Ja 226 Kosiyajātaka
The Story about the (Impatient) Owl

In the present the king of Kosala wants to go on an expedition with his army, but first he sought the counsel of the Buddha, who tells a story of an owl who came to a bamboo thicket at the wrong time and was killed by a bunch of crows.

−−−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
1. Kāle nikkhamanā sādhu, nākāle sādhu nikkhamo,
Going at the right time is good, not going at the wrong time is good,

⏑−−⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−⏑¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Akālena hi nikkhamma, ekakam-pi bahujjano,
By going out at the wrong time, alone, and with the many folk,

⏑−⏑−¦−,−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka mavipulā
Na kiñci atthaṁ joteti dhaṅkasenāva kosiyaṁ.
Nothing explains the meaning like the owl with the army of crows.

−−⏑⏑⏑¦⏑−−−¦¦⏑−−⏑¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
2. Dhīro ca vidhividhānaññū, paresaṁ vivarānugū,
The wise one knows the rules and commands, follows the faults of others,

−−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−⏑¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Sabbāmitte vasīkatvā, kosiyo va sukhī siyā ti.
Bringing all foes under control, he will be happy like the owl.

Tattha, {2.208} kāle nikkhamanā sādhū ti,
In this connection, going at the right time is good,

mahārāja, nikkhamanā nāma
great king, going out is called

nikkhamanaṁ vā parakkamanaṁ vā yuttapayuttakāle sādhu.
going out or advancing at a suitable, very suitable, time is good.

Nākāle sādhu nikkhamo ti,
Not going at the wrong time is good,

akāle pana attano vasanaṭṭhānato aññattha gantuṁ nikkhamo nāma,
but going out at the wrong time to go to another place from your own place of residence,

nikkhamanaṁ vā parakkamanaṁ vā na sādhu.
going out or advancing is not good.

Akālena hī ti ādīsu,
At the wrong time and so on,

catūsu padesu,
amongst the four lines,

paṭhamena saddhiṁ tatiyaṁ, dutiyena catutthaṁ yojetvā,
by joining the first (line) with the third (line), and the second (line) with the fourth (line),

evaṁ attho veditabbo.
so is the meaning to be understood. I do not really follow this, as the verse makes perfect sense as it is, and would be hard to understand if reordered in the way suggested here.

Attano vasanaṭṭhānato hi koci puriso akālena,
From his own place of residence, whatever person, at the wrong time,

nikkhamitvā vā parakkamitvā vā.
having gone out, or having advanced.

Na kiñci {2.209} atthaṁ joteti,
Nothing explains the meaning,

attano appamattakam-pi vuḍḍhiṁ uppādetuṁ na sakkoti,
he is unable to generate even an insignificant development for himself,

atha kho ekakam-pi bahujjano, bahu pi so paccatthikajano,
then alone, and with the many folk, with the many hostile folk,

etaṁ akāle nikkhamantaṁ vā parakkamantaṁ vā,
at the wrong time going out or advancing,

ekakaṁ, parivāretvā, mahāvināsaṁ pāpeti.
alone, or being surrounded (by folk), he is led to complete destruction.

Tatrāyaṁ upamā:
In this connection, this is the simile:

dhaṅkasenāva kosiyaṁ,
like the owl with the army of crows,

yathā ayaṁ dhaṅkasenā,
like this army of crows,

imaṁ akāle nikkhamantañ-ca parakkamantañ-ca,
at the wrong time going out or advancing,

kosiyaṁ tuṇḍehi vitudanti mahāvināsaṁ pāpenti,
they lead the owl to complete destruction by attacking him with their beaks,

tathā tasmā tiracchānagate ādiṁ katvā,
so therefore, beginning with animals,

kenaci akāle attano vasanaṭṭhānato
no one, at the wrong time, and from his own place of residence

na nikkhamitabbaṁ na parakkamitabban-ti.
should go out or advance.

Dutiyagāthāya, dhīro ti paṇḍito.
In the second verse, the wise one means the wise one. Dhīra can mean wise or firm. The commentary clarifies which meaning is intended here.

Vidhī ti porāṇakapaṇḍitehi ṭhapitapaveṇī.
The rules means the traditions established by the wise men of old.

Vidhānan-ti koṭṭhāso vā saṁvidahanaṁ vā.
Commands means the divisions or the commands.

Vivarānugū ti vivaraṁ anugacchanto jānanto.
Follows the faults means knowing and following a fault.

Sabbāmitte ti sabbe amitte.
All foes means all foes. Clarifying the compound.

Vasīkatvā ti attano vase katvā.
Bringing means bringing under his own control.

Kosiyo vā ti imamhā bālakosiyā añño paṇḍitakosiyo viya.
The owl means from this foolish owl likewise to another wise owl.

Idaṁ vuttaṁ hoti:
This is what is said:

yo ca kho paṇḍito:
he who is wise,

“Imasmiṁ kāle nikkhamitabbaṁ parakkamitabbaṁ,
thinking: “At the right time I should go out, I should advance,

imasmiṁ na nikkhamitabbaṁ na parakkamitabban”-ti.
but, at this (time) I should not go out, I should not advance.”

Porāṇakapaṇḍitehi ṭhapitassa paveṇisaṅkhātassa,
What are known as the traditions established by the wise ones of old,

vidhino koṭṭhāsasaṅkhātaṁ, vidhānaṁ vā,
the rules and what is reckoned as the divisions, or the commands,

tassa vā vidhino vidhānaṁ saṁvidahanaṁ anuṭṭhānaṁ jānāti,
he knows his rules, commands, his undertaking of the commands,

so vidhividhānaññū paresaṁ attano paccāmittānaṁ vivaraṁ ñatvā,
he knows the rules and commands, and knowing the faults of others, of his foes,

yathā nāma paṇḍito kosiyo rattisaṅkhāte,
like (for) sure a wise owl at what is reckoned as night,

attano kāle nikkhamitvā ca parakkamitvā ca,
in his own time going out and advancing,

Tattha tattha sayitānañ-ñeva kākānaṁ sīsāni chindamāno,
cutting the crows’ heads off as they lie right there,

te sabbe amitte vasīkatvā, sukhī siyā.
having brought all foes under control, he will live happily.

Evaṁ dhīro pi kāle nikkhamitvā parakkamitvā,
So the wise one at the right time, having gone out, having advanced,

attano paccāmitte vasīkatvā, sukhī niddukkho bhaveyyā ti.
having brought all of his foes under his control, will be happy, without suffering.