BWV 041: A Limit to One’s Duties

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Jā 223 Puṭabhattajātakaṁ
A Limit to One’s Duties

A queen is neglected by the King who lets her starve. To chastise the King the Bodhisatta spoke these verses, which led to the King repenting.

87. Namo namantassa, bhaje bhajantaṁ,
Kiccānukubbassa kareyya kiccaṁ,
Nānatthakāmassa kareyya atthaṁ,
Asambhajantam-pi na sambhajeyya.

Reverence to the reverent, honour the honourable,
She should do her duty to one doing his duty,
But she need not do good to one wishing her harm,
No one need love those who do not love in return.

88. Caje cajantaṁ vanathaṁ na kayirā,
Apetacittena na sambhajeyya.
Dvijo dumaṁ khīṇaphalan-ti ñatvā,
Aññaṁ samekkheyya mahā hi loko.

She should abandon the one who abandons her,
She need not love the one who is devoid of thought.
A bird, knowing that a tree is devoid of fruit,
Can seek out another tree in this great wide world.

from Buddhist Wisdom Verses


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