Apadana commentary (Atthakatha)

by U Lu Pe Win | 216,848 words

This is the English translation of the commentary on the Apadana (Atthakatha), also known as the Visuddhajana-Vilasini. The Buddhist stories known as apadanas refer to biographies of Buddhas, Buddhist monks and nuns. They are found in the Pali Canon (Khuddaka Nikaya), which is the primary canon of Theravada Buddhism. Alternative titles: Visuddhaja...

Commentary on Biography of the thera Ekañjalika

Stanzas, starting with Suvaṇṇavaṇṇam constitute the biography of the venerable thera Ekañjalika. This one also, having done devoted deeds of service towards former Buddhas, accumulating meritorious deeds conducive towards escape from rounds of repeated rebirths (vaṭṭa), in this and that existence, was reborn in a family house, at the time of the Glorious One Vipassī; having attained the age of intelligence, he became pleasingly pious towards the three gems, met the Glorious One Vipassī wandering about for alms-food and stood raising his clasped hands having become pious-minded. Due to that deed of merit he had to wander about the rounds of his repeated rebirths among divine and human beings, became worthy of revered offerings everywhere; after he had enjoyed both kinds of bliss he was reborn in a family of prosperity when this Buddha arose; being piously pleased with the dispensation (sāsana) he became a monk, developed spiritual insight (vipassanā) and got established himself in arahatship. He was well-known as the thera Ekañjalika by way of the meritorious deed done by him formerly.

180. Having remembered his own former-deed, and seeing it like a gooseberry fruit on his hand-palm, he uttered this stanza beginning with suvaṇṇavaṇṇam in order to make manifest his deeds done formerly by way of solemn utterance (Udāna). Vipassim satthavāhaggam (Vipassī, the chief caravan leader) he, who carries and helps the merchants to cross the desert (kantār); thus, satthavāho (the caravan leader); lets cross, causes to cross over, lets pass across, pulls out and lets reach the secure piece of ground far from the sandy desert, robbers' region, famine area, waterless desert, ogre sphere, and scanty food desert; thus, is the meaning. Who is he? He is the eldest merchant. Because of resemblance with the eldest merchant, caravan leader, this Glorious One also is caravan leader. Likewise, indeed, He lets the creatures, who aspired for three categories of enlightenment (bodhi), who had loaded up their meritorious deeds, cross, go up across, pass out across, pull out across, and reach the dry-land of nibbāna, from the desert of birth, the desert of old age, the desert of disease, the desert of death, the desert of anxiety, lamentation, distress, displeasure and dejection as well as from all samsāra desert; thus, is the meaning. Satthavāhaggam (the topmost caravan leader) he is chief, best and main caravan leader also; thus, sathavāhaggo (chief caravan leader) that chief caravan leader Vipassī, the selfenlightened Buddha; thus, is the connection. naravaram vināyakam (the excellent man, the leader) unsoft exerted effort amongst men; thus, naravīra (the bold man) him; he leads and transports distinctively to the city of nibbāna the creatures who have loaded themselves up with their meritorious deeds; thus, vināyako (special leader) him.

181. Adantadamanam tādi (such a taming of the untamed) he tames the untamed creatures, with their doors of body, mouth and mind, associated with such depravity as lust, anger, delusion and so on; thus adantadamano (the tamer of the untamed) him; equipped with such qualities as being unshakable in things desirable and undesirable and so on; thus, tādī (such) him; mahāvādim mahāmatim (great view-holder and of great intelligence) amidst and among one's own doctrinal and others' doctrinal view-holders, because of being bereft of equal and superior individuals by himself he is amhāvādī (great view-holder) he who has intelligence similar to the great earth resembling mount Meru, is amhāmati (immense intelligence) that Mahāvādim mahamatim self-enlightened Buddha, thus, making in particular similarity with this. The rest is but easy of comprehension.

The commentary on the biography of the thera Ekañjalika has ended.

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