BWV 038: A Cheat is Cheated in Return

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Jā 218 Kūṭavānijajātakaṁ
A Cheat is Cheated in Return

Someone stole some ploughshares and when questioned said that mice had taken them away; in return his accusor carried off the thief’s son and said a hawk had done it. This is the Bodhisatta’s comment and solution to the problem.

83. Saṭhassa sāṭheyyam-idaṁ sucintitaṁ,
Paccoḍḍitaṁ paṭikūṭassa kūṭaṁ,
Phālaṁ ce adeyyuṁ mūsikā,
Kasmā kumāraṁ kulalā no bhareyyuṁ?

This treachery is well devised, is well thought-out,
This fraudulence is but a snare laid in return,
If mice are able to carry off a ploughshare,
Why is it that a hawk can’t carry off a boy?

84. Kūṭassa hi santi kūṭakūṭā,
Bhavati cāpi nikatino nikatyā,
Dehi puttanaṭṭhaphālanaṭṭhassa phālaṁ,
Mā te puttam-ahāsi phālanaṭṭho.

There will be fraud upon fraud for the fraudulent,
There will be cheating in return for he who cheats,
The one who lost a child should give back the ploughshare,
The one who lost a ploughshare must give back the child.

from Buddhist Wisdom Verses


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