03.04 Dantikā Therī (48-50)


48. Going out from my daytime-resting-place on Mt. Gijjhakūṭa, I saw an elephant on the bank of the river, having come up after plunging in.

49. A man, taking a hook, requested the elephant, “Give me your foot.” The elephant stretched forth its foot; the man mounted the elephant.

50. Seeing the untamed tamed, gone under human control, I then concentrated my mind, gone to the forest for that purpose indeed.


While walking along the river

after a long day meditating on Vulture Peak,

I watched an elephant splashing its way

out of the water and up the bank.

Hello, my friend, a man waiting there said,

scratching the elephant behind its ear.

Did you have a good bath?

The elephant stretched out its leg,

the man climbed up,

and the two rode off like that—


Seeing what had once been so wild

now a friend and companion to this good man,

I took a seat under the nearest tree

and reached out a gentle hand

to my own mind.

Truly, I thought, this is why

I came to the woods.


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