Thus have I heard. Once a large number of bhikkhus were living among the Kosalans, on the slopes of the Himalayas, in a forest-lodging. And they were haughty, unsteady, garrulous, of loose speech, unmindful, thoughtless, without concentration, with wandering minds and faculties uncontrolled. Now Jantu, son of the devas, on a fifteenth-day Uposatha, came into the presence of those bhikkhus and addressed them in verse:
Happy was the life in former times,
Led by Gotama's disciples then:
Unhankering, they sought their frugal alms,
Unhankering, their lodging and their bed.
The world's impermanence they understood:
Knowing this, they made an end of woe.
Now, making evil-doers of themselves,
Just like village headmen they behave,
Eating, eating, till they drop with sleep,
Coveting the things their neighbor has.
To the Sangha having paid respect,
Certain bhikkhus present here I greet:
Others are like outcasts, masterless,
To the realm of hungry ghosts
as if consigned.
Those who thus persist in heedlessness
Are they to whom my message is addressed.
But to those who dwell in mindfulness
I accord full honor and respect.
- The Buddhist "sabbath": the eve of the full moon, the new moon, and the two intervening days, i.e., the 1st, 8th, 14th or 15th and 23rd day of the lunar month. The 15th day is used for exhortation. Called in Sri Lanka poya, and in Thailand wan phra.
- Petaa. Miserable beings who, because of previous greed and avarice, go hungry. I do not understand Mrs Rhys Davids rendering: "As cast out bodies of the dead."