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[New Series, Volume IV]

[London, Trübner and Company]


{Scanned and edited by Christopher M. Weimer, March 2002}

ART. VII.--Khuddaka Pá.tha, a Páli Text, with a Translation and Notes. By R. C. CHILDERS, late of the Ceylon Civil Service.

[Received February 15, 1869.]

   Khuddaka Pá.tha, or "Lesser Readings," is one of the books of the Buddhist Scriptures. It is the first of the fifteen divisions of Khuddaka Nikáya, and immediately precedes Dhammapada. The text which I have adopted is that of a manuscript written and collated for me by a Singhalese priest of great learning. I have compared with it the Burmese manuscript belonging to the collection presented by Sir A. Phayre to the India Office Library. This, however, I found to contain numerous clerical and other errors, and it failed to supply me with a single corrected reading.

   Khuddaka Pá.tha possesses a high authority in Ceylon. It is quoted in the Commentaries of Buddhaghosa, many of the examples in Sandhi Kappa and other grammatical works are drawn from it, and seven of its nine chapters are included in the course of homilies read at the Buddhist ceremony of Pirit. Three of the sútras, viz., Ma"ngala Sutta, Ratana Sutta, and Metta Sutta recur in Sutta Nipáta, the fifth division of Khuddaka Nikáya, and Paramattha Jotiká, Buddhaghosa's commentary on Sutta Nipáta, is also looked upon as the commentary of Khuddaka Pá.tha.

   Khuddaka Pá.tha takes its name from its first four texts, which are very brief, and are termed Pá.thas in contradistinction to the Sútras, or sermons, which follow. The four Pá.thas, and the Ma"ngala, Ratana and Metta Sútras, are translated by Gogerly in his version of Pirit in the "Ceylon Friend" (June, July, and August, 1839).

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The Three Refuges.

I put my trust in Buddha,
I put my trust in the Law,
I put my trust in the Church.
Again I put my trust in Buddha,
Again I put my trust in the Law,
Again I put my trust in the Church.
Once more I put my trust in Buddha,
Once more I put my trust in the Law,
Once more I put my trust in the Church.



The Ten Laws of the Priesthood.

  1. To abstain from destroying life.
2. To abstain from theft.
3. To abstain from impurity {sexual intercourse}.
4. To abstain from lying.

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5. To abstain from wine, spirits, and strong drink, which tempt men to sin.
6. To abstain from eating at forbidden times.
7. To abstain from dancing, singing, music, and stage-plays.
8. To abstain from adorning and beautifying the person by the use of garlands, perfumes, and unguents.
9. To abstain from using a high or a large bed.
10. To abstain from receiving gold and silver.



The Thirty-two Constituent Parts of the Body.

[See Note.]



The Novice's Questions.

   What is the one principle of Life? Ans. Food is the sustenance of all animals.
   What are the Two? Ans. Essence and Form {Name and Form}.
   What are the Three? Ans. The three Sensations.

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   What are the Four? Ans. The four great truths of Buddhism.
   What are the Five? Ans. The five Elements of Being {Aggregates}.
   What are the Six? Ans. The six organs of Sense.
   What are the Seven? Ans. The seven branches of Knowledge.
   What are the Eight? Ans. The glorious eight-fold path of Nirvána.
   What are the Nine? Ans. The nine abodes of reasoning beings.
   What are the Ten? Ans. He is called a saint who is endowed with the ten forms of holiness.




   {1.} Thus I have heard. On a certain day dwelt Buddha at Çravasti, at the Jetavana monastery, in the garden of Anáthapi.n.daka. And when the night was far advanced a certain radiant celestial being, illuminating the whole of Jetavana, approached the Blessed One, and saluted him and stood aside. And standing aside addressed him with this verse,--

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   {2.} Many gods and men, yearning after good, have held divers things to be blessings; say thou, what is the greatest blessing.

   {3.} Buddha: To serve wise men and not serve fools, to give honour to whom honour is due, this is the greatest blessing.

   {4.} To dwell in a pleasant land, to have done good deeds in a former existence, to have a soul filled with right desires, this is the greatest blessing.

   {5.} Much knowledge and much science, the discipline of a well trained mind, and a word well spoken, this is the greatest blessing.

   {6.} To succour father and mother, to cherish wife and child, to follow a peaceful calling, this is the greatest blessing.

   {7.} To give alms, to live religiously, to give help to relatives, to do blameless deeds, this is the greatest blessing,

   {8.} To cease and abstain from sin, to eschew strong drink, to be diligent in good deeds, this is the greatest blessing.

   {9.} Reverence and lowliness, contentment and gratitude, to receive religious teaching at due seasons, this is the greatest blessing.

   {10.} To be long-suffering and meek, to associate with the priests p. 314 of Buddha, to hold religious discourse at due seasons, this is the greatest blessing.

   {11.} Temperance and chastity, discernment of the four great truths, the prospect of Nirvána, this is the greatest blessing.

   {12.} The soul of one unshaken by the changes of this life, a soul inaccessible to sorrow, passionless, secure, this is the greatest blessing.

   {13.} They that do these things are invincible on every side, on every side they walk in safety, yea, theirs is the greatest blessing.

{Ma"ngalasutta is ended.}




   {1.} All spirits here assembled, those of earth and those of air, let all such be joyful, let them listen attentively to my words.

   {2.} Therefore hear me, O ye spirits, be friendly to the race of men, for day and night they bring you their offerings, therefore keep diligent watch over them.

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   {3.} Whatsoever treasure there be here or in other worlds, whatsoever glorious jewel in the heavens, there is none like Buddha;--Buddha is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {4.} Did the tranquil sage of the race of Sakya attain to the knowledge of Nirvána,--Nirvána sin-destroying, passionless, immortal, transcendent? There is nought like this doctrine;--the Law is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {5.} Did supreme Buddha extol a pure doctrine, have holy men told of an unceasing meditation? There is nought like this doctrine;--the Law is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {6.} There are eight orders of men praised by the righteous, four that walk in the paths of holiness, and four that enjoy the fruits thereof. They are the disciples of Buddha, worthy p. 316 to receive gifts, in them charity obtains an abundant reward. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {7.} Who are they that with steadfast mind, exempt from evil desire, are firmly established in the religion of Gautama. They have entered on the way of Nirvána, they have bought it without price, they enjoy perfect tranquility, they have obtained the greatest gain. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {8.} As the pillar of a city gate, resting on the earth, is unmoved by the four winds of heaven, so declare I the righteous man to be who has learnt and gazes on the four great truths. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {9.} They that clearly understand the four great truths well preached by the profoundly wise Being, however much they be distracted by the temptations of this world, they shall not again receive eight births. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

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   {10.} He who is blest with the knowledge of Nirvána, and has cast off these three sins, vanity and doubt and the practice of vain ceremonies, the same is delivered from the four states of punishment, and cannot commit the six deadly sins. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {11.} If a priest commit sin in deed or in word or in thought he is wrong to conceal it, for concealment of sin is declared to be evil in one who has gained a knowledge of Nirvána. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {12.} As the tree tops bloom in grove and forest in the first hot month of summer, so did Buddha preach for the chief good of men his glorious doctrine that leads to Nirvána. Buddha is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

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   {13.} The noblest, the greatest of men, the finder of Nirvána, the giver of Nirvána, the bringer of Nirvána, preached his glorious Law. Buddha is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {14.} Their old Karma is destroyed, no new Karma is produced. Their hearts no longer cleaving to future life, their seed of existence destroyed, their desires quenched, the righteous are extinguished like this lamp. The priesthood is this glorious jewel. May this truth bring prosperity.

   {15.} Ye spirits here assembled, those of earth and those of air, let us bow before Buddha, the Tathágata revered by gods and men. May there be prosperity.

   {16.} Ye spirits here assembled, those of earth and those of air, let us bow before the Law, the Tathágata revered by gods and men. May there be prosperity.

   {17.} Ye spirits here assembled, those of earth and those of air, let us bow before the Church, the Tathágata revered by gods and men. May there be prosperity.

{Ratanasutta is ended.}

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   {1.} They stand outside our dwellings, at our windows, at the corners of our streets; they stand at our doors, revisiting their old homes.

   {2.} When abundant food and drink is set before them, by reason of the past sins of these departed ones, their friends on earth remember them not.

   {3.} Yet do such of their kinsmen as are merciful bestow upon them at due seasons food and drink, pure, sweet and suitable. Let this be done for your departed friends, let them be satisfied.

   {4.} Then, gathering together here, the assembled spirits of our kinsmen rejoice greatly in a plentiful repast.

   {5.} "Long," they say, "may our kinsmen live through whom we have received these things: to us offerings are made and the givers are not without reward."

   {6.} For in the land of the dead there is no husbandry, no keeping of flocks, no commerce as with us, no trafficking for gold: the departed live in that world by what they receive in this.

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   {7.} As water fallen upon a height descends into the valley, so surely do alms bestowed by men benefit the dead.

   {8.} As the brimming rivers fill the ocean, so do alms bestowed by men benefit the dead.

   {9.} Let a man consider thus--"Such a one gave me this gift, such a one wrought me this good deed; they were my kinsmen, my friends, my associates." Then let him give alms to the dead, mindful of past benefits.

   {10.} For weeping and sorrow and all manner of lamentation are of no avail, if their relatives stand thus sorrowing it benefits not the dead.

   {11.} But this charity bestowed by you, well secured in the priesthood, if it long bless the dead, then does it benefit them indeed.

   {12.} And the fulfilment of this duty to relatives to the dead is a great service rendered, to the priests a great strength given, by you no small merit acquired.

{Tiroku.d.dasutta is ended.}

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   {1.} A man buries a treasure in a deep pit, reasoning thus within himself, "When occasion arises this treasure will be of use to me,--{2.} if I am accused by the king, or plundered by robbers, or for release from debt, or in famine or in misfortune." Such are the reasons for which men conceal what in this world is called treasure.

   {3.} Meanwhile all this treasure, lying day after day concealed in a deep pit, profits him nothing.

   {4.} Either the treasure vanishes from its resting place, or its owner's sense becomes distracted with care, or Nágas remove it,{5.} or malignant spirits convey it away, or his enemies or his kinsmen dig it up in his absence. The treasure is gone when the merit that produced it is exhausted.

   {6.} There is a treasure that man or woman may possess, a treasure laid up in the heart, a treasure of charity, piety, temperance, soberness.

   {7.} It is found in the sacred shrine, in the priestly assembly, in the individual man, in the stranger and sojourner, in the father, the mother, the elder brother.

   {8.} A treasure secure, impregnable, that cannot pass away. When a man leaves the fleeting riches of this world, this he takes with him after death.

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   {9.} A treasure unshared with others, a treasure that no thief can steal. Let the wise man practise virtue: this is a treasure that follows him after death.

   {10.} A treasure that gives every delight to gods and men; for whatsoever they desire with this treasure it may be bought.

   {11.} Bloom, a sweet voice, grace and beauty, power and pomp, all these this treasure can procure.

   {12.} Sovereignty and lordship, the loved bliss of universal empire, yea celestial rule among the gods, all these this treasure can procure.

   {13.} All human prosperity, every pleasure in celestial abodes, the full attainment of Nirvána, all these this treasure can procure.

   {14.} Wisdom, enlightenment, tranquility, in one who lives wisely for the sake of virtuous friends, all these this treasure can procure.

   {15.} Universal science, the eight emancipations of the mind, all the perfections of the disciple of Buddha, supernatural knowledge, p. 323 supreme buddhaship itself, all these this treasure can procure.

   {16.} Thus this possession of merit is of great and magical effect, therefore are good works praised by the wise and learned.

{Nidhika.n.dasutta is ended.}




   {1.} This is what should be done by him who is wise in seeking his own good, who has gained a knowledge of the tranquil lot of Nirvána. Let him be diligent, upright, and conscientious; meek, gentle, not vainglorious.

   {2.} Contented and cheerful, not oppressed with the cares of this world, not burdened with riches. Tranquil, discreet, not arrogant, not greedy for gifts.

   {3.} Let him not do any mean action for which others who are wise might reprove him.

   {4.} Let all creatures be happy and prosperous, let them be of joyful mind.

   {5.} All beings that have life, be they feeble or strong, be they tall or of middle stature or short, be they minute or vast.

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   {6.} Seen or unseen, dwelling afar or near at hand, born or seeking birth, let all creatures be joyful.

   {7.} Let no man in any place deceive another, nor let him be harsh towards any one; let him not out of anger or resentment wish ill to his neigbbour.

   {8.} As a mother so long as she lives watches over her child, her only child, so among all beings let boundless good will prevail.

   {9.} Let good will without measure, impartial, unmixed with enmity, prevail throughout the world, above, below, around.

   {10.} If a man be of this mind so long as be be awake, whether p. 325 standing or walking, or sitting or lying, then is come to pass the saying, "This place is the abode of holiness."

   {11.} He who has not embraced false doctrine, the pious man endowed with a knowledge of Nirvána, if he conquer the love of pleasure he shall never again be born in the womb.

{Mettasutta is ended.}

{Khuddakapá is ended.}




   I. The Sara.nágamana occupies in the Buddhist system a similar place to that which the Creed holds in the Christian. Koeppen says of it, "This confession of faith is among the Southern Buddhists the best known and commonest form of prayer." (Rel. des Buddha, vol. i., p. 444). In the Púralásasutta section of Paramattha Jotiká Buddhaghosa speaks of "this glorious hymn" as the foundation of the Three Pitakas. . . .

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   III. The thirty-two Ákáras are thus translated by Hardy, at page 400 of his Manual of Buddhism: "Kesá 'hair of the head,' lomá 'hair of the body,' nakhá 'nails,' dantá 'teeth,' taco 'skin,' ma.msa.m 'flesh,' naháru 'veins,' 'a.t.thí 'bones,' a.t.thimiñjá 'marrow,' vakka.m 'kidneys,' hadaya.m 'heart,' yakana.m 'liver,' kilomaka.m 'abdomen,' pihaka.m 'spleen,' papphása.m 'lungs,' anta.m 'intestines,' antagu.nam 'lower intestines,' udariya.m 'stomach,' karísa.m 'fæces,' pitta.m 'bile,' semha.m 'phlegm,' pubbo 'pus,' lohita.m 'blood,' sedo 'sweat,' medo 'fat,' assu 'tears,' vasá 'serum,' khelo p. 327 'saliva,' si"nhá.niká 'mucus,' lasiká 'oil that lubricates the joints,' mutta.m 'urine,' matthake matthalu"nga.m 'brain.'" Gogerly translates kesálomá by "hair," and to make up the number of thirty-two strangely renders matthake matthalu"nga.m by "the cranium, the brains."

   IV. This Pá.tha is a collection of ten of the classifications of technical terms so frequently met with in the Buddhist writings. The system of classification characterises the literature of the Hindus in a greater degree than that of any other people, but it is in the Buddhist philosophy that it has received its highest development. Indeed there is scarcely a branch of Buddhist teaching into which it has not been carried with an elaboration and detail perfectly astonishing. There can be little doubt that the great founder of Buddhism adopted the system of classification with the view of impressing his doctrines upon the memory of his followers, in an age when books were scarce, and reading and writing rare accomplishments.

   {The nine abodes of reasoning beings.} These are enumerated in Mahánidánasutta. See Burnouf's Lotus de la Bonne Loi, p. 534.

   {The ten forms of holiness.} These are the ten Asekhá dhammá.

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   V. {V. 4.} Buddhaghosa . . . goes on to explain at some length what this "suitable" or "congenial" abode is. It may be a place where good men dwell and religion flourishes . . . . Or it may be a spot hallowed by the presence of Buddha when on earth . . . . Or it may be the "Majjhima Desa."

   {V. 12.} Literally, "The soul of one touched by the trouble of this life, which trembles not," etc.

   {V. 13.} This Páda {the second line of the couplet} contains nine syllables instead of eight, and the effect is to give strong emphasis to the sentence. Irregularities of this sort are of frequent occurence in Páli verse. Fausböll has collected a large number of instances of a redundant syllable (Dh. p. 440), and cases of a deficient syllable sometimes (though rarely) present themselves. Vowels are frequently lengthened or shortened to suit the exigencies of metre, and the circumstances that in Páli external Sandhi is to a very great extent optional, gives to the poetical texts an apparent roughness and want of polish from which Sanskrit verse is almost wholly free. These metrical irregularities in the Canonical books are explained from a religious point of view in the following remarkable passage from Culla Sadda Níti:

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   "Buddha makes no account of the length or shortness of vowels in words; he delivers his doctrine in the form best suited to convey its meaning, and least likely to obscure its real nature. But some one may ask, Is the length or shortness of vowels a matter of no importance? And another may reply, Well, but if it is, how is it that the old schoolmen in their verses here and there go so far as to elide a letter altogether, for the sake of not violating the metre? The truth is that these are poetical licenses, and are called vowel changes when rhythm has to be preserved, and euphony where the metere has to be preserved. When it is necessary to observe the p. 330 niceties of metre and of rhythm, then, and then only, does Buddha observe them: and this is what I meant when I said that Buddha makes no account of the length or shortenss of vowels. And when he adheres to metre and rhythm he does so not as poets and men of letters do, because it is part of their profession to do it; but of the words which in the countless ages of his probation proceeded from the lotus of his blessed mouth, formed in accordance with his perfect literary knowledge, some are intended to preserve metre and rhythm, others are not so intended, and it is in the case of the former alone that he preserves metrical and rhetorical accuracy. For be it known that Buddha does not preserve the niceties of metre and rhythm out of a spirit of rivalry with others. If this work is written with the syllabic irregularity which characterises all our religious books, let me not be blamed on that account. For what says one of our commentaries:--
      "Our sovereign lord has declared salvation
      To be in the spirit and not in the letter.
      Therefore let not the wise man delight in letters and syllables,
      But let him fix his mind upon the sense."

   And again--
      "To preserve the meaning all this has been said:
      Therefore let the wise man hold fast the meaning and make light of the letter."

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   VI. {V. 3.} This verse and verses 5 and 6 are translated at pages 86, 87, and 88 of D'Alwis' Páli Grammar.

   {V. 6.} Sata.m. There can be no doubt that the meaning p. 334 intended is "praised by the good" and that eight men only are spoken of (viz. Magga.t.thá and Phala.t.thá in the four paths), but taking advantage of the fact that Sata.m also means "a hundred," Buddhaghosa observes that Puggalá a.t.tha sata.m pasatthá may also be translated "a hundred and eight praised individuals." This number is obtained by adding up the sub-divisions of the four paths (ekabíjí, kola"nkolo, etc.).

   {There are eight orders of men . . . .} I have paraphrased this passage to make it read intelligibly. Gogerly translates it, "Are there eight classes of men, in four divisions, praised by the holy?" and D'Alwis', "Are there eight beings who have been praised by the holy, they are four couples" (Páli Grammar, p. 89).

   {V. 9. however much they be distracted . . . .} See Dham. v. 252. Gogerly translates this passage, "they cannot by any allurements be brought eight times more into a state of being." The gloss of the scholiast is, "However greatly they be delayed by the temptations of celestial rule, universal empire, etc., they will not again receive an eighth birth in a Kámaloka."

   {V. 10.} The three evil "states" or "qualities" here mentioned are explained by Hardy in East. Mon. p. 289.

   {Vain ceremonies.} Paramattha Jotiká explains this word to mean foolish rites foreign to Buddhism. . . . This is also implied in Hardy's explanation, East. Mon. p. 289, 2. p. 335 See Dhammapada 271, where the word is used in the opposite sense of "Buddhist rites."

   {V. 12.} Gogerly translates this verse, "As the buds put forth in the forest during the first months of summer, even so are the glorious doctrines declared by Buddha most delightful to the perceiver of Nirvána."

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   {V. 14.} Gogerly translates the verse thus: "He whose former things (merit or demerit) are withered away shall have no reproduction; he who is fully free from the desire of future existence, his seed (of future existence) is withered away, and shall never again grow. This eminent person like a lamp shall be extinguished."

   Buddhaghosa says . . . that when Buddha delivered this sermon some lamps were burning in honour of the deities of the town, and one of them having burnt itself out he pointed to it when he said, "like this lamp."

   {V. 15.} This verse and the two following are stated to be pronounced by the god Çakra or Indra.

   VII. For the practices enjoined in this Sútra see Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 59 and 458.

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   Khuddakapá The meaning of this title is, "The book which contains the short readings." Compare Khuddakanikáya, which means not "the short collection," but "the collection of short books," viz. Khuddakapá.tha, Dhammapada, etc. Díghanikáya means "the collection of long Sutras," as appears from the fifth verse of Buddhaghosa's introduction to Brahmajála Sutta A.t.thakathá:--"The noble Long Collection, distinguished by its long discourses, of subtle meaning, praised by Buddha and his apostles, and possessed of the qualities that sustain faith."

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