Ja 296 The Story about the Sea

In the present one monk is very greedy, and even talks other monks out of their property so he can increase his. The Buddha tells a story of a cormorant who flew over the sea warning everyone not to use it up, until driven away by a Sea Devatā.

1. Ko nāyaṁ loṇatoyasmiṁ samantā paridhāvati,
Macche makare ca vāreti, ūmīsu ca vihaññatī ti?

Who is it that runs about all over this salt water, fending off both the fish and sharks, and harassing the waves?

2. Anantapāyī sakuṇo atitto ti, disāsuto,
Samuddaṁ pātum-icchāmi, sāgaraṁ saritaṁpatin-ti.

Being an endless drinker, a dissatisfied bird, famed abroad, I desire to drink the sea, the ocean and the lord of rivers.

This is the meaning: I desire to drink this endless ocean, because of that I am known as an endless drinker, because of a bird endowed with unfulfilled, great desire, though dissatisfied I am famed, renowned, famous abroad. This whole sea, which is a mine of beautiful treasures, or, because it was dug by Sāgara, because the ocean is the master of the rivers, I desire to drink the lord of rivers.

3. So ayaṁ hāyati ceva pūrate ca mahodadhi,
Nāssa nāyati pītanto, apeyyo kira sāgaro ti.

The great ocean dwindles away and is filled up again, the end of its drinking’s not known, the ocean, it seems, is undrinkable.

In this connection, dwindles away and, the dwindling away of the water, at the time of drawing back, at the time of withdrawing, it refills.

The end of its drinking’s not known, even if the whole world would drink of the great sea, nevertheless, “Because this much water was drunk,” still the end of it is not known.

It seems, is undrinkable, it seems it was not possible, even after throwing out the water, to drink the whole ocean.