Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Khuddaka Nikaya >> Theragatha >> Thera(41):Sirivaddha

Adapted from the Archaic Translation by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.
Commentary (Atthakatha) By Acariya Dhammapala
Note: 'C' in Pali text is pronounced as 'ch' as in 'China'.

Chapter I.
 Single Verses

41. SirivaḍḍhaEdit

He was reborn in this Buddha-age at Rāajagaha, in the house of a prosperous brahmin(priest). Previous causes induced him, when King Bimbisāra met the Lord(Buddha), to take to monk’s order, and he went to a certain forest near the hills Vebhāra and Paṇḍava, and there lived devoted to religious exercises. And there arose once a great storm, and the lightnings entered the cave. But the wind from the pregnant clouds assuaged the heat and fever oppressing the Thera, so that by the more suitable temperature his heart grew concentrated, and he was able to exercise such insight that he won arahantship(enlightenment). So he, with aññā(supreme attainment) as a pretext, broke forth into this utterance touching himself:

[41] Vivaramanupatanti vijjutā vebhārassa ca paṇḍavassa ca||
Nagavivaragato ca jhāyati putto appaṭimassa tādino' ti.|| ||

[41] The lightnings flash even in the rocky cave,
striking Vebhāra's crest and Paṇḍava,[1] And, in the mountain-bosom hid, a child
Of that incomparable Lord(Buddha) sits
Ardent in meditative ecstasy(trance/samadhi).

[1] Two of the five crests in the group of hill-ranges rising above Rājagaha (Rājgir). The former name persists as Baibhāra or Vaibhāra (see illustration) [Ed.?], which rises to the East. The last line expands the one word jhāyati, a word meaning, in Pali, both 'burns' and 'meditates in jhāna.' Cf. verse 1, 167.

1.5    Fifth Chapter

1.5-1[41] Commentary on the stanza of

Sirivaḍḍha TheraEdit

1,1. The stanza starting with Vivaramanupatanti vijjutā constitutes that of the venerable Thera Sirivaḍḍha. What is the origin? This one also, having done devoted service toward former Buddhas, accumulating good deeds conducive towards escape from rounds of repeated rebirths (vaṭṭa), was born in a family home, at the time of the Blessed One Vipassī, ninety one aeons (kappa) ago from now. On having attained the age of intellingence, he saw the Blessed One Vippassī made reverential offerings of small-bell (kiṅkaṇika) flowers. On account of that act of merit, he was reborn in the divine world and having performed meritorious deeds, now and then, he wandered about his rounds of repeated rebirths but in excellent existences (sugati) and was reborn in the house of a wealthy brahmin in Rājagaha when this Buddha arose. His name was Sirivaḍḍha. On having come of age, there arose in him pleasing mind in the royal asenbly of Bimbisāra and in the Master as well as His good dhamma and he became a monk because he came to be endowed with cause. Having becoem a monk also, he had his preliminary duties done, and dwelt devoted to mental exercise (kammaṭṭhāna), in a hill-cave in a certain forest region, not far from Vebhāra and Paṇḍava hills. On that occasion also, an unseasonal shower of rain sprang up. Creepers of lightning wandered about as if they were entering the opening of the hill. The heat of the hot seasoon became cooled by the treasury (sāragabbha) of rainy breeze (meghavāta) for the Thera who was overwhelmed by the heat of the hot season (ghammapariḷāha). With the gain of congenial weather, his mind becaom one-pointed, (ekagga). His mind being well-composed (samāhita), he indulged hiself in the development of spiritual insight and attained Arahantship. Hence, it has been stated in the Apadāna:–

“The omniscient Buddha, the leader

of the world, whose appearance was

of percious gold, the foremost per-

sonage went down the water of the

lake and had His bath.

I plucked Kiṅkani flowers and

specially placed them on Vipassī;

I was of elated mind and good heart

to such a Buddha who was the monarch

of men, the bipeds.

It was ninety one aeons (kappa) ago

from now, that I offered flowers as

charity; I do not remember any evil

existence; this is the fruitful re-

sult of making reverential offering

to Buddha.

I was a king, Bhīmaratha, the world-

king of mighty vigour, endowed with

seven gems in twenty seven aeons


My depravity had been burnt. …

Buddha’s instruction had been carried


1,2. Having, however, attained Arahantship, he uttered a stanza starting with “vivaramanupatanti vijjutā,” ,making his joyous utterance in connection with himself (attasannissaya) by pointing out (padesa) his Arahantship (aññā).

41. There vivaraṃ means in between (antarā), the middle, centre (vemajjha). Anupatanti means the fall (pata) in every character (anulakkhaṇe), they turn out to be (pavattanti) they brilliently shine (vijjotanti); thus, is the meaning. Indeed, the self-same brillient shinning (vijjotana) is said to be (nāma) the occurrence of lightning flashes (vijjulatā). Anu means here also an ellipsis by  being connected grammatically (saddayogene): for example:– “rukkhamanuvijjotaṃ (the tree brightly shining equally).” Vijjutā means lightning (saterata). Vebhārassa ca paṇḍavassa ca means: they fall corresponding to the opening (vivaramanupatanti) of vebhāra hill and Paṇḍva hill; thus, is the interpretation. Nagavivaragato means: approached the hill-cave, the cleft (vivara) of hill (naga); jhāyati  means: he meditates reglecting on the sense-object of contemplation (ārammaṇūpanijjhāna) and also with reflection on characteristic sign (lakkaṇūpaijjhāna); he developes making himself indulge in (ussukkāpento) gaining calm cessation (samatha) and developing spiritual insight (vipassanā). Putto appaṭimassa tādino is to be construed thus:– the bosom (arosa) son of the Blessed One, such a Buddha as being prosperous (sampatti) with body of dhamma beginning with mass of moral oprecepts and so on, prosperous with physical form (rūpakāya), peerless, shorn of comparison  (upamārahita), prosperous with such excellent chatacteristics (tādilakkhaṇa)  in desirable and undesirable matters and so on. By the self-same word putta (son) here also, the Arahantship (aññā), and been explained by the Thera by bringing to light (dīpana) the state of his being the type of son who sprang up to the Arahant level (anujāta) of the Master; thus, it should be understood.

The Commentary on the stanza

of the Thera Surivaḍḍha

has enede.