Ja 261 The Story about (Begging for) Lotuses

In the present Ven. Ānanda helps some monks get lotus flowers to worship the Bodhi tree at Sāvatthi. The Buddha then tells a story of how some people had tried to cheat the caretaker of a lotus tank, and were rebuffed. The one who spoke honestly, however, was given flowers.

1. Yathā kesā ca massū ca, chinnaṁ chinnaṁ virūhati,
Evaṁ ruhatu te nāsā, padumaṁ dehi yācito ti.

Just like head hair and beard which are cut off, grow back, so will your nose grow, when begged, give us a lotus.

[There is no word commentary to this verse.]

2. Yathā sāradikaṁ bījaṁ khette vuttaṁ virūhati,
Evaṁ ruhatu te nāsā, padumaṁ dehi yācito ti.

Just as in the autumn seeds sewn in the field grow, so will your nose grow, when begged give us a lotus.

In this connection, in the autumn, having taken them in the autumn time, and planted the seed endowed with its life-essence.

3. Ubho pi palapantete, api padmāni dassati,
Vajjuṁ vā te na vā vajjuṁ, natthi nāsāya rūhanā,
Dehi samma padumāni, ahaṁ yācāmi yācito ti.

Both of these talk nonsense, though he give lotuses, whether they say or don’t say, there is no nose grown, friend, give me lotuses, I am begging this ask.

In this connection, both of these talk nonsense means these two speak falsely.

Though lotuses, thinking: “Though he gives what are known as lotuses,” so they speak.

Whether they say or don’t say, so should they say or not say this: “Your nose will grow,” these words are not measured, in all cases there is no growing of a nose, but I say nothing regarding your nose, I beg them all, give it to me, friend, when asked for lotuses.