9. Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā, the ex-Jain
“Hairless, dirt-laden and half-clad —so fared
I formerly, deeming that harmless things
Held harm, nor was I ’ware of harm
In many things wherein, in sooth, harm lay.
Then forth I went from siesta in the shade
Up to the Vulture’s Peak, and there I saw
The Buddha, the Immaculate, begirt
And followed by the Bhikkhu-company.
Low on my knees I worshipped, with both hands
Adoring. ‘Come, Bhaddā!’ the Master said!
Thereby to me was ordination given.
Lo! fifty years have I a pilgrim been,
In Anga, Magadha and in Vajjī,
In Kāsī and the land of Kosala,
Nought owing, living on the people’s alms.
And great the merit by that layman gained,
Sagacious man, who gave Bhaddā a robe—
Bhaddā who now (captive once more to gear)
Is wholly free from bondage of the mind.”