Ja 161 The Story about (the Seer) Indasamānagotta

In the present one newly ordained monk doesn’t like to carry out his duties and wants to go his own way. The Buddha tells a story of an obstinate ascetic called Indasamāna who kept a pet elephant, against the advice of his teacher, and was duly killed by it. Cf. with Ja 197 Mittāmittajātaka.

1. Na santhavaṁ kāpurisena kayirā,
Ariyo anariyena BJT: hi ariyena; [The noble (should) know the worth] of the noble; Ariyonariyena; different sandhi, same meaning as text. pajānam-atthaṁ.
Cirānuvuttho pi karoti pāpaṁ,
Gajo yathā Indasamānagottaṁ.

Have no intimacy with a bad person, the noble know the worth of the ignoble. Eventually he does what is wicked, like the elephant to Indasamāna.

2. Yaṁ tveva jaññā: Sadiso maman-ti,
Sīlena paññāya sutena cāpi,
Teneva mettiṁ kayirātha saddhiṁ,
Sukho have sappurisena saṅgamo ti.

But he of whom you know: He is like I, having virtue and wisdom and learning, with him one should certainly be friendly, happy is the meeting with a good person.

In this connection, have no intimacy with a bad person means with a despicable, angry person, you should not have the intimacy of craving, or the intimacy of a friend.

The noble know the worth of the ignoble. Noble, there are four noble ones, the one of noble behaviour, the one having noble characteristics, the one of noble insight, the one of noble penetration. Amongst these the one of noble behaviour is what is intended here.

He knows the worth of, knowing the worth, skilled in worth and worthlessness, the noble person stands on his behaviour, and with the ignoble, the shameless, the unvirtuous, he does not have intimacy, this is the meaning.

What is the reason? Eventually he does what is wicked, whence the ignoble one, when dwelt together with for a long time, disregards their living together and does what is wicked, does some evil deed.

Like what? Like the elephant to Indasamāna, like the elephant did something bad by killing Indasamāna, this is the meaning.

But he of whom you know: He is like I, and so on. Of whatever person you can know: “This person has similar virtue and so on to me,” with him one can certainly be friendly, meeting together with that good person brings happiness.