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Subtitle

 

                     
 
The Life of the Buddha - The Buddha: Life and Death

 

Intorductory Note

Siddhartha Gautama, known as Buddha, the "Awakened," was the son of the ruler of Sakya-land, a region lying to the northeast of Oude, in northern India. The date of his birth is placed about 557 B.C.

He was born a warrior prince, but at the age of twenty-nine, after having married and had a son, he determined to renounce the world. Abandoning his family and possessions, he gave himself up to asceticism and concentration of thought, under the direction of masters of this discipline. After seven years, he concluded that this method brought him no nearer to the wisdom he sought as a means of escaping rebirth into a life which he had found not worth living, and for a time he tried starvation and self-torture. This also availed him nothing; when suddenly, sitting under the sacred fig-tree at Bodhi Gaya, he became illumined and saw the Great Truths. Henceforth he was "Buddha."

Gautama's first aim had been merely his own salvation; but moved by pity for mankind he resolved to bestow on others the Four Great Truths and the eight-fold path. Beginning his ministry at Benares, he converted first five monks who had previously been his fellows in asceticism, then many of the noble youth of the city, then a thousand Brahman priests.

The rest of his life was spent in wandering about and preaching his new creed, which spread with extraordinary rapidity. He died not far from his native region about the year 477 B.C.

The foregoing outline selects what seem the most reliable main elements in a biography which has naturally become saturated with legend of later growth. The teaching of Buddha, so similar in its pessimistic view of life to that of the Book of "Ecclesiastes," is amply represented in the following writings.

1-The Story of Sumedha *1*

 

[Footnote *1* : This entire story is related by The Buddha to his disciples, and describes how, in his long-ago existence as the Brahman Sumedha, he first resolved to strive for the Buddhaship. In stanzas 4-5 he speaks of himself, that is, of Sumedha, in the third person, but elsewhere in the first.]

Translated from the Introduction to the Jataka (i.31).

A Hundred thousand cycles vast And four immensities ago, There was a town named Amara, A place of beauty and delights. It had the noises ten complete*2* And food and drink abundantly.

The noise of elephant and horse, Of conch-shell, drum, and chariot, And invitations to partake "Eat ye, and drink!" - resounded loud.

A town complete in all its parts, Where every industry was found, And eke the seven precious gems,*3* And foreigners from many lands. A prosperous city of the gods, Full of good works and holy men.

Within this town of Amara Sumedha lived, of Brahman caste, Who many tens of millions had, And grain and treasure in full store.

[Footnote *2* : Only six of the ten noises indicative of a flourishing town are here mentioned. For the complete list, see The Death of The Buddha.[

[Footnote *3* : Probably gold, silver, pearls, gems (such as sapphire and ruby), cat's-eye, diamond, and coral.]

A student he, and wise in spells, A master of the Vedas three. He fortunes told, tradition knew, And every duty of his caste.

In secret then I sat me down, And thus to ponder I began: "What misery to be born again! And have the flesh dissolve at death!

"Subject to birth, old age, disease, Extinction will I seek to find, Where no decay is ever known, Nor death, but all security.

"What if I now should rid me of This body foul, this charnel-house, And go my way without a care, Or least regret for things behind!

"There is, there must be, an escape! Impossible there should not be! I'll make the search and find the way, Which from existence shall release!

"Even as, although there misery is, Yet happiness is also found; So, though indeed existence is, A non-existence should be sought.

"Even as, although there may be heat, Yet grateful cold is also found; So, though the threefold fire*4* exists, Likewise Nirvana should be sought.

"Even as, although there evil is, That which is good is also found; So, though 'tis true that birth exists, That which is not birth should be sought.

[Footnote *4*: Lust, hatred and infatuation.]

"Even as a man befouled with dung, Seeing a brimming lake at hand, And nathless bathing not therein, Were senseless should he chide the lake;

"So, when Nirvana's lake exists To wash away corruption's stain, Should I not seek to bathe therein, I might not then Nirvana chide.

"Even as a man hemmed in by foes, Seeing a certain safe escape, And nathless seeking not to flee, Might not the blameless pathway chide;

"So, when my passions hem me in, And yet a way to bliss exists, Should I not seek to follow it, That way of bliss I might not chide.

"Even as a man who, sore diseased, When a physician may be had, Should fail to send to have him come, Might the physician then not chide;

"So, when diseased with passion, sore Oppressed, I seek the master not Whose ghostly counsel me might cure, The blame should not on him be laid.

"Even as a man might rid him of A horrid corpse bound to his neck, And then upon his way proceed, Joyous, and free, and unconstrained;

"So must I likewise rid me of This body foul, this charnel-house, And go my way without a care, Or least regret for things behind.

"As men and women rid them of Their dung upon the refuse heap, And go their ways without a care, Or least regret for what they leave;

"So will I likewise rid me of This body foul, this charnel-house, And go my way as if I had Cast out my filth into the draught.

"Even as the owners leave and quit A worn-out, shattered, leaky ship, And go their ways without a care, Or least regret for what they leave;

"So will I likewise rid me of This nine-holed*5* ever-trickling frame, And go my way, as owners do, Who ship disrupted leave behind.

"Even as a man who treasure bears, And finds him in a robber-gang, Will quickly flee and rid him of The robbers, lest they steal his gold;

"So, to a mighty robber might Be likened well this body's frame. I'll cast it off and go my way, Lest of my welfare I be robbed."

Thus thinking, I on rich and poor All that I had in alms bestowed; Hundreds of millions spent I then, And made to Himavant*6* my way.

Not far away from Himavant, There was a hill named Dhammaka, And here I made and patterned well A hermitage and hut of leaves.

[Footnote *5* : The two eyes, ears, and so forth.]

[Footnote *6* : The Himalaya mountains.]

A walking-place I then laid out, Exempted from the five defects,*7* And having all the virtues eight;*8* And there I gained the Six High Powers.

Then ceased I cloaks of cloth to wear, For cloaks possess the nine defects,*9* And girded on a barken dress, Which is with virtues twelve endued.*10*

[Footnote *7* : Native gloss: Jataka, vol. i., p. 7, l. 14: Exempted from the five defects: The following are the five defects in a walking-place: hardness and unevenness; trees in the midst; dense underbrush; excessive narrowness; excessive width.]

[Footnote *8* : Ibidem, l. 30. And having all the virtues eight: Having the eight advantages for a monk. The following are the eight advantages for a monk: it admits of no storing-up of treasure or grain; it favors only a blameless alms-seeking; there one can eat his alms in peace and quiet, there no annoyance is experienced from the reigning families when they oppress the kingdom with their levies of the precious metals or of leaden money; no passionate desire arises for furniture and implements; there is no fear of being plundered by robbers; no intimacies are formed with kings and courtiers; and one is not shut in any any of the four directions.]

[Footnote *9* : Native gloss: Jataka, vol. i., p. 8, l. 27: For cloaks possess the nine defects: . . . For one who retires from the world and takes up the life of an anchorite, there are nine defects inherent in garments of cloth. The great cost is one defect; the fact that it is got by dependence on others is another; the fact that it is easily soiled by use is another, for when it has been soiled it must be washed and dyed; the fact that when it is much worn it must needs be patched and mended is another; the difficulty of obtaining a new one when needed is another; its unsuitableness for an anchorite who has retired from the world is another; its acceptableness to one's enemies is another, for it must needs be guarded lest the enemy take it; the danger that it may be worn for ornament is another; the temptation it affords to load one's self down with it in travelling is another.]

[Footnote *10* : The bast, or inner bark of certain trees, was much used in India as cloth, to which indeed it bears a striking resemblance. - Native gloss: Jataka, vol. i., p. 9, 1. 2: Which is with virtues twelve endued: Possessing twelve advantages. For there are twelve advantages in a dress of bark. It is cheap, good, and suitable; this is one advantage. You can make it yourself; this is a second. It gets dirty but slowly by use, and hence time is not wasted in washing it; this is a third. It never needs sewing, even when much used and worn; this is a fourth. But when a new one is needed, it can be made with ease; this is a fifth. Its suitableness for an anchorite who has retired from the world is a sixth. That it is of no use to one's enemies is a seventh. That it cannot be worn for ornament is an eight. Its lightness is a ninth. Its conducing to moderation in dress is a tenth. The irreproachableless and blamelessness of searching for bark is an eleventh. And the unimportance of its loss is a twelfth.]

My hut of leaves I then forsook, So crowded with the eight defects,*11* And at the foot of trees I lived, For such abodes have virtues ten.*12*

No sown and cultivated grain Allowed I then to be my food; But all the many benefits Of wild-fruit fare I made my own.

And strenuous effort made I there, The while I sat, or stood, or walked, And ere seven days had passed away, I had attained the Powers High.

When I had thus success attained, And made me master of the Law, A Conqueror, Lord of All the World, Was born, by name Dipamkara.

What time he was conceived, was born, What time he Buddhaship attained, When first he preached, - the Signs*13* appeared, I saw them not, deep sunk in trance.

[Footnote 11: Native gloss: Jataka, vol. i., p. 9, l. 11: My hut of leaves I then forsook, So crowded with the eight defects: . . . (L. 36) For there are eight evils connected with the use of a leaf-hut. The great labor involved in searching for materials and in the putting of them together is one evil. The constant care necessary to replace the grass, leaves, and bits of clay that fall down is a second. Houses may do for old men, but no concentration of mind is possible when one's meditation is liable to be interrupted; thus the liability to interruption is a third. The protection afforded against heat and cold renders the body delicate, and this is a fourth. In a house all sorts of evil deeds are possible; thus the cover it affords for disgraceful practices is a fifth. The taking possession, saying, "This is mine," is a sixth. To have a house is like having a companion; this is a seventh. And the sharing of it with many others, as for instance with lice, bugs, and house-lizards, is an eighth.]

[Footnote 12: Ibidem, p. 10, l. 9: And at the foot of trees I lived, For such abodes have virtues ten: . . . The following are the ten virtues. The smallness of the undertaking is one virtue, for all that is necessary is simply to go to the tree. The small amount of care it requires is a second; for, whether swept or unswept, it is suitable for use. The freedom from interruption is a third. It affords no cover for disgraceful practices; wickedness there would be too public; thus the fact that it affords no cover for disgraceful practices is a fourth. It is like living under the open sky, for there is no feeling that the body is confined; thus the non-confinement of the body is a fifth. There is no taking possession; this is a sixth. The abandonment of all longings for household life is a seventh. When a house is shared with others, some one is liable to say, "I will look after this house myself. Begone!" Thus the freedom from eviction is an eighth. The happy contentment experienced by the occupant is a ninth. The little concern one need feel about lodgings, seeking that a man can find a tree no matter where he may be stopping, - this is a tenth.]

[Footnote 13: Translated from the prose of the Jataka, vol. i., p. 10, last line but one: At his [Dipamkara's] conception, birth, attainment of Buddhaship, and when he caused the Wheel of Doctrine to roll, the entire system of ten thousand worlds trembled, quivered, and shook, and roared with a mighty roar; also the Thirty-Two Prognostics appeared.]

Then, in the distant border-land, Invited they this Being Great, And every one, with joyful heart, The pathway for his coming cleared.

Now so it happened at this time, That I my hermitage had left, And, barken garments rustling loud, Was passing o'er them through the air.

Then saw I every one alert, Well-pleased, delighted, overjoyed; And, coming downward from the sky, The multitude I straightway asked:

"Well-pleased, delighted, overjoyed, And all alert is every one; For whom is being cleared the way, The path, the track to travel on?"

When thus I asked, response was made: "A mighty Buddha has appeared, A Conqueror, Lord of All the World, Whose name is called Dipamkara. For him is being cleared the way, The path, the track to travel on."

This word, "The Buddha," when I heard, Joy sprang up straightway in my heart; "A Buddha! Buddha!" cried I then, And published my heart's content.

And standing there I pondered deep, By joyous agitation seized: "Here will I now some good seed sow, Nor let this fitting season slip."

"For a Buddha do ye clear the road? Then, pray, grant also me a place! I, too, will help to clear the way, The path, the track to travel on."

And so they granted also me A portion of the path to clear, And I gan clear, while still my heart Said "Buddha! Buddha!" o'er and o'er.

But ere my part was yet complete, Dipamkara, the Mighty Sage, The Conqueror, came that way along, Thronged by four hundred thousand saints, Without depravity or spot, And having each the Six High Powers.

The people then their greetings gave, And many kettle-drums were beat, And men and gods, in joyous mood, Loud shouted their applauding cries.

Then men and gods together met, And saw each other face to face; And all with joined hands upraised Followed The Buddha and his train.

The gods, with instruments divine, The men, with those of human make, Triumphant music played, the while They followed in The Buddha's train.

Celestial beings from on high Threw broadcast over all the earth The Erythrina flowers of heaven, The lotus and the coral-flower.

And men abiding on the ground On every side flung up in air Champakas, salalas, nipas, Nagas, punnagas, ketakas.

Then loosened I my matted hair, And, spreading out upon the mud My dress of bark and cloak of skin, I laid me down upon my face.

"Let now on me The Buddha tread, With the disciples of his train; Can I but keep him from the mire, To me great merit shall accrue."

While thus I lay upon the ground, Arose within me many thoughts: "To-day, if such were my desire, I my corruptions might consume.

"But why thus in an unknown guise Should I the Doctrine's fruit secure? Omniscience first will I achieve, And be a Buddha in the world.

"Or why should I, a valorous man, The ocean seek to cross alone? Omniscience first will I achieve, And men and gods convey across.

"Since now I make this earnest wish, In presence of this Best of Men, Omniscience sometime I'll achieve, And multitudes convey across.

"I'll rebirth's circling stream arrest, Destroy existence's three modes; I'll climb the sides of Doctrine's ship, And men and gods convey across.

"A human being, male of sex, Who saintship gains, a Teacher meets, As hermit lives, and virtue loves, Nor lacks resolve, nor fiery zeal, Can by these eight conditions joined, Make his most earnest wish succeed."

Dipamkara, Who Knew All Worlds, Recipient of Offerings, Came to a halt my pillow near, And thus addressed the multitudes:

"Behold ye now this monk austere, His matted locks, his penance fierce! Lo! he, unnumbered cycles hence, A Buddha in the world shall be.

"From the fair town called Kapila His Great Retirement shall be made. Then, when his Struggle fierce is o'er, His stern austerities performed,

"He shall in quiet sit him down Beneath the Ajapala-tree; There pottage made of rice receive, And seek the stream Neranjara.

"This pottage shall The Conqueror eat, Beside the stream Neranjara, And thence by road triumphal go To where the Tree of Wisdom stands.

"Then shall the Peerless, Glorious One Walk to the right, round Wisdom's Throne, And there The Buddhaship achieve, While sitting at the fig-tree's root.

"The mother that shall bring him forth, Shall Maya called be by name; Suddhodana his father's name; His own name shall be Gotama.

"Kolita, Upatissa too, These shall his Chief Disciples be; Both undepraved, both passion-free, And tranquil and serene of mind.

"Ananda shall be servitor And on The Conqueror attend; Khema and Uppalavanna Shall female Chief Disciples be,

"Both undepraved, both passion-free, And tranquil and serene of mind. The Bo-tree of this Blessed One Shall be the tree Assattha called."

Thus spake Th' Unequalled, Mighty Sage; And all, when they had heard his speech, Both men and gods rejoiced, and said: "Behold a Buddha-scion here!"

Now shouts were heard on every side, The people clapped their arms and laughed. Ten thousand worlds of men and gods Paid me their homage then and said;

"If of our Lord Dipamkara The Doctrine now we fail to grasp, We yet shall stand in time to come Before this other face to face.

"Even as, when men a river cross, And miss th' opposing landing-place, A lower landing-place they find, And there the river-bank ascend;

"Even so, we all, if we let slip The present Conqueror that we have, Yet still shall stand in time to come Before this other, face to face."

Dipamkara, Who All Worlds Knew, Recipient of Offerings, My future having prophesied, His right foot raised and went his way.

And all who were this Conqueror's sons, Walked to the right around me then; And serpents, men, and demigods, Saluting me, departed thence.

Now when The Leader of the World Had passed from sight with all his train, My mind with rapturous transport filled, I raised me up from where I lay.

Then overjoyed with joy was I, Delighted with a keen delight; And thus with pleasure saturate I sat me down with legs across.

And while cross-legged there I sat, I thus reflected to myself: "Behold! in trance am I adept, And all the Powers High are mine.

"Nowhere throughout a thousand worlds Are any seers to equal me; Unequalled in the magic gifts Have I this height of bliss attained."

Now while I sat with legs across, The dwellers of ten thousand worlds Rolled forth a glad and mighty shout:*14* "Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"The presages that erst were seen, When Future Buddhas sat cross-legged, These presages are seen to-day Surely a Buddha thou shalt be! "All cold is everywhere dispelled, And mitigated is the heat; These presages are seen to-day Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

[Footnote *14* : There have been many beings who, like Sumedha here, were to become Buddhas, and who were therefore called Bodhi-sattas or "Future Buddhas." The certainty of their ultimate "Illumination," or Buddhaship, was always foretokened by certain presages. The "dwellers of ten thousand worlds" describe in the following stanzas what these presages were, declare that they are reappearing now, and announce to Sumedha their prophetic inference that he will attain Buddhaship.]

"The system of ten thousand worlds Is hushed to quiet and to peace; These presages are seen to-day Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"The mighty winds then cease to blow, Nor do the rivers onward glide; These presages are seen to-day Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"All plants, be they of land or stream, Do straightway put their blossoms forth; Even so to-day they all have bloomed Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"And every tree, and every vine, Is straightway laden down with fruit; Even so to-day they're laden down Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"In sky and earth doth straightway then Full many a radiant gem appear; Even so to-day they shine afar Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Then straightway music's heard to play 'Mongst men on earth and gods in heaven; So all to-day in music join Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"There falleth straightway down from heaven A rain of many colored flowers; Even so to-day these flowers are seen Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"The mighty ocean heaves and roars, And all the worlds ten thousand quake; Even so is now this tumult heard Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Straightway throughout the whole of hell The fires ten thousand all die out: Even so to-day have all expired Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Unclouded then the sun shines forth, And all the stars appear to view; Even so to-day do they appear Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Straightway, although no rain hath fallen, Burst springs of water from the earth; Even so to-day they gush in streams Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"And bright then shine the starry hosts And constellations in the sky; The moon in Libra now doth stand Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"All beasts that lurk in holes and clefts, Then get them forth from out their lairs; Even so to-day they've left their dens Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Straightway content is all the world, And no unhappiness is known; Even so to-day are all content Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Then every sickness vanishes, And hunger likewise disappears; These presages are seen to-day Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Then lust doth dwindle and grow weak, And hate, infatuation too; Even so to-day they disappear Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Then fear and danger are unknown; All we are freed from them to-day; And by this token we perceive 'Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"No dust upwhirleth towards the sky; Even so to-day this thing is seen; And by this token we perceive 'Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"All noisome odors drift away, And heavenly fragrance fills the air; Even so the winds now sweetness waft Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Then all the gods appear to view, Save those that hold the formless realm; Even so to-day these all are seen Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Then clearly see are all the hells, However many be their tale; Even so to-day may all be seen Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Through walls, and doors, and mountain-rocks, One finds an easy passage then; Even so to-day they yield like air Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Existence then forbears its round Of death and rebirth for a time; Even so to-day this thing is seen Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!

"Do thou a strenuous effort make! Do not turn back! Go on! Advance! Most certainly we know this thing: 'Surely a Buddha thou shalt be!'"

When I had heard The Buddha's speech, And what the worlds ten thousand said, Well-pleased, delighted, overjoyed, I thus reflected to myself:

"The Buddhas never liars are; A Conqueror's word ne'er yet was vain; Nothing but truth The Buddhas speak Surely a Buddha I shall be!

"As clods thrown upward in the air Fall surely back upon the earth, So what the glorious Buddhas speak Is sure and steadfast to the end. Nothing but truth The Buddhas speak Surely a Buddha I shall be!

"As also for each living thing The approach of death is ever sure, So what the glorious Buddha's speak Is sure and steadfast to the end. Nothing but truth The Buddhas speak Surely a Buddha I shall be!

"As at waning of the night The rising of the sun is sure, So hat the glorious Buddhas speak Is sure and steadfast to the end. Nothing but truth, etc.

"As, when he issues from his den, The roaring of the lion's sure, So what the glorious Buddhas speak Is sure and steadfast to the end. Nothing but truth, etc.

"As when a female has conceived, Her bringing forth of young is sure, So what the glorious Buddhas speak Is sure and steadfast to the end. Nothing but truth The Buddhas speak Surely a Buddha I shall be!

"Come now! I'll search that I may find Conditions which a Buddha make Above, below, to all ten*15* points, Where'er conditions hold their sway."

And then I searched, and saw the First Perfection, which consists in Alms, That highroad great whereon of old The former seers had ever walked.

"Come now! This one as first adopt, And practise it determinedly; Acquire perfection in thine Alms, If thou to Wisdom wouldst attain.

"As when a jar is brimming full, And some one overturneth it, The jar its water all gives forth, And nothing for itself keeps back;

"So, when a suppliant thou dost see, Of mean, or high, or middling rank, Give all in Alms, in nothing stint, E'en as the overturned jar.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make: Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

Perfection Second then I sought, And lo! the Precepts came to view, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! as second this adopt, And practise it determinedly; The Precepts to perfection keep, If thou to Wisdom wouldst attain.

[Footnote *15* : The four cardinal points of the compass, the four intermediate points, the zenith and nadir.]

"As when a Yak cow's flowing tail Is firmly caught by bush or thorn, She thereupon awaits her death, But will not tear and mar her tail;

"So likewise thou in stages four, Observe and keep the Precepts whole, On all occasions guard them well, As ever Yak cow does her tail.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then Perfection Third I sought, Which is Renunciation called, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as third adopt, And practise it determinedly; Renounce, and in perfection grow, If thou to Wisdom wouldst attain.

"Even as a man who long has dwelt In prison, suffering miserably, No liking for the place conceives, But only longeth for release;

"So likewise thou must every mode Of being as a prisoner view Renunciation be thy aim; Thus from existence free thyself.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Fourth Perfection, which is Wisdom called, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as fourth adopt, And practise it determinedly; Wisdom to its perfection bring, If thou to Wisdom wouldst attain.

"Just as a priest, when on his rounds, Nor low, nor high, nor middling folk Doth shun, but begs of every one, And so his daily food receives;

"So to the learned ay resort, And seek thy Wisdom to increase; And when this Fourth Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Fifth Perfection, which is Courage called, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as fifth adopt, And practise it determinedly; In Courage perfect strive to be, If thou to Wisdom wouldst attain.

"Just as the lion, king of beasts, In crouching, walking, standing still, With courage ever is instinct, And watchful always, and alert;

"So thou in each repeated birth, Courageous energy display; And when this Fifth Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Sixth Perfection, which is Patience called, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as sixth adopt, And practise it determinedly; And if thou keep an even mood, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"Just as the earth, whate'er is thrown Upon her, whether sweet or foul, All things endures, and never shows Repugnance, nor complacency;

"E'en so, or honor thou, or scorn, Of men, with patient mood must bear; And when this Sixth Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Seventh Perfection, which is that of Truth, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as seventh adopt, And practise it determinedly; If thou are ne'er of double speech, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"Just as the morning star on high Its balanced course doth ever keep, And through all seasons, times, and years, Doth never from its pathway swerve;

"So likewise thou in all thy speech Swerve never from the path of truth; And when this Seventh Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Eighth Perfection, Resolution called, Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as eighth adopt, And practise it determinedly; And when thou art immovable, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"Just as a rocky mountain-peak, Unmoved stands, firm-stablished, Unshaken by the boisterous gales, And always in its place abides;

"So likewise thou must ever be In Resolution firm intrenched; And when this Eighth Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Ninth Perfection, which is called Good-will; Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as ninth adopt, And practise it determinedly; Unequalled be in thy Good-will, If thou to Wisdom wouldst attain.

"As water cleanseth all alike, The righteous and the wicked, too, From dust and dirt of every kind, And with refreshing coolness fills;

"So likewise thou both friend and foe, Alike with thy Good-will refresh, And when this Ninth Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But now there must be more than these Conditions which a Buddha make; Still others will I seek to find That shall in Buddhaship mature."

And then I sought and found the Tenth Perfection, called Indifference; Which mighty seers of former times Had practised and had follow'd.

"Come now! this one as tenth adopt, And practise it determinedly; And when thou art of equal poise, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"Just as the earth, whate'er is thrown Upon her, whether sweet or foul, Indifferent is to all alike, Nor hatred shows, nor amity;

"So likewise thou in good or ill, Must even-balanced ever be; And when this Tenth Perfection's gained, A Buddha's Wisdom shall be thine.

"But earth no more conditions hath That in The Buddhaship mature; Beyond these are there none to seek; So practise these determinedly."

Now pondering these conditions ten, Their nature, essence, character, Such fiery vigor had they all, That all the worlds ten thousand quaked.

Then shook and creaked the wide, wide earth, As doth the sugar-mill at work; Then quaked the ground, as doth the wheel Of oil-mills when they're made to turn.

Th' entire assemblage that was there, And followed in The Buddha's train, Trembled and shook in great alarm, And fell astonied to the ground.

And many thousand waterpots, And many hundred earthen jars, Were one upon another dashed, And crushed and pounded into dust.

Excited, trembling, terrified, Confused, and sore oppressed in mind, The multitudes together came, And to Dipamkara approached.

"Oh, tell us what these signs portend. Will good or ill betide the world? Lo! terror seizes hold on all. Dispel our fears, All-Seeing One!"

The Great Sage, then, Dipamkara, Allayed and pacified their fears: "Be comforted; and fear ye not For that the world doth quake and shake.

"Of whom to-day I made proclaim 'A glorious Buddha shall he be,' He now conditions pondereth, Which former Conquerors fulfilled.

"'Tis while on these he is intent, As basis for The Buddhaship, The ground in worlds ten thousand shakes, In all the realms of gods and men."

When thus they'd heard The Buddha speak, Their anxious minds received relief; And all then drawing near to me, Again they did me reverence.

Thus on the road to Buddhaship, And firm determined in my mind, I raised me up from off my seat, And reverenced Dipamkara.

Then as I raised me from my seat, Both gods and men in unison Sweet flowers of heaven and flowers of earth Profusely sprinkled on my head.

And gods and men in unison Their great delight proclaimed aloud: "A mighty prayer thou now hast made; Succeed according to thy wish!

"From all misfortunes be thou free, Let every sickness disappear! Mayst thou no hindrance ever know, And highest Wisdom soon achieve!

"As, when the time of spring has come, The trees put forth their buds and flowers, Likewise dost thou, O Hero Great, With knowledge of a Buddha bloom.

"As all they who have Buddhas been, The Ten Perfections have fulfilled, Likewise do thou, O Hero Great, The Ten Perfections strive to gain.

"As all they who have Buddhas been, On Wisdom's Throne their insight gained, Likewise do thou, O Hero Great, On Conqueror's Throne thy insight gain.

"As all they who have Buddhas been, Have made the Doctrine's Wheel to roll, Likewise do thou, O Hero Great, Make Doctrine's Wheel to roll once more.

"As on the mid-day of the month The moon in full perfection shines, Likewise do thou, with perfect mind, Shine brightly in ten thousand worlds.

"As when the sun, by Rahu freed, Shines forth exceeding bright and clear, So thou, when freed from ties of earth, Shine forth in bright magnificence.

"Just as the rivers of all lands Into the ocean find their way, May gods and men from every world Approach and find their way to thee."

Thus praised they me with glad acclaim; And I, beginning to fulfil The ten conditions of my quest, Re-entered then into the wood.

End of the Story of Sumedha

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2-The Birth of the Buddha

Translated from the Introduction to the Jataka (i.4721)

Now while the Future Buddha was still dwelling in the city of the Tusita gods, the "Buddha-Uproar," as it is called, took place. For there are three uproars which take place in the world, - the Cyclic-Uproar, the Buddha-Uproar, and the Universal-Monarch-Uproar. They occur as follows:

When it is known that after the lapse of a hundred thousand years the cycle is to be renewed, the gods called Lokabyuhas, inhabitants of a heaven of sensual pleasure, wander about through the world, with hair let down and flying in the wind, weeping and wiping away their tears with their hands, and with their clothes red and in great disorder. And thus they make announcement:

"Sirs, after the lapse of a hundred thousand years, the cycle is to be renewed; this world will be destroyed; also the mighty ocean will dry up; and this broad earth, and Sineru, the monarch of the mountains, will be burnt up and destroyed, - up to the Brahma heavens will the destruction of the world extend. Therefore, sirs, cultivate friendliness; cultivate compassion, joy, and indifference; wait on your mothers; wait on your fathers; and honor your elders among your kinsfolk."

This is called the Cyclic-Uproar.

Again, when it is known that after a lapse of a thousand years an omniscient Buddha is to arise in the world, the guardian angels of the world wander about, proclaiming:

"Sirs, after the lapse of a thousand years a Buddha will arise in the world."

This is called the Buddha-Uproar.

And lastly, when they realize that after the lapse of a hundred years a Universal Monarch is to arise, the terrestrial deities wander about, proclaiming:

"Sirs, after the lapse of a hundred years a Universal Monarch is to arise in the world."

This is called the Universal-Monarch-Uproar. And these three are mighty uproars.

When of these three Uproars they hear the sound of the Buddha-Uproar, the gods of all ten thousand worlds come together into one place, and having ascertained what particular being is to be The Buddha, they approach him, and beseech him to become one. But it is not still after omens have appeared that they beseech him.

At that time, therefore, having all come together in one world, with the Catum-Maharajas, and with the Sakka, the Suyama, the Santusita, the Paranimmita-Vasavatti, and the Maha-Brahma of each several world, they approached the Future Buddha in the Tusita heaven, and besought him, saying,

"Sir, it was not to acquire the glory of a Sakka, or of a Mara, or of a Brahma, or of a Universal Monarch, that you fulfilled the Ten Perfections; but it was to gain omniscience in order to save the world, that you fulfilled them. Sir, the time and fit season for your Buddhaship has now arrived."

But the Great Being, before assenting to their wish, made what is called the five great observations. He observed, namely, the time, the continent, the country, the family, and the mother and her span of life.

In the first of these observations he asked himself whether it was the right time or no. Now it is not the right time when the length of men's lives is more than a hundred thousand years. And why is it not the right time? Because mortals then forget about birth, old age, and death. And if The Buddhas, who always include in their teachings the Three Characteristics, were to attempt at such a time to discourse concerning transitoriness, misery, and the lack of substantive reality, men would not think it worth while listening to them, nor would they give them credence. Thus there would be no conversions made; and if there were no conversions, the dispensation would not conduce to salvation. This, therefore, is not the right time.

Also it is not the right time when men's lives are less than a hundred years. And why is it not the right time? Because mortals are then exceedingly corrupt; and an exhortation given to the exceed ingly corrupt makes no impression, but, like a mark drawn with a stick on the surface of the water, it immediately disappears. This, therefore, also is not the right time.

But when the length of men's lives is between a hundred years and a hundred thousand years, then is it the right time. Now at that time men's lives were a hundred years; accordingly the Great Being observed that it was the right time for his birth.

Next he made the observation concerning the continent. Looking over the four continents with their attendant isles, he reflected: "In three of the continents the Buddhas are never born; only in the continent of India are they born." Thus he decided on the continent.

Next he made the observation concerning the place. "The continent of India is large," thought he, "being ten thousand leagues around. In which of its countries are The Buddhas born?" Thus he decided on the Middle Country.

The Middle Country is the country defined in the Vinaya as follows:

"It lies in the middle, on this side of the town Kajangala on the east, beyond which is Maha-Sala, and beyond that the border districts. It lies in the middle, on this side of the river Salalavati on the southeast, beyond which are the border districts. It lies in the middle, on this side of the town Setakannika on the south, beyond which are the border districts. It lies in the middle, on this side of the Brahmanical town Thuna on the west, beyond which are the border districts. It lies in the middle, on this side of the hill Usiraddhaja on the north, beyond which are the border districts."

It is three hundred leagues in length, two hundred and fifty in breadth, and nine hundred in circumference. In this country are born The Buddhas, the Private Buddhas, the Chief Disciples, the Eighty Great Disciples, the Universal Monarch, and other eminent ones, magnates of the warrior caste, of the Brahman caste, and the wealthy householders. "And in it is this city called Kapilavatthu," thought he, and concluded that there he ought to be born.

Then he made the observation concerning the family. "The Buddhas," thought he, "are never born into a family of the peasant caste, or of the servile caste; but into one of the warrior caste, or of the Brahman caste, whichever at the time is the higher in public estimation. The warrior caste is now the higher in public estimation. I will be born into a warrior family, and king Suddhodana shall be my father." Thus he decided on the family.

Then he made the observation concerning the mother. "The mother of a Buddha," thought he, "is never a wanton, nor a drunkard, but is one who has fulfilled the perfections through a hundred thousand cycles, and has kept the five precepts unbroken from the day of her birth. Now this queen Maha-Maya is such a one; and she shall be my mother." - "But what shall be her span of life?"*1* continued he. And he perceived that it was to be ten months and seven days.

Having thus made the five great observations, he kindly made the gods the required promise, saying,

"Sirs, you are right. The time has come for my Buddhaship."

Then, surrounded by the gods of the Tusita heaven, and dismissing all the other gods, he entered the Nandana Grove of the Tusita capital, - for in each of the heavens there is a Nandana Grove. And here the gods said, "Attain in your next existence your high destiny," and kept reminding him that he had already paved the way to it by his accumulated merit. Now it was while he was thus dwelling, surrounded by these deities, and continually reminded of his accumulated merit, that he died, and was conceived in the womb of queen Maha-Maya. And in order that this matter may be fully understood, I will give the whole account in due order.

[Footnote *1* : That is, "How long is she to live after conceiving me?" And the answer is, "Ten lunar [that is, the nine calendar] months of my mother's pregnancy, and seven days after my birth."]

It is related that at that time the Midsummer Festival had been proclaimed in the city of Kapilavatthu, and the multitude were enjoying the feast. And queen Maha-Maya, abstaining from strong drink, and brilliant with garlands and perfumes, took part in the festivities for the six days previous to the day of full moon. And when it came to be the day of full moon, she rose early, bathed in perfumed water, and dispensed four hundred thousand pieces of money in great largess. And decked in full gala attire, she ate of the choicest food; after which she took the eight vows, and entered her elegantly furnished chamber of state. And lying down on the royal couch, she fell asleep and dreamed the following dream:

The four guardian angels came and lifted her up, together with her couch, and took her away to the Himalaya Mountains. There, in the Manosila table-land, which is sixty leagues in extent, they laid her under a prodigious sal-tree, seven leagues in height, and took up their positions respectfully at one side. Then came the wives of these guardian angels, and conducted her to Anotatta Lake, and bathed her, to remove every human stain. And after clothing her with divine garments, they anointed her with perfumes and decked her with divine flowers. Not far off was Silver Hill, and in it a golden mansion. There they spread a divine couch with its head towards the east, and laid her down upon it. Now the Future Buddha had become a superb white elephant, and was wandering about at no great distance, on Gold Hill. Descending thence, he ascended Silver Hill, and approaching from the north, he plucked a white lotus with his silvery trunk, and trumpeting loudly, went into the golden mansion. And three times he walked round his mother's couch, with his right side towards it, and striking her on her right side, he seemed to enter her womb. Thus the conception took place in the Midsummer Festival.

On the next day the queen awoke, and told the dream to the king. And the king caused sixty-four eminent Brahmans to be summoned, and spread costly seats for them on ground festively prepared with green leaves, Dalbergia flowers, and so forth. The Brahmans being seated, he filled gold and silver dishes with the best of milk-porridge compounded with ghee, honey, and treacle; and covering these dishes with others, made likewise of gold and silver, he gave the Brahmans to eat. And not only with food, but with other gifts, such as new garments, tawny cows, and so forth, he satisfied them completely. And when their every desire had been satisfied, he told them the dream and asked them what would come of it?

"Be not anxious, great king!" said the Brahmans; "a child has planted itself in the womb of your queen, and it is a male child and not a female. You will have a son. And he, if he continue to live the household life, will become a Universal Monarch; but if he leave the household life and retire from the world, he will become a Buddha, and roll back the clouds of sin and folly of this world."

Now the instant the Future Buddha was conceived in the womb of his mother, all the ten thousand worlds suddenly quaked, quivered, and shook. And the Thirty-two Prognostics appeared, as follows: an immeasurable light spread through ten thousand worlds: the blind recovered their sight, as if from desire to see this his glory; the deaf received their hearing; the dumb talked; the hunchbacked became straight of body; the lame recovered the power to walk; all those in bonds were freed from their bonds and chains; the fires went out in all the hells; the hunger and thirst of the Manes was stilled; wild animals lost their timidity; diseases ceased among men; all mortals became mild-spoken; horses neighed and elephants trumpeted in a manner sweet to the ear; all musical instruments gave forth their notes without being played upon; bracelets and other ornaments jingled; in all quarters of the heavens the weather became fair; a mild, cool breeze began to blow, very refreshing to men; rain fell out of season; water burst forth from the earth and flowed in streams; the birds ceased flying through the air; the rivers checked their flowing; in the mighty ocean the water became sweet; the ground became everywhere covered with lotuses of the five different colors; all flowers bloomed, both those on land and those that grow in the water; trunk-lotuses bloomed on the trunks of trees, branch-lotuses on the branches, and vine-lotuses on the vines; on the ground, stalk-lotuses, as they are called, burst through the overlying rocks and came up by sevens; in the sky were produced others, called hanging-lotuses; a shower of flowers fell all about; celestial music was heard to play in the sky; and the whole ten thousand worlds became one mass of garlands of the utmost possible magnificence, with waving chowries, and saturated with the incense-like fragrance of flowers, and resembled a bouquet of flowers sent whirling through the air, or a closely woven wreath, or a superbly decorated altar of flowers.

From the time the Future Buddha was thus conceived, four angels with swords in their hands kept guard, to ward off all harm from both the Future Buddha and the Future Buddha's mother. No lustful thought sprang up in the mind of the Future Buddha's mother; having reached the pinnacle of good fortune and of glory, she felt comfortable and well, and experienced no exhaustion of body. And within her womb she could distinguish the Future Buddha, like a white thread passed through a transparent jewel. And whereas a womb that has been occupied by a Future Buddha is like the shrine of a temple, and can never be occupied or used again, therefore it was that the mother of the Future Buddha died when he was seven days old, and was reborn in the Tusita heaven.

Now other women sometimes fall short of and sometimes run over the term of ten lunar months, and then bring forth either sitting or lying down; but not so the mother of a Future Buddha. She carries the Future Buddha in her womb for just ten months, and then brings forth while standing up. This is a characteristic of the mother of a Future Buddha. So also queen Maha-Maya carried the Future Buddha in her womb, as it were oil in a vessel, for ten months; and being then far gone with child, she grew desirous of going home to her relatives, and said to king Suddhodana,

"Sire, I should like to visit my kinsfolk in their city Devadaha."

"So be it," said the king; and from Kapilavatthu to the city of Devadaha he had the road made even, and garnished it with plantain-trees set in pots, and with banners and streamers; and, seating the queen in a golden palanquin borne by a thousand of his courtiers, he sent her away in great pomp.

Now between the two cities, and belonging to the inhabitants of both, there was a pleasure-grove of sal-trees, called Lumbini Grove. And at this particular time this grove was one mass of flowers from the ground to the topmost branches, while amongst the branches and flowers hummed swarms of bees of the five different colors, and flocks of various kinds of birds flew about warbling sweetly. Throughout the whole of Lumbini Grove the scene resembled the Cittalata Grove in Indra's paradise, or the magnificently decorated banqueting pavilion of some potent king.

When the queen beheld it she became desirous of disporting herself therein, and the courtiers therefore took her into it. And going to the foot of the monarch sal-tree of the grove, she wished to take hold of one of its branches. And the sal-tree branch, like the tip of a well-steamed reed, bent itself down within reach of the queen's hand. Then she reached out her hand, and seized hold of the branch, and immediately her pains came upon her. Thereupon the people hung a curtain about her, and retired. So her delivery took place while she was standing up, and keeping fast hold of the sal-tree branch.

At that very moment came four pure-minded Maha-Brahma angels bearing a golden net, and, receiving the Future Buddha on this golden net, they placed him before his mother and said,

"Rejoice, O Queen! A mighty son has been born to you."

Now other mortals on issuing from the maternal womb are smeared with disagreeable, impure matter; but not so the Future Buddha. He issued from his mother's womb like a preacher descending from his preaching-seat, or a man coming down a stair, stretching out both hands and both feet, unsmeared by any impurity from his mother's womb, and flashing pure and spotless, like a jewel thrown upon a vesture of Benares cloth. Notwithstanding this, for the sake of honoring the Future Buddha and his mother, there came two streams of water from the sky, and refreshed the Future Buddha and his mother.

Then the Brahma angels, after receiving him on their golden net, delivered him to the four guardian angels, who received him from their hands on a rug which was made of the skins of black antelopes, and was soft to the touch, being such as is used on state occasions; and the guardian angels delivered him to men who received him on a coil of fine cloth; and the men let him out of their hands on the ground, where he stood and faced the east. There, before him, lay many thousands of worlds, like a great open court; and in them, gods and men, making offerings to him of perfumes, garlands, and so on, were saying,

"Great Being! There is none your equal, much less your superior."

When he had in this manner surveyed the four cardinal points, and the four intermediate ones, and the zenith, and the nadir, in short, all the ten directions in order, and had nowhere discovered his equal, he exclaimed, "This is the best direction," and strode forward seven paces, followed by Maha-Brahma holding over him the white umbrella, Suyama bearing the fan, and other divinities having the other symbols of royalty in their hands. Then, at the seventh stride, he halted, and with a noble voice, he shouted the shout of victory, beginning,

"The chief am I in all the world."

Now in three of his existences did the Future Buddha utter words immediately on issuing from his mother's womb: namely, in his existence as Mahosadha; in his existence as Vessantara; and in this existence.

As respects his existence as Mahosadha, it is related that just as he was issuing from his mother's womb, Sakka, the king of the gods, came and placed in his hand some choice sandal-wood, and departed. And he closed his fist upon it, and issued forth.

"My child," said his mother, "what is it you bring with you in your hand?"

"Medicine, mother," said he.

Accordingly, as he was born with medicine in his hand, they gave him the name of Osadha-Daraka [Medicine-Child]. Then they took the medicine, and placed it in an earthenware jar; and it was a sovereign remedy to heal all the blind, the deaf, and other afflicted persons who came to it. So the saying sprang up, 'This is a great medicine, this is a great medicine!" And thus he received the name of Mahosadha [Great Medicine-Man].

Again, in the Vessantara existence, as he was issuing from his mother's womb, he stretched out his right hand, and said,

"Pray, mother, is there anything in the house? I want to give alms."

Then, after he had completely issued forth, his mother said,

"It's a wealthy family, my son, into which you are born;" and putting his hand in her own, she had them place in his a purse containing a thousand pieces of money.

Lastly, in this birth he shouted the shout of victory above-mentioned.

Thus in three of his existences did the Future Buddha utter words immediately on issuing from his mother's womb. And just as at the moment of his conception, so also at the moment of his birth appeared the Thirty-two Prognostics.

Now at the very time that our Future Buddha was born in Lumbini Grove there also came into existence the mother of Rahula, and Channa the courtier, Kaludayi the courtier, Kanthaka the king of horses, the Great Bo-tree, and the four urns full of treasure. Of these last, one was a quarter of a league in extent, another a half-league, the third three-quarters of a league, and the fourth a league. These seven*2* are called the Connate Ones.

Then the inhabitants of both cities took the Future Buddha, and carried him to Kapilavatthu.

[Footnote *2*: In making up this number the Future Buddha is to be counted as number 1, and the four urns of treasure together as number 7.]

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3-The Attainment of Buddhaship

Translated from the Introduction to the Jataka (i.685)

Now at that time there lived in Uruvela a girl named Sujata, who had been born in the family of the householder Senani, in General's Town. On reaching maturity she made a prayer to a certain banyan-tree, saying, "If I get a husband of equal rank with myself, and my first-born is a son, I will make a yearly offering to you of the value of a hundred thousand pieces of money." And her prayer had been successful.

And wishing to make her offering on the day of full moon of the month Visakha, full six years after the Great Being commenced his austerities, she first pastured a thousand cows in Latthimadhu Wood, and fed their milk to five hundred cows, and the milk of these five hundred cows to two hundred and fifty, and so on down to feeding the milk of sixteen cows to eight. This "working the milk in and in," as it is called, was done to increase the thickness and the sweetness and the strength-giving properties of the milk. And when it came to be the full-moon day of Visakha, she resolved to make her offering, and rose up early in the morning, just when night was breaking into day, and gave orders to milk the eight cows. The calves had not come at the teats of the cows; yet as soon as new pails were put under the udders, the milk flowed in streams of its own accord. When she saw this miracle, Sujata took the milk with her own hands and placed it in a new vessel, and herself made a fire and began to cook it. While the milk-rice was cooking, immense bubbles arose, and turning to the right, went round together; but not a single drop ran over the edge, and not a particle of smoke went up from the fireplace. On this occasion the four guardian angels were present, and stood guard over the fireplace; MahaBrahma bore aloft the canopy of state, and Sakka raked the firebrands together and made the fire blaze up brightly. And just as a man crushes honey out of a honey-comb that has formed around a stick, so the deities by their superhuman power collected an amount of vital sap sufficient for the sustenance of the gods and men of all the four great continents and their two thousand attendant isles, and infused it into the milk-rise. At other times, to be sure, the deities infuse this sap into each mouthful; but on the day of the attainment of the Buddaship, and on the day of decease, they placed it in the kettle itself.

When Sujata had seen so many miracles appear to her in one day, she said to her slave-girl Punna,

"Punna, dear girl, the deity is very graciously disposed to us to-day. I have never before seen so many marvellous things happen in so short a time. Run quickly, and get everything ready at the holy place."

"Yes, my lady," replied the slave-girl, and ran in great haste to the foot of the tree.

Now that night the Future Buddha had five great dreams, and on considering their meaning reached the conclusion, "Without doubt I shall become a Buddha this very day." And when night was over, and he had cared for his person, he came early in the morning to that tree, to await the hour to go begging. And when he sat down he illumined the whole tree with his radiance.

Then came Punna, and saw the Future Buddha sitting at the foot of the tree, contemplating the eastern quarter of the world. And when she beheld the radiance from his body lighting up the whole tree with a golden color, she became greatly excited, saying to herself, "Our diety, methinks, has come down from the tree to-day, and has seated himself, ready to receive our offering in person." And she ran in great haste, and told Sujata of the matter.

When Sujata heard this news, she was overjoyed; and saying, "From this day forth be to me in the room of an eldest daughter," she decked Punna with all the ornaments appropriate to that position. And since a Future Buddha on the day he attains the Buddhaship must needs receive a golden dish worth a hundred thousand pieces of money, therefore the idea occurred to her of putting the milk-rice in a golden dish. And bringing out a golden dish that was worth a hundred thousand, she took up the cooking-vessel and began to pour out the milk-rice. All the milk-rice rolled off like water from a lotus-leaf, and exactly filled the dish. Then, covering the dish with another, which was also made of gold, and wrapping it in a cloth, she adorned herself in all her ornaments, and with the dish on her head proceeded in state to the foot of the banyan-tree. As soon as she caught sight of the Future Buddha she was exceedingly overjoyed, supposing him to be the tree-god; and as she advanced she kept constantly bowing. And taking the pot from her head, she uncovered it, and with some flower-scented water in a golden vase, drew near and took up a position close to the Future Buddha. The earthenware bowl which the Future Buddha had kept so long, and which had been given him by Ghatikara, the Maha-Brahma god, at that instant disappeared; and the Future Buddha, stretching out his right hand in an attempt to find his bowl, grasped the vase of water. Next Sujata placed the dish of milk-rice in the hand of the Great Being. Then the Great Being looked at Sujata; and she perceived that he was a holy man, and did obeisance, and said,

"Lord, accept my donation, and go whithersoever it seemeth to you good." And adding, "May your wishes prosper like mine own," she departed, caring no more for her golden dish worth a hundred thousand pieces of money than if it had been a dead leaf.

The Future Buddha rose from his seat and walked round the tree with his right side towards it; and taking the dish, he proceeded to the banks of the Neranjara and descended into its waters, just as many thousands of Future Buddhas before him had descended on the day of their complete enlightenment. The spot where he bathed is now a place of pilgrimage named Suppatitthita, and here he deposited the dish on the bank before descending into the water. After bathing he dressed himself in that garb of saintship which had been the dress of many hundreds of thousands of Future Buddhas before him; and sitting down with his face to the east, he made the whole of the thick, sweet milk-rice into forty-nine pellets of the size of the fruit of the single-seeded palmyra-tree, and ate it. And he took no further nourishment until the end of the seven weeks, or forty-nine days, which he spent on the throne of wisdom after he had become a Buddha. During all that time he had no other nourishment; he neither bathed, nor rinsed his mouth, nor did he ease himself; but was wholly taken up by the delights of the Trances, of the Paths, and of the Fruits.

Now when he had consumed the milk-rice, he took the golden dish; and saying, "If I am to succeed to becoming a Buddha to-day, let this dish go up-stream; but if not, let it go down-stream," he threw it into the water. And it swam, cleaving the stream, until it came to the middle of the river, and then, like a fleet horse, it ran up-stream for a distance of eighty cubits, keeping all the while in the middle of the stream. Then it dived into a whirlpool and went to the palace of the black snake-king, and hit, "click! click!" against the dishes that had been used by the last three Buddhas, and took its place at the end of the row. When the black snake-king heard the noise, he exclaimed,

"But yesterday a Buddha lived, And now another has been born."

and so on, through several hundred laudatory verses. As a matter of only yesterday and to-day did the times of the snake-king's appearance above ground seem to him; and his body at such times towered up into the sky to a height of one and three quarters leagues.

Then the Future Buddha took his noonday rest on the banks of the river, in a grove of sal-trees in full bloom. And at nightfall, at the time the flowers droop on their stalks, he rose up, like a lion when he bestirs himself, and went towards the Bo-tree, along a road which the gods had decked, and which was eight usabhas wide.

The snakes, the fairies, the birds, and other classes of beings did him homage with celestial perfumes, flowers, and other offerings, and celestial choruses poured forth heavenly music; so that the ten thousand worlds were filled with these perfumes, garlands, and shouts of acclaim.

Just then there came from the opposite direction a grass-cutter named Sotthiya, and he was carrying grass. And when he saw the Great Being, that he was a holy man, he gave him eight handfuls of grass. The Future Buddha took the grass, and ascending the throne of wisdom, stood on the southern side and faced the north. Instantly the southern half of the world sank, until it seemed to touch the Avici hell, while the northern half rose to the highest of the heavens.

"Methinks," said the Future Buddha, "this cannot be the place for the attainment of the supreme wisdom;" and walking round the tree with his right side towards it, he came to the western side and faced the east. Then the western half of the world sank, until it seemed to touch the Avici hell, while the eastern half rose to the highest of the heavens. Wherever, indeed, he stood, the broad earth rose and fell, as though it had been a huge cart-wheel lying on its hub, and some one were treading on the rim.

"Methinks," said the Future Buddha, "this also cannot be the place for the attainment of supreme wisdom;" and walking round the tree with his right side towards it, he came to the northern side and faced the south. Then the northern half of the world sank, until it seemed to touch the Avici hell, while the southern half rose to the highest of the heavens.

"Methinks," said the Future Buddha, "this also cannot be the place for the attainment of supreme wisdom;" and walking round the tree with his right side towards it, he came to the eastern side and faced the west. Now it is on the eastern side of their Bo-trees that all The Buddhas have sat cross-legged, and that side neither trembles nor quakes.

Then the Great Being, saying to himself, "This is the immovable spot on which all The Buddhas have planted themselves! This is the place for destroying passion's net!" took hold of his handful of grass by one end, and shook it out there. And straightway the blades of grass formed themselves into a seat fourteen cubits long, of such symmetry of shape as not even the most skilful painter or carver could design.

Then the Future Buddha turned his back to the trunk of the Bo-tree and faced the east. And making the mighty resolution, "Let my skin, and sinews, and bones become dry, and welcome! and let all the flesh and blood in my body dry up! but never from this seat will I stir, until I have attained the supreme and absolute wisdom!" he sat himself down cross-legged in an unconquerable position, from which not even the descent of a hundred thunder-bolts at once could have dislodged him.

At this point the god Mara, exclaiming, "Prince Siddhattha is desirous of passing beyond my control, but I will never allow it!" went and announced the news to his army, and sounding the Mara war-cry, drew out for battle. Now Mara's army extended in front of him for twelve leagues, and to the right and to the left for twelve leagues, and in the rear as far as to the confines of the world, and it was nine leagues high. And when it shouted, it made an earthquake-like roaring and rumbling over a space of a thousand leagues. And the god Mara, mounting his elephant, which was a hundred and fifty leagues high, and had the name "Girded-with-mountains," caused a thousand arms to appear on his body, and with these he grasped a variety of weapons. Also in the remainder of that army, no two persons carried the same weapon; and diverse also in their appearances and countenances, the host swept on like a flood to overwhelm the Great Being.

Now deities throughout the ten thousand worlds were busy singing the praises of the Great Being. Sakka, the king of the gods, was blowing the conch-shell Vijayuttara. (This conch, they say, was a hundred and twenty cubits long, and when once it had been filled with wind, it would sound for four months before it stopped). The great black snake-king sang more than a hundred laudatory verses. And Maha-Brahma stood holding aloft the white umbrella. But as Mara's army gradually drew near to the throne of wisdom, not one of these gods was able to stand his ground, but each fled straight before him. The black snake-king dived into the ground, and coming to the snake-abode, Manjerika, which was five hundred leagues in extent, he covered his face with both hands and lay down. Sakka slung his conch-shell Vijayuttara over his back, and took up his position on the rim of the world. Maha-Brahma left the white umbrella at the end of the world, and fled to his Brahma-abode. Not a single deity was able to stand his ground, and the Great Being was left sitting alone.

Then said Mara to his followers,

"My friends, Siddhattha, the son of Suddhodana, is far greater than any other man, and we shall never be able to fight him in front. We will attack him from behind."

All the gods had now disappeared, and the Great Being looked around on three sides, and said to himself, "There is no one here." Then looking to the north, he perceived Mara's army coming on like a flood, and said,

"Here is this multitude exerting all their strength and power against me alone. My mother and father are not here, nor my brother, nor any other relative. But I have these Ten Perfections, like old retainers long cherished at my board. It therefore behooves me to make the Ten Perfections my shield and my sword, and to strike a blow with them that shall destroy this strong array." And he remained sitting, and reflected on the Ten Perfections.

Thereupon the god Mara caused a whirlwind, thinking, "By this will I drive away Siddhattha." Straightway the east wind and all the other different winds began to blow; but although these winds could have torn their way through mountain-peaks half a league, or two leagues, or three leagues high, or have uprooted forest-shrubs and trees, or have educed to powder and scattered in all directions, villages and towns, yet when they reached the Future Buddha, such was the energy of the Great Being's merit, they lost all power and were not able to cause so much as a fluttering of the edge of his priestly robe.

Then he caused a great rain-storm, saying, "With water will I overwhelm and drown him." And through his mighty power, clouds of a hundred strata, and clouds of a thousand strata arose, and also the other different kinds. And these rained down, until the earth became gullied by the torrents of water which fell, and until the floods had risen over the tops of every forest-tree. But on coming to the Great Being, this mighty inundation was not able to wet his priestly robes as much as a dew-drop would have done.

Then he caused a shower of rocks, in which immense mountain-peaks flew smoking and flaming through the sky. But on reaching the Future Buddha they became celestial bouquets of flowers.

Then he caused a shower of weapons, in which single-edged, and double-edged swords, spears, and arrows flew smoking and flaming through the sky. But on reaching the Future Buddha they became celestial flowers.

Then he caused a shower of live coals, in which live coals as red as kimsuka flowers flew through the sky. But they scattered themselves at the Future Buddha's feet as a shower of celestial flowers.

Then he caused a shower of hot ashes, in which ashes that glowed like fire flew through the sky. But they fell at the Future Buddha's feet as sandal-wood powder.

Then he caused a shower of sand, in which very fine sand flew smoking and flaming through the sky. But it fell at the Future Buddha's feet as celestial flowers.

Then he caused a shower of mud, in which mud flew smoking and flaming through the sky. But it fell at the Future Buddha's feet as celestial ointment.

Then he caused a darkness, thinking, "By this will I frighten Siddhattha, and drive him away." And the darkness became fourfold, and very dense. But on reaching the Future Buddha it disappeared like darkness before the light of the sun.

Mara, being thus unable with these nine storms of wind, rain, rocks, weapons, live coals, hot ashes, sand, mud, and darkness, to drive away the Future Buddha, gave command to his followers, "Look ye now! Why stand ye still! Seize, kill, drive away this prince!" And, arming himself with a discus, and seated upon the shoulders of the elephant "Girded-with-mountains," he drew near the Future Buddha, and said,

"Siddhattha, arise from this seat! It does not belong to you, but to me.

When the Great Being heard this he said,

"Mara, you have not fulfilled the Ten Perfections in any of their three grades; nor have you made the five great donations;*1* nor have you striven for knowledge, nor for the welfare of the world, nor for enlightenment. This seat does not belong to you, but to me."

[Footnote *1* : These are the five donations great: The gift of treasure, gift of child, The gift of wife, of royal rule, And last, the gift of life and limb. From the Abhidhanappadipika, 421.]

Unable to restrain his fury, the enraged Mara now hurled his discus. But the Great Being reflected on the Ten Perfections, and the discus changed into a canopy of flowers, and remained suspended over his head. Yet they say that this keen-edged discus, when at other times Mara hurled it in anger, would cut through solid stone pillars as if they had been the tips of bamboo shoots. But on this occasion it became a canopy of flowers. Then the followers of Mara began hurling immense mountain-crags, saying, "This will make him get up from his seat and flee." But the Great Being kept his thoughts on the Ten Perfections, and the crags also became wreaths of flowers, and then fell to the ground.

Now the gods meanwhile were standing on the rim of the world, and craning their necks to look, saying,

"Ah, woe the day! The handsome form of prince Siddhattha will surely be destroyed! What will he do to save himself?"

Then the Great Being, after his assertion that the seat which Future Buddhas had always used on the day of their complete enlightenment belonged to him, continued, and said,

"Mara, who is witness to your having given donations?"

Said Mara, "All these, as many as you see here, are my witnesses;" and he stretched out his hand in the direction of his army. And instantly from Mara's army came a roar, "I am his witness! I am his witness!" which was like to the roar of an earthquake.

Then said Mara to the Great Being,

"Siddhattha, who is witness to your having given donations?"

Your witnesses," replied the Great Being, "are animate beings, and I have no animate witnesses present. However, not to mention the donations which I gave in other existences, the great seven-hundred-fold donation which I gave in my Vessantara existence shall now be testified to by the solid earth, inanimate though she be." And drawing forth his right hand from beneath his priestly robe, he stretched it out towards the mighty earth, and said, "Are you witness, or are you not, to my having given a great seven-hundred-fold donation in my Vessantara existence?"

And the mighty earth thundered, "I bear you witness!" with a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand roars, as if to overwhelm the army of Mara.

Now while the Great Being was thus calling to mind the donation he gave in his Vessantara existence, and saying to himself, "Siddhattha, that was a great and excellent donation which you gave," the hundred-and-fifty-league-high elephant "Girded-with-mountains" fell upon his knees before the Great Being. And the followers of Mara fled away in all directions. No two went the same way, but leaving their head-ornaments and their cloaks behind, they fled straight before them.

Then the hosts of the gods, when they saw the army of Mara flee, cried out, "Mara is defeated! Prince Siddhattha has conquered! Let us go celebrate the victory!" And the snakes egging on the snakes, the birds the birds, the deities the deities, and the Brahma-angels the Brahma-angels, they came with perfumes, garlands, and other offerings in their hands to the Great Being on the throne of wisdom. And as they came,

"The victory now hath this illustrious Buddha won! The Wicked One, the Slayer, hath defeated been!" Thus round the throne of wisdom shouted joyously The bands of snakes their songs of victory for the Sage;

"The victory now hath this illustrious Buddha won! The Wicked One, the Slayer, hath defeated been!" Thus round the throne of wisdom shouted joyously The flocks of birds their songs of victory for the Sage;

"The victory now hath this illustrious Buddha won! The Wicked One, the Slayer, hath defeated been!" Thus round the throne of wisdom shouted joyously The bands of gods their songs of victory for the Sage;

"The victory now hath this illustrious Buddha won! The Wicked One, the Slayer, hath defeated been!" Thus round the throne of wisdom shouted joyously The Brahma-angels songs of victory for the Saint.

And the remaining deities, also, throughout the ten thousand worlds, made offerings of garlands, perfumes, and ointments, and in many a hymn extolled him.

It was before the sun had set that the Great Being thus vanquished the army of Mara. And then, while the Bo-tree in homage rained red, coral-like sprigs upon his priestly robes, he acquired in the first watch of the night the knowledge of previous existences; in the middle watch of the night, the divine eye; and in the last watch of the night, his intellect fathomed Dependent Origination.

Now while he was musing on the twelve terms of Dependent Origination, forwards and backwards, round and back again, the ten thousand worlds quaked twelve times, as far as to their ocean boundaries. And when the Great Being, at the dawning of the day, had thus made the ten thousand worlds thunder with his attainment of omniscience, all these worlds became most gloriously adorned. Flags and banners erected on the eastern rim of the world let their streamers fly to the western rim of the world; likewise those erected on the western rim of the world, to the eastern rim of the world; those erected on the northern rim of the world, to the southern rim of the world; and those erected on the southern rim of the world, to the northern rim of the world while those erected on the level of the earth let theirs fly until they beat against the Brahma-world; and those of the Brahma-world let theirs hang down to the level of the earth. Throughout the ten thousand worlds the flowering trees bloomed; the fruit trees were weighted down by their burden of fruit; trunk-lotuses bloomed on the trunks of trees; branch-lotuses on the branches of trees; vine-lotuses on the vines; hanging-lotuses in the sky; and stalk-lotuses burst through the rocks and came up by sevens. The system of ten thousand worlds was like a bouquet of flowers sent whirling through the air, or like a thick carpet of flowers; in the intermundane spaces the eight-thousand-league-long hells, which not even the light of seven suns had formerly been able to illumine, were now flooded with radiance; the eighty-four-thousand-league-deep ocean became sweet to the taste; the rivers checked their flowing; the blind from birth received their sight; the deaf from birth their hearing; the cripples from birth the use of their limbs; and the bonds and fetters of captives broke and fell off.

When thus he had attained to ominiscience, and was the centre of such unparalleled glory and homage, and so many prodigies were happening about him, he breathed forth that solemn utterance which has never been omitted by any of The Buddhas:

"Through birth and rebirth's endless round, Seeking in vain, I hastened on, To find who framed this edifice. What misery! - birth incessantly!

"O builder! I've discovered thee! This fabric thou shalt ne'er rebuild! Thy rafters all are broken now, And pointed roof demolition lies! This mind has demolished reached, And seen the last of all desire!"

The period of time, therefore, from the existence in the Tusita Heaven to this attainment of omniscience on the throne of wisdom, constitutes the Intermediate Epoch.

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4-First Events After the Attainment

Translated from the Maha-Vagga, and constituting the opening sections. Hail to that Blessed One, that Saint, and Supreme Buddha!

At That time The Buddha, The Blessed One, was dwelling at Uruvela at the foot of the Bo-tree on the banks of the river Neranjara, having just attained the Buddhaship. Then The Blessed One sat cross-legged for seven days together at the foot of the Bo-tree experiencing the bliss of emancipation.

Then The Blessed One, during the first watch of the night, thought over Dependent Origination both forward and back:

On ignorance depends karma; On karma depends consciousness; On consciousness depend name and form; On name and form depend the six organs of sense; On the six organs of sense depends contact; On contact depends sensation; On sensation depends desire; On desire depends attachment; On attachment depends existence; On existence depends birth; On birth depend old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair.

Thus does this entire aggregation of misery arise. But on the complete fading out and cessation of ignorance ceases karma; on the cessation of karma ceases consciousness; on the cessation of consciousness cease name and form; on the cessation of name and form cease the six organs of sense; on the cessation of the six organs of sense ceases contact; on the cessation of contact ceases sensation; on the cessation of sensation ceases desire; on the cessation of desire ceases attachment; on the cessation of attachment ceases existence; on the cessation of existence ceases birth; on the cessation of birth cease old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, misery, grief, and despair. Thus does this entire aggregation of misery cease.

Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,

"When to the strenuous, meditative Brahman There come to light the elements of being, Then vanish all his doubts and eager questions, What time he knows The Elements have Causes."

Then The Blessed One, during the middle watch of the night, thought over Dependent Origination both forward and back: - On ignorance depends karma. . . . Thus does this entire aggregation of misery arise. But on the complete fading out and cessation of ignorance ceases karma. . . . Thus does this entire aggregation of misery cease.

Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,

"When to the strenuous, meditative Brahman There come to light the elements of being, Then vanish all his doubts and eager questions, What time he knows How Causes have an Ending."

Then The Blessed One, during the last watch of the night, thought over Dependent Origination both forward and back: - On ignorance depends karma. . . . Thus does this entire aggregation of misery arise. But on the complete fading out and cessation of ignorance ceases karma. . . . Thus does this entire aggregation of misery cease.

Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,

"When to the strenuous, meditative Brahman There come to light the elements of being, Then scattereth he the hordes of Mara's army; Like to the sun that lightens all the heavens."

End of the account of what took place under the Bo-tree.

Then The Blessed One, after the lapse of seven days, arose from that state of exalted calm, and leaving the foot of the Bo-tree, drew near to where the Ajapala (that is, the Goat-herd's) banyan-tree was; and having drawn near, he sat cross-legged at the foot of the Ajapala banyan-tree for seven days together, experiencing the bliss of emancipation.

Then a certain Brahman, who was of a proud and contemptuous disposition, drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near, he exchanged greetings with The Blessed One. And having passed with him the greetings of friendship and civility, he stood respectfully at one side. And standing respectfully at one side, the Brahman spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Gotama, what is it constitutes a Brahman? and what are the Brahman-making qualities?"

Then the Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,

"The Brahman who his evil traits hath banished, Is free from pride, is self-restrained and spotless, Is learned, and the holy life hath followed, 'Tis he alone may claim the name of Brahman; With things of earth he hath no point of contact."

End of the account of what took place under the Ajapala-tree.

Then The Blessed One, after the lapse of seven days, arose from that state of exalted calm, and leaving the foot of the Ajapala banyan-tree, drew near to where the Mucalinda tree was; and having drawn near, he sat cross-legged at the foot of the Mucalinda tree for seven days together, experiencing the bliss of emancipation.

Now at that time a great cloud appeared out of season, and for seven days it was rainy, cloudy weather, with a cold wind. Then issued Mucalinda, the serpent-king, from his abode, and enveloping the body of The Blessed One seven times with his folds, spread his great hood above his head, saying,

"Let neither cold nor heat, nor gnats, flies, wind, sunshine, nor creeping creatures come near The Blessed One!"

Then, when seven days had elapsed, an Mucalinda, the serpent-king, knew that the storm had broken up, and that the clouds had gone, he unwound his coils from the body of The Blessed One. And changing his natural appearance into that of a young man, he stood before The Blessed One, and with his joined hands to his forehead did reverence to The Blessed One.

Then The Blessed One, concerning this, on that occasion, breathed forth this solemn utterance,

"How blest the happy solitude Of him who hears and knows the truth! How blest is harmlessness towards all, And self-restraint towards living things! How blest from passion to be free, All sensuous joys to leave behind! Yet far the highest bliss of all To quit th' illusion false - 'I am.'"

End of the account of what took place under the Mucalinda-tree.

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5-The Buddha's Daily Habits

Translated from the Sumangala-Vilasini (i.4510), Buddhaghosa's Commentary on the Digha-Nikaya

Habits are of two kinds, the profitable, and the unprofitable. Of these, the unprofitable habits of The Blessed One had been extirpated by his attainment of saintship at the time he sat cross-legged under the Bo-tree. Profitable habits, however, remained to The Blessed One.

These were fivefold: his before-breakfast habits; his after-breakfast habits; his habits of the first watch of the night; his habits of the middle watch of the night; his habits of the last watch of the night.

His before-breakfast habits were as follows:

The Blessed One would rise early in the morning, and when, out of kindness to his body-servant*1* and for the sake of bodily comfort, he had rinsed his mouth and otherwise cared for his person, he would sit retired until it was time to go begging. And when it came time, he would put on his tunic, girdle, and robes, and taking his bowl, he would enter the village or the town for alms. Sometimes he went alone, sometimes surrounded by a congregation of priests; sometimes without anything especial happening, sometimes with the accompaniment of many prodigies.

[Footnote *1*: In order to give him a chance to acquire merit by waiting on a Buddha.]

While, namely, the Lord of the World is entering for alms, gentle winds clear the ground before him; the clouds let fall drops of water to lay the dust in his pathway, and then become a canopy over him; other winds bring flowers and scatter them in his path; elevations of ground depress themselves, and depressions elevate themselves; wherever he places his foot, the ground is even and pleasant to walk upon, or lotus-flowers received his tread. No sooner has he set his right foot within the city-gate than the rays of six different colors which issue from his body race hither and thither over palaces and pagodas, and deck them, as it were, with the yellow sheen of gold, or with the colors of a painting. The elephants, the horses, the birds, and other animals give forth melodious sounds; likewise the tomtoms, lutes, and other musical instruments, and the ornaments worn by the people.

By these tokens the people would know, "The Blessed One has now entered for alms;" and in their best tunics and best robes, with perfumes, flowers, and other offerings, they issue forth from their houses into the street. Then, having zealously paid homage to The Blessed One with the perfumes, flowers, and other offerings, and done him obeisance, some would implore him, "Reverend Sir, give us ten priests to feed;" some, "Give us twenty;" and some, "Give us a hundred priests." And they would take the bowl of The Blessed One, and prepare a seat for him, and zealously show their reverence for him by placing food in the bowl.

When he had finished his meal, The Blessed One, with due consideration for the different dispositions of their minds, would so teach them the Doctrine that some would become established in the refuges, some in the five precepts, some would become converted, some would attain to the fruit of either once returning, or of never returning, while some would become established in the highest fruit, that of saintship, and would retire from the world. Having shown this kindness to the multitude, he would rise from his seat, and return to the monastery.

On his arrival there, he would take his seat in a pavilion, on the excellent Buddha-mat which had been spread for him, where he would wait for the priests to finish their meal. When the priests had finished their meal, the body-servant would announce the fact to The Blessed One. Then The Blessed One would enter the perfumed chamber.

These, then, were his before-breakfast habits.

Then The Blessed One, having thus finished his before-breakfast duties, would first sit in the perfumed chamber, on a seat that had been spread for him by his body-servant, and would wash his feet. Then, taking up his stand on the landing of the jeweled staircase which led to the perfumed chamber, he would exhort the congregation of the priests, saying,

"O priests, diligently work out your salvation; for not often occur the appearance of a Buddha in the world and existence among men and the propitious moment and retirement from the world and the opportunity to hear the true Doctrine."

At this point some would ask The Blessed One for exercises in meditation, and The Blessed One would assign them exercises suited to their several characters. Then all would do obeisance to The Blessed One, and go to the places where they were in the habit of spending the night or the day - some to the forest, some to the foot of trees, some to the hills, and so on, some to the heaven of the Four Great Kings, . . . and some to Vasavatti's heaven.

Then The Blessed One, entering the perfumed chamber, would, if he wished, lie down for a while, mindful and conscious, and on his right side after the manner of a lion. And secondly, his body being now refreshed, he would rise, and gaze over the world. And thirdly, the people of the village or town near which he might be dwelling, who had given him breakfast, would assemble after breakfast at the monastery, again in their best tunics and their best robes, and with perfumes, flowers, and other offerings.

Thereupon The Blessed One, when his audience had assembled, would approach in such miraculous manner as was fitting; and taking his seat in the lecture-hall, on the excellent Buddha-mat which had been spread for him, he would teach the Doctrine, as suited the time and occasion. And when he perceived it was time, he would dismiss the audience, and the people would do obeisance to The Blessed One, and depart.

These were his after-breakfast habits.

When he had thus finished his after-breakfast duties, he would rise from the excellent Buddha-seat, and if he desired to bathe, he would enter the bath-house, and cool his limbs with water made ready by his body-servant. Then the body-servant would fetch the Buddha-seat, and spread it in the perfumed chamber. And The Blessed One, putting on a tunic of double red cloth, and binding on his girdle, and throwing his upper robe over his right shoulder, would go thither and sit down, and for a while remain solitary, and plunged in meditation. After that would come the priests from here and from there to wait on The Blessed One. And some would propound questions, some would ask for exercises in meditation, and some for a sermon; and in granting their desires The Blessed One would complete the first watch of the night.

These were his habits of the first watch of the night.

And now, when The Blessed One had finished his duties of the first watch of the night, and when the priests had done him obeisance and were departing, the deities throughout the entire system of ten thousand worlds would seize the opportunity to draw near to The Blessed One and ask him any questions that might occur to them, even such as were but four syllables long. And The Blessed One in answering their questions would complete the middle watch of the night.

These were his habits of the middle watch of the night.

The last watch of the night he would divide into three parts, and as his body would be tired from so much sitting since the morning, he would spend one part in pacing up and down to free himself from the discomfort. In the second part he would enter the perfumed chamber, and would lie down mindful and conscious, and on his right side after the manner of a lion. In the third part he would rise, and taking his seat, he would gaze over the world with the eye of a Buddha, in order to discover any individual who, under some former Buddha, with alms-giving, or keeping the precepts, or other meritorious deeds, might have made the earnest wish.

These were his habits of the last watch of the night.

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6-The Death of the Buddha

Translated from the Maha-Parinibbana-Sutta (v. and vi.) of the Digha-Nikaya

Then The Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda: - "Let us go hence, Ananda. To the further bank of the Hirannavati river, and to the city of Kusinara and the sal-tree grove Upavattana of the Mallas will we draw near."

"Yes, Reverend Sir," said the venerable Ananda to The Blessed One in assent.

Then The Blessed One, accompanied by a large congregation of priests, drew near to the further bank of the Hirannavati river, and to the city of Kusinara and the sal-tree grove Upavattana of the Mallas; and having drawn near, he addressed the venerable Ananda:

"Be so good, Ananda, as to spread me a couch with its head to the north between twin sal-trees. I am weary, Ananda, and wish to lie down."

"Yes, Reverend Sir," said the venerable Ananda to The Blessed One in assent, and spread the couch with its head to the north between twin sal-trees. Then The Blessed One lay down on his right side after the manner of a lion, and placing foot on foot, remained mindful and conscious.

Now at that time the twin sal-trees had completely burst forth into bloom, though it was not the flowering season; and the blossoms scattered themselves over the body of The Tathagata,*1* and strewed and sprinkled themselves in worship of The Tathagata. Also heavenly Erythrina flowers fell from the sky; and these scattered themselves over the body of The Tathagata, and strewed and sprinkled themselves in worship of The Tathagata. Also heavenly sandalwood powder fell from the sky; and this scattered itself over the body of The Tathagata, and strewed and sprinkled itself in worship of The Tathagata. And music sounded in the sky in worship of The Tathagata, and heavenly choruses were heard to sing in worship of The Tathagata.

[Footnote *1* : Tathagata is a term most commonly used by The Buddha in referring to himself. Its meaning, like that of its Jaina equivalent Tatthagaya, possibly is, "He who has arrived there (tatra or tattha), i.e. to emancipation or Nirvana." See "Sacred Books of the East," vol. xiii., p. 82 [Chalmers, "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society," 1898, p. 113, takes it as "One who has come at the real truth."]]

Then The Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda:

"The twin sal-trees, Ananda, have completely burst forth into bloom, though it is not the flowering season; and the blossoms have scattered themselves over the body of The Tathagata, and have strewn and sprinkled themselves in worship of The Tathagata. Also heavenly Erythrina flowers have fallen from the sky; and these have scattered themselves over the body of The Tathagata, and have strewn and sprinkled themselves in worship of The Tathagata. Also heavenly sandal-wood powder has fallen from the sky; and this has scattered itself over the body of The Tathagata, and has strewn and sprinkled itself in worship of The Tathagata. Also music is sounding in the sky in worship of The Tathagata, and heavenly choruses are heard to sing in worship of The Tathagata. But it is not by all this, Ananda, that The Tathagata is honored, esteemed, revered, worshiped, or venerated; but the priest, Ananda, or the priestess, or the lay disciple, or the female lay disciple, who shall fulfil all the greater and lesser duties, conducting himself with propriety and in accordance with the precepts, by him is The Tathagata honored, esteemed, revered, and worshiped with the best of worship. Accordingly, Ananda, train yourselves, and fulfil all the greater and lesser duties, and conduct yourselves with propriety and in accordance with the precepts."

Now at that time the venerable Upavana was standing in front of The Blessed One, and fanning him. Then The Blessed One was harsh to the venerable Upavana, saying,

"Step aside, O priest; stand not in front of me."

Then it occurred to the venerable Ananda as follows:

"Here, this venerable Upavana has for a long time been the body-servant of The Blessed One, and kept himself at his beck and call; yet, although his last moments are near, The Blessed One is harsh to the venerable Upavana, saying, 'Step aside, O priest; stand not in front of me.' What, pray, was the reason, and what was the cause, that The Blessed One was harsh to the venerable Upavana, saying, 'Step aside, O priest; stand not in front of me'?"

Then the venerable Ananda spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Reverend Sir, here this venerable Upavana has for a long time been the body-servant of The Blessed One, and kept himself at his beck and call; yet, although his last moments are near, The Blessed One is harsh to the venerable Upavana, saying, 'Step aside, O priest; stand not in front of me.' Reverend Sir, what, pray, was the reason, and what was the cause that The Blessed One was harsh to the venerable Upavana, saying, 'Step aside, O priest; stand not in front of me'?"

"Ananda, almost all the deities throughout ten worlds have come together to behold The Tathagata. For an extent, Ananda, of twelve leagues about the city Kusinara and the sal-tree grove Upavattana of the Mallas, there is not a spot of ground large enough to stick the point of a hair into, that is not pervaded by powerful deities. And these deities, Ananda, are angered, saying, 'From afar have we come to behold The Tathagata, for but seldom, and on rare occasions, does a Tathagata, a saint, and Supreme Buddha arise in the world; and now, to-night, in the last watch, will The Tathagata pass into Nirvana; but this powerful priest stands in front of The Blessed One, concealing him, and we have no chance to see The Tathagata, although his last moments are near.' Thus, Ananda, are these deities angered."

"What are the deities doing, Reverend Sir, whom The Blessed One perceives?"

"Some of the deities, Ananda, are in the air with their minds engrossed by earthly things, and they let fly their hair and cry aloud, and stretch out their arms, and cry aloud, and fall headlong to the ground and roll to and fro, saying, 'All too soon will The Blessed One pass into Nirvana; all too soon will The Happy One pass into Nirvana; all too soon will The Light of the World vanish from sight!' Some of the deities, Ananda, are on the earth with their minds engrossed by earthly things, and they let fly their hair and cry aloud, and stretch out their arms and cry aloud, and fall headlong on the ground and roll to and fro, saying, 'All too soon will The Blessed One pass into Nirvana; all too soon will The Happy One pass into Nirvana; all too soon will The Light of the World vanish from sight.' But those deities which are free from passion, mindful and conscious, bear it patiently, saying, 'Transitory are all things. How is it possible [that whatever has been born, has come into being, and is organized and perishable should not perish? That condition is not possible.]'"

Then the venerable Ananda, entered the monastery, and, leaning against the bolt of the door, he wept, saying,

"Behold, I am but a learner and not yet perfect, and my Teacher is on the point of passing into Nirvana, he who was so compassionate to me."

Then The Blessed One addressed the priests:

Where, O priests, is Ananda?"

"Reverend Sir, the venerable Ananda has entered the monastery, and leaning against the bolt of the door, he weeps, saying, 'Behold, I am but a learner, and not yet perfect, and my Teacher is on the point of passing into Nirvana, he who was so compassionate to me.'"

Then The Blessed One addressed a certain priest, saying,

"Go, O priest, and say to the venerable Ananda from me, 'The Teacher calleth thee, brother Ananda.'"

"Yes, Reverend Sir," said the priest to The Blessed One in assent, and drew near to where the venerable Ananda was; and having drawn near, he spoke to the venerable Ananda as follows:

"The Teacher calleth thee, brother Ananda."

"Yes, brother," said the venerable Ananda to the priest in assent, and drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near and greeted The Blessed One, he sat down respectfully at one side. And the venerable Ananda being seated respectfully at one side, The Blessed One spoke to him as follows:

"Enough, Ananda, do not grieve, nor weep. Have I not already told you, Ananda, that it is in the very nature of all things near and dear unto us that we must divide ourselves from them, leave them, sever ourselves from them? How is it possible, Ananda, that whatever has been born, has come into being, is organized and perishable, should not perish? That condition is not possible. For a long time, Ananda, have you waited on The Tathagata with a kind, devoted, cheerful, single-hearted, unstinted service of body.You have acquired much merit, Ananda; exert yourself, and soon will you be free from all depravity."

Then The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"Priests, of all those Blessed Ones who aforetime were saints and Supreme Buddhas, all had their favorite body-servants, just as I have now my Ananda. And, priests, of all those Blessed Ones who in the future shall be saints and Supreme Buddhas, all will have their favorite body-servants, just as I have now my Ananda. Wise, O priests, is Ananda - he knows when it is a fit time to draw near to see The Tathagata, whether for the priests, for the priestesses, for the lay disciples,for the female lay disciples, for the king, for the king's courtiers, for the leaders of heretical sects, or for their adherents.

"Ananda, O priests, has four wonderful and marvellous qualities. And what are the four? O priests, if an assembly of priests draw near to behold Ananda, it is delighted with beholding him; and if then Ananda hold a discourse on the Doctrine, it is also delighted with the discourse; and when Ananda, O priests, ceases to speak, the assembly of priests is still unsated. O priests, if an assembly of priestesses . . . an assembly of lay disciples . . . an assembly of female lay disciples draw near to behold Ananda, it is delighted with beholding him; and if then Ananda hold a discourse on the Doctrine, it is also delighted with the discourse; and when Ananda, O priests, ceases to speak, the assembly of female lay disciples is still unsated.

"A Universal Monarch, O priests, has four wonderful and marvellous qualities. And what are the four? O priests, if an assembly of men of the warrior caste . . . an assembly of men of the Brahman caste . . . an assembly of householders . . . an assembly of monks draw near to behold the Universal Monarch, it is delighted with beholding him; and if then the Universal Monarch hold a discourse, it is also delighted with the discourse; and when the Universal Monarch, O priests, ceases to speak, the assembly of monks is still unsated.

"In exactly the same way, O priests, Ananda has four wonderful and marvellous qualities. O priests, if an assembly of priests . . . an assembly of priestesses . . . an assembly of lay disciples . . . an assembly of female lay disciples draw near to behold Ananda, it is delighted with beholding him; and if then Ananda hold a discourse on the Doctrine, it is also delighted with the discourse; and when Ananda, O priests, ceases to speak, the assembly of female lay disciples is still unsated. These, O priests, are the four wonderful and marvellous qualities possessed by Ananda."

When The Blessed One had thus spoken, the venerable Ananda spoke to him as follows:

"Reverend Sir, let not The Blessed One pass into Nirvana in this wattel-and-daub town, this town of the jungle, this branch village. For there are other great cities, Reverend Sir, to wit, Campa, Rajagaha, Savatthi, Saketa, Kosambi, and Benares. Let The Blessed One pass into Nirvana in one of them. In them are many wealthy men of the warrior caste, many wealthy men of the Brahman caste, and many wealthy householders who are firm believers in The Tathagata, and they will perform the funeral rites for The Tathagata."

"O Ananda, say not so! O Ananda, say not so, that this is a wattel-and-daub town, a town of the jungle, a branch village. There was once, Ananda, a king called Sudassana the Great, who was a Universal Monarch, a virtuous king of justice, a victorious ruler of the four quarters of the earth, possessing a secure dominion over his territory, and owning the seven precious gems.*2*  This city Kusinara, Ananda, was the capital of king Sudassana the Great, and had then the name of Kusavati. From the east to the west it was twelve leagues in length, and from the north to the south it was seven leagues in breadth. Kusavati, the capital, Ananda, was prosperous and flourishing, populous and thronging with people, and well provided with food. As Alakamanda, the capital of the gods, Ananda, is prosperous and flourishing, populous and thronging with gods, and is well provided with food, in exactly the same way, Ananda, Kusavati, the capital, was prosperous and flourishing, populous and thronging with people, and well provided with food. Kusavati, the capital, Ananda, was neither by day nor night without the ten noises, - to wit, the noise of elephants, the noise of horses, the noise of chariots, the noise of drums, the noise of tabors, the noise of lutes, the noise of song, the noise of cymbals, the noise of gongs, and the tenth noise of people crying, 'Eat ye, and drink!'

[Footnote *2* : The wheel of empire, the elephant, the horse, the gem, the empress, the treasurer and the crown-prince.]

"Go thou, Ananda, and enter the city Kusinara, and announce to the Kusinara-Mallas:

"'To-night, O ye Vasetthas, in the last watch, The Tathagata will pass into Nirvana. Be favorable, be favorable, O ye Vasetthas, and suffer not that afterwards ye feel remorse, saying, "The Tathagata passed into Nirvana while in our borders, but we did not avail ourselves of the opportunity of being present at the last moments of The Tathagata.'"

"Yes, Reverend Sir," said the venerable Ananda to The Blessed One in assent; and putting on his tunic, and taking his bowl and his robes, he went to Kusinara with another member of the Order.

Now at that time the Kusinara-Mallas were assembled together in the town-hall on some matter of business. And the venerable Ananda drew near to the town-hall of the Kusinara-Mallas; and having drawn near, he made announcement to the Kusinara-Mallas, as follows:

"To-night, O ye Vasetthas, in the last watch, The Tathagata will pass into Nirvana. Be favorable, be favorable, O ye Vasetthas, and suffer not that afterwards ye feel remorse, saying, 'The Tathagata passed into Nirvana while in our borders, but we did not avail ourselves of the opportunity of being present at the last moments of The Tathagata.'"

The Mallas, on hearing this speech of the venerable Ananda, and their children and their daughters-in-law and their wives were grieved and sorrowful and overwhelmed with anguish of mind, and some let fly their hair and cried aloud, and stretched out their arms and cried aloud, and fell headlong to the ground and rolled to and fro, saying, "All too soon will The Blessed One pass into Nirvana; all too soon will The Happy One pass into Nirvana; all too soon will The Light of the World vanish from sight." Then the Mallas and their children and their daughters-in-law and their wives, being grieved and sorrowful and overwhelmed with anguish of mind, drew near to the sal-tree grove Upavattana of the Mallas, and to where the venerable Ananda was.

Then it occurred to the venerable Ananda as follows:

"If I shall cause the Kusinara-Mallas one by one to do reverence to The Blessed One, the day will dawn ere they have finished. What if now I marshal the Mallas by families, and cause them by families to do reverence to The Blessed One, and say, 'Reverend Sir, a Malla named so-and-so, with his children, his wife, his following, and his friends, bows low in reverence at the feet of The Blessed One.'"

And the venerable Ananda marshalled the Mallas by families, and caused them by families to do reverence to The Blessed One, saying, "Reverend Sir, a Malla named so-and-so, with his children, his wife, his following, and his friends, bows low in reverence at the feet of The Blessed One." And the venerable Ananda by this device succeeded in causing all the Kusinara-Mallas to do reverence to The Blessed One before the end of the first watch of the night.

Now at that time Subhadda, a wandering ascetic, was dwelling at Kusinara. And Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, heard the report:

"To-night, in the last watch, the monk Gotama will pass into Nirvana."

Then it occurred to Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, as follows:

"I have heard wandering ascetics, that were old men, advanced in years, teachers, and teachers' teachers, declare, 'But seldom, and on rare occasions, does a Tathagata, a saint, and Supreme Buddha arise in the world.' And to-night in the last watch, the monk Gotama will pass into Nirvana. And a certain question has arisen in my mind, and I am persuaded of the monk Gotama that he can so teach me the Doctrine that I shall be relieved of this my doubt."

Then Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, drew near to the sal-tree grove Upavattana of the Mallas, and to where the venerable Ananda was, and having drawn near, he spoke to the venerable Ananda as follows:

"Ananda, I have heard wandering ascetics, that were old men, advanced in years, teachers, and teachers' teachers, declare, 'But seldom, and on rare occasions does a Tathagata, a saint, and Supreme Buddha arise in the world.' And to-night, in the last watch, the monk Gotama will pass into Nirvana. And a certain doubt has arisen in my mind, and I am persuaded of the monk Gotama that he can so teach me the Doctrine that I shall be relieved of this my doubt. Let me, then, Ananda, have an opportunity of seeing the monk Gotama."

When Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, had so spoken, the venerable Ananda spoke to him as follows:

"Enough of that, brother Subhadda; trouble not The Tathagata. The Blessed One is weary."

And a second time Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, . . .

And a third time Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, spoke to the venerable Ananda as follows:

"Ananda, I have heard wandering ascetics, old men, advanced in years, teachers, and teachers' teachers, when they said, 'But seldom, and on rare occasions, does a Tathagata, a saint, and Supreme Buddha arise in the world.' And to-night, in the last watch, the monk Gotama will pass into Nirvana. And a certain doubt has arisen in my mind, and I am persuaded of the monk Gotama that he can so teach me the Doctrine that I shall be relieved of this my doubt. Let me, then, Ananda, have an opportunity of seeing the monk Gotama."

And a third time the venerable Ananda spoke to Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, as follows:

"Enough of that, brother Subhadda; trouble not The Tathagata. The Blessed One is weary."

Now The Blessed One chanced to hear the conversation between the venerable Ananda and the wandering ascetic Subhadda. And The Blessed One called to the venerable Ananda:

"Enough, Ananda; hinder not Subhadda. Let Subhadda, Ananda, have an opportunity of beholding The Tathagata. Whatever Subhadda shall ask of me, he will ask for the sake of information, and not for the sake of troubling me, and he will quickly understand my answers to his questions."

Then the venerable Ananda spoke to Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, as follows:

"You may come, brother Subhadda; The Blessed One grants you an audience."

Then Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, drew near to where The Blessed One was; and having drawn near, he exchanged greetings with The Blessed One; and having passed with him the greetings of friendship and civility, he sat down respectfully at one side. And seated respectfully at one side, Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"Gotama, all those monks and Brahmans who possess a large following and crowds of hearers and disciples, and who are distinguished, renowned leaders of sects, and highly esteemed by the multitudes, - to wit, Purana Kassapa, Makkhali Gosala, Ajita Kesakambali, Pakudha Kaccayana, Sanjaya Belatthiputta, Nigantha Nathaputta, - have they all done as they maintain, discovered the truth, or have they not? or have some of them done so, and others not?"

"Enough, O Subhadda, let us leave the question, 'Have they all done as they maintain, discovered the truth, or have they not? or have some of them done so, and others not? The Doctrine will I teach you, Subhadda. Listen to me, and pay strict attention, and I will speak."

"Yes, Reverend Sir," said Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, to The Blessed One in assent. And The Blessed One spoke as follows:

"Subhadda, in whatever doctrine and discipline the noble eightfold path is not found, therein also is not found the monk of the first degree, nor the monk of the second degree, nor the monk of the third degree, nor the monk of the fourth degree; and in whatever doctrine and discipline, O Subhadda, the noble eightfold path is found, therein also are found the monk of the first degree, and the monk of the second degree, and the monk of the third degree, and the monk of the fourth degree. Now in this Doctrine and Discipline, O Subhadda, the noble eightfold path is found: and therein alone, O Subhadda, are found the monk of the first degree, and the monk of the second degree, and the monk of the third degree, and the monk of the fourth degree. Destitute of true monks are all other creeds. But let these my priests, O Subhadda, live rightly, and the world will not be destitute of saints.

"What time my age was twenty-nine, Subhadda, I left the world to seek the summum bonum. Now fifty years and more have passed, Subhadda, Since I renounced the world and lived ascetic Within the Doctrine's pale, that rule of conduct Outside of which no genuine monk existeth,

nor the monk of the second degree, nor the monk of the third degree, nor the monk of the fourth degree. Destitute of monks are all other creeds. But let these my priests, O Subhadda, live rightly, and the world will not be destitute of saints."

When The Blessed One had thus spoken, Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, spoke to him as follows:

"O wonderful is it, Reverend Sir! O wonderful is it, Reverend Sir! It is as if, Reverend Sir, one were to set up that which was overturned, or were to disclose that which was hidden, or were to point out the way to a lost traveller, or were to carry a lamp into a dark place that they who had eyes might see forms. Even so has The Blessed One expounded the Doctrine in many different ways. Reverend Sir, I betake myself to The Blessed One for refuge, to the Doctrine, and to the Congregation of the priests. Suffer me to retire from the world under The Blessed One; suffer me to receive ordination."

"Subhadda, any one who aforetime has been an adherent of another sect and afterwards desires to retire from the world and receive ordination under this Doctrine and Discipline, must first spend four months on probation, and after the lapse of four months, strenuous-minded priests receive him into the Order and confer on him the priestly ordination. Nevertheless, in this matter of probation I recognize a difference in persons."

"Reverend Sir, if all they who aforetime have been adherents of other sects and afterwards desire to retire from the world and receive ordination under this Doctrine and Discipline, must first spend four months on probation, and after the lapse of four months strenuous-minded priests receive them into the Order, and confer on them the priestly ordination, then am I ready to spend four years on probation, and after the lapse of four years, let strenuous-minded priests receive me into the Order and confer on me the priestly ordination."

Then The Blessed One said to the venerable Ananda,

"Well, then, Ananda, receive Subhadda into the Order."

"Yes, Reverend Sir," said the venerable Ananda to The Blessed One in assent.

Then Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, spoke to the venerable Ananda as follows:

"How fortunate you priests are, brother Ananda! How supremely fortunate, brother Ananda, that you all have been sprinkled with the sprinkling of discipleship at the hands of The Teacher himself."

And Subhadda, the wandering ascetic, retired from the world under The Blessed One, and received ordination. And without delay, after he had received ordination, the venerable Subhadda began to live solitary and retired, vigilant, strenuous, and zealous; and in no long time, and while yet alive, he came to learn for himself, and to realize, and to live in the possession of that highest good to which the holy life conducts, and for the sake of which youths of good family so nobly retire from the household life to the houseless one. And he knew that for him rebirth was exhausted, that he had lived the holy life, that he had done what it behooved him to do, and that he was no more for this world. So the venerable Subhadda became of the number of the saints, and he was the last disciple made by The Blessed One himself.

End of the Hirannavati Recitation, which is the Fifth.

Then The Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda:

"It may be, Ananda, that some of you will think, 'The word of The Teacher is a thing of the past; we have now no Teacher.' But that, Ananda, is not the correct view. The Doctrine and Discipline, Ananda, which I have taught and enjoined upon you is to be your teacher when I am gone. But whereas now, Ananda, all the priests address each other with the title of 'brother', not so must they address each other after I am gone. A senior priest, Ananda, is to address a junior priest either by his given name, or by his family name, or by the title of 'brother;' a junior priest is to address a senior priest with the title 'reverend sir,' or 'venerable.' If the Order, Ananda, wish to do so, after I am gone they may abrogate all the lesser and minor precepts. On Channa, Ananda, after I am gone, the higher penalty is to be inflicted."

"Reverend Sir, what is this higher penalty?"

"Let Channa, Ananda, say what he likes, he is not to be spoken to nor admonished nor instructed by the priests."

Then The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"It may be, O priests, that some priest has a doubt or perplexity respecting either The Buddha or the Doctrine or the Order or the Path or the course of conduct. Ask any questions, O priests, and suffer not that afterwards ye feel remorse, saying, 'Our Teacher was present with us, but we failed to ask him all our questions.'"

When he had so spoken, the priests remained silent.

And a second time The Blessed One, and a third time The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"It may be, O priests, that some priest has a doubt or perplexity respecting either The Buddha or the Doctrine or the Order or the Path or the course of conduct. Ask any questions, O priests, and suffer not that afterwards ye feel remorse, saying, 'Our Teacher was present with us, but we failed to ask him all our questions.'"

And a third time the priests remained silent.

Then The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"It may be, O priests, that it is out of respect to The Teacher that ye ask no questions. Then let each one speak to his friend."

And when he had thus spoken, the priests remained silent.

Then the venerable Ananda spoke to The Blessed One as follows:

"It is wonderful, Reverend Sir! It is marvellous, Reverend Sir! Reverend Sir, I have faith to believe that in this congregation of priests not a single priest has a doubt or perplexity respecting either The Buddha or the Doctrine or the Order or the Path or the course of conduct."

"With you, Ananda, it is a matter of faith, when you say that; but with the Tathagata, Ananda, it is a matter of knowledge that in this congregation of priests not a single priest has a doubt or perplexity respecting either The Buddha or the Doctrine or the Order or the Path or the course of conduct. For of all these five hundred priests, Ananda, the most backward one has become converted, and is not liable to pass into a lower state of existence, but is destined necessarily to attain supreme wisdom."

Then The Blessed One addressed the priests:

"And now, O priests, I take my leave of you; all the constituents of being are transitory; work out your salvation with diligence."

And this was the last word of The Tathagata.

Thereupon The Blessed One entered the first trance; and rising from the first trance, he entered the second trance; and rising from the second trance, he entered the third trance; and rising from the third trance, he entered the fourth trance; and rising from the fourth trance, he entered the realm of the infinity of space; and rising from the realm of the infinity of space, he entered the realm of the infinity of consciousness; and rising from the realm of the infinity of consciousness, he entered the realm of nothingness; and rising from the realm of nothingness, he entered the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception; and rising from the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception, he arrived at the cessation of perception and sensation.

Thereupon the venerable Ananda spoke to the venerable Anuruddha as follows:

"Reverend Anuruddha, The Blessed One has passed into Nirvana."

"Nay, brother Ananda, The Blessed One has not passed into Nirvana; he has arrived at the cessation of perception and sensation."

Thereupon The Blessed One rising from the cessation of his perception and sensation, entered the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception; and rising from the realm of neither perception nor yet non-perception, he entered the realm of nothingness; and rising from the realm of nothingness, he entered the realm of the infinity of consciousness; and rising from the realm of the infinity of consciousness, he entered the realm of the infinity of space; and rising from the realm of the infinity of space, he entered the fourth trance; and rising from the fourth trance, he entered the third trance; and rising from the third trance, he entered the second trance; and rising from the second trance, he entered the first trance; and rising from the first trance, he entered the second trance; and rising from the second trance, he entered the third trance; and rising from the third trance, he entered the fourth trance; and rising from the fourth trance, immediately The Blessed One passed into Nirvana.

The End of the Buddha's Life Story 

Source: www.buddhamind.info

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Buddha's Advice

 

    Now I'm going to remind you of some of the Buddha's teachings as a way of encouraging you to be intent on practicing correctly in line with the Buddha's instructions. These teachings are called Dhamma. The Dhamma is an ornament for the mind. It's also a means for developing the faculties of the mind. The teachings I'm about to discuss come in the Ovada-Patimokkha, the Patimokkha Exhortation. This is a talk that deals with the duties of those who have ordained in line with the Buddha's instructions, but these practices also apply to lay people as well. Lay people can take these practices and train themselves to be good people, so that they can be eyes and ears, legs, feet, and hands, to help look after the work of the religion and to help it prosper.

These guidelines, which apply to all of us, fall under six headings:

 1-Anupavado Don't go finding fault with one another. In other words, don't say evil things about one another, don't misrepresent one another, don't say anything that will cause people to fall apart from one another. Don't start false reports about one another, and don't encourage them. Don't curse or yell at one another. Instead of finding fault with one another, each of us should look at his or her own faults. This is what's meant by anupavado. You can use this principle anywhere, whether you're ordained or not.

 2-Anupaghato Don't allow yourself to hate one another. It's only normal that when people live together, their behavior isn't going to be on an equal level. Some people have good manners, some people have coarse manners — not evil, mind you, just that their manners are coarse. Physically, some people are energetic, industrious, and strong; others are weak and sickly. Verbally, some people are skilled at speaking, others are not. Some people talk a lot, some people hardly talk at all; some people like to talk about worldly things, some people like to talk about the Dhamma; some people speak wrong, some people speak right. This is called inequality. When this is the case, there are bound to be conflicts and clashes, at least to some extent. When these things arise among us while we live together within the boundaries of the same Dhamma, we shouldn't hold grudges. We should forgive one another and wash away that stain from our hearts. Why? Because otherwise it turns into animosity and enmity. The act of forgiving is called the gift of forgiveness. It turns you into the sort of person who doesn't hold onto things, doesn't carry things around, doesn't get caught up on things — the sort of person who doesn't bear grudges. Even when there are missteps or mistakes from time to time, we should forgive one another. We should have a sense of love, affection, and kindness for everyone around us, as much as we can. This is called anupaghato. It's a part of our training as Buddhists, both for householders and for contemplatives.

 3- Patimokkhe ca samvaro Act in a way that keeps you near the entrance to nibbana. What's the entrance to nibbana? The Patimokkha. Mukha means mouth or entrance. Mokkha means liberation. Sit close to your food so that your mouth is near liberation. Don't sit far away, or you'll have trouble eating. Sit close enough so that liberation is within reach and you can stick it right in your mouth. In other words, whatever behavior is near the ways of the religion, that's the behavior you should follow. To be near the religion means following the holy life. Lay people have their holy life, too, you know, just as monks have theirs. Lay people follow the holy life in two ways. The first is observing the first five of the eight precepts: no killing; no stealing; no sex — this is what makes it the holy life; no telling lies; and no intoxicants. This is one form of holy life, near the entrance to nibbana. The second way for lay people to follow the holy life is by observing all eight precepts.
As for novices and monks, they should maintain restraint in line with the ten or 227 precepts. At the same time, they shouldn't omit any of the good types of behavior that they should follow. This is called acara-gocara-sampanno. Don't go wandering around in areas that are out of bounds and can harm you. In other words, don't let your body go there, don't let your speech dwell on those places, and don't let your mind go there, either. Don't associate with immoral people who are coarse in their habits. Don't ask advice from unvirtuous people. Don't let your mind get entangled with them. Try to keep in mind people who are good, together with the goodness that you yourself are trying to develop. This is called the holy life. Whoever behaves in this way is said to be restrained in line with the Patimokkha, right next to nibbana.

 4-Mattaññuta ca bhattasmim Have a sense of moderation in the food you eat. Here I'll talk about physical food. People eat in three ways, and the first is eating greedily. Even though the stomach is full, the mind isn't full. The mouth is full, you can't swallow what you've got, the stomach is full, and yet the mind still wants to eat more. This is called eating greedily. Don't let this greed take charge of the heart.

The second type is eating contentedly. You're content with what you have in your alms bowl, and don't eat anything outside your bowl. Or you're content with the food within reach. You don't ask for anything out of reach. You don't give any sign with your hand, your eyes, or your expression that you'd like more to eat. You eat only what's on your plate, what's in your bowl. This is called eating contentedly.

The third type is eating modestly. This type of eating is very good, both in terms of the world and of the Dhamma. Take Ven. Sivali as an example. He ate modestly. How did he eat modestly? All that most of us know about Ven. Sivali is that he was wealthy in terms of the donations he received. But where did that wealth come from? It comes from eating modestly. Eating modestly is the source that gives rise to wealth. What Ven. Sivali did was this: whenever he received cloth, if he didn't then give a gift of cloth, he wouldn't wear what he had received. When he received food in his bowl, he wouldn't eat until he had given some of it as a gift to someone else. No matter which of the four requisites he received — food, clothing, shelter, or medicine, no matter how much or how little — once it was in his possession, he wouldn't use it until he had shared some of it with those around him. When he received a lot, he would make a large gift to benefit many people. When he received just a little, he'd still try to benefit others. This gave rise to all sorts of good things. His friends loved him, his community loved him, and they were kind to him. This is why being generous is said to tie the knot of friendship and to wipe out your enemies. So that's what Ven. Sivali did. When he passed away from that lifetime and was reborn in his last lifetime, he gained all kinds of wealth and never had to go hungry. Even when he went to live in places where food should have been scarce, he never suffered from scarcity, never had to do without...
What this means for us is that, whatever we get, we eat only a third and give the other two thirds away. The parts appropriate for animals, we give to animals. The parts appropriate for human beings, we give to human beings. The parts we should share with our fellows in the holy life, we give with a clear heart. This is what it means to be modest in our consumption. We feel ease of heart and ease of body. When we die, we won't be poor.

This principle is something very good not only in terms of the religion, but also in terms of the modern world at large. It's a great means for subduing terrorism. How does it subdue terrorism? When people aren't poor, they don't get stirred up. Where does terrorism come from? It comes from people having nowhere to live, nothing to eat, no one to look after them. When they're poor and starving like this, they think, "As long as I'm suffering, let's have everyone else suffer all the same. Don't let there be any private property. Let everything be owned in common." This kind of thinking comes from poverty and deprivation. And why is there poverty? Because some people eat all alone. They don't share with people at large. Then when people at large suffer and feel revenge, they turn into communists and terrorists.

So terrorism comes from greed and selfishness, from not sharing what we've got. If we get ten baht, we can give away nine and eat what we can get for the one baht remaining. That way we'll have lots of friends. There will be love and affection, peace and prosperity. How can that come about? When people have places to live and food to eat, when they can eat their fill and can sleep when they lie down, why would they want to bother their heads with the confusion of politics?

This is why the Buddha taught us that modesty in our consumption is something good, something noble and outstanding. When we practice in this way, we're in line with the phrase, mattaññuta ca bhattasmim. We'll be practicing right, practicing properly, for the benefit of ourselves and others.

 5- Pantañca sayanasanam Don't be a busy-body. Wherever you live, try to be quiet and at peace. Don't get entangled or "play the gongs" with the other members of the group. Don't get involved in issues unless it really can't be helped. When you've studied and understand your duties, look for quiet, solitary places to live and to meditate. When you live with others, look for quiet groups to live with. When you live alone, in physical seclusion, be a quiet person. Even when you live with the group, be a secluded person. Take only the good, peaceful things the group has to offer. When you live alone, don't get involved in a lot of activity. Be quiet in your actions, quiet in your speech, quiet in your mind. When you live in a group — either two or three people — don't get involved in quarrels, for when there's quarreling there's no peace. Your actions aren't peaceful, for you have to get up and storm around. Your words aren't peaceful. Your mind — with its thoughts of anger, revenge, and ill will — isn't peaceful. And this gives rise to all sorts of bad karma. When you live in a community — anywhere from four on up to 99 — you have to make sure that the community is at peace, that there's no conflict, no quarreling, no hurting one another's feelings or doing one another harm. The community should be a cooperative for training peacefully in virtue and the Dhamma. That's when it's a good community, orderly and civilized, fostering progress for all its members. This is one of our duties as part of the Buddha's following, in line with the Buddha's instructions. It's called patañca sayanasanam: creating a quiet place to live, at your ease in both body and mind.

6-Adhicitte ca ayogo Don't be complacent. Be diligent in practicing concentration to the level of adhicitta, or the heightened mind. Practice concentration frequently, sit in concentration frequently as an example to the rest of the community. When you talk, seek advice in how to develop your meditation theme. Discuss the rewards of concentration. Practice ridding the heart of its hindrances. When you do this, you're acting in line with the principle of heightened mind.

Another level of heightened mind is when the mind has been freed from its hindrances and has entered concentration, without any ups or downs. It's solid, stalwart, and strong, with nothing defiling it. This is called adhicitte ca ayogo, commitment to the heightened mind. So don't be complacent. Keep working at this always.

Etam buddhanasasanam When you do this, you're acting in line with the Buddhas' instructions. These are the Buddha's words, straight from his mouth.

So we should all work at giving rise to these principles within ourselves. If you establish yourself in these teachings, in all honesty and integrity, then even if you can't liberate your mind totally from suffering, at the very least you'll be developing yourself in the right direction. Your bad habits will disappear day by day, and the good habits you've never had before will arise in their place. As for the good habits you already have, they'll prosper and flourish.

So now that you've listened to this, take it and put it into practice. Train yourself to behave in line with the Buddha's exhortation. When you do that, you'll meet with happiness and prosperity as you flourish in line with his instructions.

       By Venerable Lee Dhammadharo

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