Ja 299 The Story about (the Brahmin’s Son) Komāraputta

In the present some monks are quarrelsome and rude, until Ven. Moggallāna frightens them. The Buddha tells a story of frivolous ascetics who used to keep a pet monkey to make them laugh. When away one time a brahmin arrived and taught the monkey to meditate, much to the chagrin of the ascetics.

1. Pure tuvaṁ sīlavataṁ sakāse,
Okkantikaṁ kīḷasi assamamhi,
Karohare makkaṭiyāni makkaṭa,
Na taṁ mayaṁ sīlavataṁ ramāmā ti.

Before your character in our presence, you played repeatedly in this hermitage, monkey, come on, make a monkey’s grimace, we don’t find delight in your character.

In this connection, character in our presence means in the presence of us jokers. Sīla means having character, generally meaning having good character, being virtuous. But then it can be modified, so that one who is keḷisīla has a playful character, so is a joker.

Repeatedly means like an animal repeatedly you play.

Come on, make, here come on is an address.

Monkey’s grimace means what is reckoned as sporting a grimace on the face, distorting the face.

We do not find delight in your character, what was previously your playful nature, playfulness, today we do not delight in, you do not make us delight, what is the reason?

2. Sutā hi mayhaṁ paramā visuddhi,
Komāraputtassa bahussutassa,
Mā dāni maṁ maññi tuvaṁ yathā pure,
Jhānānuyutto viharāmi, āvuso ti.

By me the supreme purity was heard, from the well learnèd Komāraputta, now don’t think of me as previously, I live engaged in meditation, friend.

In this connection, by me is a dative with the meaning of an instrumental. This is a very interesting definition, which I don’t find noted in Wijesekera’s Syntax.

Purity means the purity of absorption.

From the well learnèd, from having many of the meditation object preliminaries and the eight attainments, and heard a lot, and the fact of having penetration, he is well learnèd.

You (untranslated), amongst these he calls on one ascetic, now you do not know me like previously, I am not the same as before, for I have gained a teacher, this is the explanation.

3. Sace pi selasmi vapeyya bījaṁ,
Devo ca vasse na hi taṁ virūḷhe,
Sutā hi te sā paramā visuddhi,
Ārā tuvaṁ makkaṭa jhānabhūmiyā ti.

If you should sew a seed upon a rock, the Deva might rain, but it will not grow. By you the supreme purity was heard, far from you, monkey, is absorption’s ground.

This is the meaning: if you would sew the five kinds of seed on the back of a stone, the Deva might rain thoroughly, but because it is not in a field it will not grow, in the same way the supreme purity of absorption was heard by you, but as you are born in the animal realm, you stand far from absorption’s ground, it is not possible for you to produce absorption, like this they blamed the monkey.