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Buddhist Scriptures, by E.J. Thomas, [1913], at

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The personal name of Buddha was Siddhattha, "one who has accomplished his aim." Whether it was actually the name given to him as a child we do not know. His family name was Gotama, and it is as "sir, Gotama" (bho Gotama) or "the ascetic Gotama," that members of other sects are represented as addressing him. By the Buddhists he is called up to the time of his enlightenment the Bodhisatta, "being of enlightenment," a term applied to any one who is destined to become a Buddha. After his enlightenment he is called the Buddha "the enlightened one," and addressed as Bhagavan, "the Lord." Buddha, when speaking of himself, calls himself the Tathāgata, literally "one who has gone thus." The exact significance is disputed, but it probably means, "one who has gone in the way of previous Buddhas."

The queen Mahāmāyā, bearing the Bodhisatta like oil in a vessel for ten months, desired, when her time was come, to go to her relatives’ home, and addressed king Suddhodana, "Your Majesty, I wish to go to Devadaha, the city of my people." "Good," said the king, and he caused the road from Kapilavatthu to the city of Devadaha to be made smooth, adorned it with plantains in pots, flags and banners, seated the queen in a

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golden palanquin borne by a thousand courtiers, and sent her forth with a great retinue. Between the two cities, and belonging to the inhabitants of both, is a pleasure-grove of sal-trees, called the Lumbini grove. At that time from the roots to the ends of the branches the whole grove was in full flower, and among the branches and flowers were numberless bees of the five colours, and flocks of various kinds of birds, singing with sweet sounds. The whole Lumbini grove seemed like the heavenly Cittalatā grove or like an adorned banqueting pavilion for a mighty king.

When the queen saw it, the desire arose in her heart of sporting therein. The courtiers with the queen entered the sal-grove. She went to the foot of a royal sal-tree, and desired to take hold of a branch. The sal-tree branch, like the tip of a supple reed, bowed down, and came within reach of the queen's hand. She put out her hand and seized the branch. Then she was shaken by the pangs of birth. The multitude put round her a curtain and retired. Taking hold of the sal-branch and standing up she was delivered. And even at that moment the four pure-minded Mahābrahmas [of the different Brahma-heavens] came and brought a golden net, and with the golden net they received the Bodhisatta and set him before his mother, "Rejoice, O queen, a mighty son is born to thee," they said. And as other beings at their birth

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are born with disagreeable impurity and stain, so was not the Bodhisatta. But the Bodhisatta, like a preacher of the doctrine descending from his seat of doctrine, like a man descending stairs, stretched forth his two hands and feet, and standing unsoiled, unstained by any impurity from the sojourn of his birth, like a jewel placed in Benares cloth, thus brilliant did he descend from his mother. And yet in honour of the Bodhisatta and the Bodhisatta's mother two showers of water descended from the sky on the body of the Bodhisatta and his mother. (Jāt. Introd. I. 52 ff.)

Next: III. The Four Signs