Verses from the Discourse on the Reserve Fund
Nidhiṁ nidheti puriso
Atthe kicce samuppanne
Atthāya me bhavissati
Rājato vā duruttassa
Corato pīḷitassa vā
Iṇassa vā pamokkhāya
Dubbhikkhe āpadāsu vā.
Nidhi nāma nidhīyati.
A person stashes a fund away, deep underground, at the water line:
“When a need or duty arises, this will provide for my needs,
for my release if I’m denounced by the king, molested by thieves,
in case of debt, famine, or accidents.”
With aims like this in the world a reserve fund is stashed away.
Na sabbo sabbadāyeva
Tassa taṁ upakappati.
Nidhi vā ṭhānā cavati
Saññā vāssa vimuyhati
Nāgā vā apanāmenti
Yakkhā vāpi haranti naṁ
Appiyā vāpi dāyādā
Yadā puññakkhayo hoti
But no matter how well it’s stored, deep underground, at the water line,
it won’t all always serve one’s need.
The fund gets shifted from its place, or one’s memory gets confused;
or—unseen—nāgas make off with it, spirits steal it,
or hateful heirs run off with it.
When one’s merit’s ended, it’s totally destroyed.
Yassa dānena sīlena
Saññamena damena ca
Nidhī sunihito hoti
Itthiyā purisassa vā
Cetiyamhi ca Saṅghe vā
Puggale atithīsu vā
Mātari pitari vāpi
Atho jeṭṭhamhi bhātari
Eso nidhi sunihito
Etaṁ ādāya gacchati.
But when a man or woman has laid aside a well-stored fund of generosity,
virtue, restraint, & self-control, with regard to a shrine, the Saṅgha,
a fine individual, guests, mother, father, or elder sibling:
That’s a well-stored fund. It can’t be wrested away.
It follows you along.
When, having left this world, for wherever you must go,
you take it with you.
This fund is not held in common with others,
& cannot be stolen by thieves.
Kayirātha dhīro puññāni
Yo nidhi anugāmiko.
Yaṁ yaṁ devābhipatthenti
So, enlightened, you should make merit, the fund that will follow you along.
This is the fund that gives all they want to beings human, divine.
Whatever devas aspire to, that is all gained by this.
A fine complexion, fine voice, a body well-built, well-formed,
lordship, a following: That is all gained by this.
Earthly kingship, supremacy, the bliss of an emperor,
kingship over devas in the heavens: That is all gained by this.
Mānussikā ca sampatti
Deva-loke ca yā rati
Yā ca nibbāna-sampatti
The attainment of the human state, any delight in heaven,
the attainment of unbinding: That is all gained by this.
Yoniso ca payuñjato
Vijjā vimutti vasī-bhāvo
Excellent friends, appropriate application,
mastery of clear knowing & release: That is all gained by this.
Paṭisambhidā vimokkhā ca
Yā ca sāvaka-pāramī
Acumen, emancipations, the perfection of disciplehood,
private awakening, buddhahood: That is all gained by this.
Evaṁ mahatthikā esā
Tasmā dhīrā pasaṁsanti
So powerful this, the accomplishment of merit.
Thus the wise, the enlightened, praise the fund of merit already made.