Ja 267 Kakkaṭajātaka
The Story about (the Immense) Crab

In the present a landowner goes into the country and is attacked by thieves, but his wife manages to secure his release. The Buddha tells a story of an immense crab who used to kill elephants, and how, when an elephant was once caught by the crab, his mate flattered the crab, and secured her husband’s release, which led to the crab’s destruction.

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
1. “Siṅgī [This verse is omitted by accident in the digital transcription of Cst.] migo āyatacakkhunetto,
“Hornéd creature having extended eyes,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Aṭṭhittaco vārisayo alomo,
Bones for skin, lying in water, hairless,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Tenābhibhūto kapaṇaṁ rudāmi,
Overcome by him I cry wretchedly,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Mā heva maṁ pāṇasamaṁ jaheyyā ti.”
You should not abandon me, dear as life.”

Tattha, siṅgī migo ti siṅgī suvaṇṇavaṇṇo migo.
In this connection, hornéd creature means a golden creature with horns. There is some ambiguity about how to interpret this, as siṅgī means both golden and horned.

Dvīhi aḷehi siṅgakiccaṁ sādhentehi, yuttatāya siṅgī, ti attho.
With his two claws doing the duty of a horn, because of this he is horned, this is the meaning.

Migo ti pana sabbapāṇasaṅgāhakavasena idha kuḷīro vutto.
Creature, a crab is meant here by taking all the living beings as a whole.

Āyatacakkhunetto ti, ettha dassanaṭṭhena cakkhu, nayanaṭṭhena nettaṁ,
Having extended eyes, here an eye in the sense that it sees, a guide It seems in English we do not have many useful synonyms for eye, but in Pāḷi there are numerous: eye, (nt.) akkhi, cakkhu, nayana, locana, netta, of which two are used here. in the sense of leading,

āyatāni cakkhusaṅkhātāni nettāni assā ti āyatacakkhunetto,
what are considered extended eyes, his guides, this is having extended eyes,

dīgha-akkhī, ti attho.
long eyed, this is the meaning.

Aṭṭhim-evassa tacakiccaṁ sādhetī, ti aṭṭhittaco.
Having bones doing the duty of skin, this is bones for skin.

Tenābhibhūto ti,
Overcome by him,

tena migena abhibhūto ajjhotthato niccalaṁ gahito hutvā.
overcome, overwhelmed by that creature having been grabbed and fixed.

Kapaṇaṁ rudāmī ti kāruññappatto hutvā, rudāmi viravāmi.
I cry wretchedly means having become pitiful I cry, I wail.

Mā heva man-ti,
You should (not abandon) me,

maṁ evarūpaṁ byasanappattaṁ,
having met with such a disaster,

attano pāṇasamaṁ, piyasāmikaṁ tvaṁ mā heva jahī ti.
being like your own life, you should not abandon your dear master.

−⏑⏑−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
2. “Ayya na taṁ jahissāmi, kuñjaraṁ saṭṭhihāyanaṁ,
“Dear sir, I will not abandon you, elephant of sixty years,

⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Pathabyā cāturantāya suppiyo hosi me tuvan-ti.”
By the four quarters on the earth you are the one most dear to me.”

Tattha, saṭṭhihāyanan-ti,
In this connection, of sixty years,

jātiyā saṭṭhivassakālasmiñ-hi kuñjarā thāmena parihāyanti,
after sixty years of life, the strength of elephants falls away,

sā ahaṁ evaṁ thāmahīnaṁ imaṁ byasanaṁ pattaṁ taṁ na jahissāmi,
I do not abandon him who lost strength, who met with this disaster,

mā bhāyi, imissā hi catūsu disāsu samuddaṁ patvā,
do not fear, having come to the ocean in the four directions,

ṭhitāya cāturantāya pathaviyā, tvaṁ mayhaṁ suṭṭhu piyo ti.
through being based on the four quarters of this earth, you are most dear to me.

−⏑−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−⏑⏑¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
3. “Ye {2.344} kuḷīrā samuddasmiṁ, Gaṅgāya Yamunāya ca,
“Those crabs in the ocean, and in the Ganges and the Yamunā,

−−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Tesaṁ tvaṁ vārijo seṭṭho, muñca rodantiyā patin-ti.”
Of these you’re the best born in water, through (my) cries free my husband.”

This is the meaning:

ye samudde vā Gaṅgāya vā Yamunāya vā kuḷīrā,
whatever crabs in the ocean, or in the Ganges, or in the Yamunā,

sabbesaṁ vaṇṇasampattiyā ca mahantattena ca
of all these the handsomest, the greatest,

tvam-eva seṭṭho uttamo.
the best, the supreme is you.

Tena taṁ yācāmi: mayhaṁ rodamānāya sāmikaṁ muñcā ti.
Because of this I beg you: free my master through my cries.