Ja 277 Romakajātaka
The Story about the Feathered One

In the present Devadatta goes about trying to kill the Buddha, who tells a story of a previous birth in which a sham ascetic took a liking to pigeon’s flesh and tried to kill the pigeons who would visit him hoping to hear some wisdom.

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
1. Vassāni paññāsa samādhikāni,
In excess of fifty years I lived in

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑− Jagatī
Vasimha selassa guhāya, romaka,
A cave on the (mountain) rock, feathered one,

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Asaṅkamānā abhinibbutattā,
Being without doubt, completely serene,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑− Jagatī
Hatthattam-āyanti mamaṇḍajā pure.
Formerly the birds would come to my hand.

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑−¦⏑−⏑− Jagatī
2. Tedāni vakkaṅga kim-attham-ussukā
Now, bird, agitated, why did those birds

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑− Jagatī
Bhajanti aññaṁ girikandaraṁ dijā?
Resort to another mountain grotto?

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑− Jagatī
Na nūna maññanti mamaṁ yathā pure,
Not considering me as before, or,

⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−⏑− Jagatī
Cirappavutthā atha vā na te ime ti?
Are these not those who lived here a long time?

Tattha, {2.383} samādhikānī ti sama-adhikāni.
In this connection, in excess of means in excess of equal. Sama means the same or equal, and adhika means in excess of.

Romakā ti rumāya uppanna,
Feathered one means with hair uprising,

sudhotapavāḷena samānavaṇṇanettapādatāya,
with well-washed coral-coloured eyes and feet,

Bodhisattaṁ pārāvataṁ ālapati.
he addresses the pigeon, the Bodhisatta.

Asaṅkamānā ti,
Being without doubt,

evaṁ atirekapaññāsavassāni
so for more than fifty years

imissā pabbataguhāya vasantesu amhesu
amongst us dwelling in this mountain cave

ete aṇḍajā ekadivasam-pi mayi āsaṅkaṁ akatvā,
these birds did not have doubt about me even for one day,

abhinibbutacittā va hutvā,
their minds being completely serene,

pubbe mama hatthattaṁ hatthappasāraṇokāsaṁ āgacchantī, ti attho.
formerly they came to my hand, to my open, stretched-out hand, this is the meaning.

Tedānī ti te idāni.
Now … those means now those. Showing how to analyse the sandhi.

Vakkaṅgā ti Bodhisattaṁ ālapati,
Bird, he calls on the Bodhisatta,

sabbe pi pana pakkhino uppatanakāle gīvaṁ vakkaṁ katvā,
all birds when rising up crook their necks,

uppatanato vakkaṅgā vuccanti.
from rising up vakkaṅga (crooked-limb, or bird) is said. In Ja 36 Sakuṇajātaka this definition was given: Te hi uttamaṅgaṁ galaṁ kadāci kadāci vaṅkaṁ karonti, tasmā vakkaṅgā ti vuccanti. Vaṅkā vā tesaṁ ubhosu passesu pakkhā jātā ti vakkaṅgā; sometimes their heads sit crooked on their necks, therefore vakkaṅga (crooked limb) is said. Birds are born crooked in both their wings, so vakkaṅga (is said).

Kim-atthan ti kiṁkāraṇaṁ sampassamānā.
Why did means seeing what reason.

Ussukā ti ukkaṇṭhitarūpā hutvā.
Agitated means being fretful.

Girikandaran-ti girito aññaṁ pabbatakandaraṁ.
Mountain grotto means from (this) mountain to another mountain grotto.

Yathā pure ti yathā pubbe ete pakkhino maṁ garuṁ katvā,
As before means as before these birds paid me respects,

piyaṁ katvā maññanti, tathā idāni na nūna maññanti,
considered me dear, but now they do not consider me so,

pubbe idha nivutthatāpaso añño, ayaṁ añño,
the ascetic who lived here formerly was another one, and this is another one,

evaṁ maññe, ete maṁ maññantī, ti dīpeti.
thinking thus, they do not have consideration for me, this is the explanation.

Cirappavutthā atha vā na te ime ti?
Are these not those who lived here a long time?

Kiṁ nu kho ime ciraṁ vippavasitvā, dīghassa addhuno accayena,
Why do these who were absent for a long time, after the passing of a long time,

āgatattā maṁ: “So yeva {2.384} ayan-ti” na sañjānanti,
come here without recognising me, thinking: “This is him,”

udāhu ye amhesu abhinibbutacittā,
or, those who, having serene minds amongst us,

na te ime, aññeva āgantukapakkhino,
are they not those, but other, visiting birds,

ime kena maṁ na upasaṅkamantī, ti pucchati.
why do these not approach me, this is what he asks.

−−⏑−¦⏑⏑−¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
3. Jānāma taṁ na mayaṁ sampamūḷhā,
We do know you, we are not deluded,

−−−−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
So yeva tvaṁ te mayam-asma nāññe,
We know he’s not you, and we are not them,

−−⏑−¦−−⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Cittañ-ca te asmiṁ jane paduṭṭhaṁ,
Your mind is corrupted against our folk,

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Ājīvikā tena tam-uttasāmā ti.
That’s why we are afraid, Ājīvika. The Ājīvakas were an ascetic sect who preceded the Jainas and emphasised right livelihood (ājīvika).

Tattha, na mayaṁ sampamūḷhā ti,
In this connection, we are not deluded,

mayaṁ mūḷhā pamattā na homa.
we are not deluded or heedless.

Cittañ-ca te asmiṁ jane paduṭṭhan-ti,
Your mind is corrupted against our folk,

tvaṁ so yeva, mayam-pi te yeva na taṁ sañjānāma,
we do recognise that he is surely not you, and we are surely not them,

apica kho pana tava cittaṁ asmiṁ jane paduṭṭhaṁ,
but moreover, your mind is corrupted against our folk,

amhe māretuṁ uppannaṁ.
and has risen to kill us.

Ājīvikā ti ājīvahetu pabbajita paduṭṭhatāpasa.
Ājīvika means for the sake of livelihood, one gone-forth, a corrupt ascetic. All of these are vocative forms.

Tena tam-uttasāmā ti,
That’s why we are afraid,

tena kāraṇena taṁ uttasāma bhāyāma na upasaṅkamāma.
for that reasoning we are afraid, scared of you, and do not approach.