Can somebody help me find the source for this pāli passage?

Hello, I came across the following in this essay from Helmut Hecker.

When walking on, Kassapa went ahead while Bhadda followed behind him. Considering this, Kassapa thought: “Now, this Bhadda Kapilani follows me close behind, and she is a woman of great beauty. Some people - could easily think, ‘Though they are ascetics, they still cannot live without each other! It is unseemly what they are doing.’ If they spoil their minds by such wrong thoughts or even spread false rumors, they will cause harm to themselves.” So he thought it better that they separate. When they reached a crossroads Kassapa said: “Bhadda, you take one of these roads, and I shall go the other way.” She said: “It is true, for ascetics a woman is an obstacle. People might think and speak badly about us. So please go your own way, and we shall now part.” She then respectfully circumambulated him thrice, saluted him at his feet, and with folded hands she spoke: “Our close companionship and friendship that had lasted for an unfathomable past comes to an end today. Please take the path to the right and I shall take the other road.” Thus they parted and went their individual ways, seeking the high goal of Arahatship, final deliverance from suffering. It is said that the earth, shaken by the power of their virtue, quaked and trembled.

I’m assuming it’s commentarial and I don’t know how to search those. Thank you!

It is in the theragāthā-aṭṭhakathā (however the translation ignores some detail, for example the compound sakalajambudīpagghanikā literally means “who is so beautiful that everyone living in Jambudvīpa i.e India, gets attracted to her, or finds her attractive” is translated above simply as “woman of great beauty”):

thero purato gacchanto nivattitvā olokento cintesi – "ayaṃ, bhaddā kāpilānī, sakalajambudīpagghanikā itthī mayhaṃ pacchato āgacchati, ṭhānaṃ kho panetaṃ vijjati, yaṃ kocideva evaṃ cinteyya ‘ime pabbajitāpi vinā bhavituṃ na sakkonti, ananucchavikaṃ karontī’ti, koci pāpena manaṃ padūsetvā apāyapūrako bhaveyya, imaṃ pahāya mayhaṃ gantuṃ vaṭṭatī"ti cittaṃ uppādesi. so purato gacchanto dvedhāpathaṃ disvā tassa matthake aṭṭhāsi. bhaddāpi āgantvā, vanditvā aṭṭhāsi. atha naṃ āha – "bhadde, tādisiṃ itthiṃ mama pacchato āgacchantiṃ disvā ‘ime pabbajitāpi vinā bhavituṃ na sakkontī’ti cintetvā amhesu paduṭṭhacitto mahājano apāyapūrako bhaveyya. imasmiṃ dvedhāpathe tvaṃ ekaṃ gaṇha, ahamekena gamissāmī"ti. "āma, ayya, pabbajitānaṃ mātugāmo palibodho, ‘pabbajitvāpi vinā na bhavantī’ti amhākaṃ dosaṃ dassessanti, tumhe ekaṃ maggaṃ gaṇhatha, vinā bhavissāmā"ti tikkhattuṃ padakkhiṇaṃ katvā catūsu ṭhānesu pañcapatiṭṭhitena vanditvā dasanakhasamodhānasamujjalaṃ añjaliṃ paggayha "satasahassakappaparimāṇe addhāne kato mittasanthavo ajja bhijjatī"ti vatvā "tumhe dakkhiṇajātikā nāma, tumhākaṃ dakkhiṇamaggo vaṭṭati, mayaṃ mātugāmā nāma vāmajātikā, amhākaṃ vāmamaggo vaṭṭatī"ti vanditvā maggaṃ paṭipannā. tesaṃ dvedhābhūtakāle ayaṃ mahāpathavī "ahaṃ cakkavāḷasinerupabbate dhāretuṃ sakkontīpi tumhākaṃ guṇe dhāretuṃ na sakkomī"ti vadantī viya viravamānā kampi, ākāse asanisaddo viya pavatti, cakkavāḷasinerupabbato unnadi.


Many thanks, friend :blush:

1 Like

Also noticed a grammatical error in the passage - ayam (used as a pronoun for bhaddā kāpilānī) is masculine, and it should have been iyam.

I think you might be confusing Pali and Sanskrit inflections.

The form iyam is the nominative feminine singular of idam in Sanskrit, not Pali.

Pali uses ayaṃ for both masculine and feminine, and idaṃ or imaṃ for neuter.


Yes, thanks - also imam is in Sanskrit invariably the masc. accusative (ayam is masc. nominative as you’ve said)
Idam is invariably the neuter nominative and accusative.
iyam & imām are invariably fem nominative and accusative.

So as someone who reads both (and the languages being lexically similar), I at times forget which language I am reading.

1 Like