a collection of
Buddhist Wisdom Verses

12: Vissāsavaggo 2

Jā 68 Sāketajātakaṁ
Sāketa Town

Faith at First Sight

A couple who were the Bodhisatta’s parents in many previous lives greet him as a son in this life, to the confusion of the monks. The Buddha explains their past relationship.

219. Yasmiṁ mano nivisati, cittaṁ cāpi pasīdati,
In that one with whom his mind is at home, and his heart has devotion,

Adiṭṭhapubbake pose, kāmaṁ tasmim-pi vissase.
(Although) that person is unseen in the past, he should willingly place his trust.

Jā 93 Vissāsabhojanajātakaṁ
Trusting Food

The Danger of Being too Trusting

A lion so scares the cows pasturing nearby that they don't give milk. The herdsman covers with poison a hare-deer the lion is fond of, the lion licks her fondly and dies.

220. Na vissase avissatthe, vissatthe pi na vissase,
Do not trust the untrustworthy, even in the trustworthy put not your trust,

Vissāsā bhayam-anveti sīhaṁ Text: sīhā; plural, where a singular is needed. va migamātukā.
There is danger following trust, like the lion and the hare-deer. Not in PED; SED says: a kind of red-coloured hare like deer; and CPED: a hoofed animal of the size of a cat. Sinh. mīninnā.

Jā 448 Kukkuṭajātakaṁ
The Chicken

Do not Trust the Untrustworthy

A hawk preys on chickens until only the Bodhisatta is left. He tries to lure him out with kind words, but the Bodhisatta resists, not placing his trust in a natural enemy.

221. Nāsmase katapāpamhi, nāsmase alikavādine,
Do not have trust Comm: Tattha nāsmase ti nāssase, ayam-eva vā pāṭho; na vissase ti vuttaṁ hoti. I have never seen this meaning given for assasa before, whether in Pāḷi or Sanskrit, it literally means breath. in one who has done wicked things, do not have trust in one who speaks falsely,

Nāsmas’ attatthapaññamhi, atisante pi nāsmase.
Do not have trust in one wise (only) in his own welfare, do not have trust in one who makes a show of peace. Comm: anto upasame avijjamāne yeva ca bahi upasamadassanena atisante viya paṭicchannakammante pi ... kuhakapuggale; internally peaceful through the conceit of ignorance, or externally looking peaceful, making much of peace, like a deceitful person trying to cover his actions up.

222. Bhavanti heke purisā gopipāsikajātikā,
Some of the people are (as though) descended from thirsty cattle,

Ghasanti maññe mittāni, vācāya na ca kammunā.
They satisfy Lit: eat, consume, devour; but that hardly makes sense here. The comm. gives no help. their friends, I think, with words, but not with their actions.

223. Sukkhañjalī paggahītā, vācāya paḷiguṇṭhitā,
Offering empty Lit: dry (hands); Comm: paggahitatuccha-añjalino. hands in homage, concealing (actions) by their words,

Manussapheggū nāsīde, yasmiṁ natthi kataññutā.
They are worthless men, not to be approached, in whom there is no gratitude.

224. Na hi aññaññacittānaṁ itthīnaṁ purisāna' vā
* Do not have trust or have contact with these sorts of women or men

Nānā ca katvā ChS, Thai: Nānāvikatvā; [Whose minds are fickle] and have undergone different alteration. saṁsaggaṁ tādisam-pi ca nāsmase. Thai: tādisam-pi na vissase; [Do not have] faith or [association with such...]. Similarly twice more below.
Whose minds are fickle Lit: having other-other minds. and have become different (from what they were).

225. Anariyakammaṁ okkantaṁ, Thai: Anariyakammaukkantaṁ; an extraordinary Sanskritisation I've never seen in a Pāḷi text before. athetaṁ sabbaghātinaṁ,
* Do not trust the unreliable, who fall into ignoble deeds,

Nisitaṁ va paṭicchannaṁ, tādisam-pi ca nāsmase.
They (would) murder all (and sundry), their (swords) Comm: nisitakhaggam-iva. are sheathed and covered.

226. Mittarūpenidhekacce Thai: Mittavasenidhekacce; [Do not have trust in such as (only)] dwell [like friends here]. sākhallena acetasā,
* Do not have trust in such as (only) appear to be friends here,

Vividhehi upāyehi, tādisam-pi ca nāsmase.
Having smooth words and various means, but no intention (to act).

227. Āmisaṁ vā dhanaṁ vā pi yattha passati tādiso,
Where such a one sees material gain or wealth,

Dubbhiṁ karoti dummedho tañ-ca hantvāna, gacchati.
After treacherously slaughtering the unintelligent one, he (will) depart.

Jā 521 Tesakuṇajātakaṁ
Three Birds

The Trustworthy One

A childless King adopts three birds as his children, which his courtiers scorn. To prove their worth he asks them for advice in ruling the Kingdom, and this is part of what his ‘daughter’ says.

228. Yo ca taṁ Tāta rakkheyya, dhanaṁ yañ-ceva te siyā,
He who will guard you (well), Father, and will also (guard all) your wealth,

Sūto va rathaṁ saṅgaṇhe, so te kiccāni kāraye.
Like a charioteer his chariot, he will see to all his duties.

229. Susaṅgahitantajano sayaṁ vittaṁ avekkhiya,
He will see to (guarding) one’s wealth, he will treat the people kindly,

Nidhiñ-ca iṇadānañ-ca na kare parapattiyā.
(Regarding) your treasure and debts he will not depend on another.

230. Sayaṁ āyaṁ vayaṁ jaññā, sayaṁ jaññā katākataṁ,
Your profit and loss he should know, and he should know what you have done and not done,

Niggaṇhe niggahārahaṁ, paggaṇhe paggahārahaṁ. These three verses replace three others from the Kuṇālajātakaṁ (Jā 536), which I judge to be offensive.
He should punish those worthy of punishment, and support those worthy of support.

Jā 508 Pañcapaṇḍitajātakaṁ
The Tunnel

Keeping a Secret

The Bodhisatta councils the King not to reveal his secrets to anyone, but others hostile to him say that revealing to a wife, a friend, a brother, a son, or a mother is acceptable. Later the Bodhisatta reveals the secrets that they have told to such, showing their unreliablity. Then he repeats his wise advice.

231. Guyhassa hi guyham-eva sādhu,
The hiding of a secret is good indeed,

Na hi guyhassa pasattham-āvikammaṁ,
The revealing of a secret is not commended,

Anipphādāya saheyya Dhīro,
The Wise One can endure while it is undone,

Nipphannatho yathāsukhaṁ bhaṇeyya.
When done he can speak whatever he likes.

232. Na guyham-atthaṁ vivareyya, rakkheyya naṁ yathā nidhiṁ,
One should not reveal a secret, one should guard it like a buried treasure,

Na hi pātukato sādhu guyho attho pajānatā.
Therefore those who know a secret (surely) do not make it manifest.

233. Thiyā guyhaṁ na saṁseyya amittassa ca Paṇḍito,
The Wise One should not tell a secret to a woman, or to a foe,

Yo cāmisena saṁhīro, hadayattheno ca yo naro.
To one who is overcome by material gain, or to one whose heart is stolen.

234. Guyham-attham-asambuddhaṁ sambodhayati yo naro,
That person who makes known a secret matter that is unknown,

Mantabhedabhayā tassa dāsabhūto titikkhati.
Fearing a broken confidence, (will have to) endure slavery.

235. Yāvanto purisassatthaṁ guyhaṁ jānanti mantinaṁ,
As far as they know a person’s secret and a confidential matter,

Tāvanto tassa ubbegā, tasmā guyhaṁ na vissaje.
That far does he have fear, therefore a secret should not be revealed.

236. Vivicca bhāseyya divā rahassaṁ,
In the day, one should speak a secret in seclusion,

Rattiṁ giraṁ nātivelaṁ pamuñce,
At night one should not let a word out for a long time,

Upassutīkā hi suṇanti mantaṁ,
Eavesdroppers listen for confidences,

Tasmā manto khippam-upeti bhedaṁ.
Therefore a confidence is quickly broken.