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The lord of the world, having converted 2 the people of Kapilavastu according to (their several) circumstances 3, his work being done, he went with the great body of his followers, . 1611

And directed his way to the country of Kosala, where dwelt king Prasenagit (Po-se-nih). The Getavana was now fully adorned, and its halls and courts carefully prepared; . 1612

The fountains and streams flowed through the garden which glittered with flowers and fruit; rare birds sat by the pools (water side), and on the land

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they sang in sweet concord, according to their kind; . 1613

Beautiful in every way as the palace of Mount Kilas (Kailâsa) 1, (such was the Getavana.) Then the noble friend of the orphans, surrounded by his attendants, who met him on the way, . 1614

Scattering flowers and burning incense, invited the lord to enter the Getavana. In his hand he carried a golden dragon-pitcher 2, and bending low upon his knees he poured the flowing water . 1615

As a sign of the gift of the Getavana Vihâra for the use of the priesthood throughout the world 3. The lord then received it, with the prayer 4 that 'overruling all evil influences it might give the kingdom permanent rest, . 1616

'And that the happiness of Anâthapindada might flow out in countless streams.' Then the king Prasenagit hearing that the lord had come, . 1617

With his royal equipage went to the Getavana to worship at the lord's feet 5. (Having arrived) and

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taken a seat on one side, with clasped hands he spake to Buddha thus: . 1618

'O that my unworthy and obscure kingdom should thus suddenly have met such fortune! For how can misfortunes or frequent calamities possibly affect it, (in the presence of) so great a man? . 1619

'And now that I have seen your sacred features, I may perhaps partake of the converting streams of your teaching. A town although it is composed of many sections 1, yet both ignoble and holy persons may enter the surpassing 2 stream; . 1620

'And so the wind which fans the perfumed grove causes the scents to unite and form one pleasant breeze; and as the birds which collect on Mount Sumeru (are many), and the various shades that blend in shining gold, . 1621

'So an assembly may consist of persons of different capacities, individually insignificant, but a glorious body. The desert master by nourishing the Rishi, procured a birth as the san-tsuh (three leg or foot) star 3; . 1622

'Worldly profit is fleeting and perishable, religious (holy) profit is eternal and inexhaustible; a man though a king is full of trouble, a common man, who is holy, has everlasting rest.' . 1623

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Buddha knowing the state of the king's heart,--that he rejoiced in religion as Sakrarâg1,--considered the two obstacles that weighted him, viz. too great love of money, and of external pleasures 2; 1 . 624

Then seizing the opportunity, and knowing the tendencies of his heart, he began, for the king's sake, to preach: 'Even those who, by evil karman 3, have been born in low degree, when they see a person of virtuous character, feel reverence for him; . 1625

'How much rather ought an independent 4 king, who by his previous conditions of life has acquired much merit, when he encounters Buddha, to conceive even more reverence. Nor is it difficult to understand, . 1626

'That a country should enjoy more rest and peace, by the presence of Buddha, than if he were not to dwell therein 5. And now, as I briefly declare my law, let the Mahârâga listen and weigh my words, . 1627

'And hold fast that which I deliver! See now the end of my perfected merit 6', my life is done,

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there is for me no further body or spirit, but freedom from all ties of kith or kin! . 1628

'The good or evil deeds we do from first to last (beginning to end) follow us as shadows; most exalted then the deeds (karman) of the king of the law 1. The prince 2 (son) who cherishes his people, . 1629

'In the present life gains renown, and hereafter ascends to heaven; but by disobedience and neglect of duty, present distress is felt and future misery! . 1630

'As in old times Lui-’ma (lean horse) 3y râga, by obeying the precepts, was born in heaven, whilst Kin-pu (gold step) râga, doing wickedly, at the end of life was born in misery. . 1631

Now then, for the sake of the great king, I will briefly relate the good and evil law (the law of good and evil). The great requirement 4 is a loving heart! to regard the people as we do an only son, . 1632

'Not to oppress, not to destroy; to keep in due check every member of the body, to forsake unrighteous doctrine and walk in the straight path; not to exalt oneself by treading down others (or inferiors), . 1633

'But to comfort and befriend those in suffering;

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not to exercise oneself in false theories 1 (treatises), nor to ponder much on kingly dignity (strength), nor to listen to the smooth words of false teachers; . 1634

'Not to vex oneself by austerities, not to exceed (or transgress) the right rules of kingly conduct, but to meditate on Buddha and weigh his righteous law, and to put down and adjust all that is contrary to religion; . 1635

'To exhibit true superiority by virtuous conduct and the highest exercise of reason, to meditate deeply on the vanity of earthly things, to realise the fickleness of life by constant recollection; . 1636

'To exalt the mind to the highest point of reflection, to seek sincere faith (truth) with firm purpose; to retain an inward sense of happiness resulting from oneself 2, (and to look forward to) increased happiness hereafter; . 1637

'To lay up a good name for distant ages, this will secure the favour of Tathâgata 3, as men now loving sweet fruit will hereafter be praised by their descendants 4. . 1638

'There is a way of darkness out of light 5, there is a way of light out of darkness; there is darkness which follows after the gloom (signs of gloom),

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there is a light which causes the brightening of light. . 1639

'The wise man leaving first principles 1, should go on to get more light 2; evil words will be repeated far and wide by the multitude, but there are few to follow good direction; . 1640

'It is impossible however to avoid result of works 3, the doer cannot escape; if there had been no first works, there had been in the end no result of doing, . 1641

'--No reward for good, no hereafter joy--; but because works are done, there is no escape. Let us then practise good works; . 1642

'(Let us) inspect our thoughts that we do no evil, because as we sow so we reap 4. As when enclosed in a four-stone [stone or rock-encircled] mountain, there is no escape or place of refuge for any one, . 1643

'So within this mountain-wall of old age, birth, disease, and death, there is no escape for the world 5. Only by considering and practising the true law can we escape from this sorrow-piled mountain. . 1644

'There is, indeed, no constancy in the world, the end of the pleasures of sense is as the lightning flash, whilst old age and death are as the piercing bolts; what profit, then, in doing (practising) iniquity 6! . 1645

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'All the ancient conquering kings, who were as gods 1 on earth, thought by their strength to overcome decay 2; but after a brief life they too disappeared 3. . 1646

'The Kalpa-fire will melt Mount Sumeru, the water of the ocean will be dried up, how much less can our human frame, which is as a bubble, expect to endure for long upon the earth! . 1647

'The fierce wind scatters the thick mists, the sun's rays encircle (hide) Mount Sumeru, the fierce fire licks up the place of moisture, so things are ever born once more to be destroyed! . 1648

'The body is a thing (vessel) of unreality, kept through the suffering of the long night 4, pampered by wealth, living idly and in carelessness, . 1649

'Death suddenly comes and it is carried away as rotten wood in the stream! The wise man expecting these changes with diligence strives against sloth; . 1650

'The dread of birth and death acts as a spur to keep him from lagging on the road; he frees himself from engagements, he is not occupied with self-pleasing, he is not entangled by any of the cares of life, . 1651

'He holds to no business, seeks no friendships, engages in no learned career, nor yet wholly separates himself from it; for his learning is the wisdom

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of not-perceiving 1 wisdom, but yet perceiving that which tells him of his own impermanence; . 1652

'Having a body, yet keeping aloof from defilement, he learns to regard defilement as the greatest evil. (He knows) that tho’ born in the Arûpa world, there is yet no escape from the changes of time; . 1653

'His learning, then, is to acquire the changeless body; for where no change is, there is peace. Thus the possession of this changeful body is the foundation of all sorrow. . 1654

'Therefore, again, all who are wise make this their aim--to seek a bodiless condition; all the various orders of sentient creatures, from the indulgence of lust, derive pain; . 1655

'Therefore all those in this condition ought to conceive a heart, loathing lust; putting away and loathing this condition, then they shall receive no more pain; . 1656

'Though born in a state with or without an external form, the certainty of future change is the root of sorrow; for so long as there is no perfect cessation of personal being, there can be, certainly, no absence of personal desire; . 1657

'Beholding, in this way, the character of the three worlds, their inconstancy and unreality, the presence of ever-consuming pain, how can the wise man seek enjoyment therein? . 1658

'When a tree is burning with fierce flames how

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can the birds congregate therein? The wise man, who is regarded as an enlightened sage, without this knowledge is ignorant; . 1659

'Having this knowledge, then true wisdom dawns; without it, there is no enlightenment. To get this wisdom is the one aim, to neglect it is the mistake of life. 1660.

'All the teaching of the schools should be centred here; without it is no true reason. To recount this excellent system is not for those who dwell in family connection; . 1661

'Nor is it, on that account, not to be said 1, for religion concerns a man individually [is a private affair]. Burned up with sorrow, by entering the cool stream, all may obtain relief and ease; . 1662

'The light of a lamp in a dark room lights up equally objects of all colours, so is it with those who devote themselves to religion,--there is no distinction between the professed disciple and the unlearned (common). . 1663

'Sometimes the mountain-dweller (i.e. the religious hermit) falls into ruin, sometimes the humble householder mounts up to be a Rishi; the want of faith (doubt) is the engulfing sea, the presence of disorderly belief is the rolling flood, . 1664

'The tide of lust carries away the world; involved in its eddies there is no escape; wisdom is the handy boat, reflection is the hold-fast. . 1665

'The drum-call of religion (expedients), the barrier (dam) of thought, these alone can rescue from

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the sea of ignorance.' At this time the king sincerely attentive to the words of the All-wise 1, . 1666

Conceived a distaste for the world's glitter and was dissatisfied with the pleasures of royalty, even as one avoids a drunken elephant, or returns to right reason after a debauch. . 1667

Then all the heretical teachers, seeing that the king was well affected to Buddha, besought the king (mahârâga), with one voice, to call on Buddha to exhibit 2 his miraculous gifts. . 1668

Then the king addressed the lord of the world: 'I pray you, grant their request!' Then Buddha silently acquiesced 3. And now all the different professors of religion, . 1669

The doctors who boasted of their spiritual power, came together in a body to where Buddha was; then he manifested before them his power of miracle; ascending up into the air, he remained seated, . 1670

Diffusing his glory as the light of the sun he shed abroad the brightness of his presence. The heretical teachers were all abashed, the people all were filled with faith. . 1671

Then for the sake of preaching to his mother, he forthwith ascended to the heaven of the thirty-three gods; and for three months dwelt in heavenly mansions 4. There he converted the occupants (Devas) of that abode, . 1672

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And having concluded his pious mission to his mother, the time of his sojourn in heaven finished, he forthwith returned, the angels accompanying him on wing 1; he travelled down a seven-gemmed ladder, . 1673

And again arrived at Gambudvîpa. Stepping down he alighted on the spot where all the Buddhas return 2, countless hosts of angels accompanied him, conveying with them their palace abodes (as a gift); . 1674

The people of Gambudvîpa with closed hands looking up with reverence, beheld him. . 1675


230:2 The expression in the original is 'having opened for conversion.'

230:3 It is not necessarily 'according to their circumstances,' but it may also be rendered 'according to circumstances,' or 'as the occasion required.'

231:1 Mount Kailâsa, the fabulous residence of Kuvera; the paradise of Siva.

231:2 In the Barahut sculpture there is a figure carrying a pitcher in the act of pouring out the water; but the figure is not kneeling.

231:3 'The four quarters,' that is, 'the world.'

231:4 'The prayer,' the 'devout incantation;' it has often been questioned whether 'prayer' is possible with Buddhists; the expression in the Chinese is the same as that used for prayer in other books; but it may of course denote sincere or earnest desire, coming from the heart.

231:5 There are various representations of Prasenagit going to the Getavana in the Barahut sculptures. In plate xiii (Cunningham's Barahut) the Vihâra is represented, the wheel denoting the sermon which Buddha preached; the waving of garments and whistling with fingers denoting the joy of the hearers.

232:1 I cannot be sure of this translation; yet I can suggest no other. The line is .

232:2 'The victorious stream;' this may refer to the Rapti, on the banks of which Srâvastî was situated. The object of the allusion is that as both rich and poor, noble and ignoble may enter the stream of the river, so all may seek the benefit of the stream of religious doctrine.

232:3 I am unable to explain the reference here; nor do I know what the 'three-footed star' can be.

233:1 General Cunningham (Barahut Stûpa, plate xiii) has remarked that the Preaching Hall visited by Prasenagit resembles in detail the Palace of Sakrarâga; the reference in the text seems to allude to this.

233:2 Reference is often made in Buddhist books to the self-indulgence of king Prasenagit. Compare section xxix of the Chinese Dhammapada.

233:3 That is, in consequence of evil deeds.

233:4 This expression 'tsze tsai,' which I render 'independent,' means 'self-sufficient,' or 'self-existing;' the reference is probably to a lord paramount (samrâg).

233:5 This exordium appears intended to take down the pride of the king.

233:6 Buddha points to himself as having gained the end of all his p. 234 previous meritorious conduct, in the attainment of his present condition.

234:1 Dharmarâga, an epithet of every Buddha (Eitel).

234:2 The symbol here stands for 'son;' it may mean 'prince' in the sense of 'son of the king of the law' (fă wang tseu), which is a common one in Buddhist books, and is often rendered by 'Kumâra bhûta.'

234:3 Lui-’ma may be a phonetic equivalent of the name of the king, or a translation of the name, viz. Krisâsva. So also in the next line Hiranyakasipu may be meant.

234:4 The 'great deficiency,' or 'the great need.'

235:1 In false theories and 'vidyâs' (ming).

235:2 Self-dependent happiness.

235:3 Whether the phrase 'gu-lai' ought to be here translated Tathâgata, or whether it refers simply to 'future generations,' is a question.

235:4 This again is an uncertain translation, although the meaning is plain, that those who here love 'sweet fruit,' will not set their children's teeth on edge hereafter.

235:5 In this and the following lines the reference is apparently to the possibility of growing worse or better by our deeds.

236:1 San p’hin, the 'three sections.'

236:2 Ought to learn from first to last, illumination.' Does it refer to books or vidyâs (ming) of instruction?

236:3 There is not such a thing as 'not making fruit,' or the fruit of 'not making;' but the former is the more likely. 'Fruit,' of course, refers to the result of works.

236:4 'Because as we ourselves do, we ourselves receive.'

236:5 For all living creatures.

236:6 'Why then ought we to do iniquity!' (fi fă.)

237:1 Who were as Îsvaradeva.

237:2 Literally, 'to conquer emptiness;' it may mean to 'surpass the sky '--to climb to heaven.

237:3 They were ground to dust and disappeared.

237:4 The suffering of the 'long night' (the period of constant transmigration) keeps and guards it.

238:1 'The wisdom of not perceiving;' the symbol 'sheu' corresponds with 'vedanâ,' perception, or sensation. The meaning therefore is that true wisdom depends not on the power of sense; but yet he perceives by his senses that he (his body) is impermanent.

239:1 This and the preceding line are obscure. The sense of the whole passage seems to point to the adaptation of religion for the life of all persons, laïc or cleric.

240:1 The words of him who knew all things.

240:2 To substantiate his claim by exhibiting miraculous power.

240:3 By his silence showed his acquiescence.

240:4 There is an account of Buddha's ascent to this heaven in the Manual of Buddhism, pp. 298 seq. Also in Fă-hien, cap. xvii. There are pictures (sculptures) of the scene of his descent in Tree and Serpent Worship, plate xvii, and in the account of the Stûpa of Barahut.

241:1 It would be curious, if this translation were absolutely certain, to find that Asvaghosha had heard of angels with 'wings.' In the sculptures the Devas are represented as ordinary mortals. The Chinese may, however, simply mean 'accompanying him, as if on wing,' i.e. following him through the air.

241:2 That is, at Sankisa (Sâṅkâsya), [see the Archæological Survey of India, 1862-1863.]

Next: Varga 21. Escaping the Drunken Elephant and Devadatta