Ja 1 Apaṇṇakajātaka
The Story about what is Unquestionable

A Pāli and English line by line (interlinear) version of the first Jātaka story, including the word commentary, which has never been translated before.

edited and translated by
Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
(December 2021)




This is a complete translation of the first story in the Jātaka commentary, and includes a translation of the word commentary, a section that was omitted in all cases by the Cowell group of translators in the standard English translation. The text is more or less as in the Burmese tradition, and published on the Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana Tipiṭaka 4.0. I have modified the punctuation and capitalisation.

The word commentary, which discusses the words in the verses of the Jātakas only, is an important part of the Jātaka Commentary, and comprises about 20% of the length of the work, but remains largely unknown owing to its omission from translations.

As will be seen below it often has important discussions of the meanings of the Jātaka verse(s), and, as I show in one of the footnotes, can also reveal information about the state of the Jātaka story prior to its present form, which was probably finalised in the 5th or 6th centuries CE.

In this case the word commentary discusses some words as though they applied to the story about the Bodhisatta, but in the Jātaka as we receive it the words are not used in that story, but only in the story about the foolish caravan merchant. This seems to imply that the story had changed from the time of the word commentary, and the compiling of the rest of the commentary.

The word commentary is also interesting in that it quotes nearly the whole of the Apaṇṇakasutta (AN 3.16) and shows how the teaching in that discourse is related to the Jātaka story. There are further quotations from the canon in a number of places in the commentary, which are brought in to illustrate the connection between the story and the teaching in the Nikāyas.

The commentary here presents the classical form of a Jātaka: first there is a story of the present, which leads up to the telling of the story of the past by the Buddha, which is the Jātaka proper. In this case the verse occurs in the conclusion which is outside of the story of the past, and is set at the time of the Buddha after he had Awakened.

What I call the conclusion (pariyosāna) is sometimes called the connection (samodhāna) in other works on the subject. There are no section headings in the commentary, of course. That, however, is an inadequate term, as it often does much more that state the connection between the characters in the present and past stories, and may, as here, include the verse, a summary of what further teachings were given, and the effects the teachings had, as well as identifying the characters.

This section includes the verse itself. Many times in the Jātakas the verse(s) occur within the story of the past, but fairly often the verse(s) will be spoken by the Buddha as a kind of summary of the story, or as moral reflection on the story, and occur in the conclusion.

The verse is then followed by the Word Commentary, which in translation is around 1,500 words long. This is then followed by a resumption of the conclusion, in which the connection between the characters in the story and characters contemporary with the Buddha is made clear. Note that these characters do not necessarily appear in the Introduction, it is enough for them to be people living in the Buddha’s present day. In the first and third Jātakas, for instance, we see Devadatta identified as one of the main characters in the story, even though he is not mentioned in either Introduction.

In what follows I have distinguished the different parts of the Jātaka by text colour. The story of the present and the conclusion, which all take place at the time of the Buddha, are given in dark red text; the story of the past in dark blue text; the word commentary is in purple coloured text.

Throughout quotations from the canon are given in black text. I have occasionally reconstructed these to make the meaning and the illustration clearer. All such reconstructions are marked by being placed in italic text.


I am very grateful to Ven Dr Gyanabodhi who went through a draft of the translation of the word commentary and made a number of useful comments, which has improved it considerably; and also to Dr Ari Ubeysekara who read the whole translation and made a number of corrections.

Ānandajoti Bhikkhu
December, 2021


In the present 500 friends of Anāthapiṇḍika convert to Buddhism, but later fall away. The Buddha reproves them for failing in their refuge, and tells a story of a wise and a foolish caravan merchant in the past. The foolish one listened to Yakkhas who led him astray, and he lost all his men and merchandise; the wise one safely guided his caravan across the desert.

The Bodhisatta = the wise caravan merchant (paṇḍitasatthavāhaputta),
the Buddha’s disciples = the wise caravan merchant’s followers (paṇḍitasatthavāhaputtaparisa),
Devadatta = the foolish caravan merchant (bālasatthavāhaputta),
Devadatta’s followers = his followers.

Past Compare: DN 23 Pāyāsisutta [PTS 2.342].

Keywords: Caution, Prudence, Devas.

The Story of the Present

Imaṁ {1.95} tāva Apaṇṇakadhammadesanaṁ
This Dhamma teaching on the Unquestionable

Bhagavā Sāvatthiṁ upanissāya Jetavanamahāvihāre viharanto kathesi.
the Fortunate One taught when in the vicinity of Sāvatthi, while living in the Great Monastery at Jeta’s Wood.

Kaṁ pana ārabbha ayaṁ kathā samuṭṭhitā ti?
But referring to what did the teaching arise?

Seṭṭhissa sahāyake pañcasate titthiyasāvake.
The wealthy man’s five hundred friends, who were disciples of the sectarians.

Ekasmiñ-hi divase Anāthapiṇḍiko seṭṭhi
One day the wealthy man Anāthapiṇḍika

attano sahāyake pañcasate aññatitthiyasāvake ādāya, We see here a familiar construction in Pāḷi, where a series of absolutives (ādāya ... gāhāpetvā ... vanditvā ... pūjetvā ... vissajjetvā ... vajjetvā) are stated (in this case there are six), meaning having (done this), having (done that), having (done something else) etc. before we get to a finite verb. English cannot bear this construction and we must adjust the translation to suit the idiom.
took his friends, the five hundred disciples of the outside sectarians,

bahuṁ mālāgandhavilepanañ-ceva,
and having taken up a great deal of garlands, incense, ointments,

sappitelamadhuphāṇitavatthacchādanāni ca gāhāpetvā
and also ghee, oil, honey, molasses, and robecloth,

Jetavanaṁ gantvā Bhagavantaṁ vanditvā,
he went to Jeta’s Wood, and paid respects to the Fortunate One,

gandhamālādīhi pūjetvā,
and worshipped him with incense, garlands and so on,

bhesajjāni ceva vatthāni ca bhikkhusaṅghassa vissajjetvā,
and distributed the medicines and robecloth to the monastic Saṅgha,

cha nisajjādose vajjetvā, ekamantaṁ nisīdi.
and having put aside the six faults in sitting, he sat down on one side.

Te pi aññatitthiyasāvakā, Tathāgataṁ vanditvā,
Also those disciples of the outside sectarians, having paid respects to the Realised One,

Satthu puṇṇacandasassirikaṁ mukhaṁ,
while gazing Translating olokayamānā from near the end of the sentence, 3 lines down. upon the face of the Teacher, which was glorious, like the full moon,

and adorned with the signs and characteristics (of a Buddha),

byāmappabhāparikkhittaṁ brahmakāyaṁ āveḷāveḷā,
having a supreme body, encircled by a radiant halo,

yamakayamakā hutvā niccharantiyo ghanabuddharasmiyo ca olokayamānā,
that emitted in pairs of dense rays from the Buddha,

Anāthapiṇḍikassa samīpe yeva nisīdiṁsu.
they sat down near to Anāthapiṇḍika.

Atha nesaṁ Satthā Manosilātale sīhanādaṁ nadanto taruṇasīho viya,
Then the Teacher, roaring a lion’s roar, like a young lion on the Red Arsenic Valley,

gajjanto pāvussakamegho viya ca,
like a rain cloud thundering,

ākāsagaṅgaṁ otārento viya ca, {1.96}
like one bringing down the river in the sky,

ratanadāmaṁ ganthento viya ca,
like one binding a wreath of jewels,

aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgatena savanīyena kamanīyena brahmassarena,
with a supreme tone that is pleasant, worth hearing, and endowed with eight qualities, Defined in DN 18 Janavasabhasutta, as: “vissaṭṭho ca viññeyyo ca mañju ca savanīyo ca bindu ca avisārī ca gambhīro ca ninnādī ca,” “distinct, intelligible, charming, worth hearing, rich, concise, deep and sonorous.” Same at MN 91 Brahmāyusutta.

nānānayavicittaṁ Madhuradhammakathaṁ kathesi.
taught the sweet Dhamma teaching that has manifold and diverse meanings.

Te Satthu Dhammadesanaṁ sutvā,
Having heard that Dhamma teaching,

pasannacittā uṭṭhāya, Dasabalaṁ vanditvā,
they established confidence in their hearts, paid respects to the One with Ten Powers,

aññatitthiyasaraṇaṁ bhinditvā,
broke off their refuge in the outside sectarians,

Buddhaṁ saraṇaṁ agamaṁsu.
and went for refuge to the Buddha.

Te tato paṭṭhāya niccakālaṁ
From there on they ceaselessly

Anāthapiṇḍikena saddhiṁ gandhamālādihatthā vihāraṁ gantvā
went to the monastery together with Anāthapiṇḍika, with incense, garlands and so on in their hands,

Dhammaṁ suṇanti, dānaṁ denti,
and listened to the Dhamma, gave gifts,

sīlaṁ rakkhanti, Uposathakammaṁ karonti.
protected their virtuous practices, and maintained the Uposatha observance.

Atha Bhagavā Sāvatthito punad-eva Rājagahaṁ agamāsi.
Now the Fortunate One went again from Sāvatthi to Rājagaha.

Te Tathāgatassa gatakāle, taṁ saraṇaṁ bhinditvā,
As soon as the Realised One had gone, they broke off their refuge,

puna aññatitthiyasaraṇaṁ gantvā,
went back to refuge in the outside sectarians,

attano mūlaṭṭhāne yeva patiṭṭhitā.
and re-established themselves in their original state.

Bhagavā pi sattaṭṭha māse vītināmetvā, puna Jetavanam-eva agamāsi.
After seven or eight months had passed the Fortunate One came again to Jeta’s Wood.

Anāthapiṇḍiko puna pi te ādāya Satthu santikaṁ gantvā,
Then again did Anāthapiṇḍika take them into the presence of the Teacher,

Satthāraṁ gandhamālādīhi pūjetvā, vanditvā, ekamantaṁ nisīdi.
and after worshipping the Teacher with incense, garlands and so on, and paying respects, he sat down on one side.

Te pi Bhagavantaṁ vanditvā ekamantaṁ nisīdiṁsu.
They also paid respects and sat down on one side.

Atha nesaṁ Tathāgate cārikaṁ pakkante gahitasaraṇaṁ bhinditvā
Then he informed the Fortunate One Translating Bhagavato ārocesi 2 lines down. how, when the Realised One had departed on his journey, they had broken off their refuge,

puna aññatitthiyasaraṇam-eva gahetvā
gone back to refuge in the outside sectarians,

mūle patiṭṭhitabhāvaṁ Bhagavato ārocesi.
and re-established themselves in their original state.

Bhagavā aparimitakappakoṭiyo nirantaraṁ,
The Fortunate One had continually, throughout a myriad of measureless aeons,

maintained the splendour of right living and speaking,

dibbagandhagandhitaṁ, nānāgandhapūritaṁ,
being, like the fragrance of the deities, full of manifold fragrance,

vivaranto viya ratanakaraṇḍakaṁ,
like one revealing a casket of jewels,

mukhapadumaṁ vivaritvā, madhurassaraṁ nicchārento,
having opened his lotus mouth, speaking with the essence of sweetness,

“Saccaṁ kira tumhe upāsakā tīṇi saraṇāni bhinditvā,
he asked: “Is it true that you lay followers broke off the three refuges,

aññatitthiyasaraṇaṁ gatā?” ti pucchi.
and went back to refuge in the outside sectarians?”

Atha tehi paṭicchādetuṁ asakkontehi: “Saccaṁ Bhagavā” ti vutte.
Then they, being unable to conceal it, said: “It is true, Fortunate One.”

Satthā: “Upāsakā heṭṭhā avīciṁ upari bhavaggaṁ paricchedaṁ katvā,
The Teacher said: “Lay followers, within the limits of the unending hell below and the heights of existence above,

tiriyaṁ aparimāṇāsu lokadhātūsu,
and across the measureless world-elements,

sīlādīhi guṇehi Buddhena sadiso nāma natthi, kuto adhikataro” ti.
there is nothing (even) similar to the practices and virtues and so on (taught) by the Buddha, so how can (anything) exceed it?

“Yāvatā, SN 45.139 Tathāgatasutta, AN 4.34 Aggappasādasutta. bhikkhave, sattā
“Monastics, to the extent there are beings

Apadā vā dvipadā vā catuppadā vā bahuppadā vā,
Without feet, with two feet, with four feet, with many feet,

Tathāgato tesaṁ aggam-akkhāyati...”
the Realised One is declared the best of them...”

“Yaṁ kiñci vittaṁ Khp 6; Snp 2.1 Ratanasutta. idha vā huraṁ vā
“Whatever riches there are - here or elsewhere

Saggesu vā What is in italics, is not quoted directly in the Jātaka commentary, but is needed to make the quotation clearer. - yaṁ ratanaṁ paṇītaṁ
Or in the heavens - that excellent treasure

Na no samaṁ atthi Tathāgatena...”
Is not equal unto the Realised One...”

“Aggato ve pasannānaṁ AN 4.34; Iti 90 Aggappasādasutta. aggaṁ Dhammaṁ vijānataṁ,
“They have confidence in the best, understanding the best Dhamma,

Agge Buddhe pasannānaṁ, dakkhiṇeyye anuttare.” ti-ādīhi
Having confidence in the Buddha who is best, who is supremely worthy of gifts.” and so on.

Suttehi pakāsite ratanattayaguṇe pakāsetvā,
He explained (it) with these discourses, and having explained the virtue of the three jewels,

“Evaṁ uttamaguṇehi samannāgataṁ,
he said: Translating āha, 7 lines below. “Thus, being endowed with the ultimate virtues,

ratanattayaṁ saraṇaṁ gatā,
and having gone to the three jewels for refuge,

upāsakā vā upāsikā vā nirayādīsu nibbattakā nāma natthi,
laymen and laywomen are never reborn in hell and so forth,

apāyanibbattito pana muccitvā,
are freed from rebirth in the downfall,

Devaloke uppajjitvā,
and having been reborn in the Deva world,

mahāsampattiṁ anubhonti.
they achieve great good fortune.

Tasmā tumhehi evarūpaṁ saraṇaṁ bhinditvā
Therefore those who have broken off such refuges

aññatitthiyasaraṇaṁ gacchantehi, ayuttaṁ katan”-ti āha.
and gone for refuge with the outside sectarians, have done something unsuitable.”

Ettha ca tīṇi ratanāni mokkhavasena uttamavasena saraṇagatānaṁ
Here, for those going for refuge in the three jewels, which are concerned with liberation, concerned with the ultimate,

apāyesu nibbattiyā abhāvadīpanatthaṁ,
to explain the benefit that they do not get reborn in the downfall,

imāni suttāni dassetabbāni: {1.97}
these discourses should be shown:

“Ye keci Buddhaṁ saraṇaṁ gatāse, cf. DN 20, Mahāsamayasuttanta; SN 1.1.37, Samayasutta, where only the first verse is given, the other two being extrapolated.
“Whoever has gone to the Buddha for refuge,

Na te gamissanti apāyabhūmiṁ.
They do not go to a state of loss.

Pahāya mānusaṁ dehaṁ,
Having abandoned the human body,

Devakāyaṁ paripūressanti.
They fill up the hosts of the Devas.

Ye keci Dhammaṁ saraṇaṁ gatāse,
Whoever has gone to the Dhamma for refuge,

Na te gamissanti apāyabhūmiṁ;
They do not go to a state of loss.

Pahāya mānusaṁ dehaṁ,
Having abandoned the human body,

Devakāyaṁ paripūressanti.
They fill up the hosts of the Devas.

Ye keci Saṅghaṁ saraṇaṁ gatāse,
Whoever has gone to the Saṅgha for refuge,

Na te gamissanti apāyabhūmiṁ;
They do not go to a state of loss.

Pahāya mānusaṁ dehaṁ,
Having abandoned the human body,

Devakāyaṁ paripūressanti.”
They fill up the hosts of the Devas.”

“Bahuṁ ve saraṇaṁ Dhp 188-192. yanti pabbatāni vanāni ca
“Many people shaken by fear go for refuge

Ārāmarukkhacetyāni, manussā bhayatajjitā.
To woods and mountains, to tree shrines in pleasure parks.

Netaṁ kho saraṇaṁ khemaṁ, netaṁ saraṇam-uttamaṁ,
That is not a secure refuge, that is not the ultimate refuge,

Netaṁ saraṇam-āgamma sabbadukkhā pamuccati.
That is not the refuge to come to that liberates from all suffering.

Yo ca Buddhañ-ca Dhammañ-ca Saṅghañ-ca saraṇaṁ gato,
Whoever has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Saṅgha,

Cattāri ariyasaccāni sammappaññāya passati:
And who sees with right wisdom the four noble truths:

Dukkhaṁ dukkhasamuppādaṁ dukkhassa ca atikkamaṁ,
Suffering, arising of suffering, and the overcoming of suffering,

Ariyañ-caṭṭhaṅgikaṁ maggaṁ dukkhūpasamagāminaṁ.
The eightfold noble path leading to the stilling of suffering.

Etaṁ kho saraṇaṁ khemaṁ, etaṁ saraṇam-uttamaṁ,
That is a secure refuge, that is the ultimate refuge,

Etaṁ saraṇam-āgamma sabbadukkhā pamuccatī.” ti
That is the refuge to come to that liberates from all suffering.”

Na kevalañ-ca nesaṁ Satthā ettakaṁ yeva Dhammaṁ desesi, api ca kho:
The Teacher did not complete his Dhamma teaching when he had got this far, but also said:

“Upāsakā, Buddhānussatikammaṭṭhānaṁ nāma,
“Lay followers, what is called meditation on the recollection of the Buddha,

Dhammānussatikammaṭṭhānaṁ nāma,
meditation on the recollection of the Dhamma,

Saṅghānussatikammaṭṭhānaṁ nāma,
meditation on the recollection of the Saṅgha,

sotāpattimaggaṁ deti, sotāpattiphalaṁ deti,
gives the path of Stream-Entry, gives the fruit of Stream-Entry,

sakadāgāmimaggaṁ deti, sakadāgāmiphalaṁ deti,
gives the path of Once-Returning, gives the fruit of Once-Returning,

anāgāmimaggaṁ deti, anāgāmiphalaṁ deti,
gives the path of Non-Returning, gives the fruit of Non-Returning,

Arahattamaggaṁ deti, Arahattaphalaṁ detī.” ti
gives the path of Worthiness, gives the fruit of Worthiness.”

Evam-ādīhi pi nayehi, Dhammaṁ desetvā:
In ways like this and so on, having taught the Dhamma,

“Evarūpaṁ nāma saraṇaṁ bhindantehi ayuttaṁ tumhehi katan”-ti āha.
he said: “You, through breaking off the refuge, have done something unsuitable.”

Ettha ca Buddhānussatikammaṭṭhānādīnaṁ sotāpattimaggādippadānaṁ
Here, the meditation on the recollection of the Buddha and so on, the path of Stream-Entry and so on (can be taught thus):

“Ekadhammo, bhikkhave, bhāvito bahulīkato,
“There is one thing, AN 1.296. monastics, when developed, made much off,

ekantanibbidāya virāgāya nirodhāya upasamāya,
lead to complete disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to peace,

abhiññāya Sambodhāya Nibbānāya saṁvattati.
to deep knowledge, to Complete Awakening, and to Nibbāna.

Katamo ekadhammo?
What is that one thing?

Buddhānussatī.” ti
The recollection of the Buddha.”

evam-ādīhi suttehi dīpetabbaṁ.
as illustrated through the discourses.

Evaṁ Bhagavā nānappakārehi upāsake ovaditvā:
Thus the Fortunate One advised the lay followers in various ways,

“Upāsakā pubbe pi manussā
and said: “Lay followers, those who in the past

asaraṇaṁ saraṇan-ti takkaggāhena viraddhaggāhena gahetvā
grasped hold of what was not a refuge as a refuge, by grasping hold of foolishness, by grasping at what was failing,

Amanussapariggahite kantāre,
were captured by Amanussas Amanussa literally means non-human beings. Yakkhas have the ability to appear as humans, disguising the fact they are Yakkhas, therefore the word came to be defined as: Yakkhas disguised in human form. in the wilderness,

yakkhabhakkhā hutvā mahāvināsaṁ pattā.
eaten by Yakkhas, and came to complete destruction.

Apaṇṇakaggāhaṁ pana ekaṁsikaggāhaṁ,
While those people who took hold of the unquestionable, took hold of what was sure,

aviraddhaggāhaṁ gahitamanussā,
took hold of what does not fail,

tasmiṁ yeva kantāre sotthibhāvaṁ pattā.” ti
and attained safety in that wilderness.”

Vatvā, tuṇhī ahosi.
Having said that, he fell silent.

Atha kho Anāthapiṇḍiko gahapati uṭṭhāyāsanā,
Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika rose from his seat,

Bhagavantaṁ vanditvā abhitthavitvā,
paid respects and applauded the Fortunate One,

sirasmiṁ añjaliṁ patiṭṭhāpetvā evam-āha:
made a salutation with his hands on his head, and said this:

“Bhante, idāni tāva imesaṁ upāsakānaṁ,
“Venerable sir, how these lay followers,

uttamasaraṇaṁ bhinditvā, takkaggahaṇaṁ,
broke off the ultimate refuge, grasping hold of foolishness,

amhākaṁ pākaṭaṁ.
this is clear to us.

Pubbe pana Amanussapariggahite kantāre takkikānaṁ vināso,
But before, how the foolish were captured by Amanussas in the wilderness and destroyed,

apaṇṇakaggāhaṁ gahitamanussānañ-ca sotthibhāvo,
and how those people who took hold of the unquestionable (attained) safety,

amhākaṁ paṭicchanno. {1.98}
that is concealed for us.

Tumhākam-eva pākaṭo sādhu vata no Bhagavā,
Make it clear to us, Fortunate One,

ākāse puṇṇacandaṁ uṭṭhāpento viya,
like the full moon rising in the sky,

imaṁ kāraṇaṁ pākaṭaṁ karotū” ti.
make this thing clear to us.”

Atha Bhagavā: “Mayā kho, gahapati,
Then the Fortunate One said: “Householder,

aparimitakālaṁ dasa pāramiyo pūretvā,
through immeasureable time I fulfilled the ten perfections,

lokassa kaṅkhacchedanattham-eva,
in order to cut off doubt in the world,

sabbaññutaññāṇaṁ paṭividdhaṁ.
and penetrated the knowledge of omniscience.

Sīhavasāya suvaṇṇanāḷiṁ pūrento viya,
Like one filling a golden tube with lion’s marrow,

sakkaccaṁ sotaṁ odahitvā suṇohī.” ti
give ear and listen carefully.”

Seṭṭhino satuppādaṁ janetvā,
Having made the wealthy man’s mindfulness arise,

himagabbhaṁ padāletvā,
he cleaved through the snow-store,

puṇṇacandaṁ nīharanto viya,
like one who driving away (the brightness of) the full moon,

bhavantarena paṭicchannakāraṇaṁ pākaṭaṁ akāsi.
and made clear the deeds that had been concealed by the gap between existences.

The Story of the Past

Atīte, Kāsiraṭṭhe Bārāṇasinagare, Brahmadatto nāma rājā ahosi.
In the past, in Benares, in the Kāsi kingdom, there was a king called Brahmadatta.

Tadā Bodhisatto satthavāhakule paṭisandhiṁ gahetvā.
At that time the Bodhisatta took rebirth in a family of merchants.

Dasamāsaccayena mātukucchito nikkhamitvā, anupubbena vayappatto,
After exiting from his mother’s womb after ten months, and by and by maturing,

pañcahi sakaṭasatehi vaṇijjaṁ karonto vicarati,
he travelled around as a caravan merchant with five hundred carts,

so kadāci pubbantato aparantaṁ gacchati,
going sometimes from east to west,

kadāci aparantato pubbantaṁ.
and sometimes from west to east.

Bārāṇasiyaṁ yeva añño pi satthavāhaputto atthi,
In Benares there was another caravan merchant’s son,

bālo abyatto anupāyakusalo.
who was a fool, incompetent, who lacked skilful ways.

Tadā Bodhisatto Bārāṇasito mahagghaṁ bhaṇḍaṁ gahetvā,
Then the Bodhisatta, after taking valuable wares from Benares,

pañca sakaṭasatāni pūretvā, gamanasajjāni katvā ṭhapesi.
and filling the five hundred carts, set them up ready for the journey.

So pi bālasatthavāhaputto tatheva,
The foolish caravan merchant’s son also,

pañca sakaṭasatāni pūretvā, gamanasajjāni katvā ṭhapesi.
filling up five hundred carts, set them up for the journey.

Tadā Bodhisatto cintesi:
Then the Bodhisatta thought:

“Sace ayaṁ bālasatthavāhaputto mayā saddhiṁ yeva gamissati,
“If this foolish caravan merchant’s son goes together with me,

sakaṭasahasse ekato maggaṁ gacchante,
and the one thousand carts travel along the same path,

maggo pi nappahossati,
the path will not be able (to bear it),

manussānaṁ dārudakādīni pi, balibaddānaṁ tiṇāni pi,
and wood and water for the people, and grass for the oxen,

dullabhāni bhavissanti,
will be difficult to find,

etena vā mayā vā purato gantuṁ vaṭṭatī.” ti
either he or I have to go first.”

So taṁ pakkosāpetvā etam-atthaṁ ārocetvā:
He called him and informed him of this,

“Dvīhi pi amhehi ekato gantuṁ na sakkā,
saying: “The two of us are not able to travel together,

kiṁ tvaṁ purato gamissasi udāhu pacchato?” ti āha.
will you go first or come later?”

So cintesi: “Mayi purato gacchante bahū ānisaṁsā,
(The foolish caravan merchant) thought: “If I go ahead there will be many advantages,

maggena abhinneneva gamissāmi,
I will go along a path that is not broken up,

goṇā anāmaṭṭhatiṇaṁ khādissanti,
the oxen will eat untouched grass,

manussānaṁ anāmaṭṭhaṁ sūpeyyapaṇṇaṁ bhavissati,
the men will have curry leaves that are untouched,

pasannaṁ udakaṁ bhavissati,
there will be clear water,

yathāruciṁ agghaṁ ṭhapetvā, bhaṇḍaṁ vikkiṇissāmī” ti.
and I will be able to fix the price as I like, and sell my wares.”

So: “Ahaṁ, samma, purato gamissāmī” ti āha. {1.99}
He said: “My dear, I will go first.”

Bodhisatto pi pacchato gamane bahū ānisaṁse addasa.
The Bodhisatta saw many advantages of going on the journey later.

Evaṁ hissa ahosi:
This is how he thought:

“Purato gacchantā magge visamaṭṭhānaṁ samaṁ karissanti,
“Those traveling first along the path will make the rough places smooth,

ahaṁ tehi gatamaggena gamissāmi.
and I will go along the path that has been well-travelled.

Purato gatehi balibaddehi pariṇatathaddhatiṇe khādite,
The oxen of those going first will chew off the hard, old grass,

mama goṇā puna uṭṭhitāni madhuratiṇāni khādissanti.
but my oxen will eat the fresh grass that springs up.

Gahitapaṇṇaṭṭhānato uṭṭhitaṁ manussānaṁ
In that place where the old leaves have been taken my men

sūpeyyapaṇṇaṁ madhuraṁ bhavissati.
will find fresh curry leaves.

Anudake ṭhāne āvāṭaṁ khanitvā ete udakaṁ uppādessanti,
Having dug a well in the places where there is no water they will find water,

tehi katesu āvāṭesu mayaṁ udakaṁ pivissāma.
where they have dug wells we shall drink the water.

Agghaṭṭhapanaṁ nāma manussānaṁ jīvitā voropanasadisaṁ,
Fixing the price is like depriving people of life,

ahaṁ pacchato gantvā etehi ṭhapitagghena bhaṇḍaṁ vikkiṇissāmī” ti.
coming along later I will sell my wares at the price already fixed.”

Atha so ettake ānisaṁse disvā:
Then seeing these advantages,

“Samma, tvaṁ purato gacchāhī,” ti āha.
he said: “My dear, you can go first.”

“Sādhu, sammā,” ti bālasatthavāho sakaṭāni yojetvā,
“Very well, my dear,” and the foolish caravan merchant, after yoking his carts up,

nikkhanto anupubbena manussāvāsaṁ atikkamitvā,
departed gradually and went beyond human habitations,

kantāramukhaṁ pāpuṇi.
and reached the outskirts of the wilderness.

Kantāraṁ nāma:
Wildernesses are known as of these five kinds: Translating pañcavidhaṁ at the end of the sentence.

corakantāraṁ, vāḷakantāraṁ, nirudakakantāraṁ,
a wilderness having thieves, a wilderness having wild animals, a wilderness lacking water,

Amanussakantāraṁ, appabhakkhakantāran-ti pañcavidhaṁ.
a wilderness having Amanussas, a wilderness having little food.

Tattha corehi adhiṭṭhitamaggo, corakantāraṁ nāma.
Herein, when the path is beset by thieves, that is called a wilderness having thieves.

Sīhādīhi adhiṭṭhitamaggo, vāḷakantāraṁ nāma.
When the path is beset by lions and so on, that is called a wilderness having wild animals.

Yattha nhāyituṁ vā pātuṁ vā udakaṁ natthi,
Wherever there is no water for bathing or for drinking,

idaṁ nirudakakantāraṁ nāma.
that is called a wilderness lacking water.

Amanussādhiṭṭhitaṁ, Amanussakantāraṁ nāma.
When beset by Amanussas, that is called a wilderness having Amanussas.

Mūlakhādanīyādivirahitaṁ appabhakkhakantāraṁ nāma.
Being deprived of roots to eat and so on that is called a wilderness having little food.

Imasmiṁ pañcavidhe kantāre,
Amongst these five kinds of wildernesses,

taṁ kantāraṁ nirudakakantārañ-ceva, Amanussakantārañ-ca.
this wilderness was a wilderness lacking water, and a wilderness having Amanussas.

Tasmā so bālasatthavāhaputto,
Therefore the foolish caravan merchant,

sakaṭesu mahantamahantā cāṭiyo ṭhapetvā, udakassa pūrāpetvā,
having placed very large pots on his carts, and filled them with water,

saṭṭhiyojanikaṁ kantāraṁ paṭipajji.
set off across the sixty league wilderness.

Athassa kantāramajjhaṁ gatakāle kantāre adhivatthayakkho
Then when he had reached the centre of the wilderness the Yakkha who lived there,

“Imehi manussehi gahitaṁ udakaṁ chaḍḍāpetvā,
thought: “I will make these men throw away the water they are carrying,

dubbale katvā sabbeva ne khādissāmī.” ti
and when they are weakened, I will eat them all.”

Sabbasetataruṇabalibaddayuttaṁ {1.100} manoramaṁ yānakaṁ māpetvā,
So he made a delightful vehicle yoked by two all-white oxen,

dhanukalāpaphalakāvudhahatthehi dasahi dvādasahi Amanussehi parivuto,
surrounded by ten or twelve Amanussas who had swords, shields and bows and quivers in their hands,

uppalakumudāni piḷandhitvā, allakeso allavattho,
and ornamented with water-lilies and lotuses, having wet hair, and wet clothes,

issarapuriso viya tasmiṁ yānake nisīditvā,
like a mighty lord sitting right there in his vehicle,

kaddamamakkhitehi cakkehi, paṭipathaṁ agamāsi.
which had wheels smeared with mud, he came along the path.

Parivāra-Amanussāpissa purato ca pacchato ca gacchantā,
Surrounded by Amanussas before and behind they went along,

allakesā allavatthā, uppalakumudamālā piḷandhitvā,
having wet hair, and wet clothes, ornamented with water-lilies and lotuses,

padumapuṇḍarīkakalāpe gahetvā, bhisamuḷālāni khādantā,
taking bunches of various lotuses, chewing on lotus stalks,

udakabindūhi ceva kalalehi ca paggharantehi agamaṁsu.
they proceeded dripping with mud and dripping with water.

Satthavāhā ca nāma yadā dhuravāto vāyati,
Now caravan merchants, whenever the wind blows from the fore,

tadā yānake nisīditvā, upaṭṭhākaparivutā,
having sat down in their vehicle, being surrounded by attendants,

rajaṁ pariharantā purato gacchanti.
go along at the front evading the dust.

Yadā pacchato vāto vāyati,
When the wind blows from behind,

tadā teneva nayena pacchato gacchanti.
then they go along at the rear in the same way.

Tadā pana dhuravāto ahosi,
But in this case the wind was from the fore,

tasmā so satthavāhaputto purato agamāsi.
therefore the caravan merchant’s son went along at the front.

Yakkho taṁ āgacchantaṁ disvā,
The Yakkha, seeing him coming,

attano yānakaṁ maggā okkamāpetvā,
made his own vehicle descend from the path,

“Kahaṁ gacchathā?” ti tena saddhiṁ paṭisanthāraṁ akāsi.
and made a kindly greeting to him, saying: “Where are you going?”

Satthavāho pi attano yānakaṁ maggā okkamāpetvā,
The caravan merchant also made his own vehicle descend from the path,

sakaṭānaṁ gamanokāsaṁ datvā,
and gave way for his carts to proceed,

ekamante ṭhito taṁ Yakkhaṁ avoca:
and while stood on one side he said this to the Yakkha:

“Bho, amhe tāva Bārāṇasito āgacchāma.
“Sir, we are on our way from Benares.

Tumhe pana uppalakumudāni piḷandhitvā,
But you, ornamented with water-lilies and lotuses,

padumapuṇḍarīkahatthā, bhisamuḷālāni khādantā
with various lotuses in your hands, chewing on lotus stalks,

kaddamamakkhitā udakabindūhi paggharantehi āgacchatha.
proceed dripping with mud and dripping with water.

Kiṁ nu kho tumhehi āgatamagge Devo vassati,
Did the Deva rain down as you came along the road,

uppalādisañchannāni vā sarāni atthī,” ti pucchi.
and were there lakes covered over with lotuses?” he asked.

Yakkho tassa kathaṁ sutvā,
Hearing this, the Yakkha

“Samma, kiṁ nāmetaṁ kathesi?
said: “Friend, what did you say?

Esā nīlavanarāji paññāyati tato paṭṭhāya
It is well known that starting from the line (of trees) in the dark forest

sakalaṁ araññaṁ ekodakaṁ,
the whole forest is (full of) water,

nibaddhaṁ Devo vassati, kandarā pūrā,
and the Deva constantly rains down, and the valleys are full (of water),

tasmiṁ tasmiṁ ṭhāne padumādisañchannāni sarāni atthī.” ti
and right there in that place there are lakes covered over with lotuses.”

Vatvā, paṭipāṭiyā gacchantesu {1.101} sakaṭesu,
Having said that, while the carts proceeded along the path,

“Imāni sakaṭāni ādāya kahaṁ gacchathā?” ti pucchi.
he asked: “What do you carry in these carts that are going along?”

“Asukajanapadaṁ nāmā.” ti
“Such and such (wares) from the country.”

“Imasmiṁ cimasmiñ-ca sakaṭe kiṁ nāma bhaṇḍan?”-ti
“And what wares do you have in this cart?”

“Asukañ-ca asukañ-cā” ti.
“Such and such,” he said.

“Pacchato āgacchantaṁ sakaṭaṁ, ativiya garukaṁ hutvā, āgacchati,
“In the cart that goes along at the rear, which seems to be weighed down,

etasmiṁ kiṁ bhaṇḍan”-ti?
what wares are there?”

“Udakaṁ etthā” ti.
“There is water.”

“Parato tāva udakaṁ ānentehi vo manāpaṁ kataṁ,
“You did well to bring water from afar,

ito paṭṭhāya pana udakena kiccaṁ natthi,
but beginning from here there is no need for water,

purato bahu udakaṁ – cāṭiyo bhinditvā,
in front there is a lot of water – break the pots,

udakaṁ chaḍḍetvā, sukhena gacchathā,” ti āha.
throw away the water, and proceed with ease,” he said.

Evañ-ca pana vatvā:
But having said that,

“Tumhe gacchatha, amhākaṁ papañco hotī,” ti thokaṁ gantvā,
he said: “You should go, we have delayed (enough),” and after going a little (further),

tesaṁ adassanaṁ patvā, attano Yakkhanagaram-eva agamāsi.
when out of sight of them, he went back to his own Yakkha city.

So pi bālasatthavāho attano bālatāya Yakkhassa vacanaṁ gahetvā,
That foolish caravan merchant, because of his folly, accepted the Yakkha’s word,

cāṭiyo bhindāpetvā,
broke his pots,

pasatamattam-pi udakaṁ anavasesetvā sabbaṁ chaḍḍāpetvā.
and threw away the rest, every last handful of water.

Sakaṭāni pājāpesi, purato appamattakam-pi udakaṁ nāhosi,
He drove his carts onwards, but in front there was not even a little water,

manussā pānīyaṁ alabhantā kilamiṁsu.
and his men grew weary from not finding drinking water.

Te yāva sūriyatthaṅgamanā gantvā, sakaṭāni mocetvā,
As the sun was going down, they unyoked the carts,

parivaṭṭakena ṭhapetvā, goṇe cakkesu bandhiṁsu.
placed them in a circle, binding the oxen to the wheels.

Neva goṇānaṁ udakaṁ ahosi,
For the oxen there was no water,

na manussānaṁ yāgubhattaṁ vā,
neither could the men make rice gruel,

dubbalamanussā tattha tattha nipajjitvā sayiṁsu.
and the weakened men lay down right there and fell asleep.

Rattibhāgasamanantare Yakkhā Yakkhanagarato āgantvā,
Later that night the Yakkhas having left their Yakkha city,

sabbe pi goṇe ca manusse ca jīvitakkhayaṁ pāpetvā,
fell upon and cut off the life of all those men and oxen,

maṁsaṁ khāditvā, aṭṭhīni avasesetvā agamaṁsu.
ate their flesh, and went back leaving the bones.

Evam-ekaṁ bālasatthavāhaputtaṁ nissāya,
In this way, because of the foolish caravan merchant,

sabbe pi te vināsaṁ pāpuṇiṁsu,
they all came to destruction,

hatthaṭṭhikādīni disāvidisāsu vippakiṇṇāni ahesuṁ,
and the bones of their hands and so on were scattered in every direction,

pañca sakaṭasatāni yathāpūritāneva aṭṭhaṁsu.
while the five hundred carts which were so full were left standing.

Bodhisatto pi kho,
Then the Bodhisatta,

bālasatthavāhaputtassa nikkhantadivasato māsaḍḍhamāsaṁ vītināmetvā,
a month and a half after the day the foolish caravan merchant had departed,

pañcahi sakaṭasatehi nagarā nikkhamma,
left with five hundred carts from the city,

anupubbena kantāramukhaṁ pāpuṇi.
and gradually reached the outskirts of the wilderness.

So tattha udakacāṭiyo pūretvā, bahuṁ udakaṁ ādāya,
There he filled the water pots, taking along a great deal of water,

khandhāvāre bheriṁ carāpetvā manusse, sannipātetvā, {1.102} evam-āha:
and summoned his men in the camp with a drum, and when they gathered round, he said this:

“Tumhe maṁ anāpucchitvā pasatamattam-pi udakaṁ mā vaḷañjayittha.
“Without asking me (first) let no one use even a handful of water.

Kantāre visarukkhā nāma honti,
In this wilderness there are poisonous trees,

pattaṁ vā pupphaṁ vā phalaṁ vā tumhehi
amongst you let no one eat even a leaf, a flower or a fruit

pure akhāditapubbaṁ maṁ anāpucchitvā mā khāditthā.” ti
which has not been eaten before, without asking me (first).”

Evaṁ manussānaṁ ovādaṁ datvā,
Having advised his men in this way,

pañcahi sakaṭasatehi kantāraṁ paṭipajji.
they entered the wilderness with their five hundred carts.

Tasmiṁ kantāramajjhaṁ sampatte so Yakkho purimanayeneva,
When they got to the centre of the wilderness, the Yakkha, just like earlier,

Bodhisattassa paṭipathe attānaṁ dassesi.
showed himself on the Bodhisatta’s path.

Bodhisatto taṁ disvāva aññāsi:
The Bodhisatta, having seen him, knew:

“Imasmiṁ kantāre udakaṁ natthi,
“In this wilderness there is no water,

nirudakakantāro nāmesa.
it is known as a wilderness lacking water.

Ayañ-ca nibbhayo rattanetto,
This fearless (person) with red eyes,

chāyā pissa na paññāyati,
whose shadow cannot be discerned,

nissaṁsayaṁ iminā purato gato bālasatthavāhaputto
without a doubt (persuaded) the foolish caravan merchant who went in front

sabbaṁ udakaṁ chaḍḍāpetvā,
to throw away all his water,

kilametvā sapariso khādito bhavissati –
and when his company were weary he will have eaten them –

mayhaṁ pana paṇḍitabhāvaṁ upāyakosallaṁ na jānāti maññe.” ti
but he doesn’t think about or know my wisdom and skilful ways.”

Tato naṁ āha: “Gacchatha tumhe, mayaṁ vāṇijā nāma,
Therefore he said to him: “You should go away, we are tradesmen,

aññaṁ udakaṁ adisvā gahita-udakaṁ na chaḍḍema.
and without seeing water we do not throw away the water we have.

Diṭṭhaṭṭhāne pana chaḍḍetvā,
Having seen such a place we will throw it away,

sakaṭāni sallahukāni katvā gamissāmā.” ti
and will proceed after lightening our carts.”

Yakkho thokaṁ gantvā,
The Yakkha, after going a little (further),

adassanaṁ upagamma attano Yakkhanagaram-eva gato.
when he was out of sight, returned to his own Yakkha city.

Yakkhe pana gate, manussā Bodhisattaṁ āhaṁsu:
When the Yakkhas had gone, his men said to the Bodhisatta:

“Ayya, ete manussā ‘Esā nīlavanarāji paññāyati,
“Master, these men said: ‘It is well known that starting from the line (of trees) in the dark forest

tato paṭṭhāya nibaddhaṁ Devo vassatī.’ ti
the whole forest is (full of) water, and the Deva constantly rains down.’

Vatvā uppalakumudamālādhārino,
Having said that, (we saw) they had garlands of water-lilies and lotuses,

padumapuṇḍarīkakalāpe ādāya, bhisamuḷālāni khādantā,
carried bunches of various lotuses, and were chewing on lotus stalks,

allavatthā allakesā udakabindūhi paggharantehi āgatā.
had wet hair, and wet clothes, and proceeded along dripping with mud and dripping with water.

Udakaṁ chaḍḍetvā sallahukehi sakaṭehi khippaṁ gacchāmā.” ti
Let us throw away the water, and we can go quickly with lightened carts.”

Bodhisatto tesaṁ kathaṁ sutvā sakaṭāni ṭhapāpetvā,
The Bodhisatta, having heard their talk, stopped the carts,

sabbe manusse sannipātāpetvā:
gathered the people around him,

“Tumhehi imasmiṁ kantāre saro vā pokkharaṇī vā atthī ti
and asked: “In this wilderness have you previously heard of there being

kassaci sutapubban”-ti pucchi.
any lakes or ponds?”

“Na, Ayya, sutapubban.”-ti
“No, Master, we never heard before.”

“Nirudakakantāro nāma eso, idāni ekacce manussā
They said: “This is known as a waterless wilderness, but just now some men

‘Etāya nīlavanarājiyā purato Devo vassatī,’ ” ti vadanti.
said: ‘In front the Deva is raining from the line (of trees) in the dark forest.’ ”

“Vuṭṭhivāto nāma kittakaṁ ṭhānaṁ {1.103} vāyatī?” ti
“How far does a shower storm blow?”

“Yojanamattaṁ, Ayyā.” ti
“At least a league, Master.”

“Kacci pana vo ekassāpi sarīraṁ vuṭṭhivāto paharatī?” ti
“But has anyone felt a shower storm on their bodies?”

“Natthi Ayyā.” ti
“No, Master.”

“Meghasīsaṁ nāma kittake ṭhāne paññāyatī?” ti
“How far can the top of a cloud be discerned on the plains?”

“Tiyojanamatte Ayyā.” ti
“Three leagues, Master.”

“Atthi pana vo kenaci ekam-pi meghasīsaṁ diṭṭhan?”-ti
“But has anyone seen the top of the clouds?”

“Natthi, Ayyā.” ti
“No, Master.”

“Vijjulatā nāma kittake ṭhāne paññāyatī?” ti
“How far can lightning be discerned on the plains?”

“Catuppañcayojanamatte, Ayyā” ti.
“At least four or five leagues, Master.”

“Atthi pana vo kenaci vijjulatobhāso diṭṭho?” ti
“But has anyone seen the lightning flash?”

“Natthi, Ayyā.” ti
“No, Master.”

“Meghasaddo nāma kittake ṭhāne suyyatī?” ti
“How far can thunder be heard on the plains?”

“Ekadviyojanamatte, Ayyā.” ti
“At least one or two leagues, Master.”

“Atthi pana vo kenaci meghasaddo suto?” ti
“But has anyone heard the thunder?”

“Natthi, Ayyā.” ti
“No, Master.”

“Na ete manussā, Yakkhā ete,
“These were not men, they were Yakkhas,

amhe udakaṁ chaḍḍāpetvā,
having made us throw away the water,

dubbale katvā, khāditukāmā āgatā bhavissanti.
after weakening us, they will return with the desire to eat us.

Purato gato bālasatthavāhaputto na upāyakusalo.
The foolish caravan merchant who went before does not have skilful ways.

Addhā so etehi udakaṁ chaḍḍāpetvā kilametvā khādito bhavissati,
Having thrown his water away along the journey, and become wearied, he will have been eaten,

pañca sakaṭasatāni yathāpūritāneva ṭhitāni bhavissanti,
while the five hundred carts which were so full were left standing,

ajja mayaṁ tāni passissāma.”
today we will see them.”

“Pasatamattam-pi udakaṁ achaḍḍetvā, sīghasīghaṁ pājethā” ti pājāpesi.
And he pressed (them) saying: “Without throwing away even a handful of water, press on with all speed.”

So gacchanto yathāpūritāneva pañca sakaṭasatāni,
Going along the way he saw the five hundred carts which were so full,

goṇamanussānañ-ca hatthaṭṭhikādīni disāvidisāsu vippakiṇṇāni disvā,
and the hand bones and so on of the men and oxen scattered in every direction,

sakaṭāni mocāpetvā, sakaṭaparivaṭṭakena khandhāvāraṁ bandhāpetvā,
and having unyoked his carts, bound them in a circle in the camp,

kālasseva manusse ca goṇe ca sāyamāsabhattaṁ bhojāpetvā,
at the right time he had his men and oxen fed,

manussānaṁ majjhe goṇe nipajjāpetvā,
he had the oxen lay down in the middle of the men,

sayaṁ balanāyako hutvā,
and with the leaders of his force,

khaggahattho tiyāmarattiṁ ārakkhaṁ gahetvā,
he took up the guard through the three watches of the night with sword in hand,

ṭhitako va aruṇaṁ uṭṭhāpesi.
and stood waiting for the dawn.

Punadivase pana pāto va sabbakiccāni niṭṭhāpetvā,
But on the following day in the morning having completed everything that needed to be done,

goṇe bhojetvā dubbalasakaṭāni chaḍḍāpetvā, thirāni gāhāpetvā,
he fed his oxen, discarded the weak carts, took the strong ones,

appagghaṁ bhaṇḍaṁ chaḍḍāpetvā,
discarded the wares of little worth,

mahagghaṁ bhaṇḍaṁ āropāpetvā
and mounted the wares of great worth,

yathādhippetaṁ ṭhānaṁ gantvā,
and went on to his intended destination,

diguṇatiguṇena mūlena bhaṇḍaṁ vikkiṇitvā,
and sold his wares at two or three times their base value,

sabbaṁ parisaṁ ādāya puna attano nagaram-eva agamāsi.
and took his whole company back again to his own city.

Pariyosāna 1
The Conclusion 1

Satthā {1.104} imaṁ Dhammakathaṁ kathetvā:
Having told this Dhamma story the Teacher said:

“Evaṁ, gahapati, pubbe takkaggāhagāhino mahāvināsaṁ pattā,
“Thus, householder, those who grasped at foolishness came to complete destruction,

apaṇṇakaggāhagāhino pana Amanussānaṁ hatthato muccitvā,
but those who took hold of what is unquestionable, escaped from the hands of the Amanussas,

sotthinā icchitaṭṭhānaṁ gantvā,
went back to the places they had hoped for in safety,

puna sakaṭṭhānam-eva paccāgamiṁsū.” ti
and returned once more to their own abodes.”

Vatvā, dve pi vatthūni ghaṭetvā imissā Apaṇṇakadhammadesanāya.
Having said this he connected the two stories together in this Unquestionable Dhamma teaching.

Abhisambuddho hutvā, imaṁ gātham-āha:
After becoming Fully Awakened, he spoke this verse:

Gāthā ca Padavaṇṇanā ca
The Verse and Word Commentary

“Apaṇṇakaṁ ṭhānam-eke, dutiyaṁ āhu takkikā,
“Some have an unquestionable basis, (while) the foolish speak of another way,

Etad-aññāya medhāvī, taṁ gaṇhe yad-apaṇṇakan.”-ti
The intelligent, understanding it, takes hold of what is unquestionable.”

Tattha apaṇṇakan-ti ekaṁsikaṁ aviraddhaṁ niyyānikaṁ.
Herein unquestionable I base this translation on Weber Ind. Str. iii.150 & Kuhn, Beitr. p. 53, as reported in PED: *a-praśna-ka. In the word commentary italics indicate the word of the verse being commented on. means being sure, unfailing, leading to deliverance.

Ṭhānan-ti kāraṇaṁ.
Basis means cause.

Kāraṇañ-hi yasmā tad-āyattavuttitāya phalaṁ tiṭṭhati nāma, tasmā:
Whatever has a cause has a fruit as a dependent condition, therefore:

Ṭhānan-ti vuccati.
Basis is said.

“Ṭhānañ-ca ṭhānato, aṭṭhānañ-ca aṭṭhānato,” ti ādīsu, Vibh. 809.
“A basis comes from having a basis, lacking a basis comes from lacking a basis,” and so on,

cassa payogo veditabbo.
this is how its application should be seen.

Iti: Apaṇṇakaṁ ṭhānan, -ti padadvayenāpi,
Thus with the two words: Unquestionable basis,

yaṁ ekantahitasukhāvahattā paṇḍitehi paṭipannaṁ,
whatever absolutely brings benefit and happiness when practiced by the wise,

ekaṁsikakāraṇaṁ, aviraddhakāraṇaṁ,
that is a cause for being sure, a cause for unfailing,

niyyānikakāraṇaṁ – taṁ idan-ti dīpeti.
a cause that leads to deliverance – that explains it.

Ayam-ettha saṅkhepo pabhedato,
Herein, this is the summary from the linguistic analysis,

pana tīṇi saraṇagamanāni, pañca sīlāni,
but the three goings for refuge, the five virtuous practices,

dasa sīlāni, pātimokkhasaṁvaro, indriyasaṁvaro,
the ten virtuous practices, the restraint according to the regulations, the restraint of the senses,

ājīvapārisuddhi, paccayapaṭisevanaṁ, sabbam-pi catupārisuddhisīlaṁ,
the purity of livelihood, the (correct) use of the requisites, every virtuous practice in the four purities,

indriyesu guttadvāratā, bhojane mattaññutā, jāgariyānuyogo,
the guarding of the sense doors, knowing the measure in food, being devoted to wakefulness,

jhānaṁ, vipassanā, abhiññā, samāpatti, ariyamaggo, ariyaphalaṁ –
the absorptions, insights, deep knowledges, attainments, noble path, noble fruit –

sabbam-petaṁ apaṇṇakaṭṭhānaṁ, apaṇṇakapaṭipadā,
all of these form an unquestionable basis, an unquestionable practice,

niyyānikapaṭipadā, ti attho.
a practice that leads out, is the meaning.

Yasmā ca pana niyyānikapaṭipadāya etaṁ nāmaṁ,
Wherefore what is called the practice that leads out,

tasmā yeva Bhagavā Apaṇṇakapaṭipadaṁ dassento imaṁ suttam-āha:
that the Fortunate One shows in this discourse about the Unquestionable Practice:

Apaṇṇakasutta AN. 3.16, Apaṇṇakasutta.
The Discourse about the Unquestionable

“Tīhi, bhikkhave, dhammehi samannāgato,
“Endowed with three things, monastics,

bhikkhu apaṇṇakapaṭipadaṁ paṭipanno hoti,
a monastic’s practice is an unquestionable practice,

yoni cassa āraddhā hoti āsavānaṁ khayāya.
that is the reason for his success in the destruction of the pollutants.

Katamehi tīhi?
What three?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu indriyesu guttadvāro hoti,
Here, monastics, a monastic is one who guards the doors of the senses,

bhojane mattaññū hoti, jāgariyaṁ anuyutto hoti.
who knows the measure in food, and is devoted to wakefulness.

1. Kathañ-ca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu indriyesu guttadvāro hoti?
1. And how, monastics, is a monastic one who guards the doors of the senses?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu cakkhunā rūpaṁ disvā, na nimittaggāhī hoti
Here, monastics, a monastic, having seen a form with the eye, does not grasp at the sign,

nānubyañjanaggāhī, What follows in italics, is not quoted directly in the Jātaka commentary, but has to be inferred from the abbreviation markers. yatvādhikaraṇamenaṁ:
nor does he grasp at the details, for this reason:

cakkhundriyaṁ asaṁvutaṁ viharantaṁ,
were he to live with the eye sense faculty unrestrained,

abhijjhādomanassā pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṁ.
wicked, unskilful thoughts like greed and aversion might flood in.

Tassa saṁvarāya paṭipajjati, rakkhati cakkhundriyaṁ,
He therefore practices restraint, guards the eye sense faculty,

cakkhundriye saṁvaraṁ āpajjati.
and achieves the restraint of the eye sense faculty.

Sotena saddaṁ sutvā,
Having heard a sound with the ear,

na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī, yatvādhikaraṇamenaṁ:
he does not grasp at the sign, nor does he grasp at the details, for this reason:

sotindriyaṁ asaṁvutaṁ viharantaṁ,
were he to live with the ear sense faculty unrestrained,

abhijjhādomanassā pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṁ.
wicked, unskilful thoughts like greed and aversion might flood in.

Tassa saṁvarāya paṭipajjati, rakkhati sotindriyaṁ,
He therefore practices restraint, guards the ear sense faculty,

sotindriye saṁvaraṁ āpajjati.
and achieves the restraint of the ear sense faculty.

Ghānena gandhaṁ ghāyitvā,
Having smelt an odour with the nose,

na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī, yatvādhikaraṇamenaṁ:
he does not grasp at the sign, nor does he grasp at the details, for this reason:

ghānindriyaṁ asaṁvutaṁ viharantaṁ,
were he to live with the nose sense faculty unrestrained,

abhijjhādomanassā pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṁ.
wicked, unskilful thoughts like greed and aversion might flood in.

Tassa saṁvarāya paṭipajjati, rakkhati ghānindriyaṁ,
He therefore practices restraint, guards the nose sense faculty,

ghānindriye saṁvaraṁ āpajjati.
and achieves the restraint of the nose sense faculty.

Jivhāya rasaṁ sāyitvā,
Having savoured a taste with the tongue,

na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī, yatvādhikaraṇamenaṁ:
he does not grasp at the sign, nor does he grasp at the details, for this reason:

jivhindriyaṁ asaṁvutaṁ viharantaṁ,
were he to live with the tongue sense faculty unrestrained,

abhijjhādomanassā pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṁ.
wicked, unskilful thoughts like greed and aversion might flood in.

Tassa saṁvarāya paṭipajjati, rakkhati jivhindriyaṁ,
He therefore practices restraint, guards the tongue sense faculty,

jivhindriye saṁvaraṁ āpajjati.
and achieves the restraint of the tongue sense faculty.

Kāyena phoṭṭhabbaṁ phusitvā,
Having felt a touch with the body,

na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī, yatvādhikaraṇamenaṁ:
he does not grasp at the sign, nor does he grasp at the details, for this reason:

kāyindriyaṁ asaṁvutaṁ viharantaṁ,
were he to live with the body sense faculty unrestrained,

abhijjhādomanassā pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṁ.
wicked, unskilful thoughts like greed and aversion might flood in.

Tassa saṁvarāya paṭipajjati, rakkhati kāyindriyaṁ,
He therefore practices restraint, guards the body sense faculty,

kāyindriye saṁvaraṁ āpajjati.
and achieves the restraint of the body sense faculty.

Manasā dhammaṁ viññāya,
Having cognised a thought with the mind,

na nimittaggāhī hoti nānubyañjanaggāhī, yatvādhikaraṇamenaṁ:
he does not grasp at the sign, nor does he grasp at the details, for this reason:

manindriyaṁ asaṁvutaṁ viharantaṁ,
were he to live with the mind sense faculty unrestrained,

abhijjhādomanassā pāpakā akusalā dhammā anvāssaveyyuṁ.
wicked, unskilful thoughts like greed and aversion might flood in.

Tassa saṁvarāya paṭipajjati, rakkhati manindriyaṁ,
He therefore practices restraint, guards the mind sense faculty,

manindriye saṁvaraṁ āpajjati.
and achieves the restraint of the mind sense faculty.

Evaṁ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu indriyesu guttadvāro hoti.
Thus, monastics, a monastic is one who guards the doors of the senses.

2. Kathañ-ca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu bhojane mattaññū hoti?
2. And how, monastics, is a monastic one who knows the measure in food?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu paṭisaṅkhā yoniso āhāraṁ āhāreti:
Here, monastics, a monastic takes his food after making reflection:

“Neva davāya na madāya na maṇḍanāya,
“Not for sport, not for showing off, not for ornament,

na vibhūsanāya, yāvad-eva imassa kāyassa ṭhitiyā yāpanāya,
not for adornment, but only to maintain this body, and to carry on,

vihiṁsūparatiyā brahmacariyānuggahāya,
to inhibit annoyance, and to assist in the spiritual life,

iti purāṇañ-ca vedanaṁ paṭihaṅkhāmi,
and so I will get rid of any old feeling,

navañ-ca vedanaṁ na uppādessāmi,
and not produce any new feeling,

yātrā ca me bhavissati, anavajjatā ca phāsuvihāro cā” ti.
and I will carry on, being blameless, and living comfortably.”

Evaṁ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu bhojane mattaññū hoti.
Thus, monastics, a monastic takes his food after making reflection.

3. Kathañ-ca, bhikkhave, bhikkhu jāgariyaṁ anuyutto hoti?
3. And how, monastics, is a monastic one who is devoted to wakefulness?

Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu divasaṁ, caṅkamena nisajjāya,
Here, monastics, a monastic is one who by day, whether walking or sitting,

āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi cittaṁ parisodheti.
purifies his mind from thoughts which are obstacles.

Rattiyā paṭhamaṁ yāmaṁ, caṅkamena nisajjāya,
In the first watch of the night, whether walking or sitting,

āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi cittaṁ parisodheti.
he purifies his mind from thoughts which are obstacles.

Rattiyā majjhimaṁ yāmaṁ,
In the middle watch of the night,

dakkhiṇena passena sīhaseyyaṁ kappeti, pāde pādaṁ accādhāya,
he lies down in the lion posture on his right side, placing one foot on top of the other,

sato sampajāno uṭṭhānasaññaṁ manasi karitvā.
with mindfulness and full awareness, having fixed his mind on the time for waking.

Rattiyā pacchimaṁ yāmaṁ, paccuṭṭhāya, caṅkamena nisajjāya
In the last watch of the night, having risen, whether walking or sitting,

āvaraṇīyehi dhammehi cittaṁ parisodheti.
he purifies his mind from thoughts which are obstacles.

Evaṁ kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhu jāgariyaṁ anuyutto hotī” ti.
Thus, monastics, a monastic is one who is devoted to wakefulness.”

Imasmiñ-cā pi sutte tayo va dhammā vuttā.
These are the three things spoken of in the discourse.

Ayaṁ pana apaṇṇakapaṭipadā yāva Arahattaphalaṁ labbhateva. {1.105}
This is the unquestionable practice that leads to the attainment of the fruit of Worthiness.

Tattha Arahattaphalam pi, phalasamāpattivihārassa ceva,
Herein, the fruit of Worthiness, for one dwelling in fruit attainment,

anupādāparinibbānassa ca, paṭipadā yeva nāma hoti.
for one having complete emancipation without attachment, this is known as the practice.

Eke ti ekacce paṇḍitamanussā.
Some means some wise people.

Tattha, kiñcāpi: “Asukā nāmā,” ti niyamo natthi,
Herein, although: “Being called such and such,” is not certain,

idaṁ pana saparisaṁ Bodhisattaṁ yeva sandhāya vuttanti, veditabbaṁ.
but when referring to the Bodhisatta and his company it is said, this is how it should be understood. In the story as we have it, this is not said of the Bodhisatta and his company, but of the foolish merchant’s wares. Perhaps the story has changed since the Word Commentary was written, and originally it had a repetition of the discussion between the Yakkha and the foolish merchant, which is now abbreviated in the encounter with the Bodhisatta.

Dutiyaṁ āhu takkikā ti.
The foolish speak of another way.

Dutiyan-ti paṭhamato,
Another way means (a way) apart from the first,

apaṇṇakaṭṭhānato, niyyānikakāraṇato,
apart from the unquestionable basis, apart from the cause for leading to deliverance,

dutiyaṁ takkaggāhakāraṇaṁ, aniyyānikakāraṇaṁ.
those who grasp at foolishness have another way as a cause, which is not a cause that leads to deliverance.

Āhu takkikā, ti ettha pana saddhiṁ purimapadena ayaṁ yojanā:
The foolish speak, herein this is the interpetation together with the first line:

apaṇṇakaṭṭhānaṁ ekaṁsikakāraṇaṁ
the unquestionable basis, the cause for being sure,

aviraddhakāraṇaṁ niyyānikakāraṇaṁ
the cause for unfailing, the cause for leading to deliverance,

eke Bodhisattappamukhā paṇḍitamanussā gaṇhiṁsu.
some wise people, with the Bodhisatta at the head, take hold of (it).

Ye pana bālasatthavāhaputtappamukhā takkikā āhu,
But the foolish say, with the foolish son of the caravan leader at the head,

te dutiyaṁ sāparādhaṁ, anekaṁsikaṭṭhānaṁ,
they have another and offending way, that is not a cause for being sure,

viraddhakāraṇaṁ, aniyyānikakāraṇaṁ – aggahesuṁ.
that is a cause for failing, that is not a cause that leads to deliverance – (and this) they grasp at.

Tesu ye apaṇṇakaṭṭhānaṁ aggahesuṁ, te sukkapaṭipadaṁ paṭipannā.
For those who take hold of an unquestionable basis, their practice is a pure practice.

Ye dutiyaṁ: “Purato bhavitabbaṁ udakenā,” ti
They who have another way say: “In front there should be water,”

takkaggāhasaṅkhātaṁ aniyyānikakāraṇaṁ aggahesuṁ.
the so-called fools grasp at a cause that does not lead to deliverance.

Te kaṇhapaṭipadaṁ paṭipannā.
They practice a dark practice.

Tattha, sukkapaṭipadā aparihānipaṭipadā,
Herein, the pure practice is a practice that does not regress,

kaṇhapaṭipadā parihānipaṭipadā.
the dark practice is a practice that does regress.

Tasmā ye sukkapaṭipadaṁ paṭipannā,
Therefore those who practice a pure practice,

te aparihīnā sotthibhāvaṁ pattā.
do not regress and they attain safety.

Ye pana kaṇhapaṭipadaṁ paṭipannā,
Those who practice a dark path,

te parihīnā anayabyasanaṁ āpannā ti.
regress and fall into misfortune.

Imam-atthaṁ Bhagavā Anāthapiṇḍikassa gahapatino vatvā,
This was the Fortunate One’s meaning when speaking to the householder Anāthapiṇḍika,

uttari idam-āha:
and further he said this:

“Etad-aññāya medhāvī, taṁ gaṇhe yad-apaṇṇakan” -ti.
“The intelligent one, understanding it, takes hold of what is unquestionable.”

Tattha etad-aññāya medhāvī ti.
Herein, the intelligent one, understanding it.

Medhā, ti laddhanāmāya,
The intelligent one, the one so-called,

vipulāya visuddhāya uttamāya paññāya samannāgato.
being endowed with vast, purified, ultimate wisdom.

Kulaputto etaṁ apaṇṇake ceva sapaṇṇake cā, ti
The son of a good family knows what is unquestionable and what is questionable,

dvīsu atakkaggāhatakkaggāhasaṅkhātesu ṭhānesu.
while out of the two bases the so-called foolish ones grasp at what is illogical. It is hard to get this over in English. Takka means reason, logic, but in Buddhism it usually means it in a derogative manner, implying someone who has no direct experience, but merely thinks for himself, and is in fact behaving foolishly. Here we have the second meaning coupled with the first. The fools who are illogical.

Guṇadosaṁ vuddhihāniṁ atthānatthaṁ ñatvā ti attho.
He knows what is virtuous and what is faulty, what develops and what destroys, is the meaning.

Taṁ gaṇhe yad-apaṇṇakan-ti yaṁ apaṇṇakaṁ ekaṁsikaṁ,
Takes hold of what is unquestionable means that which is unquestionable, sure,

the pure practice, the practice that is reckoned not to regress,

niyyānikakāraṇaṁ, tad-eva gaṇheyya.
that is a cause leading to deliverance, that should be taken hold of.

Kasmā? Ekaṁsikādibhāvato yeva.
Why? It has the nature of being sure and so on.

Itaraṁ pana na gaṇheyya.
But the other should not be taken hold of.

Kasmā? Anekaṁsikādibhāvato yeva.
Why? It has the nature of being unsure and so on.

Ayañ-hi apaṇṇakapaṭipadā nāma sabbesaṁ,
This for everyone is known as the unquestionable practice,

Buddha-Paccekabuddha-Buddhaputtānaṁ paṭipadā.
the practice of Buddhas, Independent Buddhas and the Buddha’s children.

Sabba-Buddhā hi apaṇṇakapaṭipadāyam-eva ṭhatvā,
Therefore all the Buddhas are established on this unquestionable practice,

daḷhena viriyena pāramiyo pūretvā Bodhimūle Buddhā nāma honti.
firmly, energetically, having fulfilled the perfections at the root of the Bodhi (tree) and (having) the name of Buddhas.

Paccekabuddhā paccekabodhiṁ uppādenti,
(Also) the Independent Buddhas who have generated independent Awakening,

Buddhaputtā sāvakapāramiñāṇaṁ paṭivijjhanti.
and the Buddha’s children who have comprehended the disciples’ perfections.

Pariyosāna 2
The Conclusion 2

Iti Bhagavā tesaṁ upāsakānaṁ.
So said the Fortunate One to those lay followers.

Tisso kulasampattiyo ca,
Having taught the three achievements for supporters, Defined in the Aṅguttara-aṭṭhakathā (on AN 3.58) as: manussaloke khattiyabrāhmaṇavessakule jāyanti; being born as a human in a noble, brahmin or merchant family.

cha kāmasagge Brahmalokasampattiyo ca datvā pi,
the six sensual heavens and the Brahmā Realm attainments,

pariyosāne Arahattamaggaphaladāyikā, {1.105}
which culminates in the giving of the path and fruit of Worthiness,

apaṇṇakapaṭipadā nāma.
(this) is called the unquestionable practice.

Catūsu apāyesu pañcasu ca nīcakulesu nibbattidāyikā,
That which (leads to) the four downfalls and rebirth in inferior families,

sapaṇṇakapaṭipadā nāmā ti.
is called the questionable practice.

Imaṁ Apaṇṇakadhammadesanaṁ dassetvā,
Having shown the teaching of the Dhamma about the Unquestionable,

uttari cattāri saccāni soḷasahi ākārehi pakāsesi.
he further shone light on the four noble truths in their sixteen modes.

Catusaccapariyosāne sabbe pi te pañcasatā upāsakā
At the conclusion of the four truths all five hundred lay followers

Sotāpattiphale patiṭṭhahiṁsu.
attained the fruit of Stream-Entry.

Satthā imaṁ Dhammadesanaṁ āharitvā dassetvā,
The Teacher delivered and presented this Dhamma teaching,

dve vatthūni kathetvā, anusandhiṁ ghaṭetvā,
and having told the two stories, he joined them together,

Jātakaṁ samodhānetvā dassesi:
and showed the connection of the Jātaka:

“Tasmiṁ samaye bālasatthavāhaputto Devadatto ahosi,
“At that time Devadatta was the foolish caravan leader,

tassa parisā Devadattaparisā va,
his followers were Devadatta’s followers,

paṇḍitasatthavāhaputtaparisā Buddhaparisā,
the followers of the wise caravan leader were the Buddha’s followers,

paṇḍitasatthavāhaputto pana aham-eva ahosin,”-ti
and I indeed was the wise caravan leader,”

desanaṁ niṭṭhāpesi.
and so he concluded the teaching.

Apaṇṇakajātakaṁ, Paṭhamaṁ
The Story about what is Unquestionable, the First