Ja 9 Makhādevajātaka
The Story about (King) Makhadeva

In the present, after the Buddha’s Awakening the monks are discussing his Great Renunciation; the Buddha then tells the story of a previous life where upon the sight of just one grey hair, he renounced the world.

−⏑−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
1. Uttamaṅgaruhā mayhaṁ ime jātā vayoharā,
These (greying hairs) growing on my head carry off my youthful life,

−⏑−−¦−⏑−−¦¦−−−⏑¦⏑−⏑− Siloka ravipulā
Pātubhūtā devadūtā, pabbajjāsamayo mamā ti.
Divine messengers manifest, it is time for me to go forth.

Tattha, {1.138} uttamaṅgaruhā ti kesā.
In this connection, these (greying hairs) growing on my head means head hairs.

Kesā hi sabbesaṁ hatthapādādīnaṁ aṅgānaṁ,
Because there are hairs on all limbs, such as hands, feet, and so on,

uttame sirasmiṁ ruhattā uttamaṅgaruhā ti vuccanti.
when growing on the head growing on the head is said.

Ime jātā vayoharā ti:
Carry off my youthful life means:

‘Passatha tātā, palitapātubhāvena tiṇṇaṁ vayānaṁ {1.139} haraṇato,’
‘Look, dear, the three ages (of man) are borne away by what is visibly grey,’ (so),

ime jātā vayoharā.
these (greying hairs) carry off my youthful life.

Pātubhūtā ti nibbattā.
Manifest means appears.

Devadūtā ti devo vuccati maccu, tassa dūtā ti devadūtā.
Divine messengers, divine (here) is said to be death, the messengers of that means divine messengers.

Sirasmiñhi palitesu pātubhūtesu maccurājassa santike ṭhito viya hoti,
When grey hairs manifest on the head it is like the king of death is standing nearby,

tasmā palitāni maccudevassa dūtā ti vuccanti.
therefore they say grey hairs are messengers of the god of death.

Devā viya dūtā ti pi devadūtā.
Like messengers who are divine, this also means divine messengers.

Yathā hi alaṅkatapaṭiyattāya Devatāya ākāse ṭhatvā:
Like a decorated and adorned Devatā standing in the sky, saying:

“Asukadivase tvaṁ marissasī” ti, vutte taṁ tatheva hoti,
“On such and such a day you will die,” and having said that, it is simply the truth,

evaṁ sirasmiṁ palitesu pātubhūtesu
so when grey hairs manifest on the head

Devatāya byākaraṇasadisam-eva hoti,
it is like an announcement by a Devatā,

tasmā palitāni devasadisā dūtā ti vuccanti.
therefore greying hairs are similar to messengers from the divine is said.

Visuddhidevānaṁ dūtā ti pi devadūtā.
Messengers from those divine through purity are also divine messengers.

Sabbabodhisattā hi jiṇṇabyādhimatapabbajite disvā va,
Therefore all the Bodhisattas, having seen ageing, sickness, death, and one gone forth,

saṁvegamāpajjitvā, nikkhamma pabbajanti.
after arousing spiritual anxiety, depart and go forth (themselves).

Just so this is said:

Jiṇṇañ-ca disvā, dukhitañ-ca byādhitaṁ,
Seeing one aged, The first lines correspond to Thag 73ab, the last two lines are only found in the commentaries, although they seem to be quotes, probably of a form of the verse lost to the canon. suffering from sickness,

Matañ-ca disvā, gatamāyusaṅkhayaṁ,
Seeing one dying, with his life force gone,

Kāsāyavatthaṁ pabbajitañ-ca disvā,
Seeing one gone forth dressed in yellow clothes,

Tasmā ahaṁ pabbajitomhi rājā ti.
(Seeing these) I therefore went forth, O king.

Iminā pariyāyena palitāni visuddhidevānaṁ dūtattā,
Through this means grey hairs are messengers of those divine through purity,

devadūtā ti vuccanti.
and they say divine messengers.

Pabbajjāsamayo mamā ti gihibhāvato nikkhantaṭṭhena pabbajjā ti,
It is time for me to go forth, through leaving the state of the householder going forth is said,

laddhanāmassa samaṇaliṅgagahaṇassa kālo mayhan-ti dasseti.
it is the right time for my gaining the name of one who has taken hold of the signs of an ascetic life, this is the explanation.