, and how the Bodhisatta persuaded the turtle to let the monkey go.

1. Ko nu uddhitabhatto va, pūrahattho va brāhmaṇo,
Kahaṁ nu bhikkhaṁ acari? Kaṁ saddhaṁ upasaṅkamī ti.

Who is that with a pile of food, like a brahmin with a handful? Where did you wander to almsfood? What funeral did you attend?

Herein, who is that with a pile of food, who is this, like one with a mass of food, one mass of food, like one who grabbed with the hand a bowlful of food, who is this coming, this is the meaning.

Like a brahmin with a handful, like a brahmin with his hands full, who received an invitation to a recital This would be a recital of the Vedas, after which the brahmins would receive gifts. in the month of Kattika, who is this, is said in regard to the monkey.

Where did you go for alms? Dear monkey, in what place today did you go for alms?

What funeral did you attend? Which of the many funeral feasts offered for the departed, which of the many funerals for a person, did you attend? Where was this gift given to you, this is the explanation.

2. Ahaṁ kapismi’ dummedho, anāmāsāni āmasiṁ,
Tvaṁ maṁ mocaya bhaddaṁ te, mutto gaccheyya pabbatan-ti.

I am a foolish monkey, having touched the untouchable, if you release me, bless you, free, I’ll go to the mountain.

In this connection, I am a foolish monkey, bless you, I am a foolish, fickle-minded, monkey.

Having touched the untouchable means having touched that thing which should not be touched.

If you release me, bless you, if you, having sympathy and compassion, release me from this suffering, bless you.

Free, I’ll go to the mountain, I, through your power, freed from this disaster, will go to the mountain, and will never again show myself within your range of sight.

3. Kacchapā Kassapā honti, Koṇḍaññā honti makkaṭā,
Muñca Kassapa Koṇḍaññaṁ, kataṁ methunakaṁ tayā ti.

The Kassapas are turtles, and the Koṇḍaññas are monkeys, Kassapa, free up Koṇḍañña, from having intercourse with you.

This is the meaning: turtles is a name for the Kassapa clan, monkeys are the Koṇḍañña clan, the Kassapas and the Koṇḍaññas are connected through give and take in marriage. Surely you, together with this greedy immoral monkey, you together with this immoral monkey, it is not proper that you have intercourse with someone reckoned as from the same clan, having intercourse is reckoned as an immoral deed, therefore, Kassapa, free up Koṇḍañña.