Ja 289 The Story about Various Desires

In the present the Buddha is growing older and is looking for a permanent attendant to help him. All are willing, but the Buddha turns them down. Ven. Ānanda says he will do it if he is granted eight boons, and he is chosen. The Buddha then tells a story of how a poor brahmin had seen a king escape from thieves and the boons he asked for his family, and his servant Puṇṇikā.

1. Nānāchandā, mahārāja, ekāgāre vasāmase,
Ahaṁ gāmavaraṁ icche, brāhmaṇī ca gavaṁ sataṁ,

Having various desires, great king, we must live in but one house, I would wish for royal village, brahmini for a hundred cows,

2. Putto ca ājaññarathaṁ, kaññā ca maṇikuṇḍalaṁ,
Yā cesā Puṇṇikā jammī udukkhalaṁbhikaṅkhatī ti.

My son for a horse and carriage, daughter for a jewelled earring, while the wretched girl Puṇṇikā expects a mortar and pestle.

In this connection, I would wish means I wish. The optative is here defined with a present indicative.

A hundred cows means a hundred of milk-giving cows.

Daughter means daughter-in-law.

She (untranslated) means while in our house the servant named Puṇṇikā, who is wretched, inferior, expects, desires, a mortar together with a sifting tray and pestle.

3. Brāhmaṇassa {2.429} gāmavaraṁ, brāhmaṇiyā gavaṁ sataṁ,
Puttassa ājaññarathaṁ, kaññāya maṇikuṇḍalaṁ,
Yañ-cetaṁ Puṇṇikaṁ jammiṁ paṭipādethudukkhalan-ti.

To brahmin a royal village, to brahmini a hundred cows, to your son a horse and carriage, to daughter a jewelled earring, and to this wretched girl Puṇṇikā give a mortar and pestle.

In this connection, and to this, to this Puṇṇikā it is said, to this wretch, give, arrange, a mortar.