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Full text of "Buddhist birth-stories; Jataka tales. The commentarial introd. entitled Nidanakatha; the story of the lineage. Translated from V. Fausböll's ed. of the Pali text by T.W. Rhys Davids. New and rev. ed. by Mrs. Rhys Davids"

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Broabwa\> {Translations 



"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 
Her infinite variety " 



BUDDHIST ACADEMY 

MONTREAL, CANADA 



Broabwa\> translations 

BUDDHIST BIRTH-STORIES 

(JATAKA TALES) 

The Commentarial Introduction Entitled 

NIDANA-KATHA 
THE STORT OF THE LINEAGE 



Translated from Prof. V. Fausboll -s edition 
of the Pali text by 

T. W. RHYS DAVIDS 

New and Revised Edition by 
MRS RHYS DAVIDS, D.Lrrr., M.A. 




LONDON 
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE fcf SONS LTD. 



NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON 



CO. 





^^ 






PRINTED IN GKEAT BRITAIN BY 
STEPHEN AUSTIN AND SONS, LTD., HERTFORD 



TO 

GEHEIM-RATH PROFESSOR DOCTOR 
STENZLER 

MY FIEST GUIDE IN ORIENTAL STUDIES 

IN CONGRATULATION ON HIS DOCTOR JUBILAUM 

AND IN DEEP RESPECT FOR HIS PROFOUND SCHOLARSHIP 

THIS WORK IS DEDICATED BY 

HIS GRATEFUL PUPIL 

THE AUTHOR 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

TRANSLATOR S INTRODUCTION . . i 

PART I 

The Book of Birth Stories, and their Migration to 
the West 

Orthodox Buddhist belief concerning it. 
Two reasons for the value attached 

to it . . . . . . i 

Selected Stories : 

1. The Ass in the Lion s Skin . iv 

2. The Talkative Tortoise . . viii 

3. The Jackal and the Crow . . xi 

4. The Birth as " Great Physician " xiii 

5. Sakka s Presents ... xv 

6. A Lesson for Kings . . . xxi 
The Kalilag and Damnag Literature . xxvii 
Origin of ^Esop s Fables . . . xxix 
The Barlaam and Josaphat Literature . xxxiii 
Other Migrations of the Buddhist Tales xxxix 
Greek and Buddhist Fables . . xl 
Solomon s Judgment .... xlii 
Summary of Part I .... xlv 



vi TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PART II 
The Birth Stories in India 

PAGE 

Jatakas derived from the Pali Pitakas . xlvii 
in the Cariya Pitaka and Jataka 

Mala . . . xlviii 

,, in the Buddhavamsa 

at the Council of Vesall . li 

on the Ancient Sculptures . liv 

The Pali Names of the Jatakas . lv 

The Jatakas one of the Navangani Ivi 

Authorship of our present Collection . Ivii 
Jatakas not included in our present 

Collection . . Ixi 
Jatakas in post-Buddhistic Sanskrit 

Literature . . Ixii 

Form of the Jatakas : 

The Introductory Stories Ixvii 

The Conclusions . . Ixviii 

The Abhisambuddha - gatha, or 

Verses in the Conclusion Ixx 

Divisions of the Jataka Book Ixxii 

Actual Number of the Stories Ixxii 

Summary of the Origin of the Present 

Collection . Ixxiv 

Special Lessons inculcated by the Birth 

Stories . - lxxvii 

Special Historical Value of the Birth 

Stories . - - 



TABLE OF CONTENTS vii 

THE CEYLON COMPILER S INTRODUCTION, 
called the Niddna-Kathd 

PAGE 

Story of Sumedha, the First Bodisat . 82 

The Successive Bodisats in the Times 01 

the Previous Buddhas . . . 115 

Life of the Last Bodisat (who became 

Buddha) . . 144 

His Descent from Tusita . . . 145 

His Birth ... 154 

Song of the Devas .... 156 

Prophecy of Kala Devala . . 157 

Prophecy of the Brahmin Priests . . 161 

The Ploughing Festival . . . 163 

The Young Bodisat s Skill and Wisdom 165 

The Four Visions . . . . 166 

The Bodisat s Son is Born ... 168 

Kisa Gotami s Song . . . . 169 

The Great Renunciation ... 172 

The Great Struggle against Sin . . 181 

The Great Victory over Mara . . 190 

The Bliss of Nirvana . . . . 199 
The Hesitation whether to Publish the 

Good News . 206 
The Foundation of the Kingdom of 

Righteousness . . . . 209 

Uruvela Kassapa s Conversion . . 210 

Triumphal Entrance into Rajagaha . 212 

Foundation of the Order 214 



viii TABLE OF CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Return Home ..... 217 

Presentation of the First Monastery to 

the Buddha . . . . 229 

SUPPLEMENTARY TABLES 

I. Indian Works .... 233 

II. The Kalilag and Damnag Litera 
ture 237 

III. The Barlaam and Josaphat 

Literature . . . 239 

IV. The Cariya Pitaka and the Jataka 

Mala . .... 243 

V. Alphabetical List of Jataka Stories 

in the Mahavastu . . . 244 

VI. Places at which the Tales were 

Told 245 

VII. The Bodisats .... 246 

VIII. Jatakas Illustrated in Bas-relief on 

the Ancient Monuments . 247 

IX. Former Buddhas ... 249 

Index 250 



EDITORIAL NOTE 

fTlHIS essay and the following translation were 
J- published in 1880 as a volume in Triibner s 
Oriental Series. That volume contained, further, 
the beginning of a much longer work, namely 
the translation of the so-called Jataka. This is 
a collection of upwards of 550 folk-lore tales 
which forms part of the Buddhist canonical 
scriptures. The tales are in prose, each explaining 
a much more ancient poem of two or more lines. 
The allusions in the verses cannot be understood 
without the explanation given in the prose. Over 
and above this explanation there is added to each 
story an episode said to be from the life of the 
founder of what is now called Buddhism. Some 
thing has occurred which the founder likens to 
an episode in the long past, when, in a former life 
the actors in the present episode and he himself 
were engaged. In this way a moral, something 
like those in our fables, is drawn. At the same 
time the immensely long evolution in the full life 
or lives of all men and in particular of such a 
superman as the founder is brought out. 

The original volume has long been out of print. 
The writer, passing on to other pioneer work, 
handed over the long task of the Jataka transla 
tion to the late Professor E. B. Cowell. Under 
his editorship and up to his death the work was 
carried out by a group of translators and was 
issued during 1895-1907 by the Cambridge 
University Press. Naturally the remainder of 



x EDITORIAL NOTE 

the original volume herewith re-issued could not 
take its proper place at the head of the complete 
translation. 

It has long been out of print. But neither the 
introductory essay nor the translation of the 
Nidana-katha or Jataka introductory chronicle 
has been superseded. Hence it has seemed good 
to the house of Routledge, in taking up the mantle 
of the house of Triibner, to issue a fresh edition 
of both. Hereby a service is rendered to all 
inquirers into the history of Indian literature, 
and especially into a phase of it which has held 
much significance in the Buddhist tradition and 
is of no small interest for the general mind of 
to-day. 

Jataka means birth-let , birth-er , or collec 
tively birth-anea . And the * story of the 
lineage is a biography of Gotama Buddha so 
far as it includes those earth-lives which he was 
said to have lived under preceding Buddhas, and 
also the life he lived as himself a Buddha down 
to the time when his new church had won a 
footing. It is not from a modern standpoint 
a logically necessary preface. We should deem 
ourselves* better instructed had the compilers 
of prefaces and following stories told us something 
about the sources of story and verse and episode. 

But for the old-world orthodox Buddhist, rapt 
in contemplation of his Great Man (mahd-purisa) 
the chief end of the work discounting the end 
less entertainment afiorded then (and even now) 
by the stories was to throw light on that notable 
object of his worship. The stories were episodes 
in the founding and grounding, down an im 
memorial past, of that wonderful product, the 



EDITORIAL NOTE xi 

character of a Tathagata of him-who-had-thus- 
come . The introductory narrative is chiefly 
concerned with the two great milestones in his 
career : the milestone when the conscious will 
to become a helper of men first awoke, and the 
milestone when that will had reached such per 
fection that he could become such a helper. 

This narrative came to be called the Discourse 
of the Nidana. In translating Nidana by 
lineage V a verbal difficulty has been solved 
more by the spirit of the contents than by the 
letter of the title. The word niddna is usually 
rendered by cause, source, base, origin. None of 
these would convey a meaning to English readers. 
In Buddhist perspective the narrative reveals a 
long, long line of ancestors. These are not 
ancestors after the flesh . These are not 
ancestors by what we reckon as heredity. We 
merge the individual in the family, the tribe, the 
race. In Buddhism the line of the individual 
stands out much more strongly, in startling 
incongruity with its church s rejection of the 
man . These are ancestors of dead selves 
through whom, again and again reborn, the 
man whose will is set on the best he knows, 
may rise as on stepping-stones to higher things . 
Dead selves is a poor wording, but by it 
Tennyson meets the Buddhist point of view not 
inaptly. The word niddna suggests something 
serial, or connected in line. La is to bind ; ni 
means * along . And so we get the notion of 
chain or series of antecedents. And that, in the 
matter of living ascent or descent, is lineage. 

1 Rhys Davids left the word untranslated. 



xii EDITORIAL NOTE 

The Nidana Katha, as forming a running 
commentary on the Buddhavamsa (chronicle of 
the Buddhas), itself a canonical book, is a later 
comer into the Canon. In its treatment of the 
Buddha-legend and the story of the life of the 
very real founder had by that time become 
legendary it occupies a midway house between 
the biographical fragments in Vinaya and chief 
Nikayas, and those later more highly embroidered 
* lives of which there are not a few. The 
nimbus and the rays and the beauty of the figure 
have come in. But the narrative is still relatively 
simple. The historical question of Jat^ka 
literature may be followed up in Rhys Davids s 
Buddhist India, 2nd ed., 1903, in Oldenberg s 
The Akhyana Type and the Jatakas , Jl. Pali 
Text Society, 1912, and in Dr. Winternitz s 
art : Jataka, Ency. Religion and Ethics and his 
Geschichte der Indischen Litter atur II, pt. 1, p. 89, 
and 149, 1913. 

The revising in this re-issue has been solely 
of a number of small details in transliteration, 
in closer accuracy of translation, and in dis 
carding certain renderings in this, his earliest 
published translation, which Rhys Davids had 
in later works himself discarded. 

C. A. F. RHYS DAVIDS. 



INTRODUCTION 



IT is well known that amongst the Buddhist 
Scriptures there is one book in which a large number 
of old stories, fables, and fairy-tales lie enshrined in 
an edifying commentary ; and have thus been pre 
served for the study and amusement of later times. 
How this came about is not at present quite certain. 
The belief of orthodox Buddhists on the subject 
is this : The Buddha, as occasion arose, was 
accustomed throughout his long career to explain 
and comment on the events happening around him 
by telling of similar events that had occurred in his 
own previous births. The experience, not of one life 
time only, but of many lives, was always present to 
his mind ; and it was this experience he so often used 
to point a moral, or adorn a tale. The stories so told 
are said to have been reverently learned and repeated 
by his disciples ; and after his death 550 of them were 
gathered together in one collection, called the Book 
of the 550 Jatakas or Birthlets. The commentary to 
these gives for each Jataka, or Birth Story, an account 
of the event in Gotama s life which led to his first 
telling that particular story. Both text and com 
mentary were then handed down, in the Pali language 
in which they were composed, to the time of the 
Council of Patna (held in or about the year 250 B.C.) ; 

i 

6 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

and they were carried in the following year to Ceylon 
by the great missionary Mahinda, the son of Asoka. 
There the commentary was written down in Singhalese, 
the Aryan dialect spoken in Ceylon ; and was re 
translated into its present form in the Pali language 
in the fifth century of our era. But the text of the 
Jataka stories themselves has been throughout 
preserved in its original Pali form. 

Unfortunately this orthodox Buddhist belief as to 
the history of the Book of Birth Stories rests on a 
foundation of quicksand. The Buddhist belief, that 
most of their sacred books were in existence im 
mediately after the Buddha s death, is not only 
not supported, but is contradicted by the evidence of 
those books themselves. It may be necessary to 
state what that belief is, in order to show the im 
portance which the Buddhists attach to the book ; 
but in order to estimate the value we ourselves should 
give it, it will be necessary by critical, and more 
roundabout methods to endeavour to arrive at some 
more reliable conclusion. Such an investigation 
cannot, it is true, be completed until the whole series 
of the Buddhist Birth Stories shall have become 
accessible in the original Pali text, and the history of 
those stories shall have been traced in other sources. 
With the present inadequate information at our 
command, it is only possible to arrive at probabilities. 
But it is therefore the more fortunate that the course 
of the inquiry will lead to some highly interesting 
and instructive results. 

In the first place, the fairy tales, parables, fables, 
ii 



INTRODUCTION 

riddles, and comic and moral stories, of which the 
Buddhist Collection known as the Jdtaka Book 
consists, have been found, in many instances, to bear 
a striking resemblance to similar ones current in the 
West. Now in many instances this resemblance is 
simply due to the fact that the Western stories were 
borrowed from the Buddhist ones. 

To this resemblance much of the interest excited 
by the Buddhist Birth Stories is, very naturally, due. 
As, therefore, the stories translated in the body of this 
volume do not happen to contain among them any of 
those most generally known in England, I insert here 
one or two specimens which may at the same time 
afford some amusement, and also enable the reader to 
judge how far the alleged resemblances do actually 
exist. 

It is absolutely essential for the correctness of such 
judgment that the stories should be presented exactly 
as they stand in the original. I am aware that a close 
and literal translation involves the disadvantage of 
presenting the stories in a style which will probably 
seem strange, and even wooden, to the modern reader. 
But it cannot be admitted that, even for purposes of 
comparison, it would be sufficient to reproduce the 
stories in a modern form which should aim at com 
bining substantial accuracy with a pleasing dress. 

And the Book of Birth Stories has a value quite 
independent of the fact that many of its tales have 
been transplanted to the West. It contains a record 
of the every-day life, and every-day thought, of the 
people among whom the tales were told : it is the 

iii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

oldest, most complete, and most important collection of 
folk-lore extant. 

The whole value of its evidence in this respect would 
be lost, if a translator, by slight additions in some 
places, slight omissions in others, and slight modifica 
tions here and there, should run the risk of conveying 
erroneous impressions of early Buddhist beliefs, and 
habits, and modes of thought. It is important, there 
fore, that the reader should understand, before 
reading the stories I intend to give, that while trans 
lating sentence by sentence, rather than word by 
word, I have never lost sight of the importance of 
retaining in the English version, as far as possible, 
not only the phraseology, but the style and spirit of 
the Buddhist story-teller. 

The first specimen I propose to give is a half-moral 
half -comic story, which runs as follows. 

THE ASS IN THE LION S SKIN 

Siha-Chamma JdtaJca 
(Fausboll, no. 189) 

Once upon a time, while Brahma-datta was reigning 
in Benares, the future Buddha was born one of a 
peasant family ; and when he grew up, he gained his 
living by tilling the ground. 

At that time a hawker used to go from place to 
place, trafficking in goods carried by an ass. Now at 
each place he came to, when to took the pack down 
from the ass s back he used to clothe him in a lion s 
skin, and turn him loose in the rice and barley-fields, 

iv 



INTRODUCTION 

and when the watchmen in the fields saw the ass, they 
dared not go near him, taking him for a lion. 

So one day the hawker stopped in a village ; and 
whilst he was getting his own breakfast cooked, he 
dressed the ass in a lion s skin, and turned him loose 
in a barley-field. The watchmen in the field dared 
not go up to him ; but going home, they published 
the news. Then all the villagers came out with 
weapons in their hands ; and blowing chanks, and 
beating drums, they went near the field and shouted. 

Terrified with the fear of death, the ass uttered a cry 

the cry of an ass ! 

And when he knew him then to be an ass, the future 
Buddha pronounced the First Stanza : 

This is not a lion s roaring, 
Nor a tiger s, nor a panther s ; 
Dressed in a lion s skin, 
Tis a wretched ass that roars ! " 

But when the villagers knew the creature to be an 
ass, they beat him till his bones broke ; and, carrying 
off the lion s skin, went away. Then the hawker came, 
and seeing the ass fallen into so bad a plight, pro 
nounced the Second Stanza : 

" Long might the ass, 
Clad in a lion s skin, 
Have fed on barley green. 

But he brayed ! 
And that moment he came to ruin." 

And even while he was yet speaking the ass died on 
the spot ! 

This story will doubtless sound familiar enough to 
English ears ; for a similar tale is found in our modern 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

collections of so-called M sop s Fables. 1 Professor 
Benfey has further traced it in mediaeval French, 
German, Turkish, and Indian literature. 2 But it may 
have been much older than any of these books ; for 
the fable possibly gave rise to a proverb of which we 
find traces among the Greeks as early as the time of 
Plato. 3 Lucian gives the fable in full, localizing it 
at Kume, in South Italy, 4 and Julien has given us a 
Chinese version in his Avaddnas. 5 Erasmus, in his 
work on proverbs, 6 alludes to the fable ; and so also 
does our own Shakespeare in King John. 7 It is 
worthy of mention that in one of the later story-books 
in a Persian translation, that is, of the Hitopadesa 
there is a version of our fable in which it is the vanity 
of the ass in trying to sing which leads to his disguise 
being discovered, and thus brings him to grief. 8 But 
Professor Benfey has shown, 9 that this version is 
simply the rolling into one of the present tale and of 



1 James s ^Estop s Fables (London, Murray, 1852), p. Ill ; 
La Fontaine, Book v, no. 21 ; ^Esop (Greek text, ed. Furia, 
141, 262 ; ed. Corite, 113) ; Babrius (Lewis, vol. ii, p. 43). 

2 Benfey s PancJia Tantra, Book iv, no. 7, in the note 011 which, 
at vol. i, p. 462, he refers to Halm, p. 333 ; Robert, in the Fables 
inedites du Moyen Age, vol. i, p. 360 ; and the Turkish Tutl- 
namah (Rosen, vol. ii, p. 149). In India it is found also in the 
Northern Buddhist Collection called Kathd Sarit Sagara, by 
Somadeva ; and in Hitopadesa (iii, 2, Max Miiller, p. 110). 

3 Kratylos, 411 (ed. Tauchnitz, ii, 275). 

4 Lucian, Piscator, 32 

5 Vol. ii, no. 91. 

6 Adagia, under Asinus apud Cumanos. 

7 Act ii, scene 1 ; and again, Act iii, scene 1. 

8 De Sacy, Notes et Extraits, x, 1, 247. 

9 loc. cit., p. 463. 

vi 



INTRODUCTION 

another also widely prevalent, where an ass by trying 
to sing earns for himself, not thanks, but blows. 1 
I shall hereafter attempt to draw some conclusions 
from the history of the story. But I would here point 
out that the fable could scarcely have originated in 
any country in which lions were not common ; and 
that the Jataka story gives a reasonable explanation 
of the ass being dressed in the skin, instead of saying 
that he dressed himself in it, as is said in our Msop s 
Fables. 

The reader will notice that the " moral " of the tale 
is contained in two stanzas, one of which is put into 
the mouth of the Bodisat or future Buddha. This 
will be found to be the case in all the Birth Stories, 
save that the number of the stanzas differs, and that 
they are usually all spoken by the Bodisat. It should 
also be noticed that the identification of the peasant s 
son with the Bodisat, which is of so little importance 
to the story, is the only part of it which is essentially 
Buddhistic. Both these points will be of importance 
further on. 

The introduction of the human element takes this 
story, perhaps, out of the class of fables in the most 
exact sense of that word. I therefore add a story 
containing a fable proper, where animals speak and 
act like men. 



1 Pancha Tantra, v, 7. Professor Weber (Indische Studien, iii, 
352) compares Phsedrus (Dressier, A pp. vi. 2) and Erasmus s A dagia 
under Asinus ad Lyrum. See also Tuti-ndmah (Bosen ii, 218) ; 
and I would add Varro, in Aulus Gellius, iii, 16 ; and Jerome, 
Ep. 27 : Ad Marcellam. 

vii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

THE TALKATIVE TORTOISE 

Kacchapa Jdtaka 
(Fausboll, no. 215) 

Once upon a time, when Brahma-datta was reigning 
in Benares, the future Buddha was born in a minister s 
family ; and when he grew up, he became the king s 
adviser in things temporal and spiritual. 

Now this king was very talkative : while he was 
speaking, others had no opportunity for a word. And 
the future Buddha, wanting to cure this talkativeness 
of his, was constantly seeking for some meana of 
doing so. 

At that time there was living, in a pond in the 
Himalaya mountains, a tortoise. Two young hangsas 
(i.e. wild ducks l ) who came to feed there, made 
friends with him. And one day, when they had 
become very intimate with him, they said to the 
tortoise : 

" Friend tortoise ! the place where we live, at the 
Golden Cave on Mount Beautiful in the Himalaya 
country, is a delightful spot. Will you come there 
with us ? " 

" But how can I get there ? " 

" We can take you, if you can only hold your 
tongue, and will say nothing to anybody." 2 



1 Often rendered swan, a favourite bird in Indian tales, and 
constantly represented in Buddhist carvings. It is the original 
Golden Goose. See Jataka, no. 136. 

2 There is an old story of a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, 
who inherited a family living. He went in great trouble to 
Dr. Routh, the Head of his College, saying that he doubted 
whether he could hold, at the same time, the Living and the 
Fellowship. " You can hold anything," was the reply, " if you 
can only hold your tongue." And he held all three. 

viii 



INTRODUCTION 

" ! that I can do. Take me with you." 

" That s right," said they. And making the 
tortoise bite hold of a stick, they themselves took the 
two ends in their teeth, and flew up into the air. 1 

Seeing him thus carried by the hangsas, some 
villagers called out, " Two wild ducks are carrying a 
tortoise along on a stick ! " Whereupon the tortoise 
wanted to say, " If my friends choose to carry me, 
what is that to you, you wretched slaves ! " So just 
as the swift flight of the wild ducks had brought him 
over the king s palace in the city of Benares, he let 
go of the stick he was biting, and falling in the open 
courtyard, split in two ! And there arose a universal 
cry : "A tortoise has fallen in the open courtyard, 
and has split in two ! " 

The king, taking the future Buddha, went to the 
place, surrounded by his courtiers, and looking at the 
tortoise, he asked the Bodisat : " Teacher ! how 
comes he to be fallen here ? " 

The future Buddha thought to himself : " Long 
expecting, wishing to admonish the king, have I 
sought for some means of doing so. This tortoise 
must have made friends with the wild ducks ; and 
they must have made him bite hold of the stick, and 
have flown up into the air to take him to the hills. 
But he, being unable to hold his tongue when he hears 
any one else talk, must have wanted to say something, 
and let go the stick ; and so must have fallen down 
from the sky, and thus lost his life." And saying 
" Truly, king ! those who are called chatter-boxes 
people whose words have no end come to grief 
like this," he uttered these verses : 



1 In the Vinlla JdtaJca (no. 160) they similarly carry a crow to 
the Himalaya mountains. 

IX 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

" Verily the tortoise killed himself 
Whilst uttering his voice ; 
Though he was holding tight the stick, 
By a word himself he slew. 

" Behold him then, excellent by strength ! 
And speak wise words, not out of season. 
You see how, by his talking overmuch, 
The tortoise fell into this wretched plight ! " 

The king saw that he was himself referred to, and 
said : "0 Teacher ! are you speaking of us ? " 

And the Bodisat spake openly, and said : " great 
king ! be it thou, or be it any other, whoever talks 
beyond measure meets with some mishap like this." 

And the king henceforth refrained himself, and 
became a man of few words. 

This story too is found also in Greek, Latin, Arabic, 
Persian, and in most European languages, 1 though, 
strangely enough, it does not occur in our books of 
M sop s Fables. But in the M sop s Fables is usually 
included a story of a tortoise who asked an eagle to 
teach him to fly ; and being dropped, split in two ! 2 

1 Panca Tantra, vol. 1, p. 13, where Professor Benfey (i, 239-41) 
traces also the later versions in different languages. He mentions 
Wolff s German translation of the Kalilah and Dimnah, vol. i, 
p. 91 ; Knatchbull s English version, p. 146 ; Simeon Seth s 
Greek version, p. 28 ; John of Capua s Directorium Humance Vitce 
1), 5 b ; the German translation of this last (Ulm, 1483), F. viii, 
6 ; the Spanish translation, xix a ; Firenzuola, 65 ; Doni, 93 ; 
Anvnr i Suhaili, p. 159 ; Le Lime des Lumieres (1664, 8vo), 124; 
Le Cabinet des Fees, xvii, 309. See also Conies et Fables Indiennes 
de Bidpai et de LoJcman, ii, 112 ; La Fontaine, x, 3 (where the 
ducks fly to America !) ; and Bickell s Kalilag und Dimnag, p. 24. 
In India it is found in Somadeva, and in the Hitopadesa, iv, 2 
(Max Mtiller, p. 126). See also Julien, i, 71. 

2 This version is found in Babrius (Lewis, i, 122) ; Pbcedrus, 
ii, 7, and vii, 14 (Orelli, 55, 128) ; and in the ^sopsean collections 
(Fur. 193 ; Corise, 61) and in Abstemius, 108. 



INTRODUCTION 

It is worthy of notice that in the Southern recension 
of the Panca Tantra it is eagles, and not wild ducks 
or swans, who carry the tortoise ; x and there can, 
I think, be little doubt that the two fables are 
historically connected. 

Another fable, very familiar to modern readers, is 
stated in the commentary to have been first related in 
ridicule of a kind of Mutual Admiration Society 
existing among the opponents of the Buddha. Hear 
ing the monks talking about the foolish way in which 
Devadatta and Kokalika went about among the 
people ascribing each to the other virtues which 
neither possessed, he is said to have told this tale. 

THE JACKAL AND THE CROW 

Jambu-KMdaka Jdtaka 
(Fausboll, no. 294) 

Long, long ago, when Brahma-datta was reigning 
in Benares, the Bodisat had come to life as a tree- 
fairy, dwelling in a certain grove of jambu- trees. 

Now a crow was sitting there one day on the branch 
of a jambu-tree, eating the jambu-fruits, when a 
jackal coming by, looked up, and saw him. 

" Ha ! " thought he. " I ll natter that fellow, and 
get some of those j ambus to eat." And thereupon 
he uttered this verse in his praise : 

" Who may this be, whose rich and pleasant notes 
Proclaim him best of all the singing-birds ? 
Warbling so sweetly on the jambu-branch, 
Where like a peacock he sits firm and grand ! " 



1 Dubois, p. 109. 

xi 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Then the crow, to pay him back his compliments, 
replied in this second verse : 

" Tis a well-bred young gentleman, who understands 
To speak of gentlemen in terms polite ! 
Good Sir ! whose shape and glossy coat reveal 
The tiger s offspring eat of these, I pray ! " 

And so saying, he shook the branch of the jambu- 
tree till he made the fruit to fall. 

But when the fairy who dwelt in that tree saw the 
two of them, now they had done nattering one another, 
eating the j ambus together, he uttered a third verse : 

" Too long, forsooth, I ve borne the sight 
Of these poor chatterers of lies 
The refuse-eater and the offal-eater 
Belauding each other ! " 

And making himself visible in awful shape, he 
frightened them away from the place ! 

It is easy to understand that, when this story had 
been carried out of those countries where the crow and 
the jackal are the common scavengers, it would lose 
its point ; and it may very well, therefore, have been 
shortened into the fable of the Fox and the Crow and 
the piece of cheese. On the other hand, the latter is 
so complete and excellent a story that it would 
scarcely have been expanded, if it had been the 
original, into the tale of the Jackal and the Crow. 1 

The next tale to be quoted is one showing how a wise 

1 See La Fontaine, Bk. i, no. 2, and the current collections of 
Msop s Fables (e.g. James s ed., p. 136). It should be added that 
the Jambukfiadaka-sangyutta in the Sangyutta Nikaya has nothing 
to do with our fable. The j ambu-eater of that story is an ascetic, 
who lives on j ambus, and is converted by a discussion on Nirvana. 

xii 



INTRODUCTION 

man solves a difficulty. I give it from a Singhalese 
version of the fourteenth century, which is nearer to the 
Pali than any other as yet known. 1 It is an episode 
in the long Jataka called 

THE BIRTH AS "GREAT PHYSICIAN" 2 

MahosadJia Jataka 
(Fausboll, no. 546) 

A woman, carrying her child, went to the future 
Buddha s tank to wash. And having first bathed the 
child, she put on her upper garment and descended 
into the water to bathe herself. 

Then a Yakshini, 3 seeing the child, had a craving 
to eat it. And taking the form of a woman, she drew 
near, and asked the mother : 

" Friend, this is a very pretty child, is it one of 
yours ? " 

And when she was told it was, she asked if she might 
nurse it. And this being allowed, she nursed it a little, 
and then carried it off. 

But when the mother saw this, she ran after her, 
and cried out : " Where are you taking my child to ? " 
and caught hold of her. 

1 The Singhalese text will be found in the Sidat Sangardtva, 
p. clxxvi. 

2 Literally " the great medicine ". The Bodisat of that time 
received this name because he was born with a powerful drug in 
his hand an omen of the cleverness in device by which, when he 
grew up, he delivered people from their misfortunes. Compare 
my Buddhism, p. 187. 

3 The Yakshas, products of witchcraft and cannibalism, are 
beings of magical power, who feed on human flesh. The male 
Yaksha occupies in Buddhist stories a position similar to that of 
the wicked geni in the Arabian Nights ; the female Yakshini, 
who occurs more frequently, usually plays the part of siren. 

xiii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The Yakshini boldly said ; " Where did you get the 
child from ? It is mine ! " And so quarrelling, they 
passed the door of the future Buddha s Judgment 
Hall. 

He heard the noise, sent for them, inquired into the 
matter, and asked them whether they would abide by 
his decision. And they agreed. Then he had a line 
drawn on the ground ; and told the Yakshini to take 
hold of the child s arms, and the mother to take hold 
of its legs ; and said : " The child shall be hers who 
drags him over the line." 

But as soon as they pulled at him, the mother, 
seeing how he suffered, grieved as if her heart would 
break. And letting him go, she stood there weeping. 

Then the future Buddha asked the bystanders : 
" Whose hearts are tender to babes ? those who have 
borne children, or those who have not ? " 

And they answered : "0 Sire ! the hearts of 
mothers are tender." 

Then he said : " Who, think you, is the mother ? 
she who has the child in her arms, or she who has 
let go ? " 

And they answered : " She who has let go is the 
mother." 

And he said : " Then do you all think that the 
other was the thief ? " 

And they answered : " Sire ! we cannot tell." 

And he said : " Verily this is a Yakshini, who took 
the child to eat it." 

And they asked : " Sire ! how did you know it ? " 

And he replied : " Because her eyes winked not, 
and were red, and she knew no fear, and had no pity, 
I knew it." 

And so saying, he demanded of the thief : " Who 



are you ? 



xiv 



INTRODUCTION 

And she said : " Lord ! I am a Yakshini." 

And he asked : " Why did you take away this 

child 1 " 

And she said : " I thought to eat him, my Lord ! " 
And he rebuked her, saying : "0 foolish woman ! 

For your former sins you have been born a Yakshim, 

and now do you still sin ! " And he laid a vow upon 

her to keep the Five Commandments, and let her go. 
But the mother of the child exalted the future 

Buddha, and said : " my Lord ! Great Physician ! 

may thy life be long ! " And she went away, with 

her babe clasped to her bosom. 

The Hebrew story, in which a similar judgment is 
ascribed to Solomon, occurs in the Book of Kings, 
which is probably older than the time of Gotama. 
We shall consider below what may be the connexion 
between the two. 

The next specimen is a tale about lifeless things 
endowed with miraculous powers ; perhaps the oldest 
tale in the world of that kind which has been yet 
published. It is an episode in 



SAKKA S PRESENTS 

Dadhi-Vdhana JdtaJca 
(Fausboll, no. 186) 

Once upon a time, when Brahma-datta was reigning 
in Benares, four brothers, Brahmans, of that kingdom, 
devoted themselves to an ascetic life ; and having 
built themselves huts at equal distances in the region 

xv 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

of the Himalaya mountains, took up their residence 
there. 

The eldest of them died, and was reborn as the god 
Sakka. 1 When he became aware of this, he used to go 
and render help at intervals every seven or eight days 
to the others. And one day, having greeted the 
eldest hermit, and sat down beside him, he asked him : 
" Reverend Sir, what are you in need of ? " 

The hermit, who suffered from jaundice, answered : 
" I want fire ! " So he gave him a double-edged 
hatchet. 

But the hermit said : " Who is to take this, and 
bring me firewood ? " 

Then Sakka spake thus to him : " Whenever, 
reverend Sir, you want firewood, you should let go 
the hatchet from your hand and say : * Please fetch 
me firewood : make me fire ! And it will do so." 

So he gave him the hatchet ; and went to the 
second hermit, and asked : " Reverend Sir, what are 
you in need of ? " 

Now the elephants had made a track for themselves 
close to his hut. And he was annoyed by those 
elephants, and said : "I am much troubled by 
elephants ; drive them away." 

Sakka, handing him a drum, said : " Reverend 
Sir, if you strike on this side of it, your enemies will 
take to flight ; but if you strike on this side, they will 

1 Not quite the same as Jupiter. Sakka is a very harmless and 
gentle kind of god, not a jealous god, nor given to lasciviousness or 
spite. Neither is he immortal : he dies from time to time ; and, 
if he has behaved well, is reborn under happy conditions. Mean 
while somebody else, usually one of the sons of men who has 
deserved it, succeeds, for a hundred thousand years or so, to his 
name and place and glory. Sakka can call to mind his experiences 
in his former birth, a gift in which he surpasses most other beings. 
He was also given to a kind of practical joking, by which he 
tempted people, and has become a mere beneficent fairy. 

xvi 



INTRODUCTION 

become friendly, and surround you on all sides with 
an army in fourfold array." l 

So lie gave him the drum ; and went to the third 
hermit, and asked : " Keverend Sir, what are you in 
need of ? " 

He was also affected with jaundice, and said, there 
fore : "I want sour milk." 

Sakka gave him a milk-bowl, and said : "If you 
wish for anything, and turn this bowl over, it will 
become a great river, and pour out such a torrent, 
that it will be able to take a kingdom, and give it to 
you." 

And Sakka went away. But thenceforward the 
hatchet made fire for the eldest hermit ; when the 
second struck one side of his drum, the elephants ran 
away ; and the third enjoyed his curds. 

Now at that time a wild boar, straying in a forsaken 
village, saw a gem of magical power. When he 
seized this in his mouth, he rose by its magic into the 
air, and went to an island in the midst of the ocean. 
And thinking " Here now I ought to live ", he 
descended, and took up his abode in a convenient 
spot under an Udumbara-tree. And one day, placing 
the gem before him, he fell asleep at the foot of the 
tree. 

Now a certain man of the land of Kasi had been 
expelled from home by his parents, who said : " This 
fellow is of no use to us." So he went to a seaport, 
and embarked in a ship as a servant to the sailors. 
And the ship was wrecked ; but by the help of a 
plank he reached that very island. And while he was 
looking about for fruits, he saw the boar asleep ; and 
going softly up, he took hold of the gem. 

1 That is, infantry, cavalry, chariots of war, and elephants of 
war. Truly a useful kind of present to give to a pious hermit ! 

xvii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Then by its magical power he straightway rose 
right up into the air ! So, taking a seat on the 
Udumbara-tree, he said to himself : " Methinks this 
boar must have become a sky-walker through the 
magic of this gem. That s how he got to be living here ! 
It s plain enough what I ought to do ; I ll first of all 
kill and eat him, and then I can get away ! " 

So he broke a twig off the tree, and dropped it on 
his head. The boar woke up, and not seeing the gem, 
ran about, trembling, this way and that way. The 
man seated on the tree laughed. The boar, looking 
up, saw him, and dashing his head against the tree, 
died on the spot. 

But the man descended, cooked his flesh, ate it, and 
rose into the air. And as he was passing along the 
summit of the Himalaya range, he saw a hermitage ; 
and descending at the hut of the eldest hermit, he 
stayed there two or three days, and waited on the 
hermit ; and thus became aware of the magic power 
of the hatchet. 

" I must get that ", thought he. And he showed 
the hermit the magic power of his gem, and said : 
" Sir, do you take this, and give me your hatchet." 
The ascetic, full of longing to be able to fly through the 
air, 1 did so. But the man, taking the hatchet, went 
a little way off, and letting it go, said : " hatchet ! 
cut off that hermit s head, and bring the gern to me ! " 
And it went, and cut off the hermit s head, and 
brought him the gem. 

Then he put the hatchet in a secret place, and went 
to the second hermit, and stayed there a few days. 

1 The power of going through the air is usually considered in 
Indian legends to be the result, and a proof, of great holiness, and 
long-continued penance. So the hermit thought he would get 
a fine reputation cheaply. 

xviii 



INTRODUCTION 

And having thus become aware of the magic power 
of the drum, he exchanged the gem for the drum ; 
and cut off his head too in the same way as before. 

Then he went to the third hermit, and saw the 
magic power of the milk-bowl ; and exchanging the 
gem for it, caused his head to be cut off in the same 
manner. And taking the gem, and the hatchet, and 
the drum, and the milk-bowl, he flew away up into 
the air. 

Not far from the city of Benares he stopped, and 
sent by the hand of a man a letter to the king of 
Benares to this effect : " Either do battle, or give 
me up your kingdom ! " 

No sooner had he heard that message than the king 
sallied forth, saying : " Let us catch the scoundrel ! " 

But the man beat one side of his drum, and a four 
fold army stood around him ! And directly he saw 
that the king s army was drawn out in battle array, 
he poured out his milk-bowl ; and a mighty river 
arose, and the multitude, sinking down in it, were not 
able to escape ! Then letting go the hatchet, he said : 
" Bring me the king s head ! " And the hatchet 
went, and brought the king s head, and threw it at 
his feet ; and no one had time even to raise a weapon ! 

Then he entered the city in the midst of his great 
army, and caused himself to be anointed king, under 
the name of Dadhi-vahana (Bringer of Milk), and 
governed the kingdom with righteousness. 1 

The story goes on to relate how the king planted a 
wonderful mango, how the sweetness of its fruit 
turned to sourness through the too-close proximity 
of bitter herbs (!), and how the Bodisat, then the king s 

1 Compare Maha-bharata, xii, 1796. 
XIX 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

minister, pointed out that evil communications 
corrupt good things. But it is the portion above trans 
lated which deserves notice as the most ancient 
example known of those tales in which inanimate 
objects are endowed with magical powers ; and in 
which the seven league boots, or the wishing cup, 
or the vanishing hat, or the wonderful lamp, render 
their fortunate possessors happy and glorious. 
There is a very tragical story of a wishing cup in the 
Buddhist Collection, 1 where the wishing cup, how 
ever, is turned into ridicule. It is not unpleasant to 
find that beliefs akin to, and perhaps the result of, 
fetish-worship, had faded away, among Buddhist 
story-tellers, into sources of innocent amusement. 

In this curious tale the hatchet, the drum, and the 
milk-bowl are endowed with qualities much more fit 
for the use they were put to in the latter part of the 
story, than to satisfy the wants of the hermits. It is 
common ground with satirists how little, save sorrow, 
men would gain if they could have anything they 
chose to ask for. But, unlike the others we have 
quoted, the tale in its present shape has a flavour dis 
tinctively Buddhist in the irreverent way in which it 
treats the great god Sakka, the Jupiter of the pre- 
Buddhistic Hindus. It takes for granted too, that 
the hero ruled in righteousness ; and this is as common 
in the Jatakas as the lived happily ever after of 
modern love stories. 

This last idea recurs more strongly in the Birth 
Story called 

1 Fausboll, no. 291. 
XX 



INTRODUCTION 

A LESSON FOR KINGS 

Rdjovdda Jdtaka 
(Fausboll, no. 151) 

Once upon a time, when Bralimadatta was reigning 
in Benares, the future Buddha returned to life in the 
womb of his chief queen ; and after the conception 
ceremony had been performed, he was safely born. 
And when the day came for choosing a name, they 
called him Prince Brahmadatta. He grew up in due 
course ; and when he was sixteen years old, went to 
Takkasila, 1 and became accomplished in all arts. 
And after his father died he ascended the throne, and 
ruled the kingdom with righteousness and equity. 
He gave judgments without partiality, hatred, 
ignorance, or fear. 2 Since he thus reigned with justice, 
with justice also his ministers administered the law. 
Lawsuits being thus decided with justice, there were 
none who brought false cases. And as these ceased, 
the noise and tumult of litigation ceased in the king s 
court. Though the judges sat all day in the court, 
they had to leave without any one coming for justice. 
It came to this, that the Hall of Justice would have 
to be closed ! 

Then the future Buddha thought : " From my 
reigning with righteousness there are none who come 
for judgment ; the bustle has ceased, and the Hall of 
Justice will have to be closed. It behoves me, there 
fore, now to examine into my own faults ; and if I 

1 This is the well-known town in the Panjab, called by the 
Greeks Taxila, and famed in Buddhist legend as the great 
university of ancient India, as Nalanda was in later times. 

2 Literally " without partiality and the rest ", that is, the rest 
of the agatis, the actions forbidden to judges (and to kings as 
judges). 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

find that anything is wrong in me, to put that away, 
and practise only virtue." 

Thenceforth he sought for some one to tell him his 
faults ; but among those around him he found no one 
who would tell him of any fault, but heard only his 
own praise. 

Then he thought : "It is from fear of me that these 
men speak only good things, and not evil things," and 
he sought among those people who lived outside the 
palace. And finding no fault-finder there, he sought 
among those who lived outside the city, in the 
suburbs, at the four gates. 1 And there too finding 
no one to find fault, and hearing only his own praise, 
he determined to search the country places. 

So he made over the kingdom to his ministers, and 
mounted his chariot ; and taking only his charioteer, 
left the city in disguise. And searching the country 
through, up to the very boundary, he found no fault 
finder, and heard only of his own virtue ; and so he 
turned back from the outermost boundary, and 
returned by the high road towards the city. 

Now at that time the king of Kosala, Mallika by 
name, was also ruling his kingdom with righteousness ; 
and when seeking for some fault in himself, he also 
found no fault-finder in the palace, but only heard of 
his own virtue ! So seeking in country places, he too 
came to that very spot. And these two came face 
to face in a low cart-track with precipitous sides, 
where there was no space for a chariot to get out of 
the way ! 

Then the charioteer of Mallika the king said to the 
charioteer of the king of Benares : " Take thy chariot 
out of the way ! " 

1 The gates opening towards the four " directions ", that is, 
the four cardinal points of the compass. 

xxii 



INTRODUCTION 

But he said : " Take thy chariot out of the way, 
charioteer ! In this chariot sitteth the lord over 
the kingdom of Benares, the great king Brahma- 
datta." 

Yet the other replied : "In this chariot. 
charioteer, sitteth the lord over the kingdom of 
Kosala, the great king Mallika. Take thy carriage 
out of the way, and make room for the chariot of our 
king ! " 

Then the charioteer of the king of Benares thought : 
" They say then that he too is a king ! What is now 
to be done ? " After some consideration, he said to 
himself, " I know a way. I ll find out how old 
he is, and then I ll let the chariot of the younger 
be got out of the way, and so make room for the 
elder." 

And when he had arrived at that conclusion, he 
asked that charioteer what the age of the king of 
Kosala was. But on inquiry he found that the ages 
of both were equal. Then he inquired about the 
extent of his kingdom, and about his army, and his 
wealth, and his renown, and about the country he 
lived in, and his caste and tribe and family. And he 
found that both were lords of a kingdom three hundred 
leagues in extent ; and that in respect of army and 
wealth and renown, and the countries in which they 
lived, and their caste and their tribe and their family, 
they were just on a par ! 

Then he thought : "I will make way for the most 
righteous." And he asked : " What kind of righteous 
ness has this king of yours ? " 

And the other saying : " Such and such is 
our king s righteousness", and so proclaiming his 
king s wickedness as goodness, uttered the First 
Stanza : 

xxiii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The strong he overthrows by strength, 
The mild by mildness, Mallika ; 
The good by goodness he o ercomes, 
The wicked by the wicked too. 
Such is the nature of this king ! 
Move out of the way, charioteer ! 

But the charioteer of the king of Benares asked 
him : " Well, have you told all the virtues of your 
king ? " 

" Yes ", said the other. 

" If these are his virtues, where are then his faults ? " 
replied he. 

The other said : " Well, for the nonce, they shall be 
faults, if you like ! But pray, then, what is the kind of 
goodness your king has ? " 

And then the charioteer of the king of Benares 
called unto him to hearken, and uttered the Second 
Stanza : 

Anger he conquers by not-anger, 

By goodness he conquers what is not good ; 

The stingy he conquers by giving gifts, 

By truth he meets the speaker of lies. 

Such is the nature of this king ! 

Move out of the way, charioteer ! " 

And when he had thus spoken, both Mallika the 
king and his charioteer alighted from their chariot. 
And they took out the horses, and removed their 
chariot, and made way for the king of Benares ! 

But the king of Benares exhorted Mallika the king, 
saying : " Thus and thus is it right to do." And 
returning to Benares, he practised charity, and did 
other good deeds, and so when his life was ended he 
passed away to heaven. 

And Mallika the king took his exhortation to heart ; 

xxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

and having in vain searched the country through for a 
fault-finder, he too returned to his own city, and 
practised charity and other good deeds ; and so at 
the end of his life he went to heaven. 

The mixture in this Jataka of earnestness with dry 
humour is very instructive. The exaggeration in the 
earlier part of the story ; the hint that law depends in 
reality on false cases ; the suggestion that to decide 
cases justly would by itself put an end not only to 
" the block in the law courts ", but even to all law 
suits ; the way in which it is brought about that two 
mighty kings should meet, unattended, in a narrow 
lane ; the cleverness of the first charioteer in getting 
out of his difficulties ; the brand-new method of 
settling the delicate question of precedence a method 
which, logically carried out, would destroy the 
necessity of such questions being raised at all ; all 
this is the amusing side of the Jataka. It throws, and 
is meant to throw, an air of unreality over the story ; 
and it is none the less humour because it is left to be 
inferred, because it is only an aroma which might 
easily escape unnoticed, only the humour of naive 
absurdity and of clever repartee. 

But none the less also is the story-teller thoroughly 
in earnest ; he really means that justice is noble, that 
to conquer evil by good is the right thing, and that 
goodness is the true measure of greatness. The 
object is edification also, and not amusement only. 
The lesson itself is quite Buddhistic. The first four 
lines of the Second Moral are indeed included, as 
xxv 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

verse 223, in the Dhammapada or " Scripture Verses ", 
perhaps the most sacred and most widely learnt book 
of the Buddhist Bible ; and the distinction between 
the two ideals of virtue is in harmony with all 
Buddhist ethics. It is by no means, however, 
exclusively Buddhistic. It gives expression to an 
idea that would be consistent with most of the later 
religions ; and is found also in the great Hindu Epic, 
the Mahd Bhdrata, which has been called the Bible 
of the Hindus. 1 It is true that further on in that poem 
is found the opposite sentiment, attributed in our 
story to the king of Mallika ; 2 and that the higher 
teaching is in one of the latest portions of the Mahd 
Bhdrata, and probably of Buddhist origin. But when 
we find that the Buddhist principle of overcoming 
evil by good was received, as well as its opposite, into 
the Hindu poem, it is clear that this lofty doctrine 
was by no means repugnant to the best among the 
Brahmans. 3 

It is to be regretted that some writers on Buddhism 
have been led away by their just admiration for the 
noble teaching of Gotama into an unjust depreciation 
of the religious system of which his own was, after 
all, but the highest product and result. There were 



1 Maha-Bharata, v, 1518. Another passage at iii, 13253, is 
very similar. 

2 Maha-Bharata, xii,4052. See Dr. Muir s M etrical Translations 
from Sanskrit Writers (1879), pp. xxxi, 88, 275, 356. 

3 Similar passages will also be found in Lao Tse, Douglas s 
Confucianism, etc., p. 197 ; PanchaTantra, i, 247 (277) = iv, 72 ; 
in Stobaeus, quoted by Muir, p. 356 ; and in St. Matthew, v, 
44-6 ; while the Mallika doctrine is inculcated by Confucius 
(Legge, Chinese Classics, i, 152). 

xxvi 



INTRODUCTION 

doubtless among the Brahmans uncompromising 
advocates of the worst privileges of caste, of the most 
debasing belief in the efficacy of rites and ceremonies ; 
but this verse is only one among many others which 
are incontestable evidence of the wide prevalence also 
of a spirit of justice, and of an earnest seeking after 
truth. It is, in fact, inaccurate to draw any hard-and- 
fast line between the Indian Buddhists and their 
countrymen of other faiths. After the first glow of 
the Buddhist reformation had passed away, there 
was probably as little difference between Buddhist 
and Hindu as there was between the two kings in the 
story which has just been told. 

THE KALILAG AND DAMNAG LITERATURE 

Among the other points of similarity between 
Buddhists and Hindus, there is one which deserves 
more especial mention here that of their liking for 
the kind of moral-comic tales which form the bulk of 
the Buddhist Birth Stories. That this partiality was 
by no means confined to the Buddhists is apparent 
from the fact that books of such tales have been 
amongst the most favourite literature of the Hindus. 
And this is the more interesting to us, as it is these 
Hindu collections that have most nearly preserved 
the form in which many of the Indian stories have been 
carried to the West. 

The oldest of the collections now extant is the one 

already referred to, the PANCHA TANTRA, that is, 

the Five Books , a kind of Hindu Pentateuch or Pen- 

tamerone. In its earliest form this work is unfor- 

xxvii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

tunately no longer extant ; but in the sixth century 
of our era a book very much like it formed part of a 
work translated into Pahlavi, or Ancient Persian ; 
and thence, about 750 A.D., into Syriac, under the 
title of KALILAG AND DAMNAG, and into Arabic 
under the title KALILAH AND DIMNAH. 1 

These tales, though originally Buddhist, became 
great favourites among the Arabs ; and as the Arabs 
were gradually brought into contact with Europeans, 
and penetrated into the South of Europe, they 
brought the stories with them ; and we soon after 
wards find them translated into Western tongues. 
It would be impossible within the limits of this 
preface to set out in full detail the intricate literary 
history involved in this statement ; and while I must 
refer the student to the Tables appended to this 
Introduction for fuller information, I can only give 
here a short summary of the principal facts. 

It is curious to notice that it was the Jews to whom 
we owe the earliest versions. Whilst their mercantile 
pursuits took them much amongst the followers of 
the Prophet, and the comparative nearness of their 
religious beliefs led to a freer intercourse than was 
usually possible between Christians and Moslems, 
they were naturally attracted by a kind of literature 
such as this Oriental in morality, amusing in style, 
and perfectly free from Christian legend and from 
Christian dogma. It was also the kind of literature 

1 The names are corruptions of the Indian names of the two 
jackals, Karatak and Damanak, who take a principal part in the 
first of the fables. 

xxviii 



INTRODUCTION 

which travellers would most easily become acquainted 
with, and we need not therefore be surprised to hear 
that a Jew, named Symeon Seth, about 1080 A.D., 
made the first translation into a European language, 
viz. into modern Greek. Another Jew, about 1250, 
made a translation of a slightly different recension of 
the Kalilah and Dimnah into Hebrew ; and a third, 
John of Capua, turned this Hebrew version into Latin 
between 1263 and 1278. At about the same time 
as the Hebrew version, another was made direct from 
the Arabic into Spanish, and a fifth into Latin ; and 
from these five versions translations were afterwards 
made into German, Italian, French, and English. 

The title of the second Latin version just mentioned 
is very striking it is ".ZEsop the Old". To the 
translator, Baldo, it evidently seemed quite in order 
to ascribe these new stories to the traditional teller of 
similar stories in ancient times ; just as witty sayings 
of more modern times have been collected into books 
ascribed to the once venerable Joe Miller. Baldo was 
neither sufficiently enlightened to consider a good 
story the worse for being an old one, nor sufficiently 
scrupulous to hesitate at giving his new book the 
advantage it would gain from its connexion with a 
well-known name. 

Is it true, then, that the so-called ^sop s Fables 
so popular still, in spite of many rivals, among our 
Western children are merely adaptations from tales 
invented long ago to please and to instruct the child 
like people of the East ? I think I can give an answer, 
though not a complete answer, to the question, 
xxix 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Msop himself is several times mentioned in classical 
literature, and always as the teller of stories or fables. 
Thus Plato says that Socrates in his imprisonment 
occupied himself by turning the stories (literally 
myths) of JEsop into verse : 1 Aristophanes four times 
refers to his tales : 2 and Aristotle quotes in one form 
a fable of his, which Lucian quotes in another. 3 In 
accordance with these references, classical historians 
fix the date of ^Esop in the sixth century B.C. ; 4 but 
some modern critics, relying on the vagueness and 
inconsistency of the traditions, have denied his 
existence altogether. This is, perhaps, pushing 
scepticism too far ; but it may be admitted that he 
left no written works, and it is quite certain that if 
he did, they have been irretrievably lost. 

Notwithstanding this, a learned monk of Constan 
tinople, named Planudes, and the author also of 
numerous other works, did not hesitate, in the first 
half of the fourteenth century, to write a work which 
he called a collection of Msop s Fables. This was first 
printed at Milan at the end of the fifteenth century ; 
and two other supplementary collections have subse- 



1 Phcedo, p. 61. Comp. Bentley, Dissertation on the Fables of 
Mso<p, p. 136. 

2 Vespce, 566, 1259, 1401 sqq. ; and Av&t, 651 sqq. 

3 Arist., de part, anim., iii, 2 ; Lucian, Nigr., 32. 

4 Herodotus (ii, 134) makes him contemporary with King Amasis 
of Egypt, the beginning of whose reign is placed in 569 B.C. ; 
Plutarch (Sept. Sap. Conv., 152) makes him contemporary with 
Solon, who is reputed to have been born in 638 B.C. ; and Diogenes 
Laertius (i, 72) says that he nourished about the fifty-second 
Olympiad, i.e. 572-69 B.C. Compare Clinton, Fast. Hell., i, 237 
(under the year B.C. 572), and i, 239 (under B.C. 534). 

XXX 



INTRODUCTION 

quently appeared. 1 From these, and especially from 
the work of Planudes, all our so-called Msop s Fables 
are derived. 

Whence then did Planudes and his fellow-labourers 
draw their tales ? This cannot be completely answered 
till the source of each one of them shall have been 
clearly found, and this has not yet been completely 
done. But Oriental and classical scholars have already 
traced a goodly number of them ; and the general 
results of their investigations may be shortly stated. 

Babrius, a Greek poet, who probably lived in the 
first century before Christ, wrote in verse a number of 
fables, of which a few fragments were known in the 
Middle Ages. 2 The complete work was fortunately 
discovered by Mynas in the year 1824, at Mount 
Athos ; and both Bentley and Tyrwhitt from the 
fragments, and Sir George Cornewall Lewis in his 
well-known edition of the whole work, have shown 
that several of Planudes Fables are also to be found 
in Babrius. 3 

It is possible, also, that the ^Esopian fables of the 
Latin poet Phsedrus, who in the title of his work calls 
himself a freedman of Augustus, were known to 

1 One at Heidelberg in 1610, and the other at Paris in 1810. 
There is a complete edition of all these fables, 231 in number, by 
T. Gl. Schneider, Breslau, 1812. 

2 See the editions by De Furia, Florence, 1809 ; Schneider, in 
an appendix to his edition of JEsop s Fables, Breslau, 1812 ; 
Berger, Munchen, 1816; Knoch, Halle, 1835; and Lewis, 
Philolog. Museum, 1832, i, 280-304. 

3 Bentley, loc. cit. ; Tyrwhitt, De Babrio, etc., Lond., 1776. 
The editions of the newly-found MS. are by Lachmann, 1 845 ; 
Orelli and Baiter, 1845; G. C. Lewis, 1846; and Schneidewin, 
1853. 

xxxi 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Planudes. But the work of Phsedrus, which is based 
on that of Babrius, existed only in very rare MSS. till 
the end of the sixteenth century, 1 and may therefore 
have easily escaped the notice of Planudes. 

On the other hand, we have seen that versions of 
Buddhist Birth Stories, and other Indian tales, had 
appeared in Europe before the time of Planudes in 
Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Spanish ; and many of 
his stories have been clearly traced back to this 
source. 2 Further, as I shall presently show, some of 
the fables of Babrius and Phsedrus, found in Planudes, 
were possibly derived by those authors from Buddhist 
sources. And lastly, other versions of the Jatakas, 
besides those which have been mentioned as coming 
through the Arabs, had reached Europe long before 
the time of Planudes ; and some more of his stories 
have been traced back to Buddhist sources through 
these channels also. 

What is at present known, then, with respect to the 
so-called Msop s Fables, amounts to this that none 
of them are really ^Esopean at all ; that the collection 
was first formed in the Middle Ages ; that a large 

1 It was first edited by Pithou, in 1596 ; also by Orelli, Zurich, 
1831. Comp. Oesterley, Phcedrus und die J3sop. Fabel im 
Mittelalter. 

2 By Silvestre de Sacy, in his edition of Kalilah and Dimnah, 
Paris, 1816 ; Loiseleur Deslongchamps, in his Essai sur Us 
Fables Indiennes, et sur leur Introd. en Europe, Paris, 1838 ; 
Prof. Benfey, in his edition of the Panca Tantra, Leipzig, 1859 ; 
Prof. Max Miiller, On the Migration of Fables, Contemporary 
Review, July, 1870; Prof. Weber, Ueber den Zusammenhang 
indischer Fabeln mit Griechischen, Indische Studien, iii, 337 sqq. ; 
Adolf Wagener, Essai sur les rapports entre les apologues de rinde 
et de la Grece, 1853 ; Otto Keller, Ueber die Geschichte der Grie- 
cliischen Fabeln, 1862. 

xxxii 



INTRODUCTION 

number of them have been already traced back, in 
various ways, to our Buddhist Jataka Book ; and 
that almost the whole of them are probably derived 
in one way or another from Indian sources. 

It is perhaps worthy of mention, as a fitting close to 
the history of the so-called Msop s Fables, that those 
of his stories which Planudes borrowed indirectly 
from India have at length been restored to their 
original home, and bid fair to be popular even in this 
much-altered form. For not only has an Englishman 
translated a few of them into several of the many 
languages spoken in the great continent of India, 1 
but Narayan Balkrishna Godpole, B.A., one of the 
Masters of the Government High School at Ahmad- 
nagar, has lately published a second edition of his 
translation into Sanskrit of the common English 
version of the successful spurious compilations of the 
old monk of Constantinople ! 

THE BAELAAM AND JOSAPHAT 
LITERATURE 

A complete answer to the question with which the 
last digression started can only be given when each 
one of the two hundred and thirty-one fables of 
Planudes and his successors shall have been traced 
back to its original author. But whatever that 
complete answer may be the discoveries just pointed 

1 J. Gilchrist, The Oriental Fabulist, or Polyglot Translations of 
dZsop s and other Ancient Fables from the English Language into 
Hindustani, Persian, Arabic, Bhakka, Bongla, Sanscrit, etc., in the 
Roman Character, Calcutta, 1803. 

xxxiii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

out are at least most strange and most instructive. 
And yet, if I mistake not, the history of the Jataka 
Book contains hidden amongst its details a fact 
more unexpected and more striking still. 

In the eighth century the Khalif of Bagdad was that 
Almansur at whose court was written the Arabic book 
Kalilah and Dimnah, afterwards translated by the 
learned Jews I have mentioned into Hebrew, Latin, 
and Greek. A Christian, high in office at his court, after 
wards became a monk, and is well known, under the 
name of St. John of Damascus, as the author in Greek 
of many theological words in defence of the orthodox 
faith. Among these is a religious romance called 
Barlaam and Joasaph, giving the history of an Indian 
prince who was converted by Barlaam and became a 
hermit. This history, the reader will be surprised to 
learn, is taken from the life of the Buddha ; and 
Joasaph is merely the Buddha under another name, 
the word Joasaph, or Josaphat, being simply a 
corruption of the word Bodisat, that title of the future 
Buddha so constantly repeated in the Buddhist 
Birth Stories. 1 Now a life of the Buddha forms the 
introduction to our Jataka Book, and St. John s 
romance also contains a number of fables and stories, 
most of which have been traced back to the same 
source. 2 

1 Joasaph is in Arabic written also Yudasatf ; and this, 
through a confusion between the Arabic letters Y and B, is for 
Bodisat. See, for the history of these changes, Reinaud, Memotre 
sur I lnde, 1849, p. 91 ; quoted with approbation by Weber, 
Indische Streifen, iii, 57. 

2 The Buddhist origin was first pointed out by Laboulaye in the 
Dtbats, July, 1859 ; and more fully by Liebrecht, in the Jafirbuch 



XXXIV 



INTRODUCTION 

This book, the first religious romance published in 
a Western language, became very popular indeed, 
and, like the Arabic Kalilah and Dimnah, was trans 
lated into many other European languages. It exists 
in Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, German, English, 
Swedish, and Dutch. This will show how widely it 
was read, and how much its moral tone pleased the 
taste of the Middle Ages. It was also translated as 
early as 1204 into Icelandic, and has even been 
published in the Spanish dialect used in the Philippine 
Islands I 

Now it was a very ancient custom among Christians 
to recite at the most sacred part of their most sacred 
service (in the so-called Canon of the Mass, im 
mediately before the consecration of the Host) the 
names of deceased saints and martyrs. Religious 
men of local celebrity were inserted for this purpose 
in local lists, called Diptychs, and names universally 
honoured throughout Christendom appeared in all 
such catalogues. The confessors and martyrs so 
honoured are now said to be canonized, that is, they 
have become enrolled among the number of Christian 
saints mentioned in the Canon , whom it is the 
duty of every Catholic to revere, whose intercession 
may be invoked, who may be chosen as patron saints, 

filr romanische und englische Liter atur, 1860. See also Littre, 
Journal des Savans, 1865, who fully discusses, and decides in 
favour of the romance being really the work of St. John of 
Damascus. I hope, in a future volume, to publish a complete 
analysis of St. John s work ; pointing out the resemblances 
between it and the Buddhist lives of Gotama, and giving parallel 
passages wherever the Greek adopts not only the Buddhist 
ideas, but also Buddhist expressions. 

XXXV 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

and in whose honour images and altars and chapels 
may be set up. 1 

For a long time it was permitted to the local 
ecclesiastics to continue the custom of inserting such 
names in their Diptychs , but about 1170 a decretal 
of Pope Alexander III confined the power of canoniza 
tion, as far as the Roman Catholics were concerned, 2 
to the Pope himself. From the different Diptychs 
various martyrologies, or lists of persons so to be 
commemorated in the * Canon , were composed to 
supply the place of the merely local lists or Diptychs. 
For, as time went on, it began to be considered more 
and more improper to insert new names in so sacred 
a part of the Church prayers ; and the old names 
being well known, the Diptychs fell into disuse. The 
names in the Martyrologies were at last no longer 
inserted in the Canon, but are repeated in the service 
called the Prime , though the term canonized 
was still used of the holy men mentioned in them. 
And when the increasing number of such Martyrologies 
threatened to lead to confusion, and to throw doubt 
on the exclusive power of the Popes to canonize, 
Pope Sixtus the Fifth (1585-90) authorized a 
particular Martyr ologium, drawn up by Cardinal 
Baronius, to be used throughout the Western Church. 
In that work are included not only the saints first 

1 Pope Benedict XIV, in De servorum Dei beatificatione et 
beatorum canonisatione, lib. i, cap. 45 ; Regnier, De ecclesid 
Christi, in Migne s Theol. Curs. Com.pl., iv, 710. 

2 Decret. Greg., lib. iii, tit. xlvi, confirmed and explained by 
decrees of Urban VIII (13th March, 1625, and 5th July, 1634) and 
of Alexander VII (1659). 

xxxvi 



INTRODUCTION 

canonized at Rome, but all those who, having been 
already canonized elsewhere, were then acknowledged 
by the Pope and the College of Rites to be saints of the 
Catholic Church of Christ. Among such, under the 
date of the 27th November, are included The holy 
Saints Barlaam and Josaphat, of India, on the 
borders of Persia, whose wonderful acts Saint John 
of Damascus has described. 1 

Where and when they were first canonized, I have 
been unable, in spite of much investigation, to 
ascertain. Petrus de Natalibus, who was Bishop of 
Equilium, the modern Jesolo, near Venice, from 1370 
to 1400, wrote a Martyr ology called Catalogus 
Sanctorum ; and in it, among the * saints , he inserts 
both Barlaam and Josaphat, giving also a short account 
of them derived from the old Latin translation of 
St. John of Damascus. 2 It is from this work that 
Baronius, the compiler of the authorized Martyrology 
now in use, took over the names of these two saints, 
Barlaam and Josaphat. But, so far as I have been 
able to ascertain, they do not occur in any martyr- 
ologies or lists of saints of the Western Church older 
than that of Petrus de Natalibus. 3 



1 p. 177 of the edition of 1873, bearing the official approval of 
Pope Pius IX, or p. 803 of the Cologne edition of 1610. 

2 Cat. Sanct., Leyden ed. 1542, p. cliii. 

3 The author added the following in his copy. They occur in 
the works of Usnard, a Benedictine, who wrote about 875 
(published by Greven in 1515, and by Molanus in 1568). In the 
Month for 1881, p. 141, Father Coleridge, S.J., wrote that they 
occur in a Slavonic calendar of the 15th century, preserved in the 
Ecclesiastical Academy at Petrograd, and in several later Slavonic 
martyrologies, but not in the Menologium drawn up by Cardinal 
Girlet, from which the compilers of the Roman martyrology 

xxxvii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

In the corresponding manual of worship still used 
in the Greek Church, however, we find, under 26th 
August, the name of the holy losaph, son of Abener, 
king of India - 1 Barlaam is not mentioned, and is 
not therefore recognized as a saint in the Greek 
Church. No history is added to the simple statement 
I have quoted ; and I do not know on what authority 
it rests. But there is no doubt that it is in the East, 
and probably among the records of the ancient church 
of Syria, that a final solution of this question should 
be sought. 2 

Some of the more learned of the numerous writers 
who translated or composed new works on the basis 
of the story of Josaphat, have pointed out in their 
notes that he had been canonized ; 3 and the hero of 
the romance is usually called St. Josaphat in the titles 
of these works, as will be seen from the Table of the 
Josaphat literature below. But Professor Liebrecht, 
when identifying Josaphat with the Buddha, took no 
notice of this ; and it was Professor Max Miiller, who 
has done so much to infuse the glow of life into the 
dry bones of Oriental scholarship, who first pointed 
out the strange fact almost incredible, were it not 

drew their notices of the saints of the Greek church. This work 
was published shortly before theirs. Coleridge says, that there 
may have been such saints, and that the Buddhist story may have 
been added to theirs, or derived from it. Editor. 

1 p. 160 of the part for the month of August of the authorized 
Mrjvalov of the Greek Church, published at Constantinople, 1843 : 
" Tov oaiov /cuao-a^, vlov Afievrjp rov jSaatAeaj? rfjs TvSt a?." 

2 For the information in the last three pages I am chiefly 
indebted to my father, the Rev. T. W. Davids, without whose 
generous aid I should not have attempted to touch this obscure 
and difficult question. 

3 See, for instance, Billius, and the Italian Editor, of 1734. 

xxxviii 



INTRODUCTION 

for the completeness of the proof that Gotama the 
Buddha, under the name of St. Josaphat, is now 
officially recognized and honoured and worshipped 
throughout the whole of Catholic Christendom as a 
Christian saint ! 

I have now followed the Western history of the 
Buddhist Book of Birth Stories along two channels 
only. Space would fail me, and the reader s patience 
perhaps too, if I attempted to do more. But I may 
mention that the inquiry is not by any means 
exhausted. A learned Italian has proved that a good 
many of the stories of the hero known throughout 
Europe as Sinbad the Sailor are derived from the same 
inexhaustible treasury of stories, witty and wise ; 1 
and a similar remark applies also to other well- 
known Tales included in the Arabian Nights. 2 La 
Fontaine, whose charming versions of the Fables are 
so deservedly admired, openly acknowledges his 
indebtedness to the French versions of Kalilah and 
Dimnah ; and Professor Benfey and others have 
traced the same stories, or ideas drawn from them, to 
Poggio, Boccaccio, Gower, Chaucer, Spenser, and 
many other later writers. Thus, for instance, the 
three caskets and the pound of flesh in The Merchant of 
Venice } and the precious jewel which in As you Like It 
the venomous toad wears in his head, 3 are derived 

1 Comparetti, Eicerche intorne al Libra di Sindibad, Milano, 
1869. Compare Landsberger, Die Fabeln des Sophos, Posen, 1859. 

2 See Benfey, PantscTia Tantra, vol. i, Introduction, passim. 

3 Act ii, so. 1. Prof. Benfey, in his Pantscha Tantra, i, 213-20, 
has traced this idea far and wide. Dr. Dennys, in his Folklore of 
China, gives the Chinese Buddhist version of it. 

xxxix 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

from the Buddhist tales. In a similar way it has been 
shown that tales current among the Hungarians and 
the numerous peoples of Slavonic race have been 
derived from Buddhist sources, through translations 
made by or for the Huns, who penetrated in the 
time of Genghis Khan into the East of Europe. 1 And 
finally yet other Indian tales, not included in the 
Kalilag and Damnag literature, have been brought 
into the opposite corner of Europe, by the Arabs of 
Spain. 2 

There is only one other point on which a few words 
should be said. I have purposely chosen as specimens 
one Buddhist Birth Story similar to the Judgment of 
Solomon ; two which are found also in Babrius ; and 
one which is found also in Phaedrus. How are these 
similarities, on which the later history of Indian Fables 
throws no light, to be explained ? 

As regards the cases of Babrius and Phaedrus, it can 
only be said that the Greeks who travelled with 
Alexander to India may have taken the tales there, 



1 See Benfey s Introduction to Panca Tantra, 36, 397, 1, 92, 
166, 186. Ralston s translation of Tibetan stories throws further 
light on this, at present, rather obscure subject. 

2 See for example Jat. i, No. 30 : Munika- Jataka. Benfey 
(Panca Tantra, p. 228 f.) has traced stories somewhat analogous 
throughout European literature, but the Jataka itself is, he says, 
found almost word for word in an unpublished Hebrew book by 
Berachia ben Natronai, only that two donkeys take the place of 
the two oxen. Berachia lived in the 12th-13th century, in 
Provence. 

The story of the monkey and his heart, in Jataka ii, No. 208, 
occurs in a Japanese version given in Andrew Lang s Violet 
Fairy Book, p. 275, The Monkey and the Jellyfish, sea and 
liver replacing Ganges and heart. Editor. 

xl 



INTRODUCTION 

but they may equally well have brought them back. 
We only know that at the end of the fourth, and still 
more in the third century before Christ, there was 
constant travelling to and fro between the Greek 
dominions in the East and the adjoining parts of 
India, which were then Buddhist, and that the Birth 
Stories were already popular among the Buddhists in 
Afghanistan, where the Greeks remained for a long 
time. Indeed, the very region which became the seat 
of the Groeco-Bactrian kings takes, in all the Northern 
versions of the Birth Stories, the place occupied by 
the country of Kasi in the Pali text so that the scene 
of the tales is laid in that district. And among the 
innumerable Buddhist remains still existing there, 
a large number are connected with the Birth Stories. 1 
It is also in this very district, and under the im 
mediate successor of Alexander, that the original of 
the Kalilah and Dimnah was said by its Arabian 
translators to have been written by Bidpai. It is 
possible that a smaller number of similar stories were 
also current among the Greeks ; and that they not 
only heard the Buddhist ones, but told their own. 
But so far as the Greek and the Buddhist stories can 
at present be compared, it seems to me that the 
internal evidence is in favour of the Buddhist versions 
being the originals from which the Greek versions 
were adapted. Whether more than this can be at 
present said is very doubtful : when the Jatakas are 

1 The legend of Sumedha s self-abnegation (see below, p. 93) 
is laid near Jelalabad ; and Mr. William Simpson has discovered 
on the spot two bas-reliefs representing the principal incident in 
the legend. 

xli 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

all published, and the similarities between them and 
classical stories shall have been fully investigated, 
the contents of the stories may enable criticism to 
reach a more definite conclusion. 

The case of Solomon s judgment is somewhat 
different. If there were only one fable in Babrius or 
Phsedrus identical with a Buddhist Birth Story, we 
should suppose merely that the same idea had occurred 
to two different minds : and there would thus be no 
necessity to postulate any historical connexion. Now 
the similarity of the two judgments stands, as far as 
I know, in complete isolation ; and the story is not 
so curious but that two writers may have hit upon the 
same idea. At the same time it is just possible that 
when the Jews were in Babylon they may have told, 
or heard, the story. 

Had we met with this story in a book unquestion 
ably later than the Exile, we might suppose that they 
heard the story there ; that some one repeating it has 
ascribed the judgment to King Solomon, whose great 
wisdom was a common tradition among them ; and 
that it had thus been included in their history of that 
king. But we find it in the Book of Kings, which is 
usually assigned to the time of Jeremiah, who died 
during the Exile ; and it should be remembered that 
the chronicle in question was based for the most part 
on traditions current much earlier among the Jewish 
people, and probably on earlier documents. 

If, on the other hand, they told it there, we may 
expect to find some evidence of the fact in the details 
of the story as preserved in the Buddhist story-books 
xlii 



INTRODUCTION 

current in the North of India, and more especially in 
the Buddhist countries bordering on Persia. Now 
Dr. Dennys, in his Folk-lore of China, has given us a 
Chinese Buddhist version of a similar judgment, 
which is most probably derived from a Northern 
Buddhist Sanskrit original ; and though this version 
is very late, and differs so much in its details from 
those of both the Pali and Hebrew tales that it 
affords no basis itself for argument, it yet holds out 
the hope that we may discover further evidence of a 
decisive character. This hope is confirmed by the 
occurrence of a similar tale in the Gesta Romanorum, 
a medieval work which quotes Barlaam and Josaphat, 
and is otherwise largely indebted in an indirect way 
to Buddhist sources. 1 It is true that the basis of the 
judgment in that story is not the love of a mother to 
her son, but the love of a son to his father. But that 
very difference is encouraging. The orthodox com 
pilers of the Gests of the Romans 2 dared not have so 
twisted the sacred record. They could not therefore 
have taken it from our Bible. Like all their other 
tales, however, this one was borrowed from some 
where ; and its history, when discovered, may be 
expected to throw some light on this inquiry. 

I should perhaps point out another way in which 
this tale may possibly be supposed to have wandered 

1 No. xlv, p. 80, of Swan and Hooper s popular edition ; no. 
xlii, p. 167, of the critical edition published for the Early English 
Text Society in 1879 by S. J. H. Heritage, who has added a 
valuable historical note at p. 477. 

2 This adaptation of the Latin title is worthy of notice. It of 
course means " Deeds " ; but, as most of the stories are more or 
less humorous, the word Gest, now spelt Jest, acquired its present 
meaning. 

xliii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

from the Jews to the Buddhists, or from India to the 
Jews. The land of Ophir was probably in India. The 
Hebrew names of the apes and peacocks said to have 
been brought thence by Solomon s coasting-vessels 
are merely corruptions of Indian names ; and Ophir 
must therefore have been either an Indian port (and 
if so, almost certainly at the mouth of the Indus, 
afterwards a Buddhist country) or an entrepot, 
further west, for Indian trade. But the very gist of 
the account of Solomon s expedition by sea is its 
unprecedented and hazardous character ; it would 
have been impossible even for him without the aid of 
Phoenician sailors ; and it was not renewed by the 
Hebrews till after the time when the account of the 
judgment was recorded in the Book of Kings. Any 
intercourse between his servants and the people of 
Ophir must, from the difference of language, have been 
of the most meagre extent ; and we may safely 
conclude that it was not the means of the migration 
of our tale. It is much more likely, if the Jews heard 
or told the Indian story at all, and before the time of 
the captivity, that the way of communication was 
overland. There is every reason to believe that there 
was a great and continual commercial intercourse 
between East and West from very early times by way 
of Palmyra and Mesopotamia. Though the inter 
course by sea was not continued after Solomon s 
time, gold of Ophir, 1 ivory, jade, and Eastern gems 
still found their way to the West ; and it would be an 
interesting task for an Assyrian or Hebrew scholar to 

1 Psalm, xiv, 9 ; Isaiah xiii, 12 ; Job xxii, 24, xxviii, 16. 
xliv 



INTRODUCTION 

trace the evidence of this ancient overland route in 
other ways. 

SUMMARY 

To sum up what can at present be said on the con 
nexion between the Indian tales, preserved to us in 
the Book of Buddhist Birth Stories, and their counter 
parts in the West : 

1. In a few isolated passages of Greek and other 
writers, earlier than the invasion of India by 
Alexander the Great, there are references to a 
legendary ^Esop, and perhaps also allusions to stories 
like some of the Buddhist ones. 

2. After Alexander s time a number of tales also 
found in the Buddhist collection became current in 
Greece, and are preserved in the poetical versions of 
Babrius and Phsedrus. They are probably of Buddhist 
origin. 

3. From the time of Babrius to the time of the first 
Crusade no migration of Indian tales to Europe can 
be proved to have taken place. About the latter 
time a translation into Arabic of a Persian work 
containing tales found in the Buddhist book was 
translated by Jews into Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. 
Translations of these versions afterwards appeared 
in all the principal languages of Europe. 

4. In the eleventh or twelfth century a translation 
was made into Latin of the legend of Barlaam and 
Josaphat, a Greek romance written in the eighth 
century by St. John of Damascus on the basis of the 
Buddhist Jataka book. Translations, poems, and 

xlv 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

plays founded on this work were rapidly produced 
throughout Western Europe. 

5. Other Buddhist stories not included in either of 
the works mentioned in the two last paragraphs were 
introduced into Europe both during the Crusades 
and also during the dominion of the Arabs in Spain. 

6. Versions of other Buddhist stories were intro 
duced into Eastern Europe by the Huns under 
Genghis Khan. 

7. The fables and stories introduced through these 
various channels became very popular during the 
Middle Ages, and were used as the subjects of 
numerous sermons, story-books, romances, poems, and 
edifying dramas. Thus extensively adopted and 
circulated, they had a considerable influence on the 
revival of literature, which, hand in hand with the 
revival of learning, did so much to render possible 
and to bring about the Great Reformation. The 
character of the hero of them the Buddha, in his 
last or in one or other of his supposed previous 
births appealed so strongly to the sympathies, and 
was so attractive to the minds of medieval Christians, 
that he became, and has ever since remained, an 
object of Christian worship. And a collection of these 
and similar stories wrongly, but very naturally, 
ascribed to a famous story-teller of the ancient 
Greeks has become the common property, the house 
hold literature, of all the nations of Europe ; and, 
under the name of JEsop s Fables, has handed down, 
as a first moral lesson-book and as a continual feast for 
our children in the West, tales first invented to please 
and to instruct our far-off cousins in the distant East. 

xlvi 



PART II 

ON THE HISTORY OF THE BIRTH STORIES 
IN INDIA 

In the previous part of this Introduction I have 
attempted to point out the resemblances between 
certain Western tales and the Buddhist Birth Stories, 
to explain the reason of those resemblances, and to 
trace the history of the Birth Story literature in 
Europe. Much remains yet to be done to complete 
this interesting and instructive history ; but the 
general results can already be stated with a consider 
able degree of certainty, and the literature in which 
further research will have to be made is accessible 
in print in the public libraries of Europe. 

For the history in India of the Jataka Book itself, 
and of the stories it contains, so little has been done 
that one may say it has still to be written ; and the 
authorities for further research are only to be found 
in manuscripts very rare in Europe, and written in 
languages for the most part but little known. Much 
of what follows is necessarily therefore very incomplete 
and provisional. 

In some portions of the Brahmanical literature, 
later than the Vedas, and probably older than 
Buddhism, there are found myths and legends of a 
character somewhat similar to a few of the Buddhist 
ones. But, so far as I know, no one of these has been 
traced either in Europe or in the Buddhist Collection, 
xlvii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

On the other hand, there ivS every reason to hope 
that in the older portions of the Buddhist Scriptures 
a considerable number of the tales also included in the 
Jdtaka Book will be found in identical or similar 
forms ; for even in the few fragments of the Pitakas 
as yet studied, several Birth Stories have already 
been discovered. 1 These occur in isolated passages, 
and, except the story of King Maha Sudassana and 
that in Anguttara, i, p. Ill, have not as yet become 
Jatakas that is, no character in the story is identified 
with the Buddha in one or other of his supposed 
previous births. But one book included in the Pali 
Pitakas consists entirely of real Jataka stories, all 
of which are found in our Collection. 

The title of this work is Cariyd-pitaka ; and it is 
constructed to show when, and in what births, 
Grotama had acquired the Ten Great Perfections 
(Generosity, Goodness, Kenunciation, Wisdom, Firm 
ness, Patience, Truth, Resolution, Kindness, and 



1 Thus, for instance, the Marii Kantha Jdtaka (Fausboll, 
no. 253) is taken from a story which is in both the Pali and the 
Chinese versions of the Vinaya Pitaka (Oldenberg, p. xlvi) ; the 
Tittira Jdtaka (Fausboll, no. 37, translated below) occurs almost 
word for word in the Culla Vagga (vi, 6, 3-5) ; the Khandhavatta 
Jdtaka (Fausboll, no. 203) is a slightly enlarged version of Culla 
Vagga, v. 6 ; the Sukhavihdri Jdtaka (Fausboll, no. 10, trans 
lated below) is founded on a story in the Culla Vagga (vii, 1, 4-6) ; 
the Mahd-sudassana Jdtaka (Fausboll, no. 95) is derived from the 
Sutta of the same name in the Digha Nikdya (translated by me in 
Sacred Books of the East , vol. xi) ; the Makhd Deva Jdtaka 
(Fausboll, no. 9, translated below) from the Sutta of the same 
name in the Majjhima Nikdya (no. 83) ; and the Sakunagghi 
Jdtaka (Fausboll, no. 168) from a parable in the Satipatthdna 
Vagga of the Sanyutta Nikaya. 

Compare the writer s Buddhist India, ch. xi, Lond. 1903, for an 
enlarged restatement of the views here briefly put forward. 

xlviii 



INTRODUCTION 

Equanimity), without which he could not have 
become a Buddha. In striking analogy with the 
modern view, that true growth in moral and intel 
lectual power is the result of the labours, not of one 
only, but of many successive generations, so the 
qualifications necessary for the making of a Buddha, 
like the characters of all the lesser mortals, cannot 
be acquired during, and do not depend upon the 
actions of, one life only, but are the last result of 
many deeds performed through a long series of con 
secutive lives. 1 

To each of the first two of these Ten Perfections a 
whole chapter of this work is devoted, giving, in verse, 
ten examples of the previous births in which the 
Bodisat or future Buddha had practised Generosity and 
Goodness respectively. The third chapter gives only 
fifteen examples of the lives in which he acquired the 
other eight of the Perfections. It looks very much as if 
the original plan of the unknown author had been to 
give ten Birth Stories for each of the Ten Perfections. 
And, curiously enough, the Northern Buddhists have 
a tradition that the celebrated teacher Asvagosha 
began to write a work giving ten Births for each of the 
Ten Perfections, but died when he had versified only 
thirty-four. 2 Now there is a Sanskrit work called 
Jataka Mala, as yet unpublished, 3 but of which there 
are several MSS. in Paris and in London, consisting 

1 See on this belief below, pp. 141-4, where the verses 259-69 
are quotations from the Chariya-Pitaka. 

2 Taranatha s Geschichte des Buddhismus (a Tibetan work of the 
eighteenth century, translated into German by Schiefner), p. 92. 

3 Since edited by E. Kern, Harvard Or. Series, i, 1891. 
Translation by J. S. Speyer, 8. Bks. of the Buddhists, i, 1895. Ed. 

xlix 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

of thirty-five Birth Stories in mixed prose and verse, 
in illustration of the Ten Perfections. 1 It would be 
premature to attempt to draw any conclusions from 
these coincidences, but the curious reader will find 
in a Table below a comparative view of the titles of 
the Jatakas comprised in the Chariya Pitaka and in 
the Jataka Mala. 2 

There is yet another work in the Pali Pitakas 
which constantly refers to the Jataka theory. The 
BUDDHA VAMSA, 3 which is a history of all the Buddhas, 
gives an account also of the life of the Bodisat in the 
character he filled during the lifetime of each of 
twenty-four of the previous Buddhas. It is on that 
work that a great part of the Pali Introduction to 
our Jataka Book is based, and most of the verses in 
the first fifty pages of the present translation are 
quotations from the Buddha vamsa. From this 
source we thus have authority for twenty-four Birth 
Stories, corresponding to the last twenty-four of 
the twenty-seven previous Buddhas, 4 besides the 
thirty-four in illustration of the Perfections, and the 
other isolated ones I have mentioned. 

Beyond this it is impossible yet to state what 
proportion of the stories in the Jataka Book can thus 
be traced back to the earlier Pali Buddhist literature ; 
and it would be out of place to enter here upon any 

1 Fausboll s Five Jatakas, pp. 58-68, where the full text of one 
Jataka is given and Leon Feer, Etude sur les Jatakas, p. 57. 

2 See p. 53. 

3 The Pali Text Society published an edition by Rd. Morris, 
1882. Ed. 

4 See the list of the Buddhas below, p. 138, where it will be 
seen that for the first three Buddhas we have no Birth Story. 

1 



INTRODUCTION 

lengthy discussion of the difficult question as to the 
date of those earlier records. The provisional con 
clusions as to the age of the Sutta and Vinaya reached 
by Dr. Oldenberg in the very able introduction 
prefixed to his edition of the text of the Mahd Vagga, 
and summarized at p. xxxviii of that work, will be 
sufficient for our present purposes. It may be taken 
as so highly probable as to be almost certain, that all 
those Birth Stories which are not only found in the 
so-called Jdtaka Book itself, but are also referred to in 
these other parts of the Pali Pitakas, are at least 
older than the Council of Vesali. 1 

The Council of Vesali was held about a hundred 
years after Gotama s death, to settle certain disputes 
as to points of discipline and practice which had arisen 
among the members of the Order. The exact date 
of Gotama s death is uncertain ; 2 and in the tradi 
tion regarding the length of the interval between that 
event and the Council, the " hundred years " is of 
course a round number. But we can allow for all 
possibilities, and still keep within the bounds of 
certainty, if we fix the date of the Council of Vesali 
at within thirty years of 350 B.C. 

1 This will hold good though the Buddhavarjisa and the Chariya 
Pitaka should turn out to be later than most of the other books 
contained in the Three Pali Pitakas. That the stories they contain 
have already become Jatakas, whereas in most of the other cases 
above quoted the stories are still only parables, would seem to lead 
to this conclusion ; and the fact that they have preserved some very 
ancient forms (such as locatives in i) may merely be due to the 
fact that they are older, not in matter and ideas, but only in 
form. Compare what is said below as to the verses in the Birth 
Stories. 

2 The question is discussed at length in my Ancient Coins and 
Measures of Ceylon in Numismata Orientalia, vol. i. 

li 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The members of the Buddhist Order of Mendicant 
Monks were divided at that Council as important 
for the history of Buddhism as the Council of Nice 
is for the history of Christianity into two parties. 
One side advocated the relaxation of the rules of the 
Order in ten particular matters, the others adopted 
the stricter view. In the accounts of the matter, 
which we at present only possess from the successors 
of the stricter party (or, as they call themselves, the 
orthodox party), it is acknowledged that the other, 
the laxer side, were in the majority ; and that when 
the older and more influential members of the Order 
decided in favour of the orthodox view, the others 
held a council of the^.r own, called, from the numbers 
of those who attended it, the Great Council. 

Now the oldest Ceylon Chronicle, the Dipavamsa, 
which contains the only account as yet published of 
what occurred at the Great Council, says as follows : l 
" The monks of the Great Council turned the religion 

upside down ; 
They broke up the original Scriptures, and made a 

new recension : 

A discourse put in one place they put in another ; 
They distorted the sense and the teaching of the Five 

Nikayas. 
Those monks knowing not what had been spoken at 

length, and what concisely, 
What was the obvious, and what was the higher 

meaning 

1 Dipavamsa, v, 32 sqq. 

lii 



INTRODUCTION 

Attached new meaning to new words, as if spoken by 

the Buddha, 
And destroyed much of the spirit by holding to the 

shadow of the letter. 
In part they cast aside the Sutta and the Vinaya so 

deep, 
And made an imitation Sutta and Vinaya, changing 

this to that. 
The Pariwara abstract, and the Six Books of Abhi- 

dhamma ; 
The Patisambhida, the Niddesa, and a portion of the 

Jdtaka 
So much they put aside, and made others in their 

place ! " . . . 

The animus of this description is sufficiently 
evident ; and the Dlpavanisa. which cannot have been 
written earlier than the fourth century after the 
commencement of our era, is but poor evidence of 
the events of seven centuries before. But it is the 
best we have ; it is acknowledged to have been based 
on earlier sources, and it is at least reliable that, 
according to Ceylon tradition, a book called the 
Jataka existed at the time of the Councils of Vesali. 

As the Northern Buddhists are the successors of 
those who held the Great Council, we may hope before 
long to have the account of it from the other side, 
either from the Sanskrit or from the Chinese. 1 Mean- 

1 There are several works enumerated by Beal in his Catalogue of 
Chinese Buddhistic Works in the India Office Library (see especially 
pp. 93-7, and pp. 107-9), from which we might expect to derive 
this information. 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

while it is important to notice that the fact of a Book 
of Birth Stories having existed at a very early date is 
confirmed, not only by such stories being found in 
other parts of the Pali Pitakas, but also by ancient 
monuments. 

Among the most interesting and important dis 
coveries which we owe to recent archaeological 
researches in India must undoubtedly be reckoned 
those of the Buddhist carvings on the railings round 
the dome-shaped relic shrines of Sanchi, Amaravati, 
and Bharhut. There have been there found, very 
boldly and clearly sculptured in deep bas-relief, 
figures which were at first thought to represent 
merely scenes in Indian life. Even so their value as 
records of ancient civilization would have been of 
incalculable value ; but they have acquired further 
importance since it has been proved that most of 
them are illustrations of the sacred Birth Stories in 
the Buddhist Jataka book are scenes, that is, from 
the life of Gotama in his last or previous births. This 
would be incontestable in many cases from the 
carvings themselves, but it is rendered doubly sure 
by the titles of Jatakas having been found inscribed 
over a number of those of the bas-reliefs which have 
been last discovered the carvings, namely, on the 
railing at Bharhut. 

It is not necessary to turn aside here to examine 
into the details of these discoveries. It is sufficient 
for our present inquiry into the age of the Jataka 
stories that these ancient bas-reliefs afford indis 
putable evidence that the Birth Stories were already, 
liv 



INTRODUCTION 

at the end of the third century B.C., considered so 
sacred that they were chosen as the subjects to be 
represented round the most sacred Buddhist buildings, 
and that they were already popularly known under 
the technical name of " Jatakas ". A detailed state 
ment of all the Jatakas hitherto discovered on these 
Buddhist railings, and other places, will be found in 
one of the Tables appended to this Introduction ; 
and it will be noticed that several of those tales 
translated below in this volume had thus been chosen, 
more than two thousand years ago, to fill places of 
honour round the relic shrines of the Great Teacher. 

One remarkable fact apparent from that Table will 
be that the Birth Stories are sometimes called in the 
inscriptions over the bas-reliefs by names different 
from those given to them in the Jdtaka Book in the 
Pali Pitakas. This would seeem, at first sight, to 
show that, although the very stories as we have them 
must have been known at the time when the bas- 
reliefs were carved, yet the present collection, in 
which different names are clearly given at the end of 
each story, did not then exist. But, on the other hand, 
we not only find in the Jataka Book itself very great 
uncertainty as to the names the same stories being 
called in different parts of the Book by different titles 1 

1 Thus no. 41 is called both Losaka Jdtaka and Mitta-vindaka 
Jataka (Feer, Etude sur les Jatakas, p. 121) ; no. 439 is called 
Catudvdra Jataka and also Mitta-vindaka Jataka (ibid. p. 120) ; 
no. 57 is called Vdnarinda Jataka and also Kumbldla Jataka 
(Fausboll, vol. i, p. 278, and vol. ii, p. 206) ; no. 96 is called 
Telapatta Jdtaka and also Takkasild Jdtaka (ibid. vol. i, p. 393, 
and vol. i, pp. 469, 470) ; no. 102, there called Pat,rtika Jdtaka, 
is the same story as no. 217, there called Seggu Jdtaka ; no. 30, 

Iv 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

but one of these very bas-reliefs has actually 
inscribed over it two distinct names in full ! l 

The reason for this is very plain. When a fable 
about a lion and a jackal was told (as in no. 157) to 
show the advantage of a good character, and it was 
necessary to choose a short title for it, it was called 
" The Lion Jataka ", or " The Jackal Jataka ", or 
even " The Good Character Jataka " ; and when a 
fable was told about a tortoise, to show the evil 
results which follow on talkativeness (as in no. 215), 
the fable might as well be called " The Chatterbox 
Jataka " as " The Tortoise Jataka ", and the fable is 
referred to accordingly under both those names. It 
must always have been difficult, if not impossible, to 
fix upon a short title which should at once characterize 
the lesson to be taught, and the personages through 
whose acts it was taught ; and different names would 
thus arise, and become interchangeable. It would be 
wrong therefore to attach too much importance to the 
difference of the names on the bas-reliefs and in the 
Jataka Book. And in translating the titles we need 
not be afraid to allow ourselves a latitude similar to 
that which was indulged in by the early Buddhists 
themselves. 

There is yet further evidence confirmatory of the 
Dlpavamsa tradition. The Buddhist Scriptures are 

there called Munika Jataka, is the same story as no. 286, there 
called Sdluka Jataka; no. 215, the Kacchapa Jataka, is called 
Bahu-Bhani Jataka in the Dhammapada (p. 419) ; and no. 157 is 
called Guna Jataka, Siha Jataka, and Sigala Jataka. 

1 Cunningham, The Stupa of Bharhut, pi. xlvii. The carving 
illustrates a fable of a cat and a cock, and is labelled both Bidala 
Jataka and Kukkuta Jataka (Cat and Cock Jataka, no. 383). 

Ivi 



INTRODUCTION 

sometimes spoken of as consisting of nine different 
divisions, or sorts of texts (Angdni), of which the 
seventh is JdtaJcas, or The Jdtaka Collection (Jdtakam). 
This division of the Sacred Books is mentioned, not 
only in the Dipavamsa itself, and in the Sumangala 
Vildsim, but also in the Anguttara Nikdya (one of 
the later works included in the Pali Pitakas), and in 
the Saddharma Pundarika (a late, but standard 
Sanskrit work of the Northern Buddhists). 1 It is 
common, therefore, to both of the two sections of the 
Buddhist Church ; and it follows that it was probably 
in use before the great schism took place between 
them, possibly before the Council of Vesali itself. 
In any case it is conclusive as to the existence of a 
collection of Jatakas at a very early date. 

The text of the Jdtaka Book, as now received among 
the Southern Buddhists, consists, as will be seen from 
the translation, not only of the stories, but of an 
elaborate commentary, containing a detailed Explana 
tion of the verse or verses which occur in each of the 
stories ; an Introduction to each of them, giving the 
occasion on which it is said to have been told ; a 
Conclusion, explaining the connexion between the 
personages in the Introductory Story and the 
characters in the Birth Story ; and finally, a long 
general Introduction to the whole work. It is, in 
fact, an edition by a later hand of the earlier stories ; 
and though I have called it concisely the Jdtaka Book, 
its full title is The Commentary on the Jatakas. 

1 See the authorities quoted in my manual, Buddhism, pp. 214, 
215 ; and Dr. Morris, in The Academy for May, 1880. 

Ivii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

We do not know either the name of the author of 
this work, or the date when it was composed. The 
meagre account given at the commencement of the 
work itself (below, p. 81) contains all our present 
information on these points. Childers, who is the 
translator of this passage (below, p. Ixxix), has 
elsewhere ascribed the work to Buddhaghosa x ; but 
I venture to think that this is, to say the least, very 
uncertain. 

We have, in the thirty-seventh chapter of the 
Mahavamsa, 2 a perhaps almost contemporaneous 
account of Buddhaghosa s literary work ; and it is 
there distinctly stated, that after writing in India the 
Atihasalirii (a commentary on the Dhammasangam, 
the first of the Six Books of the Abhidhamma PilaJca), he 
went to Ceylon (about 430 A.D.) with the express 
intention of translating the Singhalese commentaries 
into Pali. There he studied under the Thera San- 
ghapali, and having proved his efficiency by his great 
work The Path of Purity (Visuddhi-Magga, a com 
pendium of doctrine), he was allowed by the monks 
in Ceylon to carry out his wish, and translate the 
commentaries. The Chronicle then goes on to say 
that he did render " the whole Singhalese Com 
mentary " into Pali. But it by no means follows, as 
has been too generally supposed, that he was the 
author of all the Pali Commentaries we now possess. 
He translated, it may be granted, the Commentaries 
on the Vinaya PitaJca and on the four great divisions 
(Nikayas) of the Sutta Pitaka ; but these works, 

1 In his Pali Dictionary, Preface, p. ix, note. 

2 Tumour, pp. 250-3. 

Iviii 



INTRODUCTION 

together with those mentioned above, would amply 
justify the very general expression of the chronicler. 
The Singhalese Commentary being now lost, it is 
impossible to say what books were and what were not 
included under that expression as used in the 
Mahdvamsa ; and to assign any Pali commentary, 
other than those just mentioned, to Buddhaghosa, 
some further evidence more clear than the ambiguous 
words of the Ceylon Chronicle should be required. 

What little evidence we have as regards the 
particular work now in question seems to me to tend 
very strongly in the other direction. Buddhaghosa 
could scarcely have commenced his labours on the 
Jataka Commentary, leaving the works I have men 
tioned so much more important from his point of 
view undone. Now I would ask the reader to 
imagine himself in Buddhaghosa s position, and then 
to read carefully the opening words of our Jataka 
Commentary as translated below, and to judge for 
himself whether they could possibly be such words 
as Buddhaghosa would probably, under the circum 
stances, have written. It is a matter of feeling ; but 
I confess I cannot think it possible that he was the 
author of them. Three Elders of the Buddhist Order 
are there mentioned with respect, but neither the 
name of Kevata, Buddhaghosa s teacher in India, nor 
the name of Sanghapali, his teacher in Ceylon, is even 
referred to ; and there is not the slightest allusion 
either to Buddhaghosa s conversion, his journey from 
India, the high hopes he had entertained, or the work 
he had already accomplished ! This silence seems to 

lix 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

me almost as convincing as such negative evidence 
can possibly be. 

If not, however, by Buddhaghosa, the work must 
have been composed after his time ; but probably 
not long after. It is quite clear from the account in 
the Mahdvamsa, ih&t before he came to Ceylon, the 
Singhalese commentaries had not been turned into 
Pali ; and on the other hand, the example he had set 
so well will almost certainly have been quickly 
followed. We know one instance at least, that of the 
Mahdvamsa itself, which would confirm this supposi 
tion ; and had the present work been much later 
than his time, it would not have been ascribed to 
Buddhaghosa at all. 

It is worthy of notice, perhaps, in this connexion, 
that the Pali work is not a translation of the Sin 
ghalese Commentary. The author three times refers 
to a previous Jdtaka Commentary, which possibly 
formed part of the Singhalese w r ork, as a separate 
book ; l and in one case mentions what it says only 
to overrule it. 2 Our Pali work may have been based 
upon it, but cannot be said to be a mere version of it. 
And the present Commentary agrees almost word for 
word, from p. 58 to p. 124 of my translation, with 
the MadJmra-attha-vildsim, the Commentary on the 
Buddhavamsa mentioned above, which is not usually 
ascribed to Buddhaghosa. 3 

1 Fausboll, vol. i, p. 62 and p. 488 ; vol. ii, p. 224. 

2 See the translation below. 

3 I judge from Tumour s analysis of that work in the Journal of 
the Bengal Asiatic Society, 1839, where some long extracts have 
been translated and the contents of other passages given in 
abstract. 

Ix 



INTRODUCTION 

The Jdtaka Book is not the only Pali Commentary 
which has made use of the ancient Birth Stories. 
They occur in numerous passages of the different 
exegetical works composed in Ceylon, and the only 
commentary of which anything is known in print, 
that on the Dhammapada or Collection of Scripture 
Verses, contains a considerable number of them. 
Mr. Fausboll has published copious extracts from this 
Commentary, which may be by Buddhaghosa, as an 
appendix to his edition of the text ; and the work 
by Captian Kogers, entitled Buddhaghosa s Parables 
a translation from a Burmese book called Dhamma- 
pada-vatthu (that is " Stories connected with the 
Dhammapada ") consists almost entirely of Jataka 



In Siam there is even a rival collection of Birth 
Stories which is called Panndsa-Jdtakan (The Fifty 
Jdtakas), and of which an account has been given us 
by Leon Feer ; l and the same scholar has pointed 
out that isolated stories, not contained in our collec 
tion, are also to be found in the Pali literature of that 
country. 2 The first hundred and fifty tales in our 
collection are divided into three Panndsas, or fifties ; 3 
but the Siamese collection cannot be either of these, 

1 Etude sur les Jdtakas, pp. 62-5. 

2 Ibid., pp. 66-71. 

3 This is clear from vol. i, p. 410 of Fausboll s text, where, at 
the end of the 100th tale, we find the words Majjhima-pannasako 
nitthito, that is " End of the Middle Fifty ". At the end of the 
60th tale (p. 261) there is a corresponding entry, Pathamo panndso, 
" First Fifty " ; and though there is no such entry at the end of 
the 150th tale, the expression " Middle Fifty " shows that there 
must have been, at one time, such a division as is above stated. 

Ixi 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

as M. Feer has ascertained that it contains no tales 
beginning in the same way as any of those in either 
of these " Fifties ". 

In India itself the Birth Stories survived the fall, 
as some of them had probably preceded the rise, of 
Buddhism. Not a few of them were preserved by 
being included in the Mahci Bharata, the great Hindu 
epic which became the storehouse of Indian myth 
ology, philosophy, and folk-lore. Unfortunately 
the date of the final arrangement of the Mahci 
Bharata is extremely uncertain, and there is no further 
evidence of the continued existence of the Jataka 
tales till we come to the time of the work already 
frequently referred to the Pancha Tantra. 

It is to the history of this book that Benfey has 
devoted that elaborate and learned Introduction 
which is the most important contribution to the 
study of this class of literature as yet published ; and 
I cannot do better than give in his own words his 
final conclusions as to the origin of this popular 
story-book x : 

" Although we are unable at present to give any 
certain information either as to the author or as to the 
date of the work, we receive, as it seems to me, no 
unimportant compensation in the fact, that it turned 
out, 2 with a certainty beyond doubt, to have been 
originally a Buddhist book. This followed especially 
from the chapter discussed in 225. But it was 



1 Pantscha Tantra, Theodor Benfey, Leipzig, 1859, p. xi. 

2 That is, in the course of Benfey s researches. 

Ixii 



INTRODUCTION 

already indicated by the considerable number of the 
fables and tales contained in the work, which could 
also be traced in Buddhist writings. Their number, 
and also the relation between the form in which they 
are told in our work, and that in which they appear 
in the Buddhist writings, incline us nay, drive us 
to the conclusion that the latter were the source from 
which our work, within the circle of Buddhist 
literature, proceeded. . . . 

" The proof that our work is of Buddhist origin is 
of importance in two ways : firstly on which we will 
not here further insistfor the history of the work 
itself ; and secondly, for the determination of what 
Buddhism is. We can find in it one more proof of 
that literary activity of Buddhism, to which, in my 
articles on India , which appeared in 1840, 1 I had 
already felt myself compelled to assign the most 
important place in the enlightenment and general 
intellectual development of India. This view has 
since received, from year to year, fresh confirmations, 
which I hope to bring together in another place ; 
and whereby I hope to prove that the very bloom of 
the intellectual life of India (whether it found expres 
sion in Brahmanical or Buddhist works) proceeded 
substantially from Buddhism, and is contemporaneous 
with the epoch in which Buddhism flourished ; 
that is to say, from the third century before Christ 
to the sixth or seventh century after Christ. With 
that principle, said to have been proclaimed by 
Buddhism in its earliest years, that only that 
teaching of the Buddha s is true which contraveneth 
not sound reason, 2 the autonomy of man s Intellect 

1 In Ersch und Gruber s Encyklopcedie, especially at pp. 255 
and 277. 

2 Wassiliew, Der BuddMsmus, p. 68. 

Ixiii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

was, we may fairly say, effectively acknowledged ; 
the whole relation between the realms of the knowable 
and of the unknowable was subjected to its control ; 
and notwithstanding that the actual reasoning powers, 
to which the ultimate appeal was thus given, were in 
fact then not altogether sound, yet the way was 
pointed out by which Keason could, under more 
favourable circumstances, begin to liberate itself 
from its failings. We are already learning to value, 
in the philosophical endeavours of Buddhism, the 
labours, sometimes indeed quaint, but aiming at 
thoroughness and worthy of the highest respect, of its 
severe earnestness in inquiry. And that, side by side 
with this, the merry jests of light, and even frivolous 
poetry and conversation, preserved the cheerfulness 
of life, is clear from the prevailing tone of our work, 
and still more so from the probable Buddhist origin 
of those other Indian story-books which have hitherto 
become known to us." 

Benfey then proceeds to show that the Pancha 
Tantra consisted originally, not of five, but of certainly 
eleven, perhaps of twelve, and just possibly of thirteen 
books ; and that its original design was to teach 
princes right government and conduct. 1 The whole 
collection had then a different title descriptive of this 
design ; and it was only after a part became detached 
from the rest that that part was called, for distinc- 
tion ssake, the Pancha Tantra (The Five Books). When 
this occurred it is impossible to say. But it was 
certainly the older and larger collection, not the present 

1 Compare the title of the Birth Story above, p. xxii : "A 
Lesson for Kings ". 

Ixiv 






INTRODUCTION 

Pancha Tantra, which travelled into Persia, and 
became the source of the whole of the extensive 
Kalilag and Damnag literature. 1 

The Arabian authors of the work translated 
(through the ancient Persian) from this older collec 
tion assign it to a certain Bidpai ; who is said to have 
composed it in order to instruct Dabschelim, the 
successor of Alexander in his Indian possessions, in 
worldly wisdom. 2 There may well be some truth in 
this tradition. And when we consider that the 
Barlaam and Josaphat literature took its origin at 
the same time, and in the same place, as the Kalilag 
and Damnag literature ; that both of them are based 
upon Buddhist originals taken to Bagdad in the sixth 
century of our era ; and that it is precisely such a 
book as the Book of Birth Stories from which they could 
have derived all that they borrowed ; it is difficult 
to avoid connecting these facts together by the 
supposition that the work ascribed to Bidpai may, 
in fact, have been a selection of those Jataka stories 
bearing more especially on the conduct of life, and 
preceded, like our own collection, by a sketch of the 
life of the Buddha in his last birth. Such a supposition 
would afford a reasonable explanation of some curious 
facts which have been quite inexplicable on the 
existing theory. If the Arabic Kalilah and Dimnah 
was an exact translation, in our modern sense of the 
word translation, of an exact translation of a Buddhist 
work, how comes it that the various copies of the 

1 See above. 

2 Knatchbull, p. 29. 

Ixv 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Kalilah and Dimnah differ so greatly, not only among 
themselves, but from the lately discovered Syriac 
Kalilag and Damnag, which was also, according to 
the current hypothesis, a translation of the same 
original ? how comes it that in these translations 
from a Buddhist book there are no references to the 
Buddha, and no expressions on the face of them 
Buddhistic ? If, on the other hand, the later writers 
had merely derived their subject-matter from a 
Buddhist work or works, and had composed what 
were in effect fresh works on the basis of such an original 
as has been suggested, we can understand how the 
different writers might have used different portions 
of the material before them, and might have discarded 
any expressions too directly in contradiction with 
their own religious beliefs. 

The first three of those five chapters of the work 
ascribed to Bidpai which make up the Pancha Tantra, 
are also found in a form slightly different, but, on the 
whole, essentially the same, in two other Indian Story 
books the Kathd-Sarit-Sagara (Ocean of the Rivers of 
Stories), composed in Sanskrit by a Northern Buddhist 
named SOMADEVA in the twelfth century, and in the 
well-known Hitopadesa, which is a much later work. 
If Somadeva had had the Pancha Tantra in its present 
form before him, he would probably have included the 
whole five books in his encyclopedic collection ; and 
the absence from the Kathd-Sarit-Sdgara of the 
last two books would tend to show that when he 
wrote his great work the Pancha Tantra had not been 
composed, or at least had not reached the North of India . 
Ixvi 



INTRODUCTION 

Somadeva derived his knowledge of the three books 
he does not give from the Vrihat-Kathd, a work ascribed 
to Gunadhya, written in the Paisachi dialect, and 
probably at least as early as the sixth century. 1 This 
work, on which Somadeva s whole poem is based, is 
lost. But Dr. Biihler has lately discovered another 
Sanskrit poem, based on that earlier work, written in 
Kashmir by Kshemendra at the end of the eleventh 
century, and called, like its original, Vrihat-Kathd ; 
and as Somadeva wrote quite independently of this 
earlier poem, we may hope that a comparison of the 
two Sanskrit works will afford reliable evidence of 
the contents of the old Vrihat-Kathd. 2 

I should also mention here that another well-known 
work, the Vetdla-Panca-Vimsati (The Twenty-five 
Tales of a Demon), is contained in both the Sanskrit 
poems, and was therefore probably also in Gunadhya s 
collection ; but as no Jataka stories have been as yet 
traced in it, I have simply included it for purposes of 
reference in Appendix, Table I, together with the 
most important of those of the later Indian story 
books of which anything is at present known. 

There remains only to add a few words on the mode 
in which the stories, whose history in Europe and in 
India I have above attempted to trace, are presented 
to us in the Jataka Book. 

Each story is introduced by another explaining 
where and why it was told by the Buddha ; the Birth 

1 Dr. Fitz-Eclward Hall s Vdsavadatta, pp. 22-4. 

* Dr. Biihler in The Indian Antiquary, i, 302 ; v, 29 ; vi, 269. 

Lxvii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Story itself being called the Atita-vatthu (Story of the 
Past) and the Introductory Story the Paccuppanna- 
vatthu (Story of the Present). There is another book 
in the Pali Pitakas called Apaddna, which consists 
of tales about the lives of certain early Buddhists ; and 
many of the Introductory Stories in the Jdtaka Book 
(such, for instance, as the tale about Little Roadling, 
no. 4, or the tale about Kumara Kassapa, no. 12) differ 
very little from these Apaddnas. Other of the 
Introductory Stories (such, for instance, as no. 17) 
seem to be mere repetitions of the principal idea 
of the story they introduce, and are probably 
derived from it. That the Introductory Stories are 
entirely devoid of credit is clear from the fact that 
different Birth Stories are introduced as having been 
told at the same time and place, and in answer to the 
same question. Thus no less than ten stories are each 
said to have been told to a certain love-sick monk as a 
warning to him against his folly ; 1 the closely- 
allied story given below as the Introduction to Birth 
Story no. 30 appears also as the Introduction to at 
least four others : 2 and there are many other instances 
of a similar kind. 3 

After the two stories have been told, there comes 
a Conclusion, in which the Buddha identifies the 
personages in the Birth Story with those in the Intro- 

1 Nos. 61-3, 147, 159, 193, 196, 198-9, 263. 

2 Nos. 106, 145, 191, 286. 

8 Nos. 58, 73, 142, 194, 220,and 277, have the same Introductory 
Story. 

And so nos. 60, 104, 116, 161. 
And nos. 127-8, 138, 173, 175. 

Ixviii 



INTRODUCTION 

ductory Story ; but it should be noticed that in 
one or two cases characters mentioned in the Atlta- 
vatthu are supposed not to have been reborn on earth 
at the time of the Paccuppanna-vatthu. 1 And the 
reader must of course avoid the mistake of importing 
Christian ideas into this Conclusion by supposing 
that the identity of the persons in the two stories is 
owing to the passage of a " soul " from the one to the 
other. Buddhism does not teach the transmigra 
tion of souls. Its doctrine (which is somewhat 
intricate, and for a fuller statement of which I must 
refer to my Manual of Buddhism 2 ) would be better 
summarized as the transmigration of character ; 
for it is entirely independent of the early and widely- 
prevalent notion of the existence within each human 
body of a distinct soul, or ghost, or spirit. The 
Bodisat, for instance, is not supposed to have a soul, 
which, on the death of one body, is transferred to 
another ; but to be the inheritor of the character 
acquired by the previous Bodisats. The insight and 
goodness, the moral and intellectual perfection which 
constitute Buddhahood, could not, according to the 
Buddhist theory, be acquired in one lifetime ; they 
were the accumulated result of the continual effort 
of many generations of successive Bodisats. The only 
thing which continues to exist when a man dies is his 
Karma, the result of his words and thoughts and deeds 
(literally ^his " doing ") ; and the curious theory that 



1 See the " Pali note " at the end of Jataka no. 91. 

2 pp. 99-106. 

Ixix 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

this result is concentrated in some new individual is 
due to the older theory of soul. 

In the case of one Jataka (Fausboll, no. 276), the 
Conclusion is wholly in verse ; and in several cases the 
Conclusion contains a verse or verses added by way of 
moral. Such verses, when they occur, are called 
Abhisambuddha-gdthd, or Verses spoken by the Buddha, 
not when he was still only a Bodisat, but when he had 
become a Buddha. They are so called to distinguish 
them from the similar verses inserted in the Birth 
Story, and spoken there by the Bodisat. Each story 
has its verse or verses, either in the Atlta-vatthu or in 
the Conclusion, and sometimes in both. The number 
of cases in which all the verses are Abhisambuddha- 
odthd is relatively small (being only one in ten of the 
Jatakas published 1 ) ; and the number of cases in 
which they occur together with verses in the Atlta- 
vatthu is very small indeed (being only five out of the 
three hundred Jatakas published 2 ) ; in the remaining 
two hundred and sixty-five the verse or verses occur 
in the course of the Birth Story and are most generally 
spoken by the Bodisat himself. 

There are several reasons for supposing that 
these verses are older than the prose which now 
forms their setting. The Ceylon tradition goes 
so far as to say that the original Jataka Book 
consisted of the verses alone ; that the Birth Stories 

1 Nos. 1-5, 23-9, 37, 55-6, 68, 85, 87-8, 97, 100, 114, 136, 
(total, eighteen in the Eka-Nipata) ; 156 (=55-6), 196, 202, 237 
( =63), 241 (total, five in the Duka-Nipdta) ; 255-6, 258, 264, 284, 
291, 300 (total, seven in the Tika-Nipata, and thirty altogether). 

2 Nos. 152, 163, 179, 233, 286. 

Ixx 



INTRODUCTION 

are Commentary upon them ; and the Introductory 
Stories, the Conclusions and the Pada-gata-sannaya, 
or word-for-word explanation of the verses, are 
Commentary on this Commentary. 1 And archaic 
forms and forced constructions in the verses (in 
striking contrast with the regularity and simplicity 
of the prose parts of the book), and the corrupt state 
in which some of the verses are found, seem to point 
to the conclusion that the verses are older. 

But I venture to think that, though the present 
form of the verses may be older than the present 
form of the Birth Stories, the latter, or most of the 
latter, were in existence first ; that the verses, at 
least in many cases, were added to the stories after 
they had become current ; and that the Birth Stories 
without verses in them at all those enumerated 
in the list in note 1 on the previous page, where the 
verses are found only in the Conclusion are, in fact, 
among the oldest, if not the oldest, in the whole 
collection. For anyone who takes the trouble to go 
through that list seriatim will find that it contains a 
considerable number of those stories which, from their 
being found also in the Pali Pitakas or in the oldest 
European collections, can already be proved to belong 
to a very early date. The only hypothesis which will 
reconcile these facts seems to me to be that the Birth 

1 This belief underlies the curious note forming the last words 
of the Mahasupina Jataka, i, 345 : " Those who held the Council 
after the death of the Blessed One placed the lines beginning 
usabha rukkhd in the Commentary, and then, making the other 
lines beginning labuni into one verse, they put (the Jataka) into 
the Eka-Nipata (the chapter including all those Jatakas which 
have only one verse)." 

Ixxi 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Stories, though probably originally older than the 
verses they contain, were handed down in Ceylon till 
the time of the compilation of our present Jdtaka Book 
in the Singhalese language ; whilst the verses on the 
other hand were not translated, but were preserved 
as they were received, in Pali. 

There is another group of stories which seems to be 
older than most of the others ; those, namely, in 
which the Bodisat appears as a sort of chorus, a 
moralizer only, and not an actor in the play, whose 
part may have been an addition made when the story 
in which it occurs was adopted by the Buddhists. 
Such is the fable above translated of " The Ass in the 
Lion s Skin ", and most of the stories where the 
Bodisat is a ruJckha-devatd the fairy or genius of a 
tree. 1 But the materials are insufficient at present 
to put this forward as otherwise than a mere 
conjecture. 

The arrangement of the stories in our present 
collection is a most unpractical one. They are classi 
fied, not according to their contents, but according 
to the number of verses they contain. Thus, the 
First division (Nipata) includes those one hundred and 
fifty of the stories which have only one verse ; the 
Second, one hundred stories, each having two verses ; 
the Third and Fourth, each of them fifty stories 
containing respectively three and four verses each ; 
and so on, the number of stories in each division 
decreasing rapidly after the number of verses exceeds 

1 See, for instance, below, pp. 212, 228, 230, 317 ; above, 
p. xii ; and Jataka, no. 113. 

Ixxii 



INTRODUCTION 

four ; and the whole of the five hundred and fifty 
Jatakas being contained in the twenty-two Nipatas. 
Even this division, depending on so unimportant a factor 
as the number of the verses, is not logically carried 
out ; and the round numbers of the stories in the first 
four divisions are made up by including in them stories 
which, according to the principle adopted, should not 
properly be placed within them. Thus several Jatakas 
are only mentioned in the first two Nipatas to say 
that they will be found in the later ones ; 1 and 
several Jatakas given with one verse only in the First 
Nipata are given again with more verses in those that 
follow ; 2 and occasionally a story is even repeated, 
with but little variation, in the same Nipata. 3 

On the other hand, several Jatakas, which count 
only as one story in the present enumeration, really 
contain several different tales or fables. Thus, 
for instance, the Kuldvaka JdtaJca (On Mercy 
to Animals) consists of several stories woven, 
not very closely, into one. The most striking 
instance of this is the Ummagga Jataka , of 
which the Singhalese translation by the learned 



1 Nos. 110-12, 170, 192 in the Ummagga Jataka, and no. 264 
in the Suruci Jataka. 

No. 30 -No. 286. No. 68=No. 237. 

34= 216. 86= 290. 

46= 268. 102= 217. 

57= 224. 145= 198. 

So No. 82=No. 104. 
99= 101. 
134= 135. 
195= 225. 
294= 295. 
Compare the two stories nos. 23 and 24 translated below. 

Ixxiii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Batuwan Tudawa occupies two hundred and fifty 
pages octavo, and consists of a very large number 
(I have not counted them, and there is no index, but 
I should think they amount to more than one hundred 
and fifty) of most entertaining anecdotes. Although 
therefore the Birth Stories are spoken of as " The five 
hundred and fifty Jatakas ", this is merely a round 
number reached by an entirely artificial arrangement, 
and gives no clue to the actual number of stories. 
It is probable that our present collection contains 
altogether (including the Introductory Stories where 
they are not mere repetitions) between two and three 
thousand independent tales, fables, anecdotes, and 
riddles. 

Nor is the number 550 any more exact (though 
the discrepancy in this case is not so great) if it be 
supposed to record, not the number of stories, but the 
number of distinct births of the Bodisat. In the 
Kuldvaka Jdtaka, just referred to (the tale On Mercy 
to Animals), there are two consecutive births of the 
future Buddha ; and on the other hand, none of the 
six Jatakas mentioned in note 1, p. Ixxiii, represents 
a distinct birth at all the Bodisat is in them the 
same person as he is in the later Jatakas in which 
those six are contained. 

From the facts as they stand it seems at present to 
be the most probable explanation of the rise of our 
Jdlaka Book to suppose that it was due to the religious 
faith of the Indian Buddhists of the third or fourth 
century B.C., who not only repeated a number of 
Ixxiv 



INTRODUCTION 

fables, parables, and stories ascribed to the Buddha, 
but gave them a peculiar sacredness and a special 
religious significance by identifying the best character 
in each with the Buddha himself in some previous 
birth. From the time when this step was taken, what 
had been merely parables or fables became " Jatakas", 
a word invented to distinguish, and used only of, 
those stories which have been thus sanctified. The 
earliest use of that word at present known is in the 
inscriptions on the Buddhist Tope at Bharhut ; and 
from the way in which it is there used it is clear that 
the word must have then been already in use for some 
considerable time. But when stories thus made sacred 
were popularly accepted among people so accustomed 
to literary activity as the early Buddhists, the natural 
consequence would be that the Jatakas should have 
been brought together into a collection of some kind ; 
and the probability of this having been done at a 
very early date is confirmed, firstly, by the tradition 
of the difference of opinion concerning a JdtaJca Book 
at the Councils of Vesali ; and secondly by the 
mention of a Jdtaka Book in the ninefold division of 
the Scriptures found in the Anguttara Nikdya and in 
the Saddharma Pundarika. To the compiler of this, 
or of some early collection, are probably to be ascribed 
the Verses, which in some cases at least are later than 
the Stories. 

With regard to some of the Jatakas, among which 

may certainly be included those found in the Pali 

Pitakas, there may well have been a tradition, more 

or less reliable, as to the time and the occasion at 

Ixxv 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

which they were supposed to have been uttered by the 
Buddha. These traditions will have given rise to the 
earliest Introductory Stories, in imitation of which 
the rest were afterwards invented ; and these will 
then have been handed down as commentary on the 
Birth Stories, till they were finally made part of our 
present collection by its compiler in Ceylon. That 
(either through their later origin, or their having been 
much more modified in transmission) they represent 
a more modern point of view than the Birth Stories 
themselves, will be patent to every reader. There is 
a freshness and simplicity about the Stories of the 
Past that is sadly wanting in the Stories of the Present ; 
so much so, that the latter (and this is also true of the 
whole long Introduction containing the life of the 
Buddha) may be compared more accurately with 
mediaeval Legends of the Saints than with such 
simple stories as dZsop s Fables, which still bear a 
likeness to their forefathers, the Stories of the Past. 

The Jatakas so constituted were carried to Ceylon 
in the Pali language, when Buddhism was first intro 
duced into that island (a date that is not quite certain, 
but may be taken provisionally as about 250 B.C.) ; 
and the whole was there translated into and preserved 
in the Singhalese language (except the verses, which 
were left untranslated) until the compilation in the 
fifth century A.D., and by an unknown author, of the 
Pali Jdtaka Book, the translation of which into 
English is commenced in this volume. 

When we consider the number of elaborate similes 
by which the arguments in the Pali Suttas are 
Ixxvi 



INTRODUCTION 

enforced, there can be no reasonable doubt that the 
Buddha was really accustomed to teach much by the 
aid of parables, and it is not improbable that the 
compiler was quite correct in attributing to him that 
subtle sense of good-natured humour which led to his 
inventing, as occasion arose, some fable or some tale 
of a previous birth, to explain away existing failures 
in conduct among the monks, or to draw a moral from 
contemporaneous events. It is even already possible 
to point to some of the Jatakas as being probably the 
oldest in the collection ; but it must be left to future 
research to carry out in ampler detail the investigation 
into the comparative date of each of the stories, both 
those which are called Stories of the Past and those 
which are called Stories of the Present. 

Besides the points which the teaching of the Jatakas 
has in common with that of European moralists and 
satirists, it inculcates two lessons peculiar to itself 
firstly, the powerful influence of inherited character ; 
and secondly, the essential likeness between man and 
other animals. The former of these two ideas under 
lies both the central Buddhist doctrine of Karma and 
the theory of the Buddhas, views certainly common 
among all the early Buddhists and therefore probably 
held by Gotama himself. And the latter of the two 
underlies and explains the sympathy with animals so 
conspicuous in these tales, and the frequency with 
which they lay stress upon the duty of kindness, and 
even of courtesy, to the brute creation. It is curious 
to find in these records of a strange and ancient faith 
such blind feeling after, such vague foreshadowing 
Ixxvii 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

of beliefs only now beginning to be put forward here 
in the West ; but it is scarcely necessary to point out 
that the paramount value to us now of the Jataka 
stories is historical. 

In this respect their value does not consist only in 
the evidence they afford of the intercommunion 
between East and West, but also, and perhaps 
chiefly, in the assistance which they will render to the 
study of folk-lore that is, of the beliefs and habits 
of men in the earlier stages of their development. 
The researches of Tylor and Waitz and Pischel and 
Lubbock and Spencer have shown us that this is the 
means by which it is most easily possible rightly to 
understand and estimate many of the habits and beliefs 
still current among ourselves. But the chief obstacle 
to a consensus of opinion in such studies is the in 
sufficiency and inaccuracy of the authorities on which 
the facts depend. While the ancient literature of 
peoples more advanced usually ignores or passes 
lightly over the very details most important from this 
point of view, the accounts of modern travellers 
among the so-called savage tribes are often at best 
very secondary evidence. It constantly happens that 
such a traveller can only tell us the impression con 
veyed to his mind of that which his informant holds 
to be the belief or custom of the tribe. Such native 
information may be inaccurate, incomplete, or mis 
leading ; and it reaches us only after nitration through 
a European mind more or less able to comprehend it 
rightly. 

But in the Jatakas we have a nearly complete 
Ixxviii 



INTRODUCTION 

picture, and quite uncorrupted and unadulterated by 
European intercourse, of the social life and customs 
and popular beliefs of the common people of Aryan 
tribes closely related to ourselves, just as they were 
passing through the first stages of civilization. 

The popularity of the Jatakas as amusing stories 
may pass away. How can it stand against the rival 
claims of the fairy tales of science, and the entrancing, 
many-sided story of man s gradual rise and progress ? 
But though these less fabulous and more attractive 
stories will increasingly engage the attention of 
ourselves and of our children, we may still turn with 
appreciation to the ancient Book of the Buddhist 
Jdtaka Tales as a priceless record of the childhood of 
our race. 

I avail myself of this opportunity of acknowledging 
my indebtedness to several friends whose assistance 
has been too continuous to be specified on any 
particular page. Kobert Childers, whose premature 
death was so great a blow to Pali studies, and whose 
name I never think of without a feeling of reverent 
and grateful regret, had undertaken the translation 
of the Jatakas, and the first thirty-three pages are 
from his pen. They are the last memento of his 
earnest work : they stand exactly as he left them. 
The Rev. J. Estlin Carpenter, who takes a deep interest 
in this and cognate subjects, has been kind enough to 
read through all the proofs, and I owe to his varied 
scholarship many useful hints. And my especial 
thanks, and the thanks of any readers this work may 
Ixxix 



BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

meet with, are above all due to Victor Fausboll, 
without whose editio princeps of the Pali text, the 
result of self-denying labours spread over many 
years, this translation would not have been under 
taken. 



T. W. RHYS DAVIDS. 



3, BRICK COUKT, TEMPLE. 
t, 1878. 



Ixxx 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 

The Nidanakatha 

[vv. 1-11] The Apannaka and other Births, which 
in times gone by were recounted on various occasions 
by the great illustrious Sage, and in which during a 
long period our Teacher and Leader, desirous of the 
salvation of mankind, fulfilled the vast conditions of 
Buddhahood, 1 were all collected together and added 
to the canon of Scripture by those who made the 
recension of the Scriptures, and rehearsed by them 
under the name of THE JATAKA. Having bowed at 
the feet of the Great Sage, the lord of the world, by 
whom in innumerable existences 2 boundless benefits 
were conferred upon mankind, and having paid 
reverence to the Doctrine, and ascribed honour to the 
Order, the receptacle of all honour ; and having 
removed all dangers by the efficacy of that meritorious 
act of veneration and honour referring to the Three 
Gems, I proceed to recite a Commentary upon this 
Jataka, illustrating as it does the infinite efficacy of 
the actions of great men a commentary based upon 
the method of exposition current among the inmates 
of the Great Monastery. And I do so at the personal 
request of the elder Atthadassin, who lives apart 
from the world and ever dwells with his fraternity, 
and who desires the perpetuation of this chronicle of 
Buddha ; and likewise of Buddhamitta the tranquil 

1 Lit. perfected the vast constituents of Buddhahood, the 
Paramitas are meant. The Apannaka is the title of the first 
Jataka. 

2 Lit. in thousands of kotis of births (a koti is ten millions). 



82 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

and wise, sprung from the race of Mahimsasaka, 
skilled in the canons of interpretation ; and more 
over of the monk Buddhadeva of clear intellect. 
May all good men lend me their favourable attention 
while I speak ! l 

Inasmuch as this comment on the Jataka, if it be 
expounded after setting forth the three Epochs, the 
distant, the intermediate, and proximate, will be 
clearly understood by those who hear it because they 
will have understood it from the beginning, therefore 
I will expound it after setting forth the three Epochs. 
Accordingly from the very outset it will be well to 
determine the limits of these Epochs. Now the 
narrative of the Bodhisatta s existence, from the 
time that at the feet of Dipankara he formed a resolu 
tion to become a Buddha to his rebirth in the Tusita 
heaven after leaving his life as Vessantara, is called 
the Distant Epoch. From his leaving the Tusita 
heaven to his attainment of omniscience on the 
Bo-tree seat, the narrative is called the Intermediate 
Epoch. And the Proximate Epoch is to be found in 
the various places in which he sojourned (during his 
ministry on earth). The following is 

I: THE DISTANT EPOCH 

Dureniddna 

Tradition tells us that four asankheyyas 2 and a 
hundred thousand cycles ago there was a city called 
Amaravati. In this city there dwelt a brahmin 
named Sumedha, of good family on both sides, on the 

1 The above lines in the original are in verse. I have found it 
impossible to follow the arrangement of the stanzas, owing to 
the extreme involution of the style. 

2 An asankheyya is a period of vast duration, lit. an incalculable. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 83 

father s and the mother s side, of pure conception for 
seven generations back, by birth unreproached and 
respected, a man comely, well-favoured and amiable, 
and endowed with remarkable beauty. He followed 
his brahminical studies without engaging in any other 
pursuit. His parents died while he was still young. 
A minister of state, who acted as steward of his 
property, bringing forth the roll-book of his estate, 
threw open the stores filled with gold and silver, gems 
and pearls, and other valuables, and said : " So much, 
young man, belonged to your mother, so much to 
your father, so much to your grandparents and great- 
grandparents," and pointing out to him the property 
inherited through seven generations, he bade him 
guard it carefully. The wise Sumedha thought to 
himself : " After amassing all this wealth my parents 
and ancestors when they went to another world took 
not a farthing with them. Can it be right that I should 
make it an object to take my wealth with me when I 
go ? " And informing the king of his intention, he 
caused proclamation to be made x in the city, gave 
largess to the people, and embraced the ascetic life 
of a hermit. 

To make this matter clear the Story of Sumedha -- 
must here be related. This story, though given in full 
in the Buddhavamsa, 2 from its being in a metrical 
form, is not very easy to understand. I will therefore 
relate it with sentences at intervals explaining the 
metrical construction. 



1 Lit. " caused the drums to be beaten." 

2 A poem belonging to the Sutta-Pitaka, edited by Rd. Morris, 
Pali Text Soc., 1882. Ed. 






84: BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Four asankheyyas and a hundred thousand cycles 
ago there was a city called Amaravati or Amara, 
resounding with the ten city cries, concerning which 
it is said in Buddhavamsa : 

12. Four asankheyyas and a hundred thousand cycles ago 
A city there was called Amara, beautiful and pleasant, 
Resounding with the ten cries, abounding in food and drink. 1 

Then follows a stanza of Buddhavamsa enumerating 
some of these cries, 

13. The trumpeting of elephants, the neighing of horses, (the 

sound of) drums, trumpets, and chariots, 
And viands and drinks were cried, with the invitation, 
" Eat and drink." 

It goes on to say : 

14. A city supplied with every requisite, engaged in every sort 

of industry, 
Possessing the seven precious things, thronged with 

dwellers of many races ; 
The abode of devout men, like the prosperous city of the 

angels. 

15. In the city of Amaravati dwelt a brahmin named Sumedha, 
Whose hoard was many tens of millions, blest with much 

wealth and store ; 

16. Studious, knowing the Mantras, versed in the three Vedas, 
Master of the science of divination and of the traditions 

and observances of his caste. 

Now one day the wise Sumedha, having retired to 
the splendid upper apartment of his house, seated 
himself cross-legged, and fell a-thinking. " Oh ! 
wise man, 2 grievous is rebirth in a new existence, and 
the dissolution of the body in each successive place 
where we are reborn. I am subject to birth, to decay, 
to disease, to death it is right, being such, that I 

1 Here a gloss in the text enumerates the whole ten cries. 
a The Bodhisatta is frequently called pandita, e.g. sasapantfito 
(Jat. No. 316), Ramapcwdito (Dasaratha Jat. No. 461). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 85 

should strive to attain the cool great deathless Nir 
vana, the tranquil, the free from birth and decay, and 
sickness, and grief and joy ; surely there must be a 
road that leads to Nirvana and releases man from 
becoming." Accordingly it is said : 

17. Seated in seclusion, I then thought as follows : 
Grievous is rebirth and the breaking up of the body. 

18. I am subject to birth, to decay, to disease, 

Therefore will I seek Nirvana, undecaying, undying haven. 

19. Let me leave this perishable body, this pestilent congrega 

tion of vapours, 
And depart without desires and without wants. 

20. There is, there must be a road, it cannot but be : 

I will seek this road, that I may obtain release from 
becoming. 1 

Further he reasoned thus : " For as in this world 
there is pleasure as the correlative of pain, so where 
there is becoming there must be its opposite, the 
cessation of becoming ; and as where there is heat 
there is also cold which neutralizes it, so there must 
be a Nirvana 2 that extinguishes (the fires of) lust 
and the other passions ; and as in opposition to a bad 
and evil condition there is a good and blameless one, 
so where there is evil birth there must also be a 
Nirvana, called the birthless, because it puts an end to 
all that is called rebirth." Therefore it is said : 

21. As where there is suffering there is also bliss, 

So where there is becoming we must look for non-becoming. 

22. And as where there is heat there is also cold, 

So where there is the threefold fire of passion extinguishing 
must be sought, 

23. And as coexistent with evil there is also good, 

Even so where there is birth 3 the cessation of birth should 
be sought. 

1 Bdhv., p. 7. 

2 Lit. " Extinguishing ? . 

3 Mr. Fausboll points out to me that in tividhaggi and jati we 
have Vedic abbreviations. 



86 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Again lie reasoned thus : " Just as a man who has 
fallen into a heap of filth, if he beholds afar off a great 
pond covered with lotuses of five colours, ought to 
seek that pond, saying : f By what way shall I arrive 
there ? ; but if he does not seek it the fault is not 
that of the pond ; even so where there is the lake of 
the great deathless Nirvana for the washing of the 
defilement of sin, if it is not sought it is not the fault 
of the lake. And just as a man who is surrounded by 
robbers, if when there is a way of escape he does not 
fly it is not the fault of the way but of the man ; even 
so when there is a blessed road leading to Nirvana 
for the man who is encompassed and held fast by sin, 
its not being sought is not the fault of the road but of 
the person. And as a man who is oppressed with 
sickness, there being a physician who can heal his 
disease, if he does not get cured by going to the phy 
sician that is no fault of the physician ; even so if a 
man who is oppressed by the disease of sin seeks not 
a spiritual guide who is at hand and knows the road 
which puts an end to sin, the fault lies with him and not 
with the sin-destroying teacher." Therefore it is said : 

24. As a man fallen among filth, beholding a brimming lake, 
If he seek not that lake the fault is not in the lake ; 

25. So when there exists a lake of Nirvana that washes the 

stains of sin, 

If a man seek not that lake, the fault is not in the lake of 
Nirvana. 

26. As a man beset with foes, there being a way of escape, 
If he flee not away, the fault is not with the road ; 

27. So when there is a way of bliss, if a man beset with sin 
Seek not that road, the fault is not in the way of bliss. 

28. And as one who is diseased, there being a physician at hand, 
If he bid him not heal the disease, the fault is not in the 

healer : 

29. So if a man who is sick and oppressed with the disease of sin 
Seek not the spiritual teacher, the fault is not in the teacher. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 87 

And again he argued : "As a man fond of gay 
clothing, throwing off a corpse bound to his shoulders, 
goes away rejoicing, so must I, throwing off this 
perishable body, and freed from all care, enter the 
city of Nirvana. And as men and women depositing 
filth on a dungheap do not gather it in the fold or 
skirt of their garments, but loathing it, throw it away, 
feeling no desire for it ; so shall I also cast off this 
perishable body without regret, and enter the 
deathless city of Nirvana. And as seamen abandon 
without regret an unseaworthy ship and escape, so 
will I also, leaving this body, which distils corruption 
from its nine festering apertures, enter without 
regret the city of Nirvana. And as a man carrying 
various sorts of jewels and going on the same road 
with a band of robbers, out of fear of losing his jewels 
withdraws from them and gains a safe road ; even 
so this impure body is like a jewel-plundering robber, 
if I set my affections thereon the jewel of the good 
doctrine of the sublime path of holiness will be lost 
to me, therefore ought I to enter the city of Nirvana, 
forsaking this robber-like body." Therefore it is 
said : 

30. As a man might with loathing shake off a corpse bound 

upon his shoulders, 
And depart, secure, independent, master of himself ; 

31. Even so let me depart, regretting nothing, wanting nothing. 
Leaving this perishable body, this collection of many foul 

vapours. 

32. And as men and women deposit filth upon a dungheap, 
And depart regretting nothing, wanting nothing, 

33. So will I depart, leaving this body filled with foul vapours, 
As one leaves a cesspool after depositing ordure there. 

34. And as the owners forsake the rotten bark that is shattered 

and leaking, 
And depart without regret or longing, 



88 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

35. So shall I go, leaving this body with its nine apertures 

ever running, 
As its owners desert the broken ship. 

36. And as a man carrying wares, walking with robbers, 
Seeing danger of losing his wares, parts company with the 

robbers and gets him gone, 

37. Even so is this body like a mighty robber, 
Leaving it I will depart through fear of losing good. 

Having thus in nine similes pondered upon the 
advantages connected with retirement from the world, 
the wise Sumedha gave away at his own house, as 
aforesaid, an immense hoard of treasure to the indigent 
and wayfarers and sufferers, and kept open house. 
And renouncing all pleasures, both material and 
sensual, departing from the city of Amara, away from 
the world in Himavanta he made himself a hermitage 
near the mountain called Dhammaka, and built a 
hut and a cloister free from the five defects which are 
hindrances (to meditation). And with a view to 
obtain the power reckoned as supernormal knowledge, 
which is characterized by the eight casual qualities 
described in the words beginning " With a mind thus 
tranquillized "/ he embraced in that hermitage the 
ascetic life of a Kishi, casting off the cloak with its 
nine disadvantages, and wearing the garment of 
bark with its twelve advantages. And when he had 
thus given up the world, forsaking this hut, crowded 
with eight drawbacks, he repaired to the foot of a 
tree with its ten advantages, and rejecting all sorts 
of grain lived constantly upon wild fruits. And 

1 Evam samdhite citte parisuddhe. pariyoddte anangane vigatu- 
pakkilese mudubhute kammaniye thite dnejjappatte ndnadas- 
sancLya cittarii abhimharati (Samannaphala Sutta, see Digha 
Nikdya, i, 76 ; Dialogues of the Buddha, i, 86). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 89 

strenuously exerting himself both in sitting and in 
standing and in walking, within a week he became the 
possessor of the eight attainments, and of the five 
supernormal knowledges ; and so, in accordance with 
his prayer, he attained the might of supernormal 
knowledge. Therefore it is said : 

38. Having pondered thus I gave many thousand millions of 

wealth 
To rich and poor, and made my way to Himavanta.. 

39. Not far from Himavanta is the mountain called Dhammaka, 
Here I made an excellent hermitage, and built with care 

a leafy hut. 

40. There I built me a cloister, free from five defects, 
Possessed of the eight good qualities, and attained the 

strength of the supernormal knowledges. 

41. Then I threw off the cloak possessed of the nine faults, 
And put on the raiment of bark possessed of the twelve 

advantages. 

42. I left the hut, crowded with the eight drawbacks, 
And went to the tree-foot possessed of ten advantages. 1 

43. Wholly did I reject the grain that is sown and planted, 
And partook of the constant fruits of the earth, possessed 

of many advantages. 

44. Then I strenuously strove, in sitting, in standing, and in 

walking, 
And within seven days attained the might of the know- 



Now while the hermit Sumedha, having thus 
attained the strength of supernormal knowledge, was 
living in the bliss of the (eight) attainments, the 
Teacher Dipankara appeared in the world. At the 
moment of his conception, of his birth, of his attain 
ment of Buddhahood, of his preaching his first dis 
course, the whole universe of ten thousand worlds 
trembled, shook and quaked, and gave forth a mighty 

1 Mr. Fausboll writes to me that gune for guriehi must be 
viewed as an old Pali form originating in the Sanskrit gunaih. 

2 Here follow four pages of later commentary or gloss, which 
I leave untranslated. 



90 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

sound, and the thirty-two marks showed themselves. 
But the hermit Sumedha, living in the bliss of the 
attainments, neither heard that sound nor beheld 
those signs. Therefore it is said : 

45. Thus when I had attained the consummation, while I was 

subjected to the teaching, 

The Conqueror named Dipankara, chief of the universe, 
appeared. 

46. At his conception, at his birth, at his Buddhahood, at his 

preaching, 

I saw not the four signs, plunged in the blissful trance of 
meditation. 

At that time Dipankara Buddha, accompanied by 
a hundred thousand saints, wandering his way from 
place to place, reached the city of Ramma, and took 
up his residence in the great monastery of Sudassana. 
And the dwellers of the city of Ramma heard it said : 
" Dipankara, lord of ascetics, having attained supreme 
Buddhaship, and set rolling the wheel of the excellent 
Norm, wandering his way from place to place, has 
come to the town of Ramma, and dwells at the great 
monastery of Sudassana." And taking with them 
ghee and butter and other medicinal requisites and 
clothes and raiment, and bearing perfumes and 
garlands and other offerings in their hands, their 
minds bent towards the Buddha, the Doctrine, and 
the Order, inclining towards them, hanging upon them, 
they approached the Teacher, and worshipped him, 
and presenting the perfumes and other offerings, sat 
down on one side. And having heard his preaching 
of the Doctrine, and invited him for the next day, 
they rose from their seats and departed. And on the 
next day, having prepared alms-giving for the poor, 
and having decked out the town, they repaired the 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 91 

road by which the Buddha was to come, throwing 
earth in the places that were worn away by water, 
and thereby levelling the surface, and scattering sand 
that looked like strips of silver. And they sprinkled 
fried paddy and flowers, and raised aloft flags and 
banners, of many-coloured cloths, and set up banana 
arches and rows of brimming jars. Then the hermit 
Sumedha, ascending from his hermitage, and pro 
ceeding through the air till he was above those men, 
and beholding the joyous multitude, exclaimed : 
" What can be the reason ? " and alighting stood on 
one side and questioned the people : " Tell me, why 
are you adorning this road ? " Therefore it is said : 

47. In the region of the border districts, having invited the 

Buddha, 

With joyful hearts they are clearing the road by which he 
should come. 

48. And I at that time leaving my hermitage, 
Rustling my barken tunic, departed through the air, 

49. And seeing an excited multitude joyous and delighted, 
Descending from the air I straightway asked the men, 

50. The people is excited, joyous, and happy, 

For whom is the road being cleared, the path, the way of 
his coming ? 

And the men replied : " Venerable Sumedha, dost 
thou not know ? Dipankara Buddha, having attained 
supreme knowledge, and set rolling the wheel of the 
glorious Doctrine, travelling from place to place, has 
reached our town, and dwells at the great monastery 
Sudassana ; we have invited the Blessed One, and 
are making ready for the blessed Buddha the road 
by which he is to come. And the hermit Sumedha 
thought : " The very sound of the word Buddha is 
rarely met with in the world, much more the actual 
appearance of a Buddha ; it behoves me to join these 



92 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

men in clearing the road." He said therefore to the 
men : " If .you are clearing this road for the Buddha, 
assign to me a piece of ground, I will clear the ground 
in company with you." They consented, saying : 
"It is well " ; and perceiving the hermit Sumedha 
to be possessed of supernatural power, they fixed 
upon a swampy piece of ground, and assigned it to 
him, saying : " Do thou prepare this spot." Sumedha, 
his heart filled with joy of which the Buddha was the 
cause, thought within himself : "I am able to prepare 
this piece of ground by supernatural power, but if so 
prepared it will give me no satisfaction ; this day it 
behoves me to perform menial duties " ; and fetching 
earth he threw it upon the spot. 

But ere the ground could be cleared by him with 
a train of a hundred thousand miracle-working saints 
endowed with the six supernormal knowledges, while 
devas offered celestial wreaths and perfumes, while 
celestial hymns rang forth, and men paid their homage 
with earthly perfumes arid with flowers and other 
offerings, Dlpankara endowed with the ten Forces, 
with all a Buddha s transcendant majesty, like a lion 
rousing himself to seek his prey on the Vermilion 
plain, came down into the road all decked and made 
ready for him. Then the hermit Sumedha as the 
Buddha with unblenching eyes approached along the 
road prepared for him, beholding that form endowed 
with the perfection of beauty, adorned with the thirty- 
two marks of a super-man, and marked with the eighty 
minor beauties, attended by a halo of a fathom s depth 
and sending forth in streams the six-hued Buddha- 
rays, linked in pairs of different colours, and wreathed 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 93 

like the varied lightnings that flash in the gem-studded 
vault of heaven exclaimed : " This day it behoves 
me to make sacrifice of my life for the Buddha : 
let not the Blessed one walk in the mire nay, let him 
advance with his four hundred thousand saints 
trampling on my body as if walking upon a bridge of 
jewelled planks, this deed will long be for my good and 
my happiness." So saying, he loosed his hair, and 
spreading in the sooty mire his hermit s skin mantle, 
roll of matted hair and garment of bark, he lay down 
in the mire like a bridge of jewelled planks. Therefore 
it is said : 

61. Questioned by me they replied, An incomparable Buddha 

is born into the world, 

The Conqueror named Dipankara, lord of the universe, 
For him the road is cleared, the way, the path of his 

coming. 
52. When I heard the name of Buddha joy sprang up forthwith 

within me, 

Repeating, a Buddha, a Buddha! I gave utterance to my joy. 
63. Standing there I pondered, joyful and excited, 

Here I will sow the seed, may the happy moment not pass 
away ! 

54. If you clear a path for the Buddha, assign to me a place, 
I also will clear the road, the way, the path of his coming. 

55. Then they gave me a piece of ground to clear the pathway ; 
Then repeating within me, a Buddha, a Buddha ! I cleared 

the road. 

56. But ere my portion was cleared, Dipankara the great sage, 
The Conqueror, entered the road with four hundred 

thousand saints like himself, 
Possessed of the six superknowledges, pure from all taint 

of sin. 
67. On every side men rise to receive him, many drums sound, 

Men and spirits overjoyed send forth their applause. 
58. Devas look upon men, men upon devas, 

And both with clasped hands upraised approach "him 

who had thus come." 
69. Devas with deva-music, men with earthly music, 

Both sending forth their strains approach " him who had 
thus come." 



94 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

60. Devas floating in the air sprinkle down in all directions 
Erythrina flowers of deva- world, lotuses and coral flowers. 

6 1 . Men standing on the ground throw upwards in all directions 
Champac and Salala flowers, Cadamba and fragrant Mesua, 

Punnaga, and Ketaka. 

62. Then I loosed my hair, and spreading in the mire 
Bark robe and mantle of skin, lay prone upon my face. 

63. Let the Buddha advance with his disciples, treading upon 

me ; 
Let him not tread in the mire, it will be for my blessing. 

And as he lay in the mire, again beholding the 
Buddha-majesty of Dipankara Buddha with his 
unblenching gaze, he thought as follows : " Were 
I willing, I could enter the city of Ramma as a novice 
in the priesthood, after having destroyed all human 
passions ; but why should I disguise myself l to attain 
Nirvana after the destruction of human passion ? 
Let me rather, like Dipankara, having risen to the 
supreme knowledge of the Doctrine, enable mankind 
to enter the Ship of the Doctrine, and so carry them 
across the Ocean of Going-on, and when this is done 
afterwards attain Nirvana ; this indeed it is right 
that I should do." Then having enumerated the eight 
conditions (necessary to the attainment of Buddha- 
hood), and having made the resolution to become 
Buddha, he laid himself down. Therefore it is said : 

1 The following is what I take to be the meaning of this passage : 
" If I chose I could at once enter the Buddhist Order, and by the 
practice of ecstatic meditation ( Jhana) free myself from human 
passion, and become an Arahant or saint. I should then at death 
at once attain Nirvana and cease to be reborn. But this would 
be a selfish course to pursue, for thus I should benefit myself 
only. Why should I thus slip unobserved and in the humble 
garb of a monk into Nirvana ? Nay, let me rather qualify myself to 
become a Buddha, and so save others as well as myself." This 
is the great ACT OF RENUNCIATION by which the Bodhisattva, 
when Nirvana was within his grasp, preferred to endure ages of 
heroic trials in the exercise of the Paramitas, that he might be 
enabled to become a Buddha, and so redeem mankind. See 
D Alwis s Introduction to Kachchayana s Grammar, p. vi. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 95 

64. As I lay upon the ground this was the thought of my heart, 
If I wished it I might this day destroy within me all 

human passions. 

65. But why should I in disguise arrive at the knowledge of 

the Truth ? 

I will attain omniscience and become a Buddha, and (save) 
men and devas. 

66. Why should I cross the ocean resolute but alone ? 

I will attain omniscience, and enable men and devas 
to cross. 

67. By this resolution of mine, I a man of resolution 
Will attain omniscience, and save many folk. 

68. Cutting off the stream of transmigration, annihilating the 

three forms of rebirth, 

Embarking in the ship of the Norm, I will carry across with 
me men and devas. 1 

And the blessed Dipankara having reached the 
spot stood close by the hermit Sumedha s head. And 
opening his eyes possessed of the five kinds of grace as 
one opens a jewelled window, and beholding the hermit 
Sumedha lying in the mire, thought to himself : 
" This hermit who lies here has formed the resolution 
to be a Buddha ; will his wish be fulfilled or not ? " 
And casting forward his prescient gaze into the future, 
and considering, he perceived that four asankheyyas 
and a hundred thousand cycles from that time he 
would become a Buddha named Gotama. And stand 
ing there in the midst of the assembly he delivered 
this prophecy, " See ye this very austere ascetic 
lying in the rnire ? " " Yes, lord," they answered. 
" This man lies here having made the resolution to 
become a Buddha, his wish will be answered ; at the 
end of four asankheyyas and a hundred thousand 
cycles hence he will become a Buddha named Gotama, 
and in that birth the city Kapilavatthu will be his 

1 What follows from yasma to nipajji belongs to a later com 
mentary. I resume the translation with p. 15, 1. 11 of the text. 



96 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

residence, queen Maya will be his mother, king 
Suddhodana his father, his chief disciple will be the 
thera Upatissa, his second disciple the thera Kolita, 
the Buddha s servitor will be Ananda, his chief female 
disciple the nun Khema, the second the nun Uppala- 
vanna. When he attains to years of ripe knowledge, 
having retired from the world and made the great 
exertion, having received at the foot of a banyan-tree 
a meal of rice milk, and partaken of it by the banks of 
the Neranjara, having ascended the bo-tree seat, he 
will, at the foot of a fig-tree, attain Supreme Buddha- 
hood. Therefore it is said : 

70. Dipankara, knower of all worlds, receiver of offerings, 
Standing by that which pillowed my head, spoke these 

words : 

71. See ye this very austere hermit with his matted hair, 
Countless ages hence he will be a Buddha in this world. 

72. Lo, "he who has thus come" departing from pleasant 

Kapila, 

Having made the great effort, performed all manner of 
austerities. 

73. Having sat at the foot of the Ajapala tree, and there 

received rice pottage, 
Shall approach the Neranjara river. 

74. Having received the rice pottage on the banks of the 

Neranjara, the Conqueror 

Shall come by a fair road prepared for him to the foot of 
the Bodhi-tree. 

75. Then, unrivalled and glorious, reverentially saluting the 

Bodhi-seat, 
At the foot of a fig-tree he shall be awakened. 1 

76. The mother that bears him shall be called Maya, 

His father will be Suddhodana, he himself will be Gotama. 

77. His chief disciples will be Upatissa and Kolita, 

Men sane and immune, void of passion, calm- minded and 
intent. 

78. The servitor Ananda will attend upon the Conqueror, 
Khema and Uppalavanna will be his chief women disciples, 

79. Women sane and immune, void of passion, calm-minded 

and intent, 
The Bodhi-tree of this Buddha is known as the Assattha. 

1 Bujjhissati. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 97 

The hermit Sumedha, exclaiming : " My wish, it 
seems, will be accomplished ", was filled with happi 
ness. The multitudes, hearing the words of Dipankara 
Buddha, were joyous and delighted, exclaiming : 
" The hermit Sumedha, it seems, is a Buddha-seed, a 
Buddha-shoot ! " For thus they thought : " As a 
man fording a river, if he is unable to cross to the 
ford opposite him, crosses to a ford lower down the 
stream, even so we, if under the dispensation of 
Dipankara Buddha we fail to attain the Paths and 
their fruition, yet when thou shalt become Buddha we 
shall be enabled in thy presence to make the paths 
and their fruition our own " and so they recorded 
their wish (for future sanctification). And Dipankara 
Buddha also having praised the Bodhisatta, and made 
an offering to him of eight handfuls of flowers, 
reverentially saluted him and departed. And the 
Arahants also, four hundred thousand in numbers 
having made offerings to the Bodhisatta of perfume, 
and garlands, reverentially saluted him and departed. 
And the devas and men having made the same 
offerings, and bowed down to him, went their way. 

And the Bodhisatta, when all had retired, rising 
from his seat and exclaiming : I will study the 
Perfections ", sat himself down cross-legged on a heap 
of flowers. And as the Bodhisatta sat thus, the devas 
in all the ten thousand worlds assembling shouted 
applause. " Venerable hermit Sumedha ", they said, 
" all the omen& which have manifested themselves 
when former Bodhisattas seated themselves cross- 
legged, saying : * We will study the Perfections 
all these this day have appeared : assuredly thou shalt 
become Buddha. This we know : to whom these 



98 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

omens appear, he surely will become Buddha ; do 
thou make a strenuous effort and exert thyself". 
With these words they lauded the Bodhisatta with 
varied praises. Therefore it is said : 

80. Hearing these words of the incomparable Sage, 

Devas and men delighted, exclaimed, This is a Buddha- 
seed-seedling ! 

81. A great clamour arises, men and devas in ten thousand 

worlds 

Clap their hands, and laugh, and make obeisance with 
clasped hands. 

82 . c Should we fail, they say, in this Buddha s dispensation , 
Yet in time to come we shall stand before him. 

83. As men crossing a river, if they fail to reach the opposite 

ford, 
Gaining the lower ford cross the great river, 

84. Even so we all, if we lose this Buddha, 
In time to come shall stand before him." 

85. The world-knowing DIpankara, the receiver of offerings, 
Having celebrated my action, went his way. 1 

86. All his disciples of the Buddha that were present saluted 

me with reverence, 

Men, Nagas, and Gandhabbas bowed down to me and 
departed. 

87. When the Lord of the world with his following had passed 

beyond my sight, 
Then glad, with gladsome heart, I rose up from my seat. 

88. Happy I am by happiness, glad with a great gladness ; 
Flooded with rapture then I seated myself cross-legged. 

89. And even as thus I sat I thought within myself, 

I am trained in Jhana, I have mastered the supernormal 
knowledges. 

90. In a thousand worlds there are no sages that rival me, 
Unrivalled in miraculous powers I have reached this bliss. 

91. When thus they beheld me sitting, 2 the dwellers of ten 

thousand worlds 
Raised a mighty shout : Surely thou shalt be a Buddha ! 

92. The omens 3 beheld in former ages when Bodhisatta sat 

cross-legged, 
The same are beheld this day. 

1 Lit., " raised his right foot (to depart)." 

2 Lit., " at my sitting cross-legged." 

3 Mr. Fausboll writes that yarn is a mistake of the copyist for 
yd=ydni. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 99 

93. Cold is dispelled and heat ceases, 

This day these things are seen, verily them shalt be 
Buddha. 

94. A thousand worlds are stilled and silent. 

So are they seen to-day, verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

95. The mighty winds blow not, the rivers cease to flow, 
These things are seen to-day, verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

96. All flowers blossom on land and sea. 

This day they all have bloomed, verily thou shalt be 
Buddha. 

97. All creepers and trees are laden with fruit, 

This day they all bear fruit, verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

98. Gems sparkle in earth and sky, 

This day all gems do glitter, verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

99. Music earthly and deva-music, 

Both these to-day send forth their strains verily thou 
shalt be Buddha. 

100. Flowers of every hue rain down from the sky, 

This day they are seen verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

101. The mighty ocean bends itself, ten thousand worlds are 

shaken, 

This day they both send up their roar verily thou shalt 
be Buddha. 

102. In hell the fires of ten thousand worlds die out, 

This day these fires are quenched verily thou shalt be 
Buddha. 

103. Unclouded is the sun and all the stars are seen, 

These things are seen to-day verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

104. Though no rain fell in water that burst forth from the 

earth, 

This day that bursts forth from the earth verily thou 
shalt be Buddha. 

105. The constellations are all aglow, and the lunar mansions 

in the vault of heaven, 

Visakha is in conjunction with the moon verily thou shalt 
be Buddha. 

106. Those creatures that dwell in holes and caves depart each 

from his lair, 

This day these lairs are forsaken verily thou shalt be 
Buddha. 

107. There is no discontent among mortals, but they are filled 

with contentment, 
This day all are content verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

108. Then diseases are dispelled and hunger ceases, 

This day these things are seen verily thou shalt be Buddha 

109. Then Lust wastes away, Hate and Dullness perish, 

This day all these are dispelled verily thou shalt Le 
Buddha. 



100 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

110. No danger then comes near ; this day this thing is seen, 
By this sign we know it verily thou shalt become Buddha. 

111. No dust flies up ; this day this thing is seen, 

By this sign we know it, verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

112. All noisome odours flee away, divine fragrance breathes 

around, 

Such fragrance breathes this day verily thou shalt be 
Buddha. 

113. All the devas are manifested, the Formless only excepted, 
This day they all are seen verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

114. All the hells become visible, 

These all are seen this day verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

115. Then walls, and doors, and rocks are no impediment, 
This day they have melted into space verily thou shalt 

be Buddha. 

1 16. At that moment death and birth do not take place, 

This day these things are seen verily thou ehalt be 
Buddha. 

117. Do thou make a strenuous effort, hold not back, go forward, 

This thing we know verily thou shalt be Buddha. 

And the Bodhisatta, having heard the words of 
Dlpankara Buddha and of the devas in ten thousand 
worlds filled with abounding vigour, thought thus 
within himself : " The Buddhas are beings whose 
word cannot fail ; there is no deviation from truth 
in their speech. For as the fall of a clod thrown into 
the air, as the death of a mortal, as the sunrise at 
dawn, as a lion s roaring when he leaves his lair, as the 
delivery of a woman with child, as all these things 
are sure and certain even so the word of the Buddhas 
is sure and cannot fail, verily I shall become a 
Buddha." Therefore it is said : 

118. Having heard the words of Buddha and of the devas of 

ten thousand worlds, 
Glad, joyous, delighted, I then thought thus within myself ; 

119. The Buddhas speak not doubtful words, the Conquerors 

speak not vain words, 

There is no falsehood in the Buddhas verily I shall 
become a Buddha. 

120. As a clod cast into the air doth surely fall to the ground, 
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 101 

121. As the death of all mortals ig sure and constant, 

So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting. 

122. As the rising of the sun is certain when night has faded, 
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting. 

123. As the roaring of a lion who has left his den is certain, 
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting. 

124. As the delivery of women with child is certain, 

So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting. 

And having thus made the resolution : "I shall 
surely become Buddha ", with a view to considering 
the conditions that constitute a Buddha, exclaiming : 
" Where are the conditions that make the Buddha, 
are they found above or below, in the principle or 
the minor directions ? " studying successively the 
principles of all things, and beholding the first Perfec 
tion of Giving, practised and followed by former 
Bodhisattas, he thus admonished himself : " Wise 
Sumedha, from this time forth thou must fulfil 
the perfection of Giving ; for as a water- jar over 
turned discharges the water so that none remains, 
and cannot recover it, even so if thou, indifferent to 
wealth and fame, and wife and child, and goods great 
and small, give away to all who come and ask every 
thing that they require till nought remains, thou shalt 
seat thyself at the foot of the tree of Bodhi and become 
a Buddha." With these words he strenuously resolved 
to attain the first perfection of Giving. Therefore 
it is said : 

125. Come, I will search the Buddha-making conditions, this 

way and that, 

Above and below, in all the ten directions, as far as the 
principles of things extend. 

126. Then, as I made my search, I beheld the first the Giving- 

perfection. 
The high road followed by former sages, 

127. Do thou strenuously taking it upon thyself advance 

To this first perfection : Giving, if thou wilt attain Buddha- 
ship. 



102 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

128. As a brimming water- jar, overturned by any one, 
Discharges entirely all the water, and retains none within, 

129. Even so, when thou seest any that ask, great, small, and 

middling, 
Do thou give away all in alms, as the water-jar overthrown. 

But considering further : " There must be beside 
this, other conditions that make a Buddha ", and 
beholding the second Perfection : Moral Practice, he 
thought thus : " wise Sumedha.from this day forth 
mayest thou fulfil the perfection of Morality ; for as 
the yak ox, regardless of his life, guards his bushy 
tail, even so thou shalt become Buddha, if from this 
day forward regardless of thy life thou keepest the 
moral precepts." And he strenuously resolved to 
attain the second perfection, Moral Practice. There 
fore it is said : 

130. The conditions of a Buddha cannot in sooth be so few, 

I will study the other conditions that bring Buddhaship 
to maturity. 

131. Then studying I beheld the second Perfection of Morality 
Practised and followed by former sages. 

132. This second one do thou strenuously undertake, 

And reach the perfection Moral Practice if thou wilt attain 
Buddhahood. 

133. And as the yak cow, when her tail has got in aught 

entangled, 
Then and there awaits death, and will not injure her tail, 1 

134. So also do thou, having fulfilled the moral precepts in the 

four stages, 
Ever guard the Sila as the yak guards her tail. 

But considering further : " These cannot be the 
only Buddha-making conditions", and beholding the 
third Perfection of Self-abnegation, he thought thus : 
" wise Sumedha, mayest thou henceforth fulfil the 

1 viz., I suppose, by dragging it forcibly away. This metaphor, 
which to us appears wanting in dignity, is a favourite one with the 
Hindus. The tail of the Yak or Tibetan ox (Bos Grunniens] is a 
beautiful object, and one of the insignia of Hindu royalty. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 103 

perfection of Abnegation ; for as a man long the 
denizen of a prison feels no love for it, but is dis 
contented, and wishes to live there no more, even so 
do thou, likening all births to a prison-house, dis 
contented with all births, and anxious to get rid of 
them, set thy face toward abnegation, thus shalt thou 
become Buddha." And he strenuously made the 
resolution to attain the third Perfection of Self- 
abnegation. Therefore it is said : 

135. For the conditions that make a Buddha cannot be so few, 
I will study others, the conditions that bring Buddhaship 

to maturity. 

136. Studying then I beheld the third Perfection, Abnegation 
Practised and followed by former sages. 

137. This third one do thou strenuously undertake, 

And reach the perfection of abnegation, if thou wilt attain 
Buddhahood. 

138. As a man long a denizen of the house of bonds, oppressed 

with suffering, 
Feels no pleasure therein, but rather longs for release, 

139. Even so do thou look upon all births as prison-houses, 
Set thy face towards self-abnegation, to obtain release from 

becoming. 

But considering further : " These cannot be the 
only Buddha-making conditions ", and beholding the 
fourth Perfection of Wisdom, he thought thus : " 
wise Sumedha, do thou from this day forth fulfil the 
Perfection of Wisdom, avoiding no subject of know 
ledge, great, small, or middling, 1 do thou approach all 
wise men and ask them questions ; for as the mendi 
cant friar on his begging rounds, avoiding none of the 
families, great and small, that he frequents, 2 and 
wandering for alms from place to place, speedily 

1 Lit., " not avoiding anything among things great, small, and 
middling." 

a After kind understand kularii, as will be seen from v. 143. 



104 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

gets food to support him, even so shalt thou, approach 
ing all wise men, and asking them questions, become a 
Buddha." And he strenuously resolved to attain the 
fourth Perfection, Wisdom. Therefore it is said : 

140. For the conditions that make a Buddha cannot be so few, 
I will study the other conditions that bring Buddhaship to 

maturity. 

141. Studying then I beheld the fourth Perfection : Wisdom 
Practised and followed by former sages. 

142. This fourth do thou strenuously undertake, 

And reach the Perfection of Wisdom, if thou wilt attain 
Buddhahood. 

143. And as a monk on his begging rounds avoids no families, 
Either small, or great, or middling, and so obtains sub 
sistence, 

144. Even so thou, constantly questioning wise men, 

And reaching the Wisdom Perfection, shall attain supreme 
Buddhaship. 

But considering further : " These cannot be the 
only Buddha-making conditions ", and seeing the 
fifth Perfection of Exertion, he thought thus : "0 
wise Sumedha, do thou from this day forth fulfil the 
Perfection of Exertion. As the lion, the king of 
beasts, in every action * strenuously exerts himself, so 
if thou in all rebirths and in all thy acts art 
strenuous in exertion, and not a laggard, thou shalt 
become a Buddha ". And he made a firm resolve to 
attain the fifth Perfection, Exertion. Therefore it 
is said : 

145. For the conditions of a Buddha cannot be so few, 

I will study the other conditions which bring Buddhaship 
to maturity. 

146. Studying then I beheld the fifth Perfection : Exertion 
Practised and followed by former sages. 

147. This fifth do thou strenuously undertake, 

And reach the perfection : Exertion, if thou wilt attain 
Buddhahood. 

1 Lit., in all postures, walking, standing, etc. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 105 

148. As the lion, king of beasts, in lying, standing, and walking 
Is no laggard, but ever of resolute heart, 

149. Even so do thou also in every existence strenuously exert 

thyself, 

And reaching the perfection, Exertion, thou shalt attain 
the supreme Buddhaship. 

But considering further : " These cannot be the 
only Buddha-making conditions ", and beholding 
the sixth Perfection of Patience, he thought to him 
self : " wise Sumedha, do thou from this time forth 
fulfil the Perfection Patience ; be thou patient in 
praise and in reproach. And as when men throw 
things pure or foul upon the earth, the. earth does not 
feel either desire or repulsion towards them, but 
suffers them, endures them and consents to them, even 
so thou also, if thou art patient in praise and reproach 
shalt become a Buddha." And he strenuously 
resolved to attain the sixth perfection, Patience. 
Therefore it is said : 

150. For the conditions of a Buddha cannot be so few, 

I will study other conditions also which bring about 
Buddhaship. 

151. Studying then I beheld the sixth Perfection of Patience 
Practised and followed by former Buddhas. 

152. Having strenuously taken upon thee this sixth perfection, 
Then with unwavering mind thou shalt attain supreme 

Buddhaship. 

153. And as the earth endures all that is thrown upon it, 
Whether things pure or impure, and feels neither anger nor 

pity, 

154. Even so enduring the praises and reproaches of all men, 
Going on to perfect Patience, thou shalt attain supreme 

Buddhaship. 

But further considering : " These cannot be the 
only conditions that make a Buddha", and beholding 
the seventh Perfection of Truth, he thought thus 
within himself : "0 wise Sumedha, from this time 



106 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

forth do thou fulfil the perfection of Truth ; though 
the thunderbolt descend upon thy head, do thou never 
under the influence of desire or otherwise, utter a 
conscious lie, for the sake of wealth or anything else. 
And as the planet Venus at all seasons pursues her 
own course, nor ever goes on another course forsaking 
her OWD, even so, if thou forsake not truth and utter 
no lie, thou shalt become Buddha ". And he 
strenuously turned his mind to the seventh Perfection, 
Truth. Therefore it is said : 

155. For these are not all the conditions of a Buddha, 

I will study other conditions which bring about Buddha- 
ship. 

156. Studying then I beheld the seventh Perfection of Truth 
Practised and followed by former Buddhas. 

157. Having strenuously taken upon thyself this seventh 

perfection, 

Then free from duplicity of speech thou shalt attain 
supreme Buddhaship. 

158. And as the Planet Venus, balanced in all her times and 

seasons, 
In the world of men and devas, departs not from her path, 

159. Even so do thou not depart from the course of truth, 1 
Advancing to the perfection of Truth, thou shalt attain 

supreme Buddhaship. 

But further considering : " These cannot be the 
only conditions that make a Buddha", and beholding 
the eighth Perfection of Resolution, he thought thus 
within himself : " wise Sumedha, do thou from this 
time forth fulfil the perfection of Resolution ; what 
soever thou resolvest be thou unshaken in that 
resolution. For as a mountain, the wind beating upon 
it in all directions, trembles not, moves not, but stands 
in its place, even so thou, if unswerving in thy resolu 
tion, shalt become Buddha." And he strenuously 

1 Lit., depart from thy course in the matter of truthful things. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 107 

resolved to attain the eighth Perfection, Resolution. 
Therefore it is said : 

160. For these are not all the conditions of a Buddha, 

I will study other conditions that bring about Buddhaship. 

161. (Studying then I beheld the eighth Perfection : Resolution 
Practised and followed by former Buddhas. 

162. Do thou resolutely take upon thyself this eighth perfection. 
Then thou being immovable shalt attain supreme Buddha- 
ship. 

163. And as the rocky mountain, immovable, firmly based, 

Is unshaken by many winds, and stands in its own place, 

164. Even so do thou also remain ever immovable in resolution, 
Advancing to the perfection of Resolution, thou shalt 

attain supreme Buddhaship. 

But further considering : " These cannot be the 
only conditions that make a Buddha", and beholding 
the ninth Perfection of Good-will, he thought thus 
within himself : " wise Sumedha, do thou from this 
time forth fulfil the perfection of Good-will, mayest 
thou be of one mind towards friends and foes. And as 
water fills with its refreshing coolness good men and 
bad alike, 1 even so, if thou art of one mind in friendly 
feeling towards all mortals thou shalt become 
Buddha." And he strenuously resolved to attain the 
ninth perfection of Good-will. Therefore it is said : 

165. For these are not all the conditions of a Buddha, 

I will study other conditions that bring about Buddhaship. 

166. Studying I beheld the ninth Perfection of Good- will 
Practised and followed by former Buddhas. 

167. Do thou, taking resolutely upon thyself this ninth perfec 

tion, 
Become unrivalled in kindness, if thou wilt become Buddha. 

168. And as water fills with its coolness 

Good men and bad alike, and carries off all impurity, 

169. Even so do thou look with friendship alike on the evil 

and the good, 

Advancing to the perfection Good-will, thou shalt attain 
supreme Buddhaship. 

1 Lit., having made its coldness exactly alike for bad people 
and good people, pervades them. 



108 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

But further considering : " These cannot be the 
only conditions that make a Buddha", and beholding 
the tenth Perfection : Equanimity, he thought thus 
within himself : "0 wise Sumedha, from this time 
do thou fulfil the perfection of Equanimity, be thou 
of equal mind in prosperity and adversity. And as 
the earth is indifferent when things pure or impure are 
cast upon it, even so, if thou art indifferent in 
prosperity and adversity, thou shalt become Buddha." 
And he strenuously resolved to attain the tenth 
Perfection, Equanimity. Therefore it is said : 

170. For these cannot be all the conditions of a Buddha, 

I will study other conditions that bring about Buddhaship. 

171. Studying then I beheld the tenth Perfection : Equanimity 
Practised and followed by former Buddhas. 

172. If thou take resolutely upon thyself this tenth perfection, 
Becoming well-balanced and firm, thou shalt attain 

supreme Buddhaship. 

173. And as the earth is indifferent to pure and impure things 

cast upon her. 
To both alike, and is free from anger and favour, 

174. Even so do thou ever be evenly-balanced in joy and grief, 
Advancing to the perfection, Equanimity, thou ehalt 

attain supreme Buddhaship. 

Then he thought : " These are the only conditions 
in this world that, bringing Buddhaship to perfection 
and constituting a Buddha, have to be fufilled by 
Bodhisattas ; beside the ten Perfections there are 
no others. And these ten Perfections are neither in 
the heaven above nor in the earth below, nor are they 
to be found in the east, or the other quarters, but 
reside in my heart of flesh." Having thus realized 
that the Perfections were established in his heart, 
having strenuously resolved to keep them all, grasping 
them again and again, he mastered them forwards 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 109 

and backwards ; * taking them at the end he went 
backward to the beginning, taking them at the 
beginning he placed them at the end, 2 taking them 
at the middle he carried them to the two ends, taking 
them at both ends he carried them to the middle. 
Repeating : " The Perfections are the sacrifice of 
limbs, the Lesser Perfections are the sacrifice of 
property, the Unlimited Perfections are the sacrifice 
of life", he mastered them as the Perfections, the 
Lesser Perfections and the Unlimited Perfections like 
one who converts two kindred oils into one, 3 or like 
one who, using Mount Meru for his churning-rod, 
churns the great Chakkavala ocean. And as he 
grasped again and again the ten Perfections, by the 
glow of his piety, 4 this earth, four nahutas and eight 
hundred thousand leagues in breadth, like a bundle 
of reeds trodden by an elephant, or a sugar-mill in 
motion, uttering a mighty roar, trembled, shook and 
quaked, and spun round like a potter s wheel or the 
wheel of an oil-mill. Therefore it is said : 

175. These are all the conditions in the world that bring 

Buddhaship to perfection ; 
Beyond these are no others, therein do thou stand fast. 

176. While he grasped these conditions natural and intrinsic, 6 
By the power of his piety the earth of ten thousand worlds 

quaked. 

177. The earth sways and thunders like a sugar-mill at work, 
Like the wheel of an oil- mill so shakes the earth. 

1 i.e., alternately from the first to the tenth and from the tenth 
to the first. 

1 i.e., put the first last. 

3 Vijesinha. 

4 Dhamma. 

8 Vijesinha writes to me : " Natural and intrinsic virtues. The 
Sinhalese glosa says : paramarthavu rasasahitavu lakshana-cet 
nohot svabhavalakshana ha sarvadharmasadharanalaJcsharia-ceti. 
In the latter case it would mean having the quality of conformity 
with all laws." 



110 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

And while the earth was trembling the people of 
Ramnia, unable to endure it, like great Sal-trees, over 
thrown by the wind that blows at the end of a cycle, 
fell swooning here and there, while waterpots and 
other vessels, revolving like a jar on a potter s wheel, 
struck against each other and were dashed and ground 
to pieces. The multitudes in fear and trembling 
approaching the Teacher (Dipankara) said : " Tell 
us, Blessed one, is this turmoil caused by Nagas, or is 
it caused by either demons, or ogres, or by devas ? 
for this we know not, but truly this whole multitude 
is grievously afflicted. Pray does this portend evil 
to the world or good ? Tell us the cause of it." The 
Teacher hearing their words said : " Fear not nor be 
troubled, there is no danger to you from this. The 
wise Sumedha, concerning whom I predicted this 
day : * Hereafter he will be a Buddha named Gotama, 
is now mastering the Perfections, and while he masters 
them and turns them about, by the power of his piety 
the whole ten thousand worlds with one accord quake 
and thunder." Therefore it is said : 

178. All the multitude that was there in attendance on the 

Buddha, 
Trembling, fell swooning there upon the ground. 

179. Many thousands of waterpots and many hundred jars 
Were crushed and pounded there and dashed against each 

other. 

180. Excited, trembling, terrified, confused, their sense dis 

ordered, 
The multitudes assembling, approached the Buddha. 

181. Say, will it be good or evil to the world ? 

The whole world is afflicted, ward off this (danger), thou 
Seer! 

182. Then the great Sage Dipankara enjoined upon them, 
Be confident, be not afraid at this earthquaking : 

183. He of whom I foretold this day, he will be a Buddha in 

this world, 
The same is the law of the past followed by the Conquerors. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 111 

184. Therefore while he is pondering fully the norm, the ground 

work of a Buddha, 

This ten thousand-fold earth of men and of devas is 
shaken. 

And the people hearing the Buddha s words, joyful 
and delighted, taking with them garlands, perfumes 
and unguents, left the city of Kamma, and went to 
the Bodhisatta. And having offered their flowers and 
other presents, and bowed to him and respectfully 
saluted him, they returned to the city of Eamma. 
And the Bodhisatta, having made a strenuous 
exertion of resolve, rose from the seat on which he 
sat. Therefore it is said : 

185. Having heard the Buddha s word, their minds were 

straightway calmed, 
All of them approaching me again paid me their homage. 

186. Having taken upon me the Perfections of a Buddha, having 

made firm my resolve, 
Having bowed to Dipankara, I rose from my seat. 

And as the Bodhisatta rose from his seat, the devas 
in all the ten thousand worlds having assembled and 
offered him garlands and perfumes, uttered these and 
other words of praise and blessing : " Venerable 
hermit Sumedha, this day thou hast made a mighty 
resolve at the feet of Dipankara Buddha, mayest thou 
fulfil it without let or hindrance : fear not nor be 
dismayed, may not the slightest sickness visit thy 
frame, quickly exercise the Perfections and attain 
supreme Buddhaship. As the flowering and fruit- 
bearing trees bring forth flowers and fruit in their 
season, so do thou also, not letting the right season 
pass by, quickly reach the supreme enlightenment," 
and thus having spoken, they returned each one to 
his deva-home. Then the Bodhisatta, having 



112 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

received the homage of the devas, made a strenuous 
exertion of resolve, saying : " Having fulfilled the ten 
Perfections, at the end of four asankheyyas and a 
hundred thousand cycles I shall become a Buddha." 
And rising into the air he returned to Himavanta. 
Therefore it is said : 

187. As he rose from his seat both devas and men 
Sprinkle him with divine and earthly flowers. 

188. Both devas and men pronounce their blessing : 

A great thing hast thou willed, mayest thou obtain it 
according to thy wish. 

189. May all dangers be averted, may every sickness vanish, 
Mayest thou have no hindrance quickly reach the 

supreme enlightenment. 

190. As when the season is come the flowering trees blossom, 
Even so do thou, O mighty one, blossom with the know 
ledge of a Buddha. 

191. As all the Buddhas have fulfilled the ten Perfections, 
Even so do thou, mighty one, fulfil the ten Perfections. 

192. As all the Buddhas are awakened on the seat of enlighten 

ment, 

Even so be thou, O mighty one, awakened in 
conqueror s wisdom. 

193. As all the Buddhas have set rolling the wheel of the Norm, 
Even so do thou, O mighty one, set it rolling. 

194. As the moon on the mid-day of the month shines in her 

purity, 

Even so do thou, with thy mind at the full, shine in ten 
thousand worlds. 

195. As the sun released by Rahu glows fervently in his heat, 
Even so, having released mankind, do thou shine in all thy 

majesty, 

196. As all the rivers find their way to the great ocean, 

Even so may the worlds of men and devas take refuge in 
thee ! 

197. The Bodhisatta extolled with these praises, taking on 

himself the ten conditions, 

Commencing to fulfil these conditions, entered the forest 
then. 

End of the Story of SumedJta. 

And the people of the city of Ramma, having re 
turned to the city, kept open house to the Order 
with the Buddha at their head. The Teacher having 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 113 

preached the Doctrine to them, and established them 
in the three Kefuges and the other branches (of the 
faith), departing from the city of Kamma, living 
thereafter his allotted span of life, having fulfilled 
all the duties of a Buddha, in due course attained that 
Nirvana in which no condition of rebirth remains. 
On this subject all that need be said can be learnt from 
the narrative in the Buddhavamsa, for it is said in 
that work : 

198. Then they, having entertained the Chief of the world with 

his Order, 
Took refuge in the Teacher DIpankara. 

199. Some the Buddha established in the Ilefuges, 
Some in the five Precepts, others in the ten. 

200. To some he gives the privilege of recluseship, the four 

glorious Fruitions. 
On some he bestows the peerless doctrines of Analysis, 

201. To some the Lord of men grants the eight sublime 

Acquisitions, 

On some he bestows the three Wisdoms and the six 
Super-knowledges. 

202. In this order * the Great Sage exhorts the multitude. 
Therewith the teaching of the world s Protector was spread 

wide abroad. 

203. He of the mighty jaw, of the broad shoulder, DIpankara by 

name, 

Procured the salvation of many men, set them free from 
evil destiny. 

204. Beholding persons ripe for salvation, reaching them in an 

instant. 

Evenat a distanceof a hundred thousand leagues, the Great 
Sage awakened them. 

205. At the first conversion the Buddha awakened a thousand 

millions. 
At the second the Protector awakened a hundred thousand. 

206. When the Buddha preached the truth in the deva-world, 
There took place a third conversion of nine hundred millions. 

207. The Teacher DIpankara had three assemblies, 
The first was a meeting of a million millions. 

1 Tenayogena. Vij. says : " In that order, viz. in the Sararta- 
gamana first, then in the Pancasila, then in the Dasasila, and so 



1H BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

208. Again when the Conqueror went into seclusion at Narada 



A thousand million spotless Arahants met together. 

209. When the Mighty One dwelt on the lofty rock Sudassana, 
Then the Sage surrounded himself with nine hundred 

thousand millions. 

210. At that time I was an ascetic wearing matted hair, a man of 

austere penances, 

Moving through the air, accomplished in the five super- 
knowledges. 

211. The conversion of tens of thousands, of twenties of 

thousands, took place, 

Of ones and twos the conversions were beyond computa 
tion. 1 

212. Then did the pure religion of Dipankara Buddha become 

widely spread, 
Known to many men prosperous and flourishing. 

213. Four hundred thousand, possessed of the six superknow- 

ledges, endowed with miraculous powers, 
Ever attend upon Dipankara, knower of the worlds. 

214. Blameworthy are all they who at that time leave the human 

existence, 

Not having obtained final sanctity, still imperfect in 
knowledge. 

215. The Word shines in the world of men and devas, made to 

blossom by saints such as these, 
Freed from human passion, spotless. 

216. The city of Dipankara Buddha was called Rammavatl, 
The khattiya Sumedha was his father, Sumedha his mother. 

217. Sumangala and Tissa were his chief disciples, 

And Sagata was the servitor of Dipankara Buddha. 

218. Nanda and Sunanda were his chief woman-disciples. 
The Bodhi-tree of this Buddha is called the Pipphali. 2 

219. Eighty cubits in height the Great Sage Dipankara 
Shone conspicuous as a Deodar pine, or as a noble Sal-tree 

in full bloom. 

220. A hundred thousand years was the age of this Great Sage, 
And so long as he was living on earth he brought many men 

to salvation. 

221. Having made the Truth to shine, having saved great 

multitudes of men, 

Having flamed like a mass of fire, he passed away with his 
disciples. 

222. And all this power, this glory, these jewel- wheels on his feet, 
All is wholly gone are not all existing things vanity ! 

223. After Dipankara was the Leader named Kondanya, 

Of infinite power, of boundless renown, immeasurable, 
unrivalled. 

1 Lit., " arithmetically innumerable." 2 The Banyan-tree. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 115 

Next to the Dipankara Buddha, after the lapse of 
one asankheyya, the Teacher Kondanya appeared. 
He also had three assemblies of saints, in the first 
assembly there were a million millions, in the second 
ten thousand millions, in the third nine hundred 
millions. At that time the Bodhisatta, having been 
born as a universal monarch named Vijitavin, kept 
open house to the priesthood with the Buddha at 
their head, in number a million of millions. The 
Teacher having predicted of the Bodhisatta : " He 
will become a Buddha ", preached the Law. He 
having heard the Teacher s preaching gave up his 
kingdom and left the world. Having mastered the 
three Pitakas, having obtained the six superknow- 
edges, and having practised Jhana without failure, 
he was reborn in the Brahma world. The city of 
Kondanya Buddha was Rammavati, the khattiya 
Sunanda was his father, his mother was queen Sujata, 
Bhadda and Subhadda were his two chief disciples, 
Anuruddha was his servitor, Tissa and Upatissa his 
chief woman disciples, his Bodhi-tree was the Sala- 
kalyani, his body was eighty-eight cubits high, and 
the duration of his life was a hundred thousand years. 

After him, at the end of one asankheyya, in one 
and the same cycle four Buddhas were born, Mangala, 
Sumana, Re vat a and Sobhita. Mangala Buddha had 
three assemblies of disciples. Of these in the first there 
were a million million brethren, in the second ten 
thousand millions, in the third nine hundred millions. 
It is related that a step-brother of his, prince Ananda, 
accompanied by an assembly of nine hundred millions, 
went to the Teacher to hear him preach the Law. The 



116 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Teacher gave a discourse dealing successively with 
his various doctrines, and Ananda and his whole 
retinue attained Arahantship together with the 
analytical knowledges. The Teacher looking back 
upon the meritorious works done by these men of 
family in former lives, and perceiving that they had 
merit to acquire the robe and bowl by miraculous 
means, stretching forth his right hand exclaimed, 
" Come brethren." 1 Then straightway all of them 
having become equipped with miraculously obtained 
robes and bowls, and perfect in decorum, as if they 
were elders of sixty years standing, paid homage to 
the Teacher and attended upon him. This was his 
third assembly of disciples. 

And whereas with other Buddhas a light shone from 
their bodies to the distance of eighty cubits on every 
side, it was not so with this Buddha, but the light 
from his body permanently filled ten thousand worlds ; 
trees, earth, mountains, seas, and all other things, not 
excepting even pots and pans and such-like articles, 
became as it were overspread with a film of gold. The 
duration of his life was ninety thousand years, and 
during the whole of this period the sun, moon, and 
other heavenly bodies could not shine by their own 
light, and there was no distinction between night and 
day. By day all living beings went about in the light 
of the Buddha as if in the light of the sun, and men 
ascertained the limits of night and day only by the 
flowers that blossomed in the evening and by the birds 
and other animals that uttered their cries in the 

1 The formula by which a Buddha admits a layman to the 
priesthood. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 117 

morning. If I am asked: "What, do not other 
Buddhas also possess this power ? " I reply : 
" Certainly they do, for they might at will fill with 
their lustre ten thousand worlds or more. But in 
accordance with a vow made by him in a former 
existence, the lustre of Mangala Buddha permanently 
filled ten thousand worlds, just as the lustre of the 
others permanently extended to the distance of a 
fathom." 

The story is that when he was performing the 
duties of a Bodhisatta, 1 being in an existence corre 
sponding to the Vessantara existence, 2 he dwelt with 
his wife and children on a mountain like the Vanka 
mountain. 3 One day a demon named Kharadathika, 4 
hearing of the Bodhisatta s inclination to giving, 
approached him in the guise of a brahmin, and asked 
the Bodhisatta for his two children. The Bodhisatta, 
exclaiming : "I give my children to the brahmin ", 
cheerfully and joyfully gave up both children, thereby 
causing the ocean-girt earth to quake. 5 The demon 
standing by the bench at the end of the cloistered 
walk, while the Bodhisatta looked on, devoured the 
children like a bunch of roots. Not a particle of 
sorrow 6 arose in the Bodhisatta as he looked on the 
demon, and saw his mouth as soon as he opened it 
disgorging streams of blood like flames of fire, nay, 
a great joy and satisfaction welled within him as he 

i.e., the Perfections. 

i.e., his last birth before attaining Buddhahood. 

See Vessantara Jataka, vol. vi, no. 547. 

This name means " sharp-fanged ". 

In approval of his act of faith. 

Lit.," no grief as big as the tip of a hair ". 



118 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

thought : " My gift was well given." And he put up 
the vow : " By the merit of this deed may rays of 
light one day issue from me in this very way." In 
consequence of this prayer of his it was that the rays 
emitted from his body when he became Buddha filled 
so vast a space. 

There was also another deed done by him in a former 
existence. It is related that, when a Bodhisatta, 
having visited the relic shrine of a Buddha, he 
exclaimed : "I ought to sacrifice my life for this 
Buddha ", and having wrapped round the whole of his 
body in the same way that torches are wrapped, and 
having filled with clarified butter a golden vessel with 
jewelled wick-holders, worth a hundred thousand 
pieces, he lit therein a thousand wicks, and having 
set fire to the whole of his body beginning with his 
head, he spent the whole night in circumambulating 
the shrine. And as he thus strove till dawn not the 
root of a hair of his head was even heated. It was 
as one enters the calyx of a lotus, for religion 1 guards 
him who guards himself. Therefore has the Blessed 
One said : 

224. Well doth religion protect him in sooth who follows it, 

Happiness bringeth along in its train religion well practised 
This shall be his reward by whom religion is well practised : 
Never goeth to misery he who doth practise religion. 2 

And through the merit of this work also the bodily 
lustre of this Buddha constantly extended through 

a Psalms of the Brethren, ver. 303. (Cf. p. 416. Rukkhakatba 
" tree-talk " will be a scribe s mistake for rakkha-katha " guard- 
talk ", " ward-rune ". Cf. also Sutta-Nipata, ver. 181 ; Jdtaka, 
i, 31 ; iv, 496. Ed. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 119 

ten thousand worlds. At this time our Bodhisatta, 1 
having been bom as the brahmin Suruci, approached 
the Teacher with the view of inviting him to his 
house, and having heard his sweet discourse, said : 
" Lord, take your meal with me to-morrow." 
" Brahmin, how many monks do you wish f or ? " 
" Nay, but how many monks have you in your 
escort ? " At that time was the Teacher s first 
assembly, and accordingly he replied : "A million 
millions." " Lord, bring them all with you and come 
and take your meal at my house." The Teacher 
consented. The Brahmin having invited them for 
the next day, on his way home thought to himself : 
" I am perfectly well able to supply all these monks 
with broth and rice and clothes and such like 
necessaries, but how can there be room for them to 
sit down ? " 

This thought of his caused the marble throne of the 
deva-king, three hundred and thirty-six thousand 
leagues away, to become warm. 2 Sakka exclaiming : 
" Who wishes to bring me down from my abode ? " 
and looking down with the deva-sight beheld the 
Bodhisatta, and said : " The brahmin Suruci having 
invited the Order with the Buddha at their head is 
perplexed for room to seat them, it behoves me also to 
go thither and obtain a share of his merit." And 
having miraculously assumed the form of a carpenter, 
axe in hand he appeared before the Bodhisatta, and 
said : " Has any one got a job to be done for hire ? " 

1 Viz. Gotama. 

3 When a good man is in difficulty, Sakka is apprised of it by 
his marble throne becoming warm. 



120 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The Bodhisatta seeing Mm said : " What sort of work 
can you do ? " " There s no art that I do not know ; 
any house or hall that anybody orders me to build, 
I ll build it for him." " Very well, I ve got a job to be 
done." " What is it, sir ? " " I ve invited a million 
million bhikkhus for to-morrow, will you buiid a hall 
to seat them all? " " I ll build one with pleasure 
if you ve the means of paying me." " I have, my 
good man." " Very well, I ll build it." And he 
went and began looking out for a site. There was a 
spot some fifty leagues in extent x as level as a kasina 
circle. 2 Sakka fixed his eyes upon it, while he thought 
to himself : " Let a hall made of the seven precious 
stones rise up over such and such an extent of 
ground." Immediately the edifice bursting through 
the ground rose up. The golden pillars of this hall 
had silver capitals, 3 the pilver pillars had golden 
capitals, the gem pillars had coral capitals, the coral 
pillars had gem capitals, while those pillars which 
were made of all the seven precious stones had capitals 
of the same. Next he said : " Let the hall have 
hanging wreaths of little bells at intervals", and 
looked again. The instant he looked a fringe of bells 
hung down ; their musical tinkling, as they were 
stirred by a gentle breeze, was like a symphony of the 
five sorts of instruments, or as when the heavenly 
choirs are going on. He thought : " Let there be 
hanging garlands of perfumes and flowers", and there 
the garlands hung. He thought : " Let seats and 

1 Lit., twelve or thirteen yojanas (a yojana is four leagues). 

2 Used in the ecstatic meditation. 

3 The Pali word for the capital of a column is ghataka, " little 
pot." 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 121 

benches for a million million monks rise up through 
the earth ", and straightway they appeared. He 
thought : " Let water vessels rise up at each corner of 
the building ", and the water vessels arose. Having 
by his miraculous power effected all this, he went to 
the brahmin and said: " Come, sir, look at your hall, 
and pay me my wages." 

The Bodhisatta went and looked at the hall, and as 
he looked his whole frame was thrilled in every part 
with fivefold joy. And as he gazed on the hall he 
thought thus within himself : ** This hall was not 
wrought by mortal hands, but surely through my 
good intention, my good action, the palace of Sakka 
became hot, and hence this hall will have been built 
by the Sakka the deva-king ; it is not right that in 
such a hall as this I should give alms for a single day, 
I will give alms for a whole week." 

For the gift of external goods, however great, cannot 
give satisfaction to the Bodhisattas, but the Bodhi- 
sattas feel joy at their self-renunciation when they sever 
the crowned head, put out the henna-anointed eyes, 
cut out the heart and give it away. For when our 
Bodhisatta in the Sivijataka l gave alms in the middle 
of his capital, at the four gates of the city, at a daily 
expenditure of five bushels of gold coins, this liberality 
failed to arouse within him a feeling of satisfaction 
at his renunciation. But on the other hand, when 
Sakka the deva-king came to him in the disguise of a 
brahmin, and asked for his eyes, then indeed, as he 
took them out and gave them away, laughter rose 
within him, nor did his heart swerve a hair s breadth 

1 Jataka, no. 499. 



122 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

from its purpose. And hence we see that as regards 
almsgiving the Bodhisattas can have no satiety. 

Therefore this Bodhisatta also thinking : "I ought 
to givealms for seven days to a million million monks", 
seated them in that hall, and for a week gave them the 
alms called gavapana. 1 Men alone were not able to 
wait upon them, but devas themselves, taking turns 
with men, waited upon them. A space of fifty leagues 
or more sufficed not to contain the monks, yet they 
seated themselves each by his own supernatural 
power. On the last day, having caused the bowls of 
all the monks to be washed, and filled them with 
butter clarified and unclarified, honey and molasses, 
for medicinal use, he gave them back to them, 
together with the three robes. The robes and cloaks 
received by novices and ordained priests were worth 
a hundred thousand. 

The Teacher, when he returned thanks, considering : 
" This man has given such great alms, who can he 
be ? " and perceiving that at the end of two asan- 
kheyyas and four thousand cycles he would become a 
Buddha named Gotama, addressing the Bodhisatta, 
made this prediction : " After the lapse of such and 
such a period thou shalt become a Buddha named 
Gotama." The Bodhisatta, hearing the prediction, 
thought : "It seems that I am to become a Buddha, 
what good can a householder s life do me ? I will 
give up the world ", and, treating all this prosperity 
like so much drivel, he received ordination at the 
hands of the Teacher. And having embraced the 

1 According to the gloss printed in the text it is a compound of 
milk, rice, honey, sugar, and clarified butter. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 123 

ascetic life and learnt the word of Buddha, and having 
attained the superknowledges and the Attainments, 
at the end of- his life he was reborn in the Brahma 
world. 

The city of Mangala Buddha was called Uttara ; 
his father was the khattiya Uttara : his mother was 
Uttara, Sudeva and Dhammasena were his two chief 
disciples ; Palita was his servitor, Sivali and Asoka 
his two chief woman disciples. The Naga was his 
Bodhi-tree. His body was eighty-eight cubits high. 
When his death took place, after he had lived ninety 
thousand years, at the same instant ten thousand 
worlds were involved in darkness, and in all worlds 
there was a great cry and lamentation of men. 

225. After Kondanya the Leader named Mangala, 

Dispelling darkness in the world, held aloft the torch of 
religion. 



And after the Buddha had died, shrouding in 
darkness ten thousand worlds, the Teacher named 
Sumana appeared. He also had three great assemblies 
of disciples, in the first assembly the brethren were 
a million millions, in the second, on the Golden 
Mountain, ninety million of millions, in the third 
eighty million of millions. 

At this time the Bodhisatta was the Naga king 
A tula, mighty and powerful. And he, hearing that a 
Buddha had appeared, left the Naga world, accom 
panied by his assembled kinsmen, and, making 
offerings with divine music to the Buddha, whose 
retinue was a million million brethren, and having 
given great gifts, bestowing upon each two garments 



124 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

of fine cloth, he was established in the Three Eefuges. 
And this Teacher also foretold of him : " One day he 
will be a Buddha." 

The city of this Buddha was named Khema : 
Sudatta was his father, Sirima his mother, Sarana and 
Bhavitatta his chief disciples, Udena his servitor, 
Sona and Upasona his chief woman-disciples. The 
Naga was his Bodhi-tree, his body was ninety cubits 
high, and his age ninety thousand years. 

226. After Mangala came the Leader named Sumana, 
In all things unequalled, the best of all beings. 



After him the Teacher Revata appeared. He also 
had three assemblies of disciples. In the first assembly 
the numbers were innumerable, in the second there 
were a million millions, so also in the third. 

At that time the Bodhisatta having been born as 
the brahmin Atideva, having heard the Teacher s 
preaching, was established in the Three Refuges. 
And raising his clasped hands to his head, having 
praised the Teacher s abandonment of human 
passion, he presented him with a monk s upper robe. 

That Teacher also made the prediction : " Thou 
wilt become a Buddha." Now the city of this Buddha 
was called SudhanyavatT, his father was the nobleman 
Vipula, his mother Vipula, Varuna and Brahmadeva 
his chief disciples, Sambhava his servitor, Bhadda 
and Subhadda his chief woman-disciples, and the 
Naga-tree his Bo-tree. His body was eighty cubits 
high, and his age sixty thousand years. 

227. After Sumana came the Leader named Revata, 

The Conqueror unequalled, incomparable, unmatched, 
supreme. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 125 

After him appeared the Teacher Sobhita. He also 
had three assemblies of disciples ; in the first assembly 
were a thousand million monks, in the second nine 
hundred millions, in the third eight hundred millions. 

At that time the Bodisat, having been born as the 
brahmin Ajita, and having heard the Teacher s 
preaching, was established in the Three Kefuges, and 
gave a great donation to the Order of monks, with the 
Buddha at their head. This Teacher also prophesied 
to him, saying : " Thou wilt become a Buddha." 
Sudhamma was the name of the city of this Blessed 
One, Sudhamma the king was his father, Sudhamma 
his mother, Asama and Sunetta his chief disciples, 
Anoma his servitor, Nakula and Sujata his chief 
woman-disciples, and the Naga-tree his Bo-tree ; 
his body was fifty-eight cubits high, and his age 
ninety thousand years. 

228. After Revata came the Leader named Sobhita, 
Subdued and mild, unequalled and unrivalled. 

After him, when an asankheyya had elapsed, three 
Buddhas were born in one kalpa Aiiomadassin, 
Paduma, and Narada. Anomadassin had three 
assemblies of saints ; in the first were eight hundred 
thousand monks, in the second seven, in the third six. 

At that time the Bodisat was a Yakkha chief, 
mighty and powerful, the lord of many millions of 
millions of yakkhas. He, hearing that a Buddha had 
appeared, came and gave a great donation to the 
Order of monks, with the Buddha at their head. 

And this Teacher also prophesied to him, saying : 
" Hereafter thou wilt be a Buddha." The city of 



126 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Anomadassin the Blessed One was called Chandavati, 
Yasava the king was his father, Yasodhara his mother, 
Nisabha and Anoma his chief disciples, Varuna his 
servitor, Sundarl and Sumana his chief wornan- 
disciples, the Arjuna-tree his Bo-tree ; his body was 
fifty-eight cubits high, his age a hundred thousand 
years. 

229. After Sobhita came the perfect Buddha the best of men 
Anomadassin of infinite fame, glorious, difficult to surpass. 



After him appeared the Teacher named Paduma. 
He too had three assemblies of disciples ; in the first 
assembly were a million million monks, in the second 
three hundred thousand, in the third two hundred 
thousand of the monks dwelt at a great grove in the 
uninhabited forest. 

At that time, whilst the Tathagata was living in 
that grove, the Bodisat having been born as a lion, 
saw the Teacher plunged in ecstatic trance, and with 
trustful heart made obeisance to him, and walking 
round him with reverence, experienced great joy, 
and thrice uttered a mighty roar. For seven days he 
laid not aside the bliss arising from the thought of the 
Buddha, but through joy and gladness, seeking not 
after prey, he kept in attendance there, offering up 
his life. When the Teacher, after seven days, 
aroused himself from his trance, he looked upon the 
lion and thought : " He will put trust in the Order of 
monks and make obeisance to them ; let them draw 
near." At that very moment the monks drew near, 
and the lion put faith in the Order. 

The Teacher, knowing his thoughts, prophesied, 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 127 

saying : " Hereafter lie will be a Buddha." Now the 
city of Paduma the Blessed One was called Champaka, 
his father was Paduma the king, his mother Asama, 
Sala and Upasala were his chief disciples, Varuna his 
servitor, Kama and Uparama his chief woman- 
disciples, the Crimson-tree his Bo-tree ; his body was 
fifty-eight cubits high, and his age was a hundred 
thousand years. 

230. After Anomadassin came the perfect Buddha, the bost of 

men, 
Paduma by name, unequalled, and without a rival. 



After him appeared the Teacher named Narada. 
He also had three assemblies of saints ; in the first 
assembly were a million million monks, in the second 
ninety million million, in the third eighty million 
million. 

At that time the Bodisat, having taken the vows as 
a sage, acquired the five Super-knowledges, and the 
eight sublime Acquisitions, and gave a great donation 
to the Order, with the Buddha at their head, making 
an offering of red sandal wood. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him : " Hereafter 
thou wilt be a Buddha." The city of this Blessed One 
was called Dhanyavati, his father was Sumedha the 
warrior, his mother Anoma, Bhaddasala and Jeta- 
mitta his chief disciples, Vasettha his servitor, Uttara 
and Pagguni his chief woman-disciples, the great 
Crimson-tree was his Bo-tree ; his body was eighty- 
eight cubits high, and his age was ninety thousand 
years. 

231. After Paduma came the perfect Buddha, the best of men, 
Narada by name, unequalled and without a rival. 



128 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

After Narada the. Buddha a hundred thousand 
world-cycles ago there appeared in one kalpa only 
one Buddha called Padumuttara. He also had three 
assemblies of disciples ; in the first were a million 
million monks, in the second, on the Vebhara 
Mountain, nine hundred thousand million, in the third 
eight hundred thousand million. 

At that time the Bodisat, born as a Mahratta of the 
name of Jatila, gave an offering of robes to the Order, 
with the Buddha at their head. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him : " Hereafter 
thou wilt be a Buddha." And at the time of Padu 
muttara the Blessed One there were no infidels, but 
all, men and devas, took refuge in the Buddha. His 
city was called Harhsavati, his father was Ananda the 
warrior, his mother Sujata, Devala and Sujata his 
chief disciples, Sumana his servitor, Amita and Asama 
his chief woman-disciples, the Sal-tree his Bo-tree ; 
his body was eighty-eight cubits high, the light from 
his body extended twelve leagues, and his age was 
a hundred thousand years. 

232. After Narada came the perfect Buddha, the best of men, 
Padumuttara by name, the Conqueror unshaken, like the 
sea. 



After him, when thirty thousand world-cycles had 
elapsed, two Buddhas, Sumedha and Sujata, were 
born in one kalpa. Sumedha also had three assem 
blies of his saints ; in the first assembly, in the city 
Sudassana, were a thousand million sinless ones, in 
the second nine hundred, in the third eight hundred. 
At that time the Bodisat, born as the brahmin youth 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 129 

named Uttara, lavished eight hundred millions of 
money he had saved in giving a great donation to the 
Order, with the Buddha at their head. And he then 
listened to the Doctrine, and accepted the Refuges, 
and abandoned his home, and took the vows. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him, saying : * * Here 
after thou wilt be a Buddha." The city of Sumedha 
the Blessed One was called Sudassana, Sudatta the 
king was his father, Sudatta his mother, Sarana and 
Sabbakama his two chief disciples, Sagara his servitor, 
Rama and Surama his two chief woman-disciples, 
the great Champaka-tree his Bo-tree ; his body was 
eighty-eight cubits high, and his age was ninety 
thousand years. 

233. After Padumuttara came the Leader named Sumedha, 
The Sage hard to equal, brilliant in glory, supreme in all 
the world. 



After him appeared the Teacher Sujata. He also 
had three assemblies of disciples ; in the first assembly 
were sixty thousand monks, in the second fifty, in 
the third forty. 

At that time the Bodisat was a universal monarch ; 
and hearing that a Buddha was born he went to 
him and heard the Doctrine, and gave to the Order, 
with the Buddha at their head, his kingdom 
of the four continents with its seven treasures 
and took the vows under the Teacher. All the 
dwellers in the land, taking advantage of the birth 
of a Buddha in their midst, did duty as servants in 
the monasteries, and continually gave great donations 
to the Order, with the Buddha at their head. And to 



130 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

him also the Teacher prophesied. The city of this 
Blessed One was called Sumangala, Uggata the king 
was his father, Pabhavati his mother, Sudassana and 
Deva his chief disciples, Narada his servitor, Naga 
and Nagasamala his chief woman-disciples, and the 
great Bambu-tree his Bo-tree % ; this tree, they say, 
had smaller hollows and thicker wood than ordinary 
bambus have, 1 and in its mighty upper branches it 
was as brilliant as a bunch of peacocks tails. The 
body of this Blessed One was fifty cubits high, and 
his age was ninety thousand years. 

234. In that age, the Mandakalpa, appeared the Leader Sujata, 
Mighty jawed and grandly framed, whose measure none 
can take, and hard to equal. 



After him, when eighteen hundred world-cycles had 
elapsed, three Buddhas, Piyadassin, Atthadassin, 
and Dhammadassin, were born in one kalpa. Piya 
dassin also had three assemblies of disciples ; in the 
first were a million million monks, in the second nine 
hundred million, in the third eight hundred million. 

At that time the Bodisat, as a young brahmin 
called Kassapa, who had thoroughly learnt the three 
Vedas, listened to the Teacher s preaching of the 
Doctrine, and built a monastery at a cost of a million 
million, and stood firm in the Kefuges and the 
Precepts. 

Now to him the Teacher prophesied, saying : 
" After the lapse of eighteen hundred kalpas thou 
wilt become a Buddha." The city of this Blessed One 
was called Anoma, his father was Sudinna the king, 

1 Compare Jataka no. 20. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 131 

his mother Canda, Palita and Sabbadassin Ms chief 
disciples, Sobhita his servitor, Sujata and Dhamma- 
dinna his chief woman-disciples, and the Piyangu- 
tree his Bo-tree. His body was eighty cubits high, 
and his age ninety thousand years. 

235. After Sujata came Piyadassin, Leader of the world, 

Self-taught, hard to match, unequalled, of great glory. 

After him appeared the teacher called Atthadassin. 
He too had three assemblies of disciples ; in 
the first were nine million eight hundred thousand 
monks, in the second eight million eight hundred 
thousand, and the same number in the third. 

At that time the Bodisat, as the mighty ascetic 
Susima, brought from heaven the sunshade of 
Mandarava flowers, and offered it to the Teacher, who 
prophesied also to him. The city of this Blessed One 
was called Sobhita, Sagara the king was his father, 
Sudassana his mother, Santa and Apasanta his chief 
disciples, Abhaya his servitor, Dhamma and Su- 
dhamma his chief woman-disciples, and the Champaka 
his Bo-tree. His body was eighty cubits high, the 
glory from his body always extended over a league, 
and his age was a hundred thousand years. 

236. In the same age elect Atthadassin, best of men, 

Dispelled the thick darkness, and attained supreme 
Enlightenment. 



After him appeared the Teacher named Dhamma- 
dassin. He too had three assemblies of disciples ; 
in the first were a thousand million monks, in the 
second seven hundred millions, in the third eight 



132 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

hundred millions. At that time the Bodisat, as 
Sakka the king of the devas, made an of ering of 
sweet-smelling flowers from heaven, and divine music. 
That Teacher also prophesied to him. The city of 
this Blessed One was called Sarana, his father was 
Sarana the king, his mother Sunanda, Paduma and 
Phussadeva his chief disciples, Sunetta his servitor, 
Khema and Sabbanama his chief woman-disciples, 
and the red Kuravaka-tree (called also Bimbijala) 
his Bo-tree. His body was eighty cubits high, and his 
age a hundred thousand years. 

237. In the same age elect the far-famed Dhammadassin 

Dispelled the thick darkness, illuminated earth and 
heaven. 



After him, ninety-four world-cycles ago, only one 
Buddha, by name Siddhattha, appeared in one kalpa. 
Of his disciples too there were three assemblies ; in 
the first were a million million monks, in the second 
nine hundred millions, in the third eight hundred 
millions. 

At that time the Bodisat, as the ascetic Mangala 
of great glory and gifted with the powers derived from 
super-knowledge, brought a great jambu fruit and 
presented it to the Tathagata. 

The Teacher, having eaten the fruit, prophesied to 
the Bodisat, saying : " Ninety-four kalpas hence thou 
wilt become a Buddha." The city of this Blessed One 
was called Vebhara, Jayasena the king was his father, 
Suphassa his mother, Sambala and Sumitta his chief 
disciples, Kevata his servitor, Sivali and Surama his 
chief woman-disciples, and the Kanikara-tree his Bo- 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 133 

tree. His body was sixty cubits high, and his age 
a hundred thousand years. 

238. After Dhammadassin, the Leader named Siddhattha 
Rose like the sun, bringing all darkness to an end. 

After him, ninety-two world-cycles ago, two 
Buddhas, Tissa and Phussa by name, were born in one 
kalpa. Tissa the Blessed One had three assemblies of 
disciples ; in the first were a thousand million of 
monks, in the second nine hundred millions, in the 
third eight hundred millions. 

At that time the Bodisat was born as the wealthy 
and famous warrior Sujata. When he had taken the 
vows and acquired the wonderful powers of a rishi, 
he heard that a Buddha had been born ; and taking 
a heaven-grown Mandarava lotus, and flowers of the 
Paricchattaka-tree, he offered them to the Tathagata 
as he walked in the midst of his disciples, and he 
spread an awning of flowers in the sky. 

To him, too, the Teacher prophesied, saying : 
" Ninety- two kalpas hence thou wilt become a 
Buddha." The city of this Blessed One was called 
Khema, Janasandha the warrior-chief was his father, 
Paduma his mother, the god Brahma and Udaya his 
chief disciples, Sambhava his servitor, Phussa and 
Sudatta his chief woman-disciples, and the Asana- 
tree his Bo-tree. His body was sixty cubits high, 
and his age a hundred thousand years. 

239. After Siddhattha, Tissa, the unequalled and unrivalled, 

Of infinite virtue and glory, was the chief Guide of the 
world. 



After him appeared the Teacher named Phussa. He 
too had three assemblies of disciples ; in the first 



134 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

assembly were six million monks, in the second five, 
in the third three million two hundred thousand. 

At that time the Bodisat, born as the warrior 
Vijitavi, laid aside his kingdom and, taking the vows 
under the Teacher, learnt the three Pitakas, and 
preached the Doctrine to the people, and fulfilled the 
Perfection of Moral Practice. 1 

And the Buddha prophesied to him in the same 
manner. The city of this Blessed One was called 
Kasi (Benares), Jayasena the king was his father, 
Sirima his mother, Surakkhita and Dhammasena his 
chief disciples, Sabhiya his servitor, Chala and 
Upachala his chief woman-disciples, and the Amalaka- 
tree his Bo-tree. His body was fifty-eight cubits 
high, and his age ninety thousand years. 

240. In the same age elect Phussa was the Teacher supreme, 
Unequalled, unrivalled, the chief Guide of the world. 

After him, ninety world-cycles ago, appeared the 
Blessed One named Vipassin. 2 He too had three 
assemblies of disciples ; in the first assembly were 
six million eight hundred thousand monks, in the 
second one hundred thousand, in the third eighty 
thousand. 

At that time the Bodisat, bom as the mighty and 
powerful snake king Atula gave to the Blessed One 
a golden chair, inlaid with the seven kinds of gems. 

To him that Teacher also prophesied, saying : 
" Ninety-one world-cycles hence thou wilt become a 
Buddha." The city of this Blessed One was called 

1 See above, p. 102. 

2 We now come to the 7 Buddhas recognized in the older 
books. Ed. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 135 

Bandhumati, Bandhumii the king was his father, 
Bandhumatl his mother, Khandha and Tissa his 
chief disciples, Asoka his servitor, Chanda and Chanda- 
mitta his chief woman-disciples, and the Bignonia (or 
Patali-tree) his Bo-tree. His body was eighty cubits 
high, the effulgence from his body always reached a 
hundred leagues, and his age was a hundred thousand 
years. 

241. After Phussa, the Supreme Buddha, the best of men, 

Vipassin by name, the far-seeing, appeared in the world. 



After him, thirty-one world-cycles ago, there were 
two Buddhas, called Sikhin and Vessabhu. Sikhin 
too had three assemblies of disciples : in the first 
were a hundred thousand monks, in the second eighty 
thousand, in the third seventy. 

At that time the Bodisat, born as king Arindama, 
gave a great donation of robes and other things to 
the Order with the Buddha at their head, and offered 
also a superb elephant, decked with the seven gems 
and provided with all things suitable. That Teacher 
also prophesied to him, saying : " Thirty-one world- 
cycles hence thou wilt become a Buddha." The city 
of that Blessed One was called Arunavati, Aruna the 
warrior-chief was his father, Pabhavati his mother, 
Abhibhu and Sambhava his chief disciples, Kheman- 
kura his servitor, Makhela and Paduma his chief 
woman-disciples, and the Pundarika-tree his Bo-tree. 
His body was thirty-seven cubits high, the effulgence 
from his body reached three leagues, and his age was 
thirty-seven thousand years. 

242. After Vipassin came the Supreme Buddha, the best of men, 
Sikhin by name, the Conqueror, unequalled and unrivalled. 



136 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

After Mm appeared the Teacher named Vessabhu. 
He also had three assemblies of disciples ; in the first 
were eight million monks, in the second seven, in the 
third six. 

At that time the Bodisat, born as the king Sudas- 
sana, gave a great donation of robes and other things 
to the Order, with the Buddha at their head. And 
taking the vows at his hands, he became righteous in 
conduct, and found great joy in meditating on the 
Buddha. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him, saying : 
" Thirty-one world-cycles hence thou wilt become a 
Buddha." The city of this Blessed One was called 
Anopama, Suppatita the king was his father, Yasavati 
his mother, Sona and Uttara his chief disciples, 
Upasanta his servitor, Dama and Sumala his chief 
woman-disciples, and the Sal-tree his Bo-tree. His 
body was sixty cubits high, and his age sixty thousand 
years. 

243. In the same age elect, the Conqueror named Vessabhu, 
Unequalled and unrivalled, appeared in the world. 

After him, in this world-cycle, four Buddhas have 
appeared Kakusandha, Konagamana, Kassapa, and 
our Buddha. Kakusandha the Blessed One had one 
assembly, at which forty thousand monks were present. 

At that time the Bodisat, as Khema the king, gave 
a great donation, robes and bowls, to the Order, with 
the Buddha at their head, and having given also 
collyriums and medicines, he listened to the Doctrine 
preached by the Teacher, and took the vows. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him. The city of 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 137 

Kakusandha the Blessed One was called Khema, 
Aggidatta the Brahman was his father, Visakha the 
Brahman woman his mother, Vidhura and Sanjiva 
his chief disciples, Buddhija his servitor, Sanaa and 
Campaka his chief woman-disciples, and the great 
Sirisa-tree his Bo-tree. His body was forty cubits 
high, and his age forty thousand years. 

244. After Vessabhu came the perfect Buddha, the best of men, 
Kakusandha by name, infinite and hard to equal. 



After him appeared the Teacher Konagamana. Of 
his disciples too there was one assembly, in which were 
thirty thousand monks. 

At that time the Bodisat, as Pabbata the king, 
went, surrounded by his ministers, to the Teacher, 
and listened to the preaching of the Doctrine. And 
having given an invitation to the Order, with the 
Buddha at their head, he kept up a great donation, 
giving cloths of silk, and of fine texture, and woven 
with gold. And he took the vows from the Teacher s 
hands. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him. The city 
of this Blessed One was called Sobhavati, Yannadatta 
the brahmin was his father, Uttara the Brahman 
woman his mother, Bhiyyosa and Uttara his chief 
disciples, Sotthija his servitor, Samuddii and Uttara 
his chief woman-disciples, and the Udumbara-tree his 
Bo-tree. His body was twenty cubits high, and his 
age was thirty thousand years. 

245. After Kakusandha came the Perfect Buddha, the best of 

men, 

Konagamana by name, Conqueror, chief of the world, 
supreme among men. 



138 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

After him the Teacher named Kassapa appeared in 
the world. Of his disciples too there was one assembly, 
in which were twenty thousand monks. 

At that time the Bodisat, as the brahmin youth 
Jotipala, accomplished in the three Vedas, was well 
known in earth and sky as the friend of the 
potter Ghatikara. Going with him to the Teacher 
and hearing the Doctrine, he took the vows ; and 
zealously learning the three Pitakas, he glorified, by 
faithfulness in duty and in works of supererogation, 
the teaching of the Buddha. 

That Teacher also prophesied to him. The birth 
place of the Blessed One was called Benares, Brahma- 
datta the brahmin was his father, Dhanavati of the 
brahmin caste his mother, Tissa and Bharadvaja his 
chief disciples, Sabbamitta his servitor, Anula, and 
Uruvela his chief woman-disciples, and the Nigrodha- 
tree his Bo-tree. His body was twenty cubits high, 
and his age was twenty thousand years. 

246. After Konagamana came the Perfect Buddha, best of men, 
Kassapa by name, that Conqueror, king of righteousness, 
and giver of light. 



Again, in the age in which Dipankara the Buddha 
appeared, three other Buddhas appeared also. On 
their part no prophecy was made to the Bodisat, they 
are therefore not mentioned here ; but in the 
commentary, in order to mention all the Buddhas 
from this age, it is said : 

247. Tanhankara and Medhankara, and ISaranankara, 

And the Perfect Buddha Dipankara, and Kondanya best 
of men, 

248. And Mangala, and Sumana, and Revata, and Sobhita the 

sage, 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 139 

Anomadassin, Paduma, Narada, Padumuttara, 

249. And Sumedha, and Sujata, Piyadassin the famous one, 
Atthadassin, Dhammadassin, Siddhattha guide of the 

world, 

250. Tissa, and Phussa, the enlightened Vipassin, Sikhin, 

Vessabhu, 
Kakusandha, Konagamana, and Kassapa too the Guide 

251. These were the perfect Buddhas, the sinless ones, the well- 

controlled : 

Appearing like suns, dispelling the thick darkness ; 
They, and their disciples too, blazed up like flames of fire 

and went out. 

Thus our Bodisat has come down to us through 
four asankheyyas and one hundred thousand ages, 
making resolve in the presence of the twenty-four 
Buddhas, beginning with Dipankara. But after 
Kassapa there is no other Buddha beside the present 
supreme Buddha. 

So the Bodisat received a prophecy from each of 
the twenty-four Buddhas, beginning at Dipankara. 

And furthermore in accordance with the saying : 

" The resolve (to become a Buddha) only 
succeeds by the combination of eight qualifica 
tions : being a man, and of the male sex, and 
capable of attaining arahantship, association 
with the Teachers, renunciation of the world, 
perfection in virtue, acts of self-sacrifice, and 
earnest determination." 

he combined in himself these eight qualifications. 
And exerting himself according to the resolve he had 
made at the feet of Dipankara, in the words : 

" Come, I will search for the Buddha-making 
conditions, this way and that " ; 1 

1 See verse 1 25, above. 



140 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

and beholding the Perfections of Giving and the rest 
to be qualities necessary for the making of a Buddha, 
according to the words : 

" Then, as I made my search, I beheld the first 

Perfection of Giving " ; l 

he came down through many births, fulfilling these 
Perfections, even up to his last appearance as 
Vessantara. 

And the rewards which fell to him on his way, as 
they fall to all the Bodisats who have resolved to 
become Buddhas, are lauded thus : 

252. So the men, perfect in every part, and destined to Buddha- 

hood, 

Traverse the long road through thousands of millions of 
ages. 

253. They are not born in hell, nor in the space between the 

worlds ; 

They do not become consumed by hunger, thirst, and want, 
And they do not become small animals, even though born 

to sorrow. 

254. When born among men they are not blind by birth, 
They are not hard of hearing, they are not classed among 

the dumb. 

255. They do not become women ; among hermaphrodites and 

eunuchs 
They are not found these men destined to Buddha hood. 

256. Free from the deadly sins, everywhere pure-living, 
They follow not after vain opinions, they perceive the 

working of karma. 

257. Though they dwell in bright worlds, they are not born 

in the mindless. 

Nor are they destined to rebirth among the devas in the 
Pure Abodes. 2 

258. Bent upon renunciation, good men, detached from this 

rebirth or that, 

They walk as acting for the world s welfare, fulfilling all 
perfection. 

1 See verse 126, above. 

2 In the four highest of the thirty-one spheres of existence 
the devas are mindless, and the five worlds below these are called 
the Pure Abodes. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 141 

While he was thus fulfilling the Perfections, there 
was no limit to the occasions on which he fulfilled 
the Perfection of Giving. As, for instance, in the 
times when he was the brahmin Akatti, and the 
brahmin Sankha, and the king Dhananjaya, and 
Maha-sudassana, and Maha-govinda, and the king 
Nimi, and the prince Chanda, and the merchant 
Visayha, and the king Sivi, and Vessantara. So, 
certainly, in the Birth as the Wise Hare, according 
to the words l : 

259. When I saw one coming for food, I offered my own self, 
There is no one like me in giving, such is my Perfection of 

Giving. 

he, offering up his own life, acquired the Supreme 
Perfection called the Perfection of Giving. 

In like manner there is no limit to the way in 
which he fulfilled the Perfection of Moral Practice. As, 
for instance, in the times when he was the snake king 
Silavat, and the snake king Campeyya, the snake king 
Bhuridatta, the snake king Chaddanta, and the prince 
Alinasattu, son of king Jayaddisa. So, certainly, in 
the Sankhapala Birth, according to the words : 

260. Even when piercing me with stakes, and striking me with 

javelins, 

I was not angry with the sons of Bhoja, such is my Perfec 
tion of Moral Practice. 

he, offering up himself, acquired the Supreme Perfec 
tion, called the Perfection of Moral Practice. 

In like manner there is no limit to the way in 
which, forsaking his kingdom, he fulfilled the Perfec 
tion of Renunciation. As, for instance, in the times 

1 All the following verses down to verse 269 are quotations from 
the Chariyapitaka. 



142 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

when he was the prince Somanassa, and the prince 
Hatthipala, and the wise man Ayoghara in which, 
forsaking his kingdom, he fulfilled the Perfection of 
Eenunciation. So, certainly, in the Chula-Sutasoma 
Birth, according to the words : 

261. The kingdom, which was in my power, like spittle I rejected 

it, 

And rejecting cared not for it, such is my Perfection of 
Renunciation, 

he, renouncing the kingdom for freedom from the 
ties of sin, 1 acquired the Supreme Perfection, called 
the Perfection of Renunciation. 

In like manner, there is no limit to the ways in 
which he fulfilled the Perfection of Wisdom. As, for 
instance, in the times when he was the wise man 
Vidhura, and the wise man Maha-govinda, and the 
wise man Kuddala, and the wise man Araka, and the 
ascetic Bodhi, and the wise man Mahosadha. So, 
certainly, in the time when he was the wise man 
Senaka in the Sattubhatta Birth, according to the 
words : 

262. Searching the matter out by wisdom, I set the brahmin 

free from pain, 

There is no one like me in wisdom ; such is my Perfection 
of Wisdom, 

he, pointing out the snake which had got into the 
bellows, acquired the Supreme Perfection called the 
Perfection of Wisdom. 

So, certainly, in the Maha-Janaka Birth, according 
to the words : 

263. Out of sight of the shore, in the midst of the waters, all men 

are as if dead, 

There is no other way of thinking ; such is my Perfection 
of Resolution, 

1 The Sangas, of which there are five lust, hate, ignorance, 
pride, and false doctrine. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 143 

he, crossing the Great Ocean, acquired the Supreme 
Perfection called the Perfection of Resolution. 

And so in the Khantivada Birth, according to the 
words : 

264. Even when he struck me with a sharp axe, as if I were a 

senseless thing, 

I was not angry with the king of Kasi ; such is my Perfec 
tion of Patience, 

he, enduring great sorrow as if he were a senseless 
thing, acquired the Perfection of Patience. 

And so in the Maha-Sutasoma Birth, according to 
the words : 

265. Guarding the word of Truth, and offering up my life, 

I delivered the hundred warriors : such is mv Perfection of 
Truth, 

he, offering up his life, and observing truth, obtained 
the Perfection of Truth. 

And in the Mugapakkha Birth, according to the 
words : 

266. Father and mother I hated not, reputation I hated not, 
But all knowledge was dear to me, therefore was I firm 

in duty, 

offering up even his life, and being resolute in duty, he 
acquired the Perfection of Resolution. 

And so in the Ekaraja Birth, according to the 
words : 

267. No man terrifies me, nor am I in fear of any man ; 
Firm in the power of kindness, in purity I take delight, 

regarding not even his life while attaining to kindness, 
he acquired the Perfection of Good-will. 

So in the Somahamsa Birth, according to the words : 

268. I lay me down in the cemetery, making a pillow of dead 

bones : 

The village children mocked and praised : to all I was 
indifferent. 



144 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

he was unshaken in equanimity, even when the 
villagers tried to vex or please him by spitting or by 
offering garlands and perfumes, and thus he acquired 
the Perfection of Equanimity. 

This is a summary only, the account will be found 
at length in the Chariyd Pitaka. 

Having thus fulfilled the Perfections, in his birth 
as Vessantara, according to the words : 

269. This earth, unconscious though she be and ignorant of 

joy or grief, 

E en she by my free-giving s mighty power was shaken 
seven times, 

he performed such mighty acts of virtue as made the 
earth to shake. And when, in the fullness of time, he 
had passed away, he reassumed existence in the 
Tusita heaven. 

Thus should be understood the period, called 
Distant, from the Kesolution at the feet of Dipankara 
down to this birth in the City of Delight. 



II: THE INTEKMEDIATE EPOCH 

Avidure Niddna 

It was when the Bodisat was thus dwelling in the 
City of Delight that the so-called " Buddha procla 
mation " took place. For three such " Proclama 
tions " take place on earth. These are the three. 
When they realize that at the end of a hundred 
thousand years a new dispensation will begin, devas 
of the next world who are called World-arrangers, with 
their hair flying and dishevelled, with weeping faces, 
wiping away their tears with their hands, clad in red 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 145 

garments, and with their clothes all in disorder, 
wander among men, and make proclamation, 
saying : 

" Sirs, one hundred thousand years from now there 
will be a new dispensation ; this world-system will 
be destroyed ; even the sea will dry up ; this gieat 
earth, with Sineru the monarch of mountains, will 
be burned up and destroyed ; and the whole world 
up to the Brahma-realms, will pass away. And so, 
sirs, exercize love, pity, sympathy and equanimity, 
cherish the mother, cherish the father, honour the 
elders in your families." This is called the proclama 
tion of an Age [Kappahalahala]. 

Again, when they realize that at the end of a 
thousand years an omniscient Buddha will appear on 
earth, the deva-guardians of the world go from place 
to place and make proclamation, saying : " Sirs, at 
the end of a thousand years from this time a Buddha 
will appear on earth." This is called the proclamation 
of a Buddha [Buddha-halahala]. 

Again, when devas realize that at the end of a 
hundred years a universal monarch will appear, they 
go from place to place and make proclamation, 
saying : " Sirs, at the end of a hundred years from 
this time a universal monarch will appear on earth." 
This is called the proclamation of a Universal monarch 
[Chakkavatti-halahala]. 

These are the three great proclamations. 

When of these three they hear the Buddha-pro 
clamation, the devas of the entire ten thousand world- 
systems assemble together ; and having ascertained 
who will become the Buddha, they go to him and 



146 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

beseech him to do so, so beseeching him when the 
first signs appear [that his present life is drawing to 
its close]. Accordingly on this occasion they all, 
with the governors in each world, 1 assembled in one 
world, and going to the future Buddha in the world 
of bliss (Tusita), they besought him, saying : 

" Sir, when thou wast fulfilling the Ten Perfec 
tions, thou didst not do so from a desire for the 
state of world-governor Sakka, or Mara, or Brahma 
or of a mighty king upon earth ; thou wast fulfilling 
them with the hope of reaching all-knowledge for 
the sake of the salvation of mankind ! Now has the 
moment come, sir, for thy Buddhahood ; now, sir, 
has the time arrived ! " 

But the Great Being, as if he had not granted the 
prayer of the devas, reflected in succession on the 
following five important points, viz. the time ; the 
country; the family ; the mother ; and her age-limit. 

Of these he first reflected on the TIME, thinking : 
" Is this the time or not ? " And on this point he 
thought : " When the time of the span of life has 
grown to be upwards of a hundred thousand years, 
the time has not arrived. Why not ? Because in 
such a period men perceive not that living beings are 
subject to birth, decay, and death ; the thrice- 
marked pearl of the preaching of the gospel of the 
Buddhas is not ; and when the Buddhas speak of the 
impermanence of all things, of the universality of 
sorrow, and of the delusion of individuality, people 

1 The names are given in the text ; the four Maharajas, Sakka, 
Suyama, Santusita, Paranimitta-vasavatti, and Maha-Brahma. 
They are the governors in the different worlds (Chakkavala) of 
the Buddhist cosmogony. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 147 

will neither listen [nor believe, saying : What is 
this they talk of ? At such a time there can be no 
understanding, and without that the teaching will 
not lead to salvation. That therefore is not the time. 
Neither is it the right time when the span of life is 
under one hundred years. Why not ? Because then 
sin is rife among men ; and admonition addressed to 
the sinners does not endure, but like a streak drawn 
on the water vanishes quickly away. That therefore 
is not the time. When, however, the span of life is 
under a hundred thousand and over a hundred years 
that is the proper time." Now at that time the span 
of (earth) life was one hundred years. The Great 
Being therefore saw that the time of his advent had 
arrived. 

Then reflecting upon the COUNTRY, and considering 
the four great continents with their surrounding 
islands, 1 he thought : " In three of the continents the 
Buddhas are not born, but in Jambudvlpa they are 
born," and thus he decided on the country. 

Then reflecting upon THE DISTRICT, and thinking : 
" Jambudvlpa indeed is large, ten thousand leagues in 
extent ; now in which district of it do the Buddhas 
appear ? " he fixed upon the Middle Country. 2 And 



1 In the seas surrounding each continent (Mahadipa) there are 
five hundred islands. See Hardy s Manual of Buddhism, p. 13. 

- Majjhima-desa, of which the commentator adds : " This is 
the country thus spoken of in the Vinaya," quoting the passage 
at Mahdvagga, v. 13, 12, which gives the boundaries as follows : 
" To the E. the town Kajangala, and beyond it Mahasala ; to the 
S.E. the river Salalavati ; to the S. the town Setakannika ; 
to the W. the brahman town and district Thuna ; and to the N. 
the Usiraddhaja Mountain." These are different from the 
boundaries of the Madhya Desa of later Brahminical literature, 



148 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

calling to mind that the town named Kapilavatthu 
was in that country, he concluded that he ought to be 
born in it. 

Then reflecting on THE FAMILY, he thought : " The 
Buddhas are not born in the Vessa caste, nor the 
Sudda caste ; but either in the Brahmin or in the 
Khattiya caste, whichever is then held in the highest 
repute. The Khattiya caste is now predominant, I 
must be born in it, and Suddhodana the chief will be 
my father." Thus he beheld the family. 

Then reflecting on THE MOTHER, he thought : " The 
mother of a Buddha is not lustful, or corrupt as to 
drink, but has fulfilled the Perfections for a hundred 
thousand ages, and from her birth upwards has kept 
the five Precepts unbroken. Now this lady Maha 
Maya is such an one, she will be my mother." And 
further considering how long her life should last, he 
foresaw that it would still last ten months and seven 
days. 

Having thus reflected on these five important points 
he favoured the devas by consenting : " The time has 
arrived, sirs, for me to become a Buddha." He then 
dismissed them with the words and promise " Do 
you go " ; and attended by the devas of the world of 
Bliss (Tusita), he entered the grove of Gladness 
(Nandana) in the City of Bliss. 

Now in each of the deva-worlds there is such a 



on which see Lassen s Indische Alterthumskunde, vol. i, p. 119 
(2nd edition). This sacred land was regarded as the centre of 
Jambudvipa ; that is, of the then known world just as the 
Chinese talk of China as the Middle Country, and as other people 
have looked on their own capital as the navel or hub of the world, 
and on their world as the centre of the universe. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 149 

grove of Gladness ; and there the devas are wont to 
remind any one of them who is about to depart of the 
opportunities he has gained by good deeds done in 
a former birth, saying to him : " When hence 
deceased go to a good destiny." And thus he also, 
when walking about there, surrounded by devas re 
minding him of his acquired merit, departed thence, 
and was conceived in the womb of the Lady Maha 
Maya. 

In order to explain this better, the following is the 
account in fuller detail. At that time, it is said, the 
Midsummer festival was proclaimed in the City of 
Kapilavatthu, and the people were enjoying the feast. 
During the seven days before the full moon the Lady 
Maha Maya had taken part in the festivity, as free 
from drunkenness as it was brilliant with garlands 
and perfumes. On the seventh day she rose early and 
bathed in perfumed water : and she distributed four 
hundred thousand pieces in giving great largesse. 
Decked in her richest attire she partook of the purest 
food : and steadfast in the rites of the feast she 
entered her beautiful chamber, and lying on her royal 
couch she fell asleep and dreamt this dream. 

The four Guardians of the world, lifting her up in 
her couch, carried her to the Himalaya mountains, 
and placing her under the Great Sal-tree, seven 
leagues high, on the Crimson Plain, sixty yojanas 
broad, they stood respectfully aside. Their queens 
then came toward her, and taking her to the Jake of 
Anotatta, bathed her to free her from human stains ; 
and dressed her in heavenly garments ; and anointed 
her with perfumes ; and decked her with heavenly 



150 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

flowers. Not far from there is the Silver Hill, within 
which is a golden mansion ; in it they spread a 
heavenly couch, with its head towards the East, and 
on it they laid her down. Then the future Buddha, 
who had become a superb white elephant, and was 
wandering on the Golden Hill, not far from there, 
descended thence, and ascending the Silver Hill, 
approached her from the North. Holding in his 
silvery trunk a white lotus flower, and uttering a far- 
reaching cry, he entered the golden mansion, and 
thrice doing obeisance to his mother s couch, he 
gently struck her right side, and seemed to enter her 
womb. 1 

Thus was he conceived at the end of the Midsummer 
festival. And the next day, having awoke from her 
sleep, she related her dream to the raja. The raja 
had sixty-four eminent brahmins summoned, and 
had costly seats spread on a spot made ready for the 
state occasion with green leaves and dalbergia flowers, 
and he had vessels of gold and silver filled with delicate 
milk-rice compounded with ghee and sweet honey, 
and covered with gold and silver bowls. This food 
he gave them, and he satisfied them with gifts of new 
garments and of tawny cows. And when he had thus 
satisfied their every desire, he had the dream told to 
them, and then he asked them : " What will come 
of it ? " 

The brahmins said : "Be not anxious, sire ! your 
queen has conceived : and the fruit of her womb will 

1 It is instructive to notice that in later accounts it is soberly 
related as actual fact that the Bodisat entered his mother s womb 
as a white elephant : and the Incarnation scene is occasionally 
so represented in Buddhist sculptures. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 151 

be a man-child ; it will not be a woman-child. You 
will have a son. And he, if he adopts a householder s 
life, will become a king, a Universal Monarch ; but if, 
leaving his home, he adopt the religious life, he will 
become a Buddha, who will remove from the world 
the veils of ignorance and sin." 

Now at the moment when the future Buddha made 
himself incarnate in his mother s womb, the con 
stituent elements of the ten thousand world-systems 
at the same instant quaked, and trembled, and were 
shaken violently. The Thirty-two Good Omens also 
were made manifest. In the ten thousand world- 
systems an immeasurable light appeared. The blind 
received their sight, as if from very longing to behold 
this his glory. The deaf heard the noise. The dumb 
spake one with another. The crooked became 
straight. The lame walked. All prisoners were freed 
from their bonds and chains. In each hell the fire was 
extinguished. In the realm of the Petas hunger and 
thirst were allayed. The wild animals ceased to be 
afraid. The illness of all who were sick was allayed. 
All men began to speak kindly. Horses neighed, and 
elephants trumpeted gently. All musical instruments 
gave forth each its note, though none played upon 
them. Bracelets and other ornaments jingled of them 
selves. All the heavens became clear. A cool soft 
breeze wafted pleasantly for all. Bain fell out of 
due season. Water, welling up from the very earth, 
overflowed. 1 The birds forsook their flight on high. 

1 I think this is the meaning of the passage, though Prof. 
Childers has a different rendering of the similar phrase at verse 
104, where I would read " it " instead of " vegetation ". Compare 
Dafhdvamsa, i, 45, 



152 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The rivers stayed their waters flow. The sea became 
sweet water. Everywhere its surface was covered with 
lotuses of every colour. All flowers blossomed on land 
and in water. The trunks, and branches, and twigs 
of trees were covered with the bloom appropriate to 
each. On earth tree-lotuses sprang up by sevens 
together, breaking even through the rocks : and 
hanging-lotuses were born in the sky and rained 
down everywhere a rain of blossom. In the sky deva- 
music was played. The ten thousand world-systems 
revolved, and rushed as close together as a bunch of 
gathered flowers ; and became as it were a woven 
wreath of worlds, as sweet-smelling and resplendent 
as a mass of garlands, or as a sacred altar decked with 
flowers. 

From the moment of the conception, thus brought 
about, of the future Buddha, four devas with swords 
in their hands, stood guard over the Bodisat, and his 
mother, to shield them from all harm. Pure in 
thought, having reached the highest aim and the 
highest honour, the mother was happy and unwearied; 
she saw the child within her as plainly as one could 
see a thread passed through a transparent gem. 1 
But as a womb in which a future Buddha has dwelt, 
like a sacred relic shrine, can never be occupied by 
another ; the mother of the Bodisat, seven days after 
his birth, died, and was reborn in the City of Bliss. 

Now other women give birth, some before, some 
after, the completion of the tenth month, some sitting, 

1 I once saw a notice of some mediaeval frescoes in which the 
Holy Child was similarly represented as visible within the Virgin s 
womb, but have unfortunately mislaid the reference. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 153 

and some lying down. Not so the mother of a Bodisat. 
She gives birth to the Bodisat standing, after she has 
cherished him in her womb for exactly ten months, 
this is a distinctive quality of the mother of a Buddha 
elect. 

And queen Maha Maya, when she too had thus 
cherished the Bodisat in her womb, like oil in a vessel, 
for ten months, felt herself far gone with child : and 
wishing to go to her family home she spake to King 
Suddhodana, and said : 

" Sire, I wish to go to Devadaha, to the city of my 
people." 

The king, saying : " It is good," consented, and 
had the road from Kapilavatthu to Devadaha made 
plain, and decked with arches of plaintain-trees, and 
well filled water-pots, and flags, and banners. And 
seating the queen in a golden palanquin carried by a 
thousand attendants, he sent her away with a great 
retinue. 

Now between the two towns there is a pleasure- 
grove of sal-trees belonging to the people of both cities, 
and called the Lumbini grove. At that time, from the 
roots to the topmost branches, it was one mass of 
fruits and flowers ; and amidst the blossoms and 
branches swarms of various-coloured bees, and flocks 
of birds of different kinds roamed warbling sweetly. 
The whole of the Lumbini grove was like a wood of 
variegated creepers, or the well-decorated banqueting 
hall of some mighty king. The queen beholding it was 
filled with the desire of besporting herself in the 
sal-tree grove ; and the attendants carrying the 
queen, entered the wood. When she came to the 



154 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

monarch sal-tree of the glade, she wanted to take 
hold of a branch of it, and the branch bending down, 
like a reed heated by steam, approached within reach 
of her hand. Stretching out her hand she took hold 
of the branch, and then karma-born winds shook her. 
The people, drawing a curtain round her, retired. 
Standing, and holding the branch of the sal-tree, she 
was delivered. 

That very moment the four pure-minded Maha 
Brahmas came there bringing a golden net ; and 
receiving the future Buddha on that net, they placed 
him before his mother, saying : "Be joyful, Lady ! 
a mighty son is born to thee ! " 

Now other living things, when they leave their 
mother s womb, leave it smeared with offensive and 
impure matter. Not so a Bodisat. The future 
Buddha left his mother s womb like a preacher 
descending from a pulpit or a man from a ladder, 
erect, stretching out his hands and feet, unsoiled by 
any impurities from contact with his mother s womb, 
pure and fair, and shining like a gem placed on 
fine muslin of Benares. But though this was so, two 
showers of water came down from heaven in honour of 
them and refreshed the Bodisat and his mother, and 
cleansed her body. 

From the hands of the Brahmas who had received 
him in the golden net, the Four Kings received him 
on cloth of antelope skins, soft to the touch, such as 
are used on occasions of royal state. From their 
hands men received him on a roll of fine cloth ; and on 
leaving their hands he stood up upon the ground and 
looked towards the East. Thousands of world- 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 155 

systems became visible to him like a single open 
space. Men and devas offering him sweet-smelling 
garlands, said : " great man, there is no other like 
thee, how then a greater ? " Searching the ten 
directions 1 and finding no one like himself, he took 
seven strides, saying : " This is the best direction." 
And as he walked the Great Brahma held over him 
the white umbrella, and the Suyama followed him 
with the fan, and other devas with the other symbols 
of royalty in their hands. Then, stopping at the 
seventh step, he sent forth his noble voice and shouted 
the shout of victory, beginning with : "I am the 
chief of the world." 2 

Now the future Buddha in three births thus uttered 
his voice immediately on leaving his mother s womb ; 
in his birth as Mahosadha, in his birth as Vessantara, 
and in this birth. In the Mahosadha birth the deva- 
king Sakka came to him as he was being born, and 
placing some fine sandal-wood in his hand, went 
away. He came forth from the womb holding this 
in his fist. His mother asked him : " What is it you 
hold, dear, as you come ? " He answered, " Herb- 
medicine, mother ! " So because he came holding 
this they gave him the name of Herb-medicine child 
(Osadhadaraka). Taking the medicine they kept 
it in a chatty (an earthenware water-pot) ; and it 
became a drug by which all the sickness of the blind 
and deaf and others, as many as came, was healed, 
so the saying sprang up : " This is a great osadha ! 

1 N., S., E., W., four intermediate to these, the zenith and 
the nadir. 

2 The Madurattha Vilasinl adds the rest : " I am supreme in 
the world ; this is my last birth ; henceforth there will be no 
rebirth for me." 



156 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

this is a great osadha ! " and hence he was called 
Mahosadha (The Great Herb-medicine Man). 

Again, in the Vessantara birth, as he left his 
mother s womb, he stretched out his right hand, 
saying : " But is there anything in the house, 
mother ? I would give a gift." Then his mother, 
saying, " You are born, dear, in a wealthy family," 
took his hand in hers, and placed on it a bag containing 
a thousand. 

Lastly, in this birth he sang the song of victory. 1 
Thus, the future Buddha in three births uttered his 
voice as he came out of his mother s womb. And as 
at the moment of his conception, so at the moment 
of his birth, the thirty-two Good Omens were seen. 

Now at the very time when our Bodisat was born 
in the Lumbini grove, the lady mother of Rahula, 2 
Channa the attendant, Kaludayi the minister, 
Kanthaka the royal horse, the great Bo-tree, and the 
four vases full of treasure, also came into being. Of 
these last, one was two miles, one four, one six, and 
one eight miles in size. These seven are called the 
Sahajata, the Connatal Ones. 3 

1 Lit., roared the lion-roar ; a term for a manifesto of self- 
confidence. Ed. 

2 Wife of Gotama Buddha. 

3 There is some mistake here, as the list contains nine or if 
the four treasures count as one, only six Connatal Ones. I think 
before Kaludayi we should insert Ananda, the loving disciple. 
So Alabaster and Hardy ( Wheel of the Law, p. 106 ; Manual of 
Buddhism, p. 146). Bigandet also adds Ananda, but calls him 
the son of Amittodana, which is against the common tradition 
(Life or Legend of Gaudama, p. 36, comp. my Buddhism, p. 52). 
The legend is certainly, as to its main features, an early one, for 
it is also found, in greatly exaggerated and contradictory terms, 
in the books of Northern Buddhists (Lalita Vistara, Foucaux, 
p. 97, Beal, p. 53 ; cf. Senart, p. 294). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 157 

The people of both towns took the Bodisat and 
went to Kapilavatthu. On that day too, companies 
of devas in the next, the Tavatimsa world, were 
astonished and joyful ; and waved their robes and 
rejoiced, saying, " In Kapilavatthu, to Suddhodana 
the king a son is born, who, seated under the Bo- 
tree, will become a Buddha." 

At that time an ascetic named Kaja Devala, a 
confidential adviser of Suddhodana the king, who 
had passed through the eight stages of religious 
attainment, 1 had eaten his midday meal, and 
had gone to the Tavatimsa world for his midday 
rest. Whilst there sitting resting, he saw these 
devas, and asked them : " Why are you thus 
glad at heart and rejoicing ? Tell me the reason 
of it." 

The devas replied : " Sir, to Suddhodana the king is 
born a son, who, seated under the Bo-tree, will become 
a Buddha, and will found a Kingdom of Righteous 
ness. 2 To us it will be given to see his infinite grace 
and to hear his word. Therefore it is that we are 
glad ! " 

The ascetic, hearing what they said, quickly came 
down from the deva-world, and entering the king s 
house, sat down on the seat set apart for him, and 
said : " A son they say is born to you, king ! let 
me see him." 

The king ordered his son to be clad in splendour 
and carried in to salute the ascetic. But the future 
Buddha turned his feet round, and planted them on 

1 Samapatti. 

2 DhammacaJckam pavattessati. See my Buddhism, p. 45. 



158 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

the matted hair of the ascetic. 1 For in that birth 
there was no one worthy to be saluted by the Bodisat, 
and if these ignorant ones had placed the head of the 
future Buddha at the feet of the ascetic, assuredly the 
ascetic s head would have split in two. The ascetic 
rose from his seat, and saying : " It is not right for me 
to work my own destruction," he did homage to the 
Bodisat. And the king also seeing this wonder did 
homage to his own son. 

Now the ascetic had the power of calling to mind 
the events of forty ages (kalpas) in the past, and of 
forty ages in the future. Looking at the marks of 
future prosperity on the Bodisat s body, he considered 
with himself : " Will he become a Buddha or not ? " 
And perceiving that he would most certainly become 
a Buddha, he smiled, saying : " This is a wonder- 
man." Then reflecting : " Will it be given to me to 
behold him when he has become a Buddha ? " he 
perceived that it would not. " Dying before that time 
I shall be reborn in the formless world ; so that while 
a hundred or perhaps a thousand Buddhas appear 
among men, I shall not be able to go and be taught 
by them. And it will not be my good fortune to 
behold this so wonderful man when he has become 
a Buddha. Great, alas, is my loss ! " And he 
wept. 

The people seeing this, asked, saying : " Our 



1 It was considered among the brahmins a sign of holiness to 
wear matted or platted hair. This is referred to in the striking 
Buddhist verse (Dhammapada, v, 394) : " What is the use of 
platted hair, O fool ! What of a garment of skins ! Your low 
yearnings are within you, and the outside you make clean ! " 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 159 

master just now smiled, and has now begun to weep ! 
Will, sir, any misfortune befall our master s child ? " * 

There is no misfortune in him ; assuredly he will 
become a Buddha," was the reply. 

" Why then do you weep ? " 

" It will not be granted to me," he said, " to behold 
so great a man when he has become a Buddha. Great, 
alas, is my loss ! bewailing myself, I weep." 

Then reflecting : " Will it be granted or not to any 
one of my relatives to see him as a Buddha ? " he 
saw it would be granted to his nephew, the boy 
Nalaka. So he went to his sister s house, and said 
to her, " Where is your son Nalaka ? " 

" In the house, brother." 

" Call him," said he. When he came he said to him, 
" In the family of Suddhodana the king, dear, a son 
is born, a young Buddha. In thirty-five years he will 
become a Buddha, and it will be granted you to see 
him. This very day give up the world ! " 

Bearing in mind that his uncle was not a man to 
urge him without a cause, the young man, though bom 
in a family of incalculable wealth, 2 straightway took 
out of the inner store a yellow suit of clothes and an 
earthenware pot, and shaved his head and put on the 
robes. And saying : "I leave the world for the sake 
of him who is the greatest person on earth," he 
prostrated himself on the ground and raised his 
joined hands in adoration towards the Bodisat. Then 
putting the begging bowl in a bag, and carrying it on 

1 " Our master " (ayyo) is here, of course, the sage. It is a 
pretty piece of politeness, not unfrequent in the Jatakas, to 
address a stranger as a relation. See below, Jataka no. 3. 

2 Literally " worth eighty and seven times a ko^i ", both 
eighty and seven being lucky numbers. v 



160 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

his shoulder, lie went to the Himalaya mountains, 
and lived the life of a monk. 

When the Tathagata had attained to complete 
Enlightenment, Nalaka went to him and heard the 
way of salvation. 1 He then returned to the Himalayas 
and reached Arahantship. And when he had lived 
seven months longer as a pilgrim along the most 
excellent Path, he passed away when standing near 
a Golden Hill, by that final passing away in which no 
source of rebirth remains. 2 

Now on the fifth day they bathed the Bodisat s 
head, saying : " Let us perform the rite of choosing 
a name for him." So they perfumed the king s house 
with four kinds of odours, and decked it with 
Dalbergia flowers, and made ready rice well cooked 
in milk. Then they sent for one hundred and eight 
brahmins who had mastered the three Vedas, and 
seated them in the king s house, and gave them the 
pleasant food to eat, and did them great honour, and 
asked them to recognize the signs of what the child 
should be. 

Among them : 

270. Rama, and Dhaja, and Lakkhana, and Mantin, 
Kondanya and Bhoja, Suyama and Sudatta, 
These eight brahmins then were there, 
Their senses all subdued ; and they declared the charm. 

Now these eight brahmins were recognizers of 
signs ; it was by them that the dream on the night of 

1 Literally "and caused him to declare, Nalaka-course. " 
Of. the Najaka-sutta, in Sutta-Nipaka, v. 679-723. Tathagata, 
" gone, or come, in like manner ; subject to the fate of all 
men," is an adjective applied originally to all mortals, but 
afterwards used as a favourite epithet of Gotama. Childers 
compares the use of " Son of Man ". 

2 Anupadisesaya Nibbana-dhatuya parinibbdyi. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 161 

conception had been interpreted. Seven of them 
holding up two fingers prophesied in the alternative, 
saying : " If a man having such marks should remain 
a householder, he becomes a Universal Monarch ; 
but if he takes the vows, he becomes a Buddha." 
And, so saying, they declared all the glory and power 
of a Chakkavatti king. 

But the youngest of all of them, a young brahmin, 
whose family name was Kondanya, beholding the 
perfection of the auspicious marks on the Bodisat, 
raised up one finger only, and prophesied without 
ambiguity, and said : " There is no sign of his 
remaining amidst the cares of household life. Verily, 
he will become a Buddha, and remove the veils of 
sin and ignorance from the world." 

This man already, under former Buddhas, had made 
a deep resolve of holiness, and had now reached his 
last birth. Therefore it was that he surpassed the 
other seven in wisdom ; that he perceived how the 
Bodisat would only be subject to this one life ; and 
that, raising only one finger, he so prophesied, saying : 
" The lot of one possessed of these marks will not be 
cast amidst the cares of household life. Verily, he 
will become a Buddha ! " 

Now those brahmins went home, and addressed 
their sons, saying : " We are old, dear ones ; whether 
or not we shall live to see the son of Suddhodana the 
king after he has gained all-knowledge, do you, when 
he has gained all-knowledge, take the vows according 
to his religion." And after they all seven had lived 
out their span of life, they passed away and were 
reborn according to their deeds. 



162 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

But the young brahmin Kondanya was in good 
health ; and for the sake of the wisdom of the Great 
Being he left all that he had and made the great 
renunciation. And coming in due course to Uruvela, 
he thought : " Behold how pleasant is this place ! 
how suitable for the exertions of a young man desirous 
of wrestling with sin." So he took up his residence 
there. 

And when he heard that the Great Being had left 
the world, he went to the sons of those brahmins, and 
said to them : " Siddhattha the prince has taken the 
vows. Assuredly he will become a Buddha. If your 
fathers were in health they would to-day leave their 
homes, and go forth : and now, if you should so desire, 
come, I will leave the world in imitation of him." But 
all of them were not able to agree with one accord : 
three did not give up the world ; the other four made 
Kondanya the brahmin their leader, and left 
the world. It was those five who came to be called 
" the Company of the Five Elders ". 

Then the king asked : " After seeing what, will 
my son forsake the world ? " 

" The four Omens " was the reply. 

" Which four ? " 

" A man worn out by age, a sick man, a dead body, 
and a monk." 

The king thought : " From this time let no such 
things come near my son. There is no good in my son s 
becoming a Buddha. I should like to see my son 
exercising rule and sovereignty over the four great 
continents and the two thousand islands that surround 
them ; and walking, as it were, in the vault of heaven, 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 163 

surrounded by an innumerable retinue." * Then 
so saying, he placed guards two miles apart in the 
four directions to prevent men of those four kinds 
coming to the sight of his son. 

That day also, of eighty thousand clansmen 
assembled in the festival hall, each one dedicated a 
son, saying : " Whether this child becomes a Buddha 
or a king, we give each a son ; so that if he shall 
become a Buddha, he shall live attended and honoured 
by Khattiya monks, and if he shall become a king, 
he shall live attended and honoured by nobles." 2 
And the raja appointed nurses of great beauty, and 
free from every fault, for the Bodisat. So the Bodisat 
grew up in great splendour and surrounded by an 
innumerable retinue. 

Now one day the king held the so-called Ploughing 
Festival. On that day they ornament the town like a 
palace of the gods. All the slaves and servants, in new 
garments and crowned with sweet-smelling garlands, 
assemble in the king s house. For the king s work a 
thousand ploughs are yoked. On this occasion one 
hundred and eight minus one were, with the oxen- 
reins and cross-bars, ornamented with silver. But 
the plough for the king to use was ornamented with 
red gold ; and so also the horns and reins and goads 
of the oxen. 

The king leaving his house with a great retinue, 
took his son and went to the spot. There there was a 
jambu-tree thick with leaves and giving a dense shade. 

1 Literally "a retinue thirty-six leagues in circumference", 
where " thirty-six " is a mere sacred number. 
8 Khattiya (Kshatriya) was the warrior caste. 



164 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Under it the raja had the child s couch laid out ; and 
over the couch a canopy spread inlaid with stars of 
gold, and round it a curtain hung. Then leaving a 
guard there, the raja, clad in splendour and attended 
by his ministers, went away to plough. 

At such a time the king takes hold of a golden 
plough, the attendant ministers one hundred and eight 
minus one silver ploughs, and the peasants the rest 
of the ploughs. Holding them they plough this way 
and that way. The raja goes from one side to the 
other, and comes from the other back again. 

On this occasion the king had great success ; and the 
nurses seated round the Bodisat, thinking : " Let us 
go to see the king s glory ", came out from within the 
curtain, and went away. The future Buddha, looking 
all round, and seeing no one, got up quickly, seated 
himself cross-legged, and holding his breath, sank 
into the first Jhana. 1 

The nurses, engaged in preparing various kinds of 
food, delayed a little. The shadows of the other trees 
turned round, but that of the jambu-tree remained 
steady and circular in form. The nurses, remembering 
their young master was alone, hurriedly raised the 
curtain and returned inside it. Seeing the Bodisat 
sitting cross-legged, and that miracle of the shadow, 
they went and told the raja, saying : " Sire ! the 
prince is seated in such and such a manner ; and 
while the shadows of the other trees have turned, 
that of the jambu-tree is fixed in a circle ! " 

And the raja went hurriedly and saw that miracle, 

1 A state of religious meditation. A full explanation is given 
in my Buddhism, pp. 174-6. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 165 

and did homage to his son, saying : " This, dear, 
is the second homage paid to thee ! " 

But the Bodisat in due course grew to manhood. 
And the king had three mansions made, suitable for 
the three seasons, one nine stories high, one seven 
stories high, and one five stories high ; and he 
provided him with forty thousand dancing girls. So 
the Bodisat, surrounded by well-dressed dancing 
girls, like a deva surrounded by troops of nymphs, 
and attended by musical instruments which played 
of themselves, lived, as the seasons changed, in 
each of these mansions in enjoyment of great 
prosperity. And the mother of Kahula was his 
principal queen. 

Whilst he was thus in the enjoyment of great 
prosperity the following talk sprang up in the public 
assembly of his clansmen : " Siddhattha lives devoted 
to pleasure ; not one thing does he learn ; if war 
should break out, what would he do ? " 

The king sent for the future Buddha, and said to 
him : " Your relations, dear one, say that you learn 
nothing, and are given up to pleasure : now what do 
you think you should do about this ? " 

" Sire, there is no art it is necessary for me to 
learn. Have the drum-beater about the city, that I 
may show my skill. Seven days from now I will show 
my kindred what I can do." 

The king did so. The Bodisat assembled those so 
skilled in archery that they could split even a hair, and 
shoot as quick as lightning ; and then, in the midst of 
the people, he showed his relatives his twelve-fold skill, 
and how unsurpassed he was by other masters of the 



166 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

bow. 1 So the assembly of Ms clansmen doubted no 
longer. 

Now one day the future Buddha, wanting to go to 
his pleasure ground, told his charioteer to harness his 
chariot. The latter accordingly decked the gloriously 
beautiful chariot with all its trappings, and harnessed 
to it four state horses of the Sindhi breed, and white 
as the leaves of the white lotus flower. And he 
informed the Bodisat. So the Bodisat ascended the 
chariot, resplendent like a mansion in the skies, and 
went towards the garden. 

The devas thought : " The time for young Sid- 
dhattha to attain Enlightenment is near, let us show 
him the Omens." And they did so by making a son 
of the devas represent a man wasted by age, with 
decayed teeth and grey hair, bent and broken down 
in body, and with a stick in his hand. But he was 
only visible to the future Buddha and his charioteer. 

Then the Bodisat asked his charioteer, as is told 
in the Mahapadana 2 : " What kind of man is this, 
whose very hair is not as that of other men ? " When 
he heard his servant s answer, he said : " Shame then 
be upon life ! since the old age of what is born is 
evident ! " and with agitated heart he turned back at 
that very spot and re-entered his palace. 

The king asked : " Why does my son turn back so 
hurriedly ? " 

" He has seen an old man," they said, " and having 
seen an old man, he will forsake the world." 

" By this you ruin me," exclaimed the raja ; 

1 A gloss adds, " This should be understood as is related 
fully in the Sarabhanga Jatalca " (no. 522). 

2 Dialogues of the Buddha, ii, p. 18. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 167 

" quickly get ready plays to be performed before my 
son. So long as he continues in the enjoyment of 
pleasure, he will not turn his thoughts to forsaking 
the world ! " Then increasing the guards, he placed 
them at each point of the compass, at intervals of 
half a league. 

Again, one day, when the future Buddha, as he was 
going to his pleasure ground, saw a sick man repre 
sented by the devas, he made the same inquiry as 
before ; and then, with agitated heart, turned back 
and re-entered his palace. The king also made the 
same inquiry, and gave the same orders as before ; 
and again increasing the guard, placed them all 
round as far as three gavutas. 

Once more, when the future Buddha, as he was 
going to his pleasure ground, saw a dead man repre 
sented by the gods, he made the same inquiry as 
before ; and then, with agitated heart, turned back 
and re-entered his palace. The king also made the 
same inquiry, and gave the same orders as before ; 
and again increasing the guard, placed them all 
round as far as a league. 

Once again, when the future Buddha, as he was 
going to his pleasure ground, saw one who had aban 
doned the world, carefully and decently clad, he asked 
his charioteer : " Friend, what kind of man is that ? " 
As at that time there was no Buddha at all in the 
world, the charioteer understood neither what a 
recluse was nor what were his distinguishing character 
istics ; but nevertheless, inspired by the devas, he 
said, " That is a recluse " ; and described the 
advantages of renouncing the world. And that day 



- 



168 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

the future Buddha, cherishing the thought of re 
nouncing the world, went on to his pleasure ground. 

The repeaters of the Digha Nikaya, 1 however, say 
that he saw all the four Omens on the same day, and 
then went to his pleasure ground. There he enjoyed 
himself during the day and bathed in the beautiful 
lake ; and at sunset seated himself on the royal 
resting stone to be robed. Now his attendants 
brought robes of different colours, and various kinds 
of ornaments, and garlands, and perfumes, and 
ointments, and stood around him, 

At that moment the throne on which Sakka was 
seated became warm. 2 And thinking to himself : 
" Who is it now who wants me to descend from 
hence ? " he perceived that the time for the adorn 
ment of the future Buddha had come. And he said 
to Vissakamma : " Friend Vissakamma, the young 
noble Siddhattha, to-day, at midnight, will carry 
out the Great Renunciation. This is the last time 
he will be clad in splendour. Go to the pleasure 
ground and adorn him with heavenly array." 

By the miraculous power which devas have, 
he accordingly, that very moment, drew near 
in the likeness of the royal barber ; and taking from 

1 The members of the Buddhist Order of almsmen (bhikkhus) 
were in the habit of selecting some book or books of the Buddhist 
Scriptures, which it was their especial duty to learn by heart, 
repeat to their pupils, study, expound, and preach from. Thus 
the DlgJia Nikaya, or collection of long treatises, had a special 
school of repeaters (bhariaka) to itself. 

2 At critical moments in the lives of persons of importance 
in the religious legends of Buddhist India, the seat of the deva- 
governor Sakka becomes warm. Fearful of losing his temporary 
bliss, he then descends himself, or sends Vissakamma, the Buddhist 
Vulcan, to act as a deus ex machina, and put things straight. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 169 

the barber s hand the material for the turban, he 
arranged it round the Bodisat s head. At the touch 
of his hand the Bodisat knew : " This is no man, it is 
a son of the devas." When the first round of the 
turban was put on, there arose, by the appearance of 
the jewel on the diadem, a thousand folds ; when 
the turban was wrapt the second time round, a 
thousand folds arose again ; when ten times, ten 
thousand folds appeared. How so many folds could 
seem to rise on so small a head is beyond imagination ; 
for in size the largest of them were as the flower of the 
Black Piyangu creeper, and the rest even as Kutum- 
baka blossoms. And the head of the future Buddha 
became like a Kuyyaka flower in full bloom. 

And when he was arrayed in all his splendour the 
musicians the while exhibiting each one his peculiar 
skill, the brahmins honouring him with words of joy 
and victory, and the men of lower station with festive 
cries and shouts of praise ; he ascended his superbly 
decorated car. 

At that time Suddhodana the king, who had heard 
that the mother of Rahula had brought forth a son, 
sent a message, saying : " Make known my joy to 
my son ! " The future Buddha, hearing this, said : 
" An impediment has come into being, a bond has 
come into being." When the king asked : " What 
did my son say ? " and heard that saying, he gave 
command : " From henceforth let Kahula (impedi 
ment) be my grandson s name." But the Bodisat, 
riding in his splendid chariot, entered the town with 
great magnificence and exceeding glory. 

At that time a noble maiden, Kisa Gotami by name, 



170 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

had gone to the flat roof of the upper story of her 
palace, and she beheld the beauty and majesty of the 
Bodisat as he was proceeding through the city. 
Pleased and delighted at the sight, she burst forth 
into this song of joy : 

271. Blessed indeed is that mother 
Blessed indeed is that father 
Blessed indeed is that wife 
Of whom such an one is master ! 

Hearing this, the Bodisat thought to himself : " On 
catching sight of such an one the heart of his mother is 
made happy, the heart of his father is made happy, 
the heart of his wife is made happy ! So she says. 
But in peace as to what can the heart be at peace ? " 
And to him whose mind was estranged from sin the 
answer came : " When the fire of lust is gone out, 
then peace is gained ; when the fires of hatred and 
delusion are gone out, then peace is gained ; when the 
troubles of mind, arising from vain conceits, opinions, 
and all other corruptions have ceased, then peace 
is gained ! Sweet is the lesson this singer makes me 
hear, for the going out which is Peace is that which 
I have been trying to find out. This very day I will 
break away from household cares ! I will renounce 
the world ! I will follow only after the Nirvana itself ! l 

1 The force of this passage is due to the fullness of meaning 
which, to the Buddhist, the words Nibbuta and Nibbdnam convey. 
No words in western languages cover exactly the same ground, 
or connote the same ideas. To explain them fully to anyone 
unfamiliar with Indian modes of thought would be difficult 
anywhere, and impossible in a note ; but their meaning is pretty 
clear from the above sentences. Where in them, in the song, the 
words blessed, happy, peace, and the words gone out, ceased, occur, 
nibbuta stands in the original in one or other of its two meanings ; 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 171 

Then loosing from his neck a string of pearls worth 
a hundred thousand, he sent it to Kisa Gotami as a 
teacher s fee. Delighted at this, she thought : " Prince 
Siddhattha has fallen in love with me, and has sent 
me a present." But the Bodisat, on entering his 
palace in great splendour, reclined on a couch of 
state. 

Thereupon women clad in beautiful array, skilful 
in the dance and song, and lovely as deva-maidens, 
brought their musical instruments, and ranging them 
selves in order, danced, and sang, and played delight 
fully. But the Bodisat, his heart being estranged 
from sin, took no pleasure in the spectacle, and fell 
asleep. 

And the women, saying : " He for whose sake we 
were performing is gone to sleep ? Why should we 
weary ourselves ? " laid aside the instruments they 
held, and lay down to sleep. Lamps fed with sweet- 
smelling oil were burning. The Bodisat, waking up, 
sat cross-legged on the couch, and saw those women 
with their music truck laid aside and sleeping some 
drivelling at the mouth spittle-besprinkled, some 
grinding their teeth, some snoring, some muttering 
in their sleep, some gaping, and some with their 
dress in disorder plainly revealed as mere horrible 
occasions of worldly ways. 

Seeing this change in their appearance, he became 
more and more unfain of sense-desires. To him that 

where in them the words Nirvana, going o>it which is Peace 
occur, Nibbdnam stands in the original. Nirvana is a lasting 
state of happiness and peace, to be reached by the extinction of 



172 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

magnificent apartment, as splendid as Sakka s 
residence, began to seem like a great area laden with 
divers offal, like a enamel-field full of corpses. Life, 
whether in the worlds subject to passion, or in the 
other worlds of form, or in the formless worlds, 
seemed to him like staying in a house that had become 
the prey of devouring flames. 1 An utterance of 
intense feeling broke from him " It all oppresses 
me ! It is intolerable ! " and his mind turned ardently 
to the state of those who have renounced the world. 
Resolving that very day to accomplish the Great 
Renunciation, he rose from his couch, went to the 
door and called out : " Who is there ? " 

Channa, who had been sleeping with his head on the 
threshold, answered : " It is I, sir, Channa." 

Then said he : "I want to-day to accomplish the 
Great Renunciation saddle me a horse." 

So Channa saying : Very good, sire, and taking 
harness, went to the stable-yard, and entering the 
stables saw by the light of the lamps Kanthaka, prince 
of steeds, standing at a pleasant spot under a canopy 
of cloth, beautified with a pattern of jasmine flowers. 
" This is the very one I ought to saddle to-day," 
thought he ; and he saddled Kanthaka. 

Even whilst he was being saddled the horse knew : 
"He is saddling me so tightly and not as on other 
days for such rides as those to the pleasure grounds, 
because my master is about to-day to carry out the 

1 Lit., " The three Bhavas seemed like houses on fire." The 
three Bhavas are existence in the Kama-loka, the Rupa-loka, 
and the Arupa-loka respectively ; that is, existence in the worlds 
whose inhabitants are subject to passion, who have material 
forms, but not passion, and have no forms respectively. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 173 

Great Kenunciation." Then, glad at heart, he 
neighed a mighty neigh ; and the sound thereof 
would have penetrated over all the town, had not 
the devas stopped the sound and let no one hear it. 

Now after the Bodisat had sent Channa on this 
errand, he thought : "I will just look at my son." 
And rising from his cross-legged sitting he went to the 
apartments of Rahula s mother, and opened her 
chamber door. At that moment a lamp, fed with 
sweet-smelling oil, was burning dimly in the inner 
chamber. The mother of Rahula was asleep on a bed 
strewn with many jasmine flowers, 1 and resting her 
hand on the head of her son. Stopping with his foot 
on the threshold, the Bodisat thought, " If I lift her 
hand to take my son, she will awake ; and that will 
prevent my going away. I will come back and see 
him when I have become a Buddha." And he left the 
palace. 

Now what is said in the Jataka commentary : "At 
that time Rahula was seven days old," is not found in 
the other commentaries. Therefore the view given 
above should be accepted. 2 

And when the Bodisat had left the palace, he went 
to his horse, and said : " Dear Kanthaka, do thou 
bear me over this once to-night ; so that I, having 
become a Buddha by thy help, shall bear over the 
world of men and devas." Then leaping up, he seated 
himself on Kanthaka s back. 

1 Lit., " about an ammana (i.e. five or six bushels) of the large 
jasmine and the Arabian jasmine." 

2 The Jataka Commentary here referred to is, no doubt, the 
older commentary of Elu, or old Singhalese, on which the present 
work is based. 



174 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Kanthaka was eighteen cubits in length from the 
nape of his neck, and of proportionate height ; he 
was strong and fleet, and white all over like a clean 
chank shell. If he should neigh or paw the ground, 
the sound would penetrate through all the town. 
Therefore the devas so muffled the sound of his 
neighing that none could hear it ; and placed, at each 
step, the palms of their hands under his feet. 

The Bodisat rode on the excellent back of the 
excellent steed ; told Channa to catch hold of its tail, 
and arrived at midnight at the great gate of the city. 

Now the king thinking : "In that way the Bodisat 
will not be able at any time to open the city gate and 
get away ", had placed a thousand men at each of the 
two gates to stop him. The Bodisat was mighty and 
strong according to the measure of elephants as ten 
thousand million elephants, and according to the 
measure of men as a million million men. He thought : 
" If the door does not open, sitting on Kanthaka s 
back with Channa holding his tail, I will press Kan 
thaka with my thighs, and jumping over the city 
rampart, eighteen cubits high, I will get away ! " 
Channa thought : "If the door is not opened, I will 
take my master on my neck, and putting my right 
hand round Kanthaka s girth, I will hold him close 
to my waist, and so leap over the rampart and get 
away ! " Kanthaka thought : "If the door is not 
opened, I will spring up with my master seated as he 
is on my back, and Channa holding by my tail, and 
will leap over the rampart and get away ! " And if 
the door had not been opened, verily one or other of 
hose three would have accomplished that whereof 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 175 

lie had thought. But the deva residing at the gate 
opened it. 

At that moment Mara came there with the intention 
of stopping the Bodisat ; and standing in the air, he 
exclaimed : "Go not forth sir ! in seven days from 
now the treasure-wheel will appear, and will make you 
sovereign over the four continents and the two 
thousand adjacent isles. Stop, my lord ! " 

" Who are you ? " said he. 

" I am Vasavatti," was the reply. 

" Mara ! Well do I know that the treasure- wheel 
would appear to me ; but it is not sovereignty that I 
desire. I shall become a Buddha, and make the ten 
thousand world-systems shout for joy." 

Then thought the Tempter to himself : " Now, from 
this time forth, whenever a thought of lust or anger or 
malice shall arise within you, I will get to know of it." 
And he followed him, ever watching for some slip, as 
closely as a shadow which never leaves its object. 

But the future Buddha, making light of the 
kingdom of the world, thus within his reach casting 
it away as one would spittle left the city with great 
honour on the full-moon day of Asalhi, when the moqn 
was in the Uttarasalha lunar mansion (i.e. on the 
1st July). And when he had left the city a desire 
sprang up within him to look back upon it ; and the 
instant he did so the broad earth revolved like a 
potter s wheel, and was stayed : saying as it were to 
him : "0 great man, there is no need for you to stop 
in order to fulfil your wish." So the Bodisat, with his 
face towards the city, gazed at it ; and he fixed at 
that place a spot for The Shrine of Kanthaka s 



176 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Staying. And keeping Kanthaka in the direction in 
which he was going, he went on with great honour and 
exceeding glory. 

For then, they say, devas in front of him carried 
sixty thousand torches, and behind him too, and on 
his right hand, and on his left. And while some devas 
undefined on the edge of the horizon, held torches 
aloft ; other devas, and the Nagas, and Winged 
Creatures, and other superhuman beings, bore him 
company doing homage with heavenly perfumes, 
and garlands, and sandal-wood powder, and incense. 
And the whole sky was full of Paricchattaka flowers 
as with the pouring rain when thick clouds gather. 
Divine songs floated around : and on every side 
thousands of musical instruments sounded, as when 
the thunder roars in the womb of the sea, or the ocean 
heaves against the boundaries of the world ! 

Advancing in this pomp and glory, the Bodisat, in 
that one night, passed beyond three kingdoms, and 
arrived, at the end of thirty leagues, at the bank of the 
river called Anoma. But why could not the horse go 
still further ? It was not through want of power : for 
he could go from one edge of the world s disc to the 
other, as easily as one could step across the cir 
cumference of a wheel lying on its side ; and doing 
this in the forenoon, he could return and eat the food 
prepared for him. But on this occasion he was 
constantly delayed by having to drag himself along, 
and break his way through the mass of garlands and 
flowers, cast down from heaven in such profusion by 
the devas, and the Nagas, and the Winged Creatures, 
that his very flanks were hid. Hence it was that he 
only got over thirty leagues. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 177 

Now the Bodisat, stopping at the river side, asked 
Channa : " What is this river called ? " 

" Its name, sire, is Anoma." 

" And so also our leaving the world shall be called 
Anoma (illustrious)," said he ; and signalling to his 
horse, by pressing it with his heel, the horse sprang 
over the river, five or six hundred yards in breadth, 
and stood on the opposite bank. 

The Bodisat, getting down from the horse s back, 
stood on the sandy beach, extending there like a sheet 
of silver, and said to Channa : " Good Channa, do 
thou now go back, taking my ornaments and 
Kanthaka. I am going to leave the world." 

" But I also, sire, will leave the world." 

Thou canst not be allowed to leave the world, do 
thou go back," he said. Three times he refused this 
request of Channa s ; and he delivered over to him 
both the ornaments and Kanthaka. 

Then he thought ; " These locks of mine are not 
suited for a recluse. Now it is not right for any one 
else to cut the hair of a future Buddha, so I will cut 
them off myself with this sword." Then, taking his 
sword in his right hand, and holding the plaited 
tresses, together with the diadem on them, with his 
left, he cut them off. So his hair was thus reduced to 
two inches in length, and curling from the right, it lay 
close to his head. It remained that length as long as 
he lived, and the beard the same. There was no need 
at all to shave either h air or beard any more. 

The Bodisat, saying to himself : "HI am to become 
a Buddha, let it stand in the air ; if not, let it fall to 
the ground ", threw the hair and diadem together as 



178 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

he held them towards the sky. The plaited hair and 
the jewelled turban went a league off and stopped in 
the air. Sakka, the deva-king, caught sight of it with 
his deva-eye, and receiving it into a jewel casket, a 
league high, he placed it in Tavatimsa, in the Dagaba 
of the Diadem. 

272. Cutting off his hair, with pleasant perfumes sweet, 
The supreme person cast it to the sky. 

The thousand-eyed one, Sakka, by his head, 
Received it humbly in a golden casket. 

Again the Bodisat thought : " This my raiment of 
Benares muslin is not suitable for a recluse." Now 
the great Brahma Ghatikara, who had formerly been 
his friend in the time of Kassapa Buddha, 1 was led by 
his friendship, which had not grown old in that long 
interval, to think : " To-day my friend is accomplish 
ing the Great Renunciation, I will go and provide him 
with the requisites of a recluse. 

273. The three robes, and the alms bowl, 
Razor, needle, and girdle, 

And a water strainer these eight 
Are the wealth of the monk devout. 

Taking these eight requisites of a recluse, he gave 
them to him. The Bodisat dressed himself in the 
banner of an Arahant , and adopted the sacred garb 
of Renunciation ; and he enjoined upon Channa to go 
and, in his name, assure his parents of his safety. And 
Channa did homage to the Bodisat reverently, and 
departed. 

Now Kanthaka stood listening to the Bodisat as he 
talked with Channa. And thinking: "From this 

1 See above, p. 51. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 179 

time forth I shall never see my master more ! " he was 
unable to bear his grief. And going out of their sight, 
he died of a broken heart; and was reborn in 
Tavatimsa as a deva, with the name of Kanthaka. So 
far the sorrow of Channa had been but single ; now 
torn with the second sorrow of Kanthaka J s death, he 
returned, weeping and bewailing, to the city. 

But the Bodisat, having renounced the world, spent 
seven days in a mango grove called Anupiya, hard by 
that spot, in the j oy of renunciation. Then he went on 
foot in one day to Rajagaha, a distance of thirty 
leagues, 1 and entering the city, begged his food from 
door to door. The whole city at the sight of his 
beauty was thrown into commotion, as was 
Rajagaha by the entrance of Dhana-palaka, or like 
the deva-city by the entrance of the governor of 
the Asuras. 

The guards went to the king and said, describing 
him : " Sire, such and such a being is coming for 
alms through the town. We cannot tell whether he 
is a deva, or a man, or a Naga, or a Supanna, 2 or 
what he is." 

1 The word rendered league is i/ojana, said by Childers (Pali 
Diet, s.v.) to be twelve miles, but really only between seven and 
eight miles. See my Ancient Coins and Measures, pp. 16, 17. The 
thirty yojanas here mentioned, together with the thirty from 
Kapilavatthu to the river Anoma, make together sixty, or four 
hundred and fifty miles from Kapilavatthu to Rajagaha, which 
is far too much for the direct distance. There is here, I think, 
an undersigned coincidence between Northern and Southern 
accounts ; for the Lalita Vistara (Chap, xvi, at the commence 
ment) makes the Bodisat go to Rajagaha via Vesali, and this 
would make the total distance exactly sixty yojanas. 

2 These are the superhuman Snakes and Winged Creatures, 
who were supposed, like the gods or angels, to be able to assume 
the appearance of men. 



180 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The king, watching the great man from his palace, 
became full of wonder, and gave orders to his guards, 
saying, "Go, I say, and watch. If it is a super 
human being, he will disappear as soon as he leaves 
the city ; if a deva, he will depart through the air ; 
if a snake, he will dive into the earth ; if a man, he 
will eat the food just as it is." 

But the great man collected mixed food. And 
when he perceived there was enough to support him, 
he left the city by the gate at which he had entered. 
And seating himself, facing towards the East, under 
the shadow of the Pandava rock, he began to eat his 
meal. His stomach, however, turned, and made as if 
it would come out of his mouth. Then, though 
distressed by that revolting food, for in that birth he 
had never even beheld such food with his eyes, he 
himself admonished himself, saying : " Siddhattha, 
it is true thou wast born in a family where food and 
drink were easily obtainable, into a state of life where 
thy food was perfumed third-season s rice, with 
various curries of the finest kinds. But ever since 
thou didst see one clad in a mendicant s garb, thou 
hast been thinking : When shall I become like him, 
and live by begging my food ? would that that time 
were come ! And now that thou hast left all for 
that very purpose, what is this that thou art doing ? " 
And overcoming his feelings, he ate the food. 

The king s men saw this, and went and told him 
that had happened. Hearing what his messengers 
said, the king quickly left the city, and approaching 
the Bodisat, was so pleased at the mere sight of his 
dignity and grace, that he offered him all his kingdom. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 181 

The Bodisat said ; "In me, king ! there is no 
desire after wealth or sinful pleasures. It is in the 
hope of attaining to complete enlightenment that I 
have left all." And when the king gained not his 
consent, though he asked it in many ways, he said : 
" Assuredly thou wilt become a Buddha ! Deign at 
least after thy Buddhahood to come to my kingdom 
first." 

This is here concisely stated ; but the full account, 
beginning : "I sing the Renunciation, how the Wise 
One renounced the world ", will be found on referring 
to the Pabbajja Sutta x and its commentary. 

And the Bodisat, granting the king s request, went 
forward on his way. And joining himself to Alara 
Kalama, and to Uddaka, son of Rama, he acquired 
their systems of ecstatic trance. But when he saw 
that that was not the way to enlightenment, he left 
off applying himself to the realization of that system 
of Attainment. And with the intention of carrying 
out the Great Struggle against sin, and showing his 
might and resolution to devas and men, he went to 
Uruvela. And saying : " Pleasant, indeed, is this 
spot ! " he took up his residence there, and devoted 
himself to the Great Struggle. 2 

1 See Sutta Nipata, vers. 405-24. 

2 The Great Struggle played a great part in the Buddhist system 
of moral training ; it was the wrestling with the flesh by which a 
true Buddhist overcame delusion and sin, and attained to Nirvana. 
It is best explained by its four-fold division into 1. Mastery over 
the passions. 2. Suppression of sinful thoughts. 3. Meditation 
of the seven kinds of Enlightenment (Bodhi-anga, see Buddhism, 
p. 173) ; and 4. Fixed attention, the power of preventing the 
mind from wandering. It is also called Sammappadhana, Right 
Effort, and a formula alluded to in many Suttas. The system 
was, of course, not worked out at the time here referred to ; but 



182 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

And those five recluses, Kondanya and the rest, 1 
begging their way through villages, market towns, and 
royal cities, met with the Bodisat there. And for 
six years they stayed by him and served him, while 
he was carrying out the Great Struggle, with different 
kinds of service, such as sweeping out the hermitage, 
and so on ; thinking the while : " Now he will become 
a Buddha ! now he will become a Buddha ! " 

Now the Bodisat thought : "I will perform the 
uttermost penance/ And he brought himself to live 
on one seed of the oil-plant, or one grain of rice, and 
even to fast entirely ; but devas gathered the sap of 
life and infused it into him through the pores of his 
skin. By this fasting, however, he became as thin as 
a skeleton ; the colour of his body, once fair as gold, 
became dark ; and the thirty-two signs of a great 
man disappeared. And one day, when walking up 
and down, plunged in intense meditation, he was 
overcome by severe pain ; and he fainted, and fell. 

Then certain of the devas began to say : " He is 
dead." But others said : " Such is the way of 
saints." And those who thought he was dead 
went and told Suddhodana the king, saying : " Your 
son is dead." 

" Did he die after becoming a Buddha, or before ? " 

" He was unable to attain to Buddhahood, and fell 
down and died in the midst of the Great Struggle." 

throughout the chronicle the biographer ascribes to Gotama from 
the beginning, a knowledge of the whole Buddhist theory as 
afterwards elaborated. For to our author that theory had no 
development, it was Eternal and Immutable Truth already 
revealed by innumerable previous Buddhas. 
1 See above, p. 62. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 183 

When the king heard this, he refused to credit it, 
saying : " I do not believe it. My son could never die 
without attaining to Enlightenment ! " 

If you ask : " Why did not the king believe it ? " 
it was because he had seen the miracles at the foot of 
the jambu-tree, and on the day when Kala Devala 
had been compelled to do homage to the Bodisat. 1 

And the Bodisat recovered consciousness again, and 
stood up. And those devas went and told the king, 
Your son, king, is well." And the king said : 
" I knew my son was not dead." 

And the great being s six years penance became 
noised abroad, as when the sound of a great bell is 
heard in the sky. But he perceived that penance was 
not the way to enlightenment ; and begging through 
the villages and towns, he collected ordinary material 
food and lived upon it. And the thirty-two signs of a 
great man appeared again upon him, and his body 
became fair in colour, like unto gold. 

Then the five attendant monks thought : " This 
man has not been able, even by six years penance, to 
attain all-knowledge ; how can he do so now, when 
he goes begging through the villages, and takes 
material food ? He is altogether lost in the struggle. 
To think of getting spiritual eminence through him 
is like a man, who wants to bathe his head, thinking 
of using a dewdrop. What could we get from him ? " 
And leaving the great man, they took each his robes 
and begging bowl, and went eighteen leagues away, 
and entered Isipatana. 2 

1 See above, p. 157. 

2 A Buburb of Benares, famous for its schools of learning 



184 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Now at that time, at Uruvela, in the village 
Senani, there was a girl named Sujata, born in the 
house of Senani the landowner, who, when she had 
grown up, made a vow at a Nigrodha-tree, saying : 
" If I am married into a family of equal rank, and 
have a son for my first-born child, then I will spend 
every year a hundred thousand on an offering to thee." 
And this her vow took effect. 

And in order to make her offering, on the full-moon 
day of the month of May, in the sixth year of the Great 
Being s penance, she had driven in front of her a 
thousand cows into a meadow of rich grass. With 
their milk she had fed five hundred cows, with theirs 
two hundred and fifty, and so on down to eight. Thus 
aspiring after quantity, and sweetness, and strength, 
she did what is called : " Working the milk in and in." 

And early on the full-moon day in the month of 
May, thinking : " Now I will make the offering ", 
she rose up in the morning early and milked those 
eight cows. Of their own accord the calves kept 
away from the cows udders, and as soon as the new 
vessels were placed ready, streams of milk poured 
into them. Seeing this miracle, Sujata, with her own 
hands, took the milk and poured it into new pans ; 
and with her own hands made the fire and began to 
cook it. When that rice-milk was boiling, huge 
bubbles rising, turned to the right and ran round 
together ; not a drop fell or was lost ; not the least 
smoke rose from the fireplace. 

At that time the four guardians of the world came 
and kept watch by the fireplace. A great Brahma 
held over it a canopy of state. Sakka put the sticks 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 185 

together and lighted the fire. By their divine power 
the devas gathering so much of the sap of maintenance 
as would suffice for the support of all men and devas 
of the four continents, and their circumjacent two 
thousand isles as easily as a man crushing the honey 
comb formed round a stick would take the honey 
they infused it into the milk-rice. At other times 
devas infused the sap into each mouthful of rice as he 
took it ; but on the day of his Buddhahood, and on 
the day of his passing away, they infused it into the 
very vessel-full of rice itself. 

Sujata, seeing that so many wonders appeared to 
her on this one day, said to her slave-girl Punna : 
" Punna, my girl ! Very gracious is our deva to-day ! 
Never before have I seen such a wonder. Go at once 
and keep watch by the holy place." " Very good, 
madam," replied she ; and ran and hastened to the 
foot of the tree. 

Now the Bodisat had seen that night five dreams, 
and on considering their purport he had drawn the 
conclusion : " Verily this day I shall become a 
Buddha." And at the end of the night he washed 
and dressed himself, and waiting till the time should 
come to go round for his food, he went early, and sat 
at the foot of that tree, lighting it all up with his 
glory. 

And Punna coming there saw the Bodisat sitting at 
the foot of the tree and lighting up all the region of 
the East ; and she saw the whole tree in colour 
like gold from the rays issuing from his body. And 
she thought : " To-day our deva, descending from 
the tree, is seated to receive our offering in his own 



186 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

hand." And excited with joy, she returned quickly, 
and announced this to Sujata. Sujata, delighted at 
the news, gave her all the ornaments befitting a 
daughter, saying : " To-day, from this time forth, 
be thou to me in the place of an elder daughter ! " 

And since, on the day of attaining Buddhahood, it is 
proper to receive a golden vessel worth a hundred 
thousand, she conceived the idea : " We will put the 
milk-rice into a vessel of gold." And sending for a 
vessel of gold worth a hundred thousand, she poured 
out the well-cooked food to put it therein. All the 
rice-milk flowed into the vessel, like water from a 
lotus leaf, and filled the vessel full. Taking it she 
covered it with a golden platter, and wrapped it in 
a cloth. And adorning herself in all her splendour, 
she put the vessel on her head, and went with great 
dignity to the Nigrodha-tree. Seeing the Bodisat, 
she was filled with exceeding joy, taking him for the 
tree-deva ; and advanced bowing from the spot whence 
she saw him. Taking the vessel from her head, she 
uncovered it ; and fetching sweet-scented water in a 
golden vase, she approached the Bodisat, and stood by. 

The earthenware pot given him by the deva 
Ghatikara, which had never till then left him, 
disappeared at that moment. Not seeing his pot, the 
Bodisat stretched out his right hand, and took the 
water. Sujata placed the vessel, with the milk-rice 
in it, in the hand of the great man. The great man 
looked at her. Pointing to the food, she said : " 0, 
sir ! accept what I have offered thee, and depart 
whithersoever seemeth to thee good." And adding : 
" May there arise to thee as much joy as has come to 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 187 

me ! " she went away, valuing her golden vessel, 
worth a hundred thousand, at no more than a dried 
leaf. 

But the Bodisat rising from his seat, and leaving the 
tree on the right hand, took the vessel and went to the 
bank of the Neranjara river, down into which on the 
day of their complete Enlightenment so many thou 
sand Bodisats had gone. The name of that bathing 
place is the Supatitthita l ferry. Putting the vessel 
on the bank, he descended into the river and bathed. 

And having dressed himself again in the banner of 
the Arahants worn by so many thousand Buddhas, he 
sat down with his face to the East : and dividing the 
rice into forty-nine balls of the size of so many single- 
seeded palmyra fruits, he ate all that sweet-milk rice 
without any water. 2 Now that was the only food 
he had for forty-nine days, during the seven times 
seven days he spent, after he became a Buddha, at the 
foot of the Tree of Enlightenment. During all that 
time he had no other food ; he did not bathe ; nor 
wash his teeth ; nor feel the cravings of nature. He 
lived on Jhana-joy, on Path- joy, on Fruition- 
joy- 

But when he had finished eating that milk-rice, he 

took the golden vessel, and said : " If I shall be able 
to-day to become a Buddha, let this pot go up the 
stream : if not, let it go down the stream ! " and he 
threw it into the water. And it went, in spite of the 

1 well-established. 

2 The fruit of the Palmyra (Borassus flabelliformis) has always 
three seeds. I do not understand the allusion to a one-seeded 
Palmyra. 



188 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

stream, eighty cubits up the river in the middle of the 
stream, all the way as quickly as a fleet horse. And 
diving into a whirlpool it went to the palace of Ka la 
Nagaraja (the Black Snake King) ; and striking 
against the bowls from which the three previous 
Buddhas had eaten, it made them sound " killi- 
killi ! " and stopped as the lowest of them. Kala, 
the snake-king, hearing the noise, exclaimed : 
Yesterday a Buddha arose, now to-day another has 
arisen " ; and he stood praising him in many hundred 
stanzas. 

But the Bodisat spent the heat of the day in a grove 
of sal-trees in full bloom on the bank or the river. 
And in the evening, when the flowers droop from 
their stems, he proceeded, like a lion when it is roused, 
towards the Tree of Enlightenment, along a path five 
or six hundred yards wide, decked by devas. The 
Snakes, and Genii, and Winged Creatures, 1 and other 
superhuman beings, offered him sweet-smelling 
flowers from heaven, and sang heavenly songs. The 
ten thousand world-systems became filled with 
perfumes and garlands and shouts of approval. 

At that time there came from the opposite direction 
a grass-cutter named Sotthiya, carrying grass ; and 
recognizing the great man, he gave him eight bundles 
of grass. The Bodisat took the grass : and ascending 



1 Nagas, Yakkhas, and Supannas. The Yakkhas are character 
ized throughout the Jataka stories by their cannibalism ; the 
female Yakkhas as sirens luring men on to destruction. They are 
invisible till they assume human shape ; but even then can be 
recognized by their red eyes. That the Ceylon aborigines are 
called Yakkhas in the Mdhavamsa probably results from a 
tradition of their cannibalism. On the others, see above, p. 179. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 189 

the rising ground round the Bo-tree, he stood at the 
South of it, looking towards the North. At that 
moment the Southern horizon seemed to descend 
below the level of the lowest hell, and the Northern 
horizon mounting up seemed to reach above the 
highest heaven. 

The Bodisat, saying : " This cannot, methinks, be 
the right place for attaining Buddhahood ", turned 
round it, keeping it on the right hand ; and went to 
the Western side, and stood facing the East. Then 
the Western horizon seemed to descend beneath the 
lowest hell, and the Eastern horizon to ascend above 
the highest heaven ; and to him, where he was 
standing, the earth seemed to bend up and down like 
a great cart wheel lying on its axis when its 
circumference is trodden on. 

The Bodisat, saying : " This cannot, I think, be 
the right place for attaining Buddhahood ", turned 
round it, keeping it on the right hand ; and went to 
the Northern side, and stood facing the South. Then 
the Northern horizon seemed to descend beneath the 
lowest hell, and the Southern horizon to ascend above 
the highest heaven. 

The Bodisat, saying : " This cannot, I think, be 
the right place for attaining Buddhahood ", turned 
round it, keeping it on the right hand ; and went to 
the Western side, and stood facing towards the East. 
Now in the East is the place where all the Buddhas 
have sat cross-legged ; and that place neither 
trembles nor shakes. 

The great being, perceiving : " This is the steadfast 
spot chosen by all the Buddhas, the spot for the 



190 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

throwing down of the cage of sin ", took hold of the 
grass by one end, and scattered it there. And 
immediately there was a seat fourteen cubits long. 
For those blades of grass arranged themselves in 
such a form as would be beyond the power of even the 
ablest painter or carver to design. 

The Bodisat turning his back upon the trunk of the 
Bo-tree, and with his face towards the East, made the 
firm resolve : " May skin, indeed, and sinews, and 
bones wilt away, may flesh and blood in my body dry 
up, but till I attain to complete enlightenment this seat 
I will not leave ! " And he sat himself down in a 
cross-legged position, firm and immovable, as if 
welded with a hundred thunderbolts. 

At that time the deva Mara, thinking : " Prince 
Siddhattha wants to free himself from my dominion. 
I will not let him get free yet ! " went to the hosts of 
his Maras, 1 and told the news. And sounding the 
drum called Mara-Cry, he led forth the hosts of 
Mara. 

That army of Mara stretches twelve leagues before 
him, twelve leagues to right and left of him, behind 
him it reaches to the rocky limits of the world, above 
him it is nine leagues in height ; and the sound of 
its war-cry is heard, twelve leagues away, even as the 
sound of an earthquake. 

Then Mara deva, mounted his elephant, two 
hundred and fifty leagues high, named " Girded with 
mountains ". And he created for himself a thousand 
arms, and seized all kinds of weapons. And of the 

1 Lit., to the strength of Mara(s) (Marabala). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 191 

remainder, too, of the company of Mara, no two took 
the same weapon ; but, assuming various colours and 
various forms, they went on to overwhelm the great 
being. 

But the devas of the ten thousand world-systems 
continued speaking the praises of the great being. 
Sakka, the deva-king, stood there blowing his trumpet 
Vijayuttara. Now that trumpet is a hundred and 
twenty cubits long, and can itself cause the wind to 
enter, and thus itself give forth a sound which will 
resound for four months, when it becomes still. The 
Great Black One, the king of the Nagas, stood there 
uttering his praises in many hundred stanzas. The 
Maha Brahma stood there, holding over him the 
white canopy of state. But as the army approached 
and surrounded the seat under the Bo-tree, not one 
of the hosts of Mara was able to stay, and they fled 
each one from the spot where the army met them. 
The Black One, king of the Nagas, dived into the 
earth, and went to Manjerika, the palace of the Nagas, 
five hundred leagues in length, and lay down, covering 
his face with his hands. Sakka, taking the Vijayut 
tara trumpet on his back, stopped on the rocky verge 
of the world. Maha Brahma, putting the white 
canopy of state on to the summit of the rocks at the 
end of the earth, went to the world of Brahma. Not 
a single deity was able to keep his place. The great 
man sat there alone. 

But Mara said to his company : " Sirs ! there is no 
other man like Siddhattha, the son of Suddhodana. 
We cannot give him battle face to face. Let us 
attack him from behind ! " The great man looked 



192 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

round on three sides, and saw that all the devas had 
fled, and their place was empty. Then beholding the 
hosts of Mara coming thick upon him from the North, 
he thought : " Against me alone this mighty host 
is putting forth all its energy and strength. No father 
is here, nor mother, nor brother, nor any other 
relative to help me. But those ten perfections have 
long been to me as retainers fed from my store. So, 
making the perfections like a shield, I must strike 
this host with the sword of perfection, and thus over 
whelm it ! " And so he sat meditating on the Ten 
Perfections. 1 

Then Mara deva, saying : " Thus will I drive away 
Siddhattha ", caused a whirlwind to blow. And 
immediately such winds rushed together from the 
four corners of the earth as could have torn down the 
peaks of mountains half a league, two leagues, three 
leagues high could have rooted up the shrubs and 
trees of the forest and could have made of the towns 
and villages around one heap of ruins. But through 
the glow of the merit of the great man, they reached 
him with their power gone, and even the hem of his 
robe they were unable to shake. 

Then saying : "I will overwhelm him with water 
and so slay him ", he caused a mighty rain to fall. 
And the clouds gathered, overspreading one another 
by hundreds and by thousands, and poured forth 
rain ; and by the violence of the torrents the earth 
was saturated ; and a great flood, overtopping the 
trees of the forest, approached the.Bodhisat. But 

1 His acquisition of the Ten Perfections, or Cardinal Virtues, is 
described above, pp. 101 ff. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 193 

it was not able to wet on his robe even the space where 
a dew-drop might fall. 

Then he caused a storm of rocks to fall. And 
mighty, mighty mountain peaks came through the 
air, spitting forth fire and smoke. But as they reached 
the Bodhisat, they changed into divine garlands. 

Then he raised a storm of deadly weapons. And 
they came one-edged, and two-edged swords, and 
spears, and arrows smoking and flaming through 
the sky. But as they reached the Bodhisat, they 
became divine flowers. 

Then he raised a storm of charcoal But the 
embers, though they came through the sky like red 
kimsuka flowers, were scattered at the feet of the 
future Buddha as divine flowers. 

Then he raised a storm of embers ; and the embers 
came through the air exceeding hot, and in colour 
like fire ; but they fell at the feet of the future Buddha 
as sandal-wood powder. 

Then he raised a storm of sand ; and the sand, 
exceeding fine, came smoking and flaming through 
the air ; but it fell at the feet of the future Buddha as 
divine flowers. 

Then he raised a storm of mud. And the mud 
came smoking and flaming through the air ; but it 
fell at the feet of the future Buddha as divine 
unguent. 

Then saying : " By this I will terrify Siddhattha, 
and drive him away ! " he brought on a thick darkness. 
And the darkness became fourfold ; but when it 
reached the future Buddha, it disappeared as dark 
ness does before the brightness of the sun. 



194 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Thus was Mara unable by these nine the wind, and 
the rain, and the rocks, and the weapons, and the char 
coal, and the embers, and the sand, and the mud, and 
the darkness to drive away the future Buddha. So 
he called on his host, and said : " Say, why stand you 
still ? Seize, or slay, or drive away this prince ! " 
And himself mounted the Mountain-girded, and seated 
on his back, he approached the future Buddha, and 
cried out : " Get up, Siddhattha, from that seat ! 
It does not belong to thee ! It belongs to me ! " 

The great being listened to his words, and said : 
" Mara ! it is not by you that the ten Perfections have 
been perfected, neither the lesser Perfections, nor the 
higher Perfections. It is not you who have sacrificed 
yourself in the five great acts of renunciation, who 
have perfected the way of good in knowledge nor the 
way of good for the world nor the way of understand 
ing. This seat does not belong to thee, it is to me that 
it belongs." 

Then the enraged Mara, unable to endure the 
vehemence of his anger, cast at the great man 
that Sceptre- javelin of his, the barb of which was in 
shape as a wheel. But it became a wreath of flowers, 
and remained as a canopy over him, whose mind was 
bent upon the Ten Perfections. 

Now at other times, when that Wicked One throws 
his Sceptre- javelin, it cleaves asunder a pillar of solid 
rock as if it were the tender shoot of a bambu. When, 
however, it thus turned into a wreath-canopy, the 
entire company of Mara shouted, " Now he will rise 
from his seat and flee ! " and they hurled at him 
huge masses of rock. But these too fell on the ground 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 195 

as garlands at the feet of him whose mind was bent 
upon the Ten Perfections. 

And the devas stood on the edge of the rocks that 
encircle the world ; and stretching forward in amaze 
ment, they looked on, saying : " Lost ! lost is the 
life of Siddhattha the Prince, supremely beautiful ! 
What can he do ? " 

Then the great man said : " To me belongs the 

seat on which sit the Buddhas-to-be when they have 

fulfilled perfection on the day of their Enlightment." 

^ And he said to Mara, standing there before him : 

" Mara, who is witness that thou hast given alms ? " 

And Mara stretched forth his hand to the hosts of 

his followers, and said : " So many are my witnesses." 

And that moment there arose a shout as the sound of 

an earthquake from the company of Mara, saying, 

" I am his witness ! I am his witness ! " 

Then the Tempter addressed the great man, and 
said : " Siddhattha ! who is witness that thou hast 
given alms ? " 

And the great man answered : " Thou hast living 
witnesses that thou hast given alms : and I have in 
this place no living witness at all. But not counting 
the alms I have given in other births, let this great 
and solid earth, unconscious though it be, be witness 
of the seven hundredfold great alms I gave when I was 
born as Vessantara ! " 

And withdrawing his right hand from beneath his 
robe, he stretched it forth towards the earth, and said : 
" Art thou, or art thou not witness of the seven 
hundredfold great gift I gave in my birth as 
Vessantara ? " 



196 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

And the great Earth uttered a voice, saying : "I 
am witness to thee of that ! " overwhelming as it 
were the hosts of Mara as with the shout of hundreds 
of thousands of foes. 

Then the mighty elephant "Mount-girded" 
as he realized what the generosity of Vessantara had 
been, said : " The great gift, the uttermost gift was 
given by thee, Siddhattha ! " And he fell down on his 
knees before the great man. And the company of 
Mara fled this way and that way, so that not even 
two were left together : throwing of! their clothes and 
their turbans, they fled, each one straight on before 
him. 

But the company of devas, when they saw that the 
hosts of Mara had fled, cried out : " Mara is 
overcome ! Siddhattha the Prince has prevailed ! 
Come, let us honour the victor ! " And the Nagas, 
and the Winged Creatures, and the Devas, and the 
Brahmas, each urging his comrades on, went up to 
the great man at the Bo-tree s foot, and as they 
came, 

274. At the Bo-tree s foot the Naga bands 
Shouted, for joy that the Sage had won ; 

" The Blessed Buddha he hath prevailed ! 
And the Evil Mara is overthrown ! " 

275. At the Bo-tree s foot the Winged Ones 
Shouted, for joy that the Sage had won ; 

" The Blessed Buddha he hath prevailed ! 
And the Evil Mara is overthrown ! " 

276. At the Bo-tree s foot the Deva hosts 
Shouted for joy that the Sage had won ; 

" The Blessed Buddha he hath prevailed ! 
And the Evil Mara is overthrown ! " 

277. At the Bo-tree s foot the Brahma Gods 
Shouted, for joy that the Sage had won ; 

" The Blessed Buddha he hath prevailed ! 
And the evil Mara is overthrown I " 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 197 

The other devas, too, in the ten thousand world- 
systems, offered garlands and perfumes and uttered 
his praises aloud. 

It was while the sun was still above the horizon, 
that the great man thus put to flight the hosts of 
Mara. Then, whilst the Bo-tree paid him homage, 
as it were, by its shoots like sprigs of red coral falling 
over his robe, he acquired in the first watch of the 
night the knowledge of the past, in the middle watch 
the clairvoyant eye, and in the third watch the 
knowledge of the chain of causation. 1 

Now on his thus revolving this way and that 
way, and tracing backwards and forwards, and 
thoroughly realizing the twelvefold chain of 
causation, the ten thousand world-systems quaked 
twelve times even to their ocean boundaries. And 
again, when the great man, making the ten thousand 
world systems to shout for joy, attained at break of 
day to complete enlightenment, the whole ten 
thousand world-systems became glorious as on a 
festive day. The streamers of the flags and banners 
raised on the edge of the rocky boundary tp the East 
of the world reached to the very West ; and so those 
on the West and North, and South, reached to the 
East, and South, and North ; while in like manner 
those of flags and banners on the surface of the earth 
reached to the Brahma-world, and those of flags and 
banners in that world swept down upon the earth. 
Throughout the universe flowering trees put forth 
their blossoms, and fruit-bearing trees were loaded 
with clusters of fruit ; the trunks and branches of 

1 Pubbe-nivasa-nana, Dibba-cakkhu, and Paticca-samuppada. 



198 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

trees, and even the creepers, were covered with bloom ; 
lotus wreaths hung from the sky ; and lilies by sevens 
sprang, one above another, even from the very rocks. 
The ten thousand world-systems as they revolved 
seemed like a mass of loosened wreaths, or like a 
nosegay tastefully arranged : and the world-voids 
between them, the hells whose darkness the rays of 
seven suns had never been able to disperse, became 
filled with light. The sea became sweet water down 
to its prof oundest depths ; and the rivers were stayed 
in their course. The blind from birth received their 
sight ; the deaf from birth heard sound ; the lame 
from birth could use their feet ; and chains and bonds 
were loosed and fell away. 1 

It was thus in surpassing glory and honour, and with 
many wonders happening around, that he attained 
all-knowledge, and gave vent to his emotion in the 
hymn of triumph uttered by all the Buddhas. 

278. Long have I wandered, long, 
Bound by the chain of life 

Through many births, 
Seeking thus long in vain, 
The baiilder of the house. And pain 
Is birth again, again. 

House-maker, thou art seen ! 
No more a house thou lt make. 

Broken are all thy beams. 
Thy ridge-pole shattered ! 
From things that make for life my mind has past : 

The end of cravings has been reached at last ! a 

1 Compare the Thirty- two Good Omens at the Buddha s Birth 
above, p. 160. 

2 The train of thought is explained at length in my Buddhism, 
pp. 100-12. Shortly, it amounts to this. The unconscious 
has no pain : without consciousness, individuality, there would 
be no pain. What gives men consciousness ? It is due to a grasp 
ing, craving, sinful condition of heart. The absence of these 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 199 

III: THE PROXIMATE EPOCH 1 

Santike niddna. 

Now whilst he was still seated there, after he 
had sung the hymn of triumph, the Blessed One 
thought : "It is in order to attain to this seat 
that I have undergone successive births for so long 

cravings is Nirvana. Having reached Nirvana, consciousness 
endures but for a time (until the body dies), and it will then no 
longer be renewed. The beams of sin, the ridge-pole of care, give 
to the house of individuality its seeming strength : but in the 
peace of Nirvana they have passed away. The Bodisat is now 
Buddha ; he has reached Nirvana : he has solved the great 
mystery ; the jewel of salvation, sought through so many ages, 
has been found at last ; and the long, long struggle is over. 

The following is Spence Hardy s literal translation given in his 
Manual of Buddhism, p. 180, where similar versions by Gogerly 
and Turnour will be found : but they scarcely seem to express 
the inner meaning of these difficult and beautiful verses : 

Through many different births 

I have run (to me not having found), 

Seeking the architect of the (desire resembling) house, 

Painful are repeated births ! 

house-builder ! I have seen (thee). 
Again a house thou canst not build for me. 

1 have broken thy rafters, 

Thy central support is destroyed. 
To Nirvana my mind has gone. 
I have arrived at the extinction of evil desire. 
(In the Theragatha (verses 183, 184) the hymn, slightly different, 

is ascribed to an (unknown) monk, Sivaka. Ed.) 
The figure of the house is found also in Manu (vi, 79-81) ; in the 
Lalita Vistara (p. 107 of Foucaux s Oya Tcher Rol Pa) ; and in the 
Adi Oranth (Trumpp, pp. 215, 216, 471). The last passage is as 
follows : 

A storm of divine knowledge has come ! 

The shutters of Delusion are all blown away are there no longer ; 
The posts of Double-mindedness are broken down ; the ridge 
pole of spiritual Blindness is shattered ; 

The roof of Craving has fallen on the ground ; the vessel of Folly 
has burst ! 

1 See above, p. 82. A similar explanation is here repeated in a 
gloss. 



200 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

a time, 1 that I severed my crowned head from my 
neck and gave it away, that I tore out my darkened 
eyes and my heart s flesh and gave them away, that 
I gave away to serve others such sons as Jali the 
Prince, and such daughters as Kanha Jina the 
Princess, and such wives as Maddi the Queen. This 
seat is a seat of triumph to me, and a seat of 
glory ; while seated on it my aims have been fulfilled : 
I will not leave it yet." And he sat there absorbed in 
many thoughts 2 for those seven days referred to in 
the text, beginning : " And then the Blessed One 
sat motionless for seven days, realizing the bliss of 
Nirvana." 

Now certain of the devas began to doubt, thinking : 
" This day also there must be something more 
Siddhattha has to do, for he still lingers seated there." 
The Master, knowing their thoughts, and to appease 
their doubts, rose into the air, and performed the 
twin-miracle. 3 

And the Master having thus by this miracle dis 
pelled the devas doubts, stood a little to the north 
east of the seat, thinking : "It was on that seat that 
I attained all-knowing insight." And he thus spent 
seven days gazing steadfastly at the spot where he 

1 Literally for four asankheyyas and a hundred thousand 
Icalpas. 

2 Anekakoti-sata-sahassa samapattiyo samapajjanto. 

3 Yamaka-patihariyan ; Comp. pp. 88, 193, of the text, and 
Mah. p. 107. (Described in the Patisambhidamagga, a book of the 
5th Nikaya ; i, 125, as fire proceeding from the upper half of 
his body, water from the lower half. Ed.) Bigandet, p. 93, has 
performed a thousand wonders . Hardy, p. 181, omits the 
clause ; and Beal omits the whole episode. A gloss here adds 
that the Buddha performed a similar miracle on three other 
occasions. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 201 

had gained the result of the deeds of virtue fulfilled 
through such countless years. And that spot became 
known as the Dagaba of the Steadfast Gaze. 

Then he created between the seat and the spot where 
he had stood a cloistered walk, and he spent seven days 
walking up and down in that treasure-cloister which 
stretched from east to west. And that spot became 
known as the Dagaba of the Treasure-Cloister. 

But for the fourth week the devas created to the 
north-west of the Bo-tree a Treasure-house ; and he 
spent the week seated there cross-legged, and thinking 
out the Abhidhamma Pitaka and here especially 
the entire Patthana with its infinite methods. (But 
the Abhidhammikas 1 say that Treasure-house here 
means either a mansion built of the seven kinds of 
jewels, or the place where the seven books were 
thought out : and as they give these two explanations 
of the passage, both may be accepted as correct.) 

Having thus spent four weeks close to the Bo-tree, 
he went, in the fifth week, to the Shepherd s Nigrodha- 
tree : and sat there meditating on Doctrine, and 
experiencing the happiness of deliverance. 

Now at that time the deva Mara thought to him 
self : "So long a time have I followed this man 
seeking some access to him, and find no fault in him ; 
and now, indeed, he is beyond my power." And 
overcome with sorrow he sat down on the highway, 
and as he thought of the following sixteen things 
he drew sixteen lines on the ground. Thinking, 

1 The monks whose duty it is to learn by heart, repeat, and 
commentate upon the seven books in the Abhidhamma Pifaka. 
See above, p. 168. 



202 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

" I did not attain, as he did, to the perfection of 
Giving ; therefore I have not become like him ", he 
drew one line. Then thinking : " I did not attain, as 
he did, to the Perfections of Moral Practice, and Self- 
abnegation, and Wisdom, and Exertion, and Patience, 
and Truth, and Resolution, and Kindness, and 
Equanimity ; x therefore I have not become like him," 
he drew nine more lines. Then thinking : "I did not 
attain the Ten Perfections, the conditions precedent 
to the penetration, the extraordinary knowledge of 
the complete way of the senses, and therefore I have 
not become like him ", he drew the eleventh line. 
Then thinking : "I did not attain to the Ten Perfec 
tions, the conditions precedent to the penetration, the 
extraordinary knowledge of inclinations and latent 
tendencies, of the attainment of compassion, of the 
double miracle, of the removal of hindrances, and of 
all-knowing : therefore I have not become like him ", 
he drew the five other lines. And so he sat on the 
highway, drawing sixteen lines for these sixteen 
thoughts. 

At that time Craving, Discontent, and Lust, 2 the 
three daughters of Mara, could not find their father, 
and were looking for him, wondering where he could 
be. And when they saw him, sad at heart, writing 
on the ground, they went up to him, and asked : 
" Why, dear, are you sad and sorrowful ? " 

And he answered : " My women, this great recluse 
is escaping from my power. Long have I watched, but 

1 On these Ten Perfections, see above, pp. 101 ff. 
* Tanha, Arati, and Raga. Of. Kindred Sayings, i, 156, 
giving the older version (Pali. Text Soc., 1917). Ed. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 203 

in vain, to find some fault in him. Therefore it is 
that I am sad and sorrowful." 

" If that is so," replied they, " think not thus. We 
will subject him to our influence, and come back 
bringing him captive with us." 

" My women," said he, " you cannot by any means 
bring him under your influence ; this man stands firm 
in faith, unwavering." 

" Dear one, we are women " was the reply ; " even 
now we shall bring him bound by the sweetness of 
lust. Do not think so." 

So they approached the Blessed One, and said : 
" recluse, upon thee we humbly wait ! " 

But the Blessed One neither paid any attention to 
their words, nor raised his eyes to look at them. He 
sat, with a mind made free by the complete extinction of 
rebirth-conditions, enjoying the bliss of detachment. 

Then the daughters of Mara considered with them 
selves : " Various are men s tastes. Some fall in love 
with girls, some with young women, some with 
mature women, some with older women. We will 
tempt him in various forms." Soeachof them assumed 
the appearance of a hundred women girls, women 
who had never had a child, or only once, or only twice, 
middle-aged women, older women and six times 
they went up to the Blessed One, and professed them 
selves his humble handmaidens ; and to that also 
the Blessed One paid no attention, so was he made 
free by the complete extinction of rebirth-conditions. 

Now, some teachers say that when the Blessed One 
saw them approaching in the form of elderly women, 
he commanded, saying : " Let these women remain 



204 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

just as they are, with broken teeth, and bald heads." 
This should not be believed, for the Master issues not 
such commands. 

But the Blessed One said : " Depart ye ! What 
have ye seen that ye thus strive ? Such things might 
be done in the presence of men who linger in the paths 
of sin ; but by the Tathagata lust is put away, 
ill-will is put away, delusion is put away." And he 
admonished them in those two verses from the Chapter 
on the Buddha in the Scripture Verses : 

280. Whose conquest is not overthrown 
His conquest nought on earth assails. 
That Buddha, infinite in range, 
Pathless, by what path will ye lead ? 

281. In whom there is no snare besetting. 
Venomous craving any- whither leading. 
That Buddha, infinite in range, 
Pathless, by what path will ye lead ? x 

And they saying : " Our father spoke the truth 
indeed. The saint, the Well-Farer of the world is not 
easily led away " and so on, returned to their father. 

But the Blessed One when he had spent a week at 
that spot, went on to the Muchalinda-tree. There he 
spent a week. Muchalinda, the snake-king, when 
a storm arose, shielding him with seven folds of his 
hood, so that the Blessed One enjoyed the bliss of 
deliverance as if he had been resting unharassed in a 
fragrant chamber. Thence he went away to the 
Kingstead-tree and there also sat down enjoying the 
bliss of deliverance. And so seven weeks passed away, 
during which he experienced no bodily wants, but 
fed on Jhana-joy, Path- joy, and Fruition- joy. 2 

1 Gloss : He taught the Doctrine, saying these two stanzas in 
the Buddha-section of the Dhammapada. Dhammapada (verses 
179, 180). 

8 See above, p. 187. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 205 

Now, as lie sat there on the last day of the seven 
weeks the forty-ninth day he felt a desire to bathe 
his face. And Sakka, the deva-governor, brought a 
fruit of the myrobolan-tree, and gave him to eat. And 
Sakka, too, provided a tooth-cleanser of the thorns of 
the snake-creeper, and water to bathe his face. And 
the Master used the tooth-cleanser, and bathed his 
face, and sat him down there at the foot of the 
Kingstead-tree. 

At that time two merchants, Tapassu and Bhalluka 
by name, were travelling from Orissa to Central 
India 1 with five hundred carts. And a deva, a blood 
relation of theirs, stopped their carts, and moved 
their hearts to offer food to the Master. And they 
took a rice cake, and a honey cake, and went up to the 
Master, and said : "0 sir, Blessed One ! out of 
compassion for us accept this food." 

Now, on the day when he had received the sweet 
rice-milk, his bowl had disappeared ; 2 so the Blessed 
One thought : " The Buddhas never receive food in 
their hands. How shall I accept it ? " Then the four 
Guardians knew his thought and, coming from the 
four quarters of the sky, they brought bowls made of 
sapphire. And the Blessed One accepted them. Then 
they brought four other bowls, made of jade ; and 
the Blessed one, out of kindness to the four devas, 
received the four, and placing them one above another 
commanded, saying : " Let them become one." 
And the four closed up into one of medium size, 

1 Ukkala to Majjhima-desa. The latter included all the 
Buddhist Holy Land from the modern Patna to Allahabad. See 
above, p. 61, note. 

8 See above, pp. 178, 187. 



206 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

becoming visible only as lines round the mouth of it. 
The Blessed One received the food into that new- 
created bowl, and ate it, and gave thanks. 

The two brothers took refuge in the Buddha, the 
Doctrine, and the Order, 1 and became professed 
disciples. Then, when they asked him, saying : 
" Lord, bestow upon us something to which we may 
pay reverence," with his own right hand he tore from 
his head, and gave to them, the hair-relics. And 
they built a Dagaba in their own city, and placed the 
relics within it. 2 

But the Perfectly Enlightened One rose up thence, 
and returned to the Shepherd s Nigrodha-tree, and 
sat down at its foot. And no sooner was he seated 
there, considering the depth of the Doctrine which he 
had gained, than there arose in his mind a doubt (felt 
by each of the Buddhas as he became aware of his 
having arrived at the Doctrine) that he had not that 
kind of ability necessary to explain that Doctrine to 
others. 

1 All three then non-existent institutions ! Ed. 

2 We have here an interesting instance of the growth of legend 
to authenticate and add glory to local relics, of which other 
instances will be found in Buddhism, p. 195. The ancient form 
of this legend, as found here, must have arisen when the relics 
were still in Orissa. Both the Burmese and Singhalese now claim 
to possess them. The former say that the two merchants were 
Burmese, and that the Dagaba above referred to is the celebrated 
sanctuary of Shooay Dagob (Bigandet, p. 101, 2nd ed.). The 
latter say that the Dagaba was in Orissa, and that the hair- 
relics were brought thence to Ceylon in 490 A.D., in the manner 
related in the Hair-relic chronicle Kesa Dhdtu Vanisa, and 
referred to in the Mahd Vamsa. (See verses 43-56 of my edition 
of the 39th chap, of the M. V. in the J.R.A.S., 1875.) The legend 
in the text is found in an ancient inscription on the great bell at 
Rangoon (Hough s version in the Asiatic Researches, vol. xvi ; 
comp. Hardy, Monastic Budhism, p. 183 ; Beal, Rom. Leg.), p. 240. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 207 

Then the great Kuler of the Brahma heavens, 
exclaiming : " Alas ! the world is lost. Alas ! the 
world is altogether lost ! " brought with him the 
rulers of the worlds in the ten thousand world-systems, 1 
and went up to the Master, and said : "0 Blessed 
Lord, do thou proclaim the Doctrine ! Proclaim 
the Doctrine, Blessed Lord ! " and in other words 
of like purport begged from him the preaching of the 
Doctrine. 

Then the Master granted his request. And con 
sidering to whom he should first reveal the Doctrine, 
thought at first of Alara, his former teacher, as one 
who would quickly comprehend it. But, on surveying 
(the country), he perceived that Alara had been dead 
seven days. So he fixed on Uddaka. But he learnt 
that he too had died that very evening. Then he 
thought of the five mendicants : " they were very 
helpful ! " And casting about in his mind : " where 
are they now dwelling ? " he perceived they were at 
the Deer-park in Benares. And he determined, 
saying, " There going I will set rolling the wheel of 
Doctrine." But he delayed a few days, begging his 
daily food in the neighbourhood of the Bo-tree, with 
the intention : "I will go to Benares on the full- 
moon day of Asalhi." 

And at dawn on the fourteenth day of the month, 
when the night had passed away, he took his robe and 
his bowl : and had gone eighteen leagues, just half 
way, when he met the Ajivika friar Upaka. And he 
announced to him how he had become a Buddha ; and 

1 In the Vinaya and Sutta accounts, the Brahma governor 
comes alone. Ed. 



208 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

on the evening of that day he arrived at the hermitage 
near Benares. 1 

The five elders, 2 seeing already from afar the 
Buddha coming, said one to another : " Brethren, 
here comes the recluse Gotama. He has turned back 
to a free use of the necessaries of life, and has recovered 
roundness of form, acuteness of sense, and beauty of 
complexion. We ought to pay him no reverence ; 
but as he is, after all, of a good family, he deserves 
the honour of a seat. So we will simply prepare a 
seat for him." 3 

The Blessed One, casting about in his mind by the 
power that he had of knowing what was going on in 
the thoughts of all beings, as to what they were 
thinking, knew their thoughts. Then, concentrating 
that feeling of his good-will which was able to pervade 
generally all beings in earth and heaven, he directed 
it specially towards them. And the sense of his good 
will diffused itself through their hearts ; 4 and as he 
came nearer and nearer, unable any longer to adhere 
to their resolve, they rose from their seats, and bowed 
down before him, and welcomed him with every mark 
of reverence and respect. But, not knowing that he 
had become a Buddha, they addressed him, in every 
thing they said, either by name, or as " Brother ". 5 
Then the Blessed One announced to them his Buddha- 
hood, saying : " Mendicants, address not a Buddha 
by his name, or as avuso. I, mendicants, am a 

1 Isipatana, the hermitage in the Deer-park close to Benares, 
See above, p. 183. 2 Thera. 

3 This snobbish allusion is not in the old (Vinaya) account. Ed. 

4 Avuso; lit., a corruption of ayasma, "(your) reverence." Ed. 
6 This " loving will " passage is not in the Vinaya. Ed. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 209 

perfectly awakened one, one of those who have thus 
come." i 

Then, seated on the place prepared for him, and 
surrounded by myriads of devas, he addressed the five 
attendant elders, just as the moon was passing out of 
conjunction with the lunar mansion in Uttarasalha 
and taught them in that discourse which was The 
Foundation of the Kingdom of Righteousness. 2 

Of the five Elders, Kondanya the Believer 3 sending 
forth insight as the discourse went on, as it concluded, 
he, with myriads of devas, had arrived at the Fruit 
of the First Path. 4 And the Master, who remained, 
there for the rainy season, sat in the vihdra the next 
day, when the other four had gone a-begging, talking 
to Vappa : and Vappa that morning attained to the 
Fruit of the First Path. And, in a similar manner, 
Bhaddiya on the next day, and Maha-Nama on the 
next, and Assaji on the next, attained to the Fruit 
of the First Path. And, on the fifth day, he called 
all five to his side, and preached to them the discourse 
On the Mark ofnot-soul. 5 At the end of that discourse 
the five elders attained to the Arahant-fruition. 

Then the Master perceived that Yasa, a young man 
of good family, was capable of entering the Paths. 
And when day was breaking, he having left his home 
and gone away, the Master called him, saying: "Come, 
Yasa ! " and on that very night he attained to the 

1 Tathagato Sammasambuddho. 

2 Lit., The Rolling of the Wheel of the Norm (Dhamma). Ed. 

3 So called from his action on this occasion. See above, p. 161 f . 

4 Lit., Stream- winning. Tantamount to the Christian term 
conversion . 

5 All diary and almanac allusions absent in Vinaya. Ed. 



210 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Fruit of the First Path, and on the next day to 
Arahantship. And he received also other fifty-four, 
his companions, into the order, with the sanction : 
" Come, mendicants ! " and caused them to attain 
to Arahantship. 

Now when there were thus in the world sixty-one 
persons who had become Arahants, the Master, after 
the rainy season and the function with which it closes 
were over, sent out the sixty in different directions 
with the words : " Fare forth, mendicants." 
And himself going towards Uruvela, he overcame at 
the Kappasiya forest, half-way thither, the thirty 
young Bhadda-vaggiyan nobles. Of these the least 
advanced entered the First, and the most advanced 
the Third Path : and he received them all into the 
Order with the sanction, "Come, mendicants ! " And 
sending them also forth into the regions round about, 
he himself went on to Uruvela. 

There he overcame, by performing three thousand 
five hundred miracles, the three Hindu ascetics, 
brothers Uruvela Kassapa and the rest who had 
one thousand disciples. And he received them into 
the Order with the sanction : " Come, mendicants ! " 
and established them in Arahantship by his discourse, 
when they were seated on Gaya-head hill : "On the 
Lesson to be drawn from Fire." 2 And attended by 
these thousand Arahants, he went to the grove called 
the Palm-grove, hard by Rajagaha, with the object 
of redeeming the promise he had made to Bimbi- 
sara the king. 3 

1 Pavarana. 2 They had been fire -worshippers .Ed. 

3 See above, p. 181. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 211 

When the king heard from the keeper of the grove 
the saying : " The Master is come," he went to the 
Master, attended by innumerable brahmins and 
householders, and fell down at the feet of the Buddha 
those feet, which bore on their surface the pattern 
of the wheel, and gave forth a halo of light like a 
canopy of cloth of gold. Then he and his retinue 
respectfully took their seats on one side. 

Now the question occurred to those brahmins and 
householders : " How is it then ? has the great 
recluse entered as a student in religion under Uruvela 
Kassapa, or Uruvela Kassapa under the great 
recluse ? " And the Blessed One, becoming aware of 
their thus doubting within themselves, addressed the 
Elder in the verse 

282. What hast thou seen, thou of Uruvela, 
That thou hast left the Fire, votary austere ? 

I ask thee, Kassapa, the meaning of this thing : 
How hast renounced the sacrifice of fire ? 

And the Elder, perceiving what the Blessed One 
intended, replied in the verse : 

283. Some men rely on sights, and sounds, and taste, 
Desires and women, some on sacrifice ; 

All dross to him who knows the springs of life. 
Therefore not fain am I for altar rites. 

And in order to make known his discipleship he bowed 
his head to the Buddha s feet, saying : " The Blessed 
Lord is my master, and I am the disciple ! " And 
seven times he rose into the air up to the height of 
one, two, three, and so on, up to the height of seven 
palm-trees ; and descending again, he saluted the 
Buddha, and respectfully took a seat aside. Seeing 
that wonder, the multitude praised the Master, 



212 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

saying : " All ! how great is the power of the 
Buddhas ! Even so mighty a thinker as this has 
thought him worthy ! Even Uruvela Kassapa has 
broken through the net of delusion, and is tamed by 
the Tathagata ! " 

But the Blessed One said : " Not now only have I 
overcome Uruvela Kassapa ; in former ages, too, he 
was tamed by me." And he uttered in that connexion 
the Maha-Narada-Kassapa-Jataka, 1 and proclaimed 
the Four Truths. And the King of Magadha, with 
nearly all his retinue, attained to the Fruit of the 
First Path, and the rest became lay disciples. 2 

And the king still sitting near the Master told him of 
the five wishes he had had ; and then, confessing his 
faith, he invited the Blessed One for the next day, 
and rising from his side, departed with respectful 
salutation. 

The next day all the men who dwelt in Rajagaha, 
eighteen myriads in number, both those who had 
already seen the Blessed One, and those who had not, 
came out early from Bajagaha to the Grove of Reeds 
to see the successor of the Buddhas. The road, six 
miles long, could not contain them. The whole of the 
Grove of Reeds became like a basket packed quite 
full. The multitude, beholding the exceeding beauty 
of him whose power is tenfold, could not contain their 
delight. Varmabhu was it called (that is, the Place of 
Praise), for at such spots all the greater and lesser 
characteristics of a Buddha, and the glorious beauty of 

2 Upasakas ; that is, those who have taken the Three Refuges 
and the vow to keep the Five Precepts (Buddhism, pp.139, 160). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 213 

his person, are to be extolled. There was not room for 
even a single mendicant to get out on the road, or in 
the grove, so crowded was it with the multitude gazing 
at the beautiful form of the him of the tenfold power. 
So that day they say the throne of Sakka felt hot, to 
warn him that the Blessed One might be deprived of 
nourishment, which should not be. And on con 
sideration he understood the reason ; and he took 
the form of a young brahmin, and descended in front 
of the Buddha, and by deva-power made way for 
him, singing the praises of the Buddha, the Doctrine, 
and the Order : 

284. The tamed together with the tamed, 

Men erst of the matted hair, but now set free, 
He who is to see like wrought gold, 
The Blessed One hath entered Rajagaha. 

285. The freed man together with the freed 

286. The man who has crossed over 1 together with them that 

have crossed over . . . 

287. The man of way tenfold, 2 of power tenfold, 
Knower of tenfold Norm, winner of ten, 3 

With retinue of ten hundred the Blessed One hath entered 
Rajagaha. 

The multitude, seeing the beauty of the young 
brahmin thought : " This young brahmin is exceed 
ing fair, and yet we have never yet beheld him." And 
they said : " Whence comes the young brahmin, or 
whose son is he ? " And the young brahmin, hearing 
what they said, answered in the verse : 

288. He who is wise, and tamed in everything, 
The Buddha, the unequalled among men, 
The Arahant, Wellfarer of the world, 

On him I humble wait. 

1 Tinno, crossed the ocean of transmigration. 

2 That is, the Four Paths, the Four Fruits thereof, Nirvana, 
and the Scriptures (or the Truth, Dhamma). 

3 Dasavasa, probably for dasavaso (so Vin. i, 38) : a tenfold 
category taught in Dlgha, iii, 269 ; Anguttara, v, 29 f.- Ed. 



214 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Then the Master entered upon the path thus made 
free by Sakka, and entered Rajagaha attended by a 
thousand mendicants. The king gave a great gift 
to the Order with the Buddha at their head ; and had 
water brought, bright as jems, and scented with 
flowers, in a golden goblet. And he poured the water 
over the hand of him of the tenfold power, in token of 
the presentation of the Bambu Grove, saying : " I, 
my lord, cannot live without the Three Gems (the 
Buddha, the Order, and the Faith). In season and 
out of season I would visit the Blessed One. Now 
the Grove of Reeds is far away ; but this Grove 
of mine, called the Bambu Grove, is close by, is 
easy of resort, and is a fit dwelling-place for a 
Buddha. Let the Blessed One accept it of me ! " 

At the acceptance of this monastery the broad 
earth shook, as if it said : " Now the Religion of 
Buddha has taken root ! " For in all India there is 
no dwelling-place, save the Bambu Grove, acceptance 
of which caused the earth to shake : and in Ceylon 
there is no dwelling-place, save the Great Vihara, 
acceptance of which caused the earth to shake. 1 

And when the Master had accepted the Bambu 
Grove Monastery, and had given thanks for it, he 
rose from his seat and went, surrounded by the 
members of the Order, to the Bambu Grove. 

Now at that time two ascetics, named Sariputta 
and Moggallana, were living near Rajagaha, seeking 
after salvation. Of these, Sariputta, seeing the Elder 
Assaji 2 on his begging round, was touched and waited 

1 Makavamsa, xv, 26 f . 

2 See above, p. 209. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 215 

on him, and heard from him the verse beginning : 
" What things soever are produced from causes." l 
And he attained to the blessings which result from 
conversion ; and repeated that verse to his com 
panion Moggallana the ascetic. And he, too, attained 
to the blessings which first result from conversion. 
And each of them left Sanjaya, 2 and with his 
attendants took orders under the Master. Of these 
two, Moggallana attained Arahantship in seven days, 
and Sariputta the elder in half a month. And the 
Master appointed these two to the office of his Chief 
Disciples ; and on the day on which Sariputta the 
elder attained Arahantship, he made a muster of 
the disciples. 

Now whilst the Tathagatawas dwelling there in the 
Bambu Grove, Suddhodana the king heard that his 
son, who for six years had devoted himself to works 
of austerity, had attained to complete enlightenment, 
had founded the Kingdom of Righteousness, and was 
then dwelling at the Bambu Grove near Rajagaha. 
So he said to a certain courtier : " Come, I say, take a 
thousand men as a retinue, and go to Rajagaha, and 
and say in my name : Your 3 father, Suddhodana the 
king, desires to see you ; and bring my son here." 

1 The celebrated verse here referred to has been found inscribed 
several times in the ruins of the great Dagaba at Isipatana, and 
facsimiles are given in Cunningham s Archceological Reports, 
plate xxxiv, vol. i, p. 123. The text is given by Burnouf in the 
facsimiles are given in Cunningham s Archceological Reports, 
plate xxxiv, vol. i, p. 123. The text is given by Burnouf in the 
Lotus de la Bonne Loi, p. 523 ; and in the Vinaya, pp. 40, 41. 
(Not elsewhere in the Pitakas. Ed.) See also Hardy s Manual, 
p. 196. 

2 Their teacher. Cf. Digha, ii, 58. 

3 The Pali is also in the 2nd person plural. Ed. 



216 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

And he respectfully accepted the king s command 
with the reply : " So be it, sire ! " and went quickly 
with a thousand followers the sixty leagues distance, 
and sat down amongst the disciples of him of the 
tenfold power, and at the hour of instruction entered 
the Vihara. And thinking, " Let the king s message 
stay awhile ", he stood just beyond the disciples 
and listened to the discourse. And as he so stood he 
attained to Arahantship, with his whole retinue, and 
asked to be admitted to the Order. And the Blessed 
One stretched forth his hand and said : " Come, 
mendicants." And all of them that moment appeared 
there, with robes and bowls created by miracle, like 
elders of a hundred years standing. 

Now from the time when they attain Arahantship 
the Arahants become indifferent to worldly things : 
so he did not deliver the king s message to him of the 
tenfold power. The king, seeing that neither did his 
messenger return, nor was any message received from 
him, called another courtier in the same manner as 
before, and sent him. And he went, and in the same 
manner attained Arahantship with his followers, and 
remained silent. Then the king in the same manner 
sent nine courtiers each with a retinue of a thousand 
men. And they all, neglecting what they had to do, 
stayed away there in silence. 

And when the king found no one who would come 
and bring even a message, he thought : " Not one of 
these brings back, for my sake, even a message : who 
will then carry out what I say ? " And searching 
among all his people he thought of Kaludayin. For 
he was in everything serviceable to the king 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 217 

intimate with him, and trustworthy. He was born 
on the same day as the future Buddha, and had been 
his playfellow and companion. 

So the king said to him : " Dear Kaludayin, as I 
wanted to see my son, I sent nine times a thousand 
men ; but there is not one of them who has either 
come back or sent a message. Now it is hard to 
know if life be in danger ; and I desire to see my son 
before I die. Will one be able to let me see my son ? " 

" I can, king ! " was the reply, " if I am allowed 
to become a recluse." 

" My dear," said the king, " whether thou become 
a recluse or not let me see my son ! " 

And he respectfully received the king s message 
with the words : " So be it king ! " and went to 
Kajagaha ; and stood at the edge of the congregation 
at the time of the Master s instruction, and heard the 
gospel, and attained Arahantship with his followers, 
and was received with the come, bhikkhu sanction. 

The Master spent the first Lent after he had become 
Buddha at Isipatana ; and when it was over went to 
Uruvela and stayed there three months and overcame 
the three brothers, ascetics. And on the full-moon day 
of the month of Phussa, he went to Rajagaha with a 
retinue of a thousand mendicants, and there he dwelt 
two months. Thus five months had elapsed since he 
left Benares, the cold season was past, and seven or 
eight days since the arrival of Udayin, the Elder. 

And on the full-moon day of Phagguni Udayin 
thought : " The cold season is past ; the spring has 
come ; men raise their crops and set out on their 
journeys ; the earth is covered with fresh grass ; the 



218 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

woods are full of flowers ; the roads are fit to walk on ; 
now is the time for the Sage to show favour to his 
family." And going to the Blessed One, he praised 
travelling in about sixty stanzas, that the Sage might 
revisit his native town, beginning thus : 

289. Now crimson glow the trees, dear lord, and cast 
In quest of fruit their sheathing coverings. 
Like crests of flame they shine irradiant 

And rich in tastes, great hero, is the time. 

290. Not over hot, nor over cold ; nor is 

There dearth of food for alms. The earth is green 
With verdure. This the fitting time, great sage. 1 

Then the Master said to him : " But why, Udayin, 
do you sing the pleasures of travelling with so sweet 
a voice 1 " 

" Sir," was the reply, " your father is anxious to 
see you once more ; will you not show favour to your 
relations 1 " 

" Tis well said, Udayin ! I will do so. Tell the 
Order that they will fulfil the duty (laid on all its 
members) of journeying from place to place." 

Kajudayin accordingly told the brethren. And 
the Blessed One attended by twenty thousand mendi 
cants free from sin ten thousand clansmen from 
Magadha and Anga, and ten thousand from Kapila- 
vatthu started from Kajagaha, and travelled a 
league a day : going slowly with the intention of 
reaching Kapilavatthu, sixty leagues from Kajagaha, 
in two months. 

And the elder, thinking : "I will let the king know 
that the Blessed One has started ", rose into the air 

1 His verses are in the elder s anthology. See Psalms of the 
Brethren, vers. 527-9. Only six slokas there make up his invita 
tion ; they do not contain the last two lines above.- Ed. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 219 

and appeared in the king s house. The king was glad 
to see the elder, made him sit down on a splendid 
couch, filled a bowl with the delicious food made 
ready for himself, and gave to him. Then the elder 
rose up, and made as if he would go away. 

" Sit down and eat," said the king. 

" I will rejoin the Master, and eat then," said he. 

" But where is the Master ? " asked the king. 

" He has set out on his journey, attended by twenty 
thousand mendicants, to see you, king ! " said he. 

The king, glad at heart, said : "Do you eat this ; 
and until my son has arrived at this town, provide 
him with food from here." 

The elder agreed ; and the king waited on him, and 
then had the bowl cleansed with perfumed chunam, 
and filled with the best of food, and placed it in the 
elder s hand, saying : " Give it to the Tathagata." 

And the elder, in the sight of all, threw the bowl 
into the air, and himself rising up into the sky, took 
the food again, and placed it in the hand of the Master. 

The Master ate it. Every day the elder brought 
him food in the same manner. So the Master himself 
was fed, even on the journey, from the king s table. 
The elder day by day, when he had finished his meal, 
told the king : " To-day the Blessed One has come so 
far, to-day so far." And by talking of the high 
character of the Buddha, he made all the king s 
family delighted with the Master, even before they 
saw him. On that account the Blessed One gave him 
pre-eminence, saying, " Pre-eminent, mendicants, 
among all those of my disciples who gained over my 
family, was Kaludayin." l 

1 Angutlara i, 25. 



220 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

The Sakyas, as they sat talking of the prospect of 
seeing their distinguished relative, considered what 
place he could stay in ; and deciding that the 
Nigrodha Grove would be a pleasant residence, they 
made everything ready there. And with fragrant 
flowers in their hands they went out to meet him ; 
and sending in front the baby boys and girls and the 
boys and girls of the town and then the young men 
and maidens of the royal family, they themselves, 
decked of their own accord with sweet-smelling 
flowers and chunam, came close behind, conducting 
the Blessed One to the Nigrodha Grove. There the 
Blessed One sat down on the Buddha s throne pre 
pared for him, surrounded by twenty thousand 
Arahants. 

The Sakyas are proud by nature, and stubborn in 
their pride. Thinking : " Prince Siddhattha is 
younger than we are, standing to us in the relation of 
younger brother, or nephew, or son, or grandson ", 
they said to the little children and the young people : 
" Do you bow down before him, we will seat ourselves 
behind you." The Blessed One when they had thus 
taken their seats, perceived what they meant ; and 
thinking : " My relations pay me no reverence ; 
come now, I must make them to do so," he fell 
into the ecstasy based on super-knowledge, and 
rising into the air as if shaking of! the dust off his feet 
upon them, he performed a miracle like unto that 
double miracle at the foot of the Gandamba-tree. 1 

1 See above, p. 105. The Dhammapada Commentary, p. 334, 
has a different account of the miracle performed on this occasion. 
It says he made a jewelled cloister (ratana-cankama) in the sky, 
and walking up and down in it, preached the Faith (Dhamma). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 221 

The king, seeing that miracle, said : "0 Blessed 
One ! When you were presented to Kala Devala to 
do obeisance to him on the day on which you were 
born, and I saw your feet turn round and place them 
selves on the brahmin s head, I paid homage to you. 
That was my first homage. When you were seated 
on your couch in the shade of the jambu-tree on the 
day of the ploughing festival, I saw how the shadow 
over you did not turn, and I bowed down at your 
feet. That was my second homage. Now, seeing 
this miracle unseen before, I bow down at your feet. 
This is my third homage." 

Then, when the king paid him homage, there 
was not a single Sakya who was able to refrain from 
bowing down before the Blessed One : and all of 
them did homage. 

So the Blessed One, having compelled his relatives 
to bow down before him, descended from the sky, and 
sat down on the seat prepared for him. And when the 
Blessed One was seated, the assembly of his relatives 
yielded him pre-eminence ; and all sat there with 
unity in their hearts. 

Then a thunder-cloud poured forth a shower of 
rain, and the copper-coloured water went away 
rumbling beneath the earth. He who wished to get 
wet, did get wet ; but not even a drop fell on the body 
of him who did not wish to get wet. And all seeing 
it became filled with astonishment, and said one 
to another : " Lo ! what miracle. Lo ! what 
wonder ! " 

But the Teacher said : " Not now only did a shower 
of rain fall upon me in the assembly of my relations, 



222 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

formerly also this happened." And in this connexion 
he told the story of his Birth as Vessantara. 1 

When they had heard his discourse they rose up, 
and paid reverence to him, and went away. Not one 
of them, either the king or any of his ministers, asked 
him on leaving : " To-morrow accept your meal 
of us." 

So on the next day the Master, attended by twenty 
thousand mendicants, entered Kapilavatthu to beg. 
Then also no one came to him or invited him to his 
house, or took his bowl. The Blessed One, standing 
at the gate considered : " How then did the former 
Buddhas go on their begging rounds in their native 
town ? Did they go direct to the houses of the kings, 
or did they beg straight on from house to house ? " 
Then, not finding that any of the Buddhas had gone 
direct, he thought : "I, too, must accept this descent 
and tradition as my own ; so shall my disciples in 
future, learning of me, fulfil the duty of going for 
alms." And beginning at the first house, he went 
straight on for alms. 

At the rumour that the young chief Siddhattha was 
going for alms from door to door, the windows in the 
two-storied and three-storied houses were thrown 
open, and the multitude was transfixed at the sight. 
And the lady, the mother of Kahula, thought : " My 
lord, who used to go to and fro in this very town with 
gilded palanquin and every sign of royal pomp, now 
with a potsherd in his hand begs his food from door 
to door, with shaven hair and beard, and clad in 
yellow robes. Is this becoming ? " And she opened 

1 Jataka, no. 547 (the last one). 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 223 

the window, and looked at the Blessed One ; and she 
beheld him glorious with the unequalled majesty of 
a Buddha, distinguished with the Thirty-two 
characteristic signs and the eighty lesser marks of a 
Great Being, and lighting up the street of the city 
with a halo resplendent with many colours, proceeding 
to a fathom s length all round his person. 

And she announced it to the king, saying : " Thy 
son is walking for alms from door to door ; " and she 
magnified him with the eight stanzas on " The Lion 
among Men ", beginning : 

291. Glossy and dark and soft and curly is his hair ; 
Spotless and fair as the sun is his forehead ; 
Well-proportioned and prominent and delicate is his nose ; 
Around him is diffused a network of rays 
The Lion among Men ! 

The king was deeply agitated ; and he went forth 
instantly, gathering up his robe in his hand, and going 
quickly stood before the Blessed One, and said : 
" Why, Master, do you 1 put us to shame ? Why do 
you walk about for alms ? Do you think it impossible 
to provide a meal for so many monks ? " 

" This is our custom, king ! " was the reply. 

" Not so, Master ! our descent is from the royal 
race of the Great Elected ; 2 and amongst them all 
not one chief has ever gone about for alms." 

" This succession of kings is thy descent, king ! 
but mine is the succession of the Buddhas, from 
Dlpankara and Kondanya and the rest down to 
Kassapa. These, and thousands of others reckoned as 
Buddhas, have gone about for alms, and lived on 

1 So also the Pali. 

3 Maha Sammata, the first king among men. 



224 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

alms." And standing in the middle of the street he 
uttered the verse : 

292. Let him rise up, and loiter not ! 
Let him fare the righteous faring ! 
Who fares in that way happy lives, 
Both in this world and in the next. 1 

And when the verse was finished the king attained to 
the Fruit of the First, and then, on hearing the 
following verse, to the Fruit of the Second Path : 

293. The righteous faring let him fare ! 
Let him not fare amiss ! 

The righteous f arer happy lives, 
Both in this world and in the next. 

And when he heard the story of the Birth as the 
Keeper of Righteousness, 2 he attained to the Fruit of 
the Third Path. And just as he was dying, seated on 
the royal couch under the white canopy of state, he 
attained to Arahantship. The king never practised 
spiritual exertions in the forest life. 

Now as soon as he had realized the Fruit of Con 
version, he took the Buddha s bowl and conducted 
the Blessed One and his retinue to the palace, and 
served them with savoury food, both hard and soft. 
And when the meal was over, all the women of the 
household came and did obeisance to the Blessed 
One, except only the mother of Rahula. 3 

But she, though she told her attendants to go and 
salute their lord, stayed behind, saying : " If I have 
virtue in his eyes, my lord will himself come to me ; 
and when he has come I will pay him reverence." 

1 Dhammapada, ver. 168 f . 

2 MaTia-DTiammapala Jataka, no. 447. 

* The following episode should be compared with the slighter 
sketch in Vinaya, i, 82. Ed. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 225 

And the Blessed One, giving his bowl to the king to 
carry, went with his two chief disciples to the apart 
ments of the daughter of the king, saying : " The 
king s daughter shall in no wise be spoken to, how 
soever she may be pleased to welcome me." And he 
sat down on the seat prepared for him. 

And she came quickly and held him by the ankles, 
and laid her head on his feet, and so did homage to 
him, even as she had intended. And the king told of 
the fullness of her love for the Blessed One, and of her 
goodness of heart, saying : " When my daughter 
heard, Master, that you had put on the yellow robes 
from that time forth she dressed only in yellow. When 
she heard of your taking but one meal a day, she 
adopted the same custom. When she heard that you 
renounced the use of elevated couches, she slept on 
a mat spread on the floor. When she heard you had 
given up the use of garlands and unguents, she also 
used them no more. And when her relatives sent a 
message, saying, Let us take care of you/ she paid 
them no attention at all. Such are my daughter s 
virtues, Blessed One ! " 

"Tie no wonder, king ! " was the reply, " that 
she should watch over herself now that she has you 
for a protector, and that her wisdom is mature : 
formerly, even when wandering among the mountains 
without a protector, and when her wisdom was not 
mature, she watched over herself." And he told the 
story of his Birth as the Moonsprite ; l and rose from 
his seat, and went away. 

1 Candakinnara Jataka, no. 485, where this episode forma the 
introduction to the story. 

Q 



226 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

On the next day the festivals of the coronation, 
and of the housewarming, and of the marriage of 
Nanda, the king s son, were being celebrated all 
together. But the Buddha went to his house, and 
gave him his bowl to carry ; and with the object of 
making him abandon the world, he wished him true 
happiness ; and then, rising from his seat, departed. 
And (the bride) Janapada Kalyani, 1 seeing the young 
man go away, gazed wonderingly at him, and cried 
out : " my lord, whither go you so quickly ? " But 
he, not venturing to say to the Blessed One, " Take 
your bowl ", followed him even unto the Vihara. 
And the Blessed One received him, unwilling though 
he was, into the Order. 

It was on the third day after he reached Kapilapura 

that the Blessed One ordained Nanda. On the 

seventh day the mother of Rahula arrayed the boy in 

his best, and sent him to the Blessed One, saying : 

" Look, dear, at that monk, attended by twenty 

thousand monks, and beautiful in appearance as a 

Brahma ! That is your father. He had certain 

great treasures, which we have not seen since he 

abandoned his home. Go now, and ask for your 

inheritance, saying, Father, I am the prince. When 

I am crowned, I shall become a king over all the 

earth. I have need of the treasure. Give me the 

treasure ; for a son is heir to his father s property. 

The boy went up to the Blessed One, and gained 

a love of his father, and stood there glad and joyful, 

saying : " Happy, monk, is thy shadow ! " and 

adding many other words befitting his position. 

1 Lit., the lovely one of the country. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 227 

When the Blessed One had ended his meal, and had 

given thanks, he rose from his seat, and went away. 
And the child followed the Blessed One, saying: 

Monk ! give me my inheritance ! give me my 
inheritance ! " 

The Blessed One turned the boy not back. And the 
people with the Blessed One, were not able to 
stop him. And so he went with the Blessed One even 
up to the grove. Then the Blessed One thought : 

c This wealth, this property of his father s, which he 
is asking for, perishes in the using, and brings vexa 
tion with it ! I will give him the sevenfold Ariyan 
wealth which I obtained under the Bo-tree, and make 
him the heir of a spiritual inheritance ! " And he 
said to Sariputta : " Well, then do thou, Sariputta, 
receive Rahula into the Order." 

But when the child had been taken into the Order 
the king grieved exceedingly. And he was unable to 
bear his grief, and made it known to the Blessed One, 
and asked of him a boon, saying : "If you so please, 
master, let not my lords receive a son into the 
Order without the leave of his father and mother." 
And the Blessed One granted the boon. 

And the next day, as he sat in the king s house after 
his meal was over, the king, sitting respectfully by 
him, said : " Master ! when you were practising 
austerities, a deva came to me, and said : Your 
son is dead ! And I believed him not, and rejected 
what he said, answering : My son will not die 
without attaining Buddhahood ! 

And he replied, saying : l!< Why should you now 
have believed ? when formerly though they showed 



228 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

you my bones, and said your son was dead, you did 
not believe them. * And in that connexion he told 
the story of his Birth as the Great Keeper of 
Righteousness. 1 And when the story was ended, the 
king attained to the Fruit of the Third Path. And 
so the Blessed One established his father in the 
Three Fruits ; and he returned to Kajagaha attended 
by the company of the brethren, and resided at 
Cool Grove. 

At that time the householder Anatha Pindika, 
bringing merchandise in five hundred carts, went to 
the house of a trader in Rajagaha, his intimate 
friend, and there heard that a Blessed Buddha had 
arisen. And very early in the morning he went to the 
Teacher, the door being opened by the power of 
devas, and heard the Truth and became converted. 2 
And on the next day he gave a great donation to the 
Order, with the Buddha at their head, and received 
a promise from the Teacher that he would come to 
Savatthi. 

Then along the road, forty-five leagues in length, he 
built resting-places at every league, at an expenditure 
of a hundred thousand for each. And he bought the 
Grove called Jetavana for eighteen kotis of gold 
pieces, laying them side by side over the ground, and 
erected there a new building. In the midst thereof 
he made a pleasant room for him of the tenfold power, 
and around it separately constructed dwellings for 
the eighty chief elders, and other residences with single 
and double walls, and long halls and open roofs, 

1 Mahadhammapala Jataka, no. 447. See above, p. 224. 
a See Vin, ii, 154 f. ; Kindred Sayings, i, 271 f. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 229 

ornamented with ducks and quails ; and ponds also 
he made, and terraces to walk on by day and by night. 
And so having constructed a delightful residence 
on a pleasant spot, at an expense of eighteen kotis, 
he sent a message to him of the tenfold power that 
he should come. 

The Master, hearing the messenger s words, left 
Rajagaha attended by a great multitude of monks, 
and in due course arrived at the city of Savatthi. 
Then the wealthy merchant decorated the monastery ; 
and on the day on which the Tathagata should arrive 
at Jetavana he arrayed his son in splendour, and sent 
him on with five hundred youths in festival attire. 
And he and his retinue, holding five hundred flags 
resplendent with cloth of five different colours, 
appeared before him of the tenfold power. And 
behind him Maha-Subhadda and Chula-Subhadda, 
the two daughters of the merchant, went forth with 
five hundred damsels carrying water-pots full of 
water. And behind them, decked with all her 
ornaments, the merchant s wife went forth, with 
five hundred matrons carrying vessels full of food. 
And behind them all, the great merchant himself, 
clad in new robes, with five hundred traders also 
dressed in new robes, went out to meet the Blessed 
One. 

The Blessed One, sending this retinue of lay 
disciples in front, and attended by the great multitude 
of monks, entered the Jetavana monastery with the 
infinite grace and unequalled majesty of a Buddha, 
making the spaces of the grove bright with the halo 
from his person, as if they were sprinkled with gold 
dust. 



230 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

Then Anatha Pincjika asked him : " How, my lord, 
shall I deal with this Vihara ? " 

" Householder," was the reply, " give it then to 
the Order of Mendicants, whether now present or 
hereafter to arrive." 

And the great merchant, saying : " So be it, my 
lord," brought a golden vessel, and poured water over 
the hand of him of the tenfold power, and dedicated 
the Vihara, saying, " I give this Jetavana Vihara to 
the Order of Mendicants with the Buddha at their 
head, and to all from every direction now present or 
hereafter to come." x 

And the Master accepted the Vihara, and giving 
thanks, pointed out the advantages of monasteries, 
saying : 

294. Cold they ward off, and heat ; 
So also beasts of prey, 

And creeping things, and gnats, 
And rains in the cold season. 
And when the dreaded heat and winds 
Arise, they ward them off. 

295. To give to monks a dwelling-place, 
Wherein in safety and at ease 

To think and insight gain, 
The Buddha praises most of all. 

296. Let therefore a wise man, 
Regarding his own weal, 

Have pleasant monasteries built, 
And lodge there learned men. 

297. Let him with cheerful mien, 
Give food to them, and drink, 
And clothes, and dwelling-places 
To the upright in mind. 

298. Then they shall preach to him the Norm 
The Norm, dispelling every grief 
Which Norm, when here- he learns, he sins 

No more, reaching the perfect well (Vinaya, Chulla- 

vagga VI, 1). 

1 This formula has been constantly found in rock inscriptions 
in India and Ceylon over the ancient cave-dwellings of Buddhist 
hermits. 



THE STORY OF THE LINEAGE 231 

Anatha Pindika began the dedication festival from 
the second day. The festival held at the dedication 
of Visakha s building ended in four months, but 
Anatha Pindika s dedication festival lasted nine 
months. At the festival, too, eighteen kotis were 
spent ; so on that one monastery he spent wealth 
amounting to fifty-four kotis. 

Long ago, too, in the time of the Blessed Buddha 
Vipassin, a merchant named Punabbasu Mitta 
bought that very spot by laying golden bricks over 
it, and built a monastery there a league in length. 
And in the time of the Blessed Buddha Sikhin, a 
merchant named Sirivaddha bought that very spot 
by spreading golden ploughshares over it, and built 
there a monastery three-quarters of a league in length. 
And in the time of the Blessed Buddha Vessabhu, 
a merchant named Sotthiya bought that very spot 
by laying golden elephant feet along it, and built a 
monastery there half a league in length. And in the 
time of the Blessed Buddha Kakusandha, a merchant 
named Acchtita also bought that very spot by laying 
golden bricks over it, and built there a monastery a 
quarter of a league in length. And in the time of the 
Blessed Buddha Konagamana, a merchant named 
Ugga bought that very spot by laying golden tortoises 
over it, and built there a monastery half a league in 
length. And in the time of the Blessed Buddha 
Kassapa, a merchant named Sumangala bought that 
very spot by laying golden bricks over it, and built 
there a monastery sixty acres in extent. And in the 
time of our Blessed One, Anatha Pindika the merchant 
bought that very spot by laying kahapana coins over 



232 BUDDHIST BIRTH STORIES 

it, and built there a monastery thirty acres in extent. 
For that spot is a place which not one of all the 
Buddhas has deserted. And so the Blessed One lived 
in that spot from the attainment of all-knowledge 
under the Bo-tree till his death. 

This is the Proximate Epoch. 

And now we will tell the stories of all his Births. 



End of the Niddna Kathd. 



APPENDIX 

TABLES ILLUSTRATIVE OF THE HISTORY 
AND MIGRATIONS OF THE BUDDHIST 
BIRTH STORIES 

TABLE I. 
INDIAN WORKS 

1. The Jdtaka Atthavannand. A collection, probably first 
made in the third or fourth century B.C., of stories previously 
existing, and ascribed to the Buddha, and put into its present 
form in Ceylon, in the fifth century A.D. The Pali text has been 
edited by Professor Fausboll, of Copenhagen, 1877-96. Eng. 
trans. Ed. Cowell, Cambridge, 1895-1907. 

la. Singhalese translation of No. 1, called Pan siya panas 
Jdtaka pota. Written in Ceylon in or about 1320 A.D. 

16. Outtila Kdwyaya. A poetical version in Elu, or old Sing 
halese, of one of the stories in la, by Badawaettsewa Unnanse, 
about 1415. Edited in Colombo, 1870, with introduction and 
commentary, by Batuwan Tudawa. 

Ic. Kusa Jdtakaya. A poetical version in Elu, or old Singhalese, 
of one of the stories in la, by Alagiawanna Mohottale, 1610. 
Edited in Colombo, with commentary, 1868. 

Id. An Eastern Love Story. Translation in verse of Ic, by 
Thomas Steele, C.C.S., London, 1871. 

le. Asadisa Jdtakaya. An Elu poem, by Rajadhiraja Sinha, 
king of Ceylon in 1780. 

2. The Chariyd Pitaka. A book of the Buddhist Scriptures 
of the (?) fourth century B.C., containing thirty-five of the oldest 
stories. See Table IV. 

3. The Jdtaka Mala. A Sanskrit work of unknown date, also 
containing thirty-five of the oldest stories in No. 1 . See Table IV. 

4. The Pannzsa-Jdtakam, or " 50 Jatakas ". A Pali work 
written in Siam, of unknown date and contents, but apparently 
distinct from No. 1 . See above, p. Ixi. 



234 INDIAN WORKS 

6. Pancha Tantra. ?Medieval. See above, pp. Ixviii-lxxii. 
Text edited by Kosegarten, Bonn, 1848. 

Kielhorn and Biihler, Bombay, 1868. 

6. Translations : German, by Benfey, Leipzig, 1859. 

7. French Dubois, Paris, 1826. 

8. Lancerau, Paris, 1871. 

9. Greek ,, Galanos and Typaldos, 

Athens, 1851. 

10. Hitopadesa. Medieval. Compiled principally from No. 5, 
with additions from another unknown work. 

Text edited by Carey and Colebrooke, Serampur, 1804. 
Hamilton, London, 1810. 
Bernstein, Breslau, 1823. 
Schlegel and Lassen, Bonn, 1829-31. 
Nyalankar, Calcutta, 1830 and 1844. 
Johnson, Hertford, 1847 and 1864, with 

English version. 
Yates, Calcutta, 1841. 
E. Arnold, Bombay, 1859. 
Max Miiller, London, 1864-8. 

11. Translations: English, by Wilkins, Bath, 1787; re 

printed by Nyalankar in his edition 
of the text. 

12. Sir. W. Jones, Calcutta, 

1816. 
12a. E.Arnold, London, 1861 

13. German ,, Max Miiller, Leipzig, 

1844. 
13o. Dursch, Tubingen, 1853. 

14. L. Fritze, Breslau, 1874. 

15. French Langles, Paris, 1790. 

16. ,, ,, Lancerau, Paris, 1855. 

17. Greek Galanos and Typaldos, 

Athens, 1851. 

18. Vetala Panca Vimsati. Twenty-five stories told by a 
Vetala, or demon. Sanskrit text in No. 32, vol. 11. 288-93. 

18a. Greek version of No. 18 added to No. 17. 

19. VetMla Kathei. Tamil version of No. 18. Edited by 
Robertson in A Compilation of Papers in the Tamil Language, 
Madras, 1839. 



INDIAN WORKS 235 

20. No. 19, translated into English by Babington, in Miscel 
laneous Translations from Oriental Languages, London, 1831. 

21. No. 18, translated into Brajbakha, by Surat, 1740. 

22. Bytal Pachisi. Trans, from No. 21 into Eng. by Raja 
Kali Krishna Bahadur, Calcutta, 1834. See No. 41a. 

22a. Baital Pachisi. Hindustani version of No. 21, Calcutta, 
1805. Edited by Barker, Hertford, 1855. 

226. English versions of 22a, by J. T. Platts, Rollings, and 
Barker. 

22c. Vikram and the Vampire, or Tales of Hindu Devilry. 
Adopted from 226 by Richard F. Burton, London, 1870. 

22d. German version of 22a, by H. Oesterley, in the Bibliothek 
Orientalischer Mdrchen und Erzdhlungen, 1873, with valuable 
introduction and notes. 

23. Ssiddi Kur. Mongolian version of No. 18. 

24. German versions of No. 23, by Benjamin Bergmann in 
Nomadische Streifereien im Lande der KalmUcken, i, 247 and foil., 
1804 ; and by Juelg, 1866 and 1868. 

25. German version of No. 18, by Dr. Luber, Gorz, 1875. 

26. Suka Saptati. The seventy stories of a parrot. 

27. Greek version of No. 26, by Demetrios Galanos and G. 
Typaldos, Psittalcou Mythologiai Nukterinai, included in their 
version of Nos. 10 and 18. 

28. Persian version of No. 26, now lost ; but reproduce 
Nachshebi under the title Tuti Nameh. 

28a. Tola Kahani. Hindustani version of 26. Edited by 

Forbes. 

286 English version of 28a, by the Rev. G. Small. 

29. Sirihasana Dvatrimsali. The thirty-two stories of 
throne of Vikramaditya ; called also Vikrama Cantra. 1 

m 29a. ^Singhasan Battisi. Hindi version of 29. Edited by Syed 

30.Faim Singhasan. Bengali version of 29, Serampur, 
1 Rl 8 

31. Arji Borji Chan. Mongolian version of 29. 

32 Vrihat-katha. By Gunadhya, probably about the sixth 
century; in the Paisaci Prakrit. See above, pi - 

33. KathaSaritSagara. The Ocean of the Rivers of Tales. It is 
founded on No. 32. Includes No. 18, and a part of No. 5. 



236 INDIAN WORKS 

Sanskrit text edited by Brockhaus, Leipzig, vol. i, with German 
translation, 1839 ; vol. ii, text only, 1862 and 1866. Original by 
Sri Somadeva Bhatta, of Kashmir, at the beginning of the twelfth 
century A.D. See above, pp. Ixvi f . 

34. Vrihat-katha. A Sanskrit version of No. 34, by Kshemendra, 
of Kashmir. Written independently of Somadeva s work, No. 32. 
See above, p. Ixvii. 

35. Panca Danda Chattra Prabandha. Stories about King 
Vikramaditya s magic umbrella. Jain Sanskrit. Text and 
German version by Weber, Berlin, 1877. 

36. Vasavadatta. By Subandhu. Possibly as old as the sixth 
century. Edited by Fitz-Edward Hall, in the Bibliotheca Indica, 
Calcutta, 1859. This and the next are romances, not story-books. 

37. Kadambari. By Bana Bhatta, ? seventh century. Edited 
in Calcutta, 1850 ; and again, 1872, by Tarkavacaspati. 

38. Bengali version of No. 37, by Tara Shankar Tarkaratna. 
Tenth edition, Calcutta, 1868. 

39. Dasa-kumdra-carita. By Dandin, ? sixth century. Edited 
by Carey, 1804 ; Wilson, 1846 ; and by Biihler, 1873. 

39a. Hindoo Tales, founded on No. 39. By P. W. Jacob, 
London, 1873. 

396. Une Tetrade. By Hippolyte Fauche, Paris, 1861-3. 
Contains a trans, into French of No. 39. 

40. Katharnava, The Stream of Tales. In four Books ; the 
first being No. 18, the second No. 29, the third and four 
miscellaneous. 

41. Purusha-pariksha, the Adventures of King Hammira. 
Probably of the fourteenth century. By Vidyapati. 

41a. English translation of No. 41, by Raja Kali Krishna, 
Serampur, 1830. See No. 22. 

42. Vlra-caritan, the Adventures of King Salivahana. 



TABLE II. 
THE KALILAG AND DAMNAG LITERATURE 

1. A lost Buddhist work in a language of Northern India, 
ascribed to Bidpai. See above, pp. Ixv-lxvii. 

2. Pelvi version, 531-79 A.D. By Barzuye, the Court 
physician of Khosru Nushirvan. See above, p.. xxviii, 

3. Kalilag und Damnag. Syrian version of No. 2. Published 
with German trans, by Gustav Bickell, and Introduction by 
Professor Benfey, Leipzig, 1876. This and No. 15 preserve the 
best evidence of the contents of No. 2, and of its Buddhist original 
or originals. 

4. Kalildh wd Dimnah (Fables of Bidpai). Arabic version of 
No. 3, by Abd-allah, son of Almokaffa. Date about 750 A.D. Text 
of one recension edited by Silvestre de Sacy, Paris, 1816. Other 
recensions noticed at length in Ignazio Guidi s Studii sul testo 
Arabo del libra di Calila e Dimna (Rome, 1873). 

5. Kalila and Dimna. Eng. version of No. 4, by Knatchbull, 
Oxford, 1819. 

6. Das Buck des Weisen. German version of No. 4, by Wolff, 
Stuttgart, 1839. 

7. Stephanites kai Ichvelates Greek version of No. 4, by 
Simeon Seth, about 1080 A.D. Edited by Seb. Gottfried Starke, 
Berlin, 1697 (repr. in Athens, 1851), and by Aurivillius, 
Upsala, 1786. 

8. Latin version of No. 7, by Father Possin, at the end of his 
edition of Pachymeres, Rome, 1866. 

9. Persian translation of No. 4, by Abdul Maali Nasr Allah, 
1118-53. Exists, in MS. only, in Paris, Berlin, and Vienna. 

10. Anvar i Suhaili. Persian translation, through the last, of 
No. 4, by Husain ben Ali el Vaiz U 1-KashifI ; end of the fifteenth 
century. 

11. Anvar i Suhaili, or the Lights of Canopus. Eng. version of 
No. 10, by Edward Eastwick, Hertford, 1854. 

lla. Another Eng. version of No. 10, by Arthur N. Wollaeton 
(London, Allen). 



238 KALI LAG AND DAMNAG 

12. Livre des Lumieres. French version of No. 10, by David 
Sahid, d Ispahan, Paris, 1644, 8vo. 

13. Del Ooverno de Eegni. Italian version of No. 7, Ferrara, 
1853 ; by Giulio Nuti. Edited by Teza, Bologna, 1872. 

14. Hebrew version of No. 4, by Joel (?), before 1250. Exists 
only in a single MS. in Paris, of which the first part is missing. 

15. Directorium Humance Vitce. Latin version of No. 14, by 
John of Capua. Written 1263-78. Printed about 1480, 
without date or name of place. Next to No. 3 it is the best 
evidence of the contents of the lost books Nos. 1 and 2. 

16. German version of No. 15, also about 1480, but without 
date or name of place. 

17. Version in Ulm dialect of No. 16. Ulm, 1483. 

18. Baldo s Alter Msopus. A translation direct from Arabic 
into Latin (? thirteenth century). Edited in du Meril s Poesies 
inedites du moyen age, Paris, 1854. 

19. Calila e Dymna. Spanish version of No. 4 (? through an 
unknown Latin version). About 1251. Published in Biblioleca 
de Autores Espanoles, Madrid, 1860, vol. 51. 

20. Calila, et Dimna. Latin version of the last, by Kaimond de 
Beziers, 1313. 

21. Conde Lucanor. By Don Juan Manuel (died 1347), grand 
son of St. Ferdinand of Spain. Spanish source not certain. 

22. Sinbad the Sailor, or Book of the Seven Wise Masters. See 
Comparetti, Ricerche intorno al Libro di Sindibad, Milano, 1869. 

23. Conies et Nouvelles. By Bonaventure des Periers, Lyons, 
1587. 

24. Exemplario contra los Enganos. 1493. Spanish version of 
the Directorum. 

25. Discorse degli Animali. Italian of last, by Ange Firenzuola, 
1548. 

26. La Filoso Fia Morale. By Doni, 1552. Italian of last but 
one. 

27. North s English version of last, 1570. 

28. Fables, by La Fontaine. 

First edition in vi books, the subjects of which are mostly 
taken from classical authors, and from Planudes jEsop, 
Paris, 1668. 

Second edition in xi books, the five later taken from Nos. 
12 and 23, Paris, 1678. 

Third edition in xii books, Paris, 1694. 



TABLE III 
THE BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT SERIES 

1. St. John of Damascus s Greek Text. Seventh century, A.D. 
First edited by Boissonade in his Anecdota Grceca, Paris, 1832, 
vol. iv. Reprinted in Migne s Patrologia Cursus Completes, Series 
Graca, torn, xcvi, pp. 836-1250, with the Latin translation by 
Billy * in parallel columns. Boissonade s text is reviewed, and 
its imperfections pointed out, by Schubart (who makes use of six 
Vienna MSS.) in the Wiener Jahrbucher, vol. Ixiii. 

2. Syriac version of No. 1 exists only in MS. 

3. Arabic version of No. 2 exists only in MS., one MS. being 
at least as old as the eleventh century. 

4. Latin version of No. 1 of unknown date and author, of 
which MSS. of the twelfth century are still extant. There is a 
black-letter edition (? Spiers, 1470) in the British Museum. It 
was adopted, with abbreviations in several places, by Vincentius 
Bellovicensis, in his Speculum Historiale (lib. xv, cap. 1-63) ; 
by Jacobus a Voragine, in his Legenda Aurea (ed. Griisse, 1846) ; 
and was reprinted in full in the editions of the works of St. John 
of Damascus, published at Basel in the sixteenth century. 2 From 
this Latin version all the later medieval works on this subject 
are either directly or indirectly derived. 

4a. An abbreviated version in Latin of the fourteenth century 
in the British Museum. Arundel MS. 330, fol. 51-7. See Koch, 
No. 9, p. xiv. 

German : 

5. Barlaam und Josaphat. A poem of the thirteenth century, 
published from a MS. in the Solms-Laubach Library by L. 
Diefenbach, under the title Mittheilungen ttber eine noch unge~ 
druckte m.h.d. Bearbeitung des E. and J. Giessen, 1836. 

1 Billy (1535-77) was Abbot of St. Michael s, in Brittany. 
Another edition of his Latin version, by Rosweyd, is also reprinted 
in Migne, Series Latina, torn. Ixxiii ; and several separate editions 
have appeared besides (Antwerp, 1602 ; Cologne, 1624, etc.). 

2 The British Museum copy of the first, undated, edition, has 
the date 1539 written in ink on the title-page. Rosweyd, in 
Note 4 to his edition of Billius (Migne, vol. Ixxiii, p. 606), mentions 
an edition bearing the date 1548. In the British Museum there 
is a third, dated 1675 (on the last page). 



240 BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT 

6. Another poem, partly published from an imperfect MS. at 
Zurich, by Franz Pfeiffer, in Haupt s Zeitsch. f. d. Alterthum, i, 
127-35. 

7. Barlaam und Josaphat. By Rudolf von Ems. Written 
about 1230. Latest and best edition by Franz Pfeiffer, in 
Dichtungen des deutschen Mittelalters, vol. iii, Leipzig, 1843. This 
popular treatment of the subject exists in numerous MSS. 

7a. Die Hystori Josaphat und Barlaam. Date and author not 
named. Black-letter. Woodcuts. Title on last page. Fifty- 
six short chapters. Quaint and forcible old German. A small 
folio in the British Museum. 

8. Historia von dem Leben der Zweien H. Beichtiger Barlaam 
Eremiten, und Josaphat des Konig s in Indien Sohn, etc. Trans 
lated from the Latin by the Counts of Helffenstein and 
Hohenzollern, Miinchen, 1684. In 40 long chapters, pp. 602, 
12 mo. 

Dutch : 

9. Het Leven en Bedryf van Barlaam den Heremit, en Josaphat 
Koning van Indien. Noo in Nederduits vertaalt door F. v. H., 
Antwerp, 1593, 12mo. 

A new edition of this version appeared in 1672. This is a long 
and tedious prose version of the holy legend. 
French : 

8. Poem by Gui de Cambray (1200-50). Edited by Hermann 
Zotenberg and Paul Meyer in the Bibliothek des Literarischen 
Vereins, in Stuttgart, vol. Ixxv, 1864. They mention also (pp. 
318-25) : 

9. La Vie de Seint Josaphaz. Poem by Chardry. Edited by 
John Koch, Heilbronn, 1879, who confirms the editors of No. 8 as 
to the following old French versions, 10-15 ; and further adduces 
No. lla. 

10. A third poem by an unknown author. 

11. A prose work by an unknown author all three being of 
the 13th cent. 

lla. Another in MS. Egerton, 745, British Museum. 

12. A poem in French of the fifteenth century, based on the 
abstract in Latin of No. 4, by Jacob de Voragine. 

13. A Provencal tale in prose, containing only the story of 
Josafat and the tales told by Barlaam, without the moralizations. 

14. A miracle play of about 1400. 



BARLAAM AND JOSAPHAT 241 

16. Another miracle play of about 1460, 
Italian : 

16. Vita di fan Oiosafat convertito da Barlaam. By Geo. 
Antonio Remondini. Published about 1600, at Venezia and 
Bassano, 16mo. There is a second edition of this, also 
without date ; and a third, published in Modena in 1768, with 
illustrations. 

17. Storia de SS. Barlaam e Oiosafatte. By Bottari, Rome, 
1734, 8vo, of which a second edition appeared in 1816. 

18. La santissima vita di Santo Josafat, figluolo del ReAvenero, 
Re deir India, da che ei nacque per infino cKei mori. A prose 
romance, edited by Telesforo Bini from a MS. belonging to the 
Commendatore Francesco de Rossi, in pp. 124-52 of a collection, 
Rime e Prose, Lucca, 1852, 8vo. 

19. A prose Vita da Santo Josafat. In MS. Add. 10902 of the 
British Museum, which Paul Mayer (see No. 8) says begins 
exactly as No. 18, but ends differently. (See Koch, No. 9 
above.) 

20. A Rappresentatione di Barlaam e Josafat is mentioned by 
Federigo Palermo in his / manuscritti Palatini de Firenze, 1860, 
vol. ii, p. 401. 

Skandinavian : 

A full account of all the Skandinavian versions is given in 
Barlaam s ok Josaphafs Saja, by C. R. Unger, Christiania, 
1851, 8vo. 

Spanish : 

Honesta, etc, historia de la rara vida de los famosos y singulares 
sanctos Barlaam, etc. By Baltasat de Santa Cruz. Published in 
the Spanish dialect used in the Phillipine Islands at Manila, 1692. 
A literal translation of Bilius (No. 1). 

English : 

In Horstmann s Altenglische Legenden, Paderborn, 1875, an Old 
English version of the legend is published from the Bodleian MS. 
No. 779. There is another recension of the same poem in the 
Harleian MS. No. 4196. Both are of the fourteenth century; 
and of the second there is another copy in the Vernon MS. See 
further, Warton s History of English Poetry, i, 271-9, and ii, 30, 
58, 308. 

Horstmann has also published a Middle English version in the 
Program of the Sagan Gymnasium, 1877. 



242 BAELAAM AND JOSAPHAT 

The History of the Five Wise Philosophers ; or, the Wonderful 
Relation of the Life of Jehoshaphat the Hermit, Son of Avenerian, 
King of Barma in India, etc. By N. H. (that is, Nicholas Herick), 
Gent., London, 1711, pp. 128, 12mo. This is a prose romance, and 
an abridged translation of the Italian version of 1600 (No. 16), 
and contains only one fable (at p. 46) of the Nightingale and the 
Fowler. 

The work referred to on p. xliii, under the title Gesta Eoman- 
orum, a collection of tales with lengthy moralizations (probably 
sermons), was made in England about 1300. It soon passed to 
the Continent, and was repeatedly re-written in numerous MSS., 
with additions and alterations. Three printed editions appeared 
between 1472 and 1475 ; and one of these, containing 181 stories, 
is the source of the work now known under this title. Tale No. 168 
quotes Barlaam. The best edition of the Latin version is by 
H. Oesterley, Berlin, 1872. The last English translation is 
Hooper s, Bohn s Antiquarian Library, London, 1877. The Early 
English versions have been edited by Sir F. Madden ; and again, 
in vol. xxxiii of the Extra Series of the Early English Text 
Society, by S. J. H. Herrtage. 

The Seven Sages (edited by Thomas Wright for the Percy 
Society, 1845) also contains some Buddhist tales. 



TABLE IV 



COMPARISON OF 



1. Akitte-cariyan 

2. Sankha-o 

3. Dananjaya-c 

4. Maha-sudassana-c 

5. Maha-govinda-c 

6. Nimi-raja-c 

7. Canda-kumara-c 

8. Sivi-raja-c (2) 

9. Vessantara-c 

. 10. Sasa-pandita-c (0) 

11. Silava-naga-c (J. 72) 

12. Bhuridatta-c 

13. Campeyya-naga-c 

14. Cula-bodhi-c 

15. Mahimsa-raja-c (27) 

16. Ruru-raja-c 

17. Matanga-c 

18. Dhammadhamma-devaputta-c 

19. Jayadisa-c 

20. Sankhapala-c 

21. Yudanjaya-c 

22. Somanassa-c 

23. Ayoghara-c (33) 

24. Bhisa-c 

25. Soma-pandita-c (32) 

26. Temiya-c 

27. Kapi-raja-c (25, 28) 

28. Saccasavhaya-pandita-c 

29. Vattaka-potaka-c (16) 

30. Maecha-raja-c (15) 

31. Kanha-dipayana-c 

32. Sutasoma-c (25, 32) 

33. Suvanna-sama-c 

34. Ekaraja-o 

35. Maha-lomahamsa-c (J. 94) 



THE CARIYA PITAKA AND THE 
JATAKA MALA 

Vyagbl-jatakan 



Kulmasapindi-j 

Sreshthi-j(21) 

Avisajyasreshthi-j 

Sasa-j (10) 

Agastya-j 

Maitribala-j 

Visvantara-j (9) 

Yajna-j 

Sakra-j 

Brahmana-j 

Ummadayanti-j 

Suparaga-j 

Matsya-j(30) 

Vartaka-potaka-i (29) 

Kacchapa-j - 

Kumbha-j / 

Putra-j / % 

Visa-j 

Sreshthi-j (4) - 

Buddhabodhi-j . 

Hanisa-j 

Mahabodhi-j 

Mahakapi-j (27, 28) 

Sarabha-j 

Ruru-j(16) 

Mahakapi-j (25, 27) 

Kshanti-j 

Brahma-j 

Hasti-j 

Sutasoma-j (25, 32) 

Ayogriha-j(23) 

Mahisha-j 

Satatra-j 



For the above lists see Feer, Etude sur Us Jatakas, p. 68 ; 
Gogerly, Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 
1853 ; Fausboll, Five Jatakas, p. 59 ; A Chinese Pilgrim on 
the Jataka-mala, Ind. Antiquary, xi, 44; and also above, pp. 
xlviii-1. It will be seen that there are seven tales with identical, 
and one or two more with similar titles, in the two collections. 
The former was edited by Rd. Morris, P.T.S., 1882, the latter by 
E. Kern, H.O.S., 1891, trs. by. I. S. Speyer, S.B. Buddhists, 
1895. The Cambridge University Library possesses a MS. of the 
former, with the various readings of several other MSS. noted, 
for me, by Dewa Aranolis. 



TABLE V 

ALPHABETICAL LIST OF JATAKA STORIES IN THE 
MAHAVASTU 



Arranged from Cowell and Eggeling s Catalogue of Buddhist 

Sanskrit MSS. in the Possession of the Royal Asiatic Society 

(Hodgson Collection). 



Amaraye karmarakadhitaye 

jatakma 
Arindama-j 
Asthisenasya-j 
Bhadravargikanan- j 
Campaka-nagaraja-j 
Godha-j 
Hastin!-j 
Kaka-j 
Uruvilva-kasyapadi-kasyap- 

anan- j 

A jnata-Kaundinya-j 
Kinnari-j 01 
Kricchapa-j 
Kusa-j 
Mafijeri-j 
Markata-j 

Mrigarajfio surupasya-j 
Nalinlye rajakumarlye-j 
Punyavanta- j 
Purnasya Maitrayani- 

putrasya-j 



Rakshito-nama-rishi-j 

Rishabasya-j 

vSakuntaka-j (Two with this 

title.) 

Sarakshepanan-j 
Saratan- j 
Sarthavahasya- j 
Sirl-j 

Siri-prabhasya roriga-rajasya j 
Syama-j . 1 (Car. Pit. 33) 
Syamaka-j 
Trinakuniyan nama j 
Upali ganga palanan-j 
Vanaradhipa-j 
Vara-j 

Vijitavasya Vaideha-rajfio-j 
Yasoda-j 

Yosodharaye harapradana-j 
vyaghribhutaya-j 



1 These two Jatakas also form the contents of a separate MS. 
in the Royal Asiatic Society s Library (Catalogue, p. 14). 



TABLE VI 

PLACES AT WHICH THE JATAKA TALES WERE TOLD 

M. Leon Feer has taken the trouble to count the number of 
times each of the following places is mentioned at the commence- 
ment of the Commentary. 

Jetavana monastery. .... 41(h 

Savatthi 6/ 416 

Veluvana ... . 49- 

Rajagaha . . . . 5 1 55 

Latthivanuyyana . . . . . 1 

Vesali ........ 4 

Kosambi ....... 5 

Ajavl 3 

Kundaladaha ....... 3 

Kusa 2 

Magadha. ....... 2 

Dakkhinagiri ....... 1 

Migadaya ....... 1 

Mithila .... ... 1 

By the Ganges ...... 1 

494 

To which we may add from pp. 124-8 below 
Kapilavatthu .4 

498 



TABLE VII 



THE BODISATS 

At his request the Rev. Spence Hardy s pandit * made an 
analysis of the number of times in which the Bodisat appears in 
the Buddhist Birth Stories in each of the following characters : 



An ascetic 

A king . 

A tree god 

A teacher 

A courtier 

A brahman 

A king s son . 

A nobleman . 

A learned man 

Sakka . 

A monkey 

A merchant . 

A man of property . 

A deer . 

A lion . 

A wild duck . 

A snipe . 

An elephant . 

A cock . 

A slave . 

An eagle 

A horse 

A bull . 

Brahma . 

A peacock . 

A serpent 

A potter 

An outcast 



83 An iguana ... 3 

85 A fish . . . .2 

43 An elephant driver . 2 

26 A rat . . . .2 

24 A jackal ... 2 

24 A crow ... 2 

24 A woodpecker . . 2 

23 A thief .... 2 

22 A pig . . . .2 

20 A dog . . . . 1 

18 A curer of snake bites 

13 A gambler 

12 A mason 

11 A smith. 

10 A devil dancer 

8 A student 

6 A silversmith. 

6 A carpenter . 

6 A water-fowl . 

5 A frog .... 

5 A hare .... 

4 A kite .... 

4 A jungle cock. 

4 A fairy .... 

4 

4 

3 630 

3 



TABLE VIII 

JATAKAS ILLUSTRATED IN BAS-RELIEF ON THE 

ANCIENT MONUMENTS 
Arranged from General Cunningham s Stupa of Bharhut 



No. Plate. 


Title inscribed on the stone. 


Title in the Jataka Book. 


1. xviii. 


Vitura-panakaya Jataka 1 


Vidhura Jataka 


2. xxv. 


Miga 


Nigrodha-miga Jataka * 


3. 


Naga 3 


Kakkataka 


4. 


Yava-majhakiya ,, 


? 4 


5. 
6. xxvt. 


Muga-pakhaya 
Latuva 


Muga-pakkha 
Latukika ,, 


7. 


Cha-dantiya ,, 


Chad-danta 


8. 


Isi-sinsiva 


Isi-singa 


9. (?) Yambamano-ayavesi,, 


Andha-bhuta 


10. xxvii. 


? 5 


Kurunga-miga 


11. 


Hamsa 


Nacca ,, 


12. 


Kinara 


Canda-kinnara 6 


13. 


?5 


Asadisa 


14. 


? 5 


Dasaratha 




( Janako Raja 


Janaka 


15. xxviii. 


\Sivala-DevI 




16. xxxiii. 


Maha Kapi , 


Camma-Sataka 


17. xliii. 


Isi-migo , 


Miga potaka 


18. xliv. 


Janako raja Sivali 






devi 


Mahajanaka ,, 


19. xlv. 


Aramadusaka 


Kapota 


20. xlvi. 


Uda 


Dabbha puppha 


21. 


Secha 


Dubhiya-makkata ,, 


22. xlvii. 


Sujato gahuto 


Sujata 




f Bidala 




23. 
24. xlviii. 


\ Kukuta 
Magha-deviya 


Kukkuta 
Makha-deva 


25. 


Bhisa-haraniya 


Bhisa 



1 There are four distinct bas-reliefs illustrative of this Jataka. 

2 This is one of those which General Cunningham was unable to 

^General Cunningham says (p. 52) : " The former [Naga, 
Jataka, i.e. Elephant, Jataka] is the correct name, as in the legend 
here represented Buddha is the King of the Elephants, and there 
for the Jataka, or Birth, must of necessity have been named after 
him " The title of each Jataka, or Birth Story, is chosen not 



248 TABLE VIII 

There are numerous other scenes without titles, and not yet 
identified in the Jataka Book, but which are almost certainly 
illustrative of Jataka Stories ; and several scenes with titles 
illustrative of passages in the Nidana Katha of the Jataka Book. 
So, for instance, PI. xvi, fig. 1, is the worship in heaven of the 
Buddha s Head-dress, the reception of which into heaven is 
described above, p. 178 ; and the heavenly mansion, the Palace of 
Glory, is inscribed Vejayanto Pasado, the origin of which name is 
explained below, p. 287. Plate xxviii has a scene entitled 
Bhagavato Oklcanti (The Descent of the Blessed One), 7 in illustra 
tion of Maya Devi s Dream (above, pp. 148 f.) ; and Plate Ivii 
is a representation of the Presentation of the Jetavana Monastery 
(above, p. 178). The identifications of Nos. 12 and 13 in the 
above list are very doubtful. 

Besides the above, Mr. Fergusson, in his Tree and Serpent 
Worship, has identified bas-reliefs on the Sanchi Tope in illustra 
tion of the Sanaa and Asadisa Jatakas (PI. xxxvi, p. 181) and of 
the Vessantara Jataka (PI. xxiv, p. 125) ; and there are other 
Jataka scenes on the Sanchi Tope not yet identified. 

Mr. Simpson also has been kind enough to show me drawings 
of bas-reliefs he discovered in Afghanistan, two of which I have 
been able to identify as illustrations of the Sumedha Jataka 
and another as illustrative of the scene described above, 
pp. 222 f. 

by any means from the character which the Bodisat fills in it, 
but indifferently from a variety of other reasons. General 
Cunningham himself gives the story called Isi-singiya Jataka 
(No. 7 in the above list), in which the ascetic after whom the 
Jataka is named is not the Bodisat* 

4 Not as yet found in the Jataka Book ; but Dr. Biihler has 
shown in the Indian Antiquary, vol. i, p. 305, that it is the first 
tale in the Vrihat Katha of Kshemendra (Table I, No. 34), and in 
the Katha Sarit Sagara of Somadeva (Table I, No. 33), and was 
therefore probably included in the Vrihat Katha of Gunadhya 
(Table I, No. 32). 

6 The part of the stone supposed to have contained the inscrip 
tion is lost. 

It is mentioned above, p. 225, and is included in the Maha- 
vastu (Table V), and forms the subject of the carving on one of 
the rails at Buddha Gaya (Rajendra Lai Mitra, pi. xxxiv, fig. 2). 

7 General Cunningham s reading of this inscription as Bhagavato 
rukdanta seems to me to be incorrect, and his translation of it 
( Buddha as the sounding elephant ) to be grammatically 
impossible. 



TABLE IX 
FORMER BUDDHA8 

1-3. Tanhankara Medhankara 
Saranankara 

4. Dipankara 

5. Kondafina 

6. Mangala 

7. Sumana 

8. Revata 

9. Sobhita 

10. Anomadassin 

11. Paduma 

12. Narada 

13. Padumuttara 

14. Sumedha 

15. Sujata 

16. Piyadassin 

17. Atthadassin 

18. Dhammadassin 

19. Siddhattha 

20. Tissa 

21. Phussa 

22. Vipassin 

23. Sikhin 

24. Vessabhu 

25. Kakusandha 

26. Konagamana 

27. Kassapa 



INDEX 



The names mentioned in the Tables following the 
Introduction are not included in this Index, as the Table 
in which any name should occur can easily be found 
from the Table of Contents. 

In Pali pronounce vowels as in Italian, consonants as 
in English (except c = ch, n. = ny, m^ng), and place the 
accent on syllables containing a, e, or o, or which 
begin-and-end with a consonant. This is a rough rule 
for practical use. Details and qualifications may be 
seen in my manual Buddhism, pp. 1, 2. 



Abhidhamma, Iviii, 201 
Abhisarnbuddha-gatha, Ixx 
Advent of a Teacher, 147 
JEsop, vi, x, xxix f . 
Afghanistan, xli 
Ajita, brahmin and Bodisat, 125 
Alara Kalama, 181, 207 
Anatha-pindika, 228 
Anoma, a river, 177 
Anupiya, a grove, 179 
Apadana, Ixviii 
Arabian Nights, xlii 
Arabian story-books, xxxix 
Arahants, outward signs of, 178 ; 

trance, a supposed condition of, 

181 ; the first , 210 ; indifferent 

to worldly things, 216 
Archery, 165 

Arindama, King and Bodisat, 135 
Asankheyya, an aeon, 82, 200 
Asoka, 123 

Ass in the Lion s Skin, iv 
Assaji, the fifth convert, 209, 214 
Assembly of disciples (sannipata), 

215 

Asvagosha, xlix 
Atideva, brahmin and Bodisat, 

124 
Atrta-vatthu = Birth Story, Ixix 



Atthadassin, a monk in Ceylon, 

81 ; a Buddha, 130 
Atula, Naga-king and Bodisat, 

123, 134 

Avadanas, see Apadana 

Babrius, the Greek fabulist, xxxi 

Baptism, 160 

Bark, clothes of, 88 

Barlaam and Josaphat, xxxiii f. 

Baronius, martyrologist, xxxvi 

Beal, the Rev. S., quoted, liii, 206 

Begging for food, 222 

Bells, 183, 206 

Benares muslin, 178 

Benfey, Professor, see Pancha 

Tantra 

Bhaddiya the third convert, 209 
Bhalluka, a merchant, 205 
Bharhut sculptures, liv 
Bhavas, the three, 172 
Bhoja, a Brahman, 160 
Bidpai, the Bactrian fabulist, xli, 

Ixv 

Bigandet, 206 
Bimbisara, king of Rajagaha, 181, 

210 f. 

Bodisat = Josaphat, xxxiv 
Bodisats, 140 



252 



INDEX 



Bowl, the Buddha s begging, 178, 

186 f. 
Brahma waits upon Gotama, 154, 

184, 191, 207 

Brahmins and Buddhists, xxvi 
Buddhas: Gotama the Buddha, 

life of, 150-232 ; date of death 

of, li 
Buddhadeva, a monk in Ceylon, 

82 

Buddhaghosa, viii f. 
Buddhamitta, a monk in Ceylon, 

82 

Buddhavamsa, 29 f., 83 f., 113 
Biihler, Ixvii 

Canonization, xxxv 
Carpenter, Dr. E., xxix 
C(h)ariya Pitaka, xlviii 
Caste, 148 
Channa, 172 f. 
Charity, power of, 195 
Crow and fox, xii 
Crow and jackal, xi 
Cup, the wishing, xx 

Dabschelim, Ixv 

Dadhivahana Jataka, xv 
Dagaba of the Diadem, 178 ; of 
Kanthaka s Staying, 175 ; of 
the Steadfast Gaze, 201 ; of the 
Jewelled Cloister, 201 ; of the 
Hair-relics, 206 
Dancing women, 171 
Davids, Rev. T. W., xxxviii 
Deer park, the, near Benares, 207 
Delusion, one of the three great 

roots of evil, 170 
Dennys, Dr., Folklore of China, 

xxxix, xliii 

Devadaha, a village, 153 
Dhaja, a brahmin, 160 
Dhammaka, a mountain, 88 
Dhammapada, see Pitaka 
Dhammapada Commentary, 220 
Dhanapalaka, 179 
Digha Nikaya, repeaters of, 168 
Dlpavamsa, lii f ., Ivi 



Diptychs in the early Christian 

church, xxxv 
Double miracle (by the Buddha), 

200, 220 

Earthquakes, miraculous, 117, 144, 

214 

East, facing towards the, 154, 189 
Elephant, Mara s mystic, 190, 194, 

196 

Erasmus quoted, vi 
Evil communications, etc., xx 
Evil to be overcome with good, 

xxiv 

Fausboll, Ixi, Ixxx, and passim 

Fetish worship, xx 

Feer, 1, Ixi 

Fire worshippers, 210 

Flying, accomplishment of Ara- 

hants, 211, 219 
Flying by means of a gem, xviii 

Gaya-sisa hill near Rajagaha, 210 
Gesta Romanorum, xliii 
Ghatikara, a deva, 178, 186 
Gilchrist, J., translator of ./-Esop, 

xxxiii 

Godpole s JDsop in Sanskrit, xxxiii 
Gold of Ophir, xliv 
Golden Hill, 150, 160 
Gotama, name of the Buddha, 95, 

122, 208 

Greek and Buddhist fables, xlv 
Gunadhya, poet, Ixvii 

Hair, unkempt, a sign of holiness, 
158 ; the Buddha s, 178 ; Dag- 
aba of the Hair-relic, 206 

Halo from the Buddha s person, 
185, 211, 221 

Hamsas, viii 

Hardy, 206 

Hell becomes filled with light, 198 

Hitopadesa, Ixvi 

Horse, see Sindh, Kanthaka 

House, figuratively of the indi 
vidual, 198 



INDEX 



253 



Hungarian tales, xl 
Huns, xl 

Hymn of triumph, the Buddha s, 
198 

Inherited, i.e. personal, qualities, 

Ixxvii 
Isipatana, suburb of Benares, 217 

Jackal and crow, xi 
Jali, a prince, 200 
Jambu-khadaka Jataka, xii 
Janapada-Kalyam, 226 
Jasmine, the Arabian, 173 
Jataka Commentary, the old one, 

173 

Jataka Mala (in Sanskrit), xlix 
Jelalabad, xli 
Jerome quoted, vii 
Jetavana, a monastery, gift of, 230 
Jewish translators, xxix 
Jews and Moslems, xxviii 
Joasaph, xxxiv 
John, St., of Damascus, xxxiv, 

xxxvii 
Jotipala, brahmin and Bodisat, 

138 
Julien, vi 

Kacchapa Jataka, viii 

Kala-Devala, 157 

Kala-Nagaraja, 188, 191 

Kalama, see AJara 

Kalilag and Damnag literature, 
xxxiv f . 

Kaludayin, 120, 216 f. 

Kanthaka Nivattana Chetiya, 17G 

Kanthaka, the mystic horse, 172 f. 

Kapilavatthu, 148, 218 

Kappasiya forest, 210 

Kassapa brahmin and Bodisat, 130 

Kassapa Buddha, see Buddhas 

Kassapa, Maha Narada Jataka 
(No. 644), 212 

Kassapa of Uruvela, the sixty- 
second convert, 210 f. 

Katha-sarit-sagara, Ixvi 

Kasi, xli 



Kesa-dhatu-vamsa, 206 

Khara-dhatika, a demon, 117 

Khema, king and Bodisat, 136 

Kingdom of Righteousness, 209 

Kings, a lesson for, xxi 

Kinnara, Jataka, 225 

Kisa-Gotami, 169 

Kondanya, a brahmin, 161 f. ; be 
comes the first disciple, 209 

Kosala, a country near Benares, 
xxii 

Kshemendra, Kashmirian poet, 
Ixvii 

Kulavaka Jataka, Ixxiii 

Laboulaye, xxxiv 

La Fontaine s fables, x. xii, xxxix 

Lakkhana, a brahmin, 160 

Lalita Vistara, 179, 199 

Lamp, the wonderful, xx 

Lang, A., xl 

Latthivanuyyana (grove of reeds), 

212 

Liebrecht, xxxiv, xxxviii 
Life like living in a house on fire, 

172 

Lion of the vermilion plain, 92 
Lion as Bodisat, 126 
Lion, the Buddha walks like a, 188 
Littre, xxxv 
Lucian, vi 
Lumbini grove, where the Buddha 

was born, 153 

Maddi, queen, 200 
Madhuratthavilasini, lx 
Maha-bharata quoted, xxvi 
Maha-Dhammapala Jataka, 224, 

228 
Maha-Maya, mother of the 

Buddha, 148 f. 
Maha-nama, the fourth convert, 

209 
Mahapadana, Dialogues of the 

Buddha, ii, i f., 161 
Maha-Vamsa quoted, Iviii, 206 
Mahirnsasaka, race of, 82 
Mahosadha Jataka, xiii 



254 



INDEX 



Ma jj him a Desa, the Buddhist 

Holy Land, 147, 205 
Mallika, king of Kosala, xxii 
Mangala, ascetic and Bodisat, 132 
Manjerika, palace of the Nagaking, 

97 

Mantin, a brahmin, 160 
Mara, the Buddhist Satan, tempts 

Gotama with sovereignty, 175 ; 

conflict between the Buddha 

and, 190 f. ; the daughters of, 

202 f. 
Marks on a child s body signs of 

its future, 158, 161, 223 
Marty rologies, xxxvi 
Max Miiller, xxxii, xxxviii 
Milk, legend of working in and 

in, 184 

Moggallana, the chief disciple, 214 
Monastery, gift of, 214, 230 
Monk, the eight things allowed to 

a, 178 

Morris, Rd., 1, Ivii 
Muchalinda, the king of the cobras, 

204 
Myrobolan, 205 

Nagas, mystic snakes, 176, 179, 

188 ; king of, sings the Bodisat s 

praise, 191 
Nalaka, 159 
Nanda, the Buddha s half brother, 

226 
Neranjara, a river near Uruvela, 

187 

Nigrodha tree, 184 f., cf. Ixxii 
Nipata, division of the Jataka 

Book, Ixxii 

Nirvana, 86 f., 170, 200 
Numbers, sacred or lucky, 159, 

163 

Offerings, uselessness of, 211 

Oldenberg, li 

Omens, the thirty-two good, 151, 

156 ; the four, 198 
Ophir, probably in India, xliv, 162, 

168 



Overland route in ancient times, 
xli 

Pabbajja Sutta, 181 
Pabbata king and Bodisat, 50 
Paccuppanna-vatthu = Intro 
ductory Story, Ixxiv 
Pada-gata-sannaya, Ixxvii 
Pahlavi, ancient Persian, xxix 
Palmyra fruits, single -seeded, 94 
Pancha Tantra, vii, xi, xxix, Ixx 
Panda va, arocknearRajagaha, 88 
Paramitas, the Ten Perfections, 18 

and foil., 54 and foil. 
Paricchataka flowers (of deva- 

world), 85 
Penance not the way to wisdom, 

91 
Petrus de Natalibus, martyrologist, 

xxxix 

Phsedrus, the Latin fabulist, xxxiii 
Pitaka passages quoted or referred 
to: 

Apadana, Ixviii 
Pabbajja Sutta, 181 
Maha-padhana Sutta, 161 
Samafina-phala Sutta, 88 
Dhammapada, xxvi, 204 
Jataka, see separate titles 
Culla Vagga, xlviii 
Samyutta Nikaya, xii, Hi 
Anguttara Nikaya, Ivii 
Abhidhamma, Iviii, 201 
Chariya Pitaka, xlviii 
Buddhavamsa, 1, 84, 113 
Vinaya, i 
PaisachI, xvii 
Pancha Tantra, vi f., x, xxvi f., 

xxxii, Ixii 
Perfections, the ten, 97, 101 f., 

passim 

Planudes, author of ^Esop, xxx f. 
Plato quoted, vi 
Ploughing festival, 163 
Punna, slave girl of Sujata, 185 

Rahula, Gotama s son, 169, 173, 
224, 226 



INDEX 



255 



Rajagaha, 179, 212, 217, 228 
K a Java tana- tree, 204 f. 
Rajovada Jataka, xxi 
Ralston, xl 
Kama, a brahmin, 160; father of 

Buddha s teacher Uddaka, 181 
Ramma, a city, 90, 110 
Uammavati, a city, 115 
Slavs of light stream from a 

Buddha, 116, 185, and see 

Halo 
Renunciation, the Great, 172 f. ; 

garb of, 178 ; power of, 194 
Repeaters of the Scriptures (BMn- 

aka), 168 

Saddharma-Pundarlka, Ivii, Ixxv 

Sahajata, or Connatal Ones, 256 

Sakka as Bodisat, 132; his 
character in Buddhist tales, 
xvi f.. xx ; places the Buddha s 
hair in a dagaba in heaven, 178 ; 
serves the Buddha, 155, 168, 
178, 205 ; legend of his throne 
feeling hot, 168, 213 

Sakyas, the, 220 

Sanmfma-phala Sutta quoted, 88 

Samapatti, 181 

Sammappadhana, 181 

Sanchi Tope, sculptures at, liv 

Sanjaya teacher, 119 

Sap of life, curious legend concern 
ing, 182, 185 

Sariputta, the chief disciple, 214, 
227 

Savatthi, 228 

Si-nan i, a landowner, father of 
Sujfitfi. 184 

Shakespeare, vi, xxxix 

Siddhattha, name of the Buddha, 

lr,L>, Hif, f.. ISO, ]!)( 

Signs, the thirty-two bodily, of a 

great man ; see Marks 
Siha-( amina Jataka, No. 189, 

translated, iv 
Simpson, \V., xli 
Sinbad the Sailor, xxxix 
Sindh horses. lt;t> 



Sinhalese version of the Birth 

Stories, ii, xiii 
Sirens in Buddhist stories, 

xiii 

Slavonic tales, xl 
Snakes, see Naga and Muchalinda 
Solomon s Judgment, xv, xiii f. 
Somadeva, Ixvi 
Sotthiya, a merchant, 231 
Sotthiya, the grasscutter, 188 
Soul, sermon on, 209 
Spring, beauties of, 217 
St. Barlaam, xxxiv 
St. John of Damascus, xxxiv, 

xxxvii 

St. Josaphat, xxxiv 
Struggle, the Great, against sin, 

181 
Sudassana (Belle Vue) monastery, 

90 ; city, 128 
Sudassana, Sujata Buddha s chief 

disciple, 136 ; king and Bodisat, 

133 

Sudatta, a brahmin, 160 
Suddodhana, the Buddha s father, 

148 

Sujata, a Bodisat, 133 
Sujata, Buddha, 128 
Sujata, legend of her offering to 

the Buddha, 184 f. 
Sumedha, the Bodisat in the time 

of Dlpankara, xli, 82 f. 
Sumedha, Buddha, 128 
Supannas, winged creatures, 176, 

179, 188 

Supatifthita Ferry, 187 
Suruci Jataka, Ixxiii 
Suruci, a brahmin, 119 
Susima ascetic and Bodisat, 131 
Suyaraa, a deva-governor, 155 ; a 

brahmin, 160 

Takkasi!a=Taxila, a university 

town, xxi 

Tapassu, a merchant, 205 
Taranatha, xlix 
Tathagata, H.o 
1 ft \.ttimsa heaven, 178, 179 



256 



INDEX 



Tortoise, of gold, 231 ; the 

talkative, viii 

Transmigration of souls, Ixix 
Trees pay homage to Maha Maya, 

154 ; to the Buddha, 164, 190 
Tree-deva, the Buddha mistaken 

for a, 185 ; vow to, 184 
Tree of Enlightenment (Bo- or 

Bodhi-tree), 188 
Tree-god, or genius, or fairy, the 

Bodisat as, Ixxix, 212, 230, 238, 

317 

Tree-talk, see warding rune 
Tumour, Ix 

Uddaka, the Buddha s teacher, 

181 

Ukkala, Orissa, 205 
Ummagga Jataka, Ixxiii 
Upaka, a Hindu mendicant, 207 
Upatissa ( = Sariputta), 96 
Uruvela, 184, 162, 210 
Usnard, xxxvii 
Uttara, brahmin and Bodisat, 129 

Vannabhumi (Place of Praise), 212 
Vappa, the second convert, 209 



Varro quoted, vii 
Vedas, the three, xlvii, 84, 159 
Veluvana (the Bambu-grove), 214 
Verses in the Jatakas, Ixx f., Ixxvi 
Vesali, Council of, li f . 
Vessantara Jataka, 117, 195, 222 
Vetala-panca-vimsati, Ixvii 
Vijayuttara, Sakka s trumpet, 191 
Vijitavin, Bodisat, 134 
Virtues, the Ten Cardinal, see 

Perfections 
Vissakamma, 169 
Vrihat-katha, Ixvii 

Warding rune, 118 

Water of presentation, 230 

Wassiliew, Ixiii 

Weber, xxxiv 

Wheel, the sacred, 211 

Winged creatures, see Supannas 

World-proclamations, 144 

Yakkhas, xiii, 188 
Yakshas, see Yakkhas 
Yakshini, see Yakkhas 
Yasa, first lay convert, 209 
Yojana (seven miles), 179 



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