Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Twenty five years since my going forth,
and no peace of awareness
-- not a finger-snap's worth --
Having gained no oneness of mind,
I was wracked with lust.
Wailing, with my arms upheld,
I ran amok from my dwelling --
"Or...or shall I take the knife?
What's the use of life to me?
If I were to renounce the training,
what sort of death would I have?"
So, taking a razor,
I sat down on a bed.
And there was the razor,
placed ready to cut my own vein,
when apt attention arose in me,
the drawbacks appeared,
at an even keel:
With that, my heart was released.
See the Dhamma's true rightness!
The three knowledges
have been attained;
the Awakened One's bidding,
drunk with the intoxication
of my birth, wealth, & sovereignty.
Drunk with the intoxication
of my body's build, coloring, & form,
I wandered about,
regarding no one
as my equal or better,
foolish, arrogant, haughty,
my banner held high.
I -- disrespectful, arrogant, proud --
bowed down to no one,
not even mother,
or those commonly held
Then -- seeing the ultimate leader,
supreme, foremost of charioteers,
like a blazing sun,
arrayed with a squadron of monks --
casting away pride & intoxication
through an awareness serene & clear,
I bowed down
to him, supreme
among all living beings.
Haughtiness & contempt
have been abandoned
-- rooted out --
the conceit "I am" is extracted,
all forms of pride, destroyed.
When I was seven
& newly gone forth,
having conquered with my power
the great powerful serpent,
I was fetching water for my preceptor
from the great lake, Anotatta,
when the Teacher saw me & said:
"Look, Sariputta, at that one,
the young boy coming there,
carrying a pot of water,
his practices -- inspiring;
his bearing -- admirable.
He's Anuruddha's novice,
mature in his powers,
made thoroughbred by a thoroughbred,
good by one who is good,
tamed by Anuruddha,
trained by one whose task
He, having reached the highest peace
& realized the unshakable,
Sumana the novice
'Don't let anyone know me.'"
1.Anotatta: A fabulous lake located in the Himalayas, famed for the purity of its cool waters. Sumana would have had to use his psychic powers to fetch water from there. [Go back]