Ja 282 Seyyajātaka
The Story about the Best

In the present an innocent courtier is thrown into prison, but later released and honoured by the king. The Buddha tells a story of how a man intrigued in the palace in Benares, was exiled and enticed a foreign king to attack his former country. King Kaṁsa of Benares, rather than cause the deaths of others, allowed himself to be captured, and the conqueror, seeing his virtue, relented and set him free.

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1. Seyyaṁso seyyaso hoti yo seyyam-upasevati,
He who frequents the best has the best share, or even better,

−−⏑−¦−,−−−¦¦⏑−−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka mavipulā
Ekena sandhiṁ katvāna, sataṁ vajjhe amocayiṁ.
Reconciling them as one, I released a hundred from slaughter.

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2. Tasmā sabbena lokena sandhiṁ katvāna ekato,
Therefore by reconciling them with all of the world together,

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Pecca saggaṁ nigaccheyya, idaṁ suṇātha, Kāsiyā ti.
When dead he would go to heaven, listen to this, you of Kāsi.

Tattha, {2.402} seyyaṁso seyyaso hoti yo seyyam-upasevatī ti,
In this connection, he who frequents the best has the best share, or even better,

what is reckoned as the guiltless, supreme Dhamma

seyyo aṁso koṭṭhāso assā ti seyyaṁso,
he who … has the best share means the one with the best portion, the best share,

the person who depends on wholesome Dhamma.

Yo punappunaṁ taṁ seyyaṁ kusala-Dhammabhāvanaṁ,
He who, again and again, develops the best, wholesome Dhamma,

kusalābhirataṁ vā,
or rejoices in the wholesome,

uttamapuggalam-upasevati so seyyaso hoti,
he who frequents the supreme person is even better,

pāsaṁsataro ceva uttaritaro ca hoti.
he is praiseworthy and superior.

Ekena sandhiṁ katvāna, sataṁ vajjhe amocayin-ti,
Reconciling them as one, I released a hundred from slaughter,

tad-aminā pi cetaṁ veditabbaṁ:
with that also this is to be understood:

ahañ-hi seyyaṁ mettābhāvanaṁ upasevanto,
truly practicing the best meditation of loving-kindness,

tāya mettābhāvanāya,
through that meditation of loving-kindness,

ekena coraraññā sandhiṁ santhavaṁ katvā,
by making association with that thieving king,

mettābhāvanaṁ bhāvetvā,
having developed loving-kindness,

tumhe satajane vajjhe amocayiṁ.
I released your one hundred men from slaughter.

Dutiyagāthāya attho:
The meaning of the second verse:

yasmā ahaṁ ekena saddhiṁ ekato mettābhāvanāya sandhiṁ katvā,
since I have reconciled one side with the other through meditation of loving-kindness,

tumhe vajjhappatte satajane mocayiṁ,
I have released your hundred men from being slaughtered,

tasmā veditabbam-evetaṁ,
so is it to be understood,

tasmā sabbena lokena saddhiṁ mettābhāvanāya sandhiṁ katvā ekato,
therefore I have reconciled them together with the whole world through meditation of loving-kindness,

puggalo pecca paraloke saggaṁ nigaccheyya.
(from this) a person when dead would go to heaven in the next world.

Mettāya hi upacāraṁ Kāmāvacare paṭisandhiṁ deti,
Therefore access concentration on loving-kindness gives rebirth in the Sense Realms,

appanā Brahmaloke.
fixed (concentration gives rebirth) in the Brahmā Realm.

Idaṁ mama vacanaṁ, sabbe pi tumhe Kāsiraṭṭhavāsino suṇāthā ti.
Listen to this my word, all you people who dwell in the Kāsi country.

⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−−−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
3. Idaṁ vatvā, mahārājā Kaṁso, Bārāṇasiggaho,
Having said this, I, the great king Kaṁsa, who had seized Benares,

⏑−−−¦⏑−−−¦¦−⏑−−¦⏑−⏑− Siloka pathyā
Dhanuṁ kaṇḍañ-ca nikkhippa, saṁyamaṁ ajjhupāgamī ti
Laying down my bow and quiver, entered upon (moral) restraint.

Tattha, mahanto rājā ti mahārājā.
In this connection, being a great king, he is a great king.

Kaṁso ti tassa nāmaṁ.
Kaṁsa, this is his name. The definition shows how we should parse the compound.

Bārāṇasiṁ gahetvā, ajjhāvasanato Bārāṇasiggaho.
Having seized Benares, from dwelling there he was the one who had seized Benares.

So rājā idaṁ vacanaṁ vatvā,
The king, having spoken this word,

dhanuñ-ca sarasaṅkhātaṁ kaṇḍañ-ca nikkhippa ohāya chaḍḍetvā,
laying down, abandoning, putting aside his bow and what is reckoned his quiver of arrows,

sīlasaṁyamaṁ upagato pabbajito,
and undertaking the practice of moral restraint, went forth,

pabbajitvā ca pana jhānaṁ uppādetvā, aparihīnajjhāno
and after going forth, through producing absorption, and not losing absorption,

Brahmaloke uppanno ti.
he was reborn in the Brahmā Realm.