Ja 178 The Story about the Tortoise

In the present one young man saves himself by escaping from his disease-ridden home, while all his family dies. The Buddha tells a story of how a tortoise who was too attached to his home met with a disastrous end at the hands of the potter Bhaggava.

1. Janittaṁ me bhavittaṁ me, iti paṅke avassayiṁ,
Taṁ maṁ paṅko ajjhabhavi, yathā dubbalakaṁ tathā.
Taṁ taṁ vadāmi, Bhaggava, suṇohi vacanaṁ mama:

The place of my birth, where I developed, I lived thus on this mud, And on this mud I will now die, just like one of those who is weak. This, just this, I say, O Bhaggava, do you listen to my word:

2. Gāme vā yadi vāraññe, sukhaṁ yatrādhigacchati,
Taṁ janittaṁ bhavittañ-ca purisassa pajānato
Yamhi jīve tamhi gacche, na niketahato siyā ti.

Whether in the village or wilds, wherever he finds happiness, although knowing his place of birth and development, a person should live where’er he can go, not staying when his home is destroyed.

In this connection, the place of my birth, where I developed, this is my birthplace, this is my place of development.

I lived thus on this mud, for this reason I lived and lay down on this mud, I made a home, this is the meaning.

I will now die means be overcome, come to destruction.

O Bhaggava he addresses the potmaker. This is the potmaker’s designated name and clan, that is to say: Bhaggava.

Happiness means bodily and mental satisfaction.

Knowing his place of birth and development, the place of his birth and the place of his development.

Jānittaṁ bhāvittaṁ due to the lenghtened vowels signifying possession, this is also a reading, it has the same meaning.

Knowing means his knowing the benefit and lack thereof, the cause and lack thereof.

Not staying when his home is destroyed, having made his home in his residence, without having gone elsewhere, with the destruction of his home, he should not come to such a suffering of death.