Ja 201 Bandhanāgārajātaka
The Story about the Prison

In the present some monks see prisoners bound tight in prison and ask the Buddha about fetters. The Buddha explains these are not the strongest fetters, that attachment to family and sense desire are even stronger, and explains that in the past some managed to break even these bonds, and tells a story about a previous life he had.

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
1. Na taṁ daḷhaṁ -ḷh- doesn’t make position here, or in the next verse. bandhanam-āhu dhīrā,
There is no bond stronger, so say the wise,

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Yad-āyasaṁ dārujapabbajañ-ca,
Whether made of iron, wood, or bulrush,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Sārattarattā maṇikuṇḍalesu,
An obsession for jewels and earrings,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Puttesu dāresu ca yā apekkhā.
And the longing towards both sons and wives.

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
2. Etaṁ daḷhaṁ bandhanam-āhu dhīrā,
This bond is the stronger, so say the wise,

−−⏑−¦⏑⏑−¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Ohārinaṁ sithilaṁ duppamuñcaṁ,
Dragging down, pliant, hard to get free from,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Etam-pi chetvāna vajanti dhīrā,
Having cut this also, the wise depart,

⏑⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Anapekkhino kāmasukhaṁ pahāyā ti.
Indifferent, giving up sensual pleasure.

Tattha, {2.140} dhīrā ti dhitimantā, dhikkatapāpā ti dhīrā.
In this connection, wise means resolute, the wise who despise wickedness.

Atha vā dhī vuccati paññā,
Or, dhī is said to be wisdom,

tāya paññāya samannāgatā ti dhīrā,
endowed with that wisdom, they are wise. The above two definitions play on the broad range of meanings that the word dhīra and its cognates have, including firmness, resoluteness, and also having wisdom, and courage.

Buddhā Paccekabuddhā Buddhasāvakā {2.141} Bodhisattā ca:
Buddhas, Independent Buddhas, Buddhas’ disciples and Bodhisattas:

ime dhīrā nāma.
these are called wise.

Yad-āyasan-ti ādīsu
Whether made of iron and so on,

yaṁ saṅkhalikasaṅkhātaṁ ayasā nibbattaṁ āyasaṁ,
when what are reckoned as chains are produced from iron, they are iron (chains),

yaṁ andubandhanasaṅkhātaṁ Cst reads addu-, maybe a transcription mistake, otherwise unrecorded. dārujaṁ,
when what is reckoned as being bound in manacles (it is) made of wood, This sentence appears incomplete, especially compared with what follows and precedes.

yañ-ca pabbajatiṇehi vā aññehi vā vākādīhi,
and when with bulrush grass or another fibre and so on,

rajjuṁ katvā katarajjubandhanaṁ,
having made rope being bound by that rope,

taṁ āyasādiṁ chindituṁ sakkuṇeyyabhāvena,
because that iron and so on has the nature of being possible to break,

dhīrā: ‘Daḷhaṁ thiran’-ti, nāhu na kathenti.
the wise do not say, do not speak, saying: ‘That is strong, solid.’

Sārattarattā ti sārattā hutvā, rattā, balavarāgarattā, ti attho.
An obsession means having become obsessed, infatuated, filled with strong passion, this is the meaning.

Maṇikuṇḍalesū ti maṇīsu ca kuṇḍalesu ca, maṇiyuttesu vā kuṇḍalesu.
For jewels and earrings means for jewels and earrings, or for jewelled earrings.

Etaṁ daḷhan-ti,
This bond is the stronger,

ye maṇikuṇḍalesu sārattarattā,
whatever obsession there is for jewels and earrings,

tesaṁ yo ca sārāgo, yā ca tesaṁ puttadāresu apekkhā taṇhā,
whoever has passion for these, the longing, craving for these sons and wives,

etaṁ kilesam-ayaṁ bandhanaṁ daḷhaṁ thiran-ti dhīrā āhu.
this defiled bondage is stronger, more solid, so say the wise.

Dragging down,

ākaḍḍhitvā, catūsu apāyesu pātanato,
having pulled one down, falling into the four downfalls,

avaharati, heṭṭhā haratī, ti ohārinaṁ.
he is carried away, he carries one below, so dragging down (is said).

Sithilan-ti bandhanaṭṭhāne chavicammamaṁsāni na chindati,
Pliant means in that state of bondage there is no cutting of outer or inner skin or flesh,

lohitaṁ na nīharati, bandhanabhāvam-pi na jānāpeti,
no blood-letting, the state of bondage is not even known,

thalapathajalapathādīsu kammāni kātuṁ detī ti sithilaṁ.
it allows one to make deeds along the land-routes or sea routes, and so on, so it is pliant.

Hard to get free from,

taṇhālobhavasena hi ekavāram-pi uppannaṁ kilesabandhanaṁ,
because of greed and craving, for even one time, arises the bonds of defilements,

daṭṭhaṭṭhānato kacchapo viya dummocayaṁ hotī, ti duppamuñcaṁ.
like a tortoise from the place where he bites it is hard to get free from, this is hard to get free from.

Etam-pi chetvānā ti,
Having cut this also,

etaṁ evaṁ daḷham-pi kilesabandhanaṁ ñāṇakhaggena chinditvā,
thus having cut this strong bond of defilements with the sword of knowledge,

ayadāmāni chinditvā, mattavaravāraṇā viya pañjare chinditvā,
having cut these iron chains, like a drunken elephant breaks the cage,

sīhapotakā viya ca dhīrā,
the wise are like lion cubs,

vatthukāmakilesakāme, ukkārabhūmiṁ viya,
both the objects of sensuality and the defilements of sensuality, like dung on the floor,

jigucchamānā, anapekkhino hutvā,
being disgusting, having become indifferent,

kāmasukhaṁ pahāya vajanti, pakkamanti,
giving up sensual pleasure, depart, leave,

pakkamitvā ca pana Himavantaṁ pavisitvā,
and after leaving they enter the Himālaya,

isipabbajjaṁ pabbajitvā, jhānasukhena vītināmentī ti.
go forth in the seers’ going forth, and pass their time in the happiness of absorption.