Ja 18 Matakabhattajātaka
The Story about Feasts for the Dead

In the present the monks hear about a Feast for the Dead which involves animal sacrifice, and ask the Buddha if any good can come of it. The Buddha replies that it cannot, and tells a story of a goat who laughed and cried when being prepared for slaughter: he laughed as this was his final punishment for making a sacrifice, and cried in compassion for those who would suffer a similar fate.

−−−−¦−−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka mavipulā
1. Evaṁ ce sattā jāneyyuṁ: dukkhāyaṁ jātisambhavo,
If beings knew thus: this leads to a rebirth full of suffering,

⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Na pāṇo pāṇinaṁ haññe, pāṇaghātī hi socatī ti.
No one would kill living beings, for the slayer of beings grieves.

Tattha, {1.168} evaṁ ce sattā jāneyyun-ti ime sattā evaṁ ce jāneyyuṁ.
In this connection, if beings knew thus means if these beings knew thus.


Dukkhāyaṁ jātisambhavo ti,
This leads to a rebirth full of suffering,

ayaṁ tattha tattha jāti ca jātassa anukkamena,
this gradually here and there, birth after birth,

vaḍḍhisaṅkhāto sambhavo ca,
leads to what is considered growth (entailing),

old age, sickness, death, being joined to what is not dear, being separated from what is dear,

having the hands and feet cut off,

dukkhānaṁ vatthubhūtattā,
this is the foundation of (the various) sufferings,

dukkho ti yadi jāneyyuṁ.
if (beings only) knew this (leads to) suffering.

Na pāṇo pāṇinaṁ haññe ti:
No one would kill living beings:

“Paraṁ vadhanto jātisambhave vadhaṁ labhati,
“Slaying another leads to birth and getting slain,

pīḷento pīḷaṁ labhatī” ti.
being oppressed and getting crushed.”

Jātisambhavassa dukkhavatthutāya dukkhabhāvaṁ jānanto
Knowing that this leads to a rebirth having a foundation in suffering, a state of suffering,

koci pāṇo aññaṁ pāṇinaṁ na haññe,
he would not kill any other living beings,

satto sattaṁ na haneyyā, ti attho.
a living being would not kill living beings, this is the meaning.

What is the reason?

Pāṇaghātī hi socatī ti,
For the slayer of beings grieves,

yasmā, sāhatthikādīsu chasu payogesu,
wherefore, with one’s own hand and so on in six ways,

yena kenaci payogena parassa jīvitindriyupacchedanena,
using whatever means to cut off the life faculty of another,

pāṇaghātī puggalo,
the person who slays living beings,

aṭṭhasu mahānirayesu, soḷasasu ussadanirayesu,
in the eight great hells, in the sixteen prominent hells,

nānappakārāya tiracchānayoniyā, pettivisaye, Asurakāye ti,
in the manifold animal kingdoms, in the realm of the ancestors, amongst the body of Asuras,

imesu catūsu apāyesu mahādukkhaṁ anubhavamāno,
in these four downfalls there is an experiencing of great suffering,

dīgharattaṁ antonijjhāyanalakkhaṇena sokena socati.
(so he) grieves by internally meditating on the sign of grief for a long time.

Yathā vāyaṁ eḷako maraṇabhayena socati,
Since this goat, through fear of death, grieves,

‘Evaṁ dīgharattaṁ socatī’ ti, pi ñatvā,
knowing: ‘He grieves in this way for a long time,’

na pāṇo pāṇinaṁ haññe,
no living being will kill (other) living beings,

koci pāṇātipātakammaṁ nāma na kareyya.
he will certainly not do the deed of killing any living beings.

Mohena pana mūḷhā avijjāya andhīkatā,
Only through delusion, confusion, ignorance, blindness,

imaṁ ādīnavaṁ apassantā, pāṇātipātaṁ karontī ti.
not seeing the danger in this, do they kill living beings.