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Full text of "Sacred books of the Buddhists"

Sacte^ Boofts of tbe 16u6bbigts IPol. X^3- 



THE MAHAVASTU 

VOLUME I 



THE MAHAVASTU 



VOLUME I , 



Translated from the Buddhist Sanskrit 

By 

J. J. JONES, M.A. (Wales) 

Deputy-Keeper, Department of Printed Books, 

National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth 




LUZAC & COMPANY, LTD. 
46 GREAT RUSSELL STREET, LONDON, W.C.I 

1949 



6L 






I 



903793 



Printed in Great Britain 
at the Burleigh Press, Lewms Mead, Bristol 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Abbreviations in footnotes - - - - vii 

Foreword ------- ix 

Prologue --_____i 

Visits to Hell -._... 6 

Visits to Other Worlds 22 

Abhiya --------29 

The Many Buddhas ----- 39 

Visit to Suddhavasa 46 

The Ten Bhiimis ------ 53 

The First Bhumi ------ 61 

The Second Bhiimi ----- 66 

The Third Bhiimi - 72 

The Fourth Bhumi ------ yg 

The Fifth Bhiinii 87 

The Sixth Bhumi ------ 95 

The Seventh Bhumi ----- 100 

The Eighth Bhiimi 108 

The Ninth Bhiimi - - - - - -no 

The Tenth Bhumi - 112 

Attributes of the Buddha - - _ _ 124 

Apparitions ------- 140 

Dipamkara - -152 

Birth of Dipamkara ----- xyi 

Enlightenment - - - - - -183 

Megha and Meghadatta - - - - - 188 

The Buddha Mangala ----- 204 

The Buddha visits Vesali - - - - 208 

The Sunshades - - - - - -218 

The Three Birds - - - - - -225 

Plagues of Former Days ----- 235 

The Buddha in Vesali ----- 242 

Malini ------__ 249 

Ghatikara and Jyotipala - - > - 265 

Genesis of the World ----- 285 

History of the Deer Park - - - - 301 

Indexes - - - 313 



ABBREVIATIONS IN FOOTNOTES* 

A. = Anguttara Nikaya 

Avs. = Avadana-sataka 

Bu. (Budv.) = Buddhavamsa 

Cpd. = Compendium of Philosophy 

D. = Digha-Nikaya 

Dial. = Dialogues of the Buddha 

Divy. = Divyavadana 

Dh, = Dhammapada 

DhA. = Commentary on Dh. 

Dhs. trsl. = Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics 

D.P.N. = Dictionary of Pali Proper Names (G. P. Malalasekera) 

Grad. Sayings = Gradual Sayings 

J. = Jataka 

J.P.T.S. = Journal of Pali Text Society 

Khp. = Khuddakapatha 

KhpA, = Commentary on Khp. 

KS. = Kindred Sayings 

Kvu. = Kathavatthu 

Lai. Vist. = Lalita Vistara 

M. = Majjhima-Nikaya 

Mhvu. = Mahavastu 

Miln. = Milindapailha 

Nd. = Niddesa 

Pali Diet. = Pali-English Dictionary (T. W. Rhys Davids and W. Stede) 

Pv. = Petavatthu 

PvA. = Commentary on Pv. 

S. = Samyutta-Nikaya 

Sn. = Suttanipata 

S.B.E. = Sacred Books of the East 

ThigA. = Commentary on Therigatha 

V. = Vinaya 

VA. = Commentary on V. 

* For particulars of the editions of these works see the preliminary pages 
of the Pali-English Dictionary, by T, W. Rhys Davids and W. Stede. 

vii 



FOREWORD 

The following translation of the Mahdvastu was undertaken 
at the request of the late Mrs. Rhys Davids. As is well known, 
it was her inspired aim to have all Buddhist scriptures made 
available for students in translation as well as in the original 
languages. She worked with such zeal and industry to this 
end that she was fast approaching the realisation of her aim 
when she passed away. 

With regard to the translation of the Mahdvastu more than 
one scholar tried to dissuade her from the project, urging chiefly 
the unsatisfactory state of the text. Senart himself, the editor 
of the only printed text, had in the introduction to his work 
expressed the opinion that a complete translation would be 
' a la fois longue, fastidieuse et insuffisante ', and would involve 
lengthy discussions on hnguistic and textual matters. But 
in reply to such objections Mrs. Rhys Davids would argue 
from the standpoint of a student of religion. The text, she 
would say, must be coherent enough and intelligible enough 
in its broad outline to admit of an English rendering which 
would be sufficiently correct to give the reader an adequate 
comprehension of yet another of the books in which the ancient 
Buddhists had expressed their faith and belief. And if 
subsequent work on linguistic and textual criticism wrought 
so many changes in the text that a fresh translation would 
become necessary, this pioneer effort at a first translation 
would not be wasted. 

The translator, who took up the study of Sanskrit and Pali 
primarily in order to acquire first-hand acquaintance with the 
religious literature of India, readily concurred with this view. 
And his beUef in the utility of a translation of this in many 
ways perplexing text has been strengthened in the course of 
his work in translating. He is firmly of opinion that no 
summary of the text and no treatise on it, however lengthy 
and detailed, can compare in utility to the student of Buddhism 
with a complete translation. This is not to say that the 
translator is unaware or inappreciative of the linguistic and 
textual difficulties of the Mahdvastu. He has throughout 
endeavoured to solve these to the best of his ability. In view 

ix 



THE MAHAVASTU 



of the immediate purpose of the translation the footnotes are 
as a rule confined to the elucidation of those difficulties which 
bear on the interpretation of the text. To go beyond this 
would involve either much repetition of Senart's long notes 
or equally long criticisms of them. At the same time, as much 
use as possible has been made of Pali texts published or 
otherwise made known since Senart's time. As the notes will 
show, Senart's conjectures when he was faced with doubtful 
or unintelligible manuscript readings have in many instances 
been startlingly successful, being confirmed by parallel passages 
in Pali texts unknown to him. But in many other instances 
it will be seen that a manuscript reading rejected by Senart needs 
to be restored into correspondence with the tradition preserved 
in Pali texts, or, it may be, in other Buddhist Sanskrit texts.* 

The exact linguistic or inflexional form of these emendations 
cannot be readily decided. As is well known the language 
of the Mahdvastu and other Buddhist Sanskrit texts presents 
a problem of the first importance. It is usual to term this 
language Buddhist Sanskrit, but this term conveys nothing 
as to its origin and its relation to other Indian dialects. 
While in Mahayana texts this Buddhist Sanskrit alternates 
with more or less classical Sanskrit, the Mahdvastu uses this 
dialect throughout, though with some degree of Sanskritisation 
here and there, especially in the prose. As compared with 
the Buddhist Sanskrit of other texts also, that of the Mahdvastu 
is decidedly closer to Pali, although it is not easy to say how 
much of this approximation is due to later copyists of the 
manuscripts. In not a few instances one manuscript will have 
a Sanskrit, Buddhist or classical, form where another has a 
pure Pali one. 

We may expect some definite conclusion as to the real origin 
of Buddhist Sanskrit when Professor Franklin Edgerton, 
of Harvard University, who has been engaged on a study of 
this dialect for some time, publishes the result of his researches. 
Meanwhile we may quote an opinion which he expressed in 
1936. ' The proto-canonical Prakrit on which Buddhist hybrid 
Sanskrit was based, was a dialect closely related to both 
Ardhamagadhi and Apabhrarnsa, but not identical with either.' 

* Pali works are cited by the abbreviated form of their titles used in the 
Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary. 



FOREWORD xi 



{Bulletin of the School of Oriental Studies, Vol. VIII, p. 516.) 
Perhaps some light may also be thrown on this question by 
the researches of Professor H. W. Bailey and others into the 
Buddhistic literatures discovered in recent years and written 
in Central Asian languages. Certainly, some of these languages 
would seem to provide some evidence for the phonology, if not 
the orthography, of some Buddhist terms at the time that 
Buddhism spread to the north of the Himalayas. 

But, however fruitful they may prove to be, linguistic 
researches alone will not solve all the problems relative to 
the text of the Mahdvastu. They may here and there prove 
the greater probability of one inflexional form over the other 
or enable one to decide how to resolve an apparent metrical 
anomaly. But such linguistic criticism must take into account 
the fact that the Mahdvastu is not the composition of a single 
author written in a well-defined period of time. Rather, it is 
a compilation which may have been begun in the second 
century B.C., but which was not completed until the third 
or fourth century a.d. Even if, as Haraprasad Sastri {Indian 
Historical Quarterly, i, 1925, p. 205) claims, Buddhist Sanskrit 
was a spoken vernacular of the second century B.C., it would 
be unreasonable to expect that it could maintain its pristine 
purity in the Mahdvastu unaffected by the influence of the 
Pali texts from which so much was apparently taken up, not 
to speak of the influence of the Mahayana literature with its 
more radical departure from the proto-canonical Prakrit. 
Linguistic study of the Mahdvastu must, therefore, proceed 
hand in hand with a study of the various parts of which it 
is composed and an examination of the probable period in 
which they were incorporated, as well as of the sources from 
which they were taken. 

For our text is not a homogeneous entity. Although it calls 
itself the Vinaya of the Lokottaravadins, a branch of the 
Mahasanghikas, the earliest Buddhist schismatics, this title 
gives no adequate notion of the nature of its contents. Its 
peculiar dogma that the personality of the Buddha was docetic, 
that he was really supramundane {lokottara) and that he only 
apparently conformed to the habits of men, is, apart from 
two or three slight allusions, dismissed in one comparatively 
short passage (i. 168 f.). There is hardly anything about the 



xii THE MAHAVASTU 

rules of the Order or the history of their formation, as the title 
Vinaya would lead us to expect. There is early in Volume I 
(pp. 2-3) a description of the four kinds of ordination, but 
this is introduced abruptly and equally abruptly dismissed 
without being related to any other of the rules of the Order. 
Our text seems in a hurry to proceed to the more edifying 
story of the proclamation of Gotama ^akyamuni as a future 
Buddha by the former Buddha Dipamkara. 

As a matter of fact, the Mahdvastu is a collection of practically 
all the history, quasi-history and legends (avaddnas) relating 
to the Buddha that passed current in the long period during 
which it was compiled. And if its claim to the title Vinaya 
is justified it can only be by the fact that the legends it records 
go back in their origin to the same biographical episodes which 
were used in the Mahdvagga of the Pali Vinaya to explain 
or illustrate the origin of the rules of the Order. That there 
is a very close relation between the Mahdvastu and the Mahd- 
vagga is abundantly proved by the close, practically verbal 
parallelism between the last quarter or so of the former with 
the first twenty-four chapters of the latter. These parallels 
have been set out in detail by Windisch in his Die Komposition 
des Mahdvastu* Yet in spite of the close resemblance between 
the two texts there are sufficient differences to warrant the 
possibility that the Mahdvastu was not copied from the 
Mahdvagga as we know it, but drew on the same fund of legends. 
If this is so, then it may be argued that this part of the 
Mahdvastu is early rather than late. Examination of the 
language of this part may, when the true origin of that language 
is settled, help to decide this question. 

Here then is one source of the Mahdvastu. But this bio- 
graphical part of the Vinaya has been enormously expanded 
after the fashion first set, perhaps, by the Niddnakathd, or 
introduction to the commentary on the Jdtakas. And it is 
this mass of secondary or derived legends that forms the bulk 
of the Mahdvastu. This is not to say that it contains no sutras 
setting forth Buddhist doctrine. But apart from the special 
tenet of the Lokottaravadins these show hardly any variation 
from recognised Theravadin teaching. Minor differences, as 

* Ahhandlungen der philolog-hist. Klasse d. K. sdchsischen Gesellschaft 
d. Wissenschaftcn. Bd. XXIV. No. XIV, 1909 pp. 469 £f. 



FOREWORD xiii 



for example in the account of dhydna {jhdna), are discussed 
in the footnotes, but they are trivial and not of any real 
significance. The section on the ten bhumis or stages in the 
careers of Bodhisattvas may at first sight seem to represent 
an innovation in doctrine, and mark a late period of transition 
from Theravada to Mahayana. But the multiplying of the 
numbers of Bodhisattvas and previous Buddhas is not of itself 
a Mahay anist trait, though it prepared the way for the 
subsequent development of Mahayana. The Mahdvastu, also, 
is careful to stress the fact that the careers described are 
generalised from the career of the Bodhisattva par excellence, 
Gotama Sakyamuni. In fact, it would seem that the section 
on the ten bhumis was inserted only because it was the policy 
of the compilers to include in the Mahdvastu every piece of 
Buddhistic lore that they came across. It is introduced 
abruptly, and certain inconsistencies in the recital show that 
it was not really understood. Or, perhaps, the inconsistencies 
are due to a deliberate attempt to amend or even suppress 
the Mahay anist tendencies of other tracts on the same subject. 
There were, for example, the Mahayanist Dasabhumika and 
Bodhisattvabhumi, the latter of which was claimed by the 
Yogacaras as upholding their own particular doctrine. But 
the Mahdvastu expressly condemns the teaching of this school, 
for it makes adherence to it on the part of Bodhisattvas one 
of the causes which prevent them rising from the fifth bhumi 
to the sixth. 

The fact remains, therefore, that the chief interest of the 
Mahdvastu lies in its being a collection of Buddhist legends. 

[though it is styled a Vinaya it almost seems as if, in the 
course of the period of its compilation, all the elements 
characteristic of a Vinaya were deliberately omitted. The 
title Mahdvastu, ' the great subject,' no doubt corresponds to 
the title of the Mahdvagga, just as the Ksudravastu of the 
Sarvastivadins corresponds to the Cullavagga, But by the time 
the compilation was complete the emphasis had long been laid 
on the narrative parts of the subject. In almost all the 
colophons to the chapters the work is styled the Mahdvastu- 
Avaddna. The compilers indeed came very near achieving 
a mere collection of avaddnas much resembling the collection 
made by the Sarvastivadins and known as the Divydvaddna. 



xiv THE MAHAVASTU 

Although at first sight these legends seem to be arranged 
in a haphazard or arbitrary way, the purpose of their recital 
is in a general way the same as that of the biographical episodes 
in the Mahdvagga. That is to say they are more or less 
exegetical narratives. But whereas the narratives of the 
Mahdvagga explain the occasions of the institution of the rules 
of the Order, in the Mahdvastu they are introduced to illustrate 
the virtues of the Buddha in his various lives, and only rarely 
to explain a point of doctrine. We therefore find these tales, 
many of them Jatakas, interspersed throughout the whole work. 
In spite of the apparent incoherence in the order of the contents, 
there can be detected in the work as a whole something like 
the scheme of the Niddnakathd. The first volume may thus 
be seen to correspond to the Dureniddna, or incidents in the 
far past of the Buddha's career ; the second volume and part 
of the third to the Avidureniddna of his more recent history 
from his birth to his enlightenment, and the latter part of 
the third volume to the Santikeniddna or the history of the 
Buddha's career as teacher and founder of his Order. 

But this is not to say that the Jatakas in the Mahdvastu are 
necessarily reproductions of those we know from Pali texts. 
It is true that the text of the Mahdvastu tales can sometimes 
be rectified by reference to the Pali version. On the other hand, 
a few instances will be found, especially in the second voliune, 
where the text of a Mahdvastu Jataka will be seen to be superior 
because it gives a better constructed tale. While only a fraction 
of the Pali Jatakas are found in the Mahdvastu, there are 
many others in it which have no corresponding Pali versions, 
Some of these are obviously folk-tales adapted as Jatakas. 
Other tales are of the type known as Avaddnas, which seem 
to have been the special creation of the Sarvastivadins. They 
are not unlike in their nature to Jatakas which were first 
fashioned by Theravadins. For an avaddna is a tale in which 
the heroism or other virtue of a living character is explained 
by the Buddha as the result of a good deed performed in 
a previous existence. 

The Mahdvagga and the Jatakas are far from being the 
only parts of Pali scriptures which are to be found incorporated 
in the Mahdvastu, or, we should more correctly say, which 
have their parallels in it. There are considerable quotations 



FOREWORD XV 



from other traditional Buddhist literature, as, for example, 
passages parallel to Pali ones in the Khuddakapdtha, Vimdna- 
vatthu, Buddhavamsa, Suttanipdta, and the Dhammapada. And 
though the Pali version has generally the aspect of a more 
primary version, this is not always or necessarily so. The 
verses of the Khadgavisdna-sutra (i. 357 ff) certainly seem to 
be more primitive than the corresponding Pali in the Sutta- 
nipdta, though the prose framework in which they are embedded 
is much later. Here, again, a close Hnguistic study will be 
necessary to confirm the findings of a study of the internal evidence. 

If the three volumes of the translation of the Mahdvastit 
were being published together it would be possible as well 
as profitable to draw up a table of all passages in it to which 
parallels are found in Pali texts, not forgetting also the Buddhist 
Sanskrit texts. But as only one volume is now being published 
a comprehensive survey of the whole is impracticable. The 
present translation is primarily for the student of Buddhism 
who has no knowledge of Sanskrit, and arguments based on 
the contents of untranslated volumes would be profitless and 
even baffling to him. When the third and final volume comes 
to be pubHshed, the translator intends to include in it such 
a table as that referred to. This table may be rendered still 
more instructive as to the history of the contents of the 
Mahdvastu, and, therefore, of Buddhist belief, by the inclusion 
of evidence derived from Chinese and Tibetan sources. Also^ 
the Central Asian Hteratures which have been already referred 
to, and which scholars are daily making more accessible to 
the general reader, are likely to provide useful material for 
comparative study. 

In the meantime parallel Pali passages are as often as 
possible indicated in the footnotes. As will be seen from many 
examples the citation of the corresponding Pali has often been 
the means not only of restoring the right reading where the 
manuscript tradition was unintelligible, but also of making 
expUcable many an obscure allusion. 

With regard to the translation itself an effort has been made 
to make it as literal as possible. The reader should not look 
for a uniformly elevated style. That could not be achieved 
without departing too much from the form and manner of 
the original. No succinct Hterary judgment on the Mahdvastu, 



xvi THE MAHAVASTU 

which will be true of the whole of it, is possible. Some passages 
do attain a degree of artistic charm which is worthy of com- 
parison with the best in any literature. This is especially true 
of some of the verse passages, although these are not necessarily 
the work of any author associated with the compilation of 
the Mahdvastu. Many of them are traditional Buddhistic 
ballads, and owe their charm to the very nature of their origin 
and mode of dissemination. But however poetic the style, 
and however strong the temptation to be led by it to make 
a metrical rendering of the verse passages, it has been deemed 
more prudent to make a literal translation in prose form, 
and make them recognisable only by the visual aids of italics 
and indentation. The wisdom of this procedure was especially 
made evident whenever there was occasion to consult, for 
purposes of comparison, some verse passage in the Pali Jatakas. 
Too often was it found that in spite of the metrical ingenuity 
of the verse translation, it provided little or no help in the 
construing of the Pali original. Sometimes, indeed, the 
translation was seen to be inexact or even incorrect. 

The style of the prose is not easy to describe, for there is 
such a variety of it. The form and manner of passages giving 
canonical doctrine would, of course, have to be fixed, and 
would give no scope for any literary ability on the part of 
the compilers. It is impossible to say whether they were 
incorporated at a time when they were still faithfully memorised 
as part of the training of Buddhist monks, or whether they 
were copied from already written scriptures. But many of 
the narrative passages have all the appearance of being written 
directly as they were recited in oral tradition. They are the 
unadorned tales of the primitive story-teller, for whom every 
word of the tradition as it had come down to him was 
sacrosanct. For example, there is the constant repetition of 
details in the narrative. Nothing is left open to the chance 
of being forgotten by a fickle memory. If a king decides to 
send a message he is made to speak out all the details of it 
as he thinks them out. The message is then given to the 
messenger and again we have it repeated in the exact words 
the king had formulated. The message is again repeated in 
full to the recipient, and if the first recipient is a door-keeper 
the message will yet again be repeated to his master. Again, 



FOREWORD xvii 



a series of actions may be recounted as preliminary to a main 
action. When the main action comes to be recounted it can 
only be done by faithfully repeating in the same words all 
that had gone before. Our story-teller would have none of 
the adventitious aids of such phrases as ' when he had done so '. 
This is not to forget the frequent occurrence of the phrase 
evam ukte, ' when it had been thus said or spoken '. This 
expression does at first sight seem to serve the purpose of 
avoiding repetition. But in reality it is as much a feature 
of a primitive style as the Homeric ' thus he spoke ', which 
became a trite conventionality in later epic. Readers of written 
literature, with leisure to consider the construction of a 
narrative, would not need to be expressly reminded at the end 
of it that what they had just read was a quoted speech. But 
the phrase would be a useful guide or signal to the hearer 
of an oral recital. Again, there are a few instances where 
aforementioned events are referred to collectively as artha 
or prakriti {' matter ' or ' circumstances '), and here, no doubt, 
we definitely have a literary device for the avoidance of 
repetition. Whether or no this device occurs in passages which 
can be demonstrated to be comparatively late, the fact remains 
that a tendency to repetition is a striking and persistent feature 
of our text, as, indeed, it is of much of early Buddhist literature. 
It would, of course, be easy to paraphrase these repetitions, 
which may seem tedious and puerile to the English reader. 
But that would be to tamper unduly with what is so character- 
istic of the style of the Mahdvastu. So these repetitions are 
as a rule translated in full. 

There are repetitions of another order in the Mahdvastu. 
The compilers were not always satisfied with giving only one 
version of a legend or episode. Two and more versions are 
often found, sometimes following one another, sometimes far 
apart. In the former case the first will generally be in prose, 
and the others in verse. The legend of the Buddha's birth 
is given four times, although in different parts of the work 
and in connexion with different occasions. These different 
versions would, no doubt, on close study reveal a difference 
in dates of composition. For example, of the two accounts 
in the second volume of the Buddha's departure from home, 
the first can readily be seen to be more primitive. 

B 



xviii THE MAHAVASTU 

This foreword is not meant to serve as a complete introduc- 
tion to the contents of the Mahdvastu. These will be found 
analysed by Senart in his introductions to the three volumes. 
For a general account of the Mahdvastu and its place in the 
history of Buddhist literature the reader may be referred to 
the second volume of Winternitz' History of Indian Literature 
and to the article by L. de la Vallee Poussin in the eighth 
volume of Hastings' Encyclopcedia of Religion and Ethics. 
The latter quotes largely from Barth (fournal des Savants). 
The article on the Bodhisattvas by the same author in the 
second volume of the same encyclopaedia should be read in 
conjunction with Har Dayal's The Bodhisattva Doctrine in 
Buddhist Sanskrit Literature (1932). Further there is the work 
of B. C. Law entitled A Study of the Mahdvastu published 
in Calcutta in 1930. This contains translations of many 
extracts. References to the Mahdvastu are found in many 
modern treatises on Buddhism. In particular, E. J. Thomas 
in The History of Buddhist Thought (1933) makes a valuable 
contribution to the study of the Mahdvastu and its place in 
the development of Buddhist doctrine. 

A few words are necessary to explain the treatment adopted 
for Buddhist terms. Even the general reader with no special 
knowledge of Buddhism does not require to have explained 
to him the meaning of terms like karma, dharma and nirvana. 
These words are therefore left untranslated and are not even 
commented on in the footnotes. Deva, too, although it was 
at one time translated ' angel ', can be assumed to be by this 
time sufficiently well known to readers of Buddhist texts and 
translations. Devas were merely good men in the better 
after-world which they have merited by their goodness, 
although, as was natural in a system of ethics so highly 
organised and minutely systematised as that of the Buddhists, 
there were grades of them determined by the degree of their 
goodness. The highest classes can hardly be distinguished 
from gods, and they did actually include some of the deities 
of the Hindu pantheon like Brahma and Indra. A late 
system atisation in the Pali Canon of the various classes of devas 
divided them into sammuti-devd, or conventional gods (kings, 
queens, princes), visuddhi-devd, devas by purity (Buddhas and 
Arhans), and upapatti-devd (the Four Great Lords and Indra, 



FOREWORD xix 



with their companies, etc.).* Even the vaguely conceived 
and still half-animistic supernatural beings of village, field 
and forest were admitted into the last of these classes, though 
their gati or sphere of existence was still the earth, and so 
they could be styled hhiimyd devd (hhumma-devd). A female 
deva {devl or devatd) figures in several episodes in Buddhist 
legend. Indeed, if the translator has not gained a wrong 
impression, the divinities of the lower culture play a rather 
more prominent part in the Mahdvastu than in other Buddhist 
works. 

Other Buddhist terms for which it would be difficult to find 
a single English word as an equivalent are left untranslated, 
but are explained in a footnote when they first occur. For 
the same reason certain Indian expressions of number, space 
and time are also left untranslated. 
|L It remains for the translator to make grateful acknowledg- 
W ment of the ready help rendered him by various scholars. 
Mrs. Rhys Davids took the greatest interest in the progress 
of the work. Even more valuable than her constant and 
expert help was the zeal with which she inspired the translator 
to carry on when the difficulties seemed insurmountable. It 
is a matter of great regret that she is not here to see the 
completion of the work. 

Dr. W. Stede read an early draft of part of the translation. 
He made many suggestions which were not only helpful with 
regard to the specific points concerned but also served to guide 
P the translator in the rest of his work. He again read part 
of the manuscript in its final draft, and it was gratifying to 
have his commendation of the progress shown in this as 
compared with the first draft. Subsequently Mr. C. A. Rylands, 
of the School of Oriental and African Studies, read various 
portions of the manuscript and the translator is indebted to 
him for light on several difficult points of grammar and 
vocabulary. Professor H. W. Bailey read part of the manu- 
script just before it went to press and made some helpful 
criticisms. 

To Miss I. B. Horner, the editor of the Series, the translator's 
debt is greater than can be adequately expressed in words. 

* See MA. 1.33, and other references in Pali Dictionary. 



XX THE MAHAVASTU 

She carefully read the whole manuscript and returned it with 
sheets full of suggestions for its improvement. The translator 
thus has had the benefit of Miss Horner's wide knowledge of 
Pali literature. Many of the references to parallel passages 
in Pali, especially the more recondite ones, are due to her, 
and she has cleared up many a problem of Buddhist philosophy 
which was hitherto obscure to an inexperienced worker in the 
field. She has continued giving her generous help right up 
to the reading of the final proofs. She has earned the 
translator's gratitude also by her indefatigable efforts to secure 
the publishing of the translation, and it is good to think that 
her efforts are being crowned with success. 

But the translator himself must be held responsible for all 
the faults there may be in his work. If these are unduly many 
the critic is beseeched to be lenient with one whose enthusiasm 
for things oriental may have outrun his aptitude. 

Lastly a tribute is due to the translator's wife who has helped 
by bearing with patience the long and lonely hours of her 
husband's withdrawal in his study. 

J. J. Jones. 

Aberystwyth, 
April, 1949. 



PROLOGUE 

Om ! Homage to the glorious mighty Buddha, and to all 
Buddhas, past, future and present. 

Here begins the Mahdvastu. 

There are these four stages in the careers^ of Bodhisattvas. 
What are the four ? They are the " natural " career, the 
" resolving '* career, the " conforming " career, and the 
'* persevering " career. ^ 

Homage to Aparajitadhvaja, a Tathagata,^ an Arhan,* 
and perfect Buddha, in whose presence the root of goodness 
was planted by this very Sakyamuni, the Exalted One, when 
as a universal king^ he lived in the " natural " stage of his 
career. 

Homage to the ^akyamuni of long ago, a Tathagata, 
an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, in whose presence this very 
Sakyamuni, the Exalted One, when he lived in the " resolving " 
stage of his career as head of a guild of merchants, first vowed 
to acquire the root of goodness, saying, "May I in some 
future time become a Buddha, a Tathagata, an Arhan, a 
perfect Buddha, like this exalted Sakyamuni ; and may I, 
too, be called Sakyamuni " and so on to the words " and may 
Kapilavastu^ be my city too." 

^ Literally, " There are these four careers." 

* I.e., the prakriticaryd, the career of a bodhisattva when he lives an 
ordinary " natural " life at home ; the pranidhanacaryd, that in which he 
" vows " to win enlightenment ; the anulomacaryd, that in which he lives 
in " conformity " with that vow ; and the anivartanacaryd, the career in 
which he is permanently set on the attainment of enlightenment, without 
possibility of failing or " turning back." 

3 An appellation of the Buddha, literally either " one who has thus gone " 
tathd-gata, or " one who has thus come," tathd-dgata. The ancient commen- 
tators give many fanciful explanations of this term. It has been suggested, 
e.g. by Mrs. Rhys Davids, that it means " one who has reached the truth," 
tatha = " true," being an adjective from tathd = " thus." For recent 
discussions of the meaning of this term see E. J. Thomas, Bull. School Oriental 
Studies, 8. 781-8 ; Schayer, Rocznik Orientalistyczny II (1935), ^^^ A- Coom- 
araswamy, B.S.O.S., 9. 331. (The translator owes these last references to 
Prof. H. W. Bailey.) 

* Vedic arhant, Pali arahant, literally " worthy," " deserving," etc. (arh). 
Used in Buddhism to denote one who has qualified for nirvana. As an 
appellation of the Buddha it is here written with a capital initial. 

' Cakravartin, literally a "wheel-turner," generally the title of a king 
ruling over the four continents (see p. 7). 

* A city in the Himalayas, the capital of the ^akyans, and the birthplace 
of ^akyamuni. In the Mahdvastu it is often {e.g. i, 43) called Kapildhvaya, 
i.e. (the city) " called after Kapila," the sage who was its reputed founder. 



THE MAHAVASTU 



Homage to Samitavin, a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect 
Buddha, in whose presence this very Sakyamuni, the Exalted 
One, made a vow to conform when, as a universal king, 
he lived in the " conforming " stage of his career. 

Homage to Dipamkara, a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect 
Buddha, who first proclaimed of this Exalted One that now is, 
" Thou wilt become, O young man, in some future time, 
after immeasurable, incalculable, infinite kalpas,'^ a Tathagata, 
an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, called Sakyamuni." (I shall 
relate at length (2) this proclamation concerning the youth 
Megha in the chapter on Dipamkara. 2). 

After that time, when the Tathagata Dipamkara was in 
the " persevering " stage of his career, the words " thou wilt 
become a Buddha " were proclaimed by countless Tathagatas 
subsequent to him. 

Afterwards the following proclamation was made by the 
exalted Sarvabhibhu : " Thou, monk Abhijit, wilt in the 
future, in a hundred-thousand kalpas, become a Tathagata, 
an Arhan, a perfect Buddha called Sakyamuni. (I shall later 
on recount all this and the rest concerning the monk 
Abhijit.). 3 

Homage to Vipasyin, a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect 
Buddha. Homage to Krakutsanda, a Tathagata, an Arhan, 
a perfect Buddha. Homage to Kasyapa, a Tathagata, an 
Arhan, a perfect Buddha, by whom this present exalted 
Sakyamuni was proclaimed and anointed heir to the throne. 
'* Thou, Jyotispala, wilt in some future time immediately 
after me become a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, 
and thou also wilt be called Sakyamuni." (I shall relate at 
length the prediction made of the monk Jyotispala.).* 

And so, homage to all Buddhas, past, future and present. 

Here ends the prologue of " homages ". 

Here hegin^^ the Mahdvastu, "which is based on the redaction 

1 Kalpa, Pali kappa, an age or cycle of the world. When used alone 
it connotes the period of both the integration and the disintegration of the 
world. See p. 43. 

2 See p. 152. 
^ See Vol. 3, 

* See p. 265, where his name is spelt Jyotipdla. 

^ Evidently, another prologue or fragment of introduction taken from 
a different recension. Both the first and second are obviously incomplete 
and form an ill-fitting introduction to the text. 



PROLOGUE 



of the Vinaya Pitaka made by the noble Mahasanghikas/ 
the Lokottaravadins of the Middle Country. ^ 

Ordinations are of four kinds, namely, self-ordination, 
ordination by the formula, " Come, monk," ordination by 
a chapter of ten monks, and ordination by a chapter of five. 
The ordination called self-ordination (3) was that of the 
Exalted One near the hodhi^ tree. 

All those who live in the practice of the ten right ways 
of behaviour* thereby get nearer to enlightenment, but Sakya- 
muni in this respect won especial distinction. After living 
in the practice of those good deeds which fitted him to receive 
the Buddha's teaching, he in due course came to Dipamkara. 
And when he saw him, conspicuous for beauty among kotis^ 
of beings, altogether lovely and inspiring confidence, with his 
company of disciples around him, Sakyamuni conceived the 
thought of emulating him. " Well would it be," said he, 
"if I, rising superior to the world, living for the good of the 
world, should be reborn for the sake of this world." 

Dipamkara, aware of the effort Sakyamuni had made to 
win enlightenment, and of the vow he had made, proclaimed 
that he would win an equality® with himself, in short an 
equality with a Self-becoming One.^ "An immeasurable 
future hence," said he, " thou wilt become a Buddha, of the 
house of the Sakyans, a scion of the Sakyans, for the welfare 
of devas and men." 

^ The Mahasanghikas were a Buddhist sect formed at the time of the 
Second Council, at Vesali, 338 B.C. They subsequently split up into several 
schools, among which the Lokottaravadins seem to approximate closest to 
the original sect. These latter believed in the supramundane nature of the 
Buddha ; his human traits while on earth were only apparently so. Compare 
the Docetae of early Christianity. 

2 That part, variously deUmited, of central India, which was the birthplace 
of Buddhism. 

3 Popularly called the Bo tree, or the tree under which a Buddha sat 
when he achieved enlightenment. The particular tree under which Gotama 
Buddha sat was the fig tree {Assattha or Ficus Religiosa). The Bo trees 
of other Buddhas are also specified. See e.g. pp. 99, 124, 204. 

* Dasa kusald karmapathd, the equivalent of the ten sildni or precepts 
of Buddhist ethics. See note p. 168. 

^ A koti strictly denotes one hundred thousand, or, according to others, 
ten million, but is here and elsewhere used to denote " innumerable." 

'' Samatd. This word, as Senart shows, could also be rendered " equability," 
" impassibility," i.e., the equability of self and of a Self -becoming One respect- 
ively. Cf. Miln. 351, dhdtusamatd, " ease to the limbs." In Mhvu. i. 96, 
samatd means simply " equality." Cf. Mdnava Dharmasdstra xii. 90, 
devdndmeti sdmyatdm " he becomes the equal of the gods." 

^ Svayambhu, an appellation of the Buddha. 



THE MAHAVASTU 



He, to whom it was thus foretold by the Exalted One, the 
lord of meii,^ that he would win pre-eminence among men, 
lived the life of a pre-eminent man, a foremost man,^ a 
consummate man. During his career as a Bodhisattva, he 
lived through many lives, seeking the good and happiness of 
men, a Bodhisattva for the world's sake and his own. In 
all he did he ensued charity, morality, justice, ^ and self- 
denial, seeking the welfare of the world, and aloof from self- 
interest. 

The Conqueror* won men by appealing to them on four 
grounds, ^ namely, his generosity, his affability, his beneficence, 
and his equanimity in prosperity and adversity. There was 
nothing he possessed which he was not ready to give up. 
Time and again, when he saw a beggar the sight gladdened 
his heart. ^ Repeatedly he gave up his eyes, his flesh, his 
son and his wife, his wealth and his grain, his self and his 
very life. 

In this manner he passed through a nayuta'^ of hundred- 
thousand births, (4) a Bodhisattva intent on the welfare of 
beings, having true discernment of the right occasion and 
befitting conduct,^ and skilled in the knowledge of the diversity 
of man's individuality.^ Yearning for the due time^^ he 
passed into the world of the Tusita^^ devas. There the Sugata^^ 
destroyed liability to existence by reflecting on its imperman- 
ence, and thence entered on what was to be his last existence. 

1 Purusasimha, literally " a lion of a man." 

2 Agrapurusa. Elsewhere in the text this appellation is used as a synonym 
for Buddha and is then written with capital letters in translation. 

3 Samaya, or " (conduct befitting) the occasion." 
* Jina, an appellation of the Buddha. 

'" Or " four bases of sympathy," samgrahavastu. See A. 2. 32, where 
the last term of the series is samdnattd. This is translated {Grad. Sayings, 
2. 36) as " treating all alike." The Commentary, however, explains the term 
by samdnadukkhabhavo , i.e. " imperturbable," which is analogous to the 
samdnasukhadu:khatd of the text. 

" I.e., it gave him an opportunity for charity. 

' Pali nahuta, " a hundred -thousand millions," denoting a number beyond 
comprehension. 

" Kdlajna and samayajna. For the former, cf. A. 2. loi, kdlannutd, 
" discrimination of proper occasions." 

' Pudgalapardparajnatd. Senart compares Lotus, fol. 69a, V iryapardpara, 
which Burnouf translates " les divers degres d'energie." 

^^ Samaya. 

^^ I.e. " The Happy Devas." Their world or heaven, also called Tusita, 
was the fourth of the six deva worlds. 

^2 Literally " Well-gone," an appellation of the Buddha. 



PROLOGUE 



In order to secure release from existence, the Exalted One, 
extremely emaciated by his mortifications and austerities, 
passed his life subsisting on only one sesamum seed and one 
jujube fruit. But after extreme mortification of his body, 
he realised that that was not the way of release. 

When he had duly bathed in the river Nairanjana,^ fearless 
like a lion he settled in the city called Gaya.^ 

In the first watch of the night, the Exalted One thoroughly 
cleared his " deva-eye "^ from all defect, and comprehended 
the different comings and goings of men. In the middle watch 
he called to mind previous existences of others and of himself, 
and came to know the various occasions of former existences. 
In the last watch he woke in an instant and spontaneously 
to what is to be known by the Driver of tameable men,* to 
the equanimity of a Self -becoming One. 

Here end the verses on the subject-matter of the Mahdvastu. 

The Exalted One, the perfect Buddha, having fully achieved 
the end he had set himself, stayed in Sravasti,^ at the Jeta 
Grove in Anathapindika's park,« teaching devas and men. 
(This occasion is to be described in detail.) ^ 

^ Identified with the modem Nilajana, rising in Hazaribagh. 

2 Between Benares and the Bodhi-tree. 

^ See p. 125. 

* Purusadamyasdrathin. The corresponding Pali term has been variously 
translated : " Guide to mortals willing to be led " (Prof. Rhys Davids) ; 
" The Bridler of men's wayward hearts," " Driver of men willing to be tamed " 
(Prof, and Mrs. Rhys Davids) ; " Tamer of the human heart " (Lord Chalmers) 

^ Identified with Sahet-Mahet on the banks of the Rapti. 

« A rich citizen of ^ravasti who bought the Jeta Grove as a retreat for 
the Buddha. 

' See page 34 of text. 



MAUDGALYAYANA S VISITS TO HELL 

Now the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on 
a visit to hell. There (5) in the eight great hells, each with 
its sixteen secondary^ hells, he saw beings enduring thousands 
of different hellish torments. 

Many were the torments which the venerable elder Kolita^ 
saw beings suffering in the hells as he went on his way. In 
the Saiijiva hell people had their feet upwards and heads 
downwards, whilst they were destroyed with hatchets and 
knives. Others, again, instigated by malevolence, assailed 
one another with claws of iron, and in their hands appeared 
sharp sword-blades with which they rent one another. Yet 
they do not die as long as their evil karmas are not exhausted. 

In the great hell Kalasutra he saw beings with their limbs 
lashed with black wire,^ beaten and maimed and cut piece- 
meal with hatchets and saws. But their bodies, although 
beaten and mauled, grow again to undergo the same hideous 
torments. And thus they do not die, because they are 
upheld by karma. 

In the great hell Sanghata, too, he saw thousands of beings 
tormented by the mountains that are afire, ablaze, and aflame, 
while the rivers run blood. Yet, in spite of their continually 
roving over these mountains, they do not die, because they 
are upheld by karma. 

1 Utsada-niraya. JJtsada = Pali ussada is a term of doubtful signification. 
If, as the Pali Dictionary suggests, it is from ud and syad, the sense may be 
" swarming with," " full of," and this suits the frequent use of the adjectival 
compound sattussada " crowded with beings " (sattva) to qualify niraya. 
But sattussada is also referred to sapta-ussada, as in sattussada " having seven 
protuberances," one of the characteristics of a Mahapurusa (see p. i8o). 
In Divy. 620, 621, saptossada is even found in the former sense. In the present 
instance ussada is better taken in the sense of a " protuberance," " eminence " 
(of. Skt. utsedha), " outgrowth," whence an " annexe " or " secondary " (hell). 

2 The personal name of Maudgalyayana, which was a clan name. 

^ Kalasutra. According to Senart this is " uncertain instrument de supplice 
que je n'ai pas les moyens de determiner plus precisement." But Morris 
in J.P.T.S., 1884, p. 76-8, has an interesting note on this word, and the 
Pali instances of its use cited by him make it clear that it meant a 
" measuring-line " or " rule " of wire, hence " black," put round a log of 
wood to guide the saw. It becomes clear, also, that the denominative verb 
sutraya, here and below, has the quite normal sense of " tie round " or " lash," 
and not as Senart conjectures that of " mettre en morceaux " or " en charpie." 
Kirfel, Kosmographie der Inder, 202 refers to a discussion of this term by 
F. W. K. Muller in Ethnologisches Notizblatt, I. (The translator owes this 
reference to Prof. H. W. Bailey.) 



maudgalyAyana'S visits to hell 7 

In Raurava he saw many thousand beings suffering thou- 
sands of torments, being enclosed by sohd masses of copper 
which was afire and ablaze, amid dense smoke. 

In Maha-Raurava which is afire, ablaze (6) and aflame, 
he heard the loud wailing of those who were hurled into the 
fire. And the cries of the wallers re-echoed in the great 
mountains of Cakravada^ and Maha-Cakravada, where they 
reached the ears of men in the four great continents of Jam- 
budvipa, Purvavideha, Aparagodaniya, and Uttarakuru.^ 

In Tapana he saw several thousands experiencing extremely 
terrible sufferings, being ground from heel to neck by iron 
grinders, and undergoing thousands of other torments as 
well. Yet even so they do not die, because they are upheld 
by karma. In this great hell, which is afire, ablaze and 
aflame, many thousands are reborn and suffer agonies. In 
this great hell which is a hundred yojanas^ in perimeter, the 
thousands of flames which leap up from the eastern wall 
beat against the western ; the thousands of flames which 
leap up from the western wall beat against the eastern. Leap- 
ing up from the southern wall they beat against the northern, 
and leaping up from the northern wall they beat against the 
southern. Leaping up from the ground they beat against 
the roof, and from the roof they beat against the ground. 
Those thousands of beings collapse on all sides, but they do 
not die yet, because they are upheld by karma. 

In the great hell Pratapa there are mountains which are 
afire, ablaze and aflame. [The denizens of this hell] are driven 
to run over these mountains by hellish creatures armed with 
pikes. Such are the torments they undergo, but they do 
not die yet, because they are upheld by karma. 

Then, released from this great hell they plunge into Kukkula. 
There also in Kukkula these people run about in flames (7), 
but they do not die yet, because they are upheld by karma. 

Released from Kukkula they plunge into Kunapa. There 
they are devoured by black creatures with jaws of iron. 
But still they do not die because they are upheld by karma. 

^ The name of a whole world-system, in the centre of which is Mount 
Sineru, itself surrounded by seven mountain ranges. 

* Each Cakravdda, of which the number is countless, consists of four 
great continents with these names. 

* A yojana is about seven miles. 



8 THE MAHAVASTU 

Released from the secondary hell Kunapa they catch sight 
of delightful trees on the edge of a forest, and in search of 
relief they run thither. But there, hawks, vultures, ravens 
and owls with beaks of iron drive them from under the verdant 
tree ^ and consume their flesh. When their bones alone are 
left, their skin and flesh and blood grow again, and so they 
do not die, because they are upheld by karma. 

Terrified by these birds, and deeming there was refuge 
where there was none, they enter the forest where the leaves 
are swords, and which is the hell Kumbha. When they have 
entered it, winds blow and cause the sharp sword-leaves to 
fall. These strike against their bodies, and on the body of 
none of them is there a spot which is not stabbed, not even 
a spot the size of the pore of a hair-root. But they do not 
die yet, because they are upheld by karma. 

These beings, prostrate with wounds and with their bodies 
drenched with blood, then plunge into the river Vaitarani, ^ a 
river of hard acid water, by which their flaccid bodies are pierced . 

The warders of hell raise their bodies thence with hooks 
of iron, and set them out in array on the fiery, blazing(8) 
and flaming ground of the river bank. Then they ask them, 
" Ho ! fellows, what is it that you want ? " They reply, 
" Verily we are dying of hunger and parched with thirst." 
Then the warders of hell force open their mouths with bars 
of fiery, blazing and flaming iron.^ They forge pellets of iron 

^ The context shows that the locative drdravrkse must be given a partially 
ablative force. The expression recurs several times below. (See pp. ii 
to 19.) 

2 A river of hell. 

^ Ayoviskambhanehi mukham viskambhayiivd. Senart translates by " leur 
ayant ferme la bouche au moyen de baillons en fer," that is, he takes viskambh 
as an emphatic form of the simple skambh or skahh. But as the victims are 
immediately afterwards described as being forced to eat and drink it is not 
quite easy to see the point of " gagging " them. It would seem to be better 
to take viskambh in its other sense of "fix asunder " (Monier-Williams), 
" losmachen " (Bohtlingk & Roth), especially as we have here the causative 
form of the verb. Viskambhana would then be an " obstacle " against the 
victims' closing their mouths, that is, a bar or something similar. Of course, 
we are told that before the eating and drinking the victims had their mouths 
opened (vivarayitvd), but this does not necessarily imply a second act on 
the part of the tormentors. It may merely mean that the pellets were thrown 
into their mouths " already opened " by the previous act. The following 
passage in /. 5. 268 supports this interpretation : vikkhambham dddya 
vibhajja rajjuhi — vatta mukhe samsavayanti rakkhasd, i.e. "with a prop (fixed 
with) ropes the Raksases divide ( = force open) their jaws and pour liquid 
into their mouths ". 



maudgalyAyana/s visits to hell 9 

and make those beings open their mouths into which they 
then throw these pellets of fiery, blazing and burning iron. 
" Eat this, fellows," say they. Then they tender them a 
drink of molten copper, saying, " Drink fellows." This 
molten metal burns their lips, their tongues, their palates, 
their throats, their entrails ; it assails their bowels and passes 
on to their lower parts. But they do not die yet, because 
they are upheld by karma. 

Thus when the elder Maha-Maudgalyayana had seen 
the beings in the eight hells undergoing their thousands of 
torments (Ah ! what misery !) he came to the four assemblies 
in the Jeta Grove and recounted it all at length. " Thus," 
said he, " do the beings in the eight great hells and the sixteen 
secondary hells endure thousands of different torments. 
Therefore, one must strive after knowledge, win it, be enlight- 
ened, be fully enlightened, do good, and live the holy life. 
And in this world no sinful act must be committed." 

The many thousands of devas and men were seized with 
wonder when they heard the elder Maha-Maudgalyaj^ana 
speaking so. (9) Such is a summary description of hell. 
Now I shall go on to describe it in detail. 

The Enlightened One himself looked on this world and 
the world beyond, on the coming and going of men, on the 
round of passing away and coming to he. 

The Seer himself reflects upon and understands the 
peculiar fruition of acts which is hound up with the nature 
of man,^ and the place wherein they come to fruition. 

Gotama, the Exalted One, the seer with clear insight into 
all things, has in his understanding named the eight hells, 
Sanjtva, Kdlastltra, Sanghdta, the two Rauravas, Mahd- 
vtci, Tapana and Pratdpana. 

Thus are these eight hells named. Hard are they to 
traverse, heing strewn with the consequences of terrihle deeds. 
Each has its sixteen secondary hells. 

They have four corners'^ and four gates. They are 
divided up and well laid out in squares. They are a hun- 
dred yojanas high, a hundred square. 

^ Literally " joined to beings " — prdnasamsritd. 

* Reading catu:karnd or catu:kond for catu:kald of the text. The Pali 
equivalent is catukanno (A. i. 142 ; M. 3. 167). 



10 THE MAHAVASTU 

They are encircled by a wall of iron, with a vault of iron 
above. The floor is of hot and glowing iron. 

Habitations hard to dwell in are they, being everywhere 
expanses of iron boards,^ hair-raising, fearful, terrible, 
and full of woe. 

(10)^ // the fearful hells are filled with hundreds of flames, 
each of which spreads its glow abroad a hundred yojanas. 

Here the many fearsome beings, the great sinners, burn 
a long time, even for hundreds of years. 

With scourges of iron the ruthless warders of hell merci- 
lessly beat those who have sinned. 

These I shall tell of in well-ordered words. Give ear and 
attentively hear me as I speak. 

In the Sanjlva hell beings hang with their feet up and 
their heads down, and are trimmed with axes and 
knives. 

Carried away by frenzy of anger they fight among them- 
selves, using their own sharp claws of iron. 

Sharp knives also grow from their hands, and with them 
these utterly demented beings rend one another. 

Though their bodies collapse under the cold wind that 
blows on them, yet all their limbs are afire as they reap the 
fruit of their past deeds. "^ 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature, called this hell Sanjlva, a bourne of evil 
deeds. 

(ll)Released from Sanjlva they plunge into Kukkula. 
Foregathering there they are tortured for a long stretch 
of time. 

There, in Kukkula, they run about in flames for many 
a yojana, and suffer great misery. 

Released from Kukkula these broken^ men plunge into 
Kunapa, a vast expanse spreading far and wide. 

^ Asphdrd is here translated " expanses " on the analogy of the use of 
pharitvd in the corresponding Pali gathas : Samantd yojanasatam pharitvd 
iitthati sabhadd ti (l.c). Compare, also, Sanskrit sphdrita, " swollen out," 
" spread out," etc., from sphdrd (2) (see Monier-Williams, s.v.) Phdla is to be 
equated with Pali phdla (2) " an iron board," " slab," etc., rather than with 
Vedic phdla " ploughshare." This seems to give a more natural sense than 
the version proposed by Senart, "toujours dechires (laboures) par des socs de fer." 

' The text here is very uncertain. 

^ Vidhvamsita. 



MAUDGALYAYANA'S visits to hell II 

There, asses^, swarthy brutes, with mouths breathing fierce 
fire, rend their skin and devour and feed on their flesh and 
blood. 

When they have passed out of Kunapa they catch sight of 
pleasant trees, and in quest of relief they make for the shelter 
of their verdant foliage. 

But there, hawks and vultures and ravens, with beaks of 
iron drive them from under a green tree, and devour their 
torn and gory limbs. 

And when they have been devoured until their bones alone 
are left, their skin and flesh and blood grow once more. 

In their terror they run away, and deeming there was 
refuge where there was none, come all stricken to the terrible 
forest where the leaves are swords. 

(12)When they have escaped from the sword-leafed forest, 
wounded, racked, and steeped in blood, they go to the river 
Vaitaram. 

There they dive into the river's hot and caustic water, 
which pierces all of their tortured limbs. 

Then Yama's^ myrmidons gaff^ them with hooks of 
iron, fling them on the river bank and give them pellets of 
iron to eat. 

They give them molten red copper to drink, which passes 
through their inwards down to their lower parts. 

Evil-doers, those who follow the wrong way and do not 
perform the right deed, go down into these hells. 

Those who wholly eschew sinful deeds, those whose con- 
duct is wholly virtuous do not pass to the bourne of ill. 

Therefore the qualities of deeds are of two kinds, good and bad. 
Avoiding the bad, one should practise the good and fair. 

In the KdlasHtra hell beings are driven from under a 
verdant tree and their limbs are hacked^ with hatchets and axes, 

1 Khard, so translated to get a parallelism with the " birds " of line ii, 
p. II, and the " dogs " of line i, p. 15. (The translator owes this suggestion 
to Prof. H. W. Bailey.) 

2 Yama, the god of the dead ; in Vedic mythology presiding over the 
departed fathers in heaven, but in classical Sanskrit supervising the torments 
of the damned in hell. 

^ Literally " pierce," viddhitvd, viddh being, according to Senart, " un 
nouveau theme de la racine vyadh." 

* Literally " sawn." Sutrayitvdna, which seems to mean properly " lashed " 
or " bound " with the kdlasutra, " the measuring line of black wire " (see 
note p. 6), preparatory to being sawn. 



12 THE MAHAVASTU 

Then plates of iron heated a long time are put round 
their bodies, burning and torturing them. 

{\Z)When they have been burnt and tortured in this way, 
these plates are taken off, which causes the skin and flesh 
to come off in shreds and the blood to flow. 

Then the warders of hell rend them from heel to neck, 
and many do they dash against one another in the hell 
Kdlasutra. 

After this they fling them into the smoking hell of terrible 
darkling Sanghdta, ivhere no unscathed'^ men are seen. 

There they run about in their milliards'^ over many a 
yojana, assailing one another with leaden thongs. 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature named this hell Kdlasiltra, a bourne of evil-doers. 

From the surface of the hell Sanghdta mountains rise 
up on both sides. ^ In between these mountains beings are 
herded in immense numbers.^ 

And these stony mountains come together through the 
working of men's karma, and crush many beings like so 
many fire-brands. 

Blood flows in streams from their crushed bodies, and 
from this confused pile of crushed bodies issue rivers of 
pus. 

{1^) Merciless creatures beat them up in iron tubs with 
iron-tipped pestles, even for many a hundred years. 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature, named this hell Sanghdta, a bourne of evil- 
doers. 

Large numbers are imprisoned in the hell Raurava, 
which is ablaze with fire, and make a terrible lamentation. 

When the fire is put out they become silent. When it 
flames up again, they resume their loud cries. 

Another hell also has been called Raurava, horrible, 
shoreless, abysmal, and impassable. 

There the ruthless warders of hell with scourges in their 

^ Vdrtd for vdrttd, with the verb drisyati sing, for plural (as often happens 
in this text). Or read vdfto. 

2 Paramantrasa : Senart refers to Schiefner, Melanges Asiatiques, IV, 
p. 639. 

' Reading uhhato — uhhayata : for mahatd, as Senart suggests. 

* Mrigavasa : Senart again refers to Schiefner, op. cit., p. 637 note. 



maudgalyAyana's visits to hell 13 

hands mercilessly strike them, even for many a hundred 
years. 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature, named this hell Raurava, a bourne of evil-doers. 

In the hell Tap ana red-hot iron is prepared for them, 
and the wretched beings, burning like firebrands, cry out. 

Imprisoned here are many men of wicked conduct. Evil- 
doers who have sinned are here roasted. 

(i.h)As soon as they are done and rendered inert many 
dogs, great-bodied flesh-eaters, devour them. 

When they are devoured until their bones alone are left, 
their skin and flesh and blood grow again. 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature, named this hell Tapana, a bourne of evil-doers. 

In the hell Pratdpana there are creatures armed with 
sharp pikes, and having jaws of iron. There is a fearful 
mountain, one great solid mass of fire. 

Here many people of sinful conduct are confined, and 
these evil-doers leap like fishes stranded on the sand. 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature, named this hell Pratdpana, a bourne of evil- 
doers. 

Next, the hell Avici, everywhere searing, evil, immense, 
red-hot, full of dense flames. 

On all sides, above, below and athwart, the hell Avtci 
is like masses of iron heated in fire. 

The bodies of the denizens of this hell are like fire.{iQ) 
They realise the stability of karma and that there is no 
escape for them. 

Seeing the gate open they rush to it, thinking that perhaps 
there is escape this way for them as they seek release. 

But as their sinful karma has not borne all its fruit, 
through the effect of this karma they do not win a way 
out of hell. 

Thus has the Master, the Tathdgata, understanding its 
true nature, named this hell Avici, a bourne of evil-doers. 

The hell named Sanjlva 

As the maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world are enemies and rivals, are vindictive, 



14 THE MAHAVASTU 

are haters of their fields, houses or tilth\ are warring kings, 
thieves, or soldiers, and those who die nursing hostile thoughts 
of one another, have rebirth in this hell as the maturing of 
such karma. But this is no more than the principal cause 
of rebirth in this hell. Those reborn here reap the fruit of 
still other wicked and sinful deeds. 

As the maturing of what karma are they cut up ? Those 
who in this world have cut up living creatures with knife, 
axe or hatchet, are themselves cut up as the maturing of such 
karma. 

As the maturing of what karma does the cold wind blow 
on them ?(17) Those who in this world scatter grain as bait 
for jackals, buffaloes, hogs and wild cocks, saying, "when 
they are fattened we shall kill them for their flesh," [are 
blown upon by the cold wind]^ as the maturing of such 
karma. ^ 

[As the maturing of what karma]* do nails or rods of iron 
grow on their hands ? Since in this world they have put 
weapons of war in men's hands, urging them with these 
weapons to smite such and such a village, city, town, ^ man, 
or beast, so, as the maturing of such karma, iron rods and 
daggers grow on their hands. 

Why is this hell called Sanjiva ? To the denizens of this 
hell the thought occurs, " We shall survive only to experi- 
ence Kalasiitra."® That is why this hell is called Saiijiva. 

1 Vapra. Like Pali vappa, explained as " sown ground," occurring beside 
ksetra, " field " and vastu, " house-property " (Prof. H. W. Bailey in a 
communicated note). 

^ There are lacunae here, or rather one continuous lacuna. 

' The fitting of the punishment to the crime is suggested, of course, by 
the similarity of the roots of upavdyati, " blows on," and nivdpa, " fodder," 
" bait," viz. vd, " to blow " and vap, " to scatter." 

* There are lacunae here, or rather one continuous lacuna. 

5 The order here is irregular ; they are usually, especially in Pali texts, 
given in the ascending order of their size : grdma (gdma), " village," nigama, 
" market-town," and nagara, " (fortified) town." 

* Literally, " Survival {sanjlvam) is existence in Kalasutra " {Kdlasu- 
trahhutikam). This is obviously an anomalous way of explaining the meaning 
of the word. The Commentary at /. 5. 270 explains the name in a very 
straightforward fashion : nirayapdlehi . . . khanddkhandikam chinnd nerayi- 
kasattd punappuna sanjivanti ettha 'ti Sanjlvo, that is, " though cut to pieces 
by the warders of hell, the inmates of this hell survive again and again. 
Hence the name Sanjiva." Samjiv actually expresses the idea of " reviving " 
dead persons. Senart translates, " C'est par I'enchainement ineluctable des 
destinees que Ton renait dans le Samjiva. C'est pour cela que cet enfer a 
re9u le nom de Samjiva." But this would seem to be an explanation, and 
a very conjectural one, of the name Kalasutra, rather than of Sanjiva. 



MAUDGALYAYANA^S VISITS TO HELL 15 
The hell named Kdlasutra. 

This hell, and so on up to " armed " and " aflame." Here 
the warders of hell drive its inmates from under a verdant 
tree, and by means of the measuring rule of black wire^ cut 
them into eight, six, or four parts. They go on to cleave 
the bodies of some from heel to neck, like a sugar-cane. They 
go on to cleave the bodies of others from neck to heel, like 
a sugar-cane. In this state the inmates suffer agonies beyond 
measure, but they do not die as long as their evil karma 
is not exhausted. 

(18) As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn here ? 
Those who in this world cause slaves to be shackled with 
fetters 2 and chains and force them to work, ordering the 
hands and feet of many to be pierced, and the nose, flesh, 
sinews, arms and back of many others to be slit five times 
or ten, are reborn here as the maturing of such karma. 

But this, again, is no more than a principal cause of rebirth 
here. Those reborn here reap the fruit of still other wicked 
and sinful deeds. The warders of this hell beat and jeer at the 
inmates, who implore them, saying, " Kill us."^ In their 
many thousands these creatures stand benumbed with terror, 
as though bereft of life. Then in front of Yama's myrmidons 
thousands of pieces of burning, flaming and blazing cloth 
fly through the air, and as they come near them the denizens 
of hell cry out, " Lo, they are on us." The pieces of cloth 
come on and envelope the Hmbs of each one of them, burning 
their outer and inner skins, their flesh and their sinews, so 

^Kdlasutra, see p. 6. 

2 Senart prints hastinigadddibhi : " with chains used for elephants," but, 
as Prof, H. W. Bailey suggests in a communicated note, the MS. reading hadi 
should be retained here. The latter word occurs in Divy. 365 and 435 in 
the sense of " fetters." 

' Subhassu, an admittedly doubtful conjecture of Senart's, which is adopted 
in the translation with much misgiving, especially as it involves the insertion 
of the words " who implore them." The MSS. are practically all agreed 
in having sathamsuti{kd) , which might be interpreted as " offspring of rogues." 
We could then render, " they {sc. the warders of hell) called them rogues." 
The slight break in syntactical sequence involved in making nirayapdld 
(understood) nominative when it is in the instrumental case in the first half 
of the sentence is a peculiarity fairly common in the language of the Mahdvastu. 
The intrusion of the m between the two elements of the compound 
sathamsuti{ka) is, of course, a difficulty, although there are several examples, 
both in Pali and in Buddhist Sanskrit, of the intrusion of this letter, 
to emphasise hiatus, as it were, and obviate the normal sandhi, e.g. 
adukkhdstikhamupeksa [Lai. Vist. 439. 12). See Senart's note on p. 395. 



i6 THE MAHAVASTU 

that the whole of them is on fire. Thus their torn skin and 
their flesh and blood are burnt away. In this state they 
suffer agonies beyond measure, but they do not die as long 
as their evil karma is not worked out to its end. 

Again, this is only a principal cause of rebirth there. Those 
reborn there reap the fruit of still other wicked (19) and sinful 
deeds. As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn 
there ? Those who in this world have repeatedly caused 
human beings to be slain, and those mendicants, eunuchs, 
criminals and sinners who become recluses and usurp the 
monk's robe and girdle, have rebirth here as a maturing of 
such karma. 

Again, this is only a principal cause of rebirth there, for 
those reborn there reap the fruit of still other wicked and 
sinful deeds. Some have their skin torn into shreds from 
heel to neck, others from neck to heel, and others from neck 
to hip. In this state they suffer agonies beyond measure. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world cause the " hay-band " and the 
"bark-robe^" to be prepared are reborn there as a maturing 
of such karma. 

The volume of blinding smoke that is everywhere in this 
hell, acrid, (20) pungent and terrifying, pierces outer and 
inner skin, flesh, sinew and bone, penetrates the very marrow 
of bones. All bodies become numbed and exhausted. Then 
they reel about for many a hundred yojanas, trampling on 
one another and stumbling. In this state they suffer agonies 
beyond measure, but they do not die as long as their evil 
karma is not worked out to the end. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn here ? 
Those who in this world smoke the openings of the dens, 
burrows, enclosures, and traps of sdkikas,^ monkeys, rats, 
and cats, and the holes of serpents, guarding the exits, or 

^ It is a simple emendation to change erakavdrsika and clrakavdrsika of 
Senart's text into erakavartika and cirakavdsika respectively, especially as 
some of the MSS. actualty have the latter word. The reference is then to 
two of the methods of torture enumerated at M. i. 87 ; ^. i. 47, and Miln. 
197. The above translation of these terms is that of Lord Chalmers in 
Further Dialogues i. p. 62. Woodward in Gradual Sayings, i. p. 43, has 
" hay-twist " and " bark-dress." Senart's reading would make the sin 
to consist in making garments for the rainy season from grass or the bark 
of trees. 

2 An unknown animal. 



maudgalyAyana^s visits to hell 17 

who suffocate bees with smoke, have rebirth there as the 
maturing of such karma. 

Again, beings are reborn there as a maturing of various 
other wicked and sinful deeds, for what has just been said 
is only a principal cause of rebirth there. Those reborn there, 
and so on. 

Why is this hell called Kalasiitra ? The warders of this hell 
drive the denizens from under a verdant tree and cut them 
by means of the measuring line of black wire.^ That is why 
this hell is named Kalasiitra, namely from what is done 
there. 2 

(21) The hell named Sanghdta 

This hell is situated between two mountains, is made of 
fiery, flaming and blazing iron, and is several hundred yojanas 
in extent. The armed warders of this hell show the way 
to the doomed, who in terror enter in between the mountains. 
In front of them fire appears, and in their terror they turn 
back. But behind them, too, fire appears, and the moun- 
tains converge to meet each other, and as they do so the 
doomed shout, " Look at the mountains coming on us ! 
See them come ! " The mountains meet and crush them as 
so much sugar-cane. 

Again, the mountains rise up into the air, and the doomed 
pass beneath them. When many thousands have done so, 
the mountains subside so that they are crushed as sugar- 
cane is crushed, and their blood flows in streams. They 
are left heaps of bone refuse, without flesh, but held together 
by their sinews. In this state they suffer agonies, but they 
do not die as long as their evil karma is not worked out 
to the end. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world cause worms to be crushed, or the 
earth to be dug up, or, just as happens to beings^ in the sword- 
leafed forest, who flog living creatures with clubs having the 

^ See above pp. 6, 1 1 . 

2 Or, " according as it is to be described," yathdkartavyo. Kartavya is 
often used to refer to words that are to be supplied as understood. 

' Devdndm should obviously be changed to sattvdndm (? sativdni) for 
it is impossible to imagine the devas possessing, or dwelling in, a sword-leafed 
forest. 



i8 THE MAHAVASTU 

leaves still on them, or who crush with their finger-nails nits, lice, 
and sdnkuias, ^ are reborn there as a maturing of this karma. 

This, again, is only a principal cause of rebirth there. (22) 
Those reborn there reap the fruit of still other sinful and 
wicked deeds. They are kept a heap of bones for five hun- 
dred years in iron pots that burn, blaze and flame, and under 
a veritable shower ^ of burning, blazing and flaming iron 
pestles. In this state they undergo intense sufferings. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world stab living creatures with daggers, 
or fell them with bludgeons, and those who destroy living 
creatures by grinding them in mortars with red-hot pestles, 
are reborn there as a maturing of this karma. 

Why is this hell called Sanghata ? People in this hell endure 
being herded together. ^ That is why this hell is called Sanghata. 
[The hell named Raurava . . .]* 

Thousands of beings in this hell are confined each in a 
narrow cell, where they are denied the exercise of the four 
postures. s Fire blazes in their hands. While the fire burns 
they cry out. As often as this fire goes out they become silent. 
In this state they suffer agonies beyond measure. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world enslave beings who are without 
protection or refuge, those who set houses (23) and forests 
on fire, those who light a fire at the openings of the dens, 
burrows, enclosures, and traps of sdhikas,^ monkeys, rats, cats, 
and the holes of serpents, guarding the exits ; those who 
destroy bees with the betel-leaf^ or with fire, have rebirth 
there as a maturing of such karma. This again is only a 
principal cause of rebirth there. Those reborn there reap the 
fruit of still other wicked and sinful deeds. [ ]* 

^ An unknown insect, literally, if, that is, the reading is correct, " having 
a goad or sting." 

2 Literally " as in a shower of iron," ayopdte yathd. 
2 I.e. from sam-han, " to beat together," etc. 

* Lacuna. 

' Irydpatha, Pali iriydpatha. The four were, walking, standing, sitting, 
lying-down. Or, perhaps, chinnlrydpathd here simply means crippled, as in 
V. I. 91. 

* See above p. i6. 

' Read tdmbulena for tdmbuldni, that is, this pungent leaf is used to " smoke 
out " the bees. 
» Lacuna. 



maudgalyAyana'S visits to hell 19 

The hell named Mahd-Ranrava 

This hell is a mass of burning, blazing and flaming iron, 
and is many a hundred yojanas in extent. The warders of 
this hell, with hammers in their hands, point the way to the 
doomed. In terror some of these start running, others try 
to escape, others do not try to escape. Some retreat where- 
soever they can, others do not retreat. Others again go 
along obediently as well as they can. Then the warders 
of hell ask them, " why, now, do you go along just because 
we bade you ? " And they assail them so that they are broken 
and shattered like curd-pots. Those who run, as well as 
those who do not, in this state suffer racking and acute pains. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world (24) have prisons made from which 
the Hght of moon and sun is shut out, and put men in them, 
leaving them there with the words, " Here you shall not see 
the moon and sun," have rebirth there as a maturing of such 
karma. 

As a maturing of what karma are the heads of these beings 
crushed ? Those who in this world have crushed the heads of 
living creatures such as snakes, centipedes, and scorpions, 
have their own heads crushed as the maturing of such karma. 

Why is this hell called Raurava ? In this hell the inmates 
cry " Mother, father ! " but they cannot find their parents. 
Hence it is named Raurava.^ 

The hell Tap ana 

Many thousands of beings are confined here. (Vultures) 
drive them from under a verdant tree and devour them. 
When they have lost their flesh and are become mere skeletons 
held together by sinews, they swoon in their agony and 
collapse. But in order that their karma come to maturity, 
a cool wind blows on them, and their skin, flesh and blood 
grow again. When they are in this condition the warders 
of hell drive them in before them. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world build doorless enclosures with slippery 

1 I.e., this word is connected with the root ru or fud, " to cry." 



20 THE MAHAVASTU 

and unscaleable^ walls, where living beings are cut up with 
hunting knives, have rebirth there as a maturing of such 
karma. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings devoured there ? 
Those who in this world have caused living beings to be 
devoured by lions, tigers, panthers, bears and (25) hyenas are 
themselves devoured as a maturing of such karma. 

As a maturing of what karma does a cool wind blow on 
them ? Those who in this world scatter grain as bait for deer, 
buffaloes, hogs and wild cocks, saying, " We shall kill them 
for their fat flesh," are blown on by the cool wind as a matur- 
ing of such karma. 2 

Why is this hell called Tapana ? The denizens of it are 
burnt, hence the name Tapana ^ for this hell, which is sur- 
rounded on all sides by spits of red-hot iron. There the 
denizens are impaled and roasted, some on one-pronged spits, 
others on two-pronged spits, and so on up to ten. When 
one side is roasted, the other side is exposed. Indeed, some 
of them, as a maturing of particularly wicked and sinful 
deeds, turn round of their own accord. In this state they 
suffer agonies beyond measure. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who in this world have caused living sheep to be fixed 
on a spit have rebirth there as a maturing of such karma. 
This again is only a principal cause of rebirth there. Those 
reborn there reap the fruit of yet other sinful and wicked 
deeds. 

[The hell ?iamed Avtci]^ 

Why is Avici so called ? Flames from its eastern walls 
beat against the western (26) ; from the western wall they 

^ The reading in the text is listdpattiydyam, which Senart prints with 
a question mark, and for which he cannot make a satisfactory restitution. 
The first part of this compound, however, seems certainly a mistake for lipta, 
a reading preserved by one MS ; that is, the walls were " smeared " [lip) 
or allowed to become wet to make them slippery. Cf. M. i. 86, adddvalepand 
upakdriyo, " slippery walls," literally, " walls smeared with moisture." 
The final part of the compound probably conceals apatha or apathin, 
" pathless." 

^ See above p. 14, footnote 3. 

3 From tap, " to be hot," " to burn." 

* There is a lacuna in the text here, representing the heading and 
introductory matter of the section. 



MAUDGALYAYANA'S visits to hell 21 

beat against the eastern. Flames from the southern wall 
beat against the northern ; from the northern wall they 
beat against the southern. Flames leaping up from the 
ground beat against the roof, and from the roof they beat 
against the ground. The whole of this hell is beset with 
flames, and the many thousands denizens of it burn fiercely^ 
like firewood. In this state they suffer painful, violent, 
severe and bitter agonies, but they do not die until their evil 
karma is worked out to the end. Thus, their suffering is 
determined in accordance with^ what they have stored up 
by their conduct^ in the past when they lived as humans. 

Again, this is only a principal cause of rebirth there. Beings 
reborn there reap the fruit of yet other sinful and wicked 
deeds. 

As a maturing of what karma are beings reborn there ? 
Those who kill their mother or father, or an Arhan, or show 
malevolence to a Tathagata or shed his blood, have rebirth 
there as a maturing of all such wrong courses of conduct. 

Beings are also reborn there as a maturing of various other 
sinful and wicked deeds. 

This hell is called Avici for this reason. The denizens of 
it suffer bitter, violent, and severe agonies, nor, as in the other 
hells do the warders set the terror-stricken denizens to various 
tasks, nor does a cool v/ind blow here as in the other places. 
Here, then, in the great hell Avici they suffer painful, violent, 
severe and bitter agonies. That is why this great hell is named 
Avici.* 

(27) Here ends the sutra^ of the Mahdvastu-Avaddna called 
the " Chapter^ on Hells." 

^ Literally " brilliantly," vicitram. Senart, however, takes the word to 
mean, here " de differentes fa9ons," i.e. " burning on all sides." 

2 Abhisamddayitvd, cf. Pali samddaya and samddayitvd in the same sense. 

' Abhisamskritam, cf. Pali abhisankhdra and sankhdra. 

* I.e., it is so called because of the uninterraittent nature of its torments. 
Cf. Pali Diet., s.v. avlci " [Bsk. avid, a -f vici (?) " no intermission " or " no 
pleasure (?)," unknown, but very likely popular etymology]." 

5 Pali stttta. 

« Farivartaka. 



22 THEMAHAVASTU 



VISITS TO OTHER WORLDS 

The venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on a visit 
to the world of the brutes, and saw beings reborn among the 
brutes suffering miseries of various kinds. 

The venerable elder Kolita^ as he went journeying among 
the brutes, saw among them beings in extreme misery, who 
were glad^ to have dried or fresh grass to eat, and cold or 
warm water to drink. They knew neither mother nor father, 
neither brother nor sister, neither teacher nor teacher's pupil, ^ 
neither friend nor kinsman. They devoured one another 
and drank one another's blood. They slew and strangled 
one another. From darkness they passed into darkness, 
from woe into woe, from evil plight into evil plight, from 
ruin into ruin. They suffered thousands of divers miseries, 
and in their brute state it was with difficulty that they sur- 
vived them. 

When he had seen this great wretchedness among the 
brutes, Maudgalyayana came to the Jeta Grove and described 
it at length to the four great assemblies. " Thus," said he, 
do beings reborn among the brutes endure thousands of 
divers woes, and it is with difficulty that in their brute state 
they survive. Therefore we should strive after knowledge, 
win it, (28) be enhghtened, be fully enlightened and live the 
holy life, and we should not commit any sin in this world. 
Thus I declare." 

The venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on a visit 
to the world of the ghosts. There he saw beings reborn in 
the ghost -world suffering thousands of divers miseries. 

The venerable elder Kolita as he went his way among the 
ghosts, saw the ghosts in the ghost -world in extreme misery. 
Though their bodies are big, their mouths are the size of a 
needle's eye, and their throats are constricted, so that, 
although they are always eating, they are never satisfied. 
Moreover, through their failure to perform meritorious deeds. 



^ See p. 6, footnote 2. 

' Or, eat " cheerfully," mukhullocakam, which Senart equates with Pali 
mukhullokaka (Pali Diet., mukhullokika, " flattering "). 

3 Gurusthdyin, the equivalent of Pali {dcariya-)antevdsika or antevdsin. 



VISITS TO OTHER WORLDS 23 

whereby they are utterly without reward, they are ill-favoured 
of complexion, aspect, smell, and form, and are vile and 
repulsive, naked, without clothes. When they are hungry 
and thirsty, they drink indiscriminately excrement, urine, 
phlegm, mucus, pus and blood. 

As a maturing of their karma a wind blows and whispers 
" Here is something to drink ! Here is something to drink ! 
Here is boiled rice ! Here is rice-gruel ! " When they hear 
this whisper the ghosts go leaping across rivers and moun- 
tains, shouting, " Now will we eat, now will we feed, now 
will we drink." But those who have thus built up a hope, 
are immediately robbed of it, for the wind whispers to them, 
" There is none ! There is none ! " Hearing this the ghosts 
fall prostrate in despair. 

A female ghost recites a verse : 

For five hundred years'^ have I heard this cry, " See, 
how hard it is to get aught to drink in the world of 
ghosts." 

(29)Another female ghost recites a verse : 

For five hundred years have I heard this cry, " See, how 
hard it is to get boiled rice in the world of ghosts." 

Another female ghost recites a verse : 

For five hundred years have I heard this cry, " See how 
hard it is to get rice- gruel in the world of ghosts." 

Another female ghost recites a verse : 

Thirsty they run to a stream, hut its channel is empty. ^ 
Scorched, they run to the shade, hut when they come there 
they find hlazing sunshine. 

Another female ghost recites a verse : 

An ill life have we spent, since, when we could, we did 

^ Literally " This cry of five-hundred years has been heard (read sruto 
Avith one MS. foi srutam of the text, to agree with ghoso) by me." Senart, 
however, assumes " un emploi tr^s libre du genitif " and translates " au 
bout de cinq cent ans." 

' Literally " it is empty," reading riktakd or riktatd, " empty," for sikatd 
of the text, which is a conjecture of Senart's. The former is the reading 
of the MSS,, and is also identical with the rittakd of the corresponding Pali 
^dthd in Pv. 3. 6, 5. 



24 THE MAHAVASTU 

not give. When the means were at hand, we did not light 
a lamp for the self.^ 

When Maudgalyayana had seen this great wretchedness in 
the world of the ghosts, he came to the Jeta Grove, and in 
one discourse revealed it in detail to the great four assemblies. 
" Thus " said he, " do the beings reborn in the ghost -world 
suffer thousands of divers woes. Therefore we ought to 
strive after knowledge, win it, be enHghtened, be fully en- 
lightened, do the virtuous deed, live the holy life, and commit 
no sin in this world. Thus I declare." 

When they heard the elder, several thousands of devas 
and men attained immortality. 

(30)The venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on a 
visit to the Asuras. ^ In their citadel he saw Asuras of gigantic 
size, of frightful aspect and of great malevolence, beings 
who at death had fallen down in ruin to the world of the 
Asuras. The venerable elder Kolita as he went on his way 
among the Asuras, saw five classes of Asuras greatly tormented 
by their envy of the Suras. ^ 

This is the burden of their thought : " We are down below, 

^ This gdtha is obviously identical with that in Pv. 4. 15, 3. Cf. /. 3. 47. 
(I owe this latter reference to Dr. W. Stede.) The text has, therefore, been 
emended in order to make the language and sense of it to conform with 
the Pali. Senart's text is : 

Dhigjivitam ajivisu yamantasmim nadamatha 
vidyamanesu bhogesu pradipam na karotha va. 
The Peta-vatthu has : ' 

Dujjivitam jivamha ye sante na dadamhase 
santesu deyyadhammesu dipam nakamha attano. 
The Mahavastu text as emended for the translation given above is : 
Dujjivitain ajivisma yam santasmim nadamatha 
vidyamanesu bhogesu dipam nakarsma atmano. 
Santasmim, loc. sing, (liere absolute = " when there was [something] " ) has 
an inflection common in Buddhist Sanskrit. Nadamatha, (with Senart) is 
for na -f addmatha, from daddti, with a first plural ending for which Senart 
believes there is a parallel elsewhere in the Mahdvastu. (See his note.) It 
would be simpler, of course, to read naddma ca of vd, but the MSS. seem to 
be agreed on the ending -tha. 

To show the necessity of some such emendation as that proposed, Senart's 
translation of the text adopted by him is here given — " Fie de la vie de 
mendiants ! (Cette nourriture) qui est tout pr6s, nous n'en profitons pas. 
Du moins ne nous faites pas voir ces jouissances qui sont (sous notre main) 
(mais qui nous demeurent inaccessibles) " . So many interpolations in translat- 
ing do not suggest a very successful attempt at emendation. 

2 The Giants or Titans of Indian mythology ; in Buddhist literature 
they are classed as inferior devas. Rebirth as an Asura was considered one 
of the four unhappy births. Cf. note p. 36. 
^ See p. 56. 



VISITS TO OTHER WORLDS 25 

the devas are up above." Hence they are aggrieved, jealous, 
brimming over with rage, fury, and desperation, nor do they 
conceal it. Equipping a mighty force of four arms, namely, 
fighters on elephants, cavalry, charioteers, and infantry, 
they break up the ranks of the devas, namely, the Karotapani 
Yaksas, the Maladhara Yaksas, and the Sadamatta 
Yaksas.^ 

Then when they have broken these ranks they join battle 
with the Trayastrimsa^ devas, but after they have betrayed 
their evil disposition towards the Trayastrimsa devas, who 
are meritorious and powerful, the Asuras, after the dissolution 
of the body at death, are reborn in woe, evil plight, ruin, in 
hell. 

When Maha-Maudgalyayana had seen the great misery of 
the Asuras, he came to the Jeta Grove and described it in detail 
to the four assemblies. "Thus," said he, "do beings in 
Mahasamudra, the abode of the Asuras, suffer manifold 
miseries. Therefore, we ought to strive after knowledge, 
win it, be enlightened, be fully enlightened, live the holy life 
and commit no sin in this world. Thus 1 declare." 

When they heard the elder, many thousands of devas and 
men won immortality. 

The venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on a 
visit to the Caturmaharajika^ devas. 

There he sees the Caturmaharajika devas who are virtuous, 
mighty, long-lived, beautiful, enjoying great well-being. (31) 
They have the devas' span of life, their bliss, their sway, their 
retinue, and their form, voice, smell, taste, touch, garments 
and ornaments. The ornaments they wear in front are seen 
from behind, those they wear behind are seen from the front. 

^ The Yaksas were, roughly speaking, the spirits that, in popular belief, 
haunted the woodland and watery depths. These three classes of Yak§as 
supported the devas in their fight with the Asuras. The first are evidently 
the Karoti of the Pali texts, but the other two do not seem to be named 
elsewhere. 

2 Pali Tdvatimsa, the second of the six deva-worlds, and the home of the 
" Thirty-three devas," ruled by ^akra or Indra. The number thirty-three 
is conventional, and the Commentaries say that this heaven was so named 
after Magha, a previous birth of ^akra, and his thirty-two companions who 
were reborn there. (See D.P.N.) 

3 Pali Cdtummahdrdjika, the name of the devas in the lowest of the six 
heavens, who were regarded as the retinue of the " Four Great Kings " 
dwelling there as guardians of the four quarters. The Pali names of these 
four kings are Dhatarattha, Virulhaka, Virupakkha and Vessavana. 



26 THE MAHAVASTU 

They cast no shadows. They are self-luminous. They travel 
through the air, going wheresoever they wish. In the be- 
jewelled mansions^ of the devas they have plenty of food, 
abundant meat and drink. They are endowed and gifted 
with the five modes of sensual pleasure, and disport, enjoy 
and amuse themselves. 

But the elder saw this prosperity end in adversity. For 
when the self-luminous ones pass away from the realm of 
the Caturmaharajika devas, they are reborn in hell and in the 
world of brutes, ghosts, or Asuras. When he had seen this 
evil vicissitude of the Caturmaharajika devas, the elder 
exclaimed, " Ah, what a hard lot ! " And he came to the Jeta 
Grove where he described it at length to the four assemblies. 
*' Thus," said he, " are beings reborn among the Caturmaha- 
rajika devas as a maturing of their good karma. There 
they enjoy the bliss of devas. But when they pass away 
thence they are reborn in hell, or as brutes, ghosts and Asuras. 
Of a truth, the devas are transient, unstable and subject to 
change. Therefore we should strive after knowledge, win it, 
be enlightened, be fully enlightened, perform the right deed, 
live the holy life, and commit no sin in this world. Thus 
I declare." 

When they had heard the elder, many thousands of beings, 
devas and men, won immortality. 

The venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on a visit 
to the Trayastrimsa^ devas. 

There he sees the Trayastrimsa devas, who are virtuous, 
mighty, long-lived, strong, and enjoying great well-being. (32) 
They have the devas' span of life, their strength, their bliss, 
their sway, their retinue, and the forms of the devas, their 
voice, smell, taste, touch, their garments and their ornaments, 
and their sensual pleasures. They are self-luminous, travel 
through the air, live in happiness, and go wheresoever they 
wish. They have plenty of food, abundant meat and drink. 
In the bejewelled mansions of the devas, in the eight great 



^ Vimdna, in late Buddhist thought this was equivalent to heaven or 
paradise in so far as it was a place of almost magic splendour. For references 
to the literature describing the Buddhist happy other-world, see Pali 
Dictionary, s.v. 

3 See p. 25, 



VISITS TO OTHER WORLDS 27 

parks/ Vaijayanta, Nandapuskarini, Paripatrakovidara, Maha- 
vana, Parusyaka, Citraratha, Nandana, and Misrakavana, 
and in other bejewelled mansions, endowed and gifted with 
the five modes of sensual pleasure, they disport, enjoy and 
amuse themselves. Sakra, too, lord of the devas, attended 
by eight thousand Apsarases,^ and endowed and gifted with 
the devas' five modes of sensual pleasure, disports, enjoys 
and amuses himself in his palace Vaijayanta. 

The elder Maudgalyayana saw all this prosperity of the 
Trayastrimsa devas, their deva bliss, their fair deva city, 
the seven- jewelled splendour of the fair deva city, and the 
holy assembly hall of the devas all radiant with the sparkle 
of beryl and extending a thousand yojanas. There the 
Trayastrimsa devas and Sakra, the lord of the devas, abide 
and dwell together immersed in the affairs of devas, and are 
seen from outside in the assembly hall of the devas. The 
Trayastrimsa devas, too, as they dwell in their sacred assembly- 
hall look out on the whole of the fair deva city. 

When he had seen all this prosperity of the Trayastrimsa 
devas, the elder came to the Jeta Grove and described it at 
length to the four assemblies. " Thus," said he, " do beings 
who are reborn among the Trayastrimsa devas, as a maturing 
of their good karma, attain the bliss of devas. But this bliss, 
also, is impermanent, unstable, and liable to change. For 
when they pass away from that state these beings are reborn 
in hell and as brutes and ghosts. Therefore one must strive 
after knowledge, win it, (33) be enlightened, be fully en- 
lightened, perform the right deed, live the holy life, and 
commit no sin in this world. Thus I declare." 

The venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana often went on visits 

^ In the tradition only the last four (in Pali — Pharusaka, Cittalatavana, 
Nandana and Missakavana) are, properly speaking, gardens or parks. 
Vaijayanta is the name of ^akra's palace, as immediately below. Pdripdtra 
(which Senart so prints, although two of the MSS. have °ydtre and the usual 
Sanskrit is pdriydtra) is the Pali pdricchattaka, a tree which grew in the 
Nandanavana as the result of the Kovildra [Koviddra) tree planted by Magha 
(see pp. 26w, 131W) outside the Sudhammasala. The compiler is obviously hazy 
about the tradition here, and, therefore, we are justified in taking the names 
of these two trees as providing the name of one park, although Senart prints 
them as two separate names, making pdripdtra the second element in the 
compound name Nanddpuskarinipdri" . The name of the second park is then 
Nanddpuskarinl, which, strictly speaking, is the lotus-pool in the 
Nandanavana. 

2 The nymphs of Indian mythology, 



28 THE MAHAVASTU 

to the Yama^ devas, the Tusita^ devas, the Nirmanarati* 
devas, the Paranirmitava^avartin* devas, and the devas of 
the Brahma worlds including the Suddhavasa^ devas. He 
saw the Suddhavasa devas, how they are virtuous, mighty, 
long-lived, beautiful, and enjoying great well-being. They 
are self-luminous, travel through the air, have pleasant food, 
live happily, and go wheresoever they wish. They are free 
from passion. They are deva arhans who win release in the 
middle of their sojourn in heaven,® are not subject to return 
to this world,'' and are free from all association with the 
ignorant and average worldling. ^ 

When the elder had seen all this prosperity of the devas, 
he came to the Jeta Grove, and described it at length to the four 
assemblies. " Thus," said he, " do beings, as a maturing of 
their good karma, attain the bHss of devas among the devas. 
But this, too, is impermanent, and liable to sorrow and change. 

The whole world is fraught with peril. The whole world 
is on fire ; the whole world is ablaze. The whole world is 
quaking. 

But the dharma which the Buddhas preach for the attain- 
ment of the ultimate goal, and which is not practised by the 
average worldling,^ is immovable and unshakeable. 

Therefore we must strive after knowledge, win it, be enhght- 
ened, be fully enlightened, perform the right deed, live the 
holy life, and commit no sin in this world. Thus I declare." 

^ A class of devas ranking between the Trayastrimsa and the Tusita devas. 
The Commentaries explain the name as meaning " having attained divine 
bliss," or " freed from misery " or " governing devas " {\/yam). They have 
also been taken to be the " devas of Yama's realm." 

2 See above p. 4. 

3 Devas inhabiting the fifth of the six deva-worlds. The name means 
" delighting in their own creations." 

* Devas inhabiting the highest stage of the sensuous universe. Their name 
is interpreted as meaning " those who have power over the creations of 
others." 

^ Or, the devas of the " Pure Abodes," a name given to a group of 
Brahma-worlds consisting, in the Pali form of their names, of Aviha, Atappa, 
Sudassa, SudassT, and Akanittha, 

« Antardparinirvdyl, Pali antardparinibhdyin, e.g., D. 3. 237. 

' Andvartikadharmd asmim loke, 

^ Prithagjana — Pali put'hujjana, which obviously is derived from Pali 
puthu = prithak, " separate," " individual," but, in sense, is taken as though 
it were from puthu = pHthu, " wide," " numerous," i.e. the " many-folk." 

" The Pali parallel to these gdthds is to be found at S. i. 133, following 
which, the confessedly difficult reading saprithagjanasevitam of Senart's text 
has been changed into aprithagjanasevitam, " not by the worldling practised." 



THE STORY OF ABHIYA 29 

When they had heard the elder, many thousands of beings, 
devas and men, won immortahty. 



THE STORY OF ABHIYA 

(34)The perfectly enlightened Exalted One, having fully 
realised the end he had striven for, stayed at Rajagriha^ on 
Mount Gridhrakuta,2 teaching devas and men, respected, 
esteemed, revered, honoured and venerated, and at the 
summit of his attainment and glory. He possessed the monk's 
requisites of robe, bowl, bed, seat and medicines for use 
in sickness. There, spotless Hke a lotus in water, he exhorted^ 
those already possessing merit to acquire further merits, 
consolidated in fruition those partaking of it, and confirmed 
memories of past lives in those partaking of those memories. 
He gave devas and men a taste of ambrosial rain and led 
thousands of beings to win immortahty. He raised them up 
from the great abyss, from the jungle of rebirth in an in- 
cessant round, without beginning or end,* of birth, old age and 
death ; from the pitiless thickets ^ of rebirth in evil plights, in 
hells, and so forth. He established them in repose, steadfastness, 
calm, bliss, fearlessness and in Nirvana. He converted the 
people of Anga and Magadha, of Vajji and Malla, Ka^i and 
Kosala, of Ceti, Vatsa® and Matsya,'' of Siirasena, of Kuru and 
Pancala, of Sivi and Dasarna, of Asvaka and Avanti. ^ He 
excelled in the knowledges, and was self-dependent.^ He 

^ Pali Rdjagaha, the capital city of Magadha, 

2 " Vulture Peak," one of the five hills around Rajagriha. Here is resumed 
the story interrupted at p. 4 by the account of Maha-Maudgalyayana's visits 
to the other worlds — only the compiler has forgotten that the niddna was 
there located at ^ravastl, not as here at Rajagriha, more than a hundred miles 
to the south-west. 

3 Literally, " to cause to enter," " establish in," " exhort to," nivesayati, 
like Pali niveseti. 

* Anavardgra, a Sanskritisation of Pali anamatagga. See Pali Dictionary. 

^ Read gahana for grahana. ^ Pali Vamsd. ' Pali Macchd. 

^ With this list of Central India peoples, compare similar and more or less 
identical lists ^.t A. i. 213 ; 4. 252, 256, 260 ; D. 2. 200 ; 3. 5. 

^ SvayambhU, see p. 3, where the word is translated " Self -becoming 
one." The term is translated " self-dependent " by Rhys Davids in S.B.E. 
36, p. 16 (= Miln. p. 214), and that translation is adopted here as being 
in keeping with the preceding expression, i.e. the Buddha is independent 
of others for the knowledge in which he excels. See footnote I.e. Cf, also 
Miln. p. 256, Sayamhhu . . . Tathdgato, andcariyako, " Self-dependent for 
his knowledge is the Tathagata, without a master." 



30 THE MAHAVASTCJ 

abode in deva states, ^ in immovable, unchangeable states. 
A Buddha, he abode in a Buddha's states ; a Conqueror, 
he abode in a Conqueror's states ; an expert, he abode in an 
expert's states, and omniscient he abode in the states of 
omniscience. He had attained control over his thoughts, 
and, in short, the Buddha abode in whatever states approprate 
to an Exalted One that he desired. 

Now the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana dressed early 
and set out for the city of Rajagriha to beg for alms. But 
before he had gone far this thought occurred to him: "It is 
as yet much too early to go to Rajagriha for alms. (35) What, 
then, if I were to go where the company of the Suddhavasa^ 
devas are ? It is a long time since I have visited them." 

Then the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana by means of his 
magic power reached the Suddhavasa devas in one stride. 
The multitudes of the Suddhavasa devas saw him coming 
from afar and came forth to meet him. " Here," said they, 
" here is the noble Maha-Maudgalyayana. Hail and welcome 
to the noble Maha-Maudgalyayana. After a long absence 
the noble Maha-Maudgalyayana has taken the opportunity 
to come here." And the multitudes of Suddhavasa devas 
bowed their heads at the feet of the venerable Maha-Maud- 
galyayana and stood on one side. 

A certain ^uddhavasa deva then spoke to the venerable 
Maha-Maudgalyayana thus, " Strange is it," said he, " wonder- 
ful is it, O noble Maudgalyayana, that it is so hard to attain 
the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. For it takes a hundred 
thousand kalpas to do so." 

Then the blessed ^uddhavasa deva related the following 
tale to the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana : 

For a hundred thousand kalpas a monk called Abhiya 
lived in passion, malice and folly. Now at that time, Maudgal- 
yayana, there was a city named Vasumata^(36) which was 

^ Vihdra, here a state or condition of moral or spiritual life. In the Pali 
texts these states are more dogmatically defined. They either denote the 
sublime states in general, usually three in number {e.g. D. 3, 220), devavihdra, 
brahmavihdra and ariyavihdra, or, more specifically, the four qualities or forms 
of the brahmavihdra, viz. mettd, karund, muditd and upekkhd, i.e. " love, pity, 
sympathy, and disinterestedness." These are also called the four 
appamannas or " infinite conditions," and are referred to in Divy. 224. Cf. 
also Malidvastu, 2. 419. 

2 See p. 28. 

^ Otherwise unknown. 



THE STORY OF ABHIYA 31 

thriving, prosperous, peaceful, having an abundance of food, 
was thronged by a multitude of happy citizens, was free from 
violence and riots, rid of thieves, and busy with commerce. 

Now, Maudgalyayana, in this great city of Vasumata, there 
was a merchant named Uttiya, who was virtuous, powerful, 
rich, wealthy, opulent, with great property, and having 
plenty in his treasury and granary. He had an abundance 
of gold, silver, luxuries, elephants, horses, cattle, sheep, 
bondsmen, bondswomen, and workmen. He believed in the 
teaching of the exalted Sarvabhibhii and paid homage to 
the Buddha, the dharma and the Sangha^ and was devoted 
to Nanda and other monks. 

Now, Maudgalyayana, the monk Nanda and the monk 
Abhiya came to the houseof the merchant Uttiya, and the monk 
Nanda was honoured, revered, esteemed, venerated and respected 
in the merchant's household, but not so the monk Abhiya. 

Now, Maudgalyayana, the daughter of the merchant 
Uttiya was the wife of a certain great householder in the great 
city of Vasumata, and she was especially devoted to the 
monk Nanda. Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the monk Abhiya, 
because of his jealous nature, made a false accusation of adultery 
against the monk Nanda. '* The monk Nanda," said he, "is 
unchaste, wicked, licentious, and a secret sinner. He is living 
a dissolute life with the daughter of Uttiya the merchant." 

(37) People in the great city of Vasumata took up^ this 
accusation, which they considered worth listening to and 
believing in. Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the priests and 
laymen in the great city of Vasumata, and Uttiya the merchant, 
decided that the monk Nanda should no longer be honoured, 
revered, esteemed and venerated as before. 

Genuine men readily repent and feel remorse for a wrong 
deed. And thus, Maha-Maudgalyayana, this thought occurred 
to the monk Abhiya : " Because of my jealous nature I 
falsely accused the monk Nanda of immorality, although 
he is free from passion, malice and folly, and is a worthy and 
distinguished man. Much demerit have 1 begotten. What, 
then, if I now ask the monk Nanda's pardon, and confess 
my sin before the exalted Sarvabhibhii ? " 

^ " The Order, the priesthood, the Buddhist Church." (Pali Dictionary.) 
2 Sevitam, cf. use of sevati in Pali — " to embrace," " make use of." 



32 THE MAIIAVASTU 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the monk Abhiya asked 
forgiveness of the monk Nanda, and confessed his sin before 
the exalted Sarvabhibhu. Next, he went to the merchant 
Uttiya and said to him, " 1 should like, householder, to make 
an offering to the exalted Sarvabhibhii and his company of 
disciples. Pray, give me the means of doing so." And 
Uttiya the merchant gave the monk Abhiya much gold, and 
other rich householders did the same. 

(38) Now, Maha-Maudgalyayana, in the great city of Vasu- 
mata, there were two dealers in perfume who were devoted 
to the monk Abhiya. So, the monk Abhiya, with a hundred 
thousand pieces^ in his hand, went to the two perfume dealers 
and said to them, "My good friends, ^ I want these one 
hundred thousand pieces' worth of kesara^ essence. I shall 
take care* of it and offer it to the exalted Sarvabhibhii and 
his company of disciples." 

The two perfume-dealers gave^ him a hundred thousand 
pieces' worth of kesara essence. Then the monk Abhiya feasted 
and regaled the exalted Sarvabhibhu and his company of 
disciples with plentiful and palatable food, both hard and soft. 
When he saw that the exalted Sarvabhibhii had eaten, washed 
his hands, and put away his bowl, he scattered the hundred 
thousand pieces' worth of kesara essence on, over and about 
him and his company of disciples. And when he had done so 
he conceived the thought : "Ah, may I in some future time 
become a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, proficient 
in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower 
of the world^, a driver of tameable men, a teacher of devas 

1 Probably the square copper coin called kahdpana in Pali and kdrsdpana 
in Sanskrit. 

2 Plural of Vdsistha, properly a member of the gotra of that name, tracing 
its descent from the sage Vasistha, but here, and often, purely a conventional 
term of polite address. 

•'• A perfume prepared from the flower of that name. 

* Parihariya, participle from pariharati, cf. parihareyam, " may I preserve " 
p. 39, et al. 

' Pariharensu of the text is obviously, as Senart points out, a mistake due 
to the proximity of parihariya, for the context requires a verb of " giving," 
and Senart suggests paridadensu. 

^ Lokavidanuttara. In the corresponding formula in Pali texts, anuttara 
is invariably an adjective qualifying the next term in the series, purisa- 
dammasdrathi — at least, it is always so translated. But in the Mahdvastu 
the adjective is always written as the final part of the above compound term. 
It should be added that on p. 229 of text purusadamyasdrathin is clearly 
qualified by anuttara, but in a context different from the present one. 



THE STORY OF ABHIYA 33 

and men, as this exalted Sarvabhibhu now is. Thus may I 
become a Great Man,^ endowed with his thirty-two marks, ^ 
my body adorned with his eighty minor characteristics, ^ and 
possessing the eighteen distinctive attributes* of a Buddha, 
strong with the ten powers^ of a Tathagata, confident (39) 
with a Buddha's four grounds of confidence,^ as the exalted 
Sarvabhibhu now is. Thus may I set rolling the unsurpassed 
wheel of dharma never yet set rolling^ by recluse, brahman, 
deva, Mara,^ Brahma or any one whatsoever. May I, reborn 
again in the world, together with dharma, preserve the com- 
munity of disciples in harmony as the exalted Sarvabhibhu 
now does. Thus may devas and men decide that I am to be 
hearkened to and believed in as they now do this exalted 
Sarvabhibhii. Having myself crossed, may I lead others 
across ; released, may I release others ; comforted, may I 
comfort others ; emancipated, may I emancipate others. 
May I become all this for the benefit and welfare of mankind, 
out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the multitude, 
for the good of devas and men." 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the exalted Sarvabhibhu, 
aware of this vow of the monk Abhiya, said to him, " You 
will, Abhiya, in some future time, after a hundred thousand 
kalpas, become a Tathagata of the name of Sakyamuni, an 
Arhan, a perfect Buddha, proficient in knowledge and conduct, 

^ Mahdpurusa, Pali Mahdpurisa, " a great man, a hero, a man born to 
greatness, a man destined by fate to be a Ruler or Saviour of the world." 
{Pali Diet.) 

2 See p. 180. 

3 See p. 181, W4. 

* Avenikd buddhadharmds. The adjective dvenika is of obscure origin, 
but its general sense is made clear by its use in Pali, e.g. S. 4. 239, Pancimdni 
. . . mdtugdmassa dvenikdni dukkhdni ydni mdtugdmo paccanubhoti annatreva 
purisehi, i.e. " the five special misfortunes of females not shared by men." 
The Commentary defines dvenika by patipuggalikdni asadharandni purisehi, 
i.e. " peculiar, not common to males." 

5 See p. 126. 

* Vaisdradya, Pali vesdrajja. These four assurances are that enlightenment 
has been won, that the dsravas (see p. 49) have been eradicated, that the 
obstacles (see p. 117) have been recognised, and that the way of salvation 
has been preached. See M. 1. 71. 

' In this formula the Mahdvastu (Vol. I) regularly has apravartitam, 
" not set rolling " (or apravartiyam, " not to be set rolling "). The only 
reminiscence in the Mahdvastu of the Pali appativattiyam, e.g. Sn. 557, which 
has usually been translated " not to be rolled hack " is the reading aprattivartt- 
iyam of one MS. on p. 330. 

8 The " god of death " {y/ wiri, " to die "), but, more properly, as regards 
function, the Buddhist devil or Satan. 



34 THE MAHAVASTU 

a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of 
tameable men, a teacher of devas and men, even as I now am. 
You will become endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great 
Man, your body adorned with his eighty minor characteristics. 
You will have the eighteen distinctive attributes of a Buddha. 
You will be strong with the ten powers of a Tathagata, and 
confident with a Buddha's four grounds of confidence, even 
as I now am. And thus you will set rolling the unsurpassed 
wheel of dharma never yet set rolling by recluse, deva, Mara, 
or anyone else. Reborn again in the world, together with 
dharma, you will preserve (40) in harmony the company of 
disciples as I do now. Thus will devas and men decide that 
you are to be hearkened to and believed in, as they now do 
me. Having yourself crossed, you will lead others across ; 
released you will release others ; comforted, you will comfort 
others ; emancipated, you will emancipate others, as I now 
do. You will become all this for the benefit and welfare of 
mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of 
the multitude, for the good and well-being of devas and men/' 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayama, as soon as it was proclaimed 
by the perfect Buddha Sarvabhibhu that the monk Abhiya 
would win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment, the system 
of the three-thousand worlds trembled and quaked six times. ^ 
The eastern region rose, the western subsided ; the eastern 
region subsided, the western rose ; the southern region rose, 
the northern subsided; the southern region subsided, the 
northern rose ; the middle regions subsided, the extremities 
rose ; the middle regions rose, the extremities subsided. The 
devas of earth ^ shouted and made their cries heard. " It has 
been proclaimed by the exalted perfect Buddha, Sarvabhibhu, 
that this monk Abhiya will win the unsurpassed perfect 
enlightenment. He will do this for the welfare and benefit 
of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of 
the multitude, for the good and well-being of devas and men." 

When they heard the shout of the devas of earth, the devas 
of the sky, the Caturmaharajika devas, the Trayastrimsa devas, 

^ Literally " in six changes " or " disturbances," vikdra. 

2 Bhumyd devd, i.e. the " spirits " of the primitive culture or popular belief, 
like the yaksas, raksasas and others, whom the Buddhists recognised as 
a class of devas. Cf. A. 4, 118. 



THE STORY OF ABHIYA 35 

the Yama devas, the Tusita devas, the Nirmanarati devas, 
the Paranirmitavasavartin devas, and the devas in Brahma's 
entourage, raised a shout and made their cries heard. (41) 
" Thus, friends," said they, " has it been proclaimed of the 
monk Abhiya by the exalted Sarvabhibhu that he will win 
the unsurpassed perfect enHghtenment. He will do this for 
the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for 
the world, for the sake of the multitude, for the welfare and 
happiness of devas and men." 

Then there appeared a great radiance, immense and sublime 
in the world. And the spaces between the worlds, regions of 
blackness plunged in blackness, of gloom plunged in gloom, 
dark^ regions, unfathomed,^ never before fathomed, where 
the moon and sun, powerful and majestic though they are, 
with all their brilliance cannot make their brilHance prevail,^ 
with all their light cannot make their light prevail, suddenly 
become suffused with this radiance. And the beings who had 
been reborn in those spaces exclaimed to one another, " Lo ! 
there are other beings reborn here. Lo ! there are other beings 
reborn here." 

Now, all those beings were for that instant, for that moment, 
immersed in bHss. Even those reborn in the great hell Avici 
excelled the splendour of devas, of Nagas,* and of Yaksas. 

1 Agha. Senart, being practically confined for parallels to the Lotus 
and Lai. Vist., is in difficulties regarding this word, and is constrained to 
render it by " souffrances," thus diftering from Burnouf who, in Appendix III 
to the Lotus had translated it " pecheresses." The parallel passages in Pali 
texts since published, e.g., A. 2. 130; S. 5. 454; and D. 2. 12, however, 
make it clear that agha is either a substantive meaning " darkness " or 
" blackness " or an adjective, " dark," " black." 

2 Asamvidita, " unknown," " uncomprehended." The corresponding word 
in the Pali parallel passages is asamvuta, " unrestrained," " orderless," 
" baseless," and is explained by the Commentary on yl. 2. 130 as hetthdpi 
appatittha, i.e. " without a support beneath." 

2 Ab'hisambhunanti. According to the Pali Dictionary, this is a variant 
form of sanibhavati {sambhoti), having the more particular sense of " to reach " 
or " to be able to." The Commentary on Sn. 396 has the gloss asambhunanto : 
asakkonto {" unable "). See also the long note by Senart who, after an 
examination of its use in Buddhist Sanskrit, arrives at pretty much the 
same interpretation of its meaning. 

* A class of beings in primitive Indian belief, evidently surviving in 
Buddhist folklore. In form they were snakes, and were gifted with miraculous 
powers. But there is undoubtedly great confusion between the Nagas as 
supernatural beings, and as the name of certain non-Aryan tribes. In the 
Mahdvastu, e.g. p. 190, we hear of Naga devas. Ndga also means " elephant " ; 
indeed, men were inclined to call all big things " Naga " {A. 3. 345 ff.). When 
the Buddha or an Arhan is styled Ndga, we are to bear in mind the accepted 
etymology of the name as dgurn na karoti " does no wrong." 



36 THE MAHAVASTU 

The realms of Mara were eclipsed/ rendered lustreless and 
joyless. Shattered they fell a ^05^(42), two kos, three. Shat- 
tered they fell for yojanas, for twice five yojanas. And wicked 
Mara was unhappy, discomfited, remorseful, tortured by the 
sting within him. 

When^ he had presented his gift, he made his vow. "May 
I," said he, " become a guide of the world, a teacher of devas 
and men. May I preach the noble dharma. 

"May I bear about the torch of dharma. May I beat the 
bannered drum of dharma. May I raise the standard of 
dharma. May I blow the noble trumpet. 

"Thus may I expound and preach dharma. Thus may 
I establish many people in the noble dharma. 

"Thus may devas and men listen to my eloquent words. 
Thus may I set rolling the wheel of dharma for the sake 
of the multitude. 

"May I plant the rudiments of wisdom in the people 
who are sunk in misery, who are tormented by birth and 
old age and are subject to death, who see only with the bodily 
eye, and [lead them) from their evil plight. 

"May I release from the round of existence those who are 
scattered in Sanjlva, KdlasUtra, Sanghdta, Raurava, Avtci, 
and the six spheres of existence. * 

{^Z)"May I release from the round of existence those whose 
karma has fully or partly matured^ in hell, those who are 
afflicted in evil plight, those who are subject to death, and 
those of little happiness and much misery. 

"May I live on doing good in the world, teaching dharma 



1 Dhydma, which Senart explains as " une orthographe sanscritisante pour 
le pali-pracrit jhdma — ksdma, " consume, brule," but modified in meaning 
here to denote " obscurci, ecHpse." 

2 Sanskrit krosa (here krosika), a measure of distance, equal to I yojana 
or, according to others, \. 

* A verse redaction of the story of Abhiya. 

* In the earlier Pali texts these gatis or " spheres of existence " are five 
in number, viz. hell, the brute creation, the ghost world, human life, and the 
deva worlds. Later texts add a sixth, viz. existence as asuras. Elsewhere 
the Mahdvastu (i. 293) makes the gatis eight in number, without, however, 
indicating what the additional ones may be. 

5 ? Pakvavipakvd, a reading adopted by Senart in preference to the obscure 
paksavipaksa of the MSS. 



THE STORY OF ABHIYA 37 

to devas and men. Thus may I convert people as this Light 
of the world^ does. 

''May I live in this world as He whose mind is rid of 
attachments does. May I set rolling the wheel that has not 
its like, and is honoured and revered^ by devas and men." 

The nohle-horn Conquer or , full of insight and understanding, 
aware of this vow, and seeing that all the conditions were 
satisfied, that {A bhiya) was without flaw, defect or blemish, 
thus proclaimed of him : — 

"You will become a Buddha in the future, after a hundred 
thousand kalpas. You will become a guide of the world, 
a Sdkyan of Kapilavastu in Risivadana.^ Then will this 
vow of yours be fulfilled." 

Then the sea-girt earth shook, and the proclamation made 
of this illustrious monk Abhiya reached the ears of the 
assemblies of devas in heaven. A cry went up that, 

(44)The exalted SarvdbhibhU, whose banner is exceeding 
eloquent speech, had foretold to Abhiya, "You will become 
a Conqueror. 

"You will become that for the benefit and welfare of the 
worlds of Brahma, of Suras and Asuras. The crowd of 
A suras will dwindle, the community of men and devas will 
grow".* 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when they heard that it had 
been proclaimed of the monk Abhiya that he would win the 

1 Lokapradyota (once also lokasya pradlpa, p. 167, where see note) occurs 
several times in the Mahdvastu as an appellation of the Buddha, but has no 
exact counterpart in the Pali texts, the nearest being " eye in the world." 
(The translator is indebted for this suggestive comparison to Miss I. B. 
Horner.) 

^ Although these adjectives are, in the text, nom. sing, masculine, the 
analogy of other passages shows, as Senart suggests, that they must be 
regarded as qualifying cakram, and they are translated accordingly. 

' In Pali Isipatana, the open space near Benares where was situated the 
famous Migadaya or Deer Park. Risivadana is the more frequent of the two 
forms of this name in the Mahdvastu, the other form being Risipattana. 
In one place, however, (i. 359), it is spelt Risipatana in accordance with the 
etymology of the name there given, viz. that it was so-called because the 
bodies of the Pratyekabuddhas " fell " there — risayo 'tra paiitd. The explana- 
tion of the name in Pali texts is slightly different. " Isipatana was so called 
because sages, on their way through the air (from the Himalayas), alight here 
or start from here on their aerial flight — isayo ettha nipatanti uppatanti cdti 
Isipatanam." {D.P.N.) 

* Cf. D. 2. 271, Yadd Tathdgatd loke uppajjanti arahantosamnidsanihuddhd 
dibbdkdyd paripurenti, hdyanti asurakdyd ti. 



38 THE MAHAVASrU 

perfect enlightenment, the two perfume-dealers, enraptured, 
rejoicing, elated, and glad, conceived this thought : " When 
the monk Abhiya becomes awakened to the perfect enlighten- 
ment, then may we become his chief disciples, the chief pair, 
a noble pair, like this pair of disciples^ of the exalted 
Sarvabhibhu, the one pre-eminent for wisdom, the other for 
magic power". 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the daughter of Uttiya the 
merchant heard that it had been proclaimed of the monk 
Abhiya by the exalted Sarvabhibhu that he would win the 
unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. And when she had paid 
honour, reverence, respect and veneration to the Exalted One 
and his company of disciples, she made this vow : "A false 
accusation was made against me by the jealous monk Abhiya. 
When, therefore, through serving the exalted Sarvabhibhii 
and his company of disciples, I shall have acquired merit, ^ 
by the power of this root of merit, I shall slander the monk 
Abhiya with false accusations wherever he be reborn(45), 
until he has attained to perfect enlightenment." 

Now, Maha-Maudgalyayana, perhaps you will think that it 
was somebody else of the name Abhiya who at that time and 
on that occasion was the disciple of the exalted Sarvabhibhu. 
But you must not think so. And why ? It was I, Maha- 
Maudgalyayana, who at that time and on that occasion was 
the exalted Sarvabhibhu's disciple named Abhiya. 

Again, you may think that at that time and on that occasion 
the two perftmie-dealers of the great city of Vasumata were 
some two others. No more must you think that either. And 
why ? Because at that time and on that occasion you two, 
^ariputra and Maudgalyayana, were those two perfume-dealers. 
The vow you made then was your initial vow. 

Perhaps, again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, you will think that 
at that time and on that occasion the daughter of Uttiya the 

merchant was somebody else [ ].^ In pursuance of 

that vow the Brahman woman made false accusations against 
me in every one of my lives until I attained perfect enlightenment. 

Perhaps, again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, you will think that 

^ See below. 

2 Reading, with Senart, kusalamarjitam for kusalamulam of the MSS. 

^ Lacuna. 



THE MANY BUDDHAS 39 

at that time and on that occasion the merchant named Uttiya 
in the great city of Vasumata was somebody else. You must 
not think that. It was this Suddhavasa deva here who, at 
that time and on that occasion, was the merchant named 
Uttiya in the great city of Vasumata. And he remembers 
these hundred thousand kalpas and recollects the dharma. 

Here ends the story of Abhiya, with the accompanying verse, 
in the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 

THE MANY BUDDHAS ^ 

(46)0 Maha-Maudgalyayana, from the time that I made a 
vow to acquire enlightenment there have been immeasurable, 
incalculable kalpas. Countless Tathagatas, Arhans, and perfect 
Buddhas did I adore, but none of them proclaimed my 
enlightenment. I adored three hundred of the name Puspa, 
yet I received no proclamation from them. Immeasurable, 
incalculable kalpas did I live and pass through, and countless 
Buddhas did I adore, but they made no proclamation concern- 
ing rne. 

Here, Maha-Maudgalyayana, are the four stages in the 
careers of Bodhisattvas. What are the four ? They are these : 
the " natural " career, the " resolving " career, the " conform- 
ing " career and the " persevering " career. ^ 

And what, Maha-Maudgalyayana, is the " natural " career ? 
It is the nature of Bodhisattvas in this world to respect mother 
and father, to be well-disposed to recluses and brahmans, 
to honour their elders, to practise the ten right ways of 
behaviour, to exhort others to give alms and acquire merit, 
and to honour contemporary Buddhas and their disciples. 
But as yet they do not conceive the thought of winning the 
unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. 

First they worship glorious Tathdgatas with great reverence, 
(47) but not yet do these supreme men^ turn their thoughts 
towards becoming a Foremost Man. * 

^ But see note p. 46, 
2 Seep. I. 

^ I.e. the Bodhisattvas. 

* I.e. Agrapudgala, an appellation of the Buddha, practically the equivalent 
of agrapurusa, see p. 4. 



40 THE MAHAVASTU 

These leaders of men worship kotis of those who have won 
mastery over all the powers,^ long since reached perfect 
mastery"^ ; hut not yet do they turn their thoughts towards 
crossing the ocean of knowledge. 

These wise men honour kotis of Pratyekabuddhas^ who 
have won the highest good, hut not yet do they turn their 
thoughts to a knowledge of the whole dharma. 

Such, Maha-Maudgalyayana is the " natural " career. And 
what is the " resolving " career ? There have elapsed im- 
measurable, incalculable kalpas since a Tathagata named 
Sakyamuni, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, proficient in know- 
ledge and conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the 
world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and 
men, appeared in the world. Now, Maha-Maudgalyayana, 
Sakyamuni's city was named Kapilavastu, and so on. At that 
time I was a merchant, and after I had made an offering of 
rice-milk to ^akyamuni, I made a vow to win enhghtenment. 

When {the Bodhisattvas) have laid up an abundant store 
of merit, and have body and mind well develop ed^[^^)they 
approach the beautiful Buddhas and turn their thoughts to 
enlightenment, [each vowing). 

"By the merit I have formerly laid up in store, may I 
have insight into all things. May not my vow come to naught, 
hut may what I vow come to pass. 

"May my store of the root of merit he great enough for 
all living beings. Whatever evil deed has been done by me, 
may I alone reap its bitter fruit. 

"So may I run my course through the world as He whose 
mind is rid of attachments does. May I set rolling the wheel 
of dharma that has not its equal, and is honoured and revered 
of devas and men." 



1 The analogy of other passages in the Mahdvastu, e.g. i. 52, impUes that 
balesu is understood here with vasibhuta. Cf. Kvu. 608. The " powers " 
here referred to are the ten baldni of a Tathagata, for which see p. 126. 

2 Reading gatdn, accusative for gatd, nom., and similarly °pudgaldn for 
°pudgald in line 8. 

^ Pali paccekabuddha, literally "individually enlightened," i.e. a" Buddha " 
who wins enlightenment, but passes away without proclaiming it to the world. 
* Literally " body and mind made-to-become," bhavitasarlramdnasd. 



t 



THE MANY BUDDHAS 41 

1 first offered a drink of rice-milk to the world-transcending 
exalted Sakyamuni an incalculable kalpa ago. Then was my 
first vow made. 

An immeasurable, incalculable kalpa afterwards, Maha- 
Maudgalyayana, a Tathagata of the name of Samitavin 
appeared in the world, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, proficient 
in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower 
of the world, (49) a driver of tameable men, and a teacher 
of devas and men. 

Now at that time there was a Bodhisattva, who was a 
universal king, ruling over the four continents, who was 
triumphant, possessing the seven treasures of a king, who was 
righteous, a king of righteousness, pursuing the path of the 
ten virtues. These seven royal treasures are the wheel, the 
elephant, the horse, the precious stone, the woman, the house- 
holder, and the counsellor. He had a full thousand sons, who 
were valiant, courageous, and stout of limb, who crushed the 
armies of their foes. He ruled over these four continents, 
to wit, Jambudvipa, Purvavideha, Aparagodaniya and Uttara- 
kuru — a land compact and peaceful, untroubled^ by the scourge 
and sword, girt by sea and mountain, which he had won not 
by violence, but by righteousness. 

Now, Maha-Maudgalyayana, this universal king supplied the 
perfect Buddha Samitavin and his company of disciples with 
all the requisites, with robe, alms-bowl, bed, seat, and medicines 
for use in sickness. He had a palace built of the seven precious 
substances, gold, silver, pearls, beryl, crystal, white coral, and 
ruby, with eighty-four thousand pillars, each pillar up to its 
middle fashioned of points of gold set close together. ^ He had 
erected eighty-four thousand buildings with peaked roofs, 
bright and sparkling, of the seven precious substances, gold, 
silver, pearls, beryl, crystal, white coral and ruby. 

When, Maha-Maudgalyana, he had built such a distinguished 
palace, the universal king presented it to the perfect Buddha 
Samitavin, and made this vow : " Ah ! May I in some future 
time become (50) a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, 
proficient in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed 

^ Reading anutplddm for anutpldena, as the syntax demands ; °adandena 
is tautological, repeating the same word earlier in the compound. 

2 ? dhaddhahiranyakotihi nirniito updrdhasya. 



42 THEMAHAVASTU 

knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher 
of devas and men, as this exalted Samitavin now is. May I 
become endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great Man, 
and my body adorned with his eighty minor characteristics. 
May I have the eighteen distinctive attributes of Buddhahood, 
and be strong with the ten powers of a Tathagata, and confident 
with the four grounds of self-confidence, as this exalted perfect 
Buddha Samitavin now is. Having crossed over, may I lead 
others across ; comforted, may I comfort others ; emancipated, 
may I emancipate others. May I become so for the benefit 
and welfare of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for 
the good of the multitude, for the welfare and benefit of devas 
and men. 

Such, Maha-Maudgalyayana, was the vow of the Tathagata. 

May I journey through this world as He whose mind is 
rid of attachments does. May I set rolling the wheel that 
has not its equal, and is honoured of devas and men. ^ 

Then, this thought occurred to the perfect Buddha Samitavin: 
" How now ? When I have utterly passed away,^ when these 
disciples of mine have passed, and when the preaching of the 
dharma has ceased, after how long a time will an exalted 
Buddha appear in the world ? " 

He did not foresee one in one kalpa,(bi) nor in two. It was 
in a hundred thousand kalpas that he foresaw a Buddha in 
the world. 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, a feeling of great pity for all 
beings came over the compassionate Buddha Samitavin. ** I 
must,'' said he, " inevitably fulfil the five obligations of a 
Buddha. What five ? 1 must set rolling the wheel of dharma. 
I must convert my mother and my father, and those ready 
to receive the Buddha's teaching,^ and I must anoint the heir 
to the throne. For he, when I have passed away, will become 

1 See note, p. 37. 

2 Parinirvrita, Pali parnibbuta, also translated " emancipated " when it 
denotes complete freedom from earthly bonds, or the potentiality of not 
being liable to rebirth. Here it refers to the actualisation of that potentiality 
at death. In this latter sense it is sometimes translated " passed to Nirvana." 
which, however, gives the false implication of passing to some localised state, 

3 Bauddhavaineyakd. Vaineyaka = vaineya which is the Pali veneyya 
"to be instructed " {vineti, vinaya), a late term in the Jdtakas and the 
Commentaries. 



THE MANY BUDDHAS 43 

a Buddha in the world. As I am now, so this Bodhisattva, 
Ajita, will become a Buddha in the world. His name will be 
Ajita, of the Maitreya family, in the capital city, Bandhuma.^ 
Let me then continue in life for a hundred thousand 
kalpas." 

Then, the perfect Buddha Samitavin addressed his monks : 
"As I was alone here in seclusion and retirement this mental 
reflection arose in me. When I have utterly passed away, 
when my disciples, too, have passed, and when the preaching 
of dharma has ceased, after how long a time will a Buddha 
appear in the world ? I did not foresee one in one kalpa, nor 
in two kalpas, nor in three. But in a hundred thousand kalpas 
I did foresee a Buddha in the world. Now, I must inevitably 
fulfil the five obligations of a Buddha, and this person whom 
I have to anoint heir to the throne will be reborn among the 
long-lived devas. What now if I decide to live on for these 
one hundred thousand kalpas ? Who will stay with 
me ? " 

(52) Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, eighty-four thousand monks 
who had full mastery over the powers, 2 chose to live on in 
this world. " We, lord," said they, " We, Sugata, will stay." 
And so the perfect Buddha Samitavin and his disciples lived 
for a very long time. 

At the dissolution^ of the universe men after death are 

1 In the Pali texts, the Buddha Metteyya is to be born at Ketumati. 

2 I.e. the powers or baldni of an dryasrdvaka, or " noble disciple," namely, 
Iprajndbala (Pali pannd°), " power of wisdom," vlryahala {viriya°), " of exer- 
tion," anavadya° {anavajja°), " of blamelessness," and sangrdha {sangdha) 
" of self-restraint." {A. 2. 142 ; 4. 363.) At D. 3. 229, these baldni are given 
in greater detail as consisting of three groups of four baldni each. 

3 Samvartakdlasamaye, literally " at the time of the samvarta (Pali samvatta). 
Samvarta is the noun of the verb samvartati (Pali samvattati) which, according 
to the Pali Dictionary, means " to be evolved," or " in process of evolution," 
while samvatta is said to mean "rolling on" or " forward," opp. to vivatta 
(see below), " rolling back." But the texts, on the whole, would seem to 
suggest the meaning of " rolling up " for samvattati and " rolling out " for 
vivattati, or practically " involution " or " dissolution " for the former and 
" evolution " or " coming to be " for the latter. At DA. i. no Buddhaghosa 
glosses samvattati with vinassati (" is destroyed ") and vivattati with santhdti 
(" comes to be "). Woodward {A. 2. 142) translates the two terms respectively 
" rolls up " and " rolls out," while Rhys Davids {Dial. i. 17) has " passes 
away " and " re-evolves." Buddhaghosa at Vism. 414 defines these two cycles 
in the words parihdyamdno kappo samvattakappo, vaddhamdno vivattakappo 
— " the descending [lit. ' waning '] cycle is the cycle of dissolution, the 
ascending [lit, ' growing 'J cycle is the cycle of evolution." (Maung Tin's 
translation.) A little later, Buddhaghosa uses the term samvatta to denote 
the " end " of the world, whether caused by water, fire, or air. 



44 THE MAHAVASTU 

reborn among the Abhasvara devas. ^ On his death, therefore, 
the king was reborn among these devas, and the Exalted One 
also, together with his disciples, passed to the realm of the 
Abhasvara devas. 

When the universe begins to re-evolve, and the world is 
being resettled, beings pass away from the world of the 
Abhasvara devas, because their span of years there is ended, ^ 
and they come down to this world. The Bodhisattva also 
passed away from the realm of the Abhasvara devas, and, 
coming to the world, became again a universal king over the 
four continents, triumphant, and so on up to " he 
ruled over these four continents having won them by 
righteousness." 

When the duration of men's lives began to be limited, and 
old age, sickness and death became known, the exalted 
Samitavin, the perfect Buddha, came to Jambudvipa, and 
there taught men dharma. Then the universal king presented 
the perfect Buddha with all the requisites, robe, alms-bowl, 
bed, seat, and medicines for use in sickness. He built a palace 
of the seven precious substances like the one already described, 
and presented it to the exalted perfect Buddha. In this way 
the perfect Buddha Samitavin and his community of disciples 
survived for one hundred thousand kalpas, and was always 
served by the Bodhisattva, who in every kalpa without fail 
built a similar palace of the seven precious substances and 
presented it to the perfect Buddha Samitavin. (53) In his quest 
for the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment, the Bodhisattva 
as a universal king presented Samitavin with a hundred- 

^ " The shining devas " or the devas of Abhasvara (PaH Abhassara) " a 
Brahma-world where hve radiant devas from whose bodies rays of Hght 
are emitted Hke Hghtning " {D.P.N.) The world of the Abhasvara devas 
was left untouched when the dissolution was the kind caused by fire, as the 
Subhakinha world was in that caused by water, and the Vehapphala in that 
caused by air. {Vism., I.e.) 

2 Ayu:ksaydya of the text has been changed to dyu:ksayd (causal ablative, 
for -at, cf. apdyd, abl., p. 42 of text), so as to bring the passage into conformity 
with such Pali passages as D. 1. 17, ath' annataro satto dyukkhayd vd 
punnakkhayd vd Abhassarakdyd cavitvd, " and some being or other, either 
because his span of years has passed or his merit is exhausted, falls from the 
World of Radiance" {Dial. i. 30). Cf. also D. 3. 29. In printing dyu:ksaydya 
(dative of purpose), Senart took the meaning to be " pour epuiser ce que leur 
karman leur attribue encore d'existence," and cites in support of his interpre- 
tation Mahdvastu i. 338, where dyu:ksaya is coupled with karmaksaya. But 
the latter is there equivalent to the P'ali puiinakkhaya, that is to say, karma 
as good karma, which it is here, is equivalent to puny a {punna). 



THE MANY BUDDHAS 45 

thousand palaces made of the seven precious substances. An 
incalculable kalpa afterwards, 

When he had prescribed his gift, the Bodhisattva made 
his vow : ''May I become a guide of the world, a teacher 
of devas and men. May I expound the noble dharma. 

"Thus may I expound and preach dharma ; thus may I 
establish many people in the noble dharma. 

"Thus may devas and men listen to my eloquent words ; 
thus may I set rolling the wheel of dharma for the sake of 
the multitude. 

"May I bear about the torch of dharma ; may I beat the 
bannered drum of dharma. May I raise the standard of 
dharma ; may I blow the noble trumpet. 

"May I plant the rudiments of wisdom in the world which 
is sunk in misery, is afflicted by birth and old age, is subject 
to death, and sees only with the eye of the body, and [may I 
lead it) from its state of woe. 

"May I release from the round of rebirth those who are 
scattered in Sanjiva, KdlasHtra, Sanghdta, Raurava, Avici, 
and the six spheres^ of existence. 

"May I release from the round of rebirth those whose karma 
has fully or partly matured in hell, those who are afflicted 
in the states of woe, those subject to death, and those of little 
happiness and much suffering. 

(54) May / live on doing good in the world, and teach 
dharma to devas and men. Thus may I convert people as 
this Light of the world now does. 

Then was the second vow made. 

The Bodhisattva gave eighty mansions built of sandalwood 
to the world-transcending Buddha, Guru, and vowed : "In 
an incalculable kalpa hence may I become an Exalted 
One." 

Then was the third vow made. 

As King Arka the Bodhisattva gave to the Buddha named 
Parvata eighty-thousand grottos adorned with the seven 
precious substances. Then was the fourth vow made. 

1 See note p. 36, 



46 THE MAHAVASTU 

He spent six years being instructed by Ratanendra^ in the 
ideas of impermanence, mental images, and the pleasures of 
the senses. Then was the fifth vow made. 

Here ends the siitra^ on the " Many-Buddhas " in the 

Mahdvastu-A vaddna. 



A VISIT TO THE ^UDDHAVASA DEVAS 

Thus have I heard. The Exalted One was once staying 
near Rajagriha on Mount Gridhrakuta. Then the venerable 
Maha-Maudgalyayana dressed early in the morning, took his 
alms-bowl and robe, and set out for the city of Rajagriha 
in quest of alms. 

But, before he had gone far, this thought occurred to him : 
"It is as yet much too early to go to Rajagriha for alms. 
What now if I pay a visit to the Suddhavasa devas ? " Then 
the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana(55), in the time it would 
take a strong man to stretch out his bent arm and bend his 
outstretched arm, rose up in the air at Rajagriha and in one 
instantaneous stride alighted near the Suddhavasa devas. 

The Suddhavasa devas saw him coming when he was yet 
far off, and came in a body to meet him. They bowed their 
heads at his feet, and stood to one side. As they thus stood 
to one side the numerous Suddhavasa devas addressed the 
venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana in verse : — 

It was after a very long time, after he had passed through 
a hundred thousand kalpas in quest of the perfection of 
enlightenment, that the infinitely precious Buddha appeared 
in the world. 

When they had thus spoken, the numerous Suddhavasa 
devas bowed their heads at the feet of the venerable Maha- 
Maudgalyayana, stood to one side, and forthwith vanished. 

1 A name unknown to the Pali texts. Of the other names on this page 
neither Guru nor Parvata (Pabbata) appears in those texts as the name 
of a Buddha, although the latter is the name of both a Paccekabuddha and 
a Bodhisattva, Araka ( = Arka) is the name of the Bodhisattva as a brahmin 
teacher at /. 2. 195 and A. 4. 136-8 {D.P.N.). 

2 Strictly speaking, as Senart points out, the foregoing is neither a siitra, 
nor is the subject-matter " The Many-Buddhas." That subject is dealt with 
rather in the following. 



VISIT TO gUDDHAVASA DEVA 47 

Then the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana reflected, " So 
hard is it to win enlightenment, requiring as it does a 
hundred thousand kalpas." 

After that, the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana, in the time 
it would take a strong man to stretch out his bent arm and 
bend his outstretched arm, with one instantaneous stride 
disappeared from the world of the Suddhavasa devas and 
alighted in the city of Rajagriha(56). He went on his round 
for alms in the city of Rajagriha, and when he had returned, 
after the midday meal, he put down bis bowl, doffed his robe, 
washed his feet, and went to the Exalted One. Bowing his 
head at the feet of the Exalted One, he sat down on one side. 
And as he thus sat down, the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana 
said to the Exalted One, " Lord, after I had dressed early 
in the morning, I took my bowl and my robe and went to 
collect alms in the great city of Rajagriha. I had not gone far. 
Lord, before the thought occurred to me : "It is much too early 
as yet to go to the great city of Rajagriha to collect alms. 
What now if I go to visit the Suddhavasa devas ? It is long 
since I have visited them." Then in the time it would take 
a strong man to stretch out his bent arm or bend his out- 
stretched arm, I rose in the air at Rajagriha, and in one 
instantaneous stride I alighted near the company of the 
Suddhavasa devas. The numerous Suddhavasa devas. Lord, 
saw me coming a long way off, and when they had seen me 
they came to meet me, bowed their heads at my feet and 
stood to one side. As they thus stood the numerous ^uddhavasa 
devas addressed me in a verse : — 

It was after a very long time, after he had passed through 
a hundred thousand kalpas in quest of the perfection of 
enlightenment, that the infinitely precious Buddha appeared 
in the world. 

" When they had thus spoken the numerous Suddhavasa 
devas bowed their heads at my feet (57) and departed. Hence 
the thought occurred to me : * How hard it is to win the 
unsurpassed enlightenment, since it requires a hundred 
thousand kalpas. What now if I go to the Exalted One and 
question him on this matter ? What the Exalted One will 



48 THE MAHAVASTU 

declare that will I believe '. What does the Exalted One say 
concerning this ? " 

When the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana had thus spoken, 
the Exalted One said to him, " The one hundred thousand 
kalpas of the ^uddhavasa devas are too short a time, Maha- 
Maudgalyayana. It is for immeasurable incalculable kalpas 
and under a countless number of Tathagatas, Arhans, and 
perfect Buddhas that those who seek perfect enlightenment 
in the future go on acquiring the roots of virtue. I knew 
three-hundred kotis of Buddhas of the name of Sakyamuni, 
whom, with their communities of disciples, 1 honoured, 
venerated, revered, worshipped and esteemed when I was a 
universal king aiming at perfect enlightenment in the future. 
And those exalted Buddhas thus proclaimed to me : ' You 
will in the future become a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect 
Buddha, proficient in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, an 
unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, 
and a teacher of devas and men.' 

" Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, I knew eight -hundred Bud- 
dhas named Dipamkara, who, with their communities of disciples 
were honoured, venerated, revered, worshipped and esteemed 
by me, when, as a universal king I was aiming at perfect 
enlightenment in the future. And these exalted Buddhas 
proclaimed to me." Repeat everywhere as in the first section : 
"You will become in the future" and so on. 1 knew(58), 
Maha-Maudgalyayana, five hundred Buddhas of the name of 
Padmottara. Repeat as above : " You will become in the 
future " and so on. I knew eight thousand Buddhas named 
Pradyota, three kotis named Puspa, eighteen thousand named 
Maradhvaja, at the time when I was living the holy life and 
aiming at perfect enlightenment in the future. And these 
exalted Buddhas made their proclamation of me. 

"I knew, Maha-Maudgalyayana, five hundred Buddhas of the 
name of Padmottara, who, with their communities of disciples 
were honoured by me. I knew ninety thousand named Kasyapa; 
fifteen thousand named Pratapa ; two thousand named 
Kaundinya, and eighty-four thousand Pratyekabuddhas. I 
knew the Tathagata, Arhan and perfect Buddha Samantagupta. 
I knew the thousand Buddhas named Jambudhvaja; the 
eighty-four thousand named Indradhvaj a ; the fifteen thousand 



VISIT TO SUDDHAVASA DEVAS 



49 



named Aditya ; the sixty-two hundred named Anyonya, and 
the sixty-four(59) named Samitavin. 

" Suprabhasa was the name of the Tathagata, Arhan, and 
perfect Buddha when the Bodhisattva Maitreya, as the universal 
king, Vairocana, was aiming at perfect enlightenment in 
the future and first acquired the roots of goodness. And, 
Maha-Maudgalyayana, when Suprabhasa was the Tathagata, 
the measure of man's life was four times eighty-four thousand 
kotis of years, and men lived more or less to this age.^ 

"Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when Suprabhasa was the 
Tathagata, Arhan and perfect Buddha, there were three 
assemblies. The first assembly of disciples consisted of ninety- 
six kotis, who were aU arhans, who had destroyed the dsravas,^ 
who had kept all the observances, who were emancipated by 
perfect knowledge, who had broken the fetters that tied them 
to existence and who had reached the goal they had set them- 
selves. The second assembly of disciples consisted of ninety- 
four kotis, who were all arhans, who had destroyed the dsravas, 
had kept the observances, were emancipated by perfect 
knowledge, had broken the fetters that bound them to existence, 
and had reached their goal. The third assembly of disciples 
consisted of ninety-two kotis who were all arhans, who had 
destroyed the dsravas, had kept the observances, were eman- 
cipated by perfect knowledge, had broken the fetters that 
bound them to existence, and had reached their goal. 

" Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when King Vairocana had seen 
the exalted Suprabhasa, he experienced a sublime thrill, 
ecstasy, joy and gladness. For ten thousand years he honoured 
(60) venerated, revered, worshipped and esteemed that Exalted 
One and his community of disciples. With honour and rever- 
ence he gave his protection to the assembly and to the 
community of disciples, and assured to men their due span 



1 Antard ca uccdvacatd dyusa : literally, " (men's) lives were high and low- 
within (this limit)." 

2 A wrong Sanskritisation of the Pali dsava, a term for which many- 
translations have been offered, but none of them entirely satisfactory. It has 
been deemed better to retain the Buddhist Sanskrit form. Meanwhile, the 
definitions of dsava in the Pali Dictionary will give an indication of its meaning, 
literal and applied : (i) " Spirit, the intoxicating extract or secretion of a tree 
or flower." (2) " Discharge from a sore." (3) " In psychology, a technical 
term for certain specified ideas which intoxicate the mind. . . ." The dsavas 
are four in number, viz. sensuality, love of life, specvflation, and ignorance. 



50 THE MAHAVASTU 

of years. Then he conceived the thought : " May I become 
in some future time a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, 
proficient in knowledge and conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed 
knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, a teacher 
of devas and men, as this exalted Suprabhasa now is. Thus 
may r preach the dharma that is endowed with all good qualities, 
altogether perfect in all good qualities, as the exalted 
Suprabhasa now does. Thus may I preserve in harmony a 
community of disciples as the exalted Suprabhasa now does. 
Thus may devas and men decide that I am to be hearkened to 
and believed in as they now do the exalted Suprabhasa. 
May I become so for the benefit and welfare of mankind, 
out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the multitude, 
for the good and well-being of devas and men." 

" Even so, Maha-Maudgalyayana, there is something to add to 
this. For it was after he had been a Bodhisattva for forty-four 
kalpas that Maitreya conceived the thought of enlightenment. 

" There was a Tathagata, Arhan, and perfect Buddha named 
Aparajitadhvaja who, with his community of disciples, was 
honoured, venerated, revered, worshipped and esteemed by 
me, when, as the universal king, Dridhadhanu, I was aiming 
at perfect enlightenment in the future. I clothed him with 
five hundred costly^(61) suits of garments, and when he passed 
utterly away I erected a tope for him, a yojana high and a 
yojana deep.^ And all the time, Maha-Maudgalyayana, this 
was my aspiration : " When beings come to be without refuge, 
support, protection, shelter and succour, when they become 
characterised^ by fickleness, malice and folly, when they live 
in accordance with wrong standards of conduct, and generally 
go to crowd the worlds of woe, then may 1 awake to the 
unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. May I do so for the benefit 
and welfare of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for 
the sake of the multitude, for the good of devas and men." 

^ Reading mahdrhantehi, " worth much," for mahantehi, " large, great." 
The former is conjectured from the MS. variation between mahantehi and 
arhantehi. Senart's note, however, is : " On remarquera la resolution anomale 
du compose : mahantehi . . . dusyayugasatehi est pour mahddusya." 

* Ahhinivesena, literally " in entering in [sc. the earth)." Abhinivesa in 
this case is several times used in the Mahdvastu to denote a dimension in 
contradistinction to " height," e.g. i. 196 ; 3. 222, 232. 

' Utsada = Pali ussada in this sense, possibly a derivative meaning from 
that of *' prominent," " prominence." See note p. 6. 



VISIT TO SuDDHAvASA DEVAS 



51 



For the Tathagatas, Arhans, and perfect Buddhas, Maha- 
Maudgalyayana, live their lives for the sake of the world, 
doing the things that are hard to do." 

Thus spoke the Exalted One, and the venerable Maha- 
Maudgalyayana was enraptured, and rej oiced at what he had said. 

Thirty kotis of Conquerors named Sdkyamuni appeared 
in the world, and eight-hundred-thousand named Dipamkara. 

Sixty thousand named Pradyota. . . .^ Then three kotis 
of lion-voiced Buddhas named Puspa. 

Eighteen thousand Sugatas of the name Mdradhvaja 
appeared in the world while [Sdkyamuni] lived the holy life 
in his desire to attain omniscience. 

He adored five hundred Sugatas named Padmottara(62) 
and two thousand others named Kaundinya. 

He adored infinite countless kotis o/nayutas of Pratyeka- 
buddhas, and a thousand Buddhas named famhudhvaja. 

Eighty-four thousand Sugatas named Indradhvaja, and 
ninety thousand named Kdsyapa ; 

Fifteen thousand Sugatas named Pratdpa, and fifteen 
thousand named Aditya. 

Sixty-two hundred Sugatas named Anyonya, and sixty-four 
thousand named Samitdvin. 

There were these and countless other Dasabalas, ^ noble Kolita, ^ 
all lights of the world who had overcome impermanence.* 

All the powers of those who bear the excellent marks of a 
Great Man, Kolita, do not come within the time and defini- 
tion of what is impermanent. ^ 

^ A lacuna. 

2 A name for the Buddhas as possessing the " ten powers." See p. 126. 

3 I.e. — Maha-Maudgalyayana. See p. 6. 

* The text and metre are faulty here. Senart's interpretation is : " tous 
ces flambeaux du monde ne peuvent etre enumere k cause de (notre) 
impermanence." This, like his translation of the next stanza (q.v.), is some- 
what strained, and not in keeping with the concluding portion of this verse 
passage, the burden of which is the apprehending and overcoming of the power 
of impermanence. The word samitd, which is unintelligible here, has been, 
in the above translation, taken to conceal some form of the causative of sam, 
like samayitvd, for example, " having suppressed " or " overcome." This, 
of course, involves reading anityatdm for anityatdya. Senart assumes in the 
place of samitd some word meaning " qui ne pent etre enumere." 

* A nityatdya, for unity atdye, which is demanded by the metre, is here taken 
as an oblique case used in a genitive sense. Senart's translation is " tous 
les forces . . . echappent au temps et a 1' enumeration, a cause de notre 
impermanence." But the enumeration of a Tathagata's baldni, was, of course, 
quite a definite one, and a commonplace of Buddhist dogmatics. 



52 themahAvastu 

Apprehending the remorseless force of impermanence, 
(Sakyamuni) as soon as he had worshipped [a Buddha], 
resolutely exerted himself to destroy that power. 

" An immeasurable incalculable kalpa afterwards, Maudgaly- 
ayana, there was a perfect Buddha named Ratna, a Tathagata, 
an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, proficient in knowledge and 
conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a 
driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. 
At that time I was a universal king. 

" For the exalted Ratna' I built eighty-four thousand gabled 
buildings, (63) bright and fair to behold, made of the seven 
precious substances, gold, silver, pearls, beryl, crystal, white 
coral and ruby. When I had presented these to the Exalted 
One I made a vow to win enlightenment. (To which Ratna 
replied), " Exalted Buddhas do not pass away until they have 
anointed an heir to the throne. He will become a Buddha 
in the world immediately after me. As I now proclaim of 
Maitreya, he will become the Buddha next after me." 

This Exalted One with his eighty-four thousand disciples, 
lived on for eighty-four cycles of the world's dissolution and 
evolution. At each dissolution of the world the Exalted One, 
together with his eighty-four thousand disciples, passed into the 
realm of the Abhasvara devas. When the world re-evolved 
once more, he came into the world and preached dharma. 
And at each such time I became a universal king, and built 
and presented to the exalted Ratna eighty-four thousand 
gabled buildings. 

" This, Maha-Maudgalyayana, is the " resolving " career. 
And what is the " conforming " career ? In this career, the great 
being, the Bodhisattva, is established in conformity with his 
(future) enlightenment. This, Maha-Maudgalyayana, is the 
" conforming " career. 

" And what is the " persevering "career ? Vivartacaryd means 
that Bodhisattvas fall away and go again through the round 
of rebirths. Avivartacaryd means that they are unwaveringly 
set for enlightenment. " 

^ Here and on the next page called Ratnavan. 



THETENBH0MIS 53 



THE TEN BHIJMIS 

Here must be given the Ten Bhumis^ and the history of 
Dipamkara. 

Homage to the Buddhas ! Homage to the Arhans ! 
The beginning of the Ten Bhumis. 

Incomparable is the insight into dharma of those who in 
the round of rebirths^ {Q^) have gathered lives through several 
hundred kalpas. The glorious Conquerors pass through ten 
bhumis. 3 Hear,^ ye wise, with what feats of wonder^ they 
do so. 

Rid of pride, arrogance, conceit and folly, endued with 
perfect gentleness, feeling reverence for the omniscient ones, 
listen to the noble Conqueror's teaching. 

When the Tathdgata, the Sdkyan's joy, radiant like the 
sheen of gold, passed away, the earth, girt by sea and sky, 
with its rocks and forests and mountains, shook. 

Seeing the hair-raising, terrible earthquake, Kdsyapa, 
perfect in piety, ^ then fell to thinking : — 

"Why does the firm and wealth-bearing earth, that supports 
ocean and sky, with its mountains, shake to-day with such 
a terrible roar ? Surely it is because the Tathdgata has passed 
away." 

And when, with his deva-sight,"^ he saw that the Tathdgata 

1 Bhumi, literally " ground," " soil," " earth," here used to denote a 
career, or stage of development, of a Bodhisattva. 

2 Vatte, according to Senart for varte, an irregular Sanskritisation of the 
Pali vatta. But the whole passage is obscure, and vatte is strangely placed 
in the construction. Perhaps, we should read vande, " I extol the incomparable 
insight into dharma of those who have, etc." 

3 Literally, " there are ten bhumis of the glorious Conquerors." 
* Adopting Senart's suggestion of sundtha for sadd. 

^ VikuYvisu, from vikurv, this stem having, as Senart shows, the sense 
of " miracle," etc., derived from the primary sense of vikri, " to transform," 
etc. 

^ Or, " in scrupulous observance of routine rules of conduct." Dhutaguna 
is the virtue of keeping what in Pali is termed dhutanga, " a set of practices 
leading to the state of, or appropriate to, a dhuta, that is, to a scrupulous 
person " {Pali Dictionary). The use of dhutaraja on p. 66 in the sense of 
" undefiled," literally, " with defilement shaken off " (dhuta), serves to show 
that the dhutanga practices were regarded as marking, or conducing to, 
stainlessness of character. 

^ Seep. 125. 



54 THE MAHAVASTa 

adored by the Kinnara^ devas{65) had made an end of all 
the ties that hound him to existence and had passed away 
between the twin Sdl^ trees, he said, 

"Now it is not seemly for me logo to Gotama, the Tathdgata, 
by means of my magic power. A pilgrim on foot will I go 
to see the peerless sage, the best of speakers." 

When he had thus reflected, the wise Kdsyapa, the monk 
supreme among the many monks, distressed in mind made 
haste and presently came to him who had won final 
release. 

Then Kdsyapa felt an overpowering desire to salute the 
Conqueror's feet, to salute the great seer's feet, by caressing 
them with his head. 

Four sturdy Mallas^ had come on the scene carrying large 
firebrands fanned to flame, which had been prepared by the 
chief M alias. 

The firebrands were carried by the energetic and strong 
chariot-warriors to the funeral-pile {6Q) , but there they were 
at once extinguished as though they had been drenched with 
water. 

In doubt and perplexity the Mallas, reverently, obeisantly 
and courteously approached Aniruddha,^ who had a deva's 
sight, to ask him this question. 

"What, we pray you, is the reason, what the cause, son 
of the Conqueror, that these firebrands which we brought 
with us have been suddenly put out? Noble sir, declare 
the reason for this." 

[Aniruddha replied] "The devas, you must know, are 
gracious to Kdsyapa, and it is by the force of his magic power 
that the flames will not burn before he who has pre-eminence 
comes along." 

^ Literally " a what-do-you-call-it man," kim-nara. For formation 
compare Sanskrit kimsakhi, " a bad friend," etc., and Pali kimpurisa, " a 
wild man of the woods." A Kinnara was half man, half beast, or, as in Pali, 
a bird with man's head. As in the case of other fabulous beings, these were 
taken up by late Buddhist thought and classed as devas or re-incarnations 
of human beings. 

2 Sdla or sdla, " Shorea robusta." 

3 Inhabitants of Malla, one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas or provinces 
of India in Gotama 's time. They are generally identified with the Malloi 
of the Greek accounts of the wars of Alexander the Great. {D.P.N.) 

^ In Pali usually Anuruddha, first cousin of the Buddha, and one of his 
most eminent disciples. 



THE TEN BHOMIS 55 

Thus did the pious Kdsyapa realise his desire to salute 
with his head the two feet of the glorious and mighty Dasahala, 
the great sage. 

And the saintly'^ Kdsyapa, a son of the Conqueror, honoured 
by all the monks, raised his joined hands and went up to 
the Conqueror's funeral-pile, reverently, with bowed head 
and a humble heart. 

(&J)When he saw the Tathdgata in all his superb beauty 
laid out on a funeral-pile, he exclaimed, "Fie on existence 
that always bears the manifest marks of its true nature.'"^ 

"What creature is there that comes into existence without 
falling into the power of death, since he who was but lately 
radiant as fire and gold, is now extinguished like a lamp 
without a light? " 

The glorious Kdsyapa, reverently raising his joined hands 
threw himself on his face at the Conqueror's feet, and for 
the last time adored the great seer and sage. 

Those two feet, adorned with perfect circles, extolled by 
Ddnava^ devas and honoured by Yaksa^ snake-demons 
forthwith broke through the funeral-pile. 

Taking in his hands the feet of the sage, and bringing 
them together over his head, Kdsyapa turned^ to the great 
and learned sage [Aniruddha] and spoke to him : — 

{QSyWhy, learned friend, are the sage's feet dulled and 
not gleaming ? Tell me the whole cause of it, I pray you. 
Why do these feet no longer charm the eyes ? " 

When he had heard this, the learned and wise [A niruddha] 
replied to Kdsyapa: "These cold feet have been soiled by 
the floods of tears of mourners, besmirched by their weeping. 

"Soiled, therefore, by weeping men the great sage's feet 
do not now gleam as they used to do. Understand the matter 
so, my devout friend." 

Kdsyapa, his mind full of the greatest reverence for the 

^ Dhutarajo, see note p. 53. 

^ An alternative rendering, favoured by Senart, would be, " He exclaimed, 
' Fie on existence,' in a voice that betrayed his true nature." The position 
of iti, however, on which Senart bases his version, is often irregular in the 
Mahdvastu, and it does not necessarily support him, while the sentiment 
of the next stanza seems to support the translation given above. 

3 A name for the Asuras, as being descendants of Danu. 

* See note p. 25. 

^ Antikdvacara = sarMkdvacara, " keeping " or " being near." 



56 THE MAHAVASTU 

Master, fell on his face, and again and again caressed with his 
hands the Sage's feet which were marked with perfect circles. 

As soon as the Master' s feet had been saluted by the pious 
and virtuous Kdsyapa, the funeral pyre of the Lord of the 
world went up in flames, fanned by a gust of wind. 

(69) ^s the moon-like body of the Conqueror was burning 
the five hundred holy men came up and together recited a 
chant as he passed away : — 

*'He who bore the excellent marks of a Great Man has 
passed away, he who was our Master, the guide of Suras^ 
and A suras. What does it profit us to tarry in the world 
any longer ? Let us now abandon our bodies. 

''We have entirely accomplished our duties ; we have 
attained griefless endless permanence, having passed through 
all the various lives. Let us then, even here and now, pass 
away." 

When they had thus spoken, Kdsyapa, pure in his piety, 
said to the holy men, "No, my friends, you cannot here and 
now pass away, immune from any source of rebirth. 

"For, if you did, sectarians and heretics would arise and 
do harm to the peerless doctrine. This is the occasion of the 
Sramana's^ cremation, and that is all we are concerned with. 

"Those world-saviours, those many lion-hearted men, 
(10)the wise and valiant yet to come, could not appear 
exultantly in the world if the Master's teaching were not 
unified. ^ 

"Therefore, without a break and in perfect unison, recite 
the Sugata's excellent teaching, so that this recital well and 
truly made, may long have bright renown among men and 
devas."^ 

"So be it," said these holy men, heeding Kdsyapa' s words. 
And they pondered then, "Ln what place, now, shall be held 
the assembly of those who believe in the dharma ? 

^ " Gods " of Hindu mythology as opposed to " Giants " (Asuras). The 
name is formed from asura [as-ura) on the false assumption that the latter 
was a negative formation. Cf. note p. 24. 

2 I.e. the Buddha, the " ascetic " or " recluse," par excellence. 

3 Sankaliya " un optatif passif de sankal dans le sens d' ' accumuler,' 
* reunir ' " (Senart). Some form of samskri " make perfect " (cf. sdsanakard, 
p. 71) or of sanklip would be expected here. Note that one MS. 
has samkariya. 

* Maru, a frequent synonym for deva. 



THE TEN BHtJMIS 57 

"Let it be in the pleasant luxuriant grove near the fair city 
of Rdjagriha that is the capital of Magadha's lord, in the 
grotto named Saptaparna. 

"On the northern slope of Mount Vaihdya, on a rocky- 
surfaced spot of earth shaded hy divers trees. There let the 
council of dharma he held." 

Then, strong hy their mastery of magic power{71) those 
sons of the Conqueror instanteously rose up in the air, and 
flew like a flock of flamingoes on their way to lake Mdnasa. ^ 

Alighting on the slope of the fair mountain they entered 
the forest and there sat down. When the Sugata's teaching 
had been recited hands of celestial drums crashed forth. 

And when they who were establishing the Sugata's teaching 
heard the echoing sound of the drums and saw the terrible 
quaking of the earth, they spoke thus to the saintly Kdsyapa: — - 

"Why, pious friend, does the earth with its oceans and its 
streams tremble ? Why do celestial drums joyfully resound ? 
And why are celestial garlands strewn around? " 

And the pious Kdsyapa replied to the holy sons of the 
Conqueror : "These companies of devas have assembled 
because they have heard the harmonious recital of the doctrine. 

"These assembled devas, themselves characterised by noble 
harmony, reverently rejoice, and do honour to the Peerless 
One. {7 2) Eager were they to hear^ the whole harmonious 
doctrine. 

"For after many a hundred kalpas of existence, during 
the long night he conceived this thought^ for the benefit and 
welfare of devas and men : 'Free myself, I will set men free.' 

" 'I, who have won the highest good that is beyond grief, 
and the cessation of the ill of rebirth in all states, for the 
benefit of devas and men will set rolling the wondrous wheel 
of dharma in the city of the Kdsis.' 

"With those five sages, the supreme guide of those who 
preach the Vinaya delivered hosts of devas and nayutas 
o/kotis of beings from rebirth and death. 

"He, the lion-hearted man, the Exalted One, who gave 



^ A sacred lake, the resort of wild geese and swans, on Mount Kailasa, 
in the Himalayas, the home of Kuvera and ^iva. Cf. Meghaduta, 7 and 11. 
2 " Le potential srinuya comporte un nuance de desir " (Senart). 
^ Abhyupagata for the usual cittamabhyupagata. 



58 THE MAHAVASTU 

happy release to men and devas who were wont to he fond 
of existence, having crushed all his adversaries, has now 
passed away without regret.'* 

When the hosts of devas hovering in the air had heard 
this entrancing discourse of the pious Kdsyapa, they joyfully 
uttered these heart-delighting words : — 

*'Hail, hail to him who is an expert in piety, (73) who is 
the infallible expositor of the Master's teaching. You have 
proclaimed the worth of him whose wisdom is infinite. Men 
and devas have found joy in the excellent Conqueror.^ 

"For he is supreme among devas and men. He is the 
Foremost Man,^ the mighty sage, the unsurpassed refuge, 
the Lord, he who has discerned the truth for the sake of 
living beings. 

"He whose virtues are sung here, the knowing Daiabala,has 
shown that the skandhas^ are but as a lightning's flash, as a 
bubble of air, or as the snow-white foam on the crest of a wave. 

"He whose virtues are sung here, the Foremost Man, has 
shown the pleasures of sense to be like a black serpent's head, 
like a flashing^ sword, and like cups full of poison. 

"By his perfectly sound beliefs he saw the unfluctuating 
bliss beyond, and out of his joy in charity he ungrudgingly 
revealed the wonder of it. 

"As a glow-worm loses its brightness when the sun rises, 
(74) and no longer glistens,^ so, when the light-bringing 
Conqueror arises fickle heretics lose their lustre. 

" Behold, he who had won perfect strength in magic power, 
he who was a lord with a Conqueror's might, possessed of 
clear insight, a Buddha, the eye of the world, ^ radiant like 
an orb of gold, has passed away. 

1 The text has Jetavane " in Jeta Grove," but, as Senart points out, Jeta 
Grove is obviously out of place in this scene. Senart suggests that the right 
reading should be Jinavare, and this has been adopted for the translation. 

2 Agrapurusa, see note p. 4. 

3 " The elements or substrata of sensory existence, sensorial aggregates 
which condition the appearance of life in any form " {Pali Dictionary, s.v. 
khandha), 

* Ruccha, which Senart takes to be a Prakrit form of ruksa. 

^ The same simile, in very much the same words, is found in Uddna, p. 73. 
(The translator owes this reference to Miss I. B. Horner.) 

^ Locanam bhagavatasya, literally " the eye of the Exalted One " ; 
bhagavatasya must be regarded as a genitive of definition, so that the phrase 
is equivalent to " the Exalted One who is the eye " [sc. of the world). Cf. 
lokapradyota and note p. 37. 



THE TEN BHCMIS 59 

"Fie on those existences which are like autumn clouds, 
or like cities of sand, since he who possessed a store of virtues 
and an ocean of consummate wisdom, has passed away. 

"For a hundred causes and reasons the Guide roars the 
roar of a lion-man, as he sees that no death will again follow 
his life. No greater truth than this exists." 

The sky was gay with garlands of celestial blossoms while 
this hymn of praise to the Sugata was sung. Pervaded by 
the essence of celestial sandalwood the sky was fragrant with 
ambrosial perfume. 

Then the venerable Maha-Maudgalyayana addressed the 
venerable Maha-Kasyapa, " son of the Conqueror," said he, 
** set the holy men to examine those in the assembly whose 
minds are assailed by doubt. "(75) And so Ka^yapa said to 
Aniruddha, Upali, the elder Alakundala-Bhattiya, and Sun- 
darananda : — 

"0 sons of the Conqueror, examine the minds of those 
assembled and find out who is doubting and on what matter." 

And they, experienced in the Conqueror's teaching, 
obeyed, and said "So be it." They can see the minds of others 
as clearly as a fruit held in their hands. 

To the holy Pralambabdhu Kdsyapa said, "Create at once 
an arena on the summit of Mount GridhrakUta. 

"Eighteen thousand have come together for the assembly. 
Call up your magic power to scrutinise them all." 

To the holy VicintacUta Kdsyapa said, "Create at once 
in the sky clouds that shall be as rich in water as the Ganges. 

"Everywhere let flowers of divers scents spread their 
fragrance, and forthwith cause the smell of raw human flesh 
to disappear." 

To the holy man named Haryaksa Kdsyapa said, "0 son 
of the Sugata, quickly exert your concentration to prevent the 
goods of householders being lost." 

To the holy man Varuna Kdsyapa said, "Keep away 
from men baneful flies and gnats." 

(76) To the holy man Ajakarna Kdsyapa said, "Keep 
away from men hunger and thirst and sickness." 

And the sons of the Conqueror obeyed Kdsyapa, saying 
"So be it," and bestirred themselves to the tasks ordained them 



6o THE MAHAVASTU 

Then the elder Kd^yapa said to Kdtydyana, "Speak of 
the careers of the great-hearted kings of dharma." 

When this had been said, the wise and noble-born Kdtyd- 
ayna, in reply to Kdiyapa's question, spoke of the careers 
of the Buddhas, 

"Hear, son of the Conqueror, the careers, set out in due 
order, of the all-seeing Buddhas whose conduct is unsullied. 

"Verily, son of the Conqueror, there are ten bhumis 
for the Bodhisattvas [. . .J.^ What are the ten ? 

"The first is called duraroha,^ the second baddhamana, 
the third puspamandita, 

"The fourth rucira, the fifth cittavistara, the sixth rupavati, 
the seventh durjaya, 

"The eighth is called janmanidesa ; the ninth derives its 
name from yauvarajya, and the tenth from abhiseka. These 
are the ten bhUmis. 

{77)When Kdtydyana had so spoken in verse, the learned 
Kdsyapa then, following his purpose,^ addressed this in- 
comparable exhortation to Kdtydyana. 

"Tell me now the manner of the transitions from bhumi 
to bhumi, and how the glorious Bodhisattvas lapse* as they 
pass from one life to another. 

"And how do these choice beings^ advance^? This tell me. 
And say what their dispositions are. 

"How do they who are endued with the essence of being"^ 
convert beings ? How do they give alms ? All this explain 
to me. 

"Do you, who have seen Buddhas and can speak with 
charm, tell me their names and origin. ' ' Thus spoke Kdsyapa . 

^ Lacuna. 

2 These names mean respectively, " Difficult to enter," " Fastening." 
"Adorned with flowers," " Beautiful," " Expansion of the heart," " Lovely," 
" Difficult to conquer," "Ascertainment of birth," " Installation as Crown 
Prince," and " Coronation." See Har Dayal : The Bodhisaitva Doctrine in 
Buddhist Sanskrit Literature (1932), pp. 273 ff. 

' Literally " for this purpose," ityartham. 

* vivartante — " turn away." 

5 Sattvasdrd, i.e. the Bodhisattvas. Cf. M. 3. 69, sattasdrd applied to 
paccekabuddhas. 

• Samvartante — " Come to be," " arise," etc. Both this verb and vivartante 
are here used in more or less their literal sense, without reference, that is, 
to their special application to denote, respectively, the " evolution " and 
" dissolution " of a cycle of the world. (See note p. 43.) 

' Sattvasamanvitd, same as sattvasdrd. 



THE FIRST BHOMI 6i 

When they had heard these words the saintly great beings^ 
stood up an reverence for the great-hearted Buddhas, 

When this had been spoken Katyayana said to Kasyapa, 
"It is not possible, O son of the Conqueror, to measure the 
hhumis of Bodhisattvas. They last through so many, nay 
infinite, kalpas. But every existence of Bodhisattvas is 
succinctly defined as an " earth," whence the name hhumi." 

When Katyayana had said this, the venerable Ananda asked 
him, "If, O son of the Conqueror, a single hhumi is immeasur- 
able, (78) how, I ask you, can there be a distinct conception 
of the others ? " 

When this had been said, the venerable Katyayana addressed 
the venerable Ananda in verse : — 

As the kalpa has been declared immeasurable by the 
discerning, truth-speaking One himself, and the preaching 
of the dharma goes on for several kalpas — this, my friend, 
is what the pre-eminent man teaches. 

So the bhiimi has been declared immeasurable by the discerning 
One whose understanding is unobstructed. And this definition 
of general characteristics^ applies equally to the other bhiimis. 

THE FIRST BHUMI 

" son of the Conqueror, Bodhisattvas in their first bhiimi, 
ordinary men though they be, win fruition, become worthy 
of offerings 3 in the worlds, where they have bright renown. 
They are as described in this verse : — 

The glorious Bodhisattvas are perfect in liberality and light up 
the worlds to make them shine as radiantly as moon and sun. 

" There are eight rules of conduct for Bodhisattvas when they 
are in the first bhiimi. What are the eight ? They are liberafity, 
compassion, indefatigability, humility, study of all the scrip- 
tures, heroism, contempt for the world, and fortitude. They 
are as described in this verse : — 

1 Mahdsattvd, i.e. the saintly disciples already referred to. 

2 Adopting Senart's interpretation of sdmdnyasanketdndm nirupanam. 

3 Daksintya (Pali dakkhineyya), worthy of a daksind (Pali dakkhind) or a 
donation to a man of religious or moral worth, intended, at least originally, 
to secure the alleviation of the sufferings of the pretas (petas) " ghosts " ; 
but subsequently the idea seems to have been that the donor of such a gift 
acquired merit for himself. 

F 



62 THE MAHAVASTU 

{19)The Bodhisattvas delight in generosity , and themselves 
become objects of pity ^ Although overwhelmed by ills, yet 
in their wisdom they turn for consolation to the words and 
virtues of the sweetly-speaking Exalted Ones. Thus do these 
beings live in their first bhumi. 

Judging the doctrines which pass current to be without 
substance, and realising what human affection is, they 
abandon the world, deeming it a thing of straw. They amass 
virtue through enduring bitter sufferings. 

" There is one reason why Bodhisattvas lapse in their second 
bhumi. What is that one ? They come to contemplate life 
with satisfaction. There are two reasons why Bodhisattvas 
lapse in the second bhUmi. What are the two ? They become 
lustful and indolent through indulgence in sensual pleasures. 
Again, there are three reasons why Bodhisattvas lapse in their 
second bhumi. What are the three ? They become covetous, 
timid and weak-willed. There are six reasons why Bodhisattvas 
who have lived^ in the first bhUmi lapse in the second bhumi. 
What are the six ? They live without being conscious of the 
impermanence of things. They become addicted to harmful- 
ness. They become inveterate haters. They become gross 
and sluggish, and immersed in the affairs of the world. O son of 
the Conqueror, (80) Bodhisattvas who have lapsed, are lapsing, 
and will lapse do so for these twelve reasons, and for no other." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " son of the Conqueror 
how great merit do the Bodhisattvas, both those who 
lapse, and those who do not, generate when they first conceive 
the thought, * May we become perfect Buddhas ? ' " 

When this was said, the venerable Maha-Katyayana replied 
to the venerable Maha-Kasyapa, " Behold, O son of the 
Conqueror, he who vows to win enlightenment generates richer 
merit than he who should present the Dasabalas with Jam- 
bud vipa and its hoard of the seven precious substances. 
O son of the Conqueror, he who vows to win enlightenment 
generates richer merit than he who should give the Dasabalas 
the four continents with their heaps of jewels. O son of the 

^ Karundyamdnd. In view of the context this meaning seems to be rightly 
preferred by Senart to the other sense of the word, " full of compassion." 
2 Literally " have stood," sthitd. 



THE FIRST BHUMI 63 

Conqueror, he who vows to win enlightenment generates richer 
merit than he who should give the virtuous Buddhas all the 
three thousand universes with their stores of treasures and 
riches. O son of the Conqueror, he who vows to win enlighten- 
ment generates richer merit than he who should offer the 
Saviours of the world whole universes as numerous as the sands 
of the river Ganges, and all filled with heaps of precious stones. 
O son of the Conqueror, he who vows to win enlightenment 
generates richer merit than he who should honour Foremost 
Men^ by giving them whole universes as numerous as the sands 
of the ocean, and all their varied precious stones." 

And why ? Because these are not the purposes of ordinary 
men. Because it is for the sake of mankind that these valiant 
men form their wishes. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, (81) do those Bodhisattvas who continue in un- 
wavering progress^ make their first vow when they have acquired 
merits, or when they have acquired the roots of goodness?" 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Katyayana 
replied to the venerable Maha-Kasyapa in verse ^ : — 

First they worship the glorious Tathdgatas with great 
reverence, hut not yet do these supreme men turn their thoughts 
towards becoming a Foremost Man. 

These wise men honour kotis of Pratyekabuddhas, men 
^who have won the highest good, but not yet do they turn 
their thoughts to a knowledge of the whole dharma. 

They worship kotis of those who have won mastery over 
all the powers,^ long since reached perfect mastery, but not 
yet do these leaders turn their thoughts to crossing the ocean 
of knowledge. 

But when they have laid up abundant store of merit, and 
have body and mind well developed, they approach the 
beautiful Buddhas, turn their thoughts towards enlightenment, 
(and say :) — 

^ Agrapudgalds. See note p. 39. 

' Avaivarlikatdyai parindmenti ; with Senart, taking the verb as a 
denominative from parindma, " change," " transformation," " progress." 
3 Some of these verses have already occurred on p. 46-7 of text. 
■* See footnote p. 126. 



64 THE MAHAVASTU 

"By the root of goodness I have laid in store may I have 
insight into all things. {S2) May not the realisation of my 
vow he deferred too long, hut may my vow he fulfilled. 

''May my store of the root of goodness he great enough 
for all living things. Whatever evil deed has heen done hy me, 
may I alone reap its hitter fruit." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa asked 
the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " How, O son of the Conqueror, 
do those Bodhisattvas who do not lapse, become steadfast 
and brave ? " 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Katyayana 
replied to the venerable Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

"If I am doomed to dwell in Avici from this moment 
to that in which I am to hecome aware of the ultimate truth, 
I shall go through with it, nor shall I withdraw my vow 
to win omniscience. Such is my resolve. 

"Although I could quit the round of hirth, death, grief 
and trihulation, I should not let my mind waver. Though 
overwhelmed with ills, I would hring blessings to the world 
of men. ' ' Such is the courage and strength of these sturdy men. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, when a Bodhisattva who does not lapse first 
conceives the thought of enlightenment what marvellous (83) 
portents are then seen ? " 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Katyayana 
replied to the venerable Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

When the vow of these, the world's foremost men, is made 
for the first time, then the jewel-hearing earth, with its cities, 
towns, and rivers, shouts for joy. 

A radiant splendour like that of the star of day is shed 
over all the regions of space, when a vow is first made to win 
the qualities of the lion-man. 

Hosts of exulting Suras exclaim to one another, 'This infinitely 
exalted^ man vows to win the qualities of the lion-man.' 

^ Anantavudagro, i.e. ananta + udagra. The MSS. have °vudagro, but the 
metre requires °vud — , Senart considers the " v " due to a Pah habit of 
prefixing it to an initial " u," which is at the same time lengthened. He 
compares Pali vupasama, which he holds, is not from vi ■\- upa but directly 
from upasama. 



THE FIRST BHCMI 65 

" We must cherish him, for, surpassing in might, and 
being a creator of bliss, he lays up a store of bliss for the sake 
of the world. ' ' This is the marvel that then comes to pass. 

When this had been said the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Conqueror 
how many arduous tasks are performed by Bodhisattvas 
who do not lapse, when they are in the first bhUmi ? " 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Katyayana 
replied to the venerable Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

These brave men, who have set their faces towards omnis- 
cience, do not give way to idle regret when they have given up 
dear wives and beloved sons, their heads and their eyes, their 
jewels, carriages and beds. 

{S^)Though they are sentenced to be flogged, bound and 
scourged by violent men whose minds are bent on foul deeds, 
they regard these men with hearts full of meekness and 
friendliness, and, innocent though they are, speak to them 
with gentle words. 

When they see a mendicant full of pride and conceit, the 
great men experience a thrill of joy. For, by giving him alms, 
they become elated at the access of virtue. They do not fall 
into remorse. These then are the austerities of the Bodhis- 
attvas. ^ 

Here ends the First Bhumi in the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



^ Text corrupt. Senart prints the pdda as follows : 

Pascattapo na tu tapanti taponirdsd iti, 
and translates " ils ne se livrent pas, apr^s cela, aux austerites, desesperant, 
comme ils font, de I'austerite." He assumes that tapas [tapo) was wrongly- 
written, in most MSS., because of the preceding pascdt, the compound 
pascattdpa being a common term for " remorse." But the avoidance of remorse 
or regret on the part of Bodhisattvas is often dwelt on (see e.g., the preceding 
page), and that idea can be expressed here by reading pascdnutdpam after 
the analogy of the Pali pacchdnutdpa (instead of the regular Sanskrit 
pascattdpa, which would be unmetrical here). One MS., indeed, seems to 
have a reminiscence of the syllable an of anu. Such an emendation, also, 
does not require the change of patanti, on which all MSS. seem to be agreed, 
into tapanti. Consonant with the sense given by this emended form, the 
latter half of the pdda is conjecturally emended into tapdmsi tdni iti, so that 
the whole pdda adopted for translation reads : 

Pascdnutdpam na patanti, tapdmsi tdni iti. 

That is to say, the verse closes by summing up the arduous tasks 
or austerities of the Bodhisattvas in their first bhumi, when it is too soon 
to speak of their ineffectiveness. The tone of the whole passage rather stresses 
their value. 



66 THEMAHAVASTU 



THE SECOND BHUMI 

Then the elder Kdiyapa said to Mahd-Kdtydyana, "0 
great being, you have given an alluring description of the 
first bhumi. 

"Now tell me, son of the Supreme Man, what state of 
heart is horn in the Bodhisattvas immediately on their passing 
into the second bhumi ? 

"What are their dispositions in the second bhumi ? 
son of the Conqueror, describe to me this bhumi exactly as 
it is." 

Then the elder Kdtydyana replied to Kdsyapa, "I shall 
relate an entrancing description of the Bodhisattvas. 

(Sb)"Now, in Bodhisattvas as they pass on into the second 
bhiimi there is born first of all an aversion to all forms 
of existence. Of this there is no doubt. 

" O son of the Conqueror, the dispositions of Bodhisattvas, 
who are in their second bhiimi, are as follow. They are good, 
amiable, sweet, keen, bountiful, charming, profound, whole- 
hearted,^ imperturbable, distinguished, ^ lofty, noble, ^ resolute, 
sincere, pure, steadfast, independent, contented, and intent on 
the Foremost Man* and the infinite ! 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas good ? " 

" It is said " :— 

In no way whatsoever do they harbour doubt of the Buddha, 
dharma, and Sangha. Thus is their disposition shown to 
be good. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas amiable ? " 

^ Aparyddinna, literally, " not taken possession of." In Pali, however, 
pariyddinna, as a passive participle, means " exhausted," or " finished." 
But it has also a middle force, " losing control over," " overcome " (usually 
°citta). The above translation " whole-hearted," is based on this latter use 
in Pali. 

* Asddhdrana, " not general," " uncommon." 
^ Akripana, " not miserable." 

* Agrapudgala, see note p. 39. The text here, however, and on p. 88 
has pudgala simply. 



THE SECOND BHCMI 67 

" It is said" : — 

Though their bodies he rent, their spirit is not angered. 
Thus is their disposition shown to be amiable and meek. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas sweet ? " 

" It is said" : — 

(S&)These supreme men practise actions that are inwardly 
virtuous.'^ Thus are the dispositions of these devout men 
sweet. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas keen ? " 

" It is said" : — 

They have clear vision and have their thoughts fixed on 
the world beyond as well as on this. Thus are the dispositions 
of these pure men keen. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas bountiful ? " 

" It is said" : — 

They lay up a store of great good for the welfare of all 
creatures. Thus are the dispositions of these supreme seers 
bountiful. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas charming ? " 

" It is said": — 

Ungrudgingly they give charming and heart-delighting 
gifts. Thus are the dispositions " of these men who perceive 
the highest good, charming. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas whole-hearted ? " 

" It is said " : — 

Their hearts are whole, ^ their insight^ lends them courage. 
Thus is their disposition said to he whole-hearted. 

^ Or, " actions within the bounds of virtue," anta: kusalakarmdni. But 
Senart cites PaU antokilesi in support of the meaning rendered above. 
2 Aparyddinnaciittd, see note p. 66. 
^ Prativedha, Pali pativedha, lit. " piercing." 



68 THE MAHAVASTQ 

*' In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas imperturbable ? " 

" It is said " : — 

No malevolent man can suppress them. Thus are their 
dispositions entirely unperturbed. 

(Siy In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions 
of the Bodhisattvas distinguished ? " 

" It is said " : — 

When a man conceives no other resolve hut that of benefiting 
all creatures, people regard this as no common thing. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas lofty ? " 

" It is said" : — 

When they hear a heretic, they ignore him and go their 
way. Thus are the dispositions of these lion-hearted men 
lofty. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas noble ? " 

" It is said" : — 

In their wisdom they do not gather as being good those 
things which have to do with the pleasures of sense. Thus 
are their dispositions always noble. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas resolute ? " 

" It is said " :— 

Having made a resolve to win Buddha-hood, they are not 
distracted^ from it by indulgence in pleasures of sense. Thus 
are their dispositions said to be resolute. 

"In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas sincere ? " 

" It is said " : — 

In no way do they envy saintly Pratyekabuddhas. Thus 
are their dispositions always sincere. 



1 l>ia avaklryante, literally " they are not scattered from it," Compare 
avaklrnin, " breaking a vow of chastity." 



THE SECOND BHtJMI 69 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas pure ? " 

" It is said " : — 

(SS) Spurning profit and reputation, they strive for the 
ultimate good. Thus is their disposition shown to he pure. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas steadfast ? " 

" It is said " : — 

Though persecuted hy the worlds, they do not abate their 
zeal for dharma. Thus are the dispositions of these great seers 
steadfast. 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas independent ? " 

" It is said " : — 

Though they faint, they do not, saturated with lust,^ eat 
the food of others. Thus, noble sir, is their disposition 
extolled as independent. 

"In what way, my pious friend, are the dispositions of the 
Bodhisattvas contented ? " 

" It is said : — 

They always find their joy in renouncing the world, and 
do not dissolutely indulge in pleasures of sense. ^ Thus is the 
disposition of the Bodhisattva always extolled as contented". 

" In what way, my pious friend, are the Bodhisattvas intent 
on the Foremost Man ? " 

"It is said : — * 

In their wisdom they yearn for the omniscience of the 
Self-becoming One. Thus do they become intent on the 
Foremost Man, and incomparably steadfast ". 
(89)" In what way, my pious friend, are the Bodhisattvas 
intent on what is infinite ? " 

" It is said" : — 



^ Avasruta, cf. Pali avassuta 2X A. i. 261, Kdyakammam pi avassutam hoti, 
" bodily action is saturated with lust " (see Expositor, i. 91). 

2 Prasyandanti kdmesu, literally " flow or trickle forth in desires," a figure 
of speech closely related to the use of avasruta above. 



70 THE MAHAVASTU 

They do not aim at great wealth, the prosperity that comes 
through miserliness. ^ Thus do these highest of men become 
intent on what is infinite. 

With all these twenty dispositions, the noble and true men, 
experienced in all things, are gifted with beautiful dispositions. 

" With these twenty dispositions, then, my pious friend, 
are the Bodhisattvas endowed." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa asked 
the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Conqueror 
in what ways do Bodhisattvas who are in their second bhUmi 
lapse and fail to reach the third ? ^ 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa, " Bodhisattvas who are in their second bhumi 
lapse and fail to reach the third for twenty-eight reasons. 
What are the twenty-eight ? Bodhisattvas come to set a value 
on gain, honour, and fame.^ They become dishonest. They 
build up prosperity by unjust means. They speak angrily to 
their teachers, and do not abide respectful* to the Triad 
of Treasures.^ They do not look for a Bodhisattva's character 
in those they deem worthy of offerings. Though they have 
reached the stage of a Bodhisattva's career they do not duly 
honour it. They do not shoulder the burden which befits the 
highest honour, but continue under one which does not so 

^ Literally " miserly prosperity," addnagunasampaddm (ace. with two 
MSS. for the nom. of the text). With addnaguna, cf. Pali addnaslla, " of 
miserly character." Senart's interpretation is different : " ils ne desirent 
pas de grands biens, si ce n'est des tresors de charite et de vertu." 

2 The account of the lapsing of the Bodhisattvas after their first bhumi 
(see p. 79) is quite intelligible, that is, Bodhisattvas who have lived (sthitds) 
through their first bhumi lapse in the second. But lapses in succeeding 
bhUmis are not so clearly described. The expression used with regard to them 
is " Bodhisattvas who are (vartamdnds) in a certain bhumi lapse in (loc. case) 
the next." This leaves it obscure as to which bhumi the faults are incurred 
in. Either we must not press too closely the present force of the participle 
vartamdnds, but take it as practically equivalent to sthitds (above), or we 
must give the second locative bhumau an ablatival force, i.e. those who have 
successfully lived through one bhUmi lapse from the next. The translation 
above is a compromise between these alternatives. Compare Har Dayal : The 
Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature who interprets the 
meaning as " fail to arise to (a succeeding bhUmi) and abide in it " (pp. 273 
ff.). 

2 Ldbhaguruka, etc. Senart cites a similar use of guruka in the Lotus 
f 14b. Compare also the use of the Pali equivalent garuka in such compounds 
as kammagaruka, " attributing importance to kamma " {Pali Diet.). 

* Citrikdra, which Senart takes to be the Buddhist Sanskrit form, based 
on a false analogy, of the Pali cittikdra, " respect," " consideration." 

^ I.e., Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. 



THE SECOND B H tJ M I yx 

befit. ^ They are not averse to dwelling in a crowd. They 
become fond of garlands, fine clothes, jewels and ointments. (90) 
They become satisfied with little merit. They find constant 
delight in the charm of the world. They do not regard all 
elements as impermanent. They become engrossed with their 
own corporeal beauty. They do not abandon perverted 
doctrines. They do not preserve intact the word and the letter 
as they have been preached. They become niggardly in their 
teaching. 2 They turn their eyes away from the almsman's bowl 
and get nothing in it. They become obstinate in their opin- 
ions.^ They do not make a thorough scrutiny of things. 

" My pious friend, all those Bodhisattvas in the second 
hhumi who lapse and fail to reach the third, do so in these 
twenty-eight ways. 

"FoUovv^ing is the tradition on this subject " : 

Such is the description of the second bhiimi of the Bodhisatt- 
vas, who, with store of varied merits, live happy for the 
world's sake. 

Of both those who lapse through their faults, as related, and 
of those who, in their wisdom, do not lapse as they pass on 
from life to life. 

Patient and wise they take the path of courage that is so 
difficult to traverse,^ and through many a tribulation they fare 
along it out of compassion for the world. 



1 The text here, if not corrupt, is at least obscure. Atireka, " excessive " 
is a strange epithet to apply to the " highest " honour, i.e., enlightenment, 
which Bodhisattvas aim at. The force of prdpyam and aprdpyam, respectively, 
as applied to bhdram, " burden," also is not clear. Senart translates them 
by " light " and " intolerable," respectively, " un fardeau leger (c'est k dire 
le fardeau de toutes les bonnes oeuvres qui meritent I'intelligence supreme, 
fardeau relativement leger auxyeux d'un buddhiste, etc ". — a weak explanation 
in view of the oft-repeated theme of the difficulty of attaining enlightenment, 
or supreme honour. It seems better, therefore, to take prdpya in its literal 
sense of " suitable," " fitting," " proper to," and naturally governing the 
dative °pujdye. 

2 Desdndmatsarinas. Cf. Pali dhammamacchariyam {D. 3. 234) " meanness 
in [monopolising learnt] truths " (Rhys Davids). 

2 Kathinasamtdnds — a very unusual compound. The usual figurative sense 
of kathina {" stiff," " rigid," etc.) is " cruel," " hard " {e.g. of the heart). 
Here it is applied to " opinion " or " idea," if, that is, samtdna can have 
that sense, and Senart admits that he knows no other example of this use 
of the word. But may not the right reading be something like kathamkathinas 
" doubting," or kathamkathdsamaptds , " afflicted with doubt " ? 

* Durdroham, the adjective which also gives its name to the second hhumi. 



72 THE MAHAVASTU 

All these Tathdgatas who are honoured of devas and men 
pass through the manifold ills that precede knowledge. 

Wisely they adapt themselves to the world with its divers 
elements, and so their renown goes forth in the worlds of 
devas and men. 

Here ends the second bhUmi of the Mahavastu-Avddana, 



THE THIRD BHUMI 

(91)When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Ka^yapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Best 
of Men, what state of heart exists in Bodhisattvas as they 
pass on from the second bhUmi to the third ? " 

Then the elder Kdtydyana replied to Kdsyapa, "Hear what 
the unsurpassed state of heart of the Bodhisattvas is which 
links up'^ the two bhumis. 

" venerable son of the Conqueror, the hearts of Bodhisattvas 
as they pass from the second bhumi to the third are set on 
renunciation ". 

These lords of men render happy the condition of all 
* creatures ; but they do this in no wise for the sake of their 
own well-being, nor for the sake of enlightenment. 

They buy one verse of a wise saying^ with the sacrifice 
of wife and child. . . . ^ 

1 Sandhicitta — a strange expression, the only parallel to which that is 
known to Senart is sandhydbhdsya in the Lotus, translated by Burnouf (p. 343) 
as " le langage enigmatique." This parallelism, if it is anything more than 
formal, would require for the Mahdvastu expression some translation other 
than that given above. The term occurs too persistently to admit of any 
doubt as to its correctness. Now, the Mahdvastu does not define the temporal 
or spatial relations of the several bhumis, but it would seem that there was 
conceived to be some intermediate stage between every two of them. As, 
then, the Bodhisattva's citta, or state or disposition of the heart, within each 
bhumi is so fully described, it becomes necessary to describe his citta when 
he is in the intervening stage, or in process of passing from one bhumi to 
another. 

2 Subhdsitd gdthd — " a well-spoken verse." 

^ A lacuna, representing the second half of this stanza and that of the 
next one. The first half of the latter is evidently the introduction to a short 
tale which, on the analogy of the following, related an example of the 
Bodhisattva's self-sacrifice. But it is too fragmentary to be translated. 
The next two stanzas are the subhdsitd : gdthd : which he won by this self- 
sacrifice. 



THE THIRD BHUMI 



73 



"There are obstacles of jungle, of hostile forces, and of 
mountains, hut the real obstacles for man are his fickle and 
restless passions^ which stifle charity. 

"There are obstacles of weeds, of undergrowth, of brambles 
and reeds, which choke trees, but the obstacles in the way 
of man are falsehood, guile and slander." 

2 

{92)This single verse of a wise saying was bought by a 
Bodhisattva when he was yearning for the ultimate truth. 

3 

A certain brahman approached a seer,*' a lord of men, 
and said to him, "I have here an exhilarating verse of a 
wise saying. 

"The price of it is your head." The seer, ready to sacrifice 
his head, replied, "Quickly tell me, brahman, this verse of 
a wise saying." 

[The brahman recited] 

"If those who yearn for a Bodhisattva' s career, happen 
to commit an unseemly deed, it does not become manifest, 
being obscured by the force of abundant merit, as an oil-lamp 
is dimmed by the rays of the sun." 

A raksasa^ said to a certain king named SurUpa, "I have 
here a stanza of a wise saying for sale, if you want to buy it. 

"As the price of it I would have your son, your queen 
and yourself to devour. Take it if you can, for this verse 
is compact with dharma." 

King Surupa, free from bondage to the world and full of 
reverence for dharma, replied, "Take what you want, and 
let me have the verse. Complete the bargain without delay." 

1 Vandni — an example of a play on words. Vana in the first line is taken 
literally in its sense of " jungle " or " forest," but here it is equated with Pali 
vana (from vanati, vanoti — " to desire ") — " lust," " desire." It is a common- 
place of Pali exegesis to explain the meaning of the first vana with reference 
to the second. See Pali Dictionary, s.v. 

2 A lacuna, representing probably the gdthd suhhdsitd referred to in the 
next stanza. 

3 The second stanza on this page is omitted as it is obviously corrupt. 
It forms a part only, and an obscure one at that, of the account of 
a transaction between a Bodhisattva and a snake-charmer, who has a subhdsiid 
gdthd for sale. 

* Risideva. Deva can here be no more than an honorific term. Risi, 
simply, is used below, 

^ One of a class of demons, generally haunting the water, and nocturnal 
and harmful in their habits. 



74 THE MAHAVASTU 

(93) Then the rdk^asa recited this verse of a wise saying : — 

*'It is better to dwell in the hells that throb with lamentations'^ 
where one meets people one wishes far away, and is separated 
from the people one loves, than in the society of wicked men." 

A pisaca^ said to a king's minister named Sanjaya, "Give 
me your heart and hear in return a verse of a wise saying." 

Without a tremor the brave Sanjaya replied, "I give you 
my heart. Speak that verse of a wise saying." 

Then the pisdca recited this verse of a wise saying : — 

"As the fire that burns when grass and wood are set alight 
never stops burning, so craving is never assuaged by indulgence 
in sensual pleasures." 

A certain poor man said to a merchant named Vasundhara, 
"This verse of a wise saying will be given you in return for 
all you possess." 

The Bodhisattva replied : — 

"/ give you all I have. Speak the verse of a wise saying. 
For the good praise what is well-spoken in accordance with 
true principles." 

Then the poor man recited this verse of a wise saying : — 

' ' When men are foolish plenty is changed to dearth. (94) But 
a single wise man transforms dearth to plenty " . 

A certain man said to a king named Surupa, "At the 
price of f ambudvipa you may hear a verse of a wise saying." 

The Bodhisattva repHed : — 

"/ give you f ambudvipa and all you desire. Quickly 
speak this verse of a wise saying, truly say what you will." 

Then the man recited this verse of a wise saying : — 

" When egotism, selfishness, passion^ and pride prevail, 
then Tathdgatas appear in the world to quell them ". 

A certain hunter said to a deer named Satvara, "I have 
here a verse of a wise saying. Give me your flesh and you 
shall hear it." 

[The deer replied] 

^ Paridevitakampana, an admittedly doubtful conjecture of Senart's. 

^ A demon, generally malignant. 

^ Reading rdgo fof nana. So Senart. 



► 



THE THIRD BHtJMI 75 

"If in return for my perishable flesh I can hear this wise 
saying y I give you it. Quickly utter the wise saying." 

Then the hunter recited this verse of a wise saying : — 

" The dust beneath their feet is better for men than a mountain 
of gold. The dust takes away sorrow, the mountain of gold 
multiplies it ". 

(95)His slave said to a king named Ndgabhuja, "In return 
for the sovereignty of the four continents you may have a wise 
saying.'* 

The Bodhisattva replied : — 

*'/ give you the sovereignty of the four continents. Quickly 
speak ; do not delay but tell me this wise saying." 

Then his slave recited this verse of a wise saying : — 

"They say that it is as difficult to distract the wisdom of 
the sage as it is to pluck out his hair by the roots. So the 
stainless company of monks, having won the power of 
knowledge, and, through their virtuous conduct, torn up 
malice by the root, shine with minds that are rid of malice. 
The stainless teacher of the world, also, shines, does not cast 
off his burden, and is followed by good men". 

Thus for the sake of a wise saying a Bodhisattva hurls 
himself down precipices. For its sake, again, he gives up 
his boat on the wide ocean. 

He sacrifices his eyes in return for hearing a verse of a 
wise saying. Again, he throws himself into the fire as the 
price of hearing a verse of wise saying. 

And many other such arduous tasks do the valiant and 
glorious Conquerors undertake for the sake of words of 
wisdom. 

(96) When this had been said the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, how do Bodhisattvas who are in the third bhUmi 
lapse and fail to reach the fourth ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa, " My pious friend, Bodhisattvas who are in 
the third bhUmi lapse and fail to reach the fourth in fourteen 
ways. What fourteen ? They become addicted to dishonest 
gambhng with the dice. They seek seclusion too often. When 



76 THE MAHAVASTU 

they come to rule over their kingdoms they are overcome by 
avarice and rob their own subjects^ of all their possessions. 
They accuse of murder people who do not deserve to be called 
into account for any offence. They do not protect those in 
danger of being killed. They mutilate men. They fall into 
erring ways. Even though they have wealth they do not 
dispense to others the means of life. And though they take 
up the religious life they do not learn by heart the great 
doctrine, 2 even while the Buddhas themselves teach it. 
Although they have already made a vow, they do not preach 
the great doctrine. They follow those who are bound to the 
flesh, not those who are bound to dharma. They do not 
repeatedly declare the splendour of the Buddha. They teach 
that Buddhas are of the world. ^ They do not teach that 
Buddhas transcend the world. 

" In these fourteen ways, my pious friend, Bodhisattvas 
who are in the third hhumi lapse and fail to reach the fourth. 
All Bodhisattvas who, being in the third hhumi, have lapsed, 
are lapsing, or will lapse, do so in these fourteen ways. There 
is nothing more to add." 

(97) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, when the Bodhisattvas who do not lapse first 
evolve the thought of enlightenment, to what kind of well- 
being are they wedded, and how many creatures become 
happy and joyful ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied in verse to the 
venerable Maha-Kasyapa : 

All creatures become happy and joyful when this incom- 
prehensible, marvellous thought, instinct and permeated with 
the idea of the way of enlightenment, is born in the great seers. 

^ Atydntarenavijitavdsindm, literally, " the conquered (or subject) inhabit- 
ants there within," i.e. the subjects of the country to the government of which 
he has been appointed. Senart considers atYa° to be due to a faulty restitution 
of aita° for dtma° , and translates " les habitants de leurs propres territorie 
et de ceux des autres." But such a conjecture is quite uncalled for, as 
the MS. atrdntarena — " there within," makes satisfactory sense. 

2 Bdhusrutya, abstract term from the adjective bahusruta. Compare Pali 
bdhusacca (implying a Sanskrit bdhusrautya) and bahussuta. 

3 Literally " they display the Buddhas on (for) an equality with the world," 
lokasamatdye desenti. This was, of course, a heresy from the point of view 
of those Buddhists, the Lokottaravadins, whose especial scripture the 
Mahdvastu was. 



THE THIRD BHUMI 77 

Those who are under doom of death in seven nights,^ 
those who dwell in the pitiless hells, and those in the world 
of ghosts, all become glad and happy. 

For those seven nights, in sympathy with the Bodhisattva's 
virtue, men do not die. Earth, with its oceans, quakes, and 
the glittering summit of Mount Meru^ trembles. 

This earth as a rule remains fixed on its foundations, 
immovable in space. This is beyond doubt. But now, 
through the power of these beings who have laid up a store 
of all good deeds, this earth trembles in all its wide extent. 

(98)Then a certain deva of Trayastrimsa, named Namatideva, 
who was a Bodhisattva, hitched his robe over one shoulder, 
and, stretching out his joined hands in the direction of the 
Exalted One, sang his praises in these verses in the presence 
of a throng of holy men. 

Thee I praise, whose form, radiant as gold, with beauty 
uneclipsed by the newly risen sun and with lustrous splendour, 
is perfectly marked with all the thirty-two marks of men 
who live in the right way, thee I praise, who art supreme 
in goodness, full of splendour, mightier than the earth and 
its mountains, unsurpassed in strength, who art serene and 
self -controlled, skilled in mindfulness and the Discipline,^ 
and revered of Suras and Asuras. 

After many a course of life spread out over a long time, 
meritorious, conferring bounteous blessings, and aiming at 
the destruction of existences, the Sage, by means of divers 
praiseworthy merits previously achieved in plenty and variety 
through acts of goodwill, came near unto peace. But though 
he had found the eternal blissful abode that is honoured of 
Asuras and Suras, he renounced it for the sake of enlightening 
men. He came down to the surface of earth, was born in the 
family of Iksvdku, * and stood in glory, immovable and firm. 

Desiring to enter the womb of Queen Maya in the form 
of a noble lotus-white elephant, he, the light of the world, ^ 



1 Text and interpretation both doubtful. 

2 A mythical golden mountain at the centre of Jambudvlpa. 

3 I.e. the Vinaya or the collection of rules and regulations governing the 
conduct of Buddhist monks. 

" Descended from Iksvaku, a son of Manu Vairasvata. See below p. 293. 
5 Lokdloka. Cf. note p. 37- 

G 



78 THE MAHAVASl^U 

left the fair realm of Tusita, and came down to earth to raise 
up the people whom he saw were wanton and blind and who 
had succumbed to doubt and unrighteousness. 

{99)Then did the jewel-strewn earth, rich in varied treasure 
and wealth, quake in salutation to the great Sage, the lord 
of the Sdkyans, who is rich in experience, replete with 
mindfulness, and well-stored with merit. 

Queen Maya was on the terrace of her valiant husband's 
fair palace, like a goddess among the Suras, being entertained 
by merry dancing accompanied by songs and music that were 
a delight to ear, heart and eye. 

To the anxious king the queen said, "My lord, if you 
will, I shall withdraw to the forest, to the Lumba'^ park, 
which is carpeted with flowers, and filled with the sweet notes 
of the cuckoo which give joy to heart and soul." 

She went, and wandered forth with her women, roaming 
the forest, glad and happy and eager. While she paced the 
forest, she espied a lumbini tree bearing fresh creepers and 
shoots, and, in the rapture of perfect joy and gladness she 
grasped a branch of it, and play fully lingered there. As she 
held the branch she gave birth to the Conqueror of the un- 
conquered mind, the great supreme seer. 

As soon as he is born devas, with two showers laden with 
exquisite flowers, the one cold the other warm, bathe the 
Lord of men, who is honoured in the realm of the A suras, 
the great Lord of the three worlds, ^ compassionate, the world 
transcending, a refuge here, in heaven and on earth, to 
whom old age and death are no more, whose like the earth 
does not know, who is wise, whose eyes are like a lotus-leaf, 
and who is the delight of Suras and A suras. 

All the devas, the Trdyastrimsa devas ajid the others, 
glad and joyful leave their abodes and gather together in 
the forest glade. {10^) " The scion of the Iksvdkus " [they 
exclaim'] " has come down to the earth's surface where he 
stands in glory, immovable and firm." When he had 

^ In the tradition the name of this park is Lumbini, but here the latter 
is the name of the tree. See immediately below, 

' The reference here is simply to the three worlds of popular conception 
viz. the world above {sc. of the devas), the earth, and the world below [niraya), 
rather than to any of the groups of three planes or spheres of psychological 
experience. 



THE FOURTH BHtJMI 79 

taken seven full strides, like the lion, the master, king and 
lord of beasts, he roared out,^ " I am best, unsurpassed, 
supreme in the world. For me there is no more either old 
age or death. I have overcome the oppression of existence.'* 

A celestial sunshade studded with gems, clear as crystal 
and gay with flowers, brilliantly white like camphor, stood 
up of itself in the air, unsupported by hand, and shaded the 
Lord and Guide of men.^ A chowrie fan made in heaven, 
of stiff strong hair, having the incomparable sheen of mother- 
of-pearl, studded with gems and gold, and pearly white, is 
waved with its handle upwards. 

Loud roars of drums resound, echoing in the clouds 
and pervading the sky. In the path of Dasabala the Con- 
queror the devas pour down showers of celestial blossoms 
and powder of sandal-wood. Suras and devas give vent 
to hundreds of cries in their exceeding great joy. " The 
creator of happiness is victorious I " 

In ocean and on earth hidden treasures of many precious 
stones were revealed as the earth and water heaved through 
the power of the Tathdgata. 

Here ends the third bhUmi of the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 

THE FOURTH BHUMI 

(101) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " Again, O son of 
the Conqueror, what deeds do Bodhisattvas who are established 
in perseverance refrain from doing because they are out of 
place ? ^. 

1 The text here is corrupt. The translation is made on the emendation 
suggested by Senart in his notes. 

2 Reading nripatinayanam for °tanayam of the text. Even though tanayam, 
from tan, " to stretch," would seem at first sight appropriate here, it is 
difficult to see how the form could give the required sense, i.e. the sunshade 
" stretched over " the Lord of men shaded him. Note that one MS. actually 
has nayandm. 

' Asthdnatdye [na] samupacaranti. The na is adopted from the reading 
of five MSS. Senart, however, rejects the negative, and translates " quelles 
actions . . . accomplissent pour avancer vers le but " [litteralement " pour 
ne pas demeurer en place "]. Below, line 7, Senart makes the obviously 
necessary correction of asthdnanto into asthdnatdye. Na sevante of this line 
corresponds closely with na samupacaranti of the passage in question, and 
it is not easy to see why Senart should reject the negative here and in so doing 
incur the necessity of giving a different sense to asthdnatd in the two places 
respectively. 



8o T H E M A H A V A S T U 

The elder Kdtydyana, skilled in the Conqueror's teaching, 
replied to the pious Kdiyapa in verse. 

" Learn what deeds the Bodhisattvas practise, and what 
deeds they do not practise because they are out of place. 

" The glorious Bodhisattvas do not deprive a mother or 
a father or an arhan of life. 

" They do not create schisms in the Sangha, nor do they raze 
topes to the ground. They do not in any way harbour evil 
thoughts against a Tathdgata. 

*' They are not led to commit sin by their wrong belief.'^ 
They do not have to expiate"^ a bad deed; what need, I 
pray you, to expiate a good one ? 

"As they pass from one existence to another, they do not 
adhere to doctrine based on heresy, but only to the true 
doctrine or virtue based on knowledge. 

" When they sit or lie in the shade of a tree they do not 
harm the leaves. Even in anger they do not resort to blows. 

" These supreme men practise the ten right ways of 
behaviour. {102) They do not weave a spell to strike the 
person of another man. 

" Wholly concerned with karma and detached from all 
excitement, they are not cast down by adversity nor elated 
by prosperity. 

" In deed, in speech, in thought, their dispositions are 
wholly pure and their charity perfect. 

" These men, honoured of the world, having reached the 
beginning of the eighth bhumi do not lapse, and they definitely 
cultivate good karma. 

" In all the other bhumis, from the first to the seventh, 
these supreme men cultivate mixed karma. 

" Cultivating such and other similar karma the mighty 
men pass through all the ten bhumis filled with compassion 
for the worlds." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " Again, O son of 
the Conqueror, do Bodhisattvas who do not lapse pass into 
states of desolation like ordinary men, or do they not ? Do 

^ Reading, with Senart, drsthiye for prsthiye. 

2 Naseti (for nasayati). Cf, Pali naseti (with abl.) in same sense, 



THE FOURTH "BHCMI 8i 

they, like ordinary men, pass into very low states, or do 
they not ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa, " Bodhisattvas, my pious friend, who are 
not liable to lapse, do not in the course of these seven bhumis, 
in any way, for any reason, at any time, or by any chance, 
pass into a hell, nor are they reborn in a brute state, nor do 
they become poor(103) or infirm. But they become 
Brahmas, Pratyekabrahmas, ^ Indras, Upendras,^ Yaksa kings 
and Yaksas, Nagas and kings of Nagas, Gandharvas and 
kings of Gandharvas, universal kings and kings of regions. 
They become chief counsellors, heads of merchant guilds, 
provincial chieftains, sons of kings and merchants and of a 
king's chief wife. They become valiant, courageous and 
powerful leaders. They become men who are esteemed, 
respected, saluted and obeyed. They become men who are 
dear to, beloved of, and popular with the multitude. They 
become men whom people praise and delight in. They 
become wealthy men, powerful men, with a large retinue, 
men of resolution and influence. If, as a result of revifing 
an Aryan 3 at any time or in any way while they are in one 
of the seven bhumis, they incur rebirth in the great hell Avici, 
they go to an especial part of it. They are not reborn among 
the perpetual ghosts, nor among the Asuras. They are not 
reborn as inferior animals nor in Uttarakuru,* nor as women, 

^ The text has brdhmand and pratyekabrdhmand, but, as Senart rightly 
points out, we have to do here with " divine categories," and the reading 
should therefore be brahmdnd and pratyekabrahmdnd. "Brahma" was a 
generic term for all the devas in Brahmaloka, the highest heaven, and generally- 
referred to as Brahmakdyikd devas. The peculiar Buddhist treatment of the 
gods of Hinduism made them into celestial reincarnations of men, with the 
result that even Maha-Brahma himself was pluralised, the Pali texts 
mentioning several of them by name. Cf. below p. 84. In the same way, 
immediately below we read of Indras and Upendras. The term " Pratyeka- 
brahma" is a formation analogous with that of Pratyekabuddha, but though 
the Pali texts mention a few Pratyekabrahmas by name, no definition of this 
class of beings seems to be given anywhere. (See further D.P.N., s.v. 
" Brahmaloka.") 

2 Upendra was a name for Visnu or Krisna as a younger brother of Indra. 

3 I.e., literally a member of an Aryan clan considered to possess superior 
moral qualities as compared with the indigenous tribes, and by implication 
denoting a Buddhist as being an Aryan par excellence. Hence " noble " 
in a moral sense, cf. " the four Aryan truths," etc. 

* See note p. 7. Rebirth in this mythical land would not, from the 
description of it in Pali texts, seem to be on the whole a bad eventuality. 
Still, it was an inferior state to rebirth among the devas. 



82 FHE MAHAVASTU 

nor as eunuchs. Thus, then, in all the ten hhumis they 
become men, and have all the limbs, great and small, and 
all the faculties of men, unimpaired. 

" If a Bodhisattva slays another Bodhisattva, or a disciple 
of the Buddha, or one who has entered the stream,^ or if 
those who are qualifying themselves'^ for the state of a Pratye- 
kabuddha(104) slay an ordinary man, they go to hell.^ 
Whether Bodhisattvas in the first seven hhumis murder 
or rob or commit any utterly wrong act, none of these things 
can lead them to hell. And as for the wrong karma accumu- 
lated by Bodhisattvas before they make their vow, this, 
once they have evoked the thought of enlightenment, is 
hidden away like a troop of deer by a great rock. 

" If a Bodhisattva has not attained the condition of heart 
to make a vow, this matures in him in the course of his second, 
third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh hhumis,^ at the cost 
of whatever pain in the head that may be involved." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa asked 
the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the Con- 
queror, with what kind of homily do the Tathagatas exhort 
Bodhisattvas who do not lapse, when, having won the favour 
of the Buddhas as laymen, they go forth to the homeless 
state ? " 

Then the elder Kdtydyana replied to Kdsyapa, "By means 
of discourses without illustrations, arranged in due order. 

"The lords, learned in the Jdtakas and other lore, preach 
to the concourse of Bodhisattvas self-control, charity, and 
restraint, as the qualities that bring a Bodhisattva' s career 
to a great maturity. ^ 

"The wise Tathdgata tells them too of Him, the supreme 

^ 3rotdpanna, Pali sotdpanna, the " stream " being, by a change of metaphor, 
identified with the " noble eightfold way." Or, " the stream " of dharma. 

2 Vinistha. Senart doubts this reading as the prefix vi is neither found 
with nor is it apposite to the sense of, this participial adjective. He accord- 
ingly suggests pan° which is regular Sanskrit. 

' This seems inconsistent both with what precedes and with what follows, 
and Senart' s suggestion that the whole passage is an interpolation can be 
readily accepted. 

* Jdtisu, for bhumisu. Here, at least, a jdti, " birth," of a Bodhisattva 
is synonymous with a bhumi. 

^ Literally, " great maturity," mahdpakam, shortened metri causa from 
mahdpdkam, is Senart's conjecture for the meaningless sahdyakam. Or, 
should we not read mahdpkalam, " great fruition " ? 



THE FOTJKTH BHUMI 83 



of men, who for the sake of mankind's well-being, cultivates 
incomparable karma. 

"He is styled 'Lord ' by the Exalted One,^ and takes up 
a life of austerity based on knowledge. {10b) A Bodhisattva 
like this is rare in the world. So does the Conqueror expound 
in his teaching." 

"It is in this and like manner, my pious friend, that the 
Buddhas teach dharma to the concourse of Bodhisattvas ". 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa asked 
the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Conqueror, 
to what stage of his career as Bodhisattva are the events 
related by the Conqueror in the Jatakas to be assigned ? " 

Then 2 the venerable Maha-Katyayana replied, " My pious 
friend, the Jatakas related by the Conqueror go back to the 
eighth bhUmi." 

" From what point do Bodhisattvas begin to renounce all 
they possess, and make difficult sacrifices ? " 

"It is from the eighth bhUmi that Bodhisattvas begin to 
renounce all they possess and to make difficult sacrifices. 

" From the eighth bhUmi onwards, my pious friend, Bodhi- 
sattvas are to be honoured with the honour due to a perfect 
Buddha. 

" On this point it is said " : — 

From the eighth bhiimi onwards, son of the Conqueror, 
Bodhisattvas are to be looked upon as perfect Buddhas. For 
after that they do not lapse. 

Henceforth they are masters of the profound meditations^ 
(iO&) and their knowledge is purified. 

Henceforth they speak words that are founded on knowledge, 
and in their wisdom renounce life because of its vileness. * 

Henceforth, whatever birth is pure that they do achieve, 
and whatever form is pure that do they win. 

1 Bhagavato. Genitive for instrumental ; or read hhagavatd. 

2 Evamukte, " when it has been so spoken " or " when this had been said." 
To avoid repetition, this phrase is left untranslated, or rendered " then " 
as here, in the ensuing dialogue, as often elsewhere. 

3 Dhydna, Fsili jhdna, described and explained below, pp. 127, 183. 

* Kucchattd, explained by Senart as a pure Prakrit form, in virtue both 
of its inflexion -ttd for -tvdt, and of its stem kuccha for kutsa. The derived 
form kucchatva, a new formation for kutsd, does not appear to be found either 
in Sanskrit or in Pali. 



84 THE MAHAVASTU 

Henceforth, they are horn of whatever sex they wish, 
and as whatever kind of deva they wish. 

Henceforth, as ascetic pilgrims,'^ they become destroyers 
of existence ; they abhor the pleasures of sense and extol 
release. 

Henceforth, they become the most excellent of eloquent men, 
pupils of the glorious perfect Buddhas, the devas above all 
other devas. 

Thus are they hidden by the Buddhas, the preachers of 
dharma, at the moment of their passing away, "0 wise men, 
teach dharma, and take up the banner of the seer." 

Henceforth they train many to he arhans, and many to 
qualify for discipleship . 

Henceforth, devas, Yaksas, Guhyakas,^ follow the great 
being, the Bodhisattva, until they win back their true 
nature. 

Henceforth, the form of the Bodhisattvas is supreme in 
the world of men and devas, and unsurpassed are the lustre, 
the radiance, the fame and glory and might of the Bodhi- 
sattvas{101), and hard to attain by the world. 

And though there are no Buddhas in the world at the time, 
the Bodhisattvas come to have 'the five super-knowledges.^ 
Perceiving the depravity of lusts, they extol renunciation 
of the world. 

Henceforth, devas, Asuras, and Brahmds, allured by their 
virtues, come to them with hands joined in adoration. 

Such is the mode of life of the holy Bodhisattvas when 
they are in the eighth bhumi. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Conqueror, 
what sort of dharma do Bodhisattvas who do not lapse preach 
to men, when they exercise the sway of universal kings ? 
When there are no Buddhas in the world, with what sort 

1 Tlrthika. Usually in Buddhist Sanskrit this word has the bad connotation 
of " heretic," Pali itthiya. Senart cites Lai. Vist, 313. 19 for the use of tlrtha, 
in a good sense. The classical Sanskrit form tirthaka means " worthy," 
" holy," " ascetic," etc., but, of course, from the Hindu point of view. 

2 In the popular mythology demigods and guardians of Kuvera's wealth. 
From the root guh, " to hide." 

^ Abhijnd. Pali dbhinnd. See note p. 20 t, where they are, however, as 
usually in the Pali texts, given as six in number. Generally the Mahdvastu 
makes them to be five. Cf. 5. 2. 216. 



THE FOURTH BHCMT 85 

of appeal do they win men? In what way^ do they deal^ 
with men ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied, " My pious friend, 
Bodhisattvas who do not lapse and are universal kings teach 
men dharma in this way. Intent upon the ten right ways 
of behaviour they proclaim to men : ' Do not kill nor steal. 
Safeguard the wives of other men. Eschew falsehood, treachery, 
cruelty, frivolous and senseless talk, covetousness, malevolence 
and heresy.' Laying up heaps of gold in front of their palaces, 
they declare, 

Whoever is in need of anything let him take from this heap 
of gold. (108) My riches were acquired righteously ; do not, 
my friends, have any misgiving. 

I shall give you garlands, perfumes, incense and fragrant 
powder. Do not, my friends, he cast down, hut he glad. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " Through what kinds 
of deeds do Bodhisattvas who are universal kings become 
possessed of the seven treasures ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied in verse : — 

/ shall relate how the valiant man, the king of the four 
continents, the wealthy lord, wins the seven treasures. 

As the result of former meritorious conduct, the nohle man 
wins the treasure of the wheel that shines like the orb of 
the newly-risen sun, and is lovely in all its ten-hundred spokes. 

With honest intent^ he dispenses charity that serves to help. 
Thus he wins the invincihle and triumphant wheel that knows 
no obstacle. 

He wins the wondrous treasure of the seven-limhed elephant 
that is lily-white like a mass of snow, and swift like the 
strong wind. 

He destroys his foes, and thus makes safe the way in 
dangerous places. Thus does he win the fair treasure of the 
elephant that moves with the speed of a hird. 

^ Read kevarupam for kevarupdm. So Senart. 

2 Read na . . . upeksante, for ca . . . itpeksante, i.e. " [do] not ignore." 
Ca gives a sense contrary to the tenour of the passage. 
^ Read °sankalpo for °sankalpe. 



86 THE MAHAVASTU 

Through his store of merit acquired by good deeds well done, 
the king wins also the treasure of the well-trained horse, 
that is black as a bee, with a golden mane streaming in 
the wind. 

(109)/w his covered waggon^ he has carried a mother, 
a father, and a venerable teacher, and for this good deed 
the king wins the wondrous treasure of the horse. 

2 

In a former existence the king was temperate in his enjoy- 
ment of his wife, and for this he wins the treasure of the 
woman. 

The noble king, great in self-control, wins also the treasure 
of the householder who is wealthy, opulent, and plentifully 
supplied with a store of riches. 

Because he has given of his stores of wealth to venerable 
teachers out of respect for them, the king wins therefore the 
treasure of the wealthy householder. 

The mighty lord, free from desire, wins also the fair 
treasure of the counsellor, who is a wise leader, prudent and 
skilled, who is the guiding standard of the four continents. 

In that he, having entered upon the Way himself, has 
shown the Way to the blind and the lost, he therefore wins 
the peerless excellent treasure of the counsellor. 

It is by these deeds, my pious friend, that the treasures 
are won, and it is in such righteousness that the king rules 
the earth. 

(110) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Con- 
queror, in what ways do Bodhisattvas, who have conceived 
the thought of enlightenment for the first time while in the 
fourth bhumi, lapse and fail to reach the fifth ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied, " In seven ways. 
What seven ? They become corrupters of nuns, of men, and 
of eunuchs. By the power of spells they cause unnatural 
disease in others. They seduce good men from virtue. They 

^ Hay ana, so Senart, after the Amarakosa (187. 4). 

2 The first line of the first of the two couplets which, on the analogy of the 
rest of the passage, should be devoted to the treasure of the " jewel," is 
followed, after a lacuna in the text, by the second line of the first couplet 
on the treasure of the woman. Because of this confusion, the two lines 
are omitted in translation. 



THE FIFTH B H Cl M I 87 

become shameless and unscrupulous. ^ In these seven ways, 
my pious friend, do Bodhisattvas who for the first time, while 
they are in the fourth hhumi, evolve the thought of enlighten- 
ment, lapse and fail to reach the fifth ". 

Thus, then, son of the Sugata, you have had explained 
to you the delectable fourth bhumi of the Bodhisattvas whose 
goal is enlightenment. 

Here ends the fourth bhUmi of the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



THE FIFTH BHUMI 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Ka^yapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Con- 
queror, what is the state of heart of the Bodhisattvas which 
links 2 the two hhUmis, as they who do not lapse advance from 
the fourth bhUmi to the fifth ? " 

The venerable Mah§.-Katyayana replied, " They see all 
existences inflamed by passion, hatred, and folly, and accord- 
ingly the state of heart that links the two bhUmis and brings 
them to the fifth immediately after the fourth is one full of 
despair and disgust." 

Then the venerable Maha-Kasyapa asked the venerable 
Maha-Katyayana, "Again, (111) O son of the Conqueror, 
what were the names of the Buddhas worshipped by the 
Exalted One when he was in his fifth bhilmi ? What were 
their families ? How large were the assemblies of their 
disciples ? What radiance was theirs ? And how long was 
the span of their lives ? " 

1 Anotrdpinas, corresponding to the Pali anottdpin, alternative form for 
anottappin, a negative adjective from ottappa. Senart, as against Childers 
and the P.T.S. Dictionary, derives ottapa from apatrapya, apa first weakening 
into ava — o. The latter form is found in Mahdvastu, 3.53 and in 
Dasabhumlsvara, fo. 19a. The " r " in the Sanskrit anottdpin is, therefore, 
according to Senart, an example of " I'heureuse rencontre d'une restitution 
faite k I'aveugle." The root trap, which literally means " to be ashamed," 
certainly seems to suit the sense of this derivative better than tap used in 
a metaphoric sense, " to be tormented by remorse." Besides, the Pali verb 
ottappaii is difficult to explain as being from or for uttappati (so P.T.S, 
Dictionary), for there is nothing to justify the modification of ut {ud)- into 
at-. But both the form and meaning are explicable on the supposition that 
this verb is derived from apa ( = ava = 0) -{• trap. 

2 See note p. 72. 



88 THEMAHAVASTU 



The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied in verse : — 

There was a noble Conqueror, styled the Sdkyan Seer, who had 
a following of a koti of saints. His radiance extended one 
fathom. He was massive like a mountain crag, gleaming like 
a mountain of gold. And he was a destroyer of his foes. 

At thai time the span of life of the Supreme Man was 
six thousand years. His name was Yasavrata, and he was 
beneficent and enlightened. 

By family he was a Gotama, and this present Exalted One 
was then a merchant's son, who, when he made the Buddha 
an offering of rice-gruel, made a vow in his presence. 

Saying, "Since I have laid up a store of merit by giving 
all^ to the holy Sangha, may I become one who will realise 
the ultimate good. May my merit be unimpaired." 

Then there was the beneficent valiant man, named Sudar- 
sana, who had come down to his last existence on earth. 
He was of the family of Bhdradvdja, and his radiance 
extended ten yojanas. 

This choicest of beings had a following of a koti of saints. 
At that time the life of Mdra's vanquisher was ten thousand 
years. 

(li2)Now there was a universal king, by name Dharamm- 
dhara, who thus spoke to the Conqueror Sudarsana and his 
community of disciples. Thus did that wise man speak : 
"/ give {to thee and the Sangha) all that is necessary to your 
comfort.*' And then the king made the following vow, saying, 
*'May I become like unto thee." 

"May I be active in leading across men who have entered 
upon the ocean of old age and death. . . ."^ 

Then there was an Exalted One with a sound root of merit, 
named Naresvara, of the Vdsistha family, whose radiance 
extended ten yojanas. 

He had a retinue of twelve kotis of saints, and the span 
of men's lives was then nine thousand years. 

Now there was a ^miversal king named Apardjita, With 
devotion in his heart he thus addressed the Dasabala, the lord 
of men : — 

^ SamsHsya, " compl^tement, comprenant tout " (Senart). 
2 Lacuna. 



THE FIFTH BHtFMI 89 

"/ give to thee, Lord, these eighty-four monasteries,^ 
with their corners bright with the seven precious stones, 
and adorned with many gems." 

And when he had offered this gift to the lord of men, 
he made his vow saying, "May I become like unto thee. 
May I win the Conqueror's powers." 

Once on a time there was a king's minister, named Vijaya, 
and the Conqueror of that time was named Suprabha.{llZ) 
The latter belonged to the Kdsyapa family, and his radiance 
extended ten yojanas. 

His community of disciples consisted of ten kotis of men 
who had shed their passions. At that time the span of man's 
life was twenty-thousand years. 

Vijaya greeted and invited the noble Conqueror, the 
destroyer of existences. The Dasabala accepted, and Vijaya 
was thrilled with joy. 

Vijaya regaled him with the choicest, most excellent, and 
sweetest of foods, and following this duly made his vow, 
saying : — 

"May I become like unto thee, honoured of the best men, 
and a benefactor of devas and men. Thus may I become 
a noble guide, a Dasabala, and a tiger in eloquence." 

Once on a time there was a Buddha, a Tathdgata, named 
Ratanaparvata. He was a Gotama by family, and his 
radiance extended ten yojanas. 

He had a retinue of thirty kotis of men whose minds were 
well-controlled. The span of man's life was then twenty- 
thousand years. 

Now there was at that time a universal king named Acyuta, 
who, embracing the Conqueror's feet, thus addressed the 
supreme of devas and men : — 

"0 thou elephant among men, I have eighty-four thousand 
palaces. [ll^:) These in all their splendour I give to thee 
and thy community of disciples." 

The king was exultant when he saw (that the Conqueror)^ 
was willing to accept, and he made his vow accordingly in 

1 Vihdra, in its later sense of a large building or monastery. Cf. note 

p. 30. 

2 Lacuna in the text. 



90 T^H E MAHAVASTU 

the presence of him who bore the marks of excellence, saying : — 
"By the merit of this good deed, may I become an un- 
failingly strenuous performer of good deeds which heap up 
merit, and a protector of the unprotected." 

There was a perfect Buddha, named Kanakaparvata, 
whose mind was unsullied by anything in heaven or earth, 
and who was honoured by men. His family was named 
Kaundinya. 

His radiance, born of fair deeds, extended six yojanas, 

and he had a retinue of five kotis of saints. 
1 

Now there was at that time a universal king, named 
Priyadarsana, who was resplendent with the seven treasures 
of royalty, sovereign over the four continents, and protector 
of the earth. 

Accompanied by his counsellors, and his women wearing 
their necklaces of pearls, he fell at the lovely feet of the Buddha 
Kanakaparvata, and implored him saying, 

"/ have a kingdom full of cities and towns, the four wealthy 
great continents. Ungrudgingly I give these to thse, hero, 
and to thy community of disciples. 

{115)Whatever food is befitting to seers, whatever garments, 
whatever kinds of medicine, whatever couches and seats, all 
these are to be found in my fair palace. 

"0 most comely one, in thy compassion have pity on me 
who have dispensed all the things, of twelve kinds, ^ that are 
the requisites of monks." 

After the excellent prince ^ had made this gift he duly made 

1 The text of the stanza giving the length of man's life is very corrupt, 
and no attempt has been made to translate it. 

' Parihhojyam dvddasdkdram, evidently referring to the original four 
requisites {pratyaya, Pali paccaya) of a monk's daily life, namely, robe, 
alms-bowl, seat and bed, and medicine, plus the other, and later, set of eight 
requisites {pariskdra, Pali parikkhdra), which consisted of the three robes, 
a bowl, razor, needle, girdle, and a water-strainer. 

3 Pdrthivalamhaka. Although there is no manuscript authority here for 
the emendation, lambaka of the text has been changed to lancaka. At 2. 421, 
where lancaka occurs again, some MSS. have lambaka. The former, although 
its exact sense is obscure, is usually rendered by translators from Pali, by 
" excellent." As, however, it seems to be a derivative of lanca, " gift," 
" present," it might be translated as " boon (of princes)," and this sense 
seems an appropriate one in the compound word in which it is generally found 
in the Mahdvastu, viz. naralamhaka which is throughout read naralancaka 
" a boon for men" (see pp. 122, 123, 150). Note, also, that Trenckner {Miln. 
p. 424) translates lancaka as " excellent gift," thus combining the two ideas. 



THE FIFTH BHUMI 91 

his vow with a glad heart in the presence of the perfectly 
virtuous one, saying : — 

*'May I become a noble leader having a keen discernment 
of the ultimate good, and gifted with perfect skill, one who 
has destroyed all the bases of existence."'^ 

There was an Exalted One, who bore the thirty-two marks 
and was named Puspadanta. He was of the Vatsa family 
and was a perfect Buddha who had sight of the ultimate 
good. 

This most excellent Conqueror had a radiance extending 
nine yojanas. Thirty -four kotis of saints attended upon 
this Dasabala. 

The span of man's life was then fifty-thousand years, and 
thus there was no occasion for doubt as to what was then 
taught. 

Now there was at that time a king, a lord of men, named 
Durjaya, who with his train of followers approached Puspa- 
danta and bowed at his feet. 

(116) Raising his joined hands, the king serenely addressed 
Puspadanta, saying, "May the Dasabala deign to be gracious 
and live on my store of food for seven days^." 

When the king, invincible in majesty and might, ^ saw that 
the Dasabala consented, he covered the ground with bright 
carpets of golden cloth. 

Thereon he set down resplendent bejewelled couches, and 
laid out richly varied food of the most exquisite fragrance. 

Eight-hundred individual devas and men^ in magnificent 
attire and gay adornment held up sunshades sparkling with 
the seven precious stones. 

So that for each saint they reverently^ held up a gem-studded 
sunshade that was radiant and spotless, like the moon or 
a disc of mother-of-pearl. When he had thus regaled the 
Sugata named Puspadanta and his followers, the king duly 
made this vow in his mind : — 

' See p. 199. 

2 According to a regulation at V. 4. 87 no more than a seven days' supply 
of food could be stored at one time, and it must be eaten within that period. 
(The translator owes this reference to Miss I. B. Horner.) 

^ Reading durjayarddhibala, on Senart's suggestion, for durjayordhvahala. 

* Naramarunam . . . purusd. 

* Reading hirimand for hridimano. So Senart. 



92 



THE MAHAVASTU 



"May I become a perfect Buddha like thee, and preach 
dharma to devas and men. . . ."^ 

There was a perfect Buddha, who bore the thirty-two marks 
and was named Lalitavikrama, an Exalted One, a destroyer 
of existence, one who had shaken off the lusts. He belonged 
to the Vdsistha family. 

The radiance emitted from his body extended thirty-two 
yoj anas (117) and this most excellent of men had a retinue 
of thirty kotis of saints. 

The span of man's life was then eighty-four thousand years. 
Now there was at that time a king named Caturangabala, 
who was beloved and popular. 

This guardian of earth built forty kotis of palaces made 
of many precious stones, and one palace besides of pre- 
eminent beauty. 

The king also caused to be made an abundance of couches 
and seats of faultless workmanship, and prepared the 
requisites of food and medicines befitting seers. 

When the king had offered all this to the Exalted One 
and his community of disciples he joyfully and duly made 
his vow in the presence of the Dasabala, saying, 

"The Dasabala is one whose like is hard to find ; he is 
incomparable. He crushes old age, death and doubt. May 
I, too, become supreme among devas and men, and confuse 
the talk of the vulgar herd." 

There was an Exalted One who bore the thirty-two marks, 
named Mahdyasas, of the Kdsyapa family. He was of wide 
renown and boundless fame. 

The radiance of the body of this virtuous one extended 
fifty yoj anas, and he had a retinue of fifty-five kotis of saints. 

The span of man's life was then eighty-four thousand years, 
(li.^)and this four-fold race of men was then eighty-four-fold. 

Now there was at that time a king named Mrigapatisvara, 
a lord of the four continents, unsurpassed in his abounding 
might, whose wheel was invincible. 

For ninety-six yoj anas this king had the branches of the 
forest trees decked out with jewels and hung with fine 
tapestry. 

^ Lacuna. 



THE FIFTH BHtJMI 93 

The surface of the earth he made radiant and resplendent 
with beryl, and he rendered it fragrant with aloe wood, and 
strewed it with sweet-smelling flowers. 

Therefor seven days the protector of the earth, with devotion 
in his heart, regaled the lion-voiced valiant man with abundant 
food. 

Then in gladness he offered that heavenly forest as a place 
of rest by day^ to the Dasabala, the choicest of all beings. 

And when he had made his gift to Mahay asas and his 
community of disciples, the king in ecstasy of heart duly 
made his vow, saying, 

"May I become honoured by the multitude, self-dependent, 
not led by another ; may I become omniscient. By this deed 
of merit of mine, may I become mighty with a Tathdgata's 
strength." 

There was a Conqueror named Ratanacu da, who was richly 
endowed with powerful merit, a skilful guide, {119^) having 
deep dark eyes, with an incomparable store of virtue, and wise. 

The radiance of his body extended one hundred yojanas 
all around. The All-seeing One of that time belonged to the 
Bhdradvdja family. 

He had a Sangha of ninety-nine kotis of men who had 
shaken off the defikments. The span of man's life was then 
eighty-four thousand years. 

Now there was at that time a universal king, lord of the 
four continents, holding sway over all the earth.^ He was 
named Manivisdna, and he governed men in righteousness. 

This protector of earth built for RatanacUda ninety-two 
kotis o/nayutas of palaces of varied design. 

And he feasted the gold-like RatanacUda, the honoured of 
devas and men, and his followers for ten years without wearying. 

The first day that he feasted the Sugata and his community 
of disciples the prince of men presented these noble palaces 
to the Virtuous One. 

When the king had made this gift to the Great Man,^ 
with devotion in his heart he duly made his vow in the 
Conqueror's presence, saying, 

^ Divdvihdra, cf. notes pp. 3°> 89. 

2 Mahisthdmo. 

3 Mahdpudgala. 



94 



THE MAHAVASTU 



"May I safely lead across all men who have fallen into 
the great flood of recurrent birth, having myself hurst through 
the toils of illusion, with peace in my heart, and with my 
mental power free from attachment to the world." 

Thus, the lion-hearted Buddhas in the fifth bhumi were 
innumerable, (120) as were also Pratyekabuddhas , those in 
training, and the adepts, the disciples of the Conqueror. 
All these and other Tathdgatas as well were worshipped by 
the Exalted One, and it is thus that he laid up the root of 
goodness for the sake of the whole world's welfare. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Conqueror, 
in what ways do Bodhisattvas who have made a vow 
to win enlightenment, while they are in the fifth bhUmi, lapse 
and fail to reach the sixth ? " The venerable Maha-Katyayana 
replied, " O son of the Conqueror and my pious friend, there 
are four ways in which Bodhisattvas who have made a vow 
to win enlightenment in the fifth bhumi, lapse and fail to reach 
the sixth. What are the four ways ? 

" Though the Bodhisattvas have taken up the rehgious 
life on the Buddha's instruction, they yet join forces with the 
Yogacaras.^ Hankering after the sensations which are abjured 
by a convert, 2 they turn away in fear from self-development.^ 
They live perpetually inattentive to the cultivation of calm 
and introspective insight,* and they inevitably train their 
thought to be fixed on objects of perception.^ 

1 It is worth noting that the Yogacaras formed one of the great schools 
or sects of Mahayana Buddhism, 

2 A stamaka. Of this word Senart says, " Je ne puis rien faire de astamaka," 
and he proposes to read astdngika, making the reference to be to the " eight- 
fold way." Astamaka, however, is clearly the Pali a///? awa^a, thus defined 
in the P.T.S. Dictionary : " the eighth of eight persons who strive after 
the highest perfection, reckoned from the first or Arahant. Hence the eighth 
is he who stands on the lowest step of the Path, and is also called a soldpanna." 
For the moral attainments of such a person, see Kvu. 243 ff. Astamake, 
locative case, does not admit of translation without doing undue violence 
to the use of cases, although the case suits Senart's emendation into astdngike. 
The right emendation, however, would seem to be the simple one of reading 
astamakadhutavedandgriddhd as one compound word, which would thus give 
the above translation. 

" I.e. development by means of mental application, bhdvand. 

* The negative required by the sense in this sentence may be supplied 
by resolving the compound word to read ° ahahuldsca. 

' 5 Alamhana, with n on the analogy of Pali drammana, meaning the ' ' perceived 
object", the relation of which to the perceiving subject may be said to constitute 
consciousness. 



THE SIXTH BHCMI 95 

"All the Bodhisattvas, my pious friend, who, having vowed 
to win enlightenment in the fifth, lapse and fail to reach the 
sixth hhumi, have done so, do so, and will do so, in these 
four ways. 

Thus, my friend, the fifth bhumi of Bodhisattvas whose 
merits are many and various, has been expounded and 
illustrated. 

Here ends the fifth bhUmi of the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



THE SIXTH BHilMI 

{12\)Then the elder Kdsyapa asked Kdtydyana, "What 
is the state of heart of the wise Bodhisattvas in the fifth 
bhiimi ? "1 
The elder Katyayana, the sage, replied to the pious Kasyapa 
in verse : — 

That the vortex of the world holds little delight, but is 
exceeding painful (is the thought that) is (in them as they pass 
from the fifth to the sixth bhumi). ^ 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha- Katyayana concerning the " field " 
of a Buddha. 3 

Then the elder Kdtydyana said to Maha-Kasyapa, "Hear 

what the field of the saviours of the world is in its true essence, 

"And I shall tell you, too, noble sir, what the upaksetra* 

^ The citta or state of heart or mind meant here must be the same as that 
elsewhere (see p. 72) described as sandhicitta, for we have to do now with 
the passage from the fifth hhumi to the sixth, 

2 The words in brackets represent a lacuna in the text. They are supplied 
in translation on the basis of the assumption made in footnote i, p. 72, 
and by analogy with the parallel passages on pp. 72, 87. 

^ This passage is defective ; the only part of the question that remains 
is the word ksetramiti. The " field " {ksetra, Pali khetta) is thus described 
by Buddhaghosa in Vism. 414 : Buddhakkhettam ndma tividham hoti, jdtik- 
hhettam, dndkkhettam, visayakkhettam, " The field of a Buddha is of three 
kinds ; the field of his birth, the field of his authority, and the field of his 
sphere." 

* From its form the word upaksetra might be expected to denote a 
subdivision of the ksetra, rather than an area four times its size, as it is defined 
below. There is no reference elsewhere to the upaksetra, unless it is meant 
to denote one of the three fields mentioned in the preceding note. 



96 THE MAHAVASTU 

of these men of perfect eloquence is. Pay heed to these words 
of mine and to my teaching. 

"A Buddha's field is proved to he sixty-one systems 
of three thousand worlds, and an upaksetrats to he understood 
as heingfour times this." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Ka^yapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, do Buddhas appear in all Buddha-fields, or do they 
appear in some only ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

Here and there is a field that is not empty of those whose 
form is peerless. (122) But many kotis o/nayutas of fields 
are empty of the pre-eminent men. 

Of a truth, rare is the appearance of Him who hears 
the marks of excellence, who has won perfect knowledge 
at the end of a long time, who is adept in the consummate 
dharma, who is of great glory, and who is a being mindful 
of the welfare of all creatures. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, what is the cause, what is the reason, that in any 
one field two Buddhas do not arise ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

It is the very nature of the Buddhas to achieve the whole 
difficult task of a Buddha that is set the heroic men. 

If one man of vision were not equal to the conditions of 
Buddhahood, then two great-hearted Tathdgatas would he 
expected to appear. 

But men reject this notion of the inadequate nature of the 
great seers, and hence two valiant men are not horn in one 
and the same field. 

No one has ever heard that the Best of Men, sons of the 
Conqueror, have in times gone hy passed away with their 
Buddha-tasks undone. 

{\2Z)The Buddhas, supreme of men, whether of the future, 
or of the past, or of the present, only pass away when they 
have fulfilled their Buddhahood. 



THE SIXTH BHOMI 97 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Con- 
queror, how many other Buddha-fields are there at the present 
moment where Buddhas now preach dharma ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Ka^yapa in verse : — 

In the eastern quarter of the world there is a well-laid-out 
Buddha-field, where abides the supreme Conqueror named 
Mrigapatiskandha. 

In the eastern quarter of the world there is a healthy 
Buddha-field, where abides the Conqueror with the thirty-two 
marks, named Simhahanu. 

In the eastern quarter of the world there is a resplendent 
Buddha-field, where abides the all-seeing great Seer, named 
Lokaguru. 

In the eastern quarter of the world there is a secure Buddha- 
field, where the Master named Jndnadhvaja teaches men. 

In the eastern quarter of the world there is a bright Buddha- 
field, where abides the Conqueror, named Sundara, who is 
radiant like the golden bimba.^ 

In the southern quarter of the world there is a Buddha-field 
that is full of palm-trees. There abides the Buddha named 
Anihata, who is the joy of devas. 

In the southern quarter of the world there is a pleasant 
Buddha-field, where abides the great Seer, the Buddha 
Cdrunetra. 

(124)/w the southern quarter of the world there is a Buddha- 
field free from all impurity. There abides the Guide, the 
Buddha named Mdlddhdrin. 

In the western quarter of the world there is a Buddha-field 
that is free from strife.^ There abides the Buddha, the 
destroyer of existence, named Ambara. 

In the northern quarter of the world there is a pleasant 
Buddha-field, where abides the Buddha named Piirnacandra, 
learned in the sacred lore. 

In the nadir of the world there is a securely-fixed Buddha- 

1 " The red fruit of Momordica monadelpha, a species of amaranth." 
{P.T.S. Dictionary.) 

2 ? Or " incorporeal," avigraha. 



98 THE MAHAVASTU 

field, where abides the Buddha, the Tathdgata, named 
Dridhahdhu. 

In the zenith of the world there is an unshaken Buddha-field, 
where abides the Buddha named Mahdbhdga, a destroyer 
of his foes. 

There are besides thousands of other Buddha-fields, and 
yet other thousands, of which one cannot reach the end 
in enumerating^ 

Thousands of empty Buddha-fields which one does not 
know where to begin counting,^ and thousands of universes 
of three-thousand worlds. 

As the beginning of the round of rebirth is not known, 
so neither is that of the universes. 

One does not know where to begin counting the number 
of past Buddhas, nor of those who vow to win enlightenment. 

Nor the number of those who are incapable of lapsing, 
nor of those who achieve consecration as kings. 

(12b)Nor the number of those who dwell in Tusita, nor 
of those who pass away from there. 

Nor the number of those who lie in their mother's womb, 
nor of those who stand there. 

Nor the number of the heroes who are being born, nor of 
the world-saviours who have been born. 

Nor the number of those who are taken on their mothers* 
laps, nor of those who take the mighty strides. 

Nor the number of those who laugh aloud, nor of those 
who survey the regions of the world. 

Nor the number of those who are borne in their mothers' 
laps, nor of those who are adopted by Gandharvas.^ 

^"Literally, " the other end of which is not known," kotl na prajndyate 
'para. 

2 Kotl na prajndyate 'ntard, literally, " the inner end (or starting-point) 
is not known." In the succeeding stanzas this is expressed by -purvd kotl, 
" the point farthest back," i.e. the beginning. See P.T.S. Dictionary s.v, 
koti. The latter phrase is translated where it first occurs ; subsequently, 
to avoid a jingling repetition, it is represented by " nor the number of " 
and " nor." 

3 In Buddhist mythology the lowest class of devas. Here and elsewhere 
in the Mahdvastu {e.g. i . 204) we find them attending the newly born Buddha. 
This is possibly a reflect of one of their functions in Hindu mythology, where 
Gandharva, their eponym, as parent of Yama and Yarn! presided over 
marriage. The idea, however, that in Buddhist mythology they were regarded 
as presiding over conception has been shown to be wrong. See D.P.N, 
s.v. 



THE SIXTH BHtJMl 9^ 

Nor the number of those who leave their homes, nor of those 
who approach the bodhi tree. 

Nor the number of those who achieve the knowledge of a 
Tathdgata, nor of those who set rolling the wheel of dharma. 

Nor the niunber of those who convert kotis of beings, 
nor of those who roar the lion's roar. 

Nor the number of those who shed the elements of sentient 
life, ^ nor of those heroes who pass entirely away. 

{12Q) Nor the number of those who lie in entire release, 
nor of the heroes who are cremated. 

Know then that this is the truth concerning the total number 
of the Masters, and concerning the fields in which a Buddha 
now and then appears. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Con- 
queror, if there are so many Buddhas, and each one of them 
leads an infinite number of beings to entire release, ^ then in 
no long a time they will have enabled all beings to win it. 
Thus this world will become absolutely empty, completely 
denuded of beings." 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

Suppose empty space everywhere become full without a gap, 
suppose space that is without foundation and support be 
inhabited in all its extent. 

Numerous though these worlds might be, still more numerous 
would be the average worldlings therein to be taught by Him 
who has insight into the highest good. 

Whence, then, can there be a limit to the countless beings 
who listen to the teaching of the Supreme of men ? Thus has 
the great Seer proclaimed the truth. 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 

1 Ayu : samskdra. Samskdra is the Pali sankhdra, " one of the most difficult 
terms in Buddhist metaphysics "- {P.T.S. Dictionary). These elements or 
components may be viewed from two aspects : (i) as conditioning present 
sentient life, and (2) as forming the potentiality of rebirth into another life. 
Cf. D. 2. 106 salo sampajdno dyu-samkhdram os.^aji (Trans. Dial. 2, p. 113 
— "he deliberately and consciously let go (interest in) life's conditions". 
Footnote ibid. : The difficult term dyu-samkhdram must here have the 
meaning in which it is used at M. i. 295—6 ; 5. 2. 266 ; /. 4. 215.) 

^ Literally " causes to pass entirely away," parinirvdpayati. 



100 THE MAHAvASTU 

asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana(127) " O son of the 
Conqueror, in what ways do Bodhisattvas, who have vowed 
to win enlightenment in the sixth, lapse and fail to reach the 
seventh hhumi. 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Ka^yapa : "There are two ways, my pious friend, in 
which Bodhisattvas, who have vowed to win enlightenment 
in the sixth, lapse and fail to reach the seventh hhumi. What 
two ? They envy those who have won cessation of perception 
and feeling, 1 and at the very time that there are consummate 
Buddhas in the world, possessing full comprehension of the 
truth, and each declaring, " I am the great-hearted bringer 
of peace," they do not^ listen reverently and attentively to 
the divine beings. All Bodhisattvas, my pious friend, who 
have lapsed, are lapsing, and will lapse and fail to reach the 
seventh hhumi, after li\ing in the sixth, do so in these two 
ways." 

Such, then, is the sixth bhumi of the virtuous lion-like 
Bodhisattvas, the henef actors of men, the great seers. 

Here ends the sixth hhUmi of the Mahdvastu-Avadana. 



THE SEVENTH BHUMI 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " My pious friend, 
what is the state of heart, linking the two hhumis, of Bodhi- 
sattvas who do not lapse, as they advance from the sixth hhUmi 
to the seventh ? 

^ The translation here follows Senart's rectification of a somewhat perplexing 
text. Samjndvedayitanirodhasanidpattiyo must be taken as a bahuvrlhi 
compound, " those who have the attainment of the cessation of perception 
and feeling." Har Dayal, however {op. cit. p. 274), takes it as a iatpurusa, 
and translates " [they desirej to attain the trance of the cessation-of-percep- 
tion-and-feeling." " Desire " will do as a translation of sprihayanti, but 
the case of ° samdpattiyo would require explanation. Presumably he takes 
it as genitive singular governed by sprihayanti. The chief objection to this 
translation, however, lies in the fact that it classifies as a fault what is a 
Buddhist virtue. 

^ As Senart points out, this sentence, in order to be intelligible, requires 
a na before the verb srinvanti. 



TH£ seventh BHOmI lot 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa in verse : — 

The mind of the supreme benefactors of mankind is bent 
on self-control. Such is their state of heart that links the 
two bhumis as they advance to the seventh. 

(128) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Ka^yapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " son of the Con- 
queror, with what quahty of act of body, do Bodhisattvas 
who do not lapse become endued from the first bhumi onwards ? 
With what quality of act of speech, with what quality of act 
of thought ? In short, with what quality of being do they 
become endued ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Ka^yapa, " From the first bhUmi onwards these are the 
acts of Bodhisattvas who do not lapse. They preach and 
commend abstention from murder. They praise beings in the 
various bhUmis who are so disposed and who do not henceforth 
in any way, even when associated with evil companions, 
deprive living things of life. After passing through the first 
seven bhumis, they conceive pity for those beings who have 
a hard lot to bemoan. They apply themselves to the practice 
of morality. They renounce their kingdoms or whatever 
sovereignty is theirs. They go forth from home into the 
homeless state, and they constantly preach the dharma of 
abstention from murder. 

"Once upon a time, my pious friend, when he was in his 
seventh bhumi, this Perfect Man was a king named Ku^a. 
His queen was named Apratima, she who has since become 
Ya^odhara, the mother of Prince Rahula. He who is now 
the wicked Devadattawas then a regional king,^ named Jathara. 
When Jathara heard of Queen Apratima, the passion of 
desire seized his mind, and he sent a messenger to King Kusa, 
saying :— 

Give me your consort Apratima, let her become my wife. 
If you give her not, then get your forces ready to fight. 

Send me a message, king, to acquaint me of your 
choice. {129) If you do not, so will you and your kingdom 
fall into my power. 

^ Prade^ardjd, as distinguished from a cakravartin. (See note p. i .) 



102 THE MAHAVASTU 

When he heard this, King Kusa said to his wife, "Listen, 
my queen, to the words of Jathara, and tell me what you 
think of them." 

The queen, shedding a flood of tears, replied to King Ku^a, 

"My lord, I am adept^ whether the need he for stabbing 
or thrusting with the sword, and so expert that not even you 
surpass me in the use of arms. 

"0 king, you shall see Jathara' s proud^ head cut off by me 
and rolling all gory at your feet. 

"Woman though I am, I'll shoot an arrow that will pierce 
Jathara' s body, nay, go through it and pierce the ground 
where it lies food for dogs. 

"Whether he be on horseback, in chariot, or riding an 
elephant, or at the head of a brave army, I will make an end 
of Jathara. 

"However invulnerable he may be, I'll slay him by some 
means or other, by incantation, spell, or ruse of words. ^ 

"I would deliver you, my lord, of two such foes as he ; 
my magic power is incalculable, the world is as straw to me. 

{lZQi)"Let the king, therefore, he undismayed, and, wearing 
sweet-smelling garlands, let him pace his palace-grounds 
and amuse himself among his thousand women." 

"Then, O son of the Conqueror, Queen Apratima devised a 
trick whereby King Jathara, all unsuspecting, entered King 
Kusa's inner apartment, and fell into her power. Queen 
Apratima then put her right foot over King Jathara's heart 
and her left on his ankles, and recited these verses : — 

When bees sip the flowering creepers of the forest in 
spring-time, their wings become spotted with pollen. 

You have not heard it said, wretched man, that the 
creepers still preserve their virgin freshness. Other bees do 
not take their pleasiire there. 

You have not heard it said, wretched man, that the lotus 

^ Reading bhadrd for hhadra. So Senart. 

2 Samakutam. Senart takes this as equal to kutasamam, and translates 
" haute comme une montagne." But as kuta originally means " forehead " 
the meaning may be simply " proud " or " haughty " (carriage of the head). 

3 V acanakartrima, which must be taken as equivalent to kartrimavacana. 
Senart explains kartrima as an arbitrary restitution from the Pali kittima, 
" artificial," " clever." The regular Sanskrit form is kritrima. 



THE SEVENTH B H t? M I 103 

which a wild elephant in rut has once uprooted, trampling it 
in mud and water, still preserves its virgin freshness. Other 
elephants do not wanton there. 

You have set your heart on winning this graceful woman 
of faultless body, who, when she lies at night like a necklace 
of pearls in the arms of an honoured king, trembles with joy. 
You are like a man who, standing on earth, would fain win 
the moon. 

(131)" Then, my pious friend, at that moment King Jathara 
cried out, " Be gracious, lady, and spare me." And King Kusa 
said to Queen Apratima : 

"0 queen, let this craven man go unpunished, for he has 
turned to you for protection, holding out suppliant hands. 
Such mercy is the dharma of the good." 

"Once upon a time, my pious friend, this Exalted One, being 
then a king of the Nagas, named Ugra, had been brought under 
the spell of the charms and magic herbs of a wizard, and was 
held in duress.^ But through his carelessness the wizard's 
spell lost its power, and Ugra, the Naga king, said to himself, 
" r could easily reduce this wretched man to ashes, but that 
would not be seemly for us who are devoted to the preservation 
of dharma." And he recited this verse : — 

You have lost the spell of your magic, and I could with 
my own power reduce you to ashes. But I spare you, and 
as far as I am concerned, long life be yours. 

"Once upon a time, my pious friend, this Exalted One was 
a lion, a king of beasts, and this wretched man Devadatta 
was a hunter. 

"Now the hunter, under the influence of a bitter hatred long 
pent up, shot the lion with a poisoned arrow when he was 
alone in the forest, in a small grove that was his wonted haunt, 
reclining unsuspecting, motionless, tranquil, and without 
looking round. When he had been shot, the Hon, unmoved, 
with inexhaustible fortitude, and relying on his own strength 
and without any fear(132) sHghtly raised his head, and saw 

1 Sambddhamdpanna, cf. Pali sambddhapatipanna, of the moon when 
ecUpsed. (S. i. 50.) 



lo4 THE MAHAVASTU 

that worthless man timidly approaching his lair. And when 
he saw him, he reflected, " Now I could easily kill that foolish 
man, even though he were to run to a mountain-top, to a cavern, 
to a wood, or even to hell itself." But having quoted the words, 
" Hatred is not allayed by hatred "^ he recited this verse : 

/ am shot by a poisoned shaft that wounds me in a vital 
spot. Let not the same happen to-day to this terrified man. 
You have nothing to fear. 

"Once upon a time, my pious friend, this Exalted One was 
a worthy caravan-leader. Now the caravan, under the guidance 
of the treacherous Devadatta who was in collusion with brigands, 
happened to go on a long trek through the forest. Moved 
by long-standing hatred Devadatta went up to the caravan- 
leader to point him out for the brigands to kill. But the brigands 
were seized by the merchants led by the caravan-leader. When, 
with their guide in front, they were led up for execution, they 
cried out in their helplessness and implored the caravan-leader 
to spare them. And the guide himself, guilty as he was of 
treachery, raised suppliant hands and begged the caravan- 
leader for immunity. Then in him, whose life was lived in 
mercy, there was aroused the compassion that he had fostered 
during hundreds of thousands of existences, and he granted 
pardon to the would-be murderers. Then he addressed the 
guide : — 

Though I could release smoke on the wind to destroy the 
whole land, and guide and robbers as well, yet I let them go 
with their lives. 

"Again, my pious friend, when this Exalted One was a king, 
his principal wife (133) was caught in sin. But in response 
to her entreaties he spared her life, even though she had 
already been led out to the place of execution. The king, 
endued with the gentleness and rectitude he had accumulated 
in the past, calmed the queen's fears, and recited this verse : 

The executioner could make his steel pierce her body, 
which is as soft as a vessel of unbaked clay. But I spare 
your life and restore you to your former position. 

^ I.e. Dhammapada, 5 : Na hi verena verdni sammantldha kuddcanam. 



THE SEVENTH BHTIMI 105 

" Such and others like them, my pious friend, are some of 
the hundred thousand difficult acts of body, speech and thought 
which are performed by Bodhisattvas who do not lapse. 

" They are Bodhisattvas who live on from life to life in the 
possession of manifold good qualities. They are Bodhisattvas 
who have won the mastery over karma, and made their deeds 
renowned through their accumulation of merit. They are 
resolute and valiant, intent on endurance, trustworthy, upright 
and sincere. They are generous, firm, gentle, tender, patient, 
whole ^ and tranquil of heart, difficult to overcome and defeat, 
intent on what is real 2, charitable, and faithful to their 
promises. They are intelligent, brilliantly intelligent, gifted 
with insight, and not given to gratification of sensual desires. ^ 
They are devoted to the highest good. They win converts 
by the (four) means of sympathetic appeal.* They are pure 
in conduct and clean of heart, full of exceeding great veneration, 
full of civility to elder and noble. They are resourceful, in all 
matters using conciliatory and agreeable methods, and in affairs 
of government they are adept in persuasive speech. They are 
men whose voice is not checked in the assembly, men who 
pour forth their eloquence in a mighty stream.'^ With know- 
ledge as their banner they are skilled in drawing the multitude 
to them. They are endowed with equanimity, and their means 
of living is beyond reproach. They are men of successful 
achievements, and are ready to come to the assistance of others 
and help those in distress. (134) They do not become enervated 
by prosperity, and do not lose their composure in adversity. 
They are skilled in uprooting the vices of mean men.® They 
are unwearying in clothing the nakedness of others.*^ They 

1 Aparyddinnacitta. See above p. 66, 

2 Satvayukta, unless we should read satyayukta, " devoted to truth," 
"truthful". 

3 Atittiga, according to Senart, a Pali form for the Sanskrit atriphga, 
tripti (Pali titti) being often used by the Buddhists to denote " gratification 
of sensual desires." 

4 Sangrihltagrdhinas, here taken to refer to the four sangrahavastani. 
See above p. 4. 

5 Literally " making a mighty voice to flow," ugravacanamarsayitri. 

" Literally " men who look on what is mean or despicable," kuisitadarsin. 

' Parakoplnacchddanesu aparikhinnds. Koplna is the Pali corresponding 
to the Sanskrit kaupln'a, " pudenda," " loincloth." Senart prefers to give 
a figurative meaning to the expression and translates, " ils sont infatigables 
k dissimuler les actions honteuses du prochain." He also refers to the further 
meanings of kauplna given by Bobtlingk and Roth, viz. " Unrecht " and, 
" Unthat." 



io6 THE MAHAVASTU 

are anxious not to blight the maturing of their karma, and 
they acquire the roots of virtue by keeping themselves aloof 
from passion, hatred and folly. They are skilled in bringing 
solace to those in trouble and misfortune. They do not hesitate * 
to render all kinds of service. In all matters they are untiring 
in their purpose. They are endowed here in this world with 
the profound attributes of a Buddha. In their progress towards 
their goal they are undefiled in acts of body, speech and thought. 
Through the uprightness of their lives in former existences 
they are untarnished and pure in conduct. Possessing perfect 
knowledge they are men of undimmed understanding. They 
are eager to win the sphere of power of a Buddha — so far are 
they from refusing it.^ With knowledge as their banner they 
are untiring in speech and skilled in teaching. ^ Being of 
irreproachable character they are immune from disaster. They 
are free from sin. They shun the three-fold distractions. ^ 
Leaving vain babblers alone,* they love their enemies. They 
do not indulge in sexual pleasures. ^ They know how to win 
the affection of all creatures. When they enter the world they 
become endowed with powers that are in accordance with the 
vow they have made. In all matters they are skilled in the 
knowledge of correct and faulty conclusions. They are rich 
in goodness® and blessed with good qualities. Eminent, wise 
in their illimitable virtue, they are serene among their fellows. 
On this matter it is said : — 

As it is not possible for any bird to reach the confines 
of the sky, so is it not possible for any man to comprehend 
the good qualities of the self-becoming Buddhas. 

* Literally " are not kept away by doubt " vicikitsd-aparivarjita. 

^ A curious sentiment. Literally " their main object is not to refuse it," 
apratyddesanapards. 

2 The MS. pravarjana hardly makes sense, and Senart, therefore, suggests 
pravacana in the sense of " teaching." (C/. Pali pdvacana.) This suggestion 
is adopted here as giving adequate sense, although Senart also suggests as 
an alternative reading, dvarjana, the Sanskritisation of the Pali dvajjana, 
which would give the meaning " skilful in attending or turning [to impressions 
at the doors of their senses]." See Cpd. 85, 227 ; Kvu. trs. p. 221. n. 4. 

3 Auddhatya, " a strange distortion of the Pali uddhacca, " overbalancing, 
agitation, excitement, flurry." {Pali Dictionary.) See on this term Dial. 
I. 82 ; Dhs. trs. 119 ; Cpd. 18, 45, 83. 

* Sthitalapd, thus translated, on Senart's suggestion that it equals 
sthapitalapd. 

^ Reading amaithunagdminas for maithuna° which all the MSS. have ! 
® Adopting Senart's suggestion and reading sattvd^hyds for the satvddyds 
of the text. 



THE SEVENTH BHOMI 107 

"All the charms and medicines, my pious friend, which have 
been devised for the benefit and welfare of the world and for 
the service of men, (135) were discovered by Bodhisattvas. 
All the remedies that are current in the world for the benefit 
and welfare of men were prescribed by Bodhisattvas. All the 
sciences devoted to the ascertainment of truth which are known 
in the world were developed by Bodhisattvas. All the methods 
of calculating in the world, and all the forms of writing were 
invented by Bodhisattvas. All the names of the styles of 
writing known in the world were introduced by Bodhisattvas. 
These^ are the Brahmi style, the Puskarasari, the Kharosti,^ 
the Greek, 3 the brahmavani, the puspa, the kuta, the saktina,* 
the vyatyasta,^ the lekha,^ the mudra,Uhe style of Uttarakuru,® 
of Magadha, that of the Daradas,» of the Chinese, of the Hunas,io 
of the Abhiras,!! and of the Vangas,!^ the siphala style, the 
Dravidian,i3 the Dardura,^* the Ramatha,^^ the bhaya, the 
vaicchetuka, the gulmala, the hastada, the kasiila, the ketuka, 
the kusuva, the tahka, the jajaridesu, and the aksarabaddha. ^^ 

" All fields of gold, silver, tin, copper, lead, precious substances 

^ Terms derived from geographical, national, or tribal names are written 
with a capital initial. A few others can be explained etymologically as 
denoting peculiar variations of a standard type, but the rest are obscure. 
See Senart's note, in which he calls attention to the analogous list in Lai. 
Vist., 143, 17 ff., which however, is not sufficient to restore all the doubtful 
terms in this list. All are here rendered by the feminine adjectival form 
to agree with lipi, " writing," with which most of them are compounded. 

2 I.e. Kharosfhl. 

^ Ydvanl, " Ionian " or " Greek." 

* Senart suggests, on the analogy of Lai. Vist., which has sakdrilipi, that 
the right reading is sdkdri, and cites the Prakrit dialect of the same name. 

^ " L'ecriture tournee " (Senart). 

^ " L'ecriture epistolaire " (Senart). 

' " L'ecriture des sceaux " (Senart). 

^ The text has ukaramadhuradarada, which is obviously corrupt. Senart 
suggests uttarakurudarada, or, perhaps better, uttarakurumagadhadarada. 
The second suggestion has been followed here. 

^ ? the people of what is now Dardistan in Kashmir. 

^^ ? the Huns, who broke up the Gupta empire at the end of the 5th century 
A.D. {Cambridge History of India, i. p. 304.) 

^^ A tribe of northern India. 

^2 The people from whom Bengal derives its name. The MSS. have vanda 
{sic). 

1^ Tramida. For the variant forms of the name of this people see Caldwell : 
Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Languages, pp. 12-14. 

^* A mountain in the south of India. 

^^ A people in the west. 

^^ Aksarabadham, a conjecture of Senart's for aksabadham of the text, 
and translated by him, " liee aux lettres, s'exprimant par la succession 
des lettres." 



To8 THE MAHAVASTU 

and gems were revealed by Bodhisattvas. All the expedients 
that exist for the service of men were the inventions of 
Bodhisattvas. 

" On this matter it is said " : — 

The peerless pre-eminent men pass through their successive 
lives aware of what is good for the world. Their lives are 
better than those of devas, men, and Guhyakas. For the 
perfect knowledge gained by these lords is unsurpassed. 

(136) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Ka^yapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Con- 
queror, what is the state of heart of Bodhisattvas who do not 
lapse (as they advance from the seventh bhumi to the eighth P}.^ 
The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied, " There arises in them, 
my pious friend, a heart that is set on the great compassion ^ 
as they advance from the seventh bhUmi to the eighth." 

Such is the description of the seventh bhUmi. 

Here ends the seventh bhumi of the Mahdvastu-Avddana. 



THE EIGHTH BHUMI 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Ka^yapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Con- 
queror, what were the names of the Buddhas under whom 
the Exalted One, the Buddha Sakyamuni, acquired merit 
while he was advancing from the first to the seventh bhtimi ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied, " Hear, my pious 
friend, the names of the powerful and renowned Buddhas, under 
whom this Exalted One of the Sakyan royal family acquired 
the root of virtue. * First there was Satyadharmavipulakirti, ^ 
then Sukirti, Lokabharana, Vidyutprabha, Indratejas, Brahma- 
kirti, Vasumdhara, Supar^va, Anupavadya, Sujyestha, Srista- 
riipa, Prasastagunarasi, Meghasvara, Hemavarna, Sundara- 
varna, Mrigarajaghosa, Asukarin, Dhritarastragati, Loka- 

1 The answer shows that the words bracketed must be supplied. 

* Mahdkarund. See note p. 157. 

» As will be seen the list is not confined to the Buddhas of the first seven 
bhumis, but goes on to enumerate those of the eighth and ninth. 

* Most of these names seem to occur only here. 



THE EIGHTH B H t7 M I 109 

bhilasita, Jitasatru, Supujita, Ya^arasi, Amitatejas, Surya- 
gupta, Candrabhanu, Niscitartha, Kusumagupta, Padmabha, 
Prabhamkara, Diptatejas,Satvarajan,(137)Gajadeva, Kunjara- 
gati, Sughosa, Samabuddhi, Hemavarnalambadama, Kusuma- 
dama, Ratnadama, Alamkrita, Vimukta, Risabhagamin, Ris- 
abha, Devasiddhayatra, Supatra, Sarvabandha, Ratnamakuta. 
Citramakuta, Sumakuta, Varamakuta, Calamakuta, Vimala- 
makuta, Lokamdhara, Vipulojas, Aparibhinna, Pundarikanetra, 
Sarvasaha, Brahmagupta, Subrahma, Amaradeva, Arimardana, 
Candrapadma, Candrabha, Candratejas, Susoma, Samudra- 
buddhi, Ratanasringa, Sucandradristi, Hemakroda, Abhinna- 
rastra, Aviksiptamsa, Puramdara, Punyadatta, Haladhara,, 
Risabhanetra, Varabahu, Ya^odatta, Kamalaksa, Dristasakti 
Narampravaha, Pranastadukkha, Samadristi, Dridhadeva, 
Yasaketu, Citracchada, Carucchada, Lokaparitratar, Dukkha- 
mukta, Rastradeva, Rudradeva, Bhadragupta, Udagata, 
Askhalitapravaragra, Dhanunasa, Dharmagupta, Devagupta, 
Sucigatra, and Praheti.^ These form the first hundred^ of the 
host of Aryans. 

"Then there were the Buddhas Dharmadhatu, Gunaketu, 
Jnanaketu, Satyaketu, Puspaketu, Vajrasamghata, Dridha— 
hanu, Dridhasandhi, Atyuccagamin, Vigatasatru, Citramala, 
Urdhvasadhni, Gunagupta, Risigupta, Pralambabahu, Risi- 
deva, Sunetra, Sagaradharapurusa, Sulocana, Ajitacakra, 
Unnata, Ajitapusyala, Purasa, Mangalya, Subhuja,^Simhatejas, 
Triptavasantagandha, Avadyaparamabuddhi, Naksatraraja, 
Bahurastra, Aryaksa, Sugupti, Prakasavarna, Sarnriddharas- 
tra, Kirtaniya, Dridhasakti, Harsadatta, Yasadatta, Nagabahu, 
Vigatarenu, Santarenu, Danapraguru, Udattavarna,(138) Bala- 
bahu, Amitaujas, Dhritarastra, Devalokabhilasita, Pratyagra- 
rupa, Devarajagupta, Damodara, Dharmaraja, Caturasravad- 
ana, Yojanabha, Padmosnisa, Sphutavikrama, Rajaharnsa- 
gamin, Svalaksanamandita, Siticuda, Manimakuta, Prasasta- 
varna, Devabharana, Kalpadusyagupta, Sadhurupa, Aksata- 
buddhi, Lokapadma, Gambhirabuddhi, Sakrabhanu, Indra- 

^ Possibly, as Senart suggests, the MS. reading prabhemi should, instead, 
be resolved into something like tatra bhumau, i.e. " in this bhumi." 

2 I.e. as a round number. The first and second hundred in each half 
of this enumeration of 500 Buddhas end with a summing up in this phrase. 
The remaining fifty, approximately, in each half are not so summed up. 

3 Text mubhuja [sic), 

I 



no THE MAHAVASTa 

dhvaja, Danavakula, Manusyadeva, Manusyadatta, Somaccha- 
tra, Adityadatta, Yamagupta, Naksatragupta, Sumitrarupa, 
Satyabhanu, Pusyagupta, Vrihaspatigupta, Gaganagamin, 
Subhanatha, Suvarna, Kanakaksa, Prasannabuddhi, Aviprana- 
starastra, Udagragamin, Subhadanta, Suvimaladanta, Suva- 
dana, Kulanandana, Janaksatriya, Lokaksatriya, Anantagupta, 
Dharmagupta, Suksmavastra. These form the second hundred 
of Aryans. 

"Then there were the Buddhas Pratyasannabuddhi, Satvasaha, 
Manusyanaga, Upasena, Suvarnacarin, Prabhutavarna, Su- 
bhiksakanta, Bhiksudeva, Prabuddhasila, Nahinagarbha, 
Analambha, Ratanamudra, Harabhusita, Prasiddhavedana, 
Sugandhivastra, Suvijrimbhita, Amitalocana, Udattakirti, 
Sagararaja, Mrigadeva, Kusumahestha, Ratnasringa, Citra- 
varna, Padmarajavarna, Samantagandha, Udaragupta, Pra- 
santaroga, Pradaksinartha, Sarnksiptabuddhi, Anantacchatra, 
Yojanasahasradarsin, Utphalapadmanetra, Atipurusa, Ani- 
vartikabala, Svagunasakha, Samcitora, Maharaja, Carucarana, 
Prasiddharanga, Trimangala, (139) Suvarnasena, Vartitartha, 
Asamkirna, Devagarbha, Suprityarati, Vimanarajan, Pari- 
mandanartha, Devasatva, Vipulatarainsa, SalTlagajagamin, 
Virudhabhumi. 

Here ends the eighth hhumi of the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



THE NINTH BHUMI 

"Again/ my pious friend, following these were the Exalted 
Ones Citrabhanu, Carubhanu, Diptabhanu, Rucitabhanu, 
Asitabhanu, Hemaratha, Camikaragaura, Rajakaratha, Su- 
yaksa, Aksobhya, Aparisrotavahana, Devalamkrita, Su- 
bhiisitakhanda, ^ithilakundala, Manikarna, Sulaksana, Suvi- 
suddha, Vimalajendra, Devacuda, Mandaravagandha, Patam- 
gacara, Carugandha, Indraciirna, Sailarajaketu, Arimardana, 
Manicakra, Vimalottariya, Satyabharana, DridhavJrya, Nandi- 
gupta, Anandamala, Cakravalagupta, Dridhamula, Ananda- 
candra, Brahmadhvarnsadeva, Saumbhavatsabahu, Samiksita- 
vadana, Satyavatara, Supratisthitabuddhi, Hara^italamga, 

1 The list continues, although Kasyapa asked for the names of the Buddhas 
whom ^akyamuni knew in the first seven bhumis only. See p. io8. 



THE NINTH BHUMI iii 

Sukhaprabha, Bhurisatva, Bhadragupta, Candra^ubha, Bhad- 
ratejas, Istarupa, Cakravartidatta, Suvicaksanagatra, Vaisra- 
vanarajan, Samriddhayajna, Sammatarasmi, Darsanaksama, 
Srajamaladharin, Suvarnavisana, Bhutarthaketu, Ratnarudhira- 
ketu, Maharsacuda, Tejagupta, Varunaraja, Udattavastra, 
Vajragupta, Dhanyabhanu, Uttaptarastra, Visalaprabha, 
Lokasundara, Abhirupa, Hiranyadhanyasirika, Prabhutadeha- 
karna,(140) Pragajita, Vicitramakuta, Danavagupta, Rahuva- 
min, Punyarasi, Salilagupta, Samitasatru, Ratnayupa, 
Suvikalpanga, Ajitabala, Satyanama, Aviraktarastra, Vais- 
vanaragupta, Madhuravadana, Kusumotpala, Uttarakururaja, 
Anjalimaladharin, Dhanapatigupta, Tarunarkabhanu, Anu- 
rupagatra, Ratnakarandaketu, Mahakosa, Bahulakesa, Pus- 
pamanjarimandita, Anapaviddhakarna, Anaviddhavarna, Sita- 
sitalocana, Araktapravada, Simhoraska, Aristanemi, Bahu- 
rajan. This is the first hundred of the host of Aryans in the 
ninth hhumi. 

"Then there were the Buddhas Bhiimideva, Pundarikaksa, 
Sadhuprabha, Jyotigupta, Bahuprabha, Satyamvaca, Bhava- 
devagupta, Samvrittatejas, Nirupaghata, Janutrasta, Ratnasa- 
yana, Kusumasayana. Citrasayana, Dantasayana, Supratisthit- 
acarana, Sarvadevagupta, Arajottariya, Svayambhavendra, 
Prasannavarna, Bhavaketu, Ksirapurnambha, Anantabuddhi, 
Kanakanagarajatejas, Bandhanantakara, Anugravarnaksema- 
gupta, Jinakantara, Vimala, Maricijala, Ajitasenarajan, 
Kanakarasi, Gaura, Padmamala, Rajaksetragupta, Samapaksa, 
Caturdeva, Devagupta, Puskalanga, Dvijatiraja, Bahusena, 
Kumudagandha, §avalasva, §advisanapata, Surabhicandana, 
Raj an, Sahasradatar, Abhayadeva, Arinihantar, Vimalasikhara, 
Durarohabuddhi, Yajfiakotigupta, Ratnacankrama, Jalantara, 
Parisuddhakarma, Kamadeva, Gururatna, (141) Satasahasra- 
matar, ^ucipraroha, Stimitarajan, Vriddhadeva, Gurujanapu- 
jita, Jayantadeva, Sujatabuddhi, Samiksitartha, Ujjhitapara, 
Devabhika, Asuradeva, Gandharvagita,Vinaravaghosa, Suddha- 
danta, Sudanta, Carudanta, Amritaphala, Margodyotayitar, 
Manikundaladhara, Hemaj alaprabha, Nagabhogabahu, Kamala- 
dhara, Asokasatva, Laksmiputra, Sunirmitarupa, Isvara- 
gupta, Lokapalarajan, Sunidhyana, Agrapurusa, Anihatavarna, 
Kundapuspagandha, Ankusa, Ardravalhpratirupa, Karyatavi- 
cara, Svatejadipta, Prakasadharma, Aryavamsaketu, Devaraja- 



b 



112 THE MAHAVASTU 

prabha, Pratyaksadeva, Ahibhanuraga, Kusumottariya, Avir- 
asa, Prathamarajan, Pun(Jarikarajan, Subhiksaraja. This is 
the second hundred of the host of Aryans in the ninth bhumi. 
" Then there were the Buddhas Snigdhagatra, Paramartha- 
satva, AkHnnagatra, Dharma^ura, Sutirtha, Lokalokanihita- 
malla, Kundapuspagandha, Niranku^a, Anotaptagatra, Upadhy- 
ayarajan, Pravaragramati, Anabhibhutayasa, Anupacchinna- 
lambha, Devaguru, Ratnapuspa, Suddhasatva, Vaidurya^i- 
khara, Citramalya, Sugandhakaya, Anantako^a, Samamathita, 
Satyaprabha, Adinagamin, Suvikranta, Asambhrantavacana, 
Gurudeva, Naradeva, Naravahana, Ratnahasta, Lokapriya, 
Parinditartha, Avisuskamula, Aparitrisita, Sarvasilparaja, 
Grahakosa, Anuraktarastra, Sivadattamala, Sikharadatta, 
Citramala, Mahavimana, Anotaptagatra, Citrahemajala, Santa- 
raja, Sangrihitapaksa, Aprakrista, Raktacandanagandha, 
AcaHtasumanas, Upacitahanu, Jvahtayasas, Racitamala, 
Siramakuta, Tejaguptarajan. 

Here ends the ninth bhumi in the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



THE TENTH BHUMI 

(142) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " son of the Con- 
queror, with regard to those Bodhisattvas who have amassed 
the roots of virtue, who have accompHshed their tasks, who 
have passed through the ninth bhumi, and encompassed the 
tenth, and who, having won to the realm of Tusita, yearn for 
human existence and descend to a mother's womb with the 
resolve that it will be their last existence, tell me the wonderful 
and marvellous attributes of these supreme men, which are 
not shared by Pratyekabuddhas, etc., nor by saints, etc., nor 
by disciples, etc., nor by average men, etc". 

Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable Maha-Kasyapa, 
" Buddhas know what it is to be conceived, to take up a 
position in the womb, to be born, to have parents, to take up 
the religious Kfe and to be energetic and attain wisdom."^ 

1 Literally " they are endowed with [the attribute of] descent into the 
womb," etc., garbhdvakrdntisampannds, etc. 



THE TENTH B H tj M I 113 

" How, my pious friend, do Buddhas become conceived ? " 

When the illustrious hero, already in possession of the roots 
of virtue, passes away from Tusita, he majestically^ surveys 
the regions of the world at the moment of his passing 
away. 

The Beneficent One, the Great Man, surrounded hy 
immortals, venerated hy devas, takes thought for the welfare 
of men and devas, and reflects : — 

''Now, at this moment, is it time for me to depart hence. 
For men are sunk in gross darkness, are blinded, and of 
dimmed vision. Attaining me, they will he delivered. 

(lAiZyWhat woman is there who rejoices in moral restraint 
and in calm, who is of nohle hirth, of gentle speech, who is 
generous, radiant, and tender ? 

"What woman is there who is dignified, who has overcome 
ignorance, passion and malice, who is endowed with consum- 
mate beauty and is not base of conduct, and who possesses 
abundant merit ? 

"Who can bear me for ten months ? Who has merit to win 
such honour ? Who, now, shall he my mother ? Whose womb 
shall I now enter ? " 

And as he looked down he saw in the court of King 
Suddhodana Maya his queen, a woman like the consort of an 
immortal, with beauty that dazzled like the lightning. 

Seeing in her his mother he addressed the immortals, 
saying, "/ am passing hence to enter her womb for my last 
existence, for the sake of the well-being of Suras and men." 

And the jewel-bearing throng of devas, raising their joined 
hands in reverence, replied, "0 supreme of men, whose merit 
of virtue is sublime, may thy aspiration prosper. 

"We, too, benefactor of the world, shall renounce the 
sweet delight of the pleasures of sense, and live in the world 
to the honour of the Blameless One. 

"For we do not wish to be separated from thee, who art 
revered of all created beings. Moreover, lotus-eyed, thou 
wilt become a Way for devas and men." 

1 Atiiayena is Senart's emendation to restore the metre. But neither 
this nor the original atUaya gives satisfactory sense. The context requires 
something like " carefully " or " attentively." The translation offered above 
comes near enough, perhaps, to the root meaning of atisaya, viz. " eminent." 



114 THE M A H A V A S T U 

(144)" It is in this way, my pious friend, that Buddhas 
become conceived." 

"And how do Buddhas take up their position in the womb ? " 

" Bodhisattvas, having entered their mothers' bodies, stand 
in^ the womb, or in the back, or in the belly, or in the side. 
But just as a fine thread on which has been strung beads 
of coral or beryl is not visible in any part because it is hidden, ^ 
although it really exists in its whole length, ^ so Bodhisattvas 
have and have not a position in their mothers' bodies. 

"Again, my pious friend, when the Bodhisattva has entered 
his mother's womb, the host of devas joyfully approach, 
bowing and with their hands joined before them, and enquire 
the happy moment and day of his birth. The Bodhisattvas 
greet the enquiring devas by raising their right hand, but they 
do not hurt their mothers. Nor, indeed, do Bodhisattvas, 
when they are in their mothers' bodies, hurt them either when 
they sit or when they lie on their side or when they stand up 
in any position whatsoever. Again, they do not hurt their 
mothers when they sit cross-legged. 

" Further, my pious friend, when they are yet in their 
mothers' bodies, by the power of the root of goodness that is 
in them they relate the story of their existences.* Celestial 
musical instruments play without ceasing day or night in 
honour of the Bodhisattva who has entered his mother's 
womb. Again, in honour of the Bodhisattva (145) who has 
entered his mother's womb a hundred thousand Apsarases 
cause to appear never-failing showers of celestial blossoms and 
aromatic powders. From the time they are Bodhisattvas in 
their mothers' womb until as Dasabalas they pass finally away, 
the celestial incense of aloe-wood does not cease. 

" Verily, my pious friend, Bodhisattvas are not born of the 

1 Nikrdya, Pali nissdya literally " leaning on," is here practically a post- 
position, with the preceding noun in the accusative. N.B., the P.T.S. 
Dictionary does not give this form as Buddhist Sanskrit but only as 
a hypothetical Sanskrit word ; the Buddhist Sanskrit form given by it 
is nisritya. 

' ? " because of the obstacle " [i.e. of the beads], vistamhhitayd. Senart's 
note is " vistambhitd se rapporte k la ' mobilite ' des pierres enfilees, qui empeche 
de saisir nettement le hi en aucun endroit." 

3 Literally " although its place is everywhere," pradesastu asti sarvasas. 
The whole simile is far from clear. 

* Bhavavddikathdm, Senart's confessedly unsatisfactory reading. Should 
we not read bhavdbhavakathdm, " the tale of their various existences " ? 



THE TENTH B H M t ii^ 

intercourse of a father and a mother, but by their own merit 
independently of parents. ^ 

" On this matter it is said " : — 

Then dusky Maya, with eyes like lotus-leaves, attended 
hv many Gandhafvas, earnestly^ and sweetly spoke to 
Suddhodana : 

"Henceforth I will refrain from doing harm to living things, 
and will live a chaste life. I will abstain from theft, intoxica- 
tion, and frivolous speech. 

"I will, my lord, refrain from harsh speech and from 
slander, and from falsehood. This is my resolve. 

"I will not nurse envy of the pleasures of others, nor do 
them harm, hut I will he full of amity towards all, and I 
will give up false views. 

"I will, king, live in the practice of the eleven moralities.^ 
All night long this resolve has been stirring in me. 

"Do not then, king, desire me with thoughts of sensual 
delight. See to it that you he guiltless of offence against me, 
for I would observe chastity.'* 

The king replied to his wife, "I shall comply with all 
your wishes. {1^6) Be at ease. You have taken up a noble 
life, and I and my whole realm will obey you." 

Maya then took her thousand beloved principal maidens, 
went up to the fair mansion, and sat down surrounded by 
her entirely gracious attendants. 

On her couch that was the colour of the snow-white lotus, 



1 Upapdduka. On p. 153 below the form is aupapdduka, which, according 
to the P.T.S. Dictionary, is " a curious distortion of the Pali opapdtika," 
from upapatti. 

2 Literally " to the point," sahitam. The force of this word here is to 
be explained from its use in Pali in the sense of " consistent," " sensible," 
" to the point." Senart cites Childers, who equates it with samagga, and 
says that the word as used here denotes " un langage conciliant, doux, 
aimable." Max Miiller in his translation of Dhammapada, 19 and 20 {S.B.E., 
X. 19) takes it as equal to samhitam or samhitd, but admits, " I cannot find 
another passage where the Tipitaka or any portion of it is called Sahita." 
Mrs. Rhys Davids in her translation of the same passage interprets it as 
" what's proper." In Dial. i. 4, sahitamme is translated ' I am speaking 
to the point." In the Mahdvastu this word is a cliche in the account of the 
queen's address to her husband at this particular juncture, e.g. i. 201 ; 2, 5. 

' Literally " morality in its eleven modes," ekddasaprakdram sllam. In 
the Pali texts the Hldni, or rules of moral conduct, are ten in number. See 
note p. 168. 



ii6 thE mAhAvAsTU 

she whiled away her time in silence, contentedly calm and 
self-controlled. 

Moved by excitement, a throng of deva-maidens, wearing 
bright garlands, came, eager to see the Conqueror's mother, 
and alighted on the beautiful terrace. 

And when they had come and seen Maya on her bed in 
beauty that dazzled like the lightning, they felt great joy and 
happiness, and showered on her flowers from heaven. 

When they had stood awhile contemplating such a comely 
and wondrous, albeit human, form, they said to themselves, ^ 
"There can be none like her even among the consorts of devas. 

"Ah ! dear friends, observe the loveliness of this wom^an. 
How befitting (a Conqueror's mother). As she lies on her 
bed, she is radiant and alluring, and gleams like a stream 
of gold. 

"And she will bear a Great Man who delights exceedingly 
in charity, self-restraint and virtue, (1^1) who has made an 
end of all the asravas, and who is rid of passion. What 
more can you want, queen ? 

" In you, whose belly, with its fair streak of downy hair, 
curves like the palm of the hand, and whose renown is bright, 
the Exalted One has taken up his abode, the Gracious One 
who is untainted by impurity. 

" You are a worthy woman, supreme of mothers, as he, 
your son, is pre-eminent, he who ends existences, and is 
blessed. What more can you want, queen ? " 

" In that conception, my pious friend, in which the mothers 
of Bodhisattvas conceive a Bodhisattva for his last existence, 
those best of women Hve a pure, completely perfect and chaste 
life. For in the hearts of these peerless women no passion 
for any man arises, not even for their husbands. And when 
a Bodhisattva has entered his mother's womb, her body 
becomes clothed in celestial raiment and adorned with celestial 
jewels, while troops of Apsarases attend to the bathing, 
rubbing, massaging and anointing of her body. 

" When a Bodhisattva has entered his mother's womb, his 
mother, in company with a hundred thousand deva-maidens, 

^ The idea of " contemplating " and " speaking to themselves " is taken 
to be implicit in the adverb antarato, " inwardly." 



TH^E TENTH BHtJMI 117 

laughs. And while she sleeps, deva-maidens in the prime of 
youth fan her with flower-festooned fans of the coral-tree. 
When a Bodhisattva comes down into the womb of a pre- 
eminent woman, his mother experiences no pain, as other 
women do. 

" From the time of their sojourn in Tusita onwards all 
Bodhisattvas have surmounted the five hindrances, ^(148) 
although they have not yet won the sovereignty of dharma. 
And when the ten months are fulfilled, all Bodhisattvas emerge 
from their mother's womb on the right side, yet without 
piercing that side. There is no delay ; a Bodhisattva is bom 
in as short a time as it takes to tell. 

*' On this matter it is said " : — 

Then when the tenth month had run its course, the mother 
of the Virtuous One went to Suddhodana and said to him, 
''My course is clear to me. 

"I have had a notion to go out into the park, King, 
quickly get ready for me a fitting carriage and an escort." 

When he had heard these words. King Suddhodana, the 
guardian of earth, graciously and out of tender feeling for 
his queen, thus addressed his suite : — 

"Quickly get ready an army of troops with elephants and 
horses, and a large host of foot-soldiers, bristling with darts 
and arrows and swords, and report to me. 

"Then harness ten-hundred thousand of the best four- 
horsed chariots, with bells of gold merrily tinkling. 

"Quickly deliver to me exceeding well-equipped tens of 
thousands of huge black elephants, armoured and most 
richly^ caparisoned. 

"See that the warriors be equipped, fitted out with armour, 
and irresistible. Let twenty thousand of them be speedily 
got ready. 

(149) "L^^ women in garlanded raiment take to the queen 
a splendid horse-chariot fitted with many a tinkling bell and 
coated in net-work of gold. 

^ Ntvarandni, usually enumerated in Pali texts as kdmacchanda, (abhijjha-) 
vydpdda, thlna-middha, uddhacca-kukkucca, vicikicchd, i.e. sensuality, ill-will, 
torpor of mind or body, worry, wavering {P.T.S. Dictionary, where the 
references are given). 

2 Adhimdtrd, " beyond measure." 



jiS THE MAhAvASTU 

"Quickly make the Liimhinl grove like a celestial abode 
for the queen, clean and pleasant, with the grass, mire, leaves 
and litter swept away. 

"Deck out each fair tree with streamers of fine cloth, jute, 
wool and silk, that it he like the kalpavriksa^ trees of the 
lord of devas in heaven.'* 

"So be it," said they in obedience to the scion of kings, 
and soon they reported to him that everything had been done 
as he had commanded. 

She, the mother of the vanquisher of Mdra's might, 
speaking affectionate and loving words the while, with her 
escort mounted the lovely chariots. 

The king's host, adorned with jewels, was resplendent as 
it set out in brave array, many on foot and many in chariots. 

Entering the fair forest, Maya, the Conqueror's mother, 
attended by her friends, roamed about in her dazzling chariot, 
like the consort of an immortal, knowing the rule of true delight. 

Playfully she went up to a wavy-leafed fig-tree and hung 
with her arms to the branches, and gracefully stretched herself^ 
at the moment of giving birth to the Glorious One. 

Then twenty thousand peerless Apsarases, holding out 
their joined hands, greeted and addressed Maya : — 

{\5&)" To-day, queen, you are giving birth to him who 
crushes old age and rebirth, a tender youth of immortal stock, 
honoured in heaven and on earth, friend and benefactor of 
men and devas. 

"Do not give way to anxiety, for we shall render assistance 
to you. Only tell us what is to he done, and lo ! it is done. 
Be not anxious." 

From Maya's right side, without hurting his mother, the 
charming babe was horn, the thoughtful sage, the preacher 
of the highest truth. 

Then at the birth of the Lord of men, cities and towns, ^ 

^ One of the trees in Indra's heaven. The corresponding Pali, kappa- 
rukkha, also denotes a " wishing " or " magical " tree. 

2 Pratijrimbhiid, so interpreted by Senart on the analogy of vijrimbhamdnd 
in Lai. Vist., 94, 22, and Beal's translation of the Chinese version of this 
episode, where Maya at this moment is compared to a rainbow " stretching 
athwart heaven." {Romantic Legend of Sdkya Buddha, p. 43.) 

3 Adopting Senart's suggestion that the right reading here is nagaranigamd 
instead of nagaranagard of the text; the latter could only mean " cities upon 
cities." 



THE TENTH BHCMI 119 

several thousands of them, gleamed bright and clear like heaps 
of divers precious stones. 

'* But, my pious friend, no being in animate creation other 
than the Suddhavasa devas can proclaim a Bodhisattva when 
he is born into his last existence. 

" On this matter it is said " : — 

With their persons arrayed in fine cloth, eight thousand 
of these great lords, ^ disguised as brdhmans, went to the city 
of Kapilavastu. 

In their splendid raiment and jewels these noble beings 
arrived at the door of the king's palace, and joyfully addressed 
the door-keeper, saying, 

"Go in to Suddhodana and tell him, 'Here are eight 
thousand men expert in the science of the significance of signs, 
and they crave admission, if it is your pleasure \" 

When he had heard these words, the door-keeper went(\hl) 
in to the king, bowed and, holding out his joined hands, 
said, 

"0 king, peerless in strength, illustrious smiter of your 
foes, may you wield long and blessed sway. There are men 
like the immortals standing at your gates and craving 
admission. 

"Because of their full clear eyes, their soft voices, their 
tread like that of elephant in rut, doubt arises in me whether 
these be men and not devas. '^ 

"As they walk, the dust of the ground does not soil their 
feet ; nor at any time is there heard any accompanying noise 
as they move along. 

"With their stately gentle gestures, their noble bearing and 
their control of their range of vision,^ they give great joy 
to all who behold them. 



1 Mahesvards, see note p. 155. 

2 Here called by the name Marutas. 

3 Pra^antadristipathd, to be explained, apparently, by analogy with one 
of the attributes of the Pratyekabuddhas, namely, that " they did not look 
ahead farther than a plough's length" {yugamdtram, Pali yugamattam). 
See Mahdvastu i. 273, and in Pali Sn. 63, etc., Miln. 398. Pathd, here trans- 
lated " range," is Senart's emendation of yathd in the MSS. On the 
interpretation suggested it may be possible to retain yathd, and translate 
" like one (those) whose vision is controlled " i.e. " like a Pratyekabuddha." 
Senart, however, renders, " ils repandent le calme, la Piix dans tout ce 
qu'atteignent leurs regards." 



120 THE MAHAVASTU 

"Without a doubt these imposing men are come to see 
your son, to greet and salute the deva of devas and of men, 
the lion among men." 

When he had heard these words the king said to his door- 
keeper, "/ have given the order. Let them enter the palace." 

Then the select hand of immortals, lustrous as the sky, 
and pure of deed, went in to the palace of the high-horn 
king. 

And King Suddhodana, seeing the great lords when they 
were still some way o^,(152) with his court rose up from 
his throne to meet them with dignified reverence. 

The king hade them all a gracious welcome. " For," said 
he, "your appearance, your calm and self-control and power 
give us joy. 

"Here are fine seats beautifully fashioned. Sit down at 
once, sirs, to give pleasure to us." 

Then they who rejoiced in their freedom from conceit and 
pride, sat down in comfort on those fine seats, the feet of 
which were bright and gleaming with silver and gold. 

As soon as they were seated one of them addressed the king 
saying, "Let his majesty hear what the cause of our coming 
hither is. 

"A son is born to you who is of a wholly faultless body, 
and bears the marks of excellence to perfection. . . .^ 

"For we, skilled in the science of signs can distinguish 
the defects from the excellencies by their marks. If it is not 
inconvenient for you we would see your son who bears the 
form of a Great Man ". 

The king replied, " Come, see my son whose fame is 
secure,^ who is renowned and glorious among devas and 
men, and bears the marks of excellence to perfection." 

Then the king brought in the Sugata, the adored of devas 
and men, lying like unto a piece of gold in soft swaddling 
clothes of gaily coloured wool. 

^ Lacuna. 

* Suvyapadesaksema. Cf. p. i8o. Senart, in a note on p. 550, renders 
this by " qui porte un nom de bon augure," which, however, does not seem 
to account for ksema, " safe," " secure." In any case, the literal sense of 
vyapadesa is out of place here, as the child had not yet been given his name. 
(See below p. 182.) Senart suggests the meaning "character," "sign," but, 
perhaps, the slightly metaphorical rendering given above more fitly suits 
the sense here. 



THE TENTH BHPmI 121 

When the great lords saw from a distance the lovely feet 
of the Best of M^w,(153) they bowed their heads crowned 
with glittering^ diadems to the ground] they bowed down 
their milk-white glossy heads to the ground, and stood in 
greeting to the Dasabala whose coming had been so long 
expected. 

" When Bodhisattvas are born, my pious friend, they are 
able even without teachers to practise all the arts of mankind. 
From the time of their sojourn in Tusita they no longer indulge 
in the pleasures of sense." 

" son of the Conqueror, what is the reason, what is the 
cause, that Bodhisattvas, although they are not yet rid of 
the lusts, still do not indulge in the pleasures of sense ? And 
how was Rahula^ born ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa, '' Bodhisattvas do not indulge in the pleasures 
of sense because of their accumulation of virtue, and because 
of their predilection for what is lovely, ideal, and excellent ; 
because they abhor lust ; because knowledge is their banner ; 
because they are not unduly attached to any particular person 
or thing ; because they are not disposed to envy ; because 
of their nobiHty, their high-mindedness, and their cultivation 
of goodness ; because, finally, of the esteem in which the 
world holds the perfect man, saying of him, ' He will become 
a Buddha.' 

" Now Rahula, passing away from Tusita, came down into 
the womb of his mother, the Ksatriyan maiden, Ya^odhara 
— this, my pious friend, is the tradition. 

" The universal kings were born spontaneously, ^ for example, 
Kusumaciida, Hemavarna, Gandharva, Sumala, Ratnadanda, 
Suvimana,(154) Arjava, Mandhatar, Sunaya, Suvastra, Bahu- 
paksa, Toragriva, Maniviraja, Pavana, Marudeva, Supriya, 
Tyagavat, Suddhavamsa, Duraroha, * and all the rest of the 

^ Vigalita. For this sense of the word Senart refers to his Lcgende du 
Buddha, 2nd ed. p. 256, and adds other instances from Lai. Vist. It occurs 
again in the Mahdvastu in this sense at i, 157, 216, 226 ; 2. 19, 29. 

* The son of Gotama. 

^ Aupapdduka, see note above p. 115. 

* All these kings are otherwise unknown, with the exception of Mandhatar 
(Pali Mandhdtd), who was the son of Upo§adha (Uposatha), ultimately 
descending from Mahasammata. (See p. 293.) 



122 THE MAHAVASTU 

host of universal kings were born spontaneously. But not so 
was Prince Rahula born." 

" How, my pious friend, do Bodhisattvas achieve retirement 
from the world ? " 

" Once upon a time, O son of the Conqueror, the Bodhisattva 
was on the point of withdrawing from the world. He went 
to the king's palace and spoke to Chandaka^ in verse : — 

"Quick, Chandaka, bring me my steed Kanthaka. Do not 
tarry long. To-day I am going to win a hard-fought fight. 
So be glad." 

But Chandaka, his face bathed in tears, sighed deeply. 
He gave vent to his tears and his cries of grief to wake up 
the sleeping palace folk. 

"How ," cried he, " can the women, brilliantly'^ garbed 
in raiment of precious silk,^ stretched out amid waves of 
perfume, * give themselves up now to the joys of love, when it is 
the time for grief and lamentation, and to sleep when it is the 
place and time for wakeful watching .^ 

"Can it be that Maya the queen, beautiful as Saudamdnl,^ 
although, it is true, she has kept vigil a long time, is now lying 
down in carefree joy like a Sura's wife in a fair city of the 
Suras, at the moment when he who is the boon^ of men is 
leaving home ? 

(lbb)She, the queen, the mother of the Lord of men, she 
whose eyes are kind, large, and full of tenderness, in spite 
of the imminence"^ of this cruel separation, hears not my cries, 
for she is sunk in sleep. 

"Where now is that brave array of warriors with their 
elephants and horses, and brightly armed with arrows, darts 
and spears ? What boots it now ? For it does not heed the 
departure of the champion of the Sdkyans. 

"Whom shall I arouse ? Who will be my ally ? What 

^ Chandaka, Pali Channa, the charioteer and companion of Gotama. 

2 Avigalita, cf. vigaUta, p. 121. 

' Accepting Senart's suggestion of kosakdrd or kosikdrd for kosabhdrd of 
the text. 

* Again on Senart's suggestion, reading vdsaugha for vdspaugha [i.e. bdsp°) 
of the text. 

5 One of the Apsarases. 

" Reading lancaka for lamhaka. See note p. 90. 

' Literally " seeing " it, sampasyamdna (for sampasyamdnd, " metri 
causa "), which, as the queen is asleep, cannot be literally true. 



THE TENTH EHOMI 123 

can I do now that it is no longer day ? Alas, the king and 
his folk, bereft of him whose splendour is golden, will perish." 

A throng of devas spoke to him in sweet tones, "Why 
do you lament, Chandaka, why are you troubled at this ? 
Trained warriors could not bar his going forth. How then 
can you ? 

'If one were to create an uproar in Kapilavastu with 
kettle-drums, labours, and a thousand trumpets, in order to 
arouse it, this fair and prosperous city would not wake up, 
for it is lulled to sleep by the immortals and their lord. 

"See the devas of heaven, with diadems of gems and jewels, 
{\h%)how, obedient to the Worshipftd One, they bow low with 
their hands joined before them, and, bending their heads, 
adore him with the words, "Thou art our kinsman, thou art 
our refuge." 

"Therefore, cheerfully bring up Kanthaka, the Leader's 
steed, caparisoned in silver and gold, which was born the same 
moment as its master.'^ For there is not in heaven or earth 
anyone who could put an obstacle in the way of him who is 
the boon of men. "^ Lead up the noble steed." 

Chandaka, incited by the words of the virtuous deva, 
obediently, yet weeping the while, led up the horse whose 
colour was shining white like the water-lily and the jasmine, 
which xms beautiful as the moon when it is full, and which 
had been born the same time as its master. 

"Here, Saviour," said he, "is thy steed, comely of limb, 
and ready, fleet of foot as the lightning streak, and friskily 
rearing. beautiful broad-chested steed, may what you are 
now intent on doing turn out successful. 

"0 sturdy steed, may your adversary be quickly overcome, 
like a feeble and broken awn of barley, vanquished by your 
matchless might. May your hope be fulfilled, boon of men, '^ 
and enriched as with mountains of gold. 

"Let those who would impede you be gone. {157) Let those 
who bring support win abundant strength. May you whose 
stride is stately like that of elephant in rut fidly achieve 
the end you aim at.'' 

^ To the reference to this legend given by Senart from Lai. Vist., 109. 4, 
add, after D.P.N. , J. i. 54 ; BudvA. (P.T.S. ed.), 131, 276, etc. 
2 and ^ Reading naralancaka for °lambaka. See note p. 90, 



124 THE MAHAVASTU 

The floor of the king's courtyard, inlaid with precious 
stones, rumbled to the heat of Kanthaka's hoofs, and the 
wondrous sound echoed softly through the night. 

But the four guardians of the world, ^ in their brilliant 
diaaems and flowing garlands, put their hands that were as 
the red lotus under the hoofs of Kanthaka. 

In front, his hair clasped with a jewel, Indra, the wielder 
of the thunderbolt, the teacher of the Three-and-Thirty^ devas, 
the thousand-eyed, went before the Best of Men. 

One might think that it was the horse Kanthaka that bore 
him, but in reality it was the devas who carried in their 
noble hands the tiger of eloquence, him who sheds wondrous 
rays around him. 

When he had withdrawn from the fair city, the lion-hearted 
man looked down on the goodly citadel, and said, "I shall 
not enter it again before I have passed beyond the power of 
old age and death." 

" Thus, my pious friend, do perfect Buddhas achieve retire- 
ment from the world. But I cannot define exactly the kalpa 
that elapsed from the conception of the Bodhisattva up to 
his leaving home, nor the rest of the kalpa ". 

ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHAS 

*' Nor is it possible to comprehend all the virtues of a Buddha, 
so numerous are the virtues with which Buddhas are endowed. 
(158)After they have come to the bodhi tree, but before they 
acquire comprehensive knowledge, Buddhas become gifted 
with the five eyes." 

When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa said 

1 Only one, Indra, is referred to in the next stanza. In Hindu mythology- 
there were usually eight lokapdlas, but in Pali texts there are only four. 
These are identical with the four kings of the lowest deva-heaven which is 
called after them cdturmahdrdjakdyika (see p. 25), where they dwell as 
guardians of the four quarters, namely, Dhatarattha of the east, Virulhaka 
of the south, Virupakkha of the west, and Vessavana of the north. This 
inclusion of Indra among the " four guardians " (who the others were regarded 
as being is not stated) is not the only indication we have that the redactors 
of the Mahdvastu were more conversant with Hindu mythology than with 
Buddhist, or, to be more exact, gave a larger place to it than was usual in 
Buddhist scriptures. 

2 Literally, " the thirty," tridasd, the devas who inhabited Tridasa, a 
conventional name for Trayastrimsa, the home of the Three-and-Thirty 
devas. (See note p. 25.) Similarly Tdvatimsa in Pali is often called Tidasa, 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BU D D H A S 125 

to the venerable Maha-Katyayana, " O son of the Conqueror, 
describe in detail these five eyes. All the world, the crowded 
assembly of devas and men, is listening attentively." 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa, " These, my pious friend, are the five eyes 
of the perfect Buddhas. What five ? The eye of the flesh, 
the deva eye, the eye of wisdom, the eye of dharma, and the 
eye of a Buddha. These five eyes,^ my pious friend, are 
possessed by perfect Buddhas. They are not attributes ^ of 
Pratyekabuddhas, arhans, disciples, nor of the utterly ignorant 
men of the crowd. 

" With regard to the Tathagatas' eye of the flesh, this eye 
is endowed with such brilliance, such power of perception of 
what is minute and real, as does not belong to the eye of 
the flesh of any other being. And when Bodhisattvas have 
attained this all-seeing faculty, their range of vision is un- 
obstructed, no matter what extent of space they desire to scan. 
What is the reason for this ? It comes of their rich accumula- 
tion of merit. As it must be believed that a universal king 
with his fourfold army moves through the air from continent 
to continent by his magic power, and as it must be believed 
that the firm earth, when Buddhas walk on it, rises and subsides 
and subsides and rises by their magic power, even though they 
do not will it, in the same way and by other analogies as well 
this (159) eye of the flesh is proved to be an essential attribute 
of perfect Buddhas. Not in a kalpa is it possible to reach the 
limit of the quahties of the physical eye of Buddhas. And why ? 
Because there is nothing in the Buddhas that can be measured 
by the standard of the world, but everything appertaining to 
the great seers is transcendental.^ Likewise the experience 
of the Buddhas is transcendental. And yet this physical eye 
of the Buddhas has the same colour, the same mode of working 
and the same position in the body as it has in other beings. 

" The deva eye of the Buddhas is the same as that which 

1 In the Pali canon these " eyes " are described somewhat dififerently. 
At Nd.^ 235 we have mamsacakkhu, " the eye of the flesh or physical eye," 
dibha, " the deva eye," pannd, " the eye of wisdom," huddha, " the eye of 
a Buddha," and samanta, " the eye of all-round knowledge, the eye of a 
Tathagata." 

2 Asddhdrana, " not general to," " not shared by." 

» A statement of the special doctrine of the Lokottaravadins, that same sect 
of which the Mahdvastu is the scripture. See p. 3 and compare pp. 45, 7^, 132. 

K 



126 THE MAHAVASTU 

devas of earth, Yaksa devas, Raksasa devas, Kamavacara^ 
devas and Rupavacara^ devas have, only superio r, larger, and 
more expansive. This eye is concerned with mental forms. 

" The eye of wisdom of the Buddhas is the same as that 
which individuals, arranged in eight classes ^ according to their 
power of sight from the convert up to the arhan, have, but 
is clearer. Then what is the dharma eye of the Buddhas ? 
This consists in the intellectual possession of the ten powers.* 
What ten powers ? They are as follows : — 

A Buddha knows what is and what is not a causal occasion. 
This is the first power of the infinitely wise ones. He knows 
whither every course of conduct tends. This is the second power. 

He knows the various elements which make up the world. 

1 Certain grades of devas in a heaven where they are still amenable to 
the seductiveness of the senses. 

2 Devas in a heaven or sphere where " rupa's or objects of sight are the 
principal medium of experience " {Expositor, p. 216 n,). 

3 Compare note p. 94- 

* Senart has a long note on these baldni and resolves many of the difficulties 
in the text with the aid of the two lists in the Lotus and the M ahavyutpatti 
respectively. It may here be said that with the limited sources for collation 
at his disposal, Senart has been remarkably successful in restoring corrupted 
terms. At first sight, and independently of the ordinals enumerating them, 
the baldni of the Mahdvastu are eleven in number. Senart decided that the 
right number of ten could be obtained by taking the words klesavyavaddnam 
vetti saptamam dhydnasamdpattim vetti as meant to express one hala, and 
suggests the reading . . . samdpattlnamca. This reading has been adopted 
for translation, and, when one considers the invariably mutilated form of 
the Mahdvastu terms, it comes very near the description of the seventh bala 
in the Pali texts, e.g. A. 5. 34, jhdnavimokkhasamddhisamdpattinam 
samkilesam voddnam vutthdnam pajdndti. 

Where the Mahdvastu list of baldni departs farthest from the tradition 
is in its term for the ninth — parisuddhadivyanayand bhavanti. The possession 
of the deva eye is nowhere else said to be a bala in itself. The ten baldni, 
indeed, have just been said to compose the intellectual attributes connoted 
by the " eye of dharma." The " deva eye " is rather the means of exercising 
the power which is ninth in the Pali lists — dibbena cakkhund . . . satte 
passati cavamdne upapajjamdne . . . yathdkammupage, " with his deva eye 
he sees beings passing away and being born . . . according to their deeds." 
The ninth bala of the Mahdvastu, therefore, corresponds to none in the Pali 
lists, and is an attempt to make up the round number of ten which had been 
vitiated elsewhere. This had happened when the sixth bala was described, 
too succinctly, as karmabalam prajdnanti subhdsubham, i.e. " they know the 
power of karma, whether it is good or bad". In the Pali lists this knowledge 
is described under two aspects, i.e. it is divided into two balas ; first, the 
knowledge of the working of kamma, atitdndgatapaccuppanndnam kammasamd- 
ddndnam thanaso hetuso vipdkam . . . pajdndti, " he knows the fruit of 
actions past, future, and present ( = our bala No. 2) ; and, second, " the 
knowledge of the state of beings when they reap the fruit of this karma," 
the ninth bala quoted above from the Pali list. In S. 5. 303 ff., the baldni 
appear as ten of the thirteen attainments gained by the cultivation of the 
" four arisings of mindfulness." 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE B U D D H A S 127 

This is declared to he the third power. He knows the divers 
characters of beings. This is the fourth power. 

He knows the merits of the conduct of other men. This 
is the fifth power. (160) He knows the good and had force 
of karma. This is the sixth power. 

He knows the fault and purification of attainments in 
meditation.^ This is the seventh power. He knows the many 
modes of his former lives. This is the eighth power. 

The Buddhas hecome endowed with the clear deva eye. 
This is the ninth power. They attain the destruction of all 
defiling lusts. This is the tenth power. 

" These are the intellectual powers on account of which the 
All-seeing One, renowned in heaven and earth, is called Dasa- 
bala. The intellectual knowledge that is comprised in these 
ten powers is what is meant by the eye of dharma. 

" Next what is the Buddha eye ? It comprises the eighteen 
special attributes ^ of a Buddha, which are as follows. The 
Buddha has infallible knowledge and insight of the past. 
He has infallible knowledge and insight of the future. He has 
infallible knowledge and insight of the present. All his acts 
of body are based on knowledge and concerned with knowledge. 
All his acts of speech are based on knowledge and concerned 
with knowledge. All his acts of thought are based on know- 
ledge and concerned with knowledge. There is no falling off 
in resolution. There is no falling off in energy. There is no 
falling off in mindfulness. There is no falling off in concentra- 
tion. There is no falling off in insight. There is no falling off 
in freedom. There is no faltering. There is no impetuosity.^ 

^ Dhydna, Pali jhdna. " Meditation" is, perhaps, the English word that 
comes nearest to the meaning of the original, and may be used in translation 
if only it is remembered that it is a particular type of meditation, special 
to Buddhist theory and practice. It is essentially a form of religious experi- 
ence, or rather exercise, and in some ways is " mystical." Mrs. Rhys Davids 
translated jhdna by " musing," believing that thus she would avoid the 
intellectual associations of the word " meditation." " Musing," however, 
seems too passive a term, for dhydna {jhdna) was throughout all its stages 
distinctly an active and well-ordered exercise. It is described in detail 
below p. 183. 

' Avenikd buddhadharmd: See note p. 33. 

^ Ravita, so translated here on the analogy of the use of Pali rava in the 
Vinaya to denote " speaking and making blunders by oi er-hurrying oneself 
in speaking "{Pali Dictionary). Compare also the use of ravd cited by Senart 
from the corresponding list in Jina Alamkdra (Burnouf, Lotus, p. 648 f.) 
and translated by " action violente." 



128 THE MAHAVASTU 

His mindfulness never fails. His mind is never disturbed. 
There is no thoughtless indifference. There is no preoccupation 
with the multiplicity of phenomena. The knowledge involved 
in these eighteen special attributes of a Buddha is what is 
meant by the Buddha eye." 

(161) When this had been said, the venerable Maha-Kasyapa 
asked the venerable Maha-Katyayana, "Again, O son of the 
Conqueror, does this account of the hhumis apply to the 
Exalted One (Sakyamuni) particularly, or to all perfect 
Buddhas generally ? " 

The venerable Maha-Katyayana replied to the venerable 
Maha-Kasyapa, " Once upon a time, my pious friend, the 
Exalted One was staying near Benares, at Risivadana, in the 
Deer Park,^ attended by eighteen thousand saints. There the 
Exalted One analysed the eighteen special attributes of a 
Buddha by saying, ' Perfect Buddhas have infallible knowledge 
and insight of the past,' etc., and expounded the ten hhumis. 
It is by taking the perfect Buddha ^akyamuni as a type that 
the ten hhumis are explained. Concerning this matter it is said : 

The man of vision gives up his dear possessions with a 
glad heart, as he passes through his long succession of lives. 
That is why the Tathdgata, reaching his high ideal, awakens 
to that unsurpassed knowledge which is dear to him. 

With wholly contented mind he gives up women garhed 
in fine raiment and wearing hrilliant jewels. His splendid 
wonderful purpose is disclosed by the fruit of this deed. 

Never did he in the course of his existence shoot arrows, 
darts, spears and javelins at living beings. Hence his path 
is free from grass, brambles, and thorns (162) as he passes 
harmlessly through town and village. 

He listens respectfully even to his servant if he speaks 
the truth, and does not interrupt his tale. That is why, when 
he himself preaches dharma to the multitude, there is none 
that is not glad and does not rejoice. 

He bestows choice gifts. . . .^ He dispels doubt and 
perplexity, and that is why cool radiance, like shafts of light, 
emanates from his body. 

Mrigaddva. See note p. 311. 
Lacuna. 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHAS129 

No beggar lays his request before the Lord of men in vain. 
That is why his preaching is not in vain. Hence also the 
marvel of his destruction of Mdra's power. 

Right gladly do they^ give the Conquerors lovely golden 
palm-leaves. That is the reason for the marvel that the 
kinsmen of the world always go about in the world with 
cheerful faces. ^ 

Right gladly does he give at all times jewelled sandals 
and shoes. {\^Z) That is why the Supreme of Men always 
walks without touching the ground for as much as the width 
of four fingers. 

Although reviled by others again and again, the Lord bears 
it with composure and pays no heed to it.^ That again is why 
this earth with its mountains rises and subsides as he walks 
over it. 

With his guidance he gives protection to the humble and 
raises up the fallen multitude. That is why the jewel-bearing 
earth rises and falls as he walks along. 

The chapter of the dharma called Buddhdnusmriti* was then 
recited by the perfect Buddha to celebrate his own virtues, 
and at the end of that he was extolled in his presence by the 
venerable VagTsa : — ^ 

Homage to thee, Buddha, who art boundless of vision, 
limitless of sight, who bearest the hundred^ marks of merit, 
who art friendly and compassionate, who knowest the highest 
good. I greet thee, Gotama, in these pleasant strains. 

1 I.e. the Bodhisattvas generally — a disconcerting change of number from 
the singular otherwise used throughout this passage. 

2 Text has andlokiyd, which is unsatisfactory. Senart suggests mukholokiyd, 
which may be taken as a variant of mukhullocaka (above p. 27 of text) 
" glad " i.e. " with a cheerful look." Cf. Pali mukhullokana, " cheerful " 
and mukhuUokika, " flattering." 

' tfhate — Vedic ohate. {-y^uh, " to consider.") So Senart. It may be 
better to read uhata (Pali), " disturbed," past participle from uhanati = ud 
-|- hanati, and translate " is not disturbed." 

* A work which cannot with certainty be identified with the Bodhisaitva- 
buddhdnusmritisamddhi, referred to by Wassil jew: 5w<i^AismMs, p. 187. See 
Senart's note. Note, also, that there is an evident break here in the coherence 
of the narrative. 

^ I.e. Vdgisa, " lord of speech." Usually this word is an epithet,[and is 
often found compounded with the names of scholars. It is not clear to'whom 
this title is applied here or at pp. 267, 269, of the text where the name occurs 
again. Is he identical with Vanglsa Thera, whose verses are given at 
Theragdthd 1209-79 ? 

* I.e. every possible such mark. 



130 THE MAHAvASTU 

Having thyself crossed, great seer, thou leadest others 
across. Thou Foremost Man, thou hringer of peace, thou 
knowest no fear. {1%^) Making clear what valid reasoning is, 
thou leadest many men to the deathless truth. 

The moral worth of the all-seeing great seer is well described 
as deep, noble, and rich. Thou art devout in this world and 
beyond, distinguished for thy moral worth, a crusher of thy foes. 

great sage, thy life is flawless, stainless, and freed of 
the aiiravas. Clean and perfectly pure, thou art all aglow 
like a fire on a mountain top. In steadiness of mind thou 
hast reached perfection. 

Thus, too, Man, thou hast gained mastery of concentration 
and of thought. Thou hast reached perfect mastery. Far 
removed from the sphere of evil, thou shinest forth. 

fust as thy wish is, thou that art extolled of devas and men, 
thou dost ensue, '^ with all thy heart, '^ solitude^ and concen- 
tration ; thou art resplendent as a garland of gold. Homage 
then, to thee, truly valiant Gotama. 

As the glorious sun shines in the sky, and the full moon 
when the sky is clear, {1Q5>) so dost thou, Man, firm in 
concentration, shine forth like burnished gold. 

Men who strive in perplexity^ and ignorance know not 
the whole-hearted endeavour of him who ensues solitude and 
blissful concentration. Homage to thee, who art adored by 
devas and men. 

Both when thou lookest out upon the world, ^ thou whose 
tread is like a Ndga's,^ and when thou reachest the shore 
beyond death, mindful and with thy thought unsullied, then 
does this life-bearing earth quake. 

Since, through thine own understanding, thou hast appre- 



^ Reading nisevase {ni + sev) for nivesasan of the text. 

2 ^dntara, which Senart suggests is " un reflet plus ou moins defigure " 
of PaU santharin in sabbasantharin, " completely," etc. 

3 Arana for aranya. So also next page. 

* Akdnksamdnd vigatd. The second word makes no sense here, and has 
been replaced in translation by vimand. So Senart. 

^ Yadd ca dlokasi. The reference here is obscure, as there is no mention 
elsewhere of an earthquake on such an occasion. Senart takes the verb in 
a " moral " sense and renders " quand tu te livres a la contemplation." 
But this is open to two objections ; first, that dloketi is never in this text 
used with such a meaning, and second, that there is never said to be 
a convulsion of the earth when the Buddha engages in contemplation. 

" Here an " elephant." See note p. 35- 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHAS131 

hended'^ the truth and knowledge unheard of before,"^ 
Foremost Man, who shinest like thousand-eyed Maghavan, ^ 
pray give utterance to it. * 

This terrible misery is now at an end ; it will arise no more. ^ 
The cessation of it is complete.^ The resuW of deeds fades 
away like the sighing of the wind. 

The words that proclaim emancipation of mind and reveal 
deliverance, are beyond thought, yet are fixed in the way of 
reason,[\%^) sound strong and clear, are eloquent, gentle, 
and instinct with truth. 

Explain these matchless words . . . / for thou art in the 
presence of men. Verily, when they hear thy sweet well- 
spoken speech, the thirsty will drink as from a brook of water. 

Among stricken men, do thou devise a kindly, incomparable 
readiness of speech that will have the force of supreme author- 
ity. For thou hast attained perfection in the highest attributes 
as has no one else in the world. 

Sage, thy wisdom is supreme, unequalled, matchless in 
the whole world. Thou art the highest of all living beings, > 
as Mount Meru is among rocky peaks. 

Endowed with so much virtue as thou art, there is none 
equal or like, much less superior to thee in good qualities. 
Thou art the highest, the perfect man, as immovable blessed 
Nirvana is best of all states. 

Having abjured passion, folly and vice, conceit, hypocrisy 
and ensnaring lust(l&7), thou, with thy mind delivered 
from sin, shinest forth like the full moon in the clear sky. 

1 Abhisametya, Pali abhisameti, for which the Buddhist Sanskrit form in 
Divy. 617 is abhisamayati. The latter, however, may be a denominative from 
abhisamaya. See note p. 206, On p. 312 of the text abhisameti is used with 
the locative case .of the object. 

" darsanam tathd . . . anusrutam. The text has anusrutam, but, as Senart 
points out, the sense requires andsrutam or avisrutam. 

3 A name of Indra ; in Pali Mag ha, " the name Sakka bore in a previous 
birth when he was born as a man in Macalagama in Magadha. His story 
is given in the Kuldvaka Jdtaka " {D.P.N.). 

* The speech which is here begged of the Buddha is not forthcoming, 
and Senart, therefore, suggests that the eulogy of Vagisa's is out of its proper 
place. 

^ Ito . . . agre — " henceforth ; cf. Pali yadagge . . . tadagge, and BSk. 
tadagrena, adydgrena cited by Senart from Lai. Vist. and Lotus. 

« Literally, " the cessation of it has reached bottom," reading, with Senart, 
avarodhanam adho pravartati, for avarodhdnam, etc., of the text. 

' Pdka, " ripening," " maturing," sc. of karma. 

8 Lacuna. 



132 THE MAHAVASTU 

Since thou hast uprightly walked in the way of truth, 
thou art a mighty bridge over which good men cross. 
Foremost Man, thou that shinest forth like thousand-eyed 
Maghavan, pour forth this hymn of thine. 

Cultivate the concentration that is free of defilements, 
pure and calm, the refuge of men. For the good of living 
beings, thou art triumphantly resplendent like the sun, and 
revered of devas and men. 

Free of all attachments in this world and the world beyond, 
meditating thou rejoicest in thy meditation. Crowds of devas 
throng together to adore the great Seer, with joined hands 
outstretched. 

Manifold^ in many ways is the eye of the clear-seeing 
Buddhas, who crush old age and death, who tame the untamed. 

The conduct of the Exalted One is transcendental, his root 
of virtue is transcendental. The Seer's walking, standing, 
sitting and lying down are transcendental. 

The Sugata's body, which brings about the destruction of 
f the fetters of existence, (168) is also transcendental. Of this, 
my friends, there should be no doubt. 

The Seer's wearing of his mendicant's robe is transcen- 
dental. Of this there is no doubt. The Sugata's eating of 
his food is likewise transcendental. 

The teaching of the heroic men is to be deemed wholly 
transcendental, and I shall proclaim, as it truly is, the 
greatness of the eminently wise Buddhas. 

When they have obtained opportunity of place and time, 
and maturity of karma, the Leaders preach the true dharma 
each time it is born anew. ^ 

The Buddhas conform to the world's conditions, but in 
such a way that they also conform to the traits of transcendental- 
ism. 

The pre-eminent men practise the four postures of the 
body,^ though no fatigue comes over these men of shining 
deeds. 

1 The metre changes here, and the verses following are evidently not part 
of Vagisa's eulogy, but are a recital of the special tenets of the Lokottaravadins. 
See pp. 3, 45, 7^, 132. 

* AhhiniruHtam, cf. Pali abhinihhat'.i, " rebirth," etc., that is to say, with 
the coming of each new Buddha. 

^ See note p. t8. 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHAS133 

It is true that they wash their feet, hut no dust ever adheres 
to them ; their feet remain clean as lotus-leaves. This 
washing is mere conformity with the world. 

It is true that the Buddhas bathe, but no dirt is found on 
them ; their bodies are radiant like the golden amaranth. 
Their bathing is mere conformity with the world. 

They clean their teeth and perfume their mouths with the 
fragrance of the lotus. They put on clothes, the cloak and 
the three robes. 

Though the wind blows their garments about, it does not 
harm their bodies. {1^^) This clothing of the lion-hearted men 
is mere conformity with the world. 

They sit in the shade, though the heat of the sun would not 
torment them. This is mere conformity with the world on the 
part of the Buddhas whose karma has had a happy outcome. ^ 

They are in the habit of taking medicine, but there is no 
disease in them, for great is the reward that those leaders reap. 
This taking of medicine is mere conformity with the world. 

Although they could suppress the working of karma, the 
Conquerors let it become manifest and conceal their sovereign 
power. 2 This is mere conformity with the world. 

It is true that they eat food, but hunger never distresses them. 
It is in order to provide men with the opportunity to give alms 
that in this respect they conform to the world. 

It is true that they drink, but thirst never torments them 
— this is a wondrous attribute of the great seers. Their 
drinking is mere conformity with the world. 

They put on robes, and yet a Conqueror would always be 
covered without them and have the same appearance as devas. 
This wearing of robes is mere conformity with the world. 

They keep their dark and glossy hair close cropped, 
although no razor ever cuts it. This is mere conformity with 
the world. 

They take on the semblance of being old, but for them there 
is no old age, for the Conquerors have the gift of overcoming it. 
This appearance of old age is mere conformity with the world. 



^ Literally " the issue of whose karma is fair " — suhhanisyanda. Cf. the 
use of nissanda in Pali. 

' I.e., they are or remain in the world of their own free will, and not because 
any karma of theirs has entailed rebirth. 



134 THE MAHAVASTU 

Although they have reached perfection by the merits won 
in the course of countless kalpas, they make it appear as 
though they were at the beginning. This is mere conformity 
with the world. 

(170) Although the Sugata's corporeal existence^ is not due 
to the sexual union of parents, yet the Buddhas can point 
to their fathers and mothers. This is mere conformity with 
the world. 

From Dlparnkara onwards, the Tathdgata is always free 
from passion. Yet {the Buddha) has a son, Rdhula, to show. 
This is mere conformity with the world. 

Although in the course of countless kotis of kalpas they 
have attained to perfect insight, they yet wear the semblance 
of being ignorant. This is mere conformity with the world. 

Although in the worlds both of devas and of men they 
condemn upholders of wrong beliefs, they yet resort to heretics. 
This is mere conformity with the world. 

Although, for the sake of all beings, they have awakened 
to the unsurpassed enlightenment, they yet put on the appear- 
ance of a lack of zeal. ^ This is mere conformity with the world. 

All perfect Buddhas are endowed with a voice of perfect 
qualities. It has sixty qualities. What are the sixty ? 

The voice of the Excellent Man pervades everywhere with 
a sweet musical sound. The Sugata's voice is like the sound 
of the lute and the fife. It is like a swan's song. 

The voice of the eminently wise one is like the roar of the 
thunder-cloud, yet sweet, like the cuckoo's call. 

It is like the rattle of chariot-wheels, like the booming of 
the ocean, like the cry of a water-bird. 

Like the notes of the kinnara,^ the sparrow, and the 
cloud-bird^ is the voice of them who bear the marks of excel- 
lence. (171) It is like the trumpeting of an elephant, and 
like the roar of the king of beasts. 

1 Samucchritam (sam-ud-sri). Cf. BSk. samucchraya, " body," Divy. 70, 
and Pali samussaya in the same sense, D. 2. 157 ; 5. i. 148, etc. 

' Alpotsukatva, synonymous with the PaU appossukkatd, abstract noun 
from appossukka, " unconcerned," " living at ease," " careless." 

3 Either " a kind of musical instrument," or the fabulous " little bird 
with a head like a man's." See note p. 54. 

* Meghasvararavd, on the assumption that this is a form of meghardva, 
" a kind of water-biid." 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHAS135 

The utterance of the Pre-eminent of Men and devas is deep 
as the sound of drums ; it is like the rustling of the wind-swept 
forest,^ and like the rumbling of an earthquake. 

The voice of the Conquerors pervades everywhere like the 
sound of an orchestra of the five instruments. ^ It is low 
like the gentle note of the duck,^ and of the red-lipped, slender- 
tongued peacock. 

The voice of those who are pre-eminent in virtue is sweet 
as the song of the Gandharvas. It is like the sound of the 
lapping^ of waves, and it is not rendered confused by 
distance. 

The voice of the foremost of men both in heaven and on 
earth is like the merry tinkling of bells, yet full ; it is like 
the rustling of a net of gold, and like the jingling of jewels. 

The voice of those who bear the marks of excellence is not 
too hurried, nor uneven, nor faltering, but sweet, gushing 
and coherent. ^ 

The sweet voice of the Dasab alas pervades a whole assembly. 
It makes a whole assembly understand, even though nayutas 
of worlds are gathered there. 

Though it speak in one language, this utterance becomes 
current everywhere, even in the barbaric assemblies of the 
Scythians,^ the Greeks, the Chinese, the Ramathas,"^ the 
Persians^, and the Daradas.^ 

The voice of the most eminent of men as it goes forth does 
not miss anyone in the assembly. {112) The voice of the 
Dasabalas is neither raised nor lowered, but remains eventoned. 

1 Vanadeva-anilavidhutasvaraprapatd. The general sense of this compound 
is clear, but it presents difficulties of grammar and metre which Senart is 
unable to resolve. 

' Pancangikatulya, for pancdngikaturya (Pali "^turiya). Tulya is probably- 
reminiscent of the etymology of turya, " musical instrument," which would 
seem to be derived from tul, " weigh," " balance," " scale." There is no 
manuscript justification for changing tulya into turya, although below (p. 194, 
text) we have paiicdngikasya turyasa. The five instruments referred to in 
this phrase are specified at VvA. 37 as being dtata, vitata, dtata-vitata, ghana, 
and susira, but the dictionaries do not seem to agree as to the precise nature 
of them. 

' Or a bird of the same species. Here, as elsewhere in Indian literature, 
western standards of the musicality of bird notes must be forgotten. 

* Literally " falling," nipdta. 

^ Padasamcayavati. 

« ^aka. 

' See note p. 107. 

8 Pahlava, i.e. Pahlavi or Pehlavi. 

^ See note p. 107. 



136 THE MAHAVASTU 

The Sugata's voice is not broken, nor forced, nor affected, 
nor halting ;^ it sounds like a hymn of praise. 

It is not vulgar nor corrupted, hut consists of wholly ordered 
sounds. It thrills all men, good and had, with its accents. 

When the speaking voice goes forth from hetween the spotless 
teeth of the Virtuous One, the flocks of birds in sky and wood 
rejoice. 

When the eloquent Sugata's voice goes forth in the assembly, 
it is adequate to the need of any tone that may be desirable. 

The clear voice of these sweet-toned men issues melodiously'^ 
and earnestly ;^ it is like the sound of a mountain stream, 
like the osprey's cry. 

The Conqueror's voice is like that of the blue-jay, like that 
of the pheasant which is coloured like the golden leaf of the 
palm-tree ; its stirring sound is like the noise of the crashing 
drum and the tabor. 

The voice of those who have attained perfection is to be 
recognised and acknowledged as deep and terrifying, yet 
good to hear, and always reaching the heart. 

The voice of all the meritorious ones, who have gathered 
a rich store of goodness, whose glory is unending, is pleasant 
to the ear like an Indian lute. 

(173)" Such is a true description of the Buddha's voice. 

" Perfect Buddhas preach dharma in this wise : ' Monks,' 
they say, ' I do not teach that the impermanent things are 
permanent, nor that the permanent are impermanent. I do 
not teach that what is ill is well, nor that what is well is ill. 
I do not teach that what is without self has a self, nor that 
what has a self is without self. I do not teach that vile things 
are fair, nor that fair things are vile. I do not teach that 
beautiful things are ugly. I do not teach that right things 
are wrong, nor that wrong things are right. I do not teach 
that things which are free of the dsravas are charged with them, 
nor that the things which are charged with them are free of 
them. I do not teach that things which are distinct are in- 
distinct, nor that things which are indistinct are distinct. I 

1 Vikhalakhalakhaldyati, of which Senart says '* parait etre une onomatop^e, 
peut-§tre rattach^e au verbe skhal." 

» Literally " well-perfumed," varavdsana. 
' Sahita, see p. 115. 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHAS137 

do not teach that base things are subHme, nor that sublime 
things are base. I do not teach that things which pertain to 
a layman pertain to a recluse, nor that things which pertain 
to a recluse pertain to a layman.' 

" Thus, my pious friend, do the perfect Buddhas teach, 
speaking the truth, speaking in due season, speaking what is 
real, what is full of meaning, what is certain, not what is false 
and uncertain, speaking in accordance with the dharma and 
the Discipline. 

(174)" Once upon a time, my pious friend, when the Buddha 
had gone to Risivadana near Benares, to the grove there, on 
the day he set rolling the noble wheel of dharma, a Tusita 
deva, named Sikharadhara, who was a Bodhisattva, went to 
speak to him in person, and greeted him with respect and 
deference.^ Bowing, and holding out his joined hands he said, 

Hail ! Thy voice, beautiful one, knows no obstruction. 
Hail to thee ! Thy voice is rich, perfect and pleasant. 
Hail I Thy voice possesses sweet tone, and is endued with 
melodious timbre. Hail, great sage, who proclaimest the 
Four Truths. 

Hail I The Gandharva devas imbibe thy sweet music. 
Hail ! Here thou settest rolling the irresistible wheel of 
dharma that obeys thy command. ^ 

There is none in the world equal to thee in form, beauty, 
birth and strength, in the four postures, in energy, in medita- 
tion, in knowledge, in calm and in self-control. 

To-day, valiant sage, with thy first exhortation, ten kotis 
of devas were thrilled and led to the first fruition.^ 

valiant lord, with thy second exhortation, thou didst lead 
thirty kotis to the first fruition. 

Fifty kotis more of devas were converted by thee, sage, 
with thy third exhortation, and were delivered from the 
desolate ways. 

1 Sapratlsa, a Buddhist Sanskrit form corresponding to Pali sappatissa 
from pati-sundti {prati-sru). It occurs again in the Mahdvastu at 2. 258; 
3. 345, and 372, the form varying between sapratlsa and sapratlsa. 

^ Readingafter one MS. anuvartikam" following," " obedient," " compHant " 
for the amvartikam of the text, which would mean " not returning " or " not 
to be rolled back." As has been seen (p. 33 note 7) the Mahdvastu never 
speaks of the " rolling back " of the wheel of dharma. 

» I.e. to the first stage in the Way, or " entering the stream." {See below) 



138 THE MAHAVASTU 

(115)Eighty kotis more of devas didst thou tame, lord, 
with thy third exhortation, to the fruition of entering the 
stream,'^ and didst deliver from the ways of ill. 

Hence there is none equal to thee in friendliness , supreme 
of men. Compassionate, thou art still greater in compassion, 
heroic man. 

In joy, great sage, are the valiant men^ horn ; to the whole 
world are they gracious. They live their lives for the welfare 
of all beings. 

A very long time ago, thou man of strength, thou wast 
horn in the world as a king's son, a leader of the lost, a 
gladdening guide of the afflicted. 

May our revered saviour never disappear, for thy strength, 
kinsman of the world, is houndless. 

By thy power, Self-hecoming One, states of desolation are 
hecome of no account. Through thee, Man Supreme, 
the heavens are rendered inadequate. ^ 

Thanks to thee, Very Man, he who helongs to the class 
of people^ whose wrongdoing is fixed in its consequences^ 
achieves the class where no consequences are entailed. 

thou of illustrious birth, he who helongs to the class 
where actions entail no consequences will, thanks to thee, 

1 Another metaphorical expression, equivalent to the Way. A srotdpanna 
(Pali, sotdpanna) has destroyed the first three fetters. (See below p. 150 
and D. i. 156, etc.) 

2 Sc. Bodhisattvas. 

^ I.e. to hold all those who merit to be reborn there. 

* Literally, " he whose class is the class of people " ; rdsi, " a heap " 
is an Abhidhamma term for " class," " category," etc. 

'" mithydtvaniyaia, literally, " fixed in wrongfulness," but as the commentary 
on Dhammasangani (1028) says, niyata here has the especial sense of " fixed 
in its consequences " or " reaching down to." Three fdsis are usually given, 
e.g. D. 3. 217. Tayo rdsi. Micchattaniyato rdsi, sammattaniyato rdsi, aniyato 
rdsi, " Three heaps, to wit, that of wrong-doing entailing immutable evil 
results, that of well-doing entailing immutable good results, and that of 
everything not so determined " (Rhys Davids, Dial. 3.210). The use of rdsi 
to denote a class of things or actions is still more clearly seen in Kvu. 610. 
In the Dhammasangani {I.e.) three states {dhammd) are distinguished on the 
basis of the same differentia. The P.T.S. Pali Dictionary is incorrect in saying 
that Buddhist Sanskrit knows of only two rdsis, for even if the metre of the 
text here does not allow of the emendation of samyaktatejakulodita into the 
full name of the third rdsi, samyaktvaniyata, the samyak of this compound 
must be taken as qualifying rdsi and serving, in its truncated form, for the 
whole compound — a mnemonic use of abbreviation which we meet with 
elsewhere in the Mahdvastu (e.g. i. 86). All the three rdsis are also mentioned 
in Vol. 3, p. 318. In both the Mahdvastu passages it seems simpler to take 
rdsi in the sense of a class of people rather than of things or actions. Cf. 
also I. 316. 



ATTRIBUTES OF THE BUDDHA S 139 

that art extolled of Suras, reach the class where righteousness 
is fixed in its consequences. 

Man of Light, thanks to thee, the steadfast dispeller 
of darkness, the pure radiance of wondrous states is won. 

{llQ)Whilst thou speakest of these true states, Valiant 
Conqueror, the worlds, together with Indra, extol thy voice, 
Great Sage. 

Thus with gladsome hearts the hosts of devas praise the 

Beneficent One who is endowed with boundless virtue, who 

is worthy of praise, and is the supreme of men. 

" Perfect Buddhas, my pious friend, are ready to serve^ ; 

are able to perceive the right occasion ; have clear sight ; 

discern the high and the low ; are good at the beginning and 

at the end 2 ; raise the banner of dharma, the invincible banner ; 

are eager in fight and combat ; are eloquent ; know what 

is deathless, and on occasion practise charity at the cost of 

their lives. ^ They urge on the blind, and rebuke those who 

go along the devious ways. 

"On this matter it is said " : — 

Altogether perfect in qualities, intent on all things that 
are salutary, leaders and saviours that they are, all the 
Buddhas are praised hy wise men. 

With unconfused knowledge, with pure mind, they shine 
in the three worlds like the full moon in the sky. 

Instinct with perfect virtue, they are leaders of men hy 
their pleasing and lovely conduct. They raise a great shout. 

The heroes, bent on rendering service, instruct men, and 
with an insight into truth quell the strife of others. 

The best of men, though born into the world, are not 
besmirched by it. The lords, profound in their attributes, 
are beyond description. 

(m) Having shouldered their heavy yoke, the wise ones 

1 ? upacdravidhisampannd, " endowed with the rule of or disposition to, 
service," 

2 Purvdntanayasampannd, " endowed with (good) conduct at the beginning 
and at the end." This is, no doubt, an echo of the well-known Pali formula 
describing dhamma as ddikalydnam majjhekalydnam pariyosdnakalydnam, 
" beautiful in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end." 

3 Avusddayanto. Avusd is taken by Senart as a Prakritism for dyusd. 
Cf. Pali dvuso for dyusmanto, pi. of dyusman (for the regular Pali dyasmant). 
If the reading is correct, dayanto is also a Prakritism from daddti, literally 
" giving up their lives." 



140 THE MAHAVASTU 

do not falter y hut, suiting actions to their words, they are 
of irreproachable conduct. 

With the fire of knowledge the lords hum the noxious 
poisonous weed of false helief, and without fear or tremhling 
they hold out to men the prospect of the heyond. 

The valiant men, having traversed the wilderness and 
attained peace, in their wisdom proclaim, "Here is the place 
where no terror is. 

"Here is found no recurrence of old age and death and 
disease. Here is experienced no event of tribulation or sorrow.* ' 

Devas and men hearing his^ sweet words and paying due 
heed to them, attain to that well-being. 

Therefore their renown is spread far and wide and is 
supreme in the three worlds. The Buddhas fare onwards, 
praised of good men, and never do they rest. 



APPARITIONS 

" For the benefit of men, my pious friend, the Buddhas grant 
apparitions, 2 as, for example, when the Exalted One produced 
one for the king of Kalinga,^ for Queen Kusuma, and for 
the merchant Dhruva." 

Thus, too, in the chief city of Rdjagriha, the Exalted One 
produced an apparition, (11^) and then he who is skilful in 
his expedients, explained to Updli^ the words spoken by the 
apparition. ^ 

^ A change from plural to singular, from the subject of Buddhas in general 
to that of an individual Buddha. 

2 A very inadequate rendering for paropahdra (here) and upahdra (below). 
These two terms are unknown in this sense either in Pali or in classical 
Sanskrit. Upahdra properly means " gift " (cf. upaharati, the verb here 
translated by " grant "), and this meaning underlies the usage here. But 
the term here also connotes, first, that the " gift " consists of moral or religious 
instruction, and, secondly, that the instruction is given by " apparitions " 
miraculously produced by the Buddha. This second connotation is more 
explicitly expressed by the term paropahdra, " a gift (of instruction in the 
person of) another." Vacanopahdram on this page must be changed to 
ca paropahdrarn, as it is entirely a question of producing a miraculous appari- 
tion, but on page 178 the same word is to the point as it is a question of 
explaining to Upali an "apparition of speech", i.e. the words spoken by an 
apparition. 

' Or Kdlinga, " one of the seven political divisions mentioned in the time 
of the mythical King Renu." {D.P.N.) 

* " One of the most eminent of the Buddha's immediate disciples " (ihid)^ 

^ See note i at end. 



APPARITIONS 141 

In the same way the lion-hearted speaker, the master of 
those who have won self-mastery , produced another apparition 
for those assembled on the slopes of Mount Meru, and the 
Exalted One, the great sage, told of it to his brotherhood of 
monks. 

I shall relate all these edifying apparitions. Listen to 
the tale of the pleasant diversion of the Chief of Men. 

When the Best of Men appeared in the world and the wheel 
of dharma was set rolling, a king of Kalinga was reigning 
in prosperity and peace. 

Abhaya^ was his name, and this is what he professed. 
Good and bad acts alike, he said, bear no fruit. Such was 
his belief. 

As there is no world beyond, there is no reward for charity 
anywhere. There is none to be found who is rid of passion, 
hatred and folly. 

Having come to this belief he assembled his people and 
preached to them his own views, nor did he afterwards 
abandon his belief. 

"If," said he, "my own dead father would appear of his 
own accord before my eyes and speak to me, then and only 
then should I believe in this other world. 

"In his life-time he was always virtuous and benevolent, 
(179) and if there is any reward for this, his bourne should be 
the city of the devas. 

"And being thus a deva and aware of the belief I hold, 
he would come and rid me of it, saying, 'There is another 
world ; abandon that wrong belief of yours.' 

"Let my father come from that other world of which we 
have no experience, and make glad my mind." 

Then the Sage, merciful and strongly confident, cut of 
compassion for the world, fashioned^ himself in the form 
of Kalinga' s King. 

He went up to the palace and entered the inner court, 
where he showed himself as Abhaya's father looked when 
living. ^ 

^ otherwise unknown. 

2 Nirmindti (= Vali nimmindti), with its compound abhinirmindti, is the 
verb used throughout this passage in the sense of ' fashioning miraculously ' or 
' conjuring up '. 

3 Literally " in his natural, or ordinary, form," prahritidarsanam. 

I. 



142 THE MAHAVASTU 

Then the Supreme of Men, in the guise of a king, and 
hovering in the air, spoke these words of wisdom to King 
A hhaya : — 

"It does not become a king to neglect his own affairs and 
concern himself only with the affairs of others. Kingship 
is only kingship in name when it is associated with false 
doctrines. 

" At present your destiny can only he the great and pitiless 
hell, as is also the destiny of those whom you have 
taught. 

"Destroyed yourself , you'^ destroy others ; ruined yourself , 
you ruin others. Blind yourself, you make others blind 
without scruple. 

"Deluded yourself, you delude others ; dead yourself, 
you cause others to die. You evil-minded man, you bring 
happy beings to woe. 

"Plunged in the mire of lusts, libidinous, infatuated by 
sensual desires, (ISO) you want to see the other world,^ and 
yet a king should have insight into all states. ^ 

"That is not possible for you, king, since your whole aim 
is to gratify your senses. You cannot, my lord, go to this 
other world just yet. 

"But if you will learn to free yourself of lust, recognising 
the sweet allurement of sensual pleasures, and the wickedness 
thereof, I know that you will come to me in heaven." 

When he heard this. King Abhaya trembled with fear, 
and, bowing, he said to that fair vision in the air, 

"I believe thee, deva, that this is so and not otherwise. 
Be gracious to me, saviour, and deliver me from fear. 

"Stay in this palace as my counsellor and teacher, 
peerless 7nan, for, trained by thee I shall win mastery, and so 
shall many others with me." 

In this way then did the perfectly ivise one produce an 
apparition for the edification of men. 

Again, there was the famous Kusumd, queen of King 

^ In the text the verbs of this stanza are 3rd pers, sing., which makes it 
appear to be a quotation appHcable to the case of Abhaya. For the sake 
of uniformity the 2nd pers. has been used in translating. 

' I.e., before beheving in it. 

^ Literally " is (or should be) the eye of all states," dharmdndm nayanam. 



APPARITIONS 143 

Kusumbha,'^ and the best-beloved and chief of his thousand 
wives. 

Her mother and father were infirm with age, and leaning 
on their staffs. And they spoke and said to their daughter, 
"Kusumd, dear child, listen. 

"We are old, you are young and feeling passion's stir. 
{lSl)We want to be rid of this world and die." 

When she heard this Kusumd thoitght to herself, "What 
blame can I incur in killing mother and father ? I will 
give them food drugged with deadly poison. By eating this 
they both will surely die.'' 

When Kusumd had formed this cruel design against her 
mother and father, the Master took pity on her. The Buddha 
produced two other persons fashioned like her parents and 
made them stand before Kusumd. Kusumd got ready ^ the 
poisoned food and bade the phantoms,^ saying, "Take this 
food, mother and father." 

The creatures fashioned by the Conqueror took the food 
without shrinking, but it did not harm their bodies, for they 
were but phantoms. 

And so on the second day, the third, the fourth, and even 
the fifth, although they ate of the poisoned food, the phantom 
creatures retained their health. 

Then stretching out her joined hands to them, Kusumd 
spoke to the phantoms and said, "Tell me who you are, if I 
find favour with you." 

In reply to her humble request one of the phantoms said, 
{iS2)" Learn what yotir fault is, and do as we advise 
you. 

"The Buddha, the man of valour, who bears the thirty-two 
marks of excellence, has appeared in the world, born of a 
good family, and endowed with the attribute of omni- 
science. 

"All the inherent virtue of the lion-hearted man of eloquence 
is known to stand for the future, as it has done in the past. 
Have no doubt of this. 



^ Both otherwise unknown. * 

2 Apadyati, an unusual sense, but this is the reading in two MSS., and is 
better than the dpagatd of others. 

3 Nirmitdn, from nirminati. See note p. 141. 



144 THE MAHAVASTU 

"Let the king then go up to his palace attended hy his 

women-folk and pray thus : ' We wish to see him who discerns 
all that is good.' 

"Praising Mm who is endowed with all good qualities, 
let him go to him for refuge. The Conqueror will then declare 
" to you ivhat you now ask of us.*' 

"So be it," said she in obedience to the phantoms, and 
immediately the king with his women-folk went up to his 
palace. 

Hurriedly, along with his women-folk, and Kusumd too, 
he boived, his hands reverently joined, and spoke these 
words, 

"Exceeding great is the joy derived from the homage paid 
to them who are gifted with all virtues and are full of 
compassion for the worlds." 

Then the Master addressed the monks who delighted in 
his teaching, Cdruvarna,^ Simhahanu, and blameless 
Dridhabdhu, 

Kirtimdn, Mahdndga, Cdturanta, Mahdbala, Ntlakesa, 
Vriddha, Santa, Sdstravisdrada. 

And peerless Sdrasa, blameless Guptakdma (iSZ) , Simha- 
nandi, Vtsdldksa, and Laksaneya the incomparable. 

"Behold, monks, I go ; follow me your Master. I go to 
convert a great multitude, and Kusumd chief among them." 

"So be it," said the self -becoming saints in obedience, 
and gathering round the Buddha, they said, 

"0 valiant one, our two feet can traverse the air. We will 
follow wherever the clear-seeing Buddha goes." 

In his compassion for men, the Exalted One attended by 
his disciples arrived in an instant in Kusumd' s city. 

The Leader took on the form of the wielder of the thunder- 
bolt, 2 and sure in his powers of thought, ^ he called to mind 
a host of devas. 

The supremely udse one shed his radiance all around for 
fourteen yojanas, while devas greeted his progress. 

1 All these seem to be unknown to the Pah Canon, nor is it easy to distinguish 
between epithets and proper names. 

2 I.e. Indra. 

^ Dhydna, here not used in the strict doctrinal sense of " meditation." 
The meaning is that such was the Buddha's power of thought that he had 
only to think of the devas for them to appear on the scene. 



APPARITIONS 145 

Then Qtteen Ktisumd, bowing, said to the Sugata, "With 
my hands joined in veneration, I would salute thy feet, 
saviour." 

The Master alighted on the roof of the palace, and in his 
glory flooded all quarters with his radiance. Queen Kustimd, 
with the King, saluted the Conqueror's feet, and the queen's 
escort, too, bowed down before the strong man. 

"0 Best of Men," said she, "we come to thee for refuge, 
to thee that art adored by Suras. What fruit does that one 
reap who has killed his mother and father ? " 

{184)" Hear, Ktisumd, what the certain retribution is that 
awaits the one who has killed his mother and father. Imme- 
diately after this life he is reborn in the hell Mahdvici." 

Then the eloquent Master, the Leader, with a Buddha's 
power, described Mahdvici to Kusumd. 

And Qiieen Kusumd, terrified at this dire hell, shed floods 
of tears and spoke these words : — 

"/ was moved by pity for my parents. What then is the 
retribution that awaits him in the world beyond who kills 
with evil intent ? Pray tell me the truth of this." 

"He who would do so, Kusumd, out of an evil heart, 
could not be rid of his disposition. And this is the retribution 
for his wrong-doing that awaits'^ him in the other 
world." 

Then in the presence of the king of dharma Kusumd joy- 
fully and gladly renounced her cruel design. 

And the Omniscient One spoke of the sweet allurement 
of the pleasures of sense ; the Supreme of Men spoke of the 
peril of sensual desires. 

He whose thought is intrepid spoke of the escape from 
sensual delights ; the discerner of truth spoke of the wonderful 
blessings of Nirvana. 

The Sage converted twelve kotis of human beings, with 
Kusumd chief among them. Such then was this apparition. 

There was also a merchant named Dhruva in the city 
of Kdsivardhana,^ and he held a sinful view concerning 
the treatment of mothers and fathers. 

1 Sadyam, according to Senart, a Sanskritisation of sajja, " ready," 
imminent." 

2 Otherwise unknown, but obviously situated in Kasi. 



146 THE M A H A V A S T U 

He held that xvhoso should invite his aged and decrepit 
mother and father {ISb) to a family meal and regale them 
imth food, 

And should then hum both his parents on the funeral pyre, 
would have a reward"^ assigned him, for the merit of such 
a man would he houndless. 

The Leader accordingly created thousands of Rdksasas, 
and these stood hefore Dhruva as he slept in his fine mansion. 

In their hands were scourges, whips, swords, hammers, 
knives and fire-hrands. 

And cluhs and hundreds of arrows, and lances and mallets, 
as they stood hefore the merchant. 

"Vile man," said they, "it is indeed an accursed belief 
that you have formed. A s you hold this accursed and perverse 
view, you are not worthy to he believed. 

"Now that misfortunes have come upon them, you wish 
the death of those who in days gone by succoured you with 
loving hearts in all your hardships. 

"You wish the death of those who would not he adequately 
repaid by their son even though he gave them all his 
wealth. 

"It were better for you to die than live and hold such a view. 
You who reject the belief on which the Best of Men acts. 

"This day your life comes to an end, as well as that of 
your wife, of your kinsmen, of your servant, and of your 
son. And when you die you will pass to hell. 

' 'A nd there may you and yours be happy, sir ! We consign 
to perdition the merchant Dhruva, with his false belief, his 
stupid and ignorant mind, 

(\%%)"Who seduces"^ other men with his sinful belief, and 
despises Aryan teaching." 

When he heard this, Dhruva became distressed, perspiring 
over all his body ; he was humbled and terrified. 

He became perplexed, distracted and scared. Then raising 
his joined hands, he said, 

1 Upahdra, here used in practically its ordinary sense of " offering," 
" gift," etc., but the reading is very doubtful, apart from the fact that the 
word is used in these narratives in another and special sense. 

^ Gtahenta, here with two accusatives, of the object and of the means ; 
but at p. 189, text, with accusative of the object and instrumental of the 
means. 



APPARITIONS 



147 



"May the host of the Rdksasas he gracious to me and 
mine ! Be ye my sanctuary, my shelter and my refuge ! 

"Make known what I can do this day to deliver myself 
and my people from fear , and not pass to the bourne of ill." 

And those hosts of Rdksasas hovering in the air thus made 
answer to Dhruva the merchant : "Come not to us for refuge. 
Seek rather the refuge of him, 

"Who desires the welfare of all beings, the Buddha who 
is adored' by devout men, who is above all worlds, the lion- 
hearted eloquent Sdkyan, the joy of men's minds." 

"Where now, I pray you, is the Exalted One who is 
worshipped of men ? For I would go for refuge to him, 
the Sage, the Best of Men." 

"He who is endowed with all good qualities is in the city 
of Ratanakholaka,'^ in the fragrant park there that is strewn 
with variegated flowers . 

"There, surrounded by ninety -thousand saints, abides 
the Sage who is wise and proficient in the moral states. ^ 

(187) 'To that refuge go with all your people. Look on 
that sun among men and abandon your false belief. 

"And consider with understanding the fair dharma that he 
will teach you by means of examples. ^ Thus will life be yours. 

"If you go not to the Buddha, you will not be worthy 
of the name of Dhruva, ^for your death will be near. ^ Believe 
our counsel and act accordingly." 

Then Dhruva, the merchant, with his people, in all 
humility bowed his head to the ground where the Supreme 
of Men was standing, and said, 

"0 Sage, who art gifted with all virttious qualities, the 
great, compassionate one, I with my folk come to thee for 
refuge, thou of great glory . 

"To the fearful thou who endest fear can give fearlessness. 
And I, with my people, am wholly possessed by fear, 
Great Being. 



1 otherwise unknown. 

2 Vihara, see note p. 30- 

' Literally " the dharma arranged in (or supplied with) examples," 
dristdntavihitam. 

* A play on "the word dhruva, " firm, stable, lasting." " You do not deserve 
to be called Mr. Steadfast." 

' Sadya, see note p. 145. 



148 THE MAHAVASTU 

"/ desire to extol the ways of the Master, thoti most 
eloquent. I wish to see the True Man, if so it be thai we 
are worthy of the favour ." 

Then out of his compassion for men the Leader appeared, 
arriving in an instant and attended by his saints. Seeing 
him hovering in the air, self -controlled, calm and honoured, 
(lSS)graciously appearing to him and his folk, the merchant 
went up to the Refuge, the tiger in eloquence, and learned 
from him what a good son should believe. 

The Best of Men, the Tathdgata, the sage, the truthftd 
one, understanding the merchant's fault, proclaimed the 
Four Truths. 

The Lord, a sun among men, like a lion roaring in the 
forest, explained at length the fruit of good and bad acts. 

The merchant, with his people, hearing that lion's roar, 
immediately won the salutary and true fruition. 

Such a service as was then rendered by the great Seer is 
called an upahara^ by those expert in philosophy. 

Again, there was in a certain island continent a king 
named Taru,^ and he had formed a sinful and frivolous 
view. 

Namely that whosoever, after inviting a brahman, a recluse, 
or any other wayfarer, did not then give him food, bore an 
excellent character. 

And so with regard to whosoever invited a crowd of any 
people from sudras^ to brdhmans, and then clapped them 
in prison and let them starve. 

(189)^^^ that time there appeared in yet another of his 
existences, the noble, the mighty and glorious Lord, arrayed 
in rich garments and jewels. 

Now the king was seducing his subjects with that wicked 
opinion of his, for the crowd listened to him and believed. 

The Sage, extolled of devas and Gandharvas, aware of 
this belief of the king's, in an instant created five thousand 
monks. 

These saints went to the island where Taru was king, 
and wandered and roamed throitgh his kingdom. 

^ See note p. 146, 

* Otherwise unknown. 

8 I.e. the fourth or lowest caste. 



APPARITIONS 149 

When the king saw those who had been created in the 
likeness of monks, he saluted their feet as they sailed down 
from the air, and said, 

"With true joy I invite you, seers, to a repast. Let the 
seers accept if I find favour with them." 

When he saw that they accepted, he saluted the seers' feet, 
hurried away and came to his palace. 

And when he saw that night had passed into day, he hade 
his servant go to the monks and invite them, saying the meal 
was ready. 

The seers were conducted by the king into a wonderfod 
prison, which was perfectly secure and well-fitted with firm 
bolts. 

When the seventh day was past the king went to visit 
them. {190)They who were in the guise of monks were 
quietly meditating, serene of countenance. 

The king again abandoned the phantom creations, and at 
the end of the second week he paid them another visit. 

And so for the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the 
seventh, the ninth, and the tenth week. Then he said, 

"Whether you are Ndga devas, Gandharvas, Yaksas, 
Guhyakas or A suras, you have come in the guise of seers 
to confound me. 

"Make known to me who you are, if I find favour with 
you. In the same way, he who imll make himself known 
to me will find favour with me." 

They replied, "Favour is shown you, king. Therefore 
heed the words we truthfully speak. 

"In Kdsi's capital city, in Benares, in the fair forest there, 
abides the Master, who is perfect in all things, who is the 
dispeller of all doubt." 

Then the king, with his people, went up to his palace, 
and bowed and prayed, saying, "We wish to see the Best 
of Men, the incomparable man." 

The Master, hearing this, forthwith arose, and flying 
through the air came to the island. 

And the four saints'^ Kunjara, Karabhogaja, (191) Vdrana 
and gracious Mahddhydyin came thither with him. 

^ Vdrana appears to be the only one of these names to be found in the 
Pali Canon ; the two persons are not necessarily identical. 



150 THE MAHAVASTU 

When the other monks saw the Buddha shining like the 
moon, they reverently and enthusiastically sang the praises 
of the teacher of dharma. 

With devotion in their hearts, glad, and endued with all 
good qualities, they sang, "0 saviour of devas and men, 
homage to thee, boon of men. '^ 

"0 mighty being, great in majesty, splendour, knowledge 
and power, reveal truly who thou art, we pray thee." 

"/, born of a royal race, established as king of dharma, 
am the refuge of all living things. Men know that I am 
Buddha. 

"/ am the saviour of devas and men, guide and physician ; 
I am he who puts an end to doubt. I am perfect Buddha, 
adored by devas." 

When he heard this King Taru addressed the Buddha, 
saying, " Homage to thee, tiger in eloquence, thou 
dispeller of doubt. 

"Behold me here come to my palace with my folk. I and 
my realm turn to thee, true man, for refuge. Be therefore 
a refuge to us all." 

Then the king described his belief to the great Seer, and 
when he had heard it the Valiant One said to the king, 

"It does not profii you, king, to believe in the sinful 
way that leads to the bourne of ill. {192) Renounce this 
belief of yours." 

The king renounced his belief and said, "0 wise one, 
teach me the dharma whereby ill is suppressed." 

And the Supreme of Men, assured in his Buddhahood, 
considered how the merit of all those people befitted them 
to hear dharma. ^ 

The king and his people, having learnt dharma, cast off 
the three fetters,^ and won the first fruition. 

And countless other people won the first fruition. Behold, 
worthy king, the incomparable power of love. * 

^ Reading naralancaka with three MSS. for naralambaka. See note p. 90. 

' ? dharmasamyuktam kusalam, " the merit relative to dharma." 

3 Samyojandni. The " fetters " or bad quahties that bind men to rebirth 
are usually given as ten in number, but three are especially grouped together 
in the Pali texts, as here, viz. sakkdyaditthi, vicikicchd and silabbatapardmasa, 
i.e. " belief in individuality, doubt, and infatuation with good works " {Pali 
Dictionary) . 

* This sounds very much like an interpolation. 



APPARITIONS 151 

Those created as monks here are not to he considered real 
monks. This is what the Conquerors, confident in their 
teaching, call an upahara. 

It is impossible, son of the Conqueror, that the Tathdgatas 
should attain omniscience before this, when they are still in 
the low bhumis.^ 

But once they have passed through the bhumis, they attain 
it without loss of time. ^ This is what the tigers in eloquence, 
the Supreme Men, teach. 

When he had come to the forest at Benares, the Leader, 
honoured for his Buddhahood, expounded the ten bhumis 
at length. 

The Buddhas, who understand good and bad condtict, 
know all the thoughts of others. In their various existences 
they examine the dispositions of all beings. 

By the gentle eloquent guidance of him who has insight 
into worth{193) many 7nen are converted by the understanding 
Buddha. 

Those who have drawn nigh to the highest friend and are 
converted by his wisdom, are in no wise reborn, nor grow old, 
nor die. 

All the wise Buddhas, with bodies all radiant, severally 
discover the profound way of life, which is of infinite light. 

Here ends the tenth bhUmi, called the " Consecrational,"^ 
of the Mahdvasiu-Avaddna. 

The introductory instruction contained in the section on the 
ten bhumis was proclaimed on Mount Griddhakuta* in an 
assembly of five hundred saints. Here ends the section on 
the ten bhumis. 

The doctrine of the ten bhUmis must be taught by those 
who aspire after enlightenment, and presented to those who 
trust in the right-thinking Bodhisattvas, but not to others. 
For the former are ready to believe ; those others would doubt. 

Here ends the section on the bhUmis from the first to the 
tenth, being an introduction^ to the Mahdvastu. 

^ I.e. in the relatively low or gross bhumis {sthulahi bhitmihi) of the 
Bodhisattvas. 

* Kdlam va na-atindmenti. This verb is so used in Pali also. 
^ The first instance of the naming of a bhiimi in this formula. 

* For Gridhrakuta. 

* ? parisara. Uiiles should read parivarta, " chapter." 



152 THEMAHAVASTU 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 

The beginning of the history of Dipamkara.^ 

An immeasurable, incalculable kalpa ago, Maha-Maudgalya- 
yana, there was a universal king, named Arcimat,^ who was 
virtuous, mighty, possessing the seven treasures, sovereign over 
the four continents, triumphant, blessed with devoted subjects 
in town and country, righteous, a king of righteousness, and 
pursuing the ten right ways of behaviour. His were the seven 
treasures, to wit, the treasure of the wheel, of the elephant, 
the horse, the jewel, the woman, the householder, and the 
counsellor. He had a full thousand sons, who were vaHant, 
brave, comely, and vanquishers of the armies of their foes. 
The king dwelt in complete ascendancy over these four conti- 
nents, which were girt by ocean and mountain, and held them 
in peace and quiet, ruling by righteousness and not by means 
of the scourge, the sword, and oppression. (194) King Arcimat, 
Maha-Maudgalyayana, had a royal city named Dipavati, 
which extended twelvQyojanas east and west, and sewenyojanas 
south and north. It was encircled by seven ramparts made 
of gold and covered with gold. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the royal city of Dipavati 
was surrounded by seven rows of bright and beautiful palm- 
trees of the seven precious substances, gold, silver, pearl, beryl, 
crystal, white coral, and ruby. The palm-tree which had a 
trunk of gold had leaves and fruit of silver ; the palm-tree 
with a trunk of silver, had leaves and fruit of pearl ; the 
palm-tree with a trunk of pearl had leaves and fruit ■)! beryl ; 
the palm-tree with a trunk of beryl had leaves and fruit of 
crystal ; the palm-tree with a trunk of crystal had leaves and 
fruit of white coral ; the palm-tree with a trunk of white coral 
had leaves and fruit of ruby ; and the palm-tree with a trunk 
of ruby had leaves and fruit of pearl. When these palm-trees, 
Maha-Maudgalyayana, were stirred and fanned by the wind, 
their rustling was gentle, pleasant and charming, not grating 

^ Here related to Maudgalyayana by ^akyamuni, who, however, once 
or twice is referred to in the third person in the course of the narrative. 
- Accima in Pah. 



THE HISTORY OF DiPAMKARA 153 

on the ears, but like the sound of the five musical instruments 
played in harmony by skilled performers. Thus . . .^ Maha- 
Maudgalyayana, at that time and on that occasion the men 
of the royal city of Dipavati were intoxicated by the music 
of the leaves of the palm-trees, and, endowed and provided 
with the pleasures of the five senses, they diverted, enjoyed 
and amused themselves. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the royal city of Dipavati 
was encircled by seven bright and gleaming raifings^ of the 
seven precious substances, ^ gold, silver, pearl, beryl, crystal, 
white coral, and ruby. Where the pillar was of gold the cross- 
bars, *(195) the supports,^ and the base^ were of silver ; where 
the pillar was of silver, they were of pearls ; where the pillar 
was of pearls, they were of beryl ; where the pillar was of beryl, 
they were of crystal ; where the pillar was of crystal, they were 
of white coral ; where the pillar was of white coral, they 
were of rubies, and where the pillar was of ruby, they were 
of gold. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, these railings were covered 
with two net-like fabrics, one of gold, the other of silver. On 
the gold net-work there were silver bells ; on the silver net- 
work, golden bells. And the royal city of Dipavati had three 
gates on every side, bright and beautiful, made of the seven 
precious substances, gold, silver, pearl, beryl, crystal, white 

^ Lacuna. 

2 Vedikajdld. Vedikd from meaning " terrace " came to mean first " a 
terrace with balustrade," and then the " balustrade " itself, or " railings." 
Cf. D. 2. 179 {Dial. 2. 210) and Mhvs. trsl., 220 and 296. Vedikdjdla " sl 
net-work of a balustrade " seems to be an attempt at a more specific term 
foi " railings," and to denote railings consisting of close horizontal bars 
crossed by vertical ones at frequent intervals to give the effect of a " net " 
or a grille pattern. Cf. jdlavdtapdna at V. 2. 148 denoting a " latticed shutter " 
(or " window "). (The translator owes this reference to Miss I. B. Horner.) 

^ Varna for ratna or ratana. 

* Silcikd, cf, Pali suci. 

^ Alamhana, cf. the same use in Pali. 

* ? adhisthdnaka, or, perhaps, "niches" or "look-out places," so interpreted 
by Senart on the assumption that the Chinese terms so translated by Beal 
correspond to the Sanskrit. The precise signification of all these terms 
is doubtful. The description of a similar " heavenly " city in the Mahd- 
Sudassana Sutta (D. 2, 169 ff) translated by Rhys Davids in S.B.E, xi, and 
Dial. 2. 199 ff., is much clearer in itS^ details, but unfortunately does not 
afford much help in the interpretation of the Mahdvastu description. A. K. 
Coomaraswamy : Tndian Architectural Terms {J.A.O.S., 48, No. 3) takes 
adhisthdna to mean " a plinth," and refers to Mukherji : Report on the 
Antiquities of the District of LaJitpur (1899). (The translator owes this reference 
also to Miss I. B. Horner,) 



154 THE MAHAVASTU 

coral and ruby. These gates had an arch^ made of the two 
metals, gold and silver. These gates had beams ^ of two metals, 
gold and silver. They had flanking towers^ of two metals, 
gold and silver. These gates had opening panels^ of two metals, 
gold and silver. They were faced with plates^ of two metals, 
gold and silver. They had patimodakas^ of four precious 
substances, gold, silver, pearl and beryl. By these gates, 
Maha-Maudgalyayana, were shrines for relics^ built of two 
metals, gold and silver. In front of these gates were Indra- 
columns^ made of four precious substances, gold, silver, pearl 
and beryl. These gates had swing-doors of two metals, gold 
and silver. The bolts were of two metals, gold and 
silver. 

(196)Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, in front of these gates 
pillars were reared w^hich w^ere embedded in the ground to the 
depth of three men's lengths, were three men's lengths in 
circumference^ and twelve men's lengths in height. ^^ They 
were bright and beautiful, made of the seven precious sub- 
stances, gold, silver, pearl, beryl, crystal, white coral and ruby. 
These gates, again, were encased in tw^o net-like fabrics of gold 
and silver. The golden net-like fabric had bells of silver, and 
the silver one had bells of gold. And the rustling of these 

1 7 vyamotsanga, from vyama," diagonal' (see Bohtlingk and Roth, s.v.) 
and lit sang a, " roof " ; the meaning possibly is " a pointed arch," i.e. o. roof 
or arch of two sloping sides or diagonals. 

2 Tula. 

' Anuvarga, " keeping-off [towers]," from vrij, causative, " to keep off." 
Senart compares the " enemy-resisting towers " of Beal : Romantic Legend. 

* Phatikaphalaka. Phatika, for sphatika, and phalaka are both from the 
same root *sphal or *sphat, " to split," etc. Phalaka in its derived sense 
of " board " would denote a panel only, while {s)phatika would imply that 
it was divided or split in two, and so forming " wings." In any case we have 
here something which corresponds to the " white silver panels " of the 
Romantic Legend. Possibly this last description suggests that the translation 
should be " crystal panels," sphatika, also meaning " crystal," but un- 
fortunately we are told they were of gold and silver. 

^ Phalakastdra, from phalaka and stri, " to spread." 

" An obscure word. Perhaps we should read with 2 MSS, patimoka, 
and interpret this as equivalent to pratimaukd from pratimd -f oka{s), " a 
house or niche for statues or images." Such a word does not seem to be 
known, but the reference in the next sentence to " temples for relics " seems 
to give this interpretation some plausibility. Senart's suggested derivation 
from praii-niud can give no apposite sense here. 

' Eluka for eduka. 

8 Indrakllaka {-kila), Pali Indakhlla. 

^ Parigohydni, Senart can only support this interpretation by the analogy 
of upa-guh in the sense of " to embrace." 

^° Udvedha = Pali ubbedha, from ud-vedh, from vyadh. ) 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 155 

net-like fabrics, when moved and stirred by the wind, sounded 
sweet and pleasant and charming, not grating on the ear. ^ 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, this royal city of Dipavati 
was full of such sounds as those of elephants, chariots, pedes- 
trians, drums, tabors, cymbals, trumpets, flutes, lutes, songs, 
and musical instruments. It was full of cries bidding men 
to eat, consume, drink, give alms, do good deeds, live right- 
eously, and of cries of welcome to recluses and brahmans. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, in the centre of the royal city 
of Dipavati there was a pillar named Valguya, which was 
bright and beautiful with the seven precious substances, gold, 
silver, pearl, beryl, crystal, white coral and ruby. It was 
twelve yojanas high and embedded in the ground to the depth 
of four. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, King Arcimat had a chief 
queen, named Sudipa, who was gracious, lovely, majestic, and 
endowed with perfect beauty of complexion. 

"In twelve years, Maha-Maudgalyayana, ^ the Bodhisattva 
Diparnkara, will pass away from his existence in Tusita."(197) 
The Suddhavasa devas proclaim to the Pratyekabuddhas, 
"The Bodhisattva is about to pass hence. Quit^ ye the 
Buddha-held." 4 

From his life in Tusita, the Glorious One, who has the 
insight of infinite knowledge, will pass away. Quit ye the 
field of the Buddha, the Master who hears the marks of 
excellence. 

When the Pratyekabuddhas heard the Buddha proclaimed 
by these mighty lords ^ they passed away, emancipated, 
self-dependent and self -controlled.^ 

"In twelve years, Maha-Maudgalyayana,^ the Bodhisattva 

1 This is repeated, after a lacuna, but in both cases the comparison with 
the music of the five instruments played together, which is found on p. 194, 
is omitted. 

2 " Maha-Maudgalyayana " is obviously out of place here in a sentence 
which is a quotation of the words uttered in the far distant past, proclaiming 
the imminent departure of the bodhisattva Dipamkara from Tusita. 

^ Rincatha, cf. Pali rincaii, Sanskrit ric, rinakti, " to leave." 

4 See p. 95- 

^ Mahesvara — this is given in Senart's index as the proper name of a class 
of devas, but here the word is a descriptive title substituted for the proper 
name ^uddhdvasa devas. See further note p. 178. 

^ These are obviously two traditional verses applicable to any Bodhisattva. 

' See note 2. 



156 THE MAHAVA STU 

Dipamkara will pass away from his life in Tusita." The 
Suddhavasa devas then disguised themselves as brahmans, 
and instructed the brahmans in the mantras, the Vedas, and 
the thirty-two marks of a Great Man, so that, when the 
Bodhisattva appeared in the world, they should be able to 
declare his buddhahood. 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when it became time for the 
Bodhisattva to leave his abode in Tusita, he made four great 
surveys, to wit, of the time, the region, the continent, and 
the family in which he should be born. 

Bodhisattvas are born in one of two classes of families, 
either noble or brahman. The family in which Bodhisattvas 
are born is endowed with sixty qualities. What sixty ? Such 
a family, Maha-Maudgalyayana, is distinguished, well-known, 
and dignified. It is of high birth and lineage, with a long, 
distinguished and powerful ancestry, and rich in women and 
men. It is not greedy, nor covetous. It is without fear or 
baseness ; it is intelligent, virtuous, not bent on hoarding 
riches, but rather making use of its wealth. It is steadfast 
in friendship, grateful and devout. ^ Its conduct is not motived 
by partiality, nor by malice, (198) nor by folly, nor by fear 2. 
It is irreproachable and hospitable. ^ It is manly-minded, and 
steadfastly heroic. It honours shrines, devas and ancestors. 
It is zealous in duty, keen on charity, and intent upon religious 
observances. It maintains its continuity* and is well-spoken 
of among the devas. ^ It is foremost, supreme, pre-eminent 
among families, and has ascendancy over other families. It 
wields great power, and has a large, tireless, faithful and loyal 
retinue. It respects mothers, fathers, recluses, brahmans and 
noble families. It is rich in wealth, treasuries and granaries, 
elephants, horses, cattle and sheep, in female and male slaves 
and in servants. It is inviolable by strangers, adversaries and 
foes. That family, Maha-Maudgalyayana, in which Bodhi- 

^ Vidhijna, " knowing the rule (of religion) " or perhaps " knowing the 
law," " law-abiding." 

2 These are the four agaiis or evil ways of living. 

3 Sthulahhiksa, literally " having plenty of food," like subhiksa, Pali 
suhhikkha. But as it is moral qualities that are recounted just here, the 
translation given above seems better. It is tempting to amend the word 
to sthulalaksa or °laksya, " liberal," " munificent," etc. 

^ ? Labdhapurvdpara, " with what is before and after gained or kept." 
5 ? Ahhidevaghosaghusta, 



THE HISTORY OF DiPAMKARA 157 

sattvas are born is endowed with these sixty quaHties. Those 
beings who are blessed with such a family come to have the 
" great compassion/'^ 

Thus, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when it was time for him 
to pass away, the Bodhisattva made his great preparation. 
A certain deva addressed the thousands of other devas, saying 
" Be reborn in the sixteen great provinces, ^ in the interior 
districts, in the rich families of nobles, householders, kings, 
and kings' counsellors. As you have been trained in the 
DiscipHne, the mass of the people will in their turn accept it." 

At the time of his passing away, the Bodhisattva scanned 
the quarters of the world, looking for a place in which he 
should be born. " This King Arcimat," thought he, " is 
virtuous, powerful, a universal king, a king over the four 
continents. He is worthy to be my father." 

(199) He then sought a mother who should be gracious, of 
good birth, pure of body, of tender passion, and short-hved, 
of whose span of life only seven nights and ten months remained. 

The mothers of all Bodhisattvas die on the last of the seven 
days after they are delivered of the Supreme of Men. 

Now what is the reason that a mother of an All-knowing 
One should die so soon after giving birth to the Best of Men ? 

While he is still dwelling in Tusita, the Bodhisattva 
exercises great mindfulness in his search for a mother whose 
karma is good. 

For he must descend into the womb of a woman who has 
only seven nights and ten months of her life remaining. 

And why so ? Because, says he, it is not seemly that she 
who bears a peerless one like me should afterwards indulge 
in love. 

But if, on the other hand, the mother^ of the Sugaia should 

1 I.e. Bodhisattvas born in such a family are marked out as destined to 
attain a Buddha's attribute of " great compassion " for the world. 

* These are referred to again, but not enumerated, at 2. 2 and 3. 394. 
They are to be found enumerated at A. i. 213. Cf. Rhys Davids, Buddhist 
India, p. 23. 

^ In the text the reading is pratiseveyu: kdmdm sugatamdtari na pita, 
" if (the father) had intercourse with the mother would he not be said by 
the hosts of devas to be violating his duty ? " But this makes pita, or the 
understood personal pronoun standing for it, the subject of a plural verb. 
Senart therefore suggests the pi. mdtaro, i.e. " if the mothers indulge in love," 
and for na pitd, nripati as the subject of vaksyate, " the king will be said." 
Devasanghdndm is a Buddhist Sanskrit use of the genitive for the instrumental. 

M 



158 THE MAHAVASTU 

indulge in the pleasures of love, the hosts of devas would say 
that the king was violating his duty. 

The Exalted One, indeed, at all times, proclaims the 
depravity of sensual desires. Shall, then, the mother of the 
saviour of the world indulge in love ? 

[To take an illustration from] the jewel-caskets which are 
found in the palaces of princes, the Best of Men is the jewel, 
his mother the casket. 

While he carefully searched, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the 
Bodhisattva saw (200) Sudipa, the queen of Arcimat, king of 
the royal city of Dipavati. He saw that she was gracious, 
of good birth, pure of body, tender of passion, of whose span 
of life only seven nights and ten months were left. 

.4s he contemplates the world he sees in Arcimafs court 
Sudipa, a woman like the consort of an immortal, radiant 
as the lightning's flash. 

Seeing in her his mother he says to the immortals, "/ am 
passing hence. For the last time I take up my abode in 
a woman's ivomh for the sake of devas and men.'* 

The deva host, arrayed in fine jewels, raised their joined 
hands and answered him saying, "0 man supreme, whose 
beauty is sublime, may thy vow prosper. 

"And we also, for the world's sake and to do thee honour, 
thou deva above all devas, '^ shall renounce the sweet enjoyment 
of the pleasures of sense and go to dwell in the world of 
men." 

Exultantly they rained down from the sky a shower of 
spotless, bright and pure flowers of the coral-tree, speaking 
sweet words the while: 

"How marvellous it is that thou dost not delight in the 
abodes of the immortals, where sweet peace reigns, where is 
no tribulation nor sorrow, and dost not indulge in the pleasures 
of sense. 

"Marvellous is it, too, that, excelling the deva hosts and 
shining like a mountain of gold, mighty Sura, thou illumin- 
est the ten quarters of the world. 

^ The parallel passage in 2. 4 has anindita for atideva. The variations 
in such similar parallel passages seem to betoken an oral rather than a written 
transmission. 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 159 

"Thou, whose intelligence is infinite, excellest the Mahe- 
haras^ and Ddnavas,^ the hosts of Mara, and the stars that 
move in the sky — this also is a wonder. 

"How can we then not he loth to part from thee. Master 
of all that is? (201)For thou, lotus-eyed, wilt become 
the bourne of devas and men." 

Thus, at the time and on the occasion of the descent of him 
whose eye was like the bright hundred-petalled lotus, did the 
glad hosts shout through all quarters of the world. 

And such was the talk that went round in the city of Tusita, 
whilst she, the peerless Sudtpd, the chief wife of King Arcimat, 
went up to him and spoke. She, Sudtpd, with eyes like a 
young fawn's, radiant like a Gandharva's wife, and dusky, 
spoke thus persuasively^ and sweetly to Arcimat: 

"Adorned with jewels, wearing my choicest raiment, and 
attended by my friends, I imsh, mighty king, to spend 
this night away from you. 

"0 Best of Men, I would go up to the highest part of the 
fair palace of Satarasmi,^ to the fair spotless bed there that 
is covered as though with lotuses." 

Pleased with the charming speech of his queen. King 
Arcimat, with joyful intent addressed his courtiers, saying, 

"Quickly let them tell me where Satarasmi is. Have the 
place wreathed in fair flowers, and strewn with heaps of 
flowers, like an abode of a deva in heaven. 

"Speedily make Satarasmi resplendent with festoons of 
fine cloth, have it covered with a network of gold, that in 
appearance it be like Meru's fair summit. 

"Let an entire army,^ bristling with spears, arrows and 
lances, at once stand guard over Satarasmi's stately 
pile\" 

All was done as the king had commanded; and when 
they had made all things ready, his courtiers approached 
the king and said, 

^ Unless Mahesvara is a descriptive title, " the Danavas, the great lords." 
2 I.e. Asuras, so-called as being descended from Danu. 
^ Sahitam. See note p. 115. 
* Otherwise unknown. 

^ Literally " four-limbed," caturangl, i.e. consisting of cavalry, infantry, 
charioteers and fighters on elephants. 
^ ? manojnasamghdta. 



i6o THE MAHAVASTU 

(202)' 'May our great protector protect the race of men^ 
for a full thousand years yet I All is ready. The nohle 
mansion stands resplendent, and will give you a thrill of joy." 

Then the queen, looking like the consort of an immortal, 
rose up from her lovely couch and said to the king, just when 
the sun had set, 

"I will cultivate harmlessness towards living things, 
and live the chaste life. I will abstain from theft, intoxication, 
and frivolous speech. 

"I will, my lord, refrain from unkindly "^ speech, and from 
slander. I will refrain from abusive speech. This is my resolve. 

"And I will not nurse envy of the pleasures of others, 
nor cause injury to living things. I will give up false views. 

"And, King, I will live in the practice of the eleven 
moralities.^ All night long has this resolve been stirring 
within me. 

"Do not then, I pray you, King, desire me with thought 
of sensual enjoyment. See to it that you be guiltless of offence 
against me who would observe chastity." 

The king replied "I shall have all your wishes fulfilled. 
Be at ease, you who have entered upon a noble life. I and 
my whole realm are at your command." 

The queen then took her thousand beloved principal maidens, 
went up to the fair mansion, and lay down, her dear wish 
fulfilled. 

And there on that bed of the colour of the snow-white lotus, 
she whiled away the time in silence, contentedly calm and 
self-controlled. 

(203) 5A^ laid down her beautiful body on its right side, her 
limbs clinging to the bed as a flowering creeper clings to a tree. 

Then espying the queen on her bed, beautiful as a celestial 
maiden, throngs of devas came down from their homes in 
Tusita and alighted on the terrace. 

All these immortals joyfully bowing their heads, and 
raising their joined hands, lauded the virtuous queen, the 
Conqueror's mother, as she lay on her bed. 

1 Ayus, for the usual prajd in this formula. Cf. Mahavastu 2. 5. Senart 
quotes two passages of Lai. Vist. also (go. 14 ; 117. 11) which have dyus. 

2 Akhila, a peculiar use of this word as the opposite of sakhila. Cf. 2. 6. 
But in the parallel passage at i. 145 we have anrita. 

3 See note p. 115. 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA i6i 

Then in great excitement a large throng of deva maidens 
carrying fair garlands came, eager to see the Conqueror's 
mother, and alighted on the terrace. 

When they had come and had seen the queen on her bed, 
in beauty that dazzled like the lightning, they were filled with 
great joy and happiness, and showered on her flowers from 
heaven. 

Having stood awhile in contemplation of such a comely 
and wondrous, albeit human, form, they said among them- 
selves,^ "There is no woman like her to be found even among 
the wives of the devas. 

"Ah, dear friends, observe the loveliness of this woman ; 
how befitting a Conqueror' s mother it is. As she lies on 
her bed she is radiant and alluring, and gleams as with 
the sheen of gold. 

"She will bear the Great Man who takes exceeding delight 
in charity, self-control and virtue, who makes an end of all 
the asravas, and who is free from passion. What more can 
you want, queen ? 

"0 woman whose belly with its bright streak of fair downy 
hair curves like the palm of the hand, of you will be born 
he whose thought is boundless, who is ever unde filed, unsullied 
by what is foul. 

"Rich merit beyond compare has in the course of a long 
time {20^) been acquired by this woman, who will bear him 
whose worth is illimitable, and who is strong with the merit 
attained during a long time. 

"You are a worthy woman, supreme among mothers, and 
your son will be the Pre-eminent of Men, who has abandoned 
desire and is free of passion. What more can you want, 
queen ? " 

Then the Rdksasas of various shapes were thus commanded^: 
" Ye wielders of brave weapons, quickly take up positions in 
all quarters of the sky, and clear all its spaces of 
obstacles." 

Next after these the horde of fork-tongued Ndgas, whose 
anger is fanned into flame by the slightest breeze they hear 
stirring, stood on guard in the regions of the sky. 

^ Antarato, see note p. ii6. 

2 3rd pars, imperative in text, translated by 2nd pers. for convenience 



i62 THE MAHAVASTU 

Next to these the Yaksas, a monstrous crowd, with flaming 
crests, were posted, and hidden to ward off all who were 
malevolent, hut not to slay any. 

And next the mighty host of Gandharvas, comely in form 
and nohle of features, with shining hows stood to guard him 
who is ahundantly wise. 

The Four Lords^ of the world stood in the air along with 
their own retinues. "For to-day," said they, " the Exalted 
One is coming down to earth to hring welfare, happiness 
and prosperity to the world." 

The Three-and-Thirty devas along with their chief, the 
hearer of the wheel, ^ stood in the air, saying," Soon the Exalted 
One, in his yearning for the utmost happiness of the world, 
will make his last descent." 

A great host of devas, raising their joined hands and 
howing at the qiieen's feet, looked out for the Conqueror's 
coming from Tusita, and uttered sweet words : — 

"0 thou who art strong with merit won hy purification, 
now is it time for thee to enter upon thy last existence. Thy 
mother is ready. Now have pity upon afflicted man- 
kind." 

(205) "Lo, / depart hence." So did [the Exalted One] 
speak out and utter the happy word. . . .^ And at that 
very moment the Conqueror's mother saw in a dream him 
who had imn maturity of fruition. 

He enters her^ hody in the form of a nohle elephant, light 
of step, perfectly flawless of hody, gleaming like snow-white 
silver, with six tusks, a gracefully waving trunk and a 
crimson head. 

Bodhisattvas, Maha-Maudgalyayana, do not descend into 
their mothers' womb during the dark fortnight, but on the 
day of the full moon in the month Pausa. ^ Bodhisattvas enter 
the womb of a mother who observes the fasts, who is tall 

^ See note p. 124. 

2 Sc. Indra. 

^ Lacuna. 

•* The text has me, " my," which would imply that the queen is here 
recounting her narrative in the first person. It is better, with Senart, to 
change me into se which can stand for asyd as well as asya. 

^ Literally " when the full moon is in conjunction with the asterism or 
lunar mansion, pusya," purndydm purnamdsydm pu syanak satrayogayuhtdydm. ; 
whence the name of the month Pausa, corresponding to December- January. 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 163 

and well-proportioned, 1 who is accomplished and in the flower 
of youth, who is trained in the Discipline, who is learned, 
mindful and self-possessed, in every way right-minded and 
seemly, the most perfect of women. ^ 

When a Bodhisattva of Tusita, Maha-Maudgalyayana, passes 
away thence, there is shed a radiance which illumines a whole 
Buddha-field. [And then] one deva asks another, 

"Why is a radiance shed by the excellent Sura, which is 
more serene than the moonbeams, which is pure like gold, 
and which gladdens the lords of the A suras and of men 
and even the fiery flaming hells ? " 

And that deva replies : — 

"The radiance is shed as a greeting by the liberating, 
sinless glory of those who everywhere succour men caught 
in the toils of rebirth and obsessed by intoxication." 

(206)The Bodhisattva said [to the devas] :— 

*'Leave your cities, ye immortals. Verily this is not the 
time to indulge in their delights. Rather is it time to rive 
the strongholds of old age and death with the blows of 
knowledge." 

The Bodhisattva, thoughtful, self-possessed and right- 
minded, entered his mother's womb. 

The lion-hearted man, roaring a lion's roar, when it is 
the time and the occasion for him to pass away, leaves on 
the instant, and re-appears in the home of a king. 

He who lights up Tusita with his radiant beauty, leaves 
the cities of the immortals and becomes an incomparable light 
in the world. 

This incomparable light of the world illumines with his 
beauty the whole world including Brahma's, and all the race 
of men, brdhmans and recluses. 

Behold this wonder and this marvel, that the potent Master, 
mindful and self-possessed, has come down into his mother's 
womb, 

1 Parindhasampanna, " possessing breadth or girth." 

2 There is some grammatical incoherency here. The adjectives are loc. 
sing., much as though matus kuksimavakrdmanti had the force of " are born of." 



i64 THE MAHAVASTU 

That the Very Best of Men, hearing the marks of excellence, 
mindful and self-possessed, has taken his place in his mother's 
womb. 

As soon, Maha-Maudgalyayana, as the Great Being, the 
Bodhisattva, had descended into his mother's womb, this great 
earth quaked, shook and trembled violently six times. There 
was something thrilling in this quaking,^ something beautiful, 
merry, gleeful, amiable, exhilarating, admirable, cheerful, (207) 
assuring, graceful, lovely, gladdening, ^ causing no misgiving 
nor fear. For while the earth quaked, it destroyed no life 
whatever, whether animal or plant. 

Then this earth bounded by ocean and Mount Meru quaked 
six times. And the world was made bright and lovely by 
the splendour of him who dispels the great darkness. 

When the powerful and mindful one passed away from 
Tusita, taking on the form of an elephant, the colour of a 
white boar, and having six tusks. 

Mindful, self-possessed, and virtuous, he entered the womb 
of his mother as she lay high up in the palace, ^ fasting and 
clothed in pure raiment. 

When night had passed into day, she said to her gracious 
spouse, "Noble king, [in my dream I saw] a white and kingly 
elephant enter my womb.'' 

When her husband, the king, heard this, he assembled 
the diviners,^ and bade them all declare the full portent^ 
of this dream. 

The diviners said in answer to the king, "He who bears 
the thirty-two marks of excellence has entered the queen's womb. 

^ Literally " it quaked thrillingly," etc. 

2 Prasaranlya, which Senart plausibly takes as equivalent to Pali sardnlya, 
probably derived from sam + raj, " to rejoice," " to gladden." (See Pali 
Dictionary.) 

* Reading, with Senart, virdsane for vlrasayane of the text. Bohtlingk 
and Roth give vlrdsana = " das Stehen auf einem erhohten Platze." This 
agrees with what we are told of the situation of the queen's bed. 

* The MSS. have vipancanikdn, but the metre requires vaipancanikdn. 
Both forms are obviously related to Pali vipancitannu, " knowing diffuseness 
or detail " or "of unillusioned understanding " [Pali Dictionary, where 
references to variants in Buddhist Sanskrit are given, but not to the 
Mahdvastu instance.) In the next stanza these diviners have the more usual 
appellation nimittika, from nimitta, " sign," " omen," etc., which corresponds 
to the classical Sanskrit naimittika, Pali, nemittaka or nemittika. 

^ Literally " the realisation of the fruit of," phalavipdka. 



i 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 165 

"0 king, you should rejoice because of him who has 
appeared in your family. sovereign of earth, the noble 
child in the womb is the peerless Great Being. 

"According to what I myself have learnt from the ancient 
masters, (208) one of two alternative careers lies before him, 
valiant king. 

"If he remains in the world he will become a mighty lord, 
possessing treasure,^ prosperous, always attended by victory, 
with a hundred thousand kings in his train. 

"But if he embraces the religious life and renounces the 
sovereignty of the four continents, he will become a self-guiding 
Buddha, the guide of men and devas ". 

All the Naga kings and lords eagerly rushed to mount watch 
and ward over the Bodhisattva. Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, 
when the Bodhisattva had entered his mother's womb, all the 
Suparna^ kings and lords eagerly rushed to mount watch and 
ward over the Bodhisattva. And so, too, did the Four Great 
Kings. 

The Four Lords of the world, also, watched over the world's 
saviour, lest any malevolent being harm him who is destined 
to rout the power of Namuci.^ 

Sakra, also, king of the devas, and the deva Suyama,* the 
deva Santusita,^ the deva Sunirmita,^ the deva Vasavartm,' 
Great Brahma, and a Suddhavasa deva, eagerly rushed to 
mount watch and ward over the Bodhisattva when he had 
entered his mother's womb. 

Delighted thousands of devas come to Arcimafs city, as to 
a city of the immortals, to guard him whose wisdom is most 
choice. 

The delightful city of Dlpavatl is become the chief of cities ; 
it is made all radiant by the hosts of devas who enter it — the 
immortals whose coming is swift as thought. ^ 

1 Saratna, or, perhaps, " possessing the seven gems or treasures of a 
universal king." See p. 41. 

2 The text has the Prakrit form Suvarna. Cf. Pah suvanna beside supanna, 
descriptive epithet (" well- winged ") of the Garuda, " a class of mythical 

birds generally mentioned in company with the Nagas." {D.P.N.) 

^ "A name for Mara, given him because he does not allow either gods or 

men ' to escape ' {muc) from his clutches." {D.P.N.) 

* '' Chiefs of the Yama, the Tusita, the Nirmanarati, and the Paranirmit- 

ava^avartin devas respectively. 

8 Manomayavikramagatehi, " who have come with a pace made of mind." 



i66 THE MAHAVASTU 

{209) Eight thousand of the lordly hosts, ^ taking up their 
stations in sky and air, wait upon the queen. 

Behind them Indra's thousands, with spotless crests, 
take up their stations in great numbers to guard him whose 
worth is great. 

Behind these deva chiefs thousands o/nayutas ofKdmdvacara 
devas take up their places in the unsupporting air. ^ 

Behind these deva hosts again, A suras, throngs of fork- 
tongued A suras, Yaksas of strange forms, and hordes of 
Rdksasas take their places. 

And in this way the air, thronged by hundreds of thousands 
of immortals, was glorified and utterly purified, for so great 
was the merit acquired by him who is free of passion. 

Great Brahma speaks ^i — 

The woman who in her dream has seen the sun from the sky 
enter her womb, will give birth to one who bears the marks 
of excellence. He will be a mighty universal king. 

The woman who in her dream has seen the moon from 
the sky enter her womb, will give birth to a son who is both 
mMn and deva. He will be a noble universal king. 

The woman who in her dream has seen a white elephant 
enter her womb, will give birth to a being as select as an 
elephant is among animals,^ and he will be a Buddha who 
knows what is good and true.^ 

(210)And he asks the queen, " Whom do you bear ? And 
she replies, "A universal king." 

"I bear a universal king, a choice man, a valiant king, 
who illumines my womb with his golden beauty and is endowed 
with the marks of excellence." 

But the devas in the sky acclaim him with the title of the 
Exalted One, saying, " He will become a Buddha, not a mighty 
universal king." 

^ Maheivaras, see note p. 155. 
* Gagane nirdlamhe. 

^ As Senart suggests, these verses would be more appropriately assigned 
to the diviners. 

"* Literally " the select being of an elephant," gajasattvasdra. 
" Budhitdrthadharma. 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 167 

Great Brahma recites this verse : — 

You bear [one who is like] an elephant [among men], 
the best of treasures, destroyer of the force and violence of 
intoxication, light of the world, ^ dispeller of dark and murky 
folly, the storehouse of virtues, the possessor of boundless 
wealth, a royal seer, whose wheel knows no obstacle, whose 
radiance is deathless.*' 

The queen replies : — 

*' As passion and vice no longer have power over me who 
have conceived the seed of the king of men, there is no doubt 
that he will be of such splendour as you say.'"^ 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva has 
entered his mother's womb,^ his mother is comfortable whether 
she walks, stands, sits, or lies down, because of the power of 
the Bodhisattva. No weapon can pierce her body, nor can 
poison, fire or sword prevail against her, because of the power 
of the Bodhisattva. Deva maidens attend to her with prepara- 
tions made in heaven for cleaning and massaging the body, 
and she is clothed in celestial raiment and adorned with 
celestial jewels, because of the power of the Bodhisattva. She 
obtains celestial perfumes, garlands, cosmetics and essences, 
because of the power of the Bodhisattva. 

(211)Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva 
has entered his mother's womb, because of his power all her 
escort deem her worthy of perfect obedience and loyalty, and 
those who see her go up to her and offer their services. 
Nothing, not even a bird, passes over her, because of the power 
of the Bodhisattva. She becomes sound and healthy, and 
enjoys a digestive heat neither too cold nor too hot, which 
ensures a perfect digestion, because of the power of the Bodhi- 
sattva. She receives the choicest solid and soft food of the 
best and most superlative flavour, because of the power of 
the Bodhisattva. She becomes rid of passion, and lives an 
unimpaired, flawless, unspotted, untarnished and absolutely 

^ Lokasya pradipa, see note p. 37- 

2 Literally, " as the saying goes forth," yatha niscarati vdcd, or, perhaps, 
" as men say." 

^ This phrase, forming a stereotyped beginning for the sentences in this 
passage, is, as far as is consonant with clearness, subsequently omitted. 



i68 THE MAHAVASTU 

pure and perfect chaste life. In the heart of this pre-eminent 
woman no passion arises for any man, not even for King 
Arcimat. She lives in accordance with the five moral precepts,^ 
observing them to the full.^ 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva has 
entered his mother's womb, all the Naga kings and lords, 
whether bom of eggs, or from the womb, or from moisture, 
or spontaneously, 3 enter her abode and sprinkle her with celestial 
sandal-wood powder. Similarly they sprinkle* her with aloe- 
wood powder and scatter showers of blossoms over her. They 
laud her with perfect praise, with consummate praise, with 
absolutely pure praise. When they have scattered celestial 
sandal-wood powder, they scatter kesara^ powder, and powdered 
leaves of the tamdla^ tree, and showers of blossoms. (212) They 
laud her with perfect praise, with consummate praise, with 
absolutely pure praise. And when they have thus lauded her 
with this perfect and pure praise, and scattered celestial powder 
of sandal-wood, aloe-wood, kesara and tamdla leaves, and 
showers of blossoms, on, about, and over the Bodhisattva's 
mother, they salute her three times from the right, and go 
their way. [And all this is] because of the power of the 
Bodhisattva. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva has 
entered his mother's womb, all the Suparna kings and lords, 
whether born of eggs, or from the womb, or from moisture, 
or spontaneously, enter her abode and sprinkle her with 
celestial sandal-wood powder and many other celestial powders, 
celestial kesara powder, celestial powder of tamdla leaves, and 

1 Panca siksdpaddni (Pali sikkhdpaddni), i.e. the five precepts inculcating 
the practice of the five slldni, or " behaviours." Both precepts and behaviours 
are sometimes given as ten, but when enumerated as five each group denotes 
abstinence, respectively, from murder, theft, adultery, falsehood, and slander, 
the committing of which occasions the " five-fold guilty dread " {panca 
bhaydni verdni). See e.g. S. 2. 68. The later additional five siksdpaddni 
are not identical with the corresponding five slldni. 

2 Reading, as Senart tentatively suggests, sampHrnasamddinndni, for 
sapilrva° of the text. 

3 Cf. M. i 73- 

* Some of the tenses here are past (aorist), implying an account of a 
particular conception of the Bodhisattva, Others are present describing 
such a conception in general terms. But the two tenses are so mixed up 
that it has been thought better to render both by the present (or present 
perfect). 

* See p. 32. 

* A tree with a very dark bark, but white flowers, Xanthochymus pictorius. 



I 



THE HISTORY OF DIPAMKARA 169 

powder of celestial blossoms. They laud her with perfect praise, 
with consummate praise, with absolutely pure praise. And 
when they have scattered celestial powders of aloe-wood, of 
keiara, of tamdla leaves, and celestial blossoms on the Bodhi- 
sattva's mother, and saluted her three times from the right, 
they go their way. [And all this is] because of the power 
of the Bodhisattva. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva has 
entered his mother's womb the Caturmaharajaka devas, the 
Trayastrimsa devas, the Yama devas, the Tusita devas, the 
Nirmanarati devas, Paranirmitavasavartin devas, the Brahma 
devas, and the Suddhavasa devas enter her abode and scatter 
over her celestial sandal-wood powder, celestial aloe-wood 
powder, celestial kesara powder and powder of tamdla leaves, 
and showers of celestial blossoms. Then they laud her with 
perfect praise, with consummate praise, (213) with absolutely 
pure praise. When they have scattered over and about her 
celestial powder of sandal-wood, of aloe-wood, of kesara and 
of tamdla leaves, and showers of celestial blossoms, and 
lauded her with perfect praise, with consummate praise, with 
absolutely pure praise, they salute the Bodhisattva 's mother 
three times from the right and go their way. [And all this is] 
because of the power of the Bodhisattva. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva has 
entered his mother's womb he does not occupy a position that 
is too low or too high. He does not lie on his face, nor on his 
back, nor on his left side, nor squatting on his heels. ^ But he 
sits 2 in his mother's right side with his legs crossed. He is 
not polluted by bile, phlegm, blood or any other unclean 
matter. For the Bodhisattva, while he is in his mother's 
womb, is rubbed with perfumes and washed clean. He is able 
to see his mother, while she, in her turn, can see the 
Bodhisattva in her womb like a body of pure gold and is en- 
raptured at the sight. It is as though a jewel of beryl were 



1 Or, more precisely, " squatting on the calves with the heels firmly planted 
on the ground " — utkutika, Pali ukkutika. See Pali Dictionary where the 
reference to the Buddhist Sanskrit form should be amended ; Mahdvastu 
2. 16, has utkutuka. 

2 The verb is tisthati, as it also is for " lying " (on his face), etc., and for 
the copulative " is " in the next sentence. 



170 THE MAHAVASTU 

placed in its crystal casket. Just so does his mother 
see the Bodhisattva like a body of gold illuminating her 
womb.^ 

(214) Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva 
has entered his mother's womb, hosts of devas come day and 
night to inquire after his welfare. And the Bodhisattva greets 
them by raising his right hand, but without hurting his mother. 
Neither the devas nor the Nagas, nor the Yaksas, nor the 
Danavas, nor the Raksasas, nor the Pi^acas leave him day 
or night. Nor is there any talk of the affections, nor talk 
concerned with sensual pleasures, nor any other trivial talk 
there. But they speak of nothing other than the Bodhisattva's 
beauty, his comeliness, his being, his might, his colour, his 
glory, and his root of virtue. Their worship of the Bodhisattva 
in his mother's womb does not cease. Celestial musical instru- 
ments are played, celestial scents of aloe-wood are wafted 
abroad, celestial flowers and celestial powders rain down. 
And thousands of Apsarases sing and dance around. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, when the Bodhisattva has 
entered his mother's womb, she laughs and talks ^ with thous- 
ands of deva maidens. And again when she falls asleep the 
deva maidens fan her with garlands of the coral-tree. [And 
all this is] because of the power of the Bodhisattva. 

Such then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, is this perfect descent into 
the womb, unsurpassed in all the great universe of the three 
thousand worlds. 

And now behold another marvel, the marvel of the talk 
begetting the most perfect ecstasy , which there was among 
all that great concourse of devas. 

There is no talk of sensual delight, nor of Apsarases, nor 
of song, nor of instrumental music, nor of eating and drinking. 

There is no talk of jewellery, nor of dress, i^lb) No talk 
of driving and pleasure-gardens occurs to their minds. 

1 In the corresponding passage in Vol. 2. i6 the simile is in the metrical 
form of an arya of three hemistiches. In his notes Senart makes an attempt 
at the restitution of the metrical form here, but has to admit that there is 
no MS. authority for the introduction of the necessary words. 

2 Literally " laughter and talk befall (abhydbhavati) the B.'s mother." 
This use of the verb abhi-d-bhu is Brahmanic, and Senart suggests that it is 
an example of not a few parallels which examination might reveal between 
the language of the Mahdvastu and the Brdhmanas. 



THE BIRTH OF DiPAMKARA 171 

"Oh ! Good is the inimitable light of the Leader who is 
strong through his merit. It outshines the world of men and 
devas," Such is the talk that echoes'^ there. 

"Oh ! Good is the incomparable conception of him whose 
form is perfect." Such is the varied talk that echoes there 
among that gathering. 

With these pure"^ psalms of acclamation for him whose 
wisdom is excellent do they while away the time, and such 
is the talk that echoes in that gathering. 

And so the hosts of devas rejoice as they relate their varied 
themes, telling of the form, the colour, the might and the 
strength of him who is free from passion. 

THE BIRTH OF THE BUDDHA DIPAMKARA 

The mothers of all Bodhisattvas are delivered when the tenth 
month is completed. So at the end of the tenth month, the 
queen, named Sudipa, said to King Arcimat, " My lord, it is 
my desire to go to the pleasaunce in the Lotus Grove." And 
when the king heard Queen Sudipa, he said to his ministers, 
*' With the women of my court I am going for diversion to 
the pleasaunce in the Lotus Grove. 

"Quickly make ready the Lotus Grove by clearing it of grass 
and litter and leaves. Make it a mass of fair and fragrant 
flowers, and make it sweetly smelling with scented water. 

"In the Lotus Grove let the sportive^ breezes laden with 
the scent of tamala leaves diffuse an ambrosial fragrance ; 
let the boisterous* breezes be gone. 

"Let clouds charged with the fragrance of aloe-wood quickly 
descend from the sky to shade the Lotus Grove that is full of 
the exquisite aroma of powders. 

{21Q)" Adorn each fair tree with streamers of jute and wool 
and silken cloth, that they be like the kalpavriksa trees of 
the chief of devas in heaven. 

^ Kathd vikasati. Senart tentatively refers vikasati to vikas and cites has 
given by Vopadeva in the sense of "to resound," etc. See also Bohtlingk 
and Roth s.v. kas, kas, kams. 

2 Nirdynisa, " not fleshly," " not gross," " spiritual." 

3 Reading sallld for sarlrd. So Senart. 

* Literally " intoxicating," madajanana, but the exact meaning is not 
clear. 



172 THE MAHAVASTU 

Devas and deva maidens, bearing scented garlands, come 
to the pleasaunce in the Lotus Grove of King Arcimat. 

Wearing ear-rings of crystal gems, resplendent garments 
and drooping jewels, and carrying fragrant garlands, they 
come floating down the pathways of the sky. 

Some carry baskets^ full of the flowers of the coral-tree, 
others baskets of the yellow sandal-wood flowers, and others 
' baskets of suitable woven stuffs. 

With joy in their hearts the Apsarases, bearing garlands 
of land and water flowers and gems and jeivels, turn their 
faces towards Jambudvlpa. 

Deva maidens come floating through the air carrying full 
eighty-four thousand sunshades of gold and jewels. 

The sky, with hundreds of pennants of woven cloth flying 
high, is filled as though^ with pinnacles plastered with 
gleaming crystals and gems. 

And clouds of vapour, like the breath of elephants, glisten 
[in the air],^ with their fragrant flowery scents, a blend of 
lotus, water-lily and campaka. * 

Delighted serpent-lords besprinkle the air with clouds 
of sweet-smelling vapour. And there were hundreds of other 
wonders besides. 

Thus then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, did King Arcimat with 
his women set out for the pleasaunce in the Lotus Grove, 
with great royal pomp, splendour and magnificence. 

{211)Whe7t she enters that fair grove, the queen, the 
Conqueror's mother, attended by her friends, rides on in her 
gay chariot, a queen like the consort of an immortal, knowing 
the rule of joy. 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, Queen Sudipa, attended by her 
friends, sported on the lake in the grove in boats which had 
platforms 5 fore and aft, and canopies spread above. They 
were carpeted with glittering cloth, draped with flowing bands 
of fine silk ; they were painted, scented, and strewn with heaps 

^ ? or vases, samgeriyo, most likely corrupt. 

2 Reading, -samehi, for -satehi, as in 2. 19. 

3 Supplied from khagapathe in the parallel passage in 2. 19. 
* A tree with yellow flowers, michelia champaka. 

6 Vcdi, " altar," " terrace," here probably a " promenade deck." 



THE BIRTH OF DiPAMKARA 173 

of flowers, and were surrounded by railings. ^ Above were 
sunshades, flags and pennons. As Queen Sudipa was being 
drawn along in her boat, the fancy took her to disembark. 
And then, through the power of the Bodhisattva, an island 
appeared in the middle of the lake, level and even, fringed 
by beautiful sand. Tender grasses grew from the soil that 
were blue like tufts of samsparsa,^ and like a peacock's neck. 
When these were trod upon they bent to no more than four 
inches from the ground. Trees grew there laden with pleasant 
fruit. On this island did the queen land. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the Bodhisattva's mother does 
not give birth to him as she is lying down or sitting. Nor does 
she give birth to him without his being perfectly free of bile, 
phlegm, blood or any other foul and unclean matter, but his 
body is bathed with perfumes and washed clean. 

She, tired in body, leant with her arm on the branch of 
a tree and comfortably stretched herself at the moment of 
giving birth to the Glorious One. 

Then twenty thousand deva maidens quickly flocked 
thither, (218) and, raising their joined hands, addressed the 
queen with devoted intent. 

"To-day, queen, you will give birth to him who crushes 
old age and disease, a noble youth of immortal stock, honoured 
and beloved in heaven and on earth, a benefactor of devas 
and men. 

"Do not give way to anxiety, for we shall render service 
to you . Only tell us what is to be done, and lo I it is all done. ' ' 

Then the Four Great Lords of the world with their thick 
celestial tresses of hair, ^ attended by their retinues, speedily 
foregathered there and drew near to the queen from the right. 

And all the deva hosts hovering in the air as they attended 
upon the queen, carrying fragrant garlands, and with their 
own attendant hosts, presented a bright array. 

The Bodhisattva, mindful and thoughtful, issues through his 
mother's right side without doing her any injury. 

^ Vedikdjdld, see note p. 153. 
2 A fragrant plant or perfume. 

^ Divyapravenihasta. For the force of "hasta, cf. kesahasta, " a good crop 
of " or " ornamented with hair," 



174 THE MAHAVASTU 

For the Supreme of Men are horn from their mothers* 
right side. It is here that all the valiant men abide [when 
in their mother's body]. 

Why is not that side of the Conqueror's mother rent as 
she is delivered of the Best of Men, and why does no pain 
ensue ? 

Tathdgatas are born with a body that is made of mind,^ 
and that is why the mother's body is not rent and why no 
pain ensues. 

Tired out with his stay in the womb, the Bodhisattva takes 
seven strides over the earth, scans the regions of it, and laughs 
a loud laugh. 

Now listen to what the tradition says as to the reason why 
he takes seven strides, rather than eight or six. 

(219)When the Sage, the benefactor of the whole world, 
was tired with his stay in the womb, he strode forth eagerly, 
as it was his last sojourn there. 

When he had taken seven strides over the earth, throngs 
of devas suddenly came flying down, and the Sage was taken 
up in the arms of the Four Great Lords. 

Then there fell down a drizzling rain of celestial blossoms, 
mingled with the powder of the coral-tree, and thick with that 
of the celestial sandal-wood tree. 

And for a long time the exultant devas diffused the most 
divine incense to grace the splendour of the supremely 
Intelligent One. 

I shall here, too, tell the tradition, the edifying doctrine, 
as to why the Peerless Man surveys the regions of the world. 

He finds not among beings, either devas or men, anyone 
whose birth was like his, or ivhose conception was like his. 

As shining gold is the side of the Conqueror's mother from 
whom- the Omniscient is born into his last existence. 

As soon as he was born this was the thought that occurred 
to the supremely Eloquent One, "Is there anyone my equal 
in intelligence ? 

"Are there any who are irked^ by the snare of recurrent 

^ Manomaya — a tenet of the Lokottaravadins. 

^ Reading, as Senart suggests, yasmd for yadd of the text. 

^ Aritiyanle. For the formation of this verb cf. Pali attiyati, denominative 
verb from atta = Sanskrit arta, the past part, of rid, " to afiflict, torment." 
It is unnecessary to ascribe the form to false analogy as Senart does. 



THE BIRTH OF DiPAMKARA 175 

hirth as I am ? " It is for this purpose, to have this doubt 
resolved^ that the Kinsman of the Sun scans all regions of 
the world. 

Then the Prince of Speakers, surveying the regions, espies 
thousands of kotis of devas, and that is why he laughs. 

(220)^ s soon as he was horn the devas of Mdra's world 
said to him, "Thou wilt become a wealthy universal king 
over the four continents." 

But he laughs at that, and says, ''You do not know me 
for what I am. For I shall become the supreme of men, 
all-knowing and all-seeing." 

And distinguished teachers confirm this, for thus has 
the teaching of the lion-hearted men been well proclaimed. 

The hero whom his mother bore as she stood supporting 
herbodyby the flowering sal tree, him, the peerless Conqueror, 
do I extol. 2 

May the Sugata just now born tr ead the earth with even feet. ^ 
He has taken seven strides and scanned all the regions of the world. 

And as he walked along a fan and a sunshade of their own 
accord* followed him, lest gadflies and gnats alight on the body 
of the Omniscient One. 

As soon as the Sugata was born, devas first received the 
Conqueror, and afterwards men bore the Peerless One in 
their arms. 

The devas welcomed the Sugata who displayed the thirty- 
two marks of excellence, and afterwards men bore the Peerless 
One in their arms. 

The lights of men were put out, because the earth was 
bathed in radiance as soon as the Sugata, the torch-bearer 
of men and devas, was born. 

As soon as the Sugata was born, his folk ran in quest 
of water. And lo ! wells full of water brimming over flowed 
right before their eyes. 

^ -ccetam tarkam nivartitum ; this phrase is transferred in translation 
from the preceding stanza to its natural place here as an amplification of 
ityartham. 

2 A number of verses, in a different metre, inserted from another source 
or tradition. 

' Samehi padehi. One of the thirty-two characteristics [laksandni) of a 
Mahapurusa. See p. i8o. 

* Sdmam. Pali only = " self," " oneself," etc. See Bohtlingk and Roth, 
and references in Pali Dictionary. 



176 THE MAHAVASTU 

(221)Two pitchers of water appeared, one of cold, the other 
of warm water, wherewith they bathed the golden body of 
the Sugata. 

Because of the power of the Bodhisattva, immediately after 
the Sugata was born, his mother was without hurt or scar. 
Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, immediately after the Bodhi- 
sattva was born, his mother's womb, because of his power, 
remained quite unscathed and without the effect of strain^. 
Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, immediately after the Bodhi- 
sattva was born, because of his power there appeared on the 
island 2 a forest of sandal-wood trees, which became a source 
of delight and enjoyment to him. 

Then, hundreds of thousands of devas assemble, with 
fragrant garlands in their hands, to do honour to the Bodhi- 
sattva. One deva asks another, *' Whither do you go ?" And 
the other replies : — 

The consort of the king is about to give birth to that peerless 
offspring who is bright like the calyx of the blossoming lotus. 
Here on earth he will win the highest good, overcoming Mara 
and his power. It is to this hero that I repair. 

His body is untouched by the impurities of the womb, 
even like the exquisite lotus that is born in the mud of pools. 
Beautiful like the newly-risen sun, he excels the immortals 
in Brahma's heaven. 

Then as soon as he was born in Arcimat's household, the 
Wise One took seven mighty strides. Scanning the regions 
of the world, he laughed aloud, and said, "This, at length, 
is my last existence." 

{222) And many devas held up in the sky a glittering 
sunshade, inimitably studded with gems and pearls and 
outshining all others in splendour, and waved garlands of 
the coral-tree. 

They held up in the sky a fair and golden sunshade, 

1 ? Andrabdhd. So Senart. 

2 Antaradvlpe. Senart explains : " dans I'mtervalle qui separe les uns 
des autres les quatres dvipas dont la reunion forme un monde." But it 
seems more natural to make the reference to be to the island on which the 
Buddha was born. For the compound, cf. Pali antaradlpake, " in the centre 
of the island " (/. i. 240.) It should be added, however, that in the parallel 
passage in Vol. 2, p. 23, there is an additional marvel, viz. the holy fig-tree 
which appears in the midst of the four million islands or continents. 



THE BIRTH OF DIPAMKA R A 177 

gleaming like a shell in the sunshine, whilst they waved 
cunningly fashioned fans in their hands as they fanned the 
Conqueror. 

Two pitchers of water suddenly appeared in the sky, one 
fragrant, pleasantly warm, agreeable and beneficial to man, 
the other healthful, invigorating and icy cold. 

Then on Meru's summit devas of various kinds took off 
their robes that were scented with all sorts of perfumes, and, 
standing in long ranks on all sides, vigorously waved them. 
Six times did they make the firm earth quake. 

Devas in their mansions^ resplendent in gold and silver 
and jewels, to the sound of musical instruments, looked on 
the Conqueror's auspicious birth. They lit up the sky, with 
its moon, sun and stars. 

"This is the great Seer, who, having crossed the great ocean 
of life through the worlds of devas, Ndgas, and Yaksas[22Z) 
will attain that one region where is peace." Thus did the 
enraptured devas in the sky proclaim of him. 

King Arcimat then ordered the child to be led to pay worship 
at the feet of a certain ^ goddess. In what sort of conveyance 
will the child be seated ? In a jewelled palanquin fashioned 
by devas. Who will bear this palanquin ? The Four Great 
Lords are standing by and say " We will carry the Elect of 
beings, the Bodhisattva, together with Queen Sudipa and his 
nurse." 

They climb into the palanquin, and Sakra, the lord of devas, 
and Great Brahma form an escort. Thus the Bodhisattva in 
great pomp, in the great pomp of a deva, in the great pomp 
of a king, was taken from the pleasaunce in the Lotus Grove 
and brought to the royal city of Dipavati, where he was led 
into the temple^ of the goddess. 

Against his will the hero, the great saviour of the 
world, the teacher of kings, entered the shrine. But when 
they would have him salute the goddess with his head, it was 
his feet that he put forward. * 

* Vimdna. See note p. 26. 

2 imdye devlye. But, perhaps, the pronoun imdye should be, as Senart 
suggests, changed into Abhaydye, Abhaya being the name given to this 
goddess in the parallel passage {2, 26), 

3 Kalam {sic) in the text, for kulam. 

* Literally " his feet appeared," prddurbhavensu. 



178 THE MAHAVASTU 

Then the goddess said to another goddess, "It is not fitting 
that this child should worship me. And if he should make 
obeisance before another, that one's head would assuredly be 
split in seven." 

When this child was born all beings, including even those 
in Avici, became prosperous and happy. All devas bowed 
to him in joy. 

(224) When the child had entered the royal palace, the king 
bade his priest fetch at once the wise men who were skilled 
in the rules and significance of signs. 

Learning this, the saintly"^ devas, called Mahesvaras^, 
{came on the scene), lest the unskilled crowd of the twice-born^ 
should seek to interpret the signs. 

Rid of conceit, pride, and arrogance, eight thousand 
Mahesvaras approached him who was newly born and revered 
by the hosts of devas. 

Arrayed in fine and pure raiment they stood in silence 
at the door of the king's palace and addressed the door-keeper 
in a tone gentle as the cuckoo's, saying, 

"Go in to the king and say to him, * Here are eight thousand 
men who know the significance and rules of signs, and they 
would enter if it is your pleasure.' " 

"So be it," said the door-keeper obeying them, and he went 
into the palace. Raising his joined hands, he joyfully 
addressed the lord of earth : — 

"0 King, peerless in strength, whose glory is ablaze, 
smiter of your foes, may you rule your realm a long time yet. 
Men like the immortals stand at your gates and crave 
admittance. 

"Because of their full clear eyes, their soft voices, their 
tread like that of elephant in rut, doubt arises in me whether 
these be men and not sons of the devas. 

^ Literally " heart or mind controlling," cittavaiavarti. 

2 Devas of this name do not seem to be known outside the Mahdvastu. 
Usually it is the Buddha vasa devas who figure in this scene, and as at p. 150 
these are described as maheivards or " great lords," it is likely that this 
descriptive title has, in the present passage, been taken as a well-understood 
alternative name for the Suddhavasa devas. The king's visitors are actually 
called by the latter name later on in this same passage (p. 182). 

3 I.e. Brahmans. 



THE BIRTH OF DIPAMKARA 179 

"As they walk about the dust of the earth does not soil 
their noble feet. I see no footprints of theirs on the ground 
— this too is a marvel. 

"Stately and quiet are their gestures, noble their bearing, 
and controlled the range of their vision.'^ They give great 
delight to all who behold them. 

"And here is another marvellous thing. No shadows are 
seen cast by their bodies, {226) and no accompanying noise 
is heard as they move along. 

"0 King, without a doubt they are come to view your noble 
son. You should see with joy and greet these devas who 
were not born of the ivomb. 

"With fair and fragrant garlands in their hands, with 
their graceful gestures, with their charming persons, they are 
ablaze with glory. Without a doubt they are exalted 
devas." ^ 

When King Arcimat heard these words, his body thrilled 
with joy, and he replied, "To be sure, let them with all speed 
enter within this noble palace. 

"And why ? Because such are not the forms of ordinary 
men. Human beings do not have such majesty as you say 
these men have." 

Then the door-keeper went to the Mahesvaras, and, bowing 
with his joined hands uplifted, cheerfully and joyously did 
them obeisance, and said, 

"His majesty is pleased, sirs, that you should at his 
command enter the valiant king's palace that is fit to be a 
stronghold of the devas." 

When they had heard this word, the eight-thousand 
Mahesvaras entered the royal palace of the chief of his 
unconquered line. 

Then King Arcimat, a stately, strong and sturdy^ figure, 
seeing the Mahesvaras when they were still some way off, 
rose up with his court to meet them. 

The valiant king addressed them, saying, "I bid you all 
a hearty welcome, for I am pleased with your appearance, 
your calm, your self-control and your strength. 

* See note p. 119. 

^ Called here by the name Marutas. Cf. note p. 119. 

3 Literally " with body made- to-become," bhduitasarlra. 



i8o THE MAHAVASTU 

''Here are our most honourable seats. Pray he seated 
at once, sirs, to give pleasure to us." 

Then they who were rid of conceit, pride and arrogance, 
and were blameless in deed, [22^) sat down on those seats, 
the feet of which were bright and glittering with many a gem. 

After waiting a while {one of them) addressed the king 
saying, "Let his majesty hear what the cause of our coming 
hither is. 

"A son is born to you, king, of a wholly faultless body, 
who is judged fair by all the world, and who possesses to 
perfection the marks of excellence. 

"For we, skilled in signs, can recognise the marks of virtues 
and of vices. If it be not hard for you, we would see him 
who bears the form of a Great Man." 

The king replied, "Come, see my son whose good name 
is secure,^ who brings joy to devas and men, and possesses 
the marks of excellence to perfection." 

Then taking in his arms the Virtuous One, swathed in 
delicate, soft and gaily -coloured wool, he brought him whose 
eloquence is clear ^ to the noble Suras. 

When the Mahesvaras observed from a distance the dignified 
approach of the Dasabala, they thrilled with joy and bowed 
their heads, crowned with glittering diadems, to the ground. 

And now they declare to the king, '' Great profit have you 
well gained, O King, in that there has been born in your family 
the Great Man who possesses the thirty-two marks, which are^ :— 

He has feet with level tread. * 

He has designs of wheels on the soles of his feet. ^ 

He has long toes and fingers.^ 

1 Suvyapadesaksetna. See note p. 120. 

2 I.iterally " whose speech is (clear Hke) the moon," vddicandra . For 
this simihtude between the clearness of voice and that of light, cf. the Irish 
de ghuth drd solas-ghlan, " With a loud voice clear as light." 

' These terms are given in mnemonic verse. Only a single word, and that 
not always the distinctive or key word, of the sentences which in the lists 
given elsewhere describe the marks, is given. They have been interpreted 
here on the basis of the list given in D. 3. 143 ff. ( = D. 2. 17 ff.) and translated 
in Dial. 3. 137 ff. 

* Samd. The Pali has suppatitthita-pddo. But compare samehi padehi 
above p. 175. 

^ Hestd. Pali: hetthd pdda-talesu cakkdni jdtdni. 

^ Dlrghd. Pali : dlghangull hoti. 



THE BIRTH OF DIPAMKARA i8i 

He has broad and projecting heels. '^ 

He has sharply arched feet. ^ 

His legs are like the antelope's. ^ 

His body is divinely straight.^ 

He can touch his knees with his hands when standing erect. ^ 

His male organ is enclosed in a sheath.^ 

His body is proportioned like the banyan tree. ' 

His hands and feet are soft and tender. ^ 

His hands and feet are net-like.^ 

His body is perfectly formed. ^^ 

The down on his body grows in single hairs, one to eachpore.^'^ 

The down on his body grows straight upwards. "^"^ 

He has a smooth skin.^^ 

He has a [ ? ] skin. ' * 

He has the gait of a swan.'^^ 



^ Ay aid. Pali : dyata-panhl hoti. 

2 Ucchanga. Pali : ussankha-pddo hoti. Dial. 3. 138 translates " his ankles 
are like rounded shells " [sankha — Skt. sankha) but the Pali Dictionary, 
following the Commentary, translates " with ankles in the middle," which 
implies the translation given above. Mahdvastu, i. 197, and 2. 29, has utsanga° 
"slope," "roof" which seems to confirm this interpretation. The text, 
however, is uncertain. The MSS. here give ucchaka and ucchamka, and at 
2. 29 upasamkam, all of which seem to be an echo of the Pali ussankha. 

3 Eni. Pali : eni-jangho hoti. 

* The text has brihat only, which may correspond to the Pali brahmujju-gatto 
hoti, and has so been translated here. Senart, however, would read vrittd, 
which could be understood as " his limbs are rounded." This, however, 
is one of the anuvyanjandni, or eighty '' lesser characteristics." (Vol. 2. 43,) 

* Tisthanto. Pali (?) : thitako va anonamanto hoti ubhohi pdnitalehi jannu- 
kdni parimasati parimajjati. 

^ Kosd. Pali : kosohita-vattha-guyho hoti. 
' Nyagrodha. Pali : nigrodha-parimandalo hoti. 
® Mfidu. Pali : mudutalunahatthapddo hoti. 
® Jala. Pali : jdla-hattha-pddo hoti. 

^'^PratipHrnd. This corresponds to nothing in the Pali lists and has to be 
interpreted by reference to the " 80 lesser characteristics." 

^^ Ekd. Pali : ekeka-lomo hoti, ekehdni lomdni loma-kupesu jdtdni. 

12 Ordhvdgra. Pali : uddhagga-lomo hoti. 

13 ^laksna-cchavi. Although this term is practically equivalent to the single 
Pali term sukhumacchavi, the enumeration of the marks shows that it covers 
two. If we take slaksna as the key-word to the description of one mark 
and translate as above, we are left with chavi. which obviously refers to 
some other quality of the skin and this may be found among the " lesser 
characteristics." 

1 ^ See preceding note. 

^^ Hamsa. This and the word to which it is joined, antaro, together look 
like a key-word to one only of the Pali terms, viz. cit-antaramso, literally 
" one whose shoulder-hole is heaped up." But to make up the quota of 
thirty-two, they must be taken as two. That is hamsa refers to the mark 
of a " swan's gait," which is really, however, one of the lesser characteristics, 
while antard is a mnemonic for the Pali cit-antaramso. 



i82 THE MAHAVASTU 

There is no hollow between his shoulder blades.'^ 

His body has the seven convex surfaces. ^ 

(227)He has an exquisite sense of taste. ^ 

His skin is the colour of gold. ^ 

He has the bust of a lion. ^ 

He has regular teeth. ^ 

His teeth are perfectly white. "^ 

His bust is consistently rounded. ^ 

His tongue is long and slender. ® 

His voice is like that of Brahma. ^^ 

His eyes are blue.^'^ 

His eyelashes are like a cow's.'^'^ 

Between his eyebrows he has a hairy mole.'^^ 

His head is shaped like a royal turban. '^'^ 

Such is the saviour with the thirty-two marks of excellence. 

Then King Arcimat asked the brahmans^^ to give a fitting 
name to the child. The brahmans replied, " Your majesty, 
when the child was born a great resplendent light ^® appeared, 
hence let the child be named Dipamkara/' Thus did the 
Suddhavasa^' devas, in the guise of brahmans, give the name 
Diparnkara to the child. 

Capable nurses came and reared the child. And when the 
Bodhisattva had become a young man, the king had three 

^ See preceding note. 

2 Utsadd. Pali : satt-ussado hoti. 

3 Rasam. Pali : rasaggas-aggl hoti. 

* Suvarno. Pali : suvanna-vanno hoti. 

^ Siho. This key-word can correspond to either of two terms in the Pali 
list, either slha-pubhaddhakdyo hoti (as above) or siha-hanu hoti, " he has 
the jaws of a lion." 

•* Samd. Pali : samadanto hoti. 

' ^ukla. Pali : susukka-ddtho hoti. 

8 Samd. Pali : samavattakkhandho hoti. 

* Prabhutd. Pali : pahuta-jivho hoti. 
^^ Brahmd. Pali: hrahma-ssaro hoti. 
^^ Nild. Pali : abhinila-netio hoti. 

12 Gopaksma. Pali : go-pakhumo hoti. 

1^ Ornd. Pali: unnd-bha,muk antare jdtd hoti. 

1* Usnlsa slrsam. Pali: unhisa-siso hoti. 

1* I.e. the Mahesvaras (or ^uddhavasas) disguised as brahmans. 

i« Dlpo mahdm obhdso. What had appeared, however, was the island 
in the lake (see p. 173). " Island " is dvlpa in Sanskrit, but in Pali dlpa, 
which is also Pali for " light." It would seem, therefore, as Senart suggests, 
that the story of the island was introduced by a narrator who had dlpa = 
" island " in mind. 

*' See note p. 178. 



ENLIGHTENMENT 183 

terraces made for him to play and stroll in, and a spacious 
gynaeceum was set near them. 

Then the Bodhisattva in great regal pomp, magnificence 
and splendour went with the women for diversion in the 
pleasaimce of the Lotus Grove, and King Arcimat bade the 
women amuse the young man well. After sailing on the lake 
in boats which had platforms fore and aft, enclosed by railings, ^ 
with canopies spread above, and were draped in flowing bands 
of fine silk, carpeted with ghttering cloth, scented and strewn 
with bright flowers, crescents and pearls, the Bodhisattva with 
the women 2 disembarked on the shore. His female escort 
fell asleep from weariness, one holding her chin, another leaning 
on her arm, another clasping a cymbal, another a flute, another 
a guitar, another a lute, another a trumpet, ^ another an anklet, 
another a tabor, another a Idldghara.^ And when he saw them 
thus, there came over him an awareness of the burial ground. 

ENLIGHTENMENT 

In the middle of the lotus-pond a lotus appeared with petals 
as large as chariot-wheels, and surrounded by thousands of 
other lotuses. (228) The Bodhisattva sat cross-legged on that 
lotus, which immediatety closed up to form apeaked roof over him. 

All the outward marks of a layman vanished from the 
Bodhisattva's person, and he appeared in the yellow robes of 
a recluse. Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the Bodhisattva 
Dipamkara entered and abode in the first meditation, ^ which 
is aloof from sense desires and from sinful and evil ideas, is 
attended by applied and sustained thought, and is born of 
solitude and is full of zest and ease. 

^ Vedikd. See note p. 153. 

2 Literally " on the shore (which was) without men," nispuruse tate. 
Cf. Pali nippurisa. 

' Sughosakl, " well-sounding." Cf. Sughosa, the name of a trumpet in 
the Bhagavadgitd. 

* Senart takes this to denote an unknown musical instrument. Miss 
I. B. Horner, however, in a note to the translator, suggests that the woid 
means " spittoon," being compounded of laid, " saliva," and ghara, " house," 
" receptacle." 

^ Dhydna, Pali jhdna. The translation above follows closely that of the 
jhdna passages in the Pali texts, e.g., A. 4. 410 f, ( = Grad. S. 4. 276) and D. 
I. 37-8 (= Dial. I. 50-1). In the case of the first jhdna, however, the Pali 
texts have vivicca, " aloof," in the nominative agreeing with the subject, 
while the Mahdvastu has viviktam, accusative, agreeing with dkydnam. 



i84 THEMAHAVASTU 



Suppressing applied and sustained thought, he entered and 
abode in the second meditation, which is born of concentration, 
is full of zest and ease, and is free from applied and sustained 
thought through the mind becoming inwardly calm and one- 
pointed.^ Indifferent to the fervour of zest,^ he abode mindful 
and self-possessed,^ and entered and abode in the third 
meditation, which is free of zest, and experienced in his person 
that ease whereof the Aryans declare, " He that is indifferent* 
and mindful dwells at ease." By putting away ease and by 
putting away ill, by the passing away of the happiness and 
misery he formerly felt, he entered and abode in the fourth 
meditation, which is utter purity of equanimity ^ and mindfulness 
and is free of ill and ease. 

Thus with heart composed, purified, cleansed, without 
blemish, free of the lusts, supple, ready to act, firm and 
unperturbed, he, in the first watch of the night, turned and 
applied his mind to acquire the sight of the deva-eye.^ By 
means of his deva-eye he sees fair beings and foul beings 
passing away and coming to birth, perceives how they go 
to bournes of good and to bournes of ill in accordance with 
their karma. 

Then the Bodhisattva, with heart composed, purified, 
cleansed, without blemish, free of the lusts, supple, ready 
to act, firm and unperturbed, in the middle watch of the night, 
recalled to mind his many different sojournings on earth, 
to wit, one birth, two births, three births, five, ten, twenty, 
thirty, forty, fifty, hundred, thousand, many hundreds (229), 
many thousands, many hundred-thousands. He recalled to 
mind kalpas of the world's dissolution, kalpas of the world's 
evolution,^ kalpas of both evolution and dissolution, many 

^ Adhydtmasampyasdddccetasa: ekotihhdvdd. Instead of adhydtma, which 
evidently has adverbial force, the Pali has the adjectival ajjhattam, taken 
in Grad. S. {I.e.) as qualifying jhdnam and translated " self-evolved," but 
in Dial. {I.e.) as qualifying sampasddanam and translated " internal." In 
place of the causal genitives samprasdddd and ekotlbhdvdd, the Pali has 
the accusative substantives sampasddanam and ekodibhdvam used apposition- 
ally to jhdnam. 

2 Priiervirdgddnpeksaka. Upeksaka is adjective from upeksd, Pali upekkhd 
or upekhd, " hedonic neutrality or indifference, zero point between joy and 
sorrow, disinterestedness, neutral feeling, equanimity. {Pali Dictionary .) 

^ Reading samprajdna for samprajdnam. 

* I.e. to emotion. 

f* Upeksd. See note 2 above. 

* See note pp. 125-26. ^ Samvartakalpa and vivartakalpa. See note p. 43. 



ENLIGHTENMENT 185 

kalpas of the world's dissolution, many kalpas of the world's 
evolution, and many kalpas of both dissolution and evolution. 
(He remembered thus :) "At such and such a time I was named 
so and so, I was of such and such an ancestry, belonging to 
such and such a family. I ate such and such food. I had 
such and such an end to my life, and I experienced such and 
such ease and ill." Thus does he recount his different previous 
existences in all their details and particulars. 

Then the Bodhisattva, with heart composed, purified, 
cleansed, without blemish, free of the lusts, firm and unper- 
turbed, in the last watch of the night , in the flush of dawn ^ towards 
daybreak, woke up to all that the " elephant-man, "^ the 
'* lion-man," the " bull-man," the " red-and-white-lotus-man," 
''the white-lotus-man, "3 the "man of the yoke," the "true 
man," the " noble steed of a man,"* the peerless driver of 
tameable men, the Sugata,^ the mindful, the steadfast, and 
the intelligent man has at all times and ever5rwhere to know, 
attain, become aware of and become fully aware of ; he awakened 
to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment by insight gained 
in a momentary flash of thought. 

And then this great earth trembled and quaked six times, 
and the devas of earth raised a shout and made it heard in 
heaven, as they cried, " This exalted Diparnkara, friends, will 
become awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment 
for the welfare and happiness of man, out of compassion for 
the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare 
and happiness of devas and men." When they heard the shout 
of the devas of earth, the devas of the heavens, namely, the 
Trayastrimsa devas, the Yama devas, the Tusita devas, the 
Nirmanarati devas, and the Paranirmitavasavartin devas, at 



1 Nandlmukhdydm raj any dm, " in the joy-faced night," although the 
etymology is not certain, Nandlmukhd is found as an epithet of night, 
especially of the eve of the uposatha, in Lai. Vist. 441, 447, and in Pali at F. 

1. 288 and 2. 236. 

2 In other places where these expressions occur they have been rendered 
by conventional epithets such as " heroic," " valiant," etc., but they have 
been rendered literally here, because, coming together in the same sentence 
they have a certain naivete which would be spoilt by a paraphrase. 

' With these two terms cf. samanapundarika and samanapaduma at A. 

2. 86-90. 

* Purusdjdneya. Ajdneya, Pali djdniya (contr. djanna), " of good race 
or breed," especially applied to a thoroughbred horse. 
5 Here denoted by the synonymous gatima = gatbnant. 



i86 THE MAHAVASTU 

that moment, at that instant immediately raised a shout that 
reached the devas in Brahma's world, crying, "This exalted 
Dipamkara, friends, will become perfectly enlightened. And 
he will become so for the welfare and happiness of men, out 
of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, 
for the welfare and happiness of devas and men." 

Then a great radiance, immense and sublime, shone forth 
in the world. And all the intervals between the spheres, regions 
of blackness lapped in blackness, of gloom lapped in gloom (230), 
and of eternal darkness,^ where the moon and sun, powerful 
and majestic as they are, with all their brilliance cannot make 
their brilliance penetrate, with all their light cannot exert their 
hght, even these regions become suffused with this radiance. 
The beings who had been reborn in those spheres became aware 
of one another (and cried), " Lo ! There are other beings 
reborn here. Lo ! There are other beings reborn here. Lo ! 
There are other beings reborn here." Now all these beings 
were for that moment, for that instant, immersed in bliss. 
Even those reborn in the great hell Avici excelled the splendour 
of devas, of Nagas, and of Yaksas. The realms of Mara were 
eclipsed, rendered lustreless, gloomy and joyless. They fell 
in fragments, here for one kos, there for two, there for three. 
They fell in fragments for yojanas. Their standards too fell, 
and wicked Mara was unhappy, discomfited, remorseful, 
tortured by an inward sting. 

There in his lotus pavilion, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the 
exalted Dipamkara was attended by the Four Royal devas, 
by Sakra, the lord of devas, by the devas Suyama, Santusita, 
Vasavartin, Great Brahma, and a company of many other 
devas. They paid sublime homage to the exalted Dipamkara. 
They scattered on, about, and over the exalted Dipamkara 
flowers of the celestial coral-tree, of the great coral-tree, of the 
karnikdra, ^ of the rocamdna, ^ of the hhisma, * of the great bhtsma, 
of the samantagandha,^ oi the great samantagandha, and powder 

1 Literally " darkness (or blackness) become darkness long ago," aghd 
aghasambhutapurvd. The Pali Dictionary , s.v. agha, wrongly cites this as 
aghasamvrita° . (The reference, 2. 240, is also wrong ; it should be i. 230 
and I. 240). See note p. 35. 

2 Plerospermum acerifolium or Cassia fistula. 

3 Unknown, but cf. rocana, the name of various flowering trees. 
* Unknown. 

5 Name of a tree and its flowers in the Mahdvyutpatti, 



ENLIGHTENMENT 187 

of the sandal-wood tree, of the aloe-wood tree, of kesara, and 
of tamdla leaves. They worshipped him with thousands of 
celestial musical instruments. And then he was entreated by 
Great Brahma to set rolling the incomparable wheel of 
dharma. 

The exalted Dipamkara silently intimated his assent to 
Great Brahma. When the devas understood that he assented, 
rejoicing, delighted, enraptured, (231) joyous and content, 
they bowed at the feet of the exalted Dipamkara, saluted him 
three times from the right, and departed. 

After that night, the Exalted One emerged from his retire- 
ment and went wandering through the provinces. 

Like the golden newly-risen sun in the sky, Dipamkara 
fills a hundred yojanas with his radiance. 

As he went on his way doing good to a great multitude 
of devas and men, Dipamkara, out of pity for his father Arcimat 
and his kinsfolk, came with eighty-thousand monks to the 
royal city of Dipavati. King Arcimat heard of this, for they 
told him, " The exalted Dipamkara with eighty-thousand 
monks is coming to the royal city of Dipavati out of pity for 
his folk." 

They carefully prepared the ten kos way from the park 
in the Lotus Grove to Dipavati and had it made even, like 
a chequered board, like the palm of a hand ; they had it 
sprinkled and swept, with an awning stretched over it, and 
carpeted with bright cloth, festooned with bands of fine silk, 
well-scented, and crowded with dancers, mimes, athletes,^ 
wrestlers and musicians in all directions. Still more was the 
universal king's citadel decorated, being made gay with 
hundreds of festoons. A rich scented garland was held by 
King Arcimat, and the people, too, everywhere from twelve 
yojanas around brought their garlands. And the king with 
eighty-thousand of his vassals and other people went forth 
to meet the exalted Dipainkara. 

1 Rillaka. This word occurs also in the Lotus and is translated (p. 170) 
and explained (p. 409) by Burnouf as " musiciens," on the analogy of rillari 
" a musical instrument." He suggests, however, that the word may be 
a mistake for jhallaka or jhalla, which is given by Bohtlingk and Roth as 
meaning " athlete." This suggestion is accepted by Senart, and followed 
in the translation. 



i88 T H E M A H A V A S T U 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 

Now there was a certain learned man who was perfectly 
versed in the three Vedas and the six Vedangas, in phonology/ 
in the fifth branch of study, that is, traditional lore,^ and in 
the indexes and ritual. ^ He was an expert teacher of young 
brahmans, and taught five-hundred of them from among the 
brahman princes to recite the hymns of the Vedas, 

At this time he had as pupils two young brahmans, (232) 
named Megha and Meghadatta, * who were bound together by 
ties of mutual affection and friendship. The young brahman 
Megha was clever, intelligent, thoughtful, and keen-witted, so 
that before long he had learnt all the hymns by heart. When 
he had completed learning the Vedas he left the Himalayas ^ 
and came down^ into the provinces, saying, " I shall go and 
seek the means to pay my master's fees." He took with him 
his staff, his water-pot, his sunshade, his sandals and his 
bathing-mantle. Whatever village, city or town' he entered 
the confines of became free from affliction and distress through 
the power and influence^ of the young brahman Megha. On his 
way he begged of somebody, and was given fLve-hundredptirdnas.^ 

^ Sdksaraprahheddna, " the breaking up of letters," " word-analysis." 

* Itihasa-pancama, literally " traditional lore as the fifth." Cf. D. i. 88. 

3 Sanighantakaitabha {sic for °ubha), from nighanta (Pali nighandu) 
" explained word, vocabulary, index " and kaitubha (Pali ketubha) explained 
by Buddhaghosa {DA. i. 247) as " the science which assists the officiating 
priest by laying down rules for the rites or by leaving them to his discretion." 
(See Pcili Dictionary.) 

* Of these two only Megha is mentioned in the Pali texts. In Ap. 2. 430 
there is the story of a Megha, who, like the present one, lived in the time 
of Dlpamkara, but fulfilled the role Meghadatta has here. His opposite 
number in the Pali text is Sumedha {D.P.N.). 

» Where learned men and ascetics geneially had their hermitages and 
schools. 

^ Okasta, i.e. avahasta, of doubtful derivation, but here and elsewhere 
in our text obviously of this meaning. 

' See note p. 14. 

8 Adopting Senart's suggestion that we should read tejdnubhdvena for the 
tejodhdtubhdvena of the text. For there need be no question here of those 
other miraculous phenomena associated with the word tejodhdtu. Tejas is 
used here in just the same sense as it was above in denoting the influence 
or power of the unborn Bodhisattva. 

^ Literally " ancient pieces." Probably the copper not the silver coin 
of this name is meant here. It is not possible to say whether they were 
the earlier type of rectangular pieces of punched metal, tokens in fact, or 
the later stamped, legend-bearing and circular coins in the proper sense 
of the word, 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 189 

Then the thought occurred to him, " What if I now go to 
the royal city of Dipavati that 1 may see the citadel of a 
universal king with its seven treasures and its joyfulness ? " 
When he entered the royal city of Dipavati he saw that it 
was in festive array. He wondered to himself, " What holiday 
is there to-day in the royal city of Dipavati, or what public 
affair or what festival ? Perhaps King Arcimat has heard that 
the young brahman Megha, who has thoroughly mastered the 
Vedas, has come down from the Himalayas to the provinces, 
and is on his way to the royal city of Dipavati. Hence this 
gay adornment of the city." And as he goes forward he looks 
for someone who is entering the city to question him. 

Just then there came along a young brahman girl, gracious, 
comely, sedate, modest and coy, who was carrying a pitcher 
of water and seven lotuses. Megha asked her, " Is there a 
festival in the city to-day ? " The young girl (who was named) 
Prakriti replied to Megha in verse 

Of a truth, young man, you are not of this place ; you 
have come from another city, since you do not know that 
the Benefactor of the world, the Light-bringer, has come to 
Dipavati. 

\2ZZ)Dipamkara, the Guide of the world, Arcimat* s glorious 
offspring, a Buddha, is about to enter the city. It is in 
honour of him that the city is gaily decked out. 

Megha asked her, " What price did you pay for those lotuses, 
lady ? " She replied, " I bought five of them for five-hundred 
pur anas, and the other two I had from a friend." Then the 
young brahman, Megha, said to her, "I'll give you five- 
hundred purdnas for the five lotuses. With them 111 pay 
homage to the exalted Dipamkara, and you can honour him 
with the other two." She replied and said, "I'll give you 
the five lotuses on the one condition that you will take me 
to wife. Wherever you may be reborn, I shall be your wife 
and you will be my husband." The young brahman Megha 
replied, " I mean to conceive the thought of winning the un- 
surpassed perfect enlightenment. How then shall I think 
of marriage ? " She answered "Go on and conceive that 
thought. I shall not hinder you." 

Megha consented, and said, " I shall take you to wife in 

o 



190 THE MAHAVASTU 

return for these lotuses. I shall honour the exalted Dipamkara, 
and, also, I shall conceive the thought of winning the un- 
surpassed perfect enlightenment." When he had given the 
five-hundred purdnas and received the five lotuses, a sublime 
and sweet exaltation rose within him as he heard the maiden 
Prakriti utter the name of Buddha. 

"// you desire to honour the Guide of the world with a 
charming bouquet of lotuses, take me to wife to-day. So shall 
I be constantly faithful in love, 

"As the blossom of the glomerous fig-tree'^ but rarely is 
found appearing in the world, young brdhman{2Z^) , so 
is it with the appearance of glorious Buddhas and Tathdgatas. 

"With this enchanting bouquet of lotuses do you honour 
the Buddha, the driver of tameable men. It will be the means 
of your enlightenment. And I shall everywhere be your wife. ' ' 

Megha rephed : — 

"To-day I take you to wife in return for this enchanting 
bouquet of lotuses. I shall honour the Buddha, the driver 
of tameable men, and this will be the means of my 
enlightenment." 

She, transported with joy, gave him the lotuses, knowing 
that he was allured by her love. And as he went his way 
she followed, until the young brahman stood at a cross-roads. 

Now the Exalted One, accompanied by eighty-thousand 
monks and by King Arcimat with eighty-thousand vassals 
and several thousands of wealthy nobles, recluses, brahmans 
and sectaries, was on his way to the royal city of Dipavati. 

As the Exalted One sets forth, thousands of devas assemble, 
bringing thousands of sunshades studded with the seven 
precious stones. 

Then he, the possessor of great virtue, with the swinging gait 
of an elephant in rut, with his body covered in sparkling 
net-work, put himself at the head of the noble throng. 

{2Zh)Devas hold sunshades over the pure deva, the handles 
of which were cunningly adorned with beryl, crystal, and 
solid gold. 

1 Udumbara, the Ficus glomerata. The rarity of Buddhas is often compared 
to the rarity of the blossoming of this tree. 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 191 

These had been made by devas, and shone like the orb of 
the newly -risen sun in the sky. They were filled with brightly - 
shining, sweetly -tinkling bells. 

The lord of the Three-and-Thirty devas held up a sunshade 
for him who shelters the world, a sunshade made in heaven, 
bejewelled with the seven precious stones and crowned with 
flowers of heaven. 

Three thousand devas followed fanning the stainless lord, 
the sovereign of men, with a chowrie fan, the handle of which 
was well made of solid gold. 

The earth heaves and subsides and subsides and heaves 
at the moment the Exalted One enters, owing to the power 
of the Dasabala. 

And as soon as the Exalted One puts his golden-sandalled 
right foot down by Indra's column there arises a marvellous 
noise. 

Trumpets resound, and labours and war-drums, though no 
one beats them, and horns, cymbals and pipes are played 
as the Pre-eminent Man enters. 

And all the jewels in the city which are kept in caskets 
and wickerwork boxes rattle together, when he who knows 
the best of all jewels enters. 

Then they carpet the ground before the Exalted One with 
costly soft garments of many a kind, crimson-dyed Benares 
cloth and woven silk. 
1 

(2Z^)From the edge of the park right up to the inner court 
of the great king, the path of the king of men was radiant 
in its carpet of a hundred-thousand cloths. 

And then young women go to the forest glades and gather 
heaps of flowers, which they shower on the lion-hearted man, 
pouring them over him as over a hill of gold. 

As the mighty and merciful one draws near to Dlpavatl 
they pour the heaps of flowers on the glorious Exalted One. 

These fragrant flowers when thrown from their hands 
stand over the Exalted One, the saviour of the world, like a 

^ A corrupt unintelligible passage of two lines, apparently specifying 
other kinds of material, or, perhaps, explaining those already named. 
Possibly, as Senart suggests, it is a gloss, as it breaks the continuity of the 
verse, and does not readily admit of a metrical arrangement. 



192 THE MAHAVASTU 

five-hued canopy of blossoms. 

Hovering unsupported in the air,^ these fragrant flowers 
with their stalks turned inwards salute him by moving 
to the right when he stops. 

When he, the Light of the world, moves on they follow ; 
when he stops they stop. Not a single posture^ of the mighty 
All-conquering One do they miss. 

Even if the disintegrating winds^ of the end of the world 
carried away this universe of three thousand worlds, they 
could not shake the canopy of flowers, much less carry it 
away. 

The throng of devas in heaven, seeing the Exalted One 
all golden like the colour of the golden sugar-cane, exclaimed, 
'* Behold the Dharma ! "^ 

(2Z7)The sky is draped with festoons of flowers ; floods 
of flowers knee-deep sparkle on the earth, and in the air 
stands the canopy of flowers. 

On all sides, to the accompaniment of music, exclamations 
of "Behold the Dharma" re-echo thro^tgh the city as the 
valiant man enters. 

The clear notes of the swan, sparroiv, peacock and cuckoo, 
and the humming of bees are heard in Dlpavatl, mingling 
with the rattle of jewels in their caskets. 

Then, Maudgalyayana, the young brahman Megha saw the 
exalted DTpamkara coming when he was yet some distance 
away. He saw that he possessed the thirty-two marks of 
a Great Man, and the eighty minor characteristics ; that his 
body was radiant ; that he was endowed with the eighteen 
special attributes of a Buddha ; ^ that he was strong with 

1 Literally "in the unsupported pathway of the sky," gaganapathe nirdlambe. 
Cf. note p. 1 66. 

' Irydpatha, see note p. i8, 

3 Samvartakd vdtd, the winds supposed to blow during the aeon of the 
" rolling up " {samvartati, see p. 43) or dissolution of the world. 

^ Aho dharmam. Senart interprets dharmam here as a shortened form 
of adhhutadharmam , and renders, "Ah ! quel miracle ! quelle merveille ! " 
Miss I. B. Horner, however, in a note to the translator, makes the happy 
suggestion that the phrase is to be interpreted on the analogy of such Pali 
expressions as Bhagavd dhammahhuto {A . 5. 226, etc.) and yo dhammam passati 
so mam passati (5. 3. 120, etc.) That is to say, the Buddha is here hailed and 
identified as the very incarnation of the dharma. If objection be taken 
to dharmam as an accusative of exclamation there is manuscript authority 
for the vocative dharma. 

* I.e. the dvenikd dharmd. See above p. 33. 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 193 

a Tathagata's ten powers, and gifted with the four grounds 
of perfect self-confidence.^ He was Hke a Naga, perfected 
in action, with his faculties turned inwards, with a mind not 
turned to external things ; he was steadfast in dharma, with 
his faculties under control, with his mind calmed, having 
attained the perfection of the ideal self-control and tranquillity, 
and having himself well-guarded. He was like a Naga who 
had triumphed over the functions of his senses, who was 
transparent as a pool, not muddied, but pure and fair. He 
was good to look upon, lovely, of peerless birth, shining with 
a lovely radiance that extended a,yojana. 

When he had seen all this, perception of the truth ^ came 
to Megha and he exclaimed, " I, too, will become a Buddha 
in the world." Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the young 
brahman Megha recited these verses : — 

It has taken a long time for the All-seeing One to appear 
in the world. It takes a long time for Tathdgatas to he horn. 
After a long time, too, my vow will he fulfilled, and I shaU 
become a Buddha. Of this I have no doubt. 

(238)Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the young brahman Megha 
feeling a sublime exhilaration, a sublime joy and gladness, 
threw those five lotuses towards the exalted Dipamkara, and 
they remained fixed as a bright veil covering the circle of 
Diparnkara's head. The young brahman girl Prakriti, also, 
threw her two lotuses, and these, too, stood suspended in 
the air. 

Exalted Buddhas convince people by means of three miracles, ^ 
the miracle of magic power, the miracle of mind-reading,* 
and the miracle of instruction. The five lotuses thrown at 
the exalted Dipamkara by the young brahman Megha, those 
thrown by the young brahman girl Prakriti, and those thrown 

1 Vaisdradya. See p. 33. 

2 Advayasamjnd. The meaning of advaya in this term is not certain. 
Senart cites Hemacandra who gives advaya as a name for the Buddha, while 
the Mahdvyutpatti gives advayavddin as a similar name. From the latter 
it would appear that advaya could denote " Buddhist doctrine " or " truth." 
Miss I. B. Horner has called the translator's attention to what may be a 
related idea in Sn. 884, ekam hi saccam na dutiyam atthi. 

trained 

8 Prdtihdrya, Pali pdtihdriya. 

* Adesand, Pali ddesand. 



194 THE MAHAVASTU 

by other people, stood over the Exalted One as a canopy of 
flowers so as to win power over men ready to be trained,^ 
and to bring joy and gladness to the young brahman Megha. 
It was a canopy 2 lovely and fair to behold, with four props, 
four entrances, and draped with festoons of fine cloth. 

When Megha saw these lovely and bright lotuses standing 
all around over the radiant head of the Exalted One, joy and 
gladness arose in him as he became aware of his sublime thought. 
Putting his water-pot on one side, and spreading out his robe 
on the ground, he threw himself down at the feet of the Exalted 
One and wiped the soles of them with his hair. And then 
he conceived this thought : — 

"Ah ! May I too in some future time become a Tathagata, 
an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, gifted with knowledge and con- 
duct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver 
of tameable men, a teacher of devas and men, as this exalted 
Dipamkara now is. vSo may I become endowed with the 
thirty-two marks of a Great Man, with his eighty minor 
characteristics, and with his radiant body. May I become 
endowed with the eighteen special attributes of a Buddha, 
strong with a Tathagata's ten powers, and confident with the 
four grounds of self-confidence, as this exalted Dipamkara 
now is. So may I set rolling the incomparable wheel of dharma, 
as does now the exalted Diparnkara. So may I preserve 
a body of disciples in harmony. So may devas and men 
deem me worthy to be heard (239) and believed. Having thus 
crossed, may I lead others across ; emancipated, may I 
emancipate others ; comforted, may I comfort others, as this 
exalted Dipamkara now does. May I become this for the 
happiness and welfare of mankind, out of compassion for the 
world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the happiness and 
welfare of devas and men." 

Then, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the exalted Dipamkara, aware 
of the young brahman Megha's great striving after the un- 
surpassed knowledge of a Buddha, aware of his store of the 
roots of goodness and of the vow of his heart, and knowing 

^ Or," because, for the sake of, men ready to be trained." Vaineyavasena 
For vaineya see note p. 42. 

* Vitana. The accompanying adjectives are masculine, as the substantive 
itself sometimes is, although it is neuter immediately above. 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 195 

that he was without fault or defect, without blemish or scar, 
proclaimed that he would win the unsurpassed perfect enlighten- 
ment. " You will become, O young brahman," said he, "in 
the future, after an immeasurable, incalculable kalpa, in 
Kapilavastu, the city of the Sakyans, a Tathagata of the name 
of Sakyamuni, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, gifted with know- 
ledge and conduct, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the 
world, a driver of tameable men, a teacher of devas and men, 
as I now am. You will become endowed with the thirty-two 
marks of a Great Man, his eighty minor characteristics and 
his radiant body. You will become gifted with the eighteen 
special attributes of a Buddha, strong with a Tathagata 's ten 
powers, and confident with the four grounds of self-confidence. 
Having yourself crossed, you will lead others across ; eman- 
cipated, you will emancipate others ; comforted, you will 
comfort others ; having won final release you will give final 
release to others, as I now do. So will you set rolUng the 
incomparable wheel of dharma. So will you preserve a 
body of disciples in harmony. So will devas and men deem 
you worthy to be heard and believed. And as I now am, 
you will become this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, 
out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great 
multitude, and for the welfare and happiness of devas and 
men. 

Immediately, Maha-Maudgalyayana, it had been proclaimed 
by the exalted DTpamkara that he would win the unsurpassed 
perfect enlightenment, the young brahman Megha rose up 
in the air as high as a palm-tree, and, throwing his cloak over 
one shoulder, with joined hands outstretched he did obeisance 
to the exalted Dipamkara and his disciples. And at that 
moment and instant this great earth trembled and shook 
violently six times. The devas of earth raised a shout and 
made their cries heard as they shouted, (240) " Now it has been 
proclaimed by the exalted Dipamkara that this young brahman 
Megha will win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. He 
will do so for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of 
compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, 
for the welfare and happiness of devas and men." 

Hearing the shout of the devas of earth, the devas of heaven, 
the Caturmaharajika devas, the Trayastrimsa devas, the Yama 



196 THE MAHAVASTU 

devas, the Tusita devas, the Nirmanarati devas and the 
Paranirmitava^avartin devas, at that moment and instant 
raised a shout that reached the devas in Brahma's heaven, 
crying, " Behold, thus has this young brahman Megha been 
proclaimed by the exalted Dipamkara to win the unsurpassed 
perfect enlightenment. He will do so for the welfare and 
happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, for 
the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare and happiness 
of devas and men.'' 

Then a great radiance, immense and sublime, shone forth 
in the world. And all the intervals between the spheres, regions 
of blackness lapped in blackness, of gloom lapped in gloom, 
of eternal darkness, where the moon and sun, powerful and 
majestic though they are, with all their brilliance cannot make 
their brilliance penetrate, with all their light cannot exert 
their light, suddenly became suffused with this radiance. The 
beings who had been reborn in those spheres became aware 
of one another, (and cried) " Lo ! there are other beings reborn 
here. Lo ! There are other beings reborn here." Now all 
those beings were for that instant, for that moment immersed 
in bliss. Even those reborn in the great hell Avici excelled 
the splendour of devas, of Nagas, and of Yaksas. The realms 
of Mara were eclipsed, rendered lustreless, gloomy and joyless. 
They fell in fragments, here for one kos, there for two, there 
for three. They fell in fragments for yojanas. Their standards, 
too, fell, and wicked Mara was unhappy, discomfited, remorse- 
ful, tortured by an inward sting. 

(2^1) Spreading^ out his robe, and putting his water-pot 
on one side, he threw the lotuses he had in his ha^td, and fell 
down at the feet of the All-Wise. 

The fragrant lotuses, ivhen they leave his hand, stand to 
form a flowery five-hued canopy for the exalted saviour of 
the world. 

Hovering unsupported in the air, these fragrant flowers 
with their stalks turned inwards, saluted him by moving to 
the right when he stopped. 

As the Light of the world moves on, they follow ; they stop 

* A metrical, but almost verbally identical version of the prose passage 
above. 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 197 

when he stops. They do not miss a single posture of the 
mighty All-conquering One. 

Even if the disintegrating winds of the world's end carried 
away the universe of three-thousand worlds, they could not 
touch this canopy of flowers, much less carry it away. 

The throngs of devas in heaven, seeing the Exalted One 
all golden like the golden sugar-cane, exclaimed, ''Behold 
the Dharma ! "^ 

Then the earth with ocean and sky quaked, and among 
the devas in heaven a wondrous shout went up when this 
prediction was proclaimed. 

The Exalted One who carries high the banner of the unique 
good news, the sage Dtpamkara, has foretold of this Megha, 
"You will become a Conqueror. 

"You will do^ this for the welfare and happiness of the 
worlds of men, of Brahmsi, of Sura and Asura. The desolate 
ways and the hells will fade away, the devas imll wax 
strong." 

(242)^43 most incalculable kalpa* ago there was a Master, 
named Dtpamkara, a light, a refuge, and a haven, a preacher 
of his own dharma, exalted, a prince of men. 

He, in his wisdom having attained the highest good, 
confidently set rolling the wheel of dharma. Mindful, and 
firmly established in truth and dharma, he raised men out 
of their great fear and the rough places. 

Megha saw the leader of the throng of recluses, Dtpamkara, 
who bore the bright marks of perfection. Calming his heart 
he worshipped the Conqueror, and as he worshipped he made 
his vow : — 

"So may I live through this world as he whose mind is free 
of attachment lives. May I set rolling the incomparable wheel 
of dharma, the well-wrought wheel revered of devas and men. 

"May I live for the sake of the world, and teach dharma 
to devas and men. So may I convert men as this Light 
of the world now does." 

^ Aho dharmam. See note p. 192, 

* Kdhasi, Pali future of karoti. Cf. kdhinti, p. 256 (text). 

^ Another metrical version of the proclamation of Megha' s future Buddha- 
hood, but without the details of the legend as given above. 

* Asamkhyeyatara, comparative for superlative, as often. 



igS THE MAHAVASTU 

A ware of his vow and seeing that he was free of all attach- 
ments, qualified in all respects, without fault, defect, blemish 
or scar, the wise Conqueror, in his discernment of what 
is good, proclaimed, 

{2AZ)" Young Megha, in an incalculable kalpa hence you 
will become a Buddha. When you are a Sdkyan in Kapila- 
vastu, the abode of seers, then will you realise your 
vow." 

Megha sent^ another five-hundred pur anas to his master, 
and when he had presented them he related to Meghadatta 
all that had happened. " Thus did I," said he, " honour the 
exalted Dipamkara, and he proclaimed that I should win the 
unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. Let us two now go to 
the presence of the exalted Dipamkara, live the holy life and 
join his assembly." 

Meghadatta replied, "As yet I have not mastered the Vedas, 
and so I cannot go." 

When the association of friendship is rudely shattered and 
destroyed, me^i become as driftwood which is scattered in 
pieces upon the great sea. 

But Megha went and embraced the religious life with Dipam- 
kara. People like Megha, because of their friendship with 
what is lovely, 2 after winning the favour of and worshipping 
innumerable countless thousands of kotis of Buddhas and their 
companies of disciples, and after worshipping countless kotis 
of nayutas of Pratyekabuddhas, experience the happiness that 
is attainable by devas and men,^ until finally they awake to 
the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment . For he * who has listened 
to the Driver of tameable men prays that he may not again go 

1 Pyesitdni. As no mention is made of Megha' s securing another five- 
hundred pieces.and as he seems to take the money in person, Senart suggests 
th.a.t presitdni should be corrected into ydcitdni, " begged," i.e. for his master. 

'^ Kalydnamitrdnydgamya. Cf. 5. 5, 3 mamam kalydnamittam dgamma, 
" because of my friendship with what is lovely," [K.S. 5. 3.) The Pali Commen- 
tary explains dgamma as equivalent to drabbha, sandhdya or paticca, i.e. 
" beginning with " or " owing to." Senart, in his note, had already, without 
the aid of the Pali parallel, given this sense to dgamya. 

^ A reference to the three attainments (sampatti) viz. (i) happiness in the 
world ; (2) happiness among the devas ; (3) Nirvana. (See references in Pali 
Dictionary s.v. sampatti.) 

* The text here is corrupt; The first rupam {yo rupam naradamyasdrathin 
irutvd) is unintelligible. Possibly it conceals some epithet of the Buddha. 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 199 

and grasp at material form^ and the substratum ^ of existence. 

But all Meghadatta said was, " This young brahman Megha 
is much too ready to bow his head." And he was not at all 
thrilled at hearing news of the Buddha from the young brahman 
Megha. Through consorting with bad friends, he went on to 
commit the five crimes that bring immediate retribution. ^ 

He fell in love with another man's wife whom he visited 
(244) early and late. Her mother, out of love for her child, 
tried to keep him away, fearing lest the husband should take 
him for an adulterer and kill him. 

The impassioned man does not know moral good, nor does 
he see dharma. When passion overcomes a man, he becomes 
blinded. 

Meghadatta killed the mother, and then went to his mistress, 
and in his infatuation laughingly told her what he had done. 
" I love you so much," said he, " that for your sake I killed 
your mother." The woman was horrified, and replied, "Do 
not come to me any more." 

He next became infatuated with his step-mother. She told 
him, " Go and kill your father, and you shall be my husband." 
So he murdered his own father. 

He was shunned in the neighbourhood, and his friends and 
relatives avoided him. From that neighbourhood he went to 
another place, saying, "No one will know me here." Now 
to that place there came, in the course of his wanderings 
through the provinces, a monk who was a client * of his parents, 
and an arhan of great power. This monk saw his patrons' son 
there. 

1 Rupa. 

* Upddi, Pali id. " Stuff of life, substratum of existence " {Pali Dictionary). 
In Pali always in the compound upddisesa, " having some basis of existence 
left," and more frequently negative, anupddisesa, as descriptive of nibbdna. 
Cf. above p. 60 (text), anupddivimukti, " complete release." 

8 Pancdnantarydni sc. karmdni. The five such crimes specified here are 
matricide, parricide, killing an Arhan, causing schisms, and wounding a 
Buddha. These are five of the six abhithdnas referred to at Sn. 231 = Kh. 
6. ID and enumerated by the Commentary on that passage as consisting 
of the five just named, together with the crime of following other teachers. 
The only other place where these crimes are given as five, viz. Miln. 25, 
does not say what they were, for the five offences mentioned immediately 
before, murder, theft, impurity, lying and intemperance are the converse 
of the five sllani. See p. 168 and Mrs. Rhys Davids at Dhs. trsl. 267. 

* Kulopaka, 



200 



THE MAHAVASTU 



But when Meghadatta in his turn saw the monk he became 
apprehensive, and said, " This monk must not be allowed to 
cause me any trouble here." And he murdered the monk 
and arhan. 

Then he embraced the teaching of him who was the perfect 
Buddha of the time. But when he had done so he caused 
dissension in the commimity, and wounded the Buddha till 
the blood ran. 

For committing these five crimes he was reborn in the great 
hells. In the course of a long period of time he passed through 
one life after another in the eight great hells and in the sixteen 
secondary ones. (245) When the exalted Sakyamuni awoke to 
the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment and set rolling the wheel 
of dharma, Meghadatta came to life in the great ocean as a fish 
named Timitimingila,^ many hundred yojanas in length. 

When the layman Thapakarni^ with five-hundred companions 
sailed in his ships towards that part of the ocean where the 
hungry sea-monster dwelt, there it was with its mouth gaping 
wide in readiness for food. The vessels of Sthapakarnika the 
layman came to the very spot where the monster was. Lifting 
its jaws out of the water the monster said to him, " Layman, 
these vessels are doomed to the infernal regions. Do what 
you have to do, for your life is over." 

The sailors call on the gods, each ship invoking its own. 
Some invoke Siva, others Vaisravana, others Skandha, others 
Varuna, others Yama, others Dhritarastra, others Virudhaka, 
others Virupaksa, others Indra, others Brahma, and others the 
gods of the sea. 3 At length the venerable Piirnaka* observes 
and sees the layman Sthapakarnika and his five-hundred 
companions in their distress. He rose up from Mount Tunda- 
turika^ and came flying through the air until he stood hovering 

1 A word meaning "' swallowing whale after whale ' ' — timi, a fabulous fish * 
Cf. /. V. 462 ; V. 2. 238 ; Ud. 54. 

* Or Sthapakarnika, as below, a name identical with Stavakarnin in the 
Purnaka story in the Divydvaddna (pp. 24 if.) which has been translated 
by Burnouf in his Introduction h I'histoire du Bouddhisme indien, pp. 255 ff. 

3 Vaisravana, epithet of Kuvera, god of wealth (Pali Vessavana), Dhritar- 
astra (Pali Dhatarattha), Virudhaka (Pali Virulha and Vindhaka), and 
Virupaksa (Pali Virupakkha) are the Four Great Kings or Regents. See 
p. 25. Skandha {sic for Skanda) is a name for Karttikeya, son of ^iva 
and god of war (Pali Khanda) " mentioned with Siva in the Uddna Commentary, 
351 " {D.P.N .). The other names are well known, 

^ Several persons of this name are mentioned in the Pali texts. 

^ Otherwise unknown. 



MEGHA AND MEGHADATTA 201 

over the vessel of Thapakarni on the sea. And all the five 
hundred merchants, stretching out their joined hands, stood 
up and cried, " Lord, lord, we turn to thee for salvation." 

The wise man repHed, " I am not the Exalted One. I am 
but a disciple of his. Do you all with one voice cry out, 
* Homage to the Buddha.' " And all the five-hundred merchants 
cried out " Homage to the Buddha." The sound of the 
Buddha's name reached the ears of Timitimingila, and this 
sound which he had heard an immeasurable incalculable kalpa 
before when the young brahman Megha had mentioned the 
name of the Buddha Dipamkara, came to him again when he 
was in the form of the fish Timitimingila in the great 
ocean. 

The sound of the Buddha's name is not unavailing. And 
now, in the form of Timitimingila, Meghadatta thought, "A 
Buddha has appeared in the world, whilst I am fallen into 
a state of woe." Deeply moved he shut his jaws again, and 
just because he had called to mind the Buddha's name he 
died of hunger. Immediately after his death he was reborn 
in the great city of Sravasti,(246) in a family of brahmans. 
There was he born and grew up to be a young lad. 

As it has been said by the Exalted One, " I declare, monks, 
there is no other cause but karma." 

Now the name of Dharmaruci was given to this young lad, 
and when he grew up he embraced the teaching of the Exalted 
One. By application, endeavour and exertion he attained the 
three stages of knowledge^ and the six super-knowledges 2, and 
realised the mastery of the powers. ^ Three times daily did he 
repair to the Exalted One to bow at his feet, and each time 
the Exalted One reproved and reminded him, saying, "It is 
a long time, Dharmaruci, it is a very long time, Dharmaruci.'* 

1 Vidyd, Pali vijjd. When given as three the vidyds usually denote the last 
three degrees in the third stage of attainment of the highest knowledge, 
viz., prajndsampadd. (The other two are sllasampadd and cittasarnpadd.) 
The three degrees referred to are (i) memory of 'past lives, (2) knowledge 
of passing away and coming to be, and (3) the knowledge of the eradication 
of the dsravas. 

* Abhijnd, Pali abhinnd, as described e.g. at D. 3. 280 are six, and consist 
of (i) various manifestations oiriddhi (iddhi) or magic power, (2) the possession 
of the " deva-ear" or clairaudience, (3) mind-reading, (4) memory of former 
lives, (5) the " deva-eye " or clairvoyance, and (6) the eradication of the 
dsravas. Three of them are thus identical with the three vidyds. 

' See p. 43. 



202 THE MAHAVASTCJ 

And Dharmaruci always replied, " Just so, Lord, just so, 
Sugata. It is a long time. Lord, a very long time, 
Sugata." 

The monks in perplexity inquired of the Exalted One, saying, 
" Three times a day does Dharmaruci come to the Exalted One 
and the Exalted One says, ' It is a long time, Dharmaruci, 
it is a very long time, Dharmaruci.' And Dharmaruci always 
replies, ' Just so, Lord, just so, Sugata. It is a long time. 
Lord, a very long time, Sugata.' Now we. Lord, do not 
understand the meaning of these words." 

The Exalted One explained in detail to these monks the 
course of events since the tim.e of Dipamkara, " and," he 
added, " I was the young brahman Megha, and Dharmaruci 
here was Meghadatta." 

" Thus, monks, not in vain is the sound of the Buddha's 
name. It persists until all ill ceases." 

Then^ Dharmaruci, the elder, approached the Master and 
bowed at his feet. The Master said, "It is a very long time, 
Dharmaruci." 

"It is a very long time, Guide of the world," says 
Dharmaruci in reply to the Master, and the Conqueror, 
though he knows, ^ asks him, "Why do you say, 'It is a very 
long time * ? " 

Dharmaruci replies, "Of yore I was the fish Timitimingila 
in the sea, extremely weak from hunger, and foraging^ for 
my food. 

{2Al)"Many nayutas of creatures had found their way 
into my maw, when there came along five-hundred merchants, 
in their ships. 

"When the vessels came my way all the merchants, 
distraught with terror at the peril they were in, with one voice 
called out, 'Homage to the Buddha, to the Dasabala.' 

"Hearing the sound of the Buddha's name, unheard of 
by me before, * / was gladdened, thrilled and uplifted in heart, 
and I hurriedly closed my mouth. 

^ A metrical version of the story of Meghadatta. 
' Reading jdnanto for jdnantam of the text. 

' Viparimusam, root mus, " to plunder " — a doubtful conjecture by Senart. 
* asruta. Is this correct iiere ? In the prose version the fish, as Meghadatta, 
had heard of the Buddha from his companion Megha. 



MEG HA AND MEGHADATTA 203 

"Nayutas of beings reborn as beasts heard these five- 
hundred merchants, and through the sound of the Dasabala's 
name I raised myself out of my state of woe. 

"Lord, it was through this meritorious act of mine that I 
won my present human state. It, was as the fruit of this 
good conduct that I came to be called Dharmaruci. 

''By that same cause, Self-becoming One, not long after 
I had become a monk under thy teaching, I shed my lusts 
and became an arhan. 

"Having gone through an endless round of rebirths for 
kotis of nayutas of kalpas, / called to mind the Sugata, 
and exclaimed, 'At long last, Benefactor of the world.' 

''At long last my dharma-eye^ is cleared, my doubt of 
dharma is dispelled. Long did I dwell in the dark dungeon 
of folly, in states of woe. 

"By this merit of mine, the darkness was dissipated, and 
passion and hatred ivere suppressed. And here at length 
is this birth of mine free of any residual basis^ of another 
life, with the stream that is a conduit to further existence^ 
completely dried up. 

"Great then was the fruit for Timitimingila of his hearing 
the Buddha's name. Who, then, Lord, would not produce 
that immortal sound ? 

(248) "Ow^ must therefore rid oneself of the five hindrances*' 
which are the shackles of the heart, and listen to the Buddha's 
voice, fully realising how rare a thing it is. 

"Hard is it for men to win deliverance from the jungles 
of unreal forms. But Buddhas appear, and then will come 
faith and release." 

Here ends the history of Dipamkara in the Mahavastu- 
Avaddna.^ 



^ See p. 126. 

•^ asesd, " without a remnant," for anupddisesa see p. 199. 

" hhavanetri, Pali hhavanetti. 

* Nlvarand, seep. 117. 

^ Compsire Apaddna 489. 



204 THE MAIIAVASTU 



THE BUDDHA MANGALA 

After that auspicious kalpa, an infinite, immeasurable, 
incalculable kalpa afterwards, Maha-Maudgalyayana, there 
appeared next after Dipamkara the Tathagata, Arhan and 
perfect Buddha named Mangala. And when Mangala was the 
perfect Buddha the span of man's life was a hundred thousand 
kotis of years. 

Mangala held three assemblies of his disciples. In the first 
assembly there were one hundred thousand kotis of disciples, 
all arhans who had destroyed the dsravas, who had kept the 
observances, who had their minds liberated by perfect knowledge, 
whose fetters binding them to existence were utterly decayed, 
and who had reached their goal. The second assembly consisted 
of ninety kotis of disciples, all arhans who had destroyed the 
dsravas, who had kept the observances, who had their minds 
liberated by perfect knowledge, whose fetters binding them to 
existence were utterly decayed, and who had reached their goal. 
The third assembly consisted of eighty kotis of disciples, all 
arhans who had destroyed the dsravas, who had kept the obser- 
ances,who had their minds liberated by perfect knowledge, 
whose fetters binding them to existence were utterly decayed, 
and who had reached their goal. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the perfect Buddha Mangala 
had a pre-eminent and noble pair of disciples, named Sudeva 
and Dharmadeva, the former eminent for his wisdom, the latter 
for his magic power. He had a nun named Sivali, and a leading 
female disciple named Asoka, the former eminent for her 
wisdom and the latter for her magic power. ^ He had an 
attendant monk(249) named Palita. His bodhi tree was the 
iron-wood tree.^ His city was called Uttara, and it extended 
twelve yojanas east and west and seven yojanas south and north, 
and was surrounded by seven golden ramparts with golden 
roofs. It was encircled by seven long lakes shining and 
sparkling with the seven hues of gold, silver, pearl, beryl, 

1 With the exception of Dhammasena for Dharmadeva, these are also 
the chief monks and nuns of Mangala in the Pali texts. There, too, Palita 
(see below) is his attendant, and Uttara his city. 

2 Ndgavriksa (Pali ndgarukkha) usually ndgakesara, a tree noted for its 
hard wood and great masses of red flowers — messua Roxburghii or ferrea Lin. 



THE BUDDHA MANGALA 205 

crystal, coral, and ruby. These lakes had stairs leading down 
to them of two precious substances, gold and silver. The steps 
of these stairs were of the four precious substances, gold, silver, 
pearl and beryl. These lakes were covered with lotuses, blue, 
red and white, of fragrant smell. They were shaded bj^ trees 
of these kinds, to wit, the mango, the rose-apple, the bread- 
fruit, the lakuca, ^ the bhavya, 2 and the pdlevata. ^ On the shores 
of these lakes, again, were beds of land and water plants, to wit, 
atimaktaka,^ campaka,^ jasmine, vdtuskdra,^ blue water-lily, 
and damanaka,'^ flowers culled by devas. 

Again, Maha-Maudgalyayana, the city of (Jttara was 
surrounded by seven rows of palm-trees — in general the 
description of the royal city of Dipavati can be applied to it. 

The perfect Buddha Mangala's father, named Sundara, was 
a noble and a universal king. His mother was the queen named 
Sin. 8 

At that time, Maha-Maudgatyayana, I was a Naga king, 
named Atula, one who had done good deeds and had great 
authority and a store of outstanding merit. (250) I venerated, 
honoured, revered, and worshipped the exalted Mangala 
and his community of disciples, gave him a suit of 
garments, and made my vow to win enlightenment. The 
Exalted One proclaimed of me, " In an immeasurable, incalcu- 
lable kalpa in the future, you will become a Tathagata named 
Sakyamuni, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha." 

After Dtpamkara came a Leader named Mangala, who 
dispelled the darkness in the world and lit his torch of dharma. 

Matchless was his radiance beyond other Conquerors. He 
shone forth with his thousand rays, outshining the radiance 
of a koti of suns. 

And this Buddha expounded the four ultimate truths, and 
men, imbibing this essence of truth, dissipated the great 
darkness. 

^ A species of bread-fruit tree. 
" Perhaps, A verrhoa carambola. 
3 Diospyros embryopheris. 

* Gaerlnera racemosa. 
^ See p. 172. 

^ An unknown plant. The reading is doubtful. 

' I.e. damana, the flower Artemisia Indica, commonly called Dona. 

* In the Pali texts his parents are Uttara and XJttarl,, 



2o6 THE MAHAVASTU 

When he had awakened to the unsurpassed enlightenment 
there was first a conversion'^ of a hundred thousand kotis 
at the first preaching of dharma to the devas. 

When^ . . . then the Buddha beat the peerless drum of 
dharma. 

Again, when he expounded the Four Truths in the second 
assembly of devas, there was a second conversion of ninety 
kotis. 

When Sundara, the universal king, accepted Buddha and 
the dharma, the perfect Buddha beat the peerless drum of 
dharma. 

Sunanda's^ subjects ivere ninety kotis of men. All these 
without exception became disciples of the Buddha. 

{2bi)When he again expounded the Four Truths in a third 
assembly of devas there was a third conversion of eighty 
kotis. 

When the layman Uttara^ accepted the Buddha's teaching, 
then the perfect Buddha beat the peerless drum of dharma. 

Uttara's subjects ivere eighty kotis of men, and all these 
without exception became disciples of the Buddha. 

The great seer Mangala held three assemblies of disciples, 
who were rid of the asravas, passionless, calm, and austere. 

The first assembly consisted of a hundred-thousand kotis, 
the second of ninety, and the third of eighty. 

At that time I was a Ndga king, nam.ed A tula, enjoying 
great prosperity and possessing an outstanding store of merit. 

To the accompaniment of the celestial instruments of the 
Ndgas I sang the praises of the great seer Mangala, gave him 
garments, and came to his refuge. 

He, Mangala, the Buddha, the Guide of the world, pro- 
claimed of me, "In an immeasurable kalpa hence you will 

^ Or " conviction," ahhisamaya (Pali id.) " insight into, comprehension, 
realisation," etc. See Pali Dictionary and Kvu. trsl. 381 f. 

2 Lacuna. Cf. Budv. IV. 

' Sic for Sundara. 

* Possibly an echo of the tradition preserved in the Pali texts, where this 
was the name of Mangala' s father. He is called a " layman " (grihapati) 
as he could not be called a cakravartin so soon after the mention of another, 
although his retinue is that of a universal king, not that of a layman. This 
reference to the Pali texts solves the difficulty caused by the name better 
than Senart's suggestion in his notes on this passage, namely, that the passage 
is an interpolation which grew out of a gloss giving " Uttara " as a synonym 
for Sundara, 



THE BUDDHA MANGALA 207 

become a Buddha in the world, in the happy flourishing city 
of the Sdkyans, Kapilavastu. 

"The mother who will hear you will he called Maya. Your 
father will he a Gotama, named Suddhodana. 

"Kolita and Upatisya will he your chief disciples ; Ksemd 
and Utpalavarnd your chief nuns. ^ 

"Your attendant will he named Ananda, (252) and your 
bodhi tree will he that nohle tree, the holy fig-tree.^ " 

When I heard this prediction hy the great seer Mangala, 
I exerted my energy and made my mind steady with the 
resolve never, as I fared along, to ahandon the ways of 
enlightenment. 

Uttara was the name of the great seer Mangala's city, 
Sundara the name of the nohle, his father, and Sirikd his 
mother's name. Sudeva and Dharmadeva were the great seer 
Mangala's chief disciples, Slvdll and Asokd his chief female 
disciples. 

His attendant was named Pdlita, and his bodhi tree was 
the hlossoming iron-wood tree. 

The great seer had a brotherhood of a hundred thousand 
kotis, and while on earth the great hero led across a great 
multitude. 

He led across a great multitude hy spreading his teaching 
abroad, shining bright as fire or the newly-risen sun. 

As it is not possible to count the waves of the ocean, so is it 
not possible to count the sons of the Exalted One. 

And now the blessed Buddha, the true dharma, and the 
noble company of his disciples all are wholly gone. Are 
not all existing things^ vanity.^ ? 

Here ends the history of Mangala in the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



1 So in the Pali tradition, Kolita and Upatisya being the personal names 
of Maha-Maudgalyayana and ^ariputra, respectively. Similarly with regard 
to Ananda (below). 

» Asvattha (Pali assatthd), usually, though doubtfully, explained as asva-stha, 
" where the horse stands." The Fictis religiosa. 

^ Samskdrd. See p. 99. 

* Reading nanu riktd on the analogy of Bu. ii. 219 (p. 18) {sabbam 
samantarahitam nanu rittd sabbasankhdrd) for anuriktd of the text. The 
emendation seems to be justified, also, by the reading of one MS. which has 
°tltdn anuriktd for the °tUd anuriktd of the text. 



2o8 THE M AH A VAST U 



THE BUDDHA'S VISIT TO VE^ALI 

(253) Here begins the story of the sunshades. 

On the slopes of the Himalayas there dwelt a Yaksini/ 
named Kundala, who in two successive years gave birth 
to five hundred sons, and when she had begotten these 
thousand sons she died. These sons were sent to Vai.4alP 
to rob it of its strength, ^ and when they came there they robbed 
men of their strength. 

There are two kinds of disease which are produced by 
demonic agency,* mandalaka and adhivdsa.^ The plague 
mandalaka, when it attacks a family, does not spare anyone, 
but carries away everybody. The plague called adhivdsa 
attacks a whole district. 

Now the people of Vaisali were stricken with the adhivdsa 
and many died.^ They prayed to one deva after another, 
and they wondered who would come and relieve the affliction 
of the people of Vaisali. They sent for Kasyapa Pdrana, 
saying, " Come, a demonic plague has broken out among the 
people of Vaisali. If you come, it will be allayed."' 

Kas3^apa Purana came to Vaisali but failed to allay the 
plague. And the people reflected, " Kasyapa has come, but 
the demonic plague has not been allayed." 

^ A female Yaksa, see p. 25. 

' VesalT, the capital city of the Licchavis, see below p. 209. 
» Ojoharaka, ojas, " strength " and hdraka, from harati, " to take away " ; 
the adjectival ending -ka, as often in this text, expresses purpose. 

* Arddhd, from root ridh, which also gives riddhi [iddhi) so often used 
in the sense of " magic " or " psychic " power. Here it is identical in meaning 
with amanusya, " not human," which is the adjective used elsewhere in 
this passage to describe the plague which befell Ve§ali. " Demonic " is 
a convenient, though not exact, rendering. 

* Or, respectively, a disease confined to a restricted area or circle, mandala, 
and one affecting a whole neighbourhood or district, adhivdsa. It is possible, 
of course, that the former refers to the skin disease (white-leprosy) so called. 
Cf. the ahivdtakaroga at Vin. i. 78-9, /. 2. 79 ; 4. 200. 

" This account of the Buddha's visit to Vaisali is found in Pali texts only 
in the Commentaries {KhpA. 160 ; SnA. i. 278 ; DhA. 3. 436). The six 
experts who were called in to deal with the plague were the heads of six 
" heretical" schools contemporary with the Buddha. Their names in Pali 
are — Purana-Kassapa, Makkhali Gosala, Kakudha (Pakudha) Kaccana, 
Ajita Kesakambala, Saiijaya Belatthiputta, and Nigantha Nataputta. 
{D.P.N.) 

' Pratiprasrabdha, and pratiprasrabhyati (below) from prati-srabh or -srabh, 
not in this sense in classical Sanskrit, but so used in Pali [paiippassambhati, 
etc., see Pali Dictionary), 



THE BUDDHA'S VISIT TO VEgALl 209 

Then they sent for Maskari GosaHputra, but when he came, he, 
too, could not allay the demonic plague. They sent for Kakuda 
Katyayana, but he again, when he came, was not able to allay 
the plague. They sent for Ajita Kesakambala, but he again, 
when he came, could not allay the plague. They sent for 
Safijayin Verattiputra, but he again, when he came, could not 
aUay the plague. Finally, they sent for Nirgrantha Jfiatiputra, 
but no more could he, when he came, allay the plague. 

Now some dead kinsmen of these people of Vaisali had been 
reborn among the devas, and some of these called to the people 
of Vai§ali(254) saying, " Those who have been summoned 
by you are not experts ; they do not speak as experts, nor 
are they able to allay the demonic plague that rages among 
the people of VaisalT. Now here is the Buddha, the Exalted 
One, who has appeared after incalculable kalpas, an Arhan, 
perfectly enlightened, who is possessed of the insight that 
comes from perfect knowledge, who has great magic power 
and great majesty, who is all-knowing and all-seeing. When- 
ever he stays in a meadow on the outskirts of a village, all 
disease and strife, all riot, calamity and trouble in that village 
are stayed. Summon him, and when he comes the demonic 
plague that rages among the people of Vaisali will be aUayed". 

He dwells, the fair offspring of the lotus-like womb, in 
Rdjagriha's fair citadel. By him who has vanquished all 
the lusts, all unhappy strife is quelled. 

To whatever stricken village, town or city the Golden One 
comes, he there quells troubles, as a heavy shower of rain 
lays the dust. 

Fetch him whose beauty is radiant, whose splendour is 
golden, whose countenance is genial as the sun at noontide, 
who is sweetly redolent of virtue.'^ Thus will the plague be 
stopped. 

Now at Vaisali there was a certain Licchavi^ named Tomar a, 
a courtier who was learned and had a great following and 

1 V arasurabhisllagandha. Senart compares ksdntya saurahhyasampannd, 
" fragrant with calm " in Lai. Vist. 41, 9, and refers to the use of the same 
figure elsewhere in Buddhistic style. 

* The Licchavis were " a powerful tribe of India in the time of the Buddha. 
They were certainly Khattiyas, for on that ground they claimed a share 
of the Buddha's relics. Their capital was Vesali, and they formed a part 
of the Vajjian confederacy, being often referred to as Vajjis " {D.P.N.). 



210 THE MAHAVASTU 

retinue. The people sought hun and despatched him with the 
injunction : " Go to Rajagriha, where the exalted Buddha is 
staying. He is staying there at the invitation of ^reniya^ 
Bimbisara. When you come to him offer him and his company 
the homage of the Licchavis of Vaisali. Inquire after his 
health, well-being, ease and comfort. ^ Speak to him thus, 
* Lord, among the Licchavis of Vai^ali there has broken out 
a demonic plague, and many thousands have fallen on mis- 
fortune and distress. Well would it be if the Exalted One (255) 
who is beneficent and benevolent would come and bring mercy 
to Vaisali '." 

Tomara obeyed the Licchavis, and with a fitting escort 
riding in fine carriages left the city of Vaisali and set out 
for Rajagriha. He reached that city, entered it, and proceeded 
to the (place called) Kalandakanivapa^ in the Bamboo Grove,* 
in order to see, approach and worship the Exalted One. 

Now at that time, on the holy day, the fifteenth day, the 
day of the full moon, the Exalted One was preaching the 
dharma which is lovely in the beginning, in the middle, and 
in the end, to five hundred monks and several thousands of 
other people, and proclaiming the holy life which is entirely 
perfect, pure and clean. Tomara the Licchavi, after proceeding 
in his carriage as far as the ground allowed, alighted and set 
out on foot to where the Exalted One was. But he was not 
able to make his way through the great crowd which was 
gathered there and reach the Exalted One. So, throwing his 
robe over one shoulder, he held out his joined hands towards 
the Exalted One, and addressed him in verse : — 

"On the pure holy fifteenth day the seers, with Sakra, 
lord of the Three-and-Thirty devas, gather to worship thee. 
By these art thou honoured, thou who hearest what others 
cannot hear. ^ 

1 Pali Seniya, the personal name of Bimbisara, King of Magadha and patron 
of the Buddha. 

* Sparsavihdratd, cf. Pali phdsuvihdra, " comfort." This word confirms 
the etymology suggested in the Pali Dictionary for Pali phdsuka as being 
for Sanskrit * spar^uka, root spris, " to touch." Cf. phassa (Sanskrit spuria), 
" what is (pleasant) to feel or touch." 

' A place where food (nivdpa) or offerings were given to squirrels (kalandaka). 
See D.P.N, for other explanations of the name. 

* Venuvana, the pleasure-ground of Bimbisara at Rajagriha. 

* Or, " who triumphest over the invincible," asahyasdhi. 



THE BUDDHA'S VISIT TO VEgALI 211 

' 'Shining forth thou fillest with thy radiance the farthest 
ways. Thou dost refresh all this multitude with thy teaching 
of the dharma as the great cloud refreshes the earth with 
water. 

"When^ they hear thy words, sweet as pure^ honey, 
great seer, and hear them in mind, they hold out their joined 
hands in adoration and praise, saying, {2h%) 'We come to 
thy refuge, thou who hear est what others cannot hear.' 
And they receive thy acceptance and welcome. 

"Here, Lord, am I with the Tomaras^ who full of faith 
come to thy refuge, and who, thus zealous for the teaching 
of the Sugata, will make an end of birth and death." 

When these verses were concluded the great crowd made 
way, and Tomara the Licchavi went up to the Exalted One, 
bowed at his feet, and said to him, " Lord, the Licchavis 
of Vaisali, young and old, the people within Vaisali and those 
without, salute the Exalted One and his disciples. They 
inquire after his ease and comfort, and bid us say, ' In Vaisali, 
Lord, a demonic plague has broken out, and many thousands 
have fallen on misfortune and distress. The Exalted One is 
merciful and compassionate towards the worlds of devas and 
men. Well would it be if the Exalted One would come to 
Vaisali and bring mercy to its people '." 

The Exalted One replied, " O Tomara, the Tathagata is 
staying here by invitation of king Sreniya Bimbisara. Go 
and ask his permission."* 

Tomara the Licchavi bowed at the feet of the Exalted One, 
and after saluting him and his disciples three times from the 
right, he set out for Rajagriha. There he went to king Sreniya 
Bimbisara, and, after greeting him well and truly, said, " Your 
majesty, in Vaisali a demonic plague has broken out, and 

^ This pada is printed as part of the preceding stanza, but in sense it belongs 
to the next, and is so placed in the translation. 

* Anelika, Pali anelaka, Buddhist Sanskrit anedaka {e.g. p. 339 of this text), 
negative from Pali elam, for Sanskrit enas, " fault, impurity." 

' Tomara would seem, therefore, to be a family or clan name. 

* Cf . the rule according to which monks, if they have accepted an invitation 
to dine or stay somewhere, must not accept one elsewhere. See, e.g.,^ V. 4. 77, 
katham hi ndma bhikkhu annatra nimantitd annatra bhunjissanti, " For how 
can monks who have been invited to one place eat at another ? " Cf. also 
V- 2. 153 ; 3. lo-ii ; 4. 81. (The translator owes these references to Mis3 
I. B. Horner.) 



212 THE MAHAVASTU 

many thousands are fallen on misfortune and distress. Six 
experts came in answer to our summons, namely, Ka^yapa 
Purana, Maskarin Gosalin, Ajita Ke^akambalin, Kakuda 
Katyayana(257), Saiijayin Verattikaputra, and Nirgrantha 
Jfiatiputra. But the demonic plague among the people of 
Vai^ali was not allayed by their coming. 

'* Then, your majesty, the devas announced to the Licchavis : 
* Here is this Buddha, the Exalted One, who after an incalcul- 
able kalpa has appeared in the worlds of devas and men with 
the majesty of dharma. He is a shelter, a protection, a refuge, 
and a relief for the worlds of devas and men, a deva above 
all devas, a teacher of devas and men, of Nagas, of Asuras, 
of Yaksas, of Raksasas, of Pisacas, and of Kumbhandas.^ 
Whenever he comes to a field bordering a village every 
disastrous 2 plague is checked by the influence of the Buddha, 
the dharma and the Sangha. Fetch him, and when he comes 
the demonic plague among the people of Vaisali will be allayed.' 
Well would it be, your majesty, if you granted permission 
to the Exalted One to go to Vaisali and bring mercy." 

Thus addressed, King Sreniya Bimbisara said to Tomara 
the Licchavi, "If, O son of Vasistha, the Licchavis of Vaisali 
will march out in procession as far as the boundary of their 
own territory to meet the Exalted One on his way from 
Rajagriha to Vaisali, just as I shall escort him as far as the 
boundary of mine, then I shall allow the Exalted One to go 
from Rajagriha to Vaisali." 

Then Tomara the Licchavi, in obedience to King Sreniya 
Bimbisara, sent messengers to the assembly at Vaisali to 
report : " sons of Vasistha, thus does King Sreniya Bimbisara 
say to Tomara the Licchavi." These messengers in obedience 
to Tomara the Licchavi went to Vaisali and reported to the 
assembled Licchavis : " Thus, O sons of Vasistha, does King 
Sreniya Bimbisara answer Tomara the Licchavi : * If the 
Licchavis of Vaisali will march out in procession as far as 
the boundary of their territory to meet the Exalted One on 

^ A class of demons. " They had huge stomachs, and their genital organs 
were as big as pots, hence their name " {D.P.N. ). 

* Literally (a plague) " the ill-luck of which was black-eared " kalikdlakarnl. 
Cf. Pali sakuna kdlakanni, " a bird of ill-omen." " Disastrous," although 
constituting a change of metaphor, is used here in its usual metaphorical 
sense. 



i 



THE BUDDHA^S VISIT TO VEgALI 213 

his way from Rajagriha to Vaisali, just as I shall escort him 
as far as the boundary of mine, then I shall allow the Exalted 
One to go from Rajagriha to Vaisali '." 

When this had been said, the Licchavis of Vaisali replied 
to the messengers, " Thus, O sons of Vasistha, must King 
Sreniya Bimbisara be told on behalf of the Licchavis : ' Your 
majesty, the Licchavis of Vaisali(258) will march out as far as 
the boundary of their territory to meet the Exalted One '." 

The messengers in obedience to the assembly of the Licchavis 
returned to Rajagriha and reported to Tomara. And Tomara 
the Licchavi, complying with what the messengers said, went 
to King ^reniya Bimbisara and said to him, " Your majesty, 
the Licchavis of Vaisali will march out to meet the Exalted 
One. If it please you, allow the Exalted One to go to Vaisali 
and bring mercy." 

King ^reniya Bimbisara then allowed the Exalted One to 
go to Vaisali, and his ministers were bidden to prepare carefully 
the road from Rajagriha to the banks of the Ganges and have 
it made like a chequer-board, level and even, like the palm 
of the hand, with an awning stretched over it, carpeted with 
bright cloth, draped with festoons of fine cloth, well-scented, 
sprinkled and swept, and strewn with flowers. " Make," said 
he, "a pontoon bridge over which the Exalted One and his 
disciples shall cross the Ganges on their way to Vaisali. At 
intervals of half a yojana have tents provided with a supply 
of food and drink, beds and every amenity for the Exalted 
One and his disciples, so that he and his monks may travel 
in comfort from Rajagriha to Vaisali." 

The desires of devas are fulfilled by the thought of their 
minds ; those of kings by the word of command ; those of 
rich men are fulfilled without delay, and those of the poor 
by their own exertions. ^ 

So the king commanded, and his ministers prepared every- 
thing in accordance with his command. 

The Exalted One set forth with his company of monks. 
King Sreniya Bimbisara, with his chariots and troops, his 
queen, his son, his ministers and his court, carrying five 

1 This couplet which, as Senart points out, is evidently proverbial, is very 
elliptical, and to make its citation apposite here, the words " the desires of 
. . . are fulfilled ' ' have had to be supplied in translating. 



214 THE MAHAVASTU 

hundred royal sunshades girt with festoons of fine cloth, with 
flags and banners flying, in great royal pomp, magnificence 
and splendour escorted the Exalted One on his way to Vai^ali, 
halting at intervals of half a yojana, until he came to the 
boundary of his domain on the banks of the river Ganges. 

The Licchavis of Vaisali heard in what manner(259) King 
^reniya Bimbisara was escorting the Exalted One on his way 
from Rajagriha to Vaisali. And when they had heard they 
in turn carefully prepared the road in their own domain from 
Vaisali to the banks of the Ganges, and had it made even 
and level like a chequer-board, like the palm of the hand, 
sprinkled and swept, strewn with garlands of flowers, with an 
awning stretched over it, carpeted with bright cloth, draped 
with festoons of fine cloth, and well-scented. Here and there 
they placed mimes, dancers, athletes, ^ wrestlers and musicians. 
At intervals of half a yojana they made provision of tents, 
with a supply of couches, drink and food for the Exalted One 
and his company of disciples. Within Vaisali they yoked 
eighty-four thousand chariots, nay, twice eighty-four thousand 
chariots, which were beflagged and merrily rattling, garlanded 
with pretty flowers, and carrying sunshades, banners and 
pennants. Having each moimted his own fine chariot with 
a fragrant garland in his hand, in great regal pomp and 
magnificence, and to the accompaniment of the great multi- 
tude's concerted roar of cries and bravos, the sound of drums, 
tabours, cymbals, and trumpets, they went forth from the city 
of Vaisali as far as the river Ganges to meet the Exalted One 
and to do him honour. 

Now this was the manner of their array. There were Licchavis 
with dark-blue horses and chariots, ^ dark-blue reins and whips 
and staves, dark-blue garments, decorations, turbans and sun- 
shades, dark-blue insignia^ of swords, jewels, shoes and fans. 

1 Rillaka, see p. 187. 

' At 7). 2. 96 and V. i. 231, these different colours are assigned also to 
different groups or clans (?) of the Licchavis themselves. The Commentary 
on the latter passage {VA. 1096-7) says that these were not their natural 
colours but that they were smeared on them — tattha na tesam pakativanna 
nild, nilavilepandnam vicittatdvasen' (v.l. viliUigattavasen') etatn vutiam. 

' Vyanjand, called kakudd below, where they are said to be five in number. 
Cf. the five as given at /. 5. 264 — vdlavljanl (fan), unhisa (diadem or turban), 
chatta (canopy or sunshade), pddukd (shoes), khagga (sword). See Pali 
Dictionary s.v. kakudha. The two lists vary slightly, and for vdlavljanl 
the Mahdvastu has simply vdla, " horse-hair," etc. 



THE BUDDHA^S VISIT TO VEgALl 215 
This has been described in verse ^ : — 

Dark-blue horses and chariots, dark-blue reins, whips, 
and turbans ; five dark-blue insignia, and dark-blue garments 
and decorations. 

There were Licchavis with yellow horses and chariots, 
yellow reins, whips and staves, yellow garments, decorations, 
turbans and sunshades, yellow swords, jewels and shoes. 

This has been described in verse : — 

{^^)Yellow horses and chariots, yellow reins, whips and 
turbans ; five yellow insignia, yellow garments and decora- 
tions. 

There were Licchavis with crimson horses and chariots, 
crimson whips and staves, crimson garments and decorations, 
crimson turbans and sunshades, crimson insignia of jewels, 
shoes and fans. 

This has been described in verse : — 

Crimson horses and chariots, crimson reins, whips and 
staves, five crimson insignia, and crimson garments and 
decorations. 

There were Licchavis with red horses and chariots, red whips 
and staves, red garments and decorations, red turbans and 
sunshades, and red insignia of swords, jewels, shoes and fans. 

This has been described in verse : — 

Red horses and chariots, red reins, whips and staves, five 
red insignia, and red garments and decorations. 

There were Licchavis with white horses and chariots, white 
whips and staves, white garments and decorations, white 
swords and white insignia of jewels, shoes and fans. 

This has been described in verse : — 

White horses and chariots, white reins, whips and staves, 
five white insignia, and white garments and decorations. 

^ The usual tatredamiti ucyate, " here it is thus said," introducing a redaction 
in verse, which is probably traditional and the basis of the preceding prose 
account. 



2i6 THE MAHAVASTU 

There were Licchavis with tawny horses and chariots, tawny 
reins, whips and staves, tawny garments (261) and decorations, 
tawny turbans and sunshades, tawny swords, and tawny 
insignia of jewels, shoes and fans. 

This has been described in verse : — 

Tawny horses and chariots, tawny reins, whips and staves, 
five tawny insignia, and tawny garments and decorations. 

There were Licchavis with mottled^ horses and chariots, 
mottled reins, whips and staves, mottled garments and decora- 
tions, mottled turbans, sunshades and swords and mottled 
insignia of jewels, shoes and fans. 

This has been described in verse : — 

Mottled horses and chariots, mottled reins, whips and staves, 
five mottled insignia, and mottled garments and decorations. 

There were Licchavis with golden sunshades mounted on 
elephants caparisoned in varied adornments. There were 
Licchavis in golden palanquins decked out with jewels of all 
kinds, in beflagged golden chariots moving with a merry sound 
and carrying arrows and axes, sunshades, banners and stream- 
ers. In such pomp, array, and circumstance, with such regal 
power, magnificence and splendour did the Licchavis of Vai^ali, 
accompanied by Gosringi^ and Amrapalika^ and the people 
generally, go forth with twice eighty-four thousand carriages 
as far as the banks of the Ganges to meet the Exalted One. 

When the Exalted One, on the other bank of the Ganges, 
had instructed, gladdened, and thrilled King Sreniya Bimbisara 
and brahmans from Magadha with talk about dharma, and 
had established eighty-four thousand brahmans of Magadha 
in the comprehension of it, he looked towards the Licchavis 
of Vaisali(262) and addressed his monks. 

" Monks," said he, " you did not see the devas of Trayas- 
trirnsa when of yore they set out from their city of Sudarsana 

1 Vydyukta, an unknown word, of doubtful meaning. The translation 
follows Senart's suggestion that the word may mean " de couleurs varices." 
This meaning is, etymologically, not impossible, if, that is, the word is from 
vi (negative) -j- dyukta, " joined, yoked," i.e. " not uniform or homogeneous " 
(in colour). 

* Otherwise unknown. 

' Pali Ambapdli or Ambapdlikd, a celebrated courtesan of Vaiidli. 



\ 



THE BUDDHA^S VISIT TO VEgALl 217 

to their pleasure-garden. So now look at the Licchavis of 
Vai^ali. And why ? Because, monks, it was with just such 
magnificence as theirs that the Trayastrimsa devas marched 
forth from the city of Sudarsana to their pleasure-garden. 

Kinsmen who dwell in peace with one another enjoy 
prosperous and sound government. And so the Master, 
when he was among the Licchavis, compared them to the 
devas. '^ Though they were not seen^ on that past occasion, 
such was the array of the Trayastrimsa devas when they came 
to the pleasaunce as is now the magnificence of the Licchavis. 

Carrying golden sunshades, some on elephants, others in 
golden palanquins, and others in golden chariots, the Licchavis 
march out to the meeting. 

All gather together with their kinsmen, young, middle-aged 
and old, decked out in crimson garments, and in glittering 
array march out to meet the Exalted One. 

By this time pontoon bridges had been thrown across the 
river Ganges, by King Sreniya Bimbisara, by those from 
within Vaisali(263), by those from without, and by the Nagas 
of the Ganges, the Kambalas and the Asvataras^ (each party 
saying), " The Exalted One will cross by ours," 

GosringI, by the mouth of a parrot, invited the Exalted One 
and his company of disciples to a meal on the morrow. The 
Exalted One silently intimated his consent, and through the 
Buddha's power the parrot understood the Exalted One's 
silent intimation of his consent. The bird bowed at the feet 
of the Exalted One and took leave of him and his company 
of disciples after saluting them from the right. It then returned 
to the lady Gosringi and said to her, " In your name I invited 
the Tathagata, the Arhan, the perfect Buddha and his company 

^ There is a similar comparison between the Licchavis and the Trayastrimsa 
devas at D. 2. 96. 

* 5c. " by the monks." But the yehi in yehi na dristapurvd can not 
be instrumental, but must rather be analysed into ye hi, the relative being 
anticipatory of the tesam referring to the devas two pddas below. Even for 
the Mahdvastu this is an intricate use of the relative, and it looks very much 
as though the words yehi na dristapurvd are due to a misunderstanding 
of the traditional text as we have it, e.g., in F. i. 232, yehi bhikkhave bhikkhUhi 
devd Tdvatimsd aditthapuhhd, oloketha bhikkhave Licchaviparisam , " You, 
monks, by whom the Tavatimsa were not formerly seen, look on the concourse 
of the Licchavis." 

' Two tribes of Nagas both mentioned as living at the foot of Mount Sineni, 



2i8 THE MAHAVASTU 

of disciples to a meal on the morrow, and he silently accepted." 
The Exalted One stepped on to a bridge of boats. King 
Sreniya Bimbisara saw the Exalted One on his bridge. Those 
from within Vaisali saw the Exalted One and his company 
of disciples on theirs ; those from without Vai^ali saw them 
on theirs, and the Kambalas and Asvataras, the great Nagas 
of the Ganges, saw them crossing by their bridge. 

THE SUNSHADES 

When the Kambalas and the Asvataras of the Ganges saw 
the five hundred sunshades of King ^reniya Bimbisara and 
the five hundred sunshades of the people of Vaisali, they too 
held up^ five hundred sunshades for the Exalted One as he 
crossed the river. The Yaksas also held up five hundred 
sunshades, as did the Caturmaharajika devas. An exquisite 
sunshade was held up by the deva Sunirmita. Five hundred 
sunshades were held up by the Paranirmitavasavartin devas, 
five hundred by the Four Great Kings and five hundred by 
the Tray ast rim sa devas. A sunshade was held up by Sakra, 
lord of the devas, by the deva Suyama, and five hundred 
sunshades by the Tusita devas. The deva Santusita held up 
an exquisite sunshade. Five hundred sunshades were held 
up by the devas of Brahma's world, and an exquisite one by 
Great Brahma himself. (264) The Suddhavasa devas held up 
five hundred sunshades for the Exalted One as he crossed the 
Ganges, and a Mahesvara^ deva held up one. By whom could 
these thousands of sunshades carried by devas and men for 
the Exalted One be exceeded ? 

Scions of kings faithful in the daily performance of religious 
duties deserve the svmshade. He deserves it, too, this illustrious 
valiant man.^ 

Those brave men deserve it who, victorious over foreign foes, 
wield invincible sovereignty. . . . ■* 

1 Literally " held out," pragrihita. 

2 See note p. 155. 

' There is a lacuna here of a noun or nouns qualified by, or forming part of, 
a compound ending in sampannd. 

■• I.e., some particular king present to the mind of the author of these 
verses, or a king in general. Senart takes the reference to be to the Buddha, 
but he is said below to be deserving of hundreds of sunshades. 



THE SUNSHADES 219 

How then does not the Exalted One deserve hundreds seeing 
that he has vanquished all the lusts so that none remains, 
and vanquished Namuci,^ too, and his hosts ? 

Carrying the five hundred sunshades which shone like 
tremulous stars, glittered like stars, and were of matchless 
brilliance, with handles bejewelled with beryl, 

King Bimbisdra followed behind the Dasabala. And the 
Exalted One with his host went on towards the land of the 
Vajjis. 2 

Stepping on the bridge of boats the Exalted One crossed 
the water, and there on the other side were throngs of Licchavis 
holding up five hundred sunshades. 

Then when they saw the mighty lord, the Ndgas who have 
numerous^ dwelling-places in the mountains and those whose 
home is the Ganges held up five hundred sunshades. 

Powerful and brilliant Yaksas who wander the paths of 
earth and have numerous abodes therein, and A suras, too, 
joyfully held up five hundred sunshades. 

There, also, rejoicing devas held up five hundred sunshades 
with flowing garlands, and having the fair beauty of the 
full moon, 

(265) While the Four Guardians of the world, with joyful 
hearts and free of pride and conceit, laid the dust raised 
by the dancers, and held up five hundred sunshades for 
one who is the equal of him who bears the earth. * 

And he, the lord of the Three-and-Thirty devas, held up 
for the foremost in all the world^ a sunshade that was 
a network of gold and jewels with a well-wrought garland 
of red flowers. 

Suydma,^ too, came up to the lord of the Ydmas, who is 

1 I.e. Mara. See p. 165. 

' The text has Vaji, the popular form of the Sanskrit Vriji, Pali Vajji. 
For the name Vajjis used to denote the Licchavis, see p. 209. 

^ Mahdbala. Senart cites the Mahdvyutpatti for this use of the word. 
See Bohtlingk and Roth s.v. 

* Dharanidhara for dharanidhara, " bearing the earth," epithet of fabled 
elephants, also of ^esa, Visnu, Krisna, and 6iva. 

^ Jagdgrasya, is a doubtful conjecture of Senart's. 

• Reading {e)va Suydma for Vasuydmd. There does not seem to be any 
mention of Vasuyama devas elsewhere, although Senart lists the word 
Vasuyama as a proper name in his index. The verb dhdrayi, also, implies 
a singular subject. With this emendation the idea seems to be that Suyama, 
himself the lord of the Yama devas (see p. 165) comes to the Buddha as to 
an overlord. 



220 THE MAHAY ASTU 

adored by Yama, Varuna and Ndga, and held up a sunshade 
for him who moves with the speed of a storm-cloud,'^ a 
sunshade yellow like the autumn rain-cloud. 

A dweller in Tusita, again, who was rid of delusion, 
assumed the grossness of corporeal form^ and came and 
devotedly held up a sunshade for the Exalted One. 

The deva Sunirmita held up a sunshade with its handle 
well-fashioned of beryl, its ten hundred ribs of gleaming coral, 
and its covering of flowers in bloom. 

A Paranirmitavasavartin deva fashioned for him who is 
extolled in the three worlds a sunshade covered with a weight 
of gold, with hanging garlands of clustered gems. 

With devoted mind Brahma held up a sunshade like the 
moon for him whose heart is as clear as the path of the wind, 
for the crusher of his opponents. 

A Mahesvara^ deva, again, held up for him who fully 
deserved it a sunshade made of the seven precious substances, 
adorned with festoons of celestial flowers. 

Thus was this great throng of Kdmdvacara devas* assembled 
by their great lord, ^ the ruler of Suras, to do homage to him 
whose strength is matchless. 

(266) The Exalted One conjured^ up as many Buddhas as 
there were sunshades. They who held the sunshades did not 
see one another's Buddha, and each thought, " Under my 
sunshade there stands the saviour, the Sugata, the standard- 
bearer." Through the Buddha's power devas and men beheld 
the abode of the highest of the devas. 

Then the Exalted One, the moon-like man, conjured up 
by magic these many Buddhas. The Exalted One rnude 
them appear, but the crowd did not see one another's Buddha. 

In the aerial abodes of the highest devas the Buddhas of 
the ten powers make the serene heaven bright as a sacrificial 
post glittering with jewels.'^ 

1 Ghanapavanagati. Another doubtful reading. 

2 Samvartitakharasamavapu. Otherwise these devas would be invisible. 
' Or Mahesvara simply. See note p. 155. 

* See p. 126. 

^ Or Mahesvara. Here apparently the proper name of the lord of the Suras. 
^ Literally " fashioned " or " created," nirmita. 

' This description of the phantom Buddhas as appearing in the sky seems 
to be an interpolation here, for the rest of the scene is on the Ganges. 



THE SUNSHADES 221 



All are of golden colour, all endowed with the thirty-two 
marks of excellence, all are like a mass of gold, all move like 
stately elephants. 

All are gracious in their ways, and their web of radiance 
is resplendent ; all possess infinite virtue, all are creators 
of joy. 

Devas and men, seeing the sky made resplendent by the 
Dasabalas, are greatly stirred by elation and utter shouts 
of Ha! Ha! 

They move on in a vibrant loud-murmuring throng, and 
from the sky they release a cloud of fragrant powdery dust. 

When they saw this magical miracle of the creation of 
Buddhas by the Exalted One, the devas paid him exceeding 
great homage. They showered on and over the Exalted One 
flowers of the coral-tree, of the great coral -tree, of the karkdrava, ^ 
of the great karkdrava, of the rocamdna{2Q7) of the great 
rocamdna, of the bhisma, of the great bhtsma, of the samanta- 
gandha, of the great samantagandha, and of the pdriydtraka,^ 
flowers of gold and silver, powder of the sandal-wood tree, 
of the aloe-wood tree, and of the kesara. All around for six 
yojanas and to the depth of a man's knees there is a flood 
of celestial sweet-smelling powder. 

The monks asked the Exalted One, " What is this majesty, 
lord, for which these thousands of sunshades are held up by 
devas, Nagas and kings ? Is it the majesty of deva, or of Naga 
or of Yaksa ? " The Exalted One repHed, " Monks, this 
majesty appertains to the Tathagata as a result of his 
righteousness in former lives. If the Tathagata in the course 
of his many lives were not to awaken to the supreme perfect 
enlightenment, he would rule as many kingdoms of a universal 
king as there are sunshades here for the Exalted One. But, 
as it is, for the Tathagata who has perfect virtue through the 
extinction of sin there will be utter passing away." 

1 Cf. karkdru, " a species of gourd," Beninkasa cerifera ; Pali kakkdru, 
the same, but also " a heavenly flower " at /. 3. 87, 88. 

' The coral-tree Erythmica Indica, a tree in Indra's heaven. Senart, 
following one MS., prefers the form pdriydtra{ka) to pdripdtra, and regards 
the Sanskrit form pdrijdta as " le reflet pracritisant " of the former. The 
Pali form of the name is pdricchattaka, due to the popular etymology of pari 
4- chatta, " shading all round." For other trees in Indra's heaven see pp. 
27, 118. 



222 THE MAHAVASTU 

Then the Exalted One said to the venerable Vagina/ " Let 
there come to your mind, Vagisa, the recollection of a former 
association of yours with the Tathagata." 

"So be it, lord," replied the venerable Vagisa, and in 
obedience to the Exalted One he on that occasion recited these 
verses : — 

"Once upon a time there was a Master, a brahman who 
had nothing to fear, being immune from rebirth, a brahman 
perfected in the holy life. 

"Seeing men in misery and consigned to states of wretched- 
ness, he set rolling the wheel of dharma, and shed abroad 
an incomparable light. 

"When he had set rolling the wheel of dharma and shed 
abroad that incomparable light, he passed utterly away, a 
perfect Buddha, a great seer, with all possibility of rebirth 
extinct. 

"For him his disciples who had naught to fear and his 
most advanced and well-trained students erected a tope to 
perpetuate his fame. 

"Noble, priest and commoner paid homage to the great 
seer(2^^) foregathering there in motley garlands for dance 
and music and song. 

"And then the brahman who was the wise parent of the 
Buddha thought, 'What now if I were to make a canopy, 
fair and white, and studded with gems ? ' 

"When he had raised this spotless canopy over the lofty 
tope, the father shed tears and paid homage to his son. 

"Having performed this lovely deed in praise of the 
Buddha, the brahman died, as is the lot of those that are born. 

"As a result of that act, during eighty kalpas of the world's 
dissolution and evolution he experienced no rebirth into evil 
states. Such was the fruit that canopy bore. 

"When he was reborn among men, he then ruled in 
righteousness as a universal king on earth, triumphant and 
mighty. 

"He was a noble, possessing divers domains and a large 
retinue. He was honoured with a white sunshade which 
ensured his comfort. 

1 See note p. 129. 



THE SUNSHADES 223 

"When he passed hence he was reborn in the deva-world, 
as the foremost of devas, worshipped by the body of the 
devas. 

"Thus worshipped by the throng of devas and clothed in 
the garb of sovereignty,^ he enjoyed while living there also 
the reward for the white canopy. 

"Supreme of devas was he, and supreme of men, universally 
supreme of devas and men. 

"Leaving that existence wherein he was supreme of devas 
and men, he passed into his last existence{269) , and became 
a perfect Buddha, a seer, with the possibility of rebirth 
extinct. 

"It was he who discovered the way that leads to the cessation 
of ill, and the winning of which makes an end of suffering. 

"All the Buddhas of the past acknowledge"^ him to be the 
valiant and the glorious one ; all those who like him were 
virtuous and wise acknowledge him to be the supreme of 
Buddhas. 

"All the Buddhas who have been here^ on earth from time 
to time without a doubt pass on to the state of bliss, thereby 
winning the reward of their own karma. 

"Thou wert that wise brahman, and I was thy pupil, ^ 
I who have been urged by thee, valiant one, to call to mind 
a previous birth.'' 

"Verily, so was it as you say, Vdgtsa. I was the brahman 
then, and you, friend, my pupil, 

"You, who have been urged by me to call to mind a previous 
birth. Therefore men should offer banner and flag and white 
canopy. 

"They should set railings round the topes and put thereon 
the mark of the out-spread hand.^ Well does this conduce 
to the conferring of rich merit. 

"This and whatever other honour is paid to the Buddha, 
all becomes productive, fruitful, and leading to immortality. 

1 Aisvaryakawbalasthita ; but the reading is doubtful. 

2 Some verb like abhijananti must be supplied in this stanza. The reading 
in parts is not above suspicion. 

^ Following Senart's emendation ye ca tahim for ye ca te hi. 
* Antevasin, see note p. 22. 

^ Pancdnguldni, Pali pancangulika or '^aka, i.e. an apotropaic mark as seen, 
for example, on the Bharhut tope. (See Pali Dictionary for references.) 



224 THE MAHAVASTU 

**For I know of no worship here on earth equal to this, 
much less superior to it. I know of none other by worshipping 
whom you will attain greater merit. 

**If a man ivere to worship here on earth all the devas 
without ceasing (270) and make them all the most costly 
offerings, he would not gain equal blessings. 

"It is no easier to win sight of the Buddhas, who are 
so great in glory, in mercy, in compassion and in beneficence, 
than it is to see the flower of the glomerous fig-tree.^ 

. ** Thus those who laud me for my concentration, my virtue, 
my wisdom, my attainment, my withdrawal from the world, 
for my exertion, my nobility of birth, and for my past, all 
become mighty and meritorious, command obedience^ in all 
their lives, and become renowned among men. 

"When a man has thus developed the roots of goodness, 
this prison-house of body will not trouble him much afterwards. 

"Therefore one should perform meritorious deeds, thus 
laying up a store for the life beyond. For meritorious deeds 
are a sure foundation for men in the life beyond.'' 

When the Exalted One had crossed the Ganges he came 
to the frontiers of Vaisali and caused the demons of the plague 
to flee. But wicked Mara filled with living things the way 
which had been garnished with flowers and swept and prepared 
by the Licchavis for the progress of the Exalted One. He 
also conjured up a beggar named Kundala, who said to the 
Buddha as he went along this way, " Turn back." 

"The ground is covered with many creatures, small, large, 
and medium-sized. When the Buddha walks over these 
creatures lying on the ground, his tread will be the cause 
of suffering." 

(271)The Exalted One repHed :— 

"The touch of the Tathdgatas is as gentle as that of the 
breezes that waft lightly down from the sky. The touch of the 
bodies of the supreme Buddhas, the Tathdgatas, inflicts no harm.^ 

^ See p. 190. 

* Adeyavacana, cf. Pali vacanam anddiyitvd, " not paying attention to 
his word." PvA. 212. 

^ T^iterally " no harm arises because of his body" {sarlramdgatnya). For 
agamy a see note p. 198. 



THE THREE BIRDS 225 

"The Exalted One can walk over beings without striking 
against them. He inspires them with no fear nor causes 
them harm. The Exalted One makes the green fields hear 
plenteous crops for all creatures." 

When the Exalted One and his company of disciples came 
near, the Licchavis asked him, " In whose house will it be 
the Exalted One's pleasure to staj^ on the m.orrow ? Will it be 
the house of one of the Vaisalakas within the city or of one 
of those without ? " The Exalted One repHed, " O sons of 
Vasistha, the Tathagata will not deign to stay with any of the 
Vaisalakas, whether those within or those without." 

A parrot able to talk like a man had been sent by GoSringi 
to the other bank of the Ganges, and the bird in GoSringl's 
name, had invited the Exalted One and his company of 
disciples to partake of a meal on the morrow. And the 
Tathagata had accepted. 

Then the Licchavis, the Vaisalakas from within the city, 
the twice eighty-four thousand kings, and the rest of the great 
crowd, the wealthy nobles and householders, were stricken 
with amazement and wondered how a parrot could talk. The 
Exalted One rephed, " What marvel is that Gosringi's parrot 
talks with a hiunan voice ? O sons of Vasistha, this supremacy 
of the parrot was adjudged to it by other birds." 



THE THREE BIRDS 

Once upon a time,^ long ago, O sons of Vasistha, in the city 
of Benares in the province of Kasi, there ruled a king named 
Brahmadatta, 2 who was virtuous, mighty, powerful, wealthy 
and possessing a great army. His kingdom was prosperous, 
flourishing and peaceful, had plenty of food, and was well 
and thickly peopled(272) with happy subjects. Violence and 
riot had ceased, robbers were held in check, and commerce 
thrived. 

He had a numerous harem, but no son. And so the king 
pondered on how he could have a son. From his ministers 

^ This story closely resembles Jdtaka 521. 

2 Several kings of this name are mentioned, and it was probably a dynastic 
name. 



226 THE MAHAVASTU 

he heard that in a hermitage on the slopes of the Himalayas 
there dwelt seers who were powerful, possessed the five super- 
knowledges and had mastered the four meditations. The king 
should consult these as to how he could have a son. " These 
powerful seers," said the ministers, " will reveal to his majesty 
how he may have a son." 

Then the king, with his women-folk, his daughters, his 
ministers and his army set out for the hermitage of these seers. 
On the way he with his women and his army made a halt. 
There he saw three birds flying out of the hollow trunk of 
a cotton-wood tree,^ namely, a female owl, a female idrika,^ 
and a female parrot. When he saw this, the king was seized 
with curiosity, and he ordered a man to go and see what there 
might be in the hollow trunk of the tree. The man climbed 
up the tree, looked, and saw three eggs. He called out, " Sire, 
I see three eggs." The king replied, " Bring them down 
wrapped up one by one in a fold of your dress so that they 
do not break." The man wrapped them up one by one in 
a fold of his dress and brought them down unbroken. 

The king questioned his ministers, " Whose eggs are these ? " 
But they repHed, " The fowlers had better be asked ; this is 
their province." The fowlers were summoned and the king 
questioned them saying, " Ho there ! fellows, find out whose 
eggs these are." Now the fowlers were experienced in such 
a matter, and knew all birds' eggs, and what everj^ bird was 
like. So they replied, " Your majesty, of these three eggs the 
first is an owl's, the second a sdrikas and the third a parrot's." 

The king then asked, " Can these eggs be hatched ? " 
And the fowlers replied, " They can, your majesty, since they 
were brought down (273) without being damaged." The king 
asked, " What treatment should be given these eggs in order 
that, when so treated, they be successfully hatched? " *' Your 
majest}^," said they, " a piece of cotton cloth must be cut 
and arranged to hold them on all sides. Then when the eggs 
have been steeped in honey and ghee they must be placed 
on it, and a piece of cotton cloth over them will cover them 
like a broody hen." 

The eggs were laid down as the fowlers had directed, and 

^ Samball, Sanskrit sdlmali. Ci. Pali simhali. 
* The maynah bird, Pali sdlikd, or sdliyd. 



THE THREE BIRDS 227 

by and by the king reached the hermitage of the seers. He 
halted his army on one side, while he himself with his women 
went on to the hermitage. When the seers saw the king they 
rose up to meet him, as was the custom of seers. " Hail and 
welcome, O great king," said they, "let his majesty seat 
himself on this couch." The king and his women having 
bowed at the feet of the seers sat down. 

Now the eldest of the seers acted as chief of the household, 
and he, having saluted the king, asked him, " What is your 
majesty's business with the seers ? " The king replied, " I 
have a numerous harem, but none of the women has borne me 
a son. I have no son, so what I desire is that it be shown me 
how I may have a son." 

The eldest of the seers said, " Your majesty, you remember 
those three eggs back there which were carried down from 
the hollow trunk of the cotton-wood tree. Keep them wrapped 
up. From these will issue sons for you." The king was 
amazed at the great gifts of the seers, in that, though living 
far away in this hermitage, they knew of those three eggs 
back there which he had caused to be brought down from 
the hollow trunk of the cotton-wood tree. 

After bowing at the feet of the seers the king set out again 
for Benares, which he duly reached. In course of time all 
those three eggs were hatched. (274) From the first of them 
was hatched an owl chicken, from the second a sdrika chicken, 
and from the third a parrot chicken. By the king's command 
these chickens were brought up and reared. And when they 
were grown up all three were intelligent, sagacious, and gifted 
with human speech, and used to talk with one another in the 
language of men. King Brahmadatta, knowing the force of 
their sagacity, asked them one by one concerning the duty^ 
of a king. And the birds explained this as they understood it 
to be. When he had heard the expositions of all the three. 
King Brahmadatta was delighted. 

In Benares there was a glorious king, Brahmadatta. 
This king had three sons who were clever birds. 

The first was an owl, the second a sarika, the third a parrot, 
all three of them naturally clever. 

1 Dharma. Kritya is also used in the following verses. 



228 THE MAHAVASTU 

Knowing the force of their sagacity, the king, the lord 
of men, rejoiced, and said, "I'll ask them all one by one 
and privily concerning the duties of a king. 

"I'll begin by asking the owl. * Greetings to you, bird. 
What, my son, do you consider is the duty of one who rides 
a kingdom ?' " 

The owl replied : — 

"At long last my father asks me about the duties of a king. 
Come then, I'll tell you, and do you listen with attentive 
mind. 

"A king should not fall into the power of wrath. Rather 
let him curb his anger, for, king, neither the interests nor 
the duty of a man thrive when he is angry. 

"But when a king is not subject to wrath, his interests, 
his duty and his wisdom always thrive. Hence should he 
restrain his anger. 

(27S)"When a dispute arises, he should pay equal attention 
to both parties to it, and hear the arguments of each and decide 
according to what is right. 

"He should not, king, act out of favouritism, hatred, 
fear or folly. He should hear the arguments of each side 
and act according to what is right. 

"He will not go to ruin, for the intelligent man knows 
how to look after his interests,'^ so that, preserving his good 
name, he folloivs the road to heaven, king. 

"Thus, king, shun what is unjust and rule in accordance 
ivith a king's duty. So will you, mighty lord, pass thither. 

"Do not delight overmuch in the excitement of sensual 
pleasures, for his enemy overcomes him who is drunk with 
pleasures. 

"A king should administer all the affairs of his city 
and his provinces as well in righteousness. 

"He should uphold his sovereignty in city and province 
by his good qualities, by the giving of largesse, and by 
performing his duties. 

"Then he should maintain his influence with his court 

^ Literally " for he is intelligent in that he does what profits him " 
arihakdranat. Senart plausibly suggests ^karino — " for the intelligent man 
does what profits him." 



THE THREE BIRDS 229 

by performing his duiy.^ He should be one whose subjects, 
because of his bottnty, cannot be alienated from him. 

' 'Know of everybody, king, whether he is loyal or disloyal, in 
the army, among your servants, in the city and in the provinces. 

''While keeping an eye on state affairs, a king should 
dispense gladness to all. He should keep all from doing 
violence, and show that it is righteousness that brings reward, 

"As in the days of former kings large bodies of immigrants 
came together to be admitted into the realm, so do you admit 
them, king. 

"0 lord of men, ahvays show favour to the poor and protect 
the rich{276) who are your subjects. 

"A king who is fond of gambling with his wealth and 
loves the wives of others, becomes hateful to his subjects, 
and soon loses his life. 

"A king, on the other hand, who is not covetous, but is 
prudent, and is always indifferent to the wives of others, 
becomes dear to his subjects, and, my father, long does he live. 

"0 king, do not foster hostility towards neighbouring kings. 
Whosoever hates, will be repaid with hatred by his foes. 

"Cultivate ties of friendship with neighbouring kings, 
mighty lord, for other peoples honour kings who are 
steadfast in friendship . 

"Do not, king, talk at great length^ on all sorts of topics, 
but utter your judgments at the appropriate time and make 
them bear on the point at issue. 

"Keep your counsel secret, and always conceal it, king. 
For princes who reveal their counsel come to great harm. 

"But a king who keeps his counsel secret wins great glory. 
He falls not into the power of his enemy, nor does he have 
any regrets afterwards. 

"Those who are not confused in their judgment nor loose 
of talk, but are full of purposefulness , do not excite the anger 
of enemies, as the scorpions excited that of the snakes.^ 

^ Vatta, explained by Senart as the Pali orthography of vritta. If so, 
perhaps " propriety " is a better translation than " duty." 

* Literally " do not be one whose utterance is spread out " praklrnoccdrano." 
Cf. aviklrnavdcd, " loose of talk," immediately below, and the English " to 
spread oneself." 

' An obscure reference. The enmity of the mongoose or Indian ichneumon 
and the snake is, of course, a commonplace of Indian fable, e.g. Hitopadeia 
IV, fable 5, and Pancatanira, i. fable 20. 



3o__ THE MAHAVASTU 

"As for the man who keeps all relating to his counsel 
secret, his foe, (277) being rid of fear, becomes like one of 
his subjects. 

"Always, king, give your protection to those who live 
justly. For the wheel of power turns in dependence on the 
wheel of justice.^ 

"By the power of those who live righteously, all ills are 
assuaged. The devas send rain in season, and then the 
corn-crops grow. 

"It is thus, king, that the deeds done by virtuous men 
are a source of blessing in this world and of happiness in 
the world beyond. 

"A king should therefore see to it that his acts are just. 
For, king, your good is also that of your kingdom. 

' 'Be circumspect in all things, lord of men, and diligent 
in the care of your treasury and granary. 

"Such is my salutary counsel. Do you, king, accept it 
fully, and act in accordance with it. 

"If you follow it, glory and renown will be yours. Your 
kingdom will be peaceful, prosperous, flourishing and 
populous." 

When he had heard the owl's excellent words, so full of 
truth and profit, the king said, "I'll ask the sarika. Tell 
me, sarika, what the duties of a king are." 

The young sarika replied : — 

"At long last, father, you ask me about the duties of a king. 
Come, then, I'll tell you. Do you listen with attentive mind. 

"This world, father, rests on two foundations. The 
acquisition, without avarice,"^ of wealth, and the conservation 
of what is gained. 

"Therefore, lord of men, to acquire wealth and conserve 
what you have gained {27S) make firm efforts within the bounds 
of righteousness. 



^ Balacakram hi nisrdya dharmacakram pravartate. Strictly speaking, as 
niirdya normally is a post-position, " leaning on," the meaning of this sentence 
should be " the wheel of justice turns in dependence on the wheel of power." 
But such a doctrine of " might is right " is hardly in keeping with the tone 
of the rest of the passage. Nisrdya is, therefore, here taken as a preposition. 
For nisrdya see note p. 114. 

2 Reading aluhdha for alabdha of the text. 



THE THREE BIRDS 231 

"Sire, the realm of that king who rules unrighteously 
becomes weakened and rent on all sides. 

"But, sire, the realm of the king who rules righteously 
is strong, prosperous, flourishing and populous. 

"Reprove those who merit reproof, commend those who are 
worthy of commendation, help those who deserve help, and 
always find pleasure in doing kindness. 

"The king who knows not how to apportion blame and 
approval, nor to dispense help and kindness, loses his 
wealth. 

"Do not appoint as overlords of village or province even 
your own sons and brothers, if they be unscrupulous, violent 
and base. ^ 

"A king should exercise leniency for the sake of parents. 
For those who are disgraced and driven from their inheritance 
become dangerous enemies."^ 

"A kingdom where insidious enemies are at work becomes 
split up into five^ realms. Do not trust them, and do not be 
led astray by them. 

"The noble who is led astray and obeys the wills of others 
falls into the power of his enemies, and later has cause 
for regret. 

"To win power for yourself, and out of regard for your 
kingdom, examine all matters yourself, even though you thus 
incur the displeasure of your foes. 

"Speak, whether by day or by night, only after due 
deliberation ; for men stand about to listen, and will use 
what they hear to confound you. 

(279)" He who is brave only and no more soon perishes. 
The rich man goes on ivinning power. He who has command 
of wealth and the power of eloquence will do you harm if he 
becomes offended with you. 

"Therefore, along with his wife and children, banish the 
wily man who has much wealth at his disposal, the rich 
and plausible demagogue, and the crafty man however slender 
his means. 



^ Chava, cf. Pali chava (= ^ava) (i) " corpse " ; (2) adj. " vile," etc. 
2 The text here is very uncertain. 

^ For the use of " five " as a significant number see references in Pali 
Dictionary. 



232 THE MAHAVASTU 

"Sire, appoint as your minister a man who is wise and 
thinks of what is beneficial, who is not covetous, hut is loyal 
and a counsellor to the realm. 

"When ministers are imperfect in wisdom, and set small 
store on it, kingdoms and the heads of kingdoms have their 
troubles increased. 

"0 king, through the power of the wisdom of intelligent 
ministers kingdoms and the heads of kingdoms grow in 
prosperity. 

"A covetous and foolish minister, lord of men, is of 
no avail to king or kingdom. 

"Therefore, lord of men, appoint as your minister 
a man who is not covetous, but is prudent and devoted in 
counsel, a guide to the realm. 

"Your eye is not as good as a spy ; your policy is not 
as good as a spy. Therefore a king should employ a spy 
in all his affairs. 

"0 king, keep firm control over all your followers in your 
kingdom, both military and civilian, in all they have 
to do. 

"Therefore, king, you shoidd find a wise door-keeper. 
He will exercise vigilance, and this will ensure your 
ease. 

"Such is my salutary counsel{2S0) . Do you, king, 
accept it fully, and act in accordance with it. 

"If you will follow this, glory and renown will be yours. 
Your kingdom will be peaceful, prosperous, flourishing and 
populotis." 

"Now has the owl as well as the sarika been questioned 
and they have given their answers to me. Next I ask you, 
parrot, concerning the true duties of a king. 

"Clever and sensible parrot, tell me truly what are the 
kinds of kingly power'^ a king should desire to have." 

The parrot replied : — 

"0 lord of men, a five-fold power is desirable for a king. 
Be attentive and hearken to my words. 

"The first power is innate in him ; the second power is 
the power of his sons, the third that of relations and friends. 

1 Balam . . . Ydjadharmam. 



THE THREE BIRDS 233 

"The fourth, king, is that of his army, and regard as 
the fifth the matchless power of wisdom. 

"Whosoever, king, has this five-fold power, his kingdom 
is firm, prosperous, rich and populous. 

"The force of wisdom is powerful above all the others.. 
Through it a man accomplishes all he has to do, lord 
of men. 

"By it he shuns what is not to he done, and accomplishes 
what is to he done. It hrings hies sings to himself, to his 
relations and friends, and to the whole kingdom. 

"A man who is deficient in wisdom in a king's affairs, 
even though he he of high hirth, is not helpful to the king, 
nor dear to the kingdom. 

{2%1)" Soon, king, such a realm is destroyed hy rival 
kings. The subjects become alienated and seek another 
lord. 

"Exceeding great honour has the king who is wise and 
sensible, who appoints as his ministers men who are good, 
courageous, brave and discerning. 

"Glory will be his in this world and the heavenly way in 
the world beyond, if he has shunned unrighteousness and 
pursued righteousness. 

"Do the right by your mother and father, great king, 
for the king who has walked in righteousness in this world'^ 
goes to heaven. ^ 

"Do the right by your son and wife, great king, for the 
king who has walked in righteousness in this world goes to 
heaven. 

"Do the right by your friend and minister, great king, 
for the king who has walked in righteousness in this world 
goes to heaven. 

"Do the right hy recluse and brahman, great king, for 
the king who has walked in righteousness in this world goes 
to heaven. 

"Do the right by town and country, great king, for the 
king who has walked in righteousness in this world goes 
to heaven. 

* Or " in this respect," iha. So for the succeeding stanzas. 
^ With this and the succeeding stanzas compare those at /. 5. 123, 223, 
and 6. 94. 



234 THE MAHAVASTU 

"Do the right in this world and beyond, great king, 
for the king who has walked in righteousness in this world 
goes to heaven. 

"Such is my salutary comtsel. Do you, king, accept 
it fully, and act in accordance with it. 

"If you will follow this, glory and renown will he yours, 
and your kingdom will he peaceful, prosperous, flourishing 
and populous.'* 

Then thus spoke to them illustrious Brahmadatta{282) , 
"Wholly wise are you, my sons, clever and sensihle. 

"I shall act in accordance with the words of counsel spoken 
hy you all. For I have learnt from your talk on justice 
what is profitahle for the life heyond." 

Calling to mind a former existence and a former birth, 
the Exalted One, the Master, explained this Jataka to his 
monks : 

"When of yore I lived in one of my intermediate existences, 
I was then this parrot, Sdriputra was the sarika, Ananda 
was the owl, and Suddhodana was Brahmadatta." 

Thus does the Exalted One, now exempt from trouble, fear 
and sorrow, relate to his monks his rebirths, his endless, 
toilsome faring up and down in the past. 

Here ends the avaddna of the Mahdvastu called the " Jataka 
of the Three Birds." 

Then the Bodhisattva putting off his parrot nature became 
a young man, and taught the ten right ways of behaviour. 

Ten powers'^ are declared by the Buddha, the kinsman 
of the sun, to be the attributes of the valiant Bodhisattvas. 
Hear me as I recount them. 

The wise Bodhisattva has power over his own life, and the 
power of intelligence. He has won power over rebirth, over 
his acts and his thoughts. He has the power of dharma, 
and of magic, and power over his own purpose. The wise 
Bodhisattva has power over time and place. These are the 
ten powers. 

^ Vasita. These vasitas, being attributes of a Bodhisattva, are not to be 
found in the Pali texts. There is, however, a more or less similar list in the 
Mahdvyutpatti {see Bohtlingk and Roth s.v.). They may be compared, but are 
not to be confused, with the ten balas of a Tathagata. The whole passage, 
however, is obviously out of place here. 



PLAGUES OF FORMER DAYS 235 

{2%Z)Relying steadfastly and confidently on these ten powers, 
the valiant men bring to moral maturity'^ thousands of kotis 
of beings. 

The Bodhisattvas purify the Buddha-field^ ; they are 
guides. The Bodhisattvas are radiant and filled with great 
compassion. 

When this Jataka was finished eighty-four thousands 
were brought to moral maturity and a full comprehension 
of dharma.^ 



PLAGUES OF FORMER DAYS 

When the exalted Buddha came to the confines of Vaisali 
all the demons of the plague fled, and the great multitude 
in their joy asked the Exalted One, " Behold, Lord, how do 
all the demons flee when the Exalted One comes to the confines 
of Vaisali ? " The Exalted One repfied, " O sons of Vasistha, 
why should it be strange that the demons flee when the 
Tathagata, who has won perfect enlightenment, who is a deva 
above other devas, enters the confines of your city ? There 
was another occasion also on which the demons fled before me, 
namely, when as a seer I entered the confines of the city of 
Kampilla/'^ The Licchavis asked, " Was it so. Lord ? " 
*' Yes," he replied. 

Once upon a time, O sons of Vasistha, long ago, in the land 
of Pancala, in the city of Kampilla,* there reigned a king 
named Brahmadatta, who treated his servants kindly, and was 
charitable and liberal. Therefore the province of Kampilla 
was prosperous, flourishing, peaceful, well-supplied with food, 
and thickly peopled with happy subjects. Punishments were 
abolished, and tumults suppressed. Robbers were put down 
and trade thrived. 



^ Paripdceti. 

2 See note p. 95- 

^ Reading, on Senaxt's suggestion, caturasltisahasrehi dharma dbhisamita 
abhut, literally " dharma was comprehended by 84,000." Caturasitisahasrdni 
must be supplied with paripdcitd in the preceding stanza. Abhisamita is the 
past participle of abhisameti. (See note p. 131.) 

* Pancala (also Uttarapancala) and Kampilla alternate in the Pali texts, 
as here, between being the name of a land and of its capital city, respectively. 



236 THE MAHAVASTU 

Now the son of KingBrahmadatta's priest, named Raksita,^ 
a man of great power, who practised the ten right ways of 
behaviour, realising the peril in the pleasures of sense and 
knowing (the way of) escape from them, was passionately bent 
on withdrawing from the world. 

Seeing, then, the peril of sensuous desires, he went to the 
slopes of the Himalayas and embraced the religious life of a 
seer. In the Himalayas he constructed a hermitage (284), 
making a hut of grass and leaves, and lived on roots, leaves, 
flowers, and fruits. Following the practice of an unorthodox^ 
recluse he kept vigil during the first and last watches of the 
night. He mastered the four meditations and realised the five 
super-knowledges. 

The young man who had thus attained the four meditations 
and the five super-knowledges, who followed the path of the 
ten virtues and lived the holy life, could, as he sat cross-legged 
in his hermitage, touch the orbs of the moon and sun with 
his hand. An austere recluse, a gifted seer, he had power over 
all beings, including the devas of Brahma's world. 

Once on a time, a terrible plague, the work of demons, ^ 
broke out in the great city of Kampilla and its province. 
Infected by this demonic plague many thousands of beings 
perished. When King Brahmadatta saw this great calamity 
in Kampilla, he sent a messenger to Raksita on the slopes 
of the Himalayas to say that a demonic plague was raging 
in Kampilla and that many thousands were perishing. " Well 
would it be were the blessed seer to come to Kampilla and 
bring mercy." 

When the seer heard the messenger's words, he left the 
Himalayas and came to Kampilla. As he entered its confines 
all the demons fled. The seer brought well-being to Kampilla 
and taught the ten virtuous ways of conduct to eighty-four 
thousand beings. 

What spell does he, who is attended hy good fortune in 
this world and the next, pronounce or study at the due time ? 



1 See note below p. 237, 

2 I.e. " not a Buddhist," literally " in the way outside " {sc. Buddhist 
orthodoxy) hdhirakena mdrgena. 

2 Amanusya, " not-human," see note p. 208. 



r 



PLAGUES OF FORMER DAYS 237 

What knowledge is his or what learning ? What does he do 
that he is well-guarded'^ by blessing ? 

He is verily^ a blessing who consistently disdains magic- 
working^ devas and men, kinsmen and all other such beings, 
who disdains the stings and torments of life, but feels 
compassion for all. 

(2S5)He verily is a blessing who calms the ill-spoken word, 
enduring it with the power of forbearance, and who is patient 
when he hears harsh and offensive speech. 

He verily is a blessing to his friends who calms the 
ill-spoken word, who takes compassion on his friends with 
his bounty, but is equally charitable to enemies as to friends 
who are always affectionate, trusting and loyal. 

He verily is a blessing to his kinsfolk who among his people 
and friends constantly shines in virtue, wisdom and self- 
control. 



1 Implying, of course, that he is " protected " from evil spells and misfortune. 
Senart seems to have missed the point concerning the significance of these 
verses. He calls them " formules d'exorcisme," but analogous passages in 
the Pali texts show that their intention is rather to confute the popular belief 
in the worth of omens, spells, and charms. For example in the Mahamangala 
Jdtaka (IV. 72 ff) the Buddha, as the bodhisatta Rakkhita Kumara (cf. the 
name Raksita here) is asked to define what constitutes things of good omen, 
and he replies by confuting popular notions about good luck and giving 
instead a list of moral qualities the possession, or the possessor, of which 
alone can confer blessings on men. The parallel Mahamangala Sutta of Khp. 
and Sn. has the sams motive, as wall as the Ratanz Sutta of the same two 
works. (A version of this latter sutta is found in the Mahdvastu, below p. 242). 
A few obvious emendations in the Mahdvastu text of the first stanza readily 
make it parallel with the corresponding text of /. The first two lines of Senart's 
text are : — 

Kim so naro jalpamacintyakalam 
Katamasya vidya katamam sya danam, 
while those of /. are 

Kim su naro jappam adhicca kale 
Kam va vijjam katamam va sutanam. 

It is fairly obvious that acintya should be changed into adhltya and sya 
ddnam into srutdnam. 

It is apparent also that the refrain of all the following verses, svastyayanam 
taddhu is out of place at the end of this first stanza, which should end with 
kathamkaro raksito svastyayena corresponding with the Pali kathamkaro 
sotthdnena gutto, etc. 

Finally, on the interpretation suggested above, raksita is out of place 
in the refrain to all the verses except the first. The verses are not concerned 
with the qualification of a wizard but with the blessings conferred by a holy 
and moral life. The blessing {svastyayana) of each stanza consists in the 
exercise of the virtues eulogised in each. By the omission of raksita (and this 
can be done without violence to metrical laws) the refrain becomes practically 
identical in form, if not in content, with that of /. Also two MSS. of the 
Mahdvastu omit the word in two separate stanzas. 

2 Literally " they say it," taddhu. 

3 Siddhadeva. Cf. Miln, 120, 267, and other references in Pali Dictionary. 



K 



238 THE MAHAVASTU 

He verily is a blessing to kings, in whom kings, lords 
of the earth, put their trust, knowing him to he for all time 
unequalled in this world for truth and courage. 

He verily is a blessing in the home whom a fond mother 
. . .^ compassionate towards her offspring, beautiful and 
virtuous has borne. 

{2^^)They verily are a blessing among arhans, who praise 
the Buddha after the manner of Aryans and serve him with 
worship, who are learned, triumphant over doubt, and 
emancipated. 

They verily are a blessing in the village who dispense food 
and drink in season, sandal-wood from Kdsi, perfumes and 
garlands, and who are well-disposed to recluses and brdhmans. 

He verily is a blessing in the village who teaches men 
that by eschewing falsehood, slander, adultery, murder and 
drunkenness they shall go to heavenly bliss. 

It may well occur to you, O sons of Vasistha, that the seer 
named Raksita at that time and on that occasion was somebody 
else. You must not think so. And why ? I, O sons of Vasistha, 
at that time and on that occasion was the seer named Raksita. 
You may think that the king, named Brahmadatta, in the city 
of Kampilla at that time and on that occasion was somebody 
else. That, too, you must not think. King Sreni3^a Bimbisara 
here at that time and on that occasion was the king named 
Brahmadatta in the city of Kampilla. And it was then that I 
as a seer entered the confines of Kampilla and all those demons 
of the plague fled. So now, too, do the demons flee as I enter 
the confines of Vaisali. 

Not only on these occasions have all demons fled on my 
entering the confines of a city. There was another occasion 
also. 

Once upon a time, O sons of Vasistha, long ago, in 
the city of Benares in the province of Kasi there ruled 
a king who was virtuous, majestic, strong and wealthy. He 
had a great army, treated his servants kindly, and was charit- 
able and liberal. (287) His city of Benares and his province 
of Ka^i were flourishing, prosperous, peaceful, well-supplied 
with food, and populous. 



PLAGUES OF FORMER DAYS 239 

Now this king had an elephant^ which was virtuous, and of 
great might, force, and power. Through its force and power 
Benares and the province of Kasi were immune from afflictions 
and calamities, and when it entered the confines of other towns 
and provinces, they, too, were rendered immune from afflictions 
and calamities. 

Once there broke out a demonic plague in the city of Mithila,^ 
in Videha, and many thousands perished. The citizens heard 
that the king of Kasi had an elephant which was virtuous, 
and of great might, force and power, and that any town 
or village it entered was rid of afflictions and calamities. So 
the king of Videha said to a certain brahman, " Go to Benares. 
The king of Kasi is at all times generous, charitable and liberal. 
Tell him how things are here, and ask him for his elephant. 
If that elephant comes here, all this demonic plague will be 
allayed." 

The brahman, in obedience to the king's command, in 
due time reached Benares and entered it. And the king 
of Kasi happened to be coming out of Benares in great regal 
magnificence and pomp, with the elephant going in front gaily 
caparisoned, covered with a net-work of gold, and radiant 
with splendour. The brahman stood in front of the king 
of Kasi, and greeted him with a cry of " Victory to the king ! " 
The king, on seeing the brahman, stopped, and asked him, 
" What do you want, brahman ? What can I give to you ? " 

The brahman related to the king all about the onslaught 
of the demons in Mithila, and said, " O great king, allow this 
elephant to come and bring mercy to Mithila." The king was 
merciful and ready to succour others, and he gave the elephant, 
all gaily caparisoned as it was, to the brahman, saying, '* 1 
give you, brahman, this caparisoned elephant, clothed in a 
net-work of gold, regal, royal, and noble (288), as well as its 
driver. Go your way." 

Perhaps, again, O sons of Vasistha, you will think that 

1 Literally " a Naga elephant " hastindga, but ndga here is a mere 
conventional epithet, denoting " fine," " valiant," " heroic," etc. 

2 Capital of the Videha country which bordered on the Ganges and was 
one of the two important principalities of the Vajjian confederacy. In the 
Indian epics Mithila is chiefly famous as the residence of King Janaka, and 
it is, nowadays, generally identified with Janakapura, a small town within 
the Nepal border. (D.P.N.) 



240 THE MAHAVASTU 

at that time and on that occasion, that king in Benares was 
somebody else. You must not think so. The king in Benares 
at that time and on that occasion was King Sreniya Bimbisara 
here. Perhaps, again, O sons of Vasistha, you will think that 
at that time and on that occasion the king of Mithila was 
somebody else. You must not think so. And why ? The 
king of Mithila at that time and on that occasion was general 
Simha^ here. You will, perhaps, suppose that the brahman 
was somebody else. Really he was this Tomara the Licchavi. 
You will, perhaps, think that the elephant was somebody else. 
Verily, you must not think so. I was the king's elephant 
at that time and on that occasion. Then, too, did all the 
demons in Mithila flee before me when I was in the form of 
that elephant, just as they have done now on my entering 
the confines of Vaisali. 

Moreover, O sons of Vasistha, these were not the only 
occasions that all demons fled on my entering the confines 
of a city. They did so on another occasion also. 

Once upon a time, O sons of Vasistha, long ago, in the city 
of Rajagriha, there ruled a king who was virtuous, mighty, 
kind to his servants, liberal and charitable, powerful, wealthy 
and possessing a great army. His kingdom was flourishing, 
prosperous, peaceful, well-supplied with food, and densely 
peopled with happy subjects. Punishments were abolished, 
riots suppressed, and robbers kept in check, and trade thrived. 
But a demonic plague broke out there and many thousands 
perished by it. 

Now the king of Anga^ had a bull which was handsome, 
beautiful, virtuous and strong. By its might and power all 
the land of Anga was rendered immune from afflictions and 
calamities. The brahmans and laymen of Rajagriha heard that 
the king of Anga had a bull which was handsome, beautiful, 
virtuous and strong, and that by its might and power the land 
of Anga(289) was rid of afflictions and calamities. They 
therefore informed the king, saying, " Your majesty, we hear 
that the king of Anga has a bull that is handsome, beautiful, 

1 Pali Siha, a Licchavi general of Vaisali, who was originally a Nigantha, 
or Jain, but on the occasion of the Buddha's visit to Vesali he came to him 
and accepted his teaching. (D.P.N.) 

' One of the sixteen Mahajanapadas or great countries often referred to 
in the Pali texts. It lay to the east of Magadha. 



PLAGUES OF FORMER DAYS 241 

virtuous, strong and powerful. Whatever village or town it 
enters becomes rid of affliction and calamity. O great king, 
send for the bull, so that when brought here it may allay 
the demonic plague in Rajagriha." 

The king of Rajagriha sent a brahman to the king of Anga. 
"Go to the king of Anga," said he to him, " make known 
our troubles to him and entreat him for his bull." In obedience 
to the king the brahman left Rajagriha and duly arrived at 
the city of the king of Anga. He approached the king of Anga 
and greeted him with a cry of " Victory to the king ! " He 
told him in detail all about the demonic plague in Rajagriha 
and asked him for the bull. 

Now that king was merciful and ready to succour others. 
So, when he had heard of the great trouble of the people 
of Rajagriha, he gave the bull to the brahman, saying, " Depart, 
brahman, and let the people and all creatures in Rajagriha 
be relieved." 

The brahman took the bull, left the land of Anga and came 
to the land of Magadha. And, O sons of Vasistha, no sooner 
had the bull entered the confines of Rajagriha than all the 
demons fled, and the whole province of Rajagriha was rid 
of affliction and calamity. 

Perhaps, again, O sons of Vasistha, you will think that this 
king of Anga in the city of Anga at that time and on that 
occasion was somebody else. You must not think this. And 
why ? This King Sreniya Bimbisara here was at that time 
and on that occasion the king of Anga. You will, perhaps, 
think that the king of Rajagriha at that time and on that 
occasion was somebody else. You must not think so. Why ? 
That king of Rajagriha was this general Siinha here. You 
will, perhaps, think that the brahman who at that time and 
on that occasion brought back the bull was somebody else. 
You must not think so. And why? (290) This Tomara the 
Licchavi here, O sons of Vasistha, was at that time and on 
that occasion the brahman of Rajagriha who brought the bull 
from the king of Anga to Rajagriha. You will, perhaps, again 
think that the bull of the king of Anga at that time and on 
that occasion was somebody else. Verily you must not think 
so. And why ? I, sons of Vasistha, was the bull of the 
king of Anga at that time and on that occasion. Then did I 



242 THE MAHAVASTl) 

in the form of a bull enter the confines of Rajagriha and all 
the demons fled, just as they have done now when I, in the 
possession of perfect enlightenment, entered the confines of Vaisali. 

Here ends the " Jataka of the Bull" in the Mahdvastu- 
Avaddna. 

THE BUDDHA IN VE^ALI 

So in due course the Exalted One reached Vaisali. There 
he brought well-being both to those within and to those 
without Vaisali, and recited these verses^ on well-being. 

Homage to the Enlightened One. Homage to his enlighten- 
ment. Homage to him who is freed ; homage to his freedom. 
Homage to wisdom ; homage to him who is fully wise. Pay 
homage to the foremost and the best in the whole world. 

All creatures here assembled, creatures of earth and of sky, 
be ye all gladdened, and listen to what the Conqueror declares 
to be well-being.^ 

Whatever be the choicest gem in the world or the world 
beyond, or in heaven, it is not comparable to the 
Tathdgata, (291) the deva above all devas, the supreme 
of men. This choicest gem is in the Buddha. By this truth 
let blessing come from man and from demon. . . . ® 

^ These verses are a version of the Ratana Sutta of Sn. and Khp. already 
referred to in a note on p. 237. Although the verses are here introduced 
by the words svastyayanagdthdm hhdsati which might be translated " he 
pronounced an incantation " (" a spell -verse "), it seems better, as has already 
been suggested, to take these verses as meaning that true welfare consists in 
the acceptance of the truth enunciated in each, rather than to regard them 
as " incantations " calculated to produce good results by a mere recital 
of them. The point of the whole series of stories is that the plagues were 
automatically allayed by the very presence of the Buddha in one or another 
of his incarnations. It is possible, of course, that the author, or authors, 
of the Mahdvastu recension did regard these verses as incantations or spells, 
and that the addition of the words manusyato vd amanusyato vd- (" from man 
and from demon ") to the refrain as it exists in Pali, emphasises, as Senart 
suggests, this magical nature of the verses. But that is not necessarily so. 
These words may equally serve to emphasise the immunity of the believer 
in the truth of the " gems " from all evil machinations whether of man or 
of demon. True blessings, pearls of priceless value come from belief in the 
Buddha and his doctrine. 

2 Literally " the blessing pronounced by the Conqueror", svastyayanam 
jinena bhdsitam. The corresponding Pali is {atho pi) sakkaccam {sunantu) 
bhdsitam, which would make it tempting, if there were MS. justification for it, 
to emend svastyayanam into satkrityam, the Buddhist Sanskrit form corre- 
sponding to sakkaccam, " respectfully," " reverently," etc. 

' Lacuna. 



I 



THE BUDDHA IN VEgALl ^43 

The choicest gem is in the dharma. By this truth let 
blessing come from man and from demon. 

There is no equal to that pure concentration which the 
supreme Buddha extols and which men say is unbroken,'^ 
This choicest gem is in the dharma. By this truth let blessing 
come from man and from demon. 

The eight orders of men whom people always praise form 
four pairs. ^ The Sugata has declared that they are worthy 
of offerings, and the giving of these brings great reward. 
This choicest gem is in the Sangha. By this truth let blessing 
come from man and from demon. 

He ivho has the good fortune to possess all the true 
doctrines^ {292) has left behind the three evil states of 
harbouring theories about individuality,* of doubt, and of 
the delusion concerning good works. ^ This choicest gem is 
in the Sangha. By this truth let blessing come from man 
and from demon. 

Whatever wrong a pupil commits in deed, speech, or 
thought, it is impossible^ for him to conceal it. This 
impossibility has been proclaimed by those to whom the way 
is manifest. This choicest gem is in the Sangha. By this 
truth let blessing come from man and from demon. 

As Indra's cohimn is firmly grounded so that it is unshaken 
by the four winds, like it do I proclaim the worthy man to be, 
who keeps full in view the well-taught profound Aryan truths. 
This choicest gem is in the Sangha. By this truth let blessing 
come from man and from demon. 

Those who clearly understand the Aryan truths well-taught 

1 Anantariya, or " the result of which is immediate." Cf. dnantarydni 
karmdni, p. 199. Pali dnantarika. 

' I.e. one man in each of the four stages of the Path and another in the 
corresponding stage of fruition make four pairs and a total of eight individuals. 
See S. 4. 272 and Vism. 219. 

' Darsanasampaddyo , the equivalent of Pali ditthisampadd which appears 
a.t A. I. 269 as the third of a set of three sampadds or " attainments," the 
other two being sila° and cittasampadd. 

* Satkdyadristi, Pali sakkdyaditthi, " theory of soul, heresy of individuality, 
speculation as to the eternity or otherwise of one's own individuality " 
{Pali Dictionary). 

5 ^ilavrata, here in a bad sense, usually rendered in Pali by sllabbatapara- 
mdsa, " the contagion of mere rule and ritual, the infatuation of good works, 
the delusion that they suffice " {Pali Dictionary). The term is rendered 
by Lord Chalmers at M. i. 9 by " the virus of good works." 

• Abhavya, with abhavyatd for the abstract noun below. I.e. (?) " a moral 
impossibility," called abhabbatthdna at D. 3. 133, etc. 



244 THE MAHAVASTU 

by him whose wisdom is profound, however sorely they are 
tempted by the world(293) do not cling to life in any of the 
eight spheres of existence ^ This choicest gem is in the 
Sangha. By this truth let blessing come from man and from 
demon. 

Those who are devoted to endeavour, their minds intent 
on what is good, those who have withdrawn from the world 
as Gotama taught them, win the highest gain, pass to 
immortality, and with their hearts liberated enjoy complete 
release. This choicest gem is in the Sangha. By this truth 
let blessing come from man and from demon. 

Their old karma is exhausted; there is no fresh accumulation 
of it. Immune from future existence, with the seed of life 
destroyed, and no longer in a condition of growth, the wise 
pass out like a lamp. This choicest gem is in the Sangha, 
By this truth let blessing come from man and from 
demon. 

As a fire lit by night^ after burning fiercely goes out for 
lack of fuel, so also do the wise sons of the Buddha, when 
they have by their wisdom overcome their proneness to passion, 
escape the visitation of the king of death. (294) This choicest 
gem is in the Sangha. By this truth let blessing come from, 
man and from demon. 

As the tree-tops in the forest break out in bloom in Caitra, 
the first month of summer, and, stirred by the breezes, shed 
their fragrance abroad, so also do the wise sons of the Buddha 
shed forth the fragrance of the virtue they have won. This 
choicest gem is in the Sangha. By this truth let blessing 
come from man and from demon. 

All demons that are here assembled, those of earth and 
those of air, let them always deal kindly with the race of men. 
Day and night they bring you offerings. 

Therefore keep diligent watch over this man, ^ as a mother 
shows anxious care for her child. By this truth let blessing 
come from man and from demon. 

Let those devas who believe in Vipasyin, in VisvabhH, 

1 See note p. 36. 

2 Reading, on Senart's suggestion, nisithe for nislde of the text. 

' I.e. the man who believes and trusts in the " gems " of Buddhist doctrine 
(or, alternatively the man on whose behalf these verses are pronounced 
as a spell, see p. 242). 



THE BUDDHA IN VEgALl 245 

in Krakucckanda, in radiant Kanakamuni,^ in Kdsyapa, 
and in glorious Gotama Sdkyamuni, all of them mighty 
Buddhas (295), guard him well, and confer blessing on the 
race of men. 

Therefore do ye keep diligent watch over this man, as a 
mother shows anxious care for her child. This choicest gem 
is in the Sangha. By this truth let blessing come from man 
and from demon. 

I bow before him, the Buddha, the best of men and devas, 
who, overcoming the world, set rolling the wheel of dharma 
for the sake of all creation. Let there be prosperity. I bow 
before the dharma. Let there be prosperity. I bow before 
the Sangha. Let prosperity come from man and from 
demon. 

When she had fed the Buddha and his monks Gosringi 
presented them with the sal-forest. And then this thought 
occurred to the Licchavis : " Each one of us could provide 
the Exalted One and his community of monks for a whole 
life-time with robe, almsbowl, lodging, and medical requisites 
for use in sickness. But let us so act that the multitude can 
join together in a deed of merit. Let us make a levy on each 
of sufficient rice for one man." 

An individual levy of rice was thus raised containing 
twenty-five and more kinds of rice. And so they maintained 
the Exalted One and his community of disciples for a week. 

(296)^5 the starry hosts encircle the moon, so does the 
throng sit around the radiant, mighty, beautiful, and glorious 
Buddha. ^ 

Arrayed in golden garments, the colour of karnikara^ 
flowers, and wearing solid bracelets they sit around the 
Buddha. 

Their bodies smeared with yellow sandal-wood ointment, 
and clothed in best Benares cloth, [they sit around the 
Buddha] * 

1 ? Bhdmakanakamuni. So printed, but Senart's index has " Bhdnakanaka- 
muni (?) = kanakamuni." 

* These verses, which, at the end, are attributed to Ananda, are introduced 
here with a strange abruptness. 

8 Seep. 186. 

* Lacuna. 



246 THE MAHAvASTU 

The Buddha with all his splendour outshines this attendant 
hand of devas which had foregathered, pure, well-horn and 
virtuous though they were, as the lord of the stars outshines 
the planets. 

As the light-giving moon in a cloudless sky outshines the 
hosts of stars, so does the Buddha with all his splendour 
outshine the noble lords of earth. 

As the sun prevails in the sky and dazzles as it stands 
in its sunny path, so does the Buddha with all his splendour 
outshine the nohle lords of earth. 

As the sun blazes in the sky and dazzles as it stands in 
its sunny path, so does the Buddha with all his splendour 
outshine the nohle lords of earth. 

Like the tall and bright red-lotus with its fragrant petals, 
(297) so does the Buddha with all his splendour outshine 
the noble lords of earth. 

As Sakra, the hundred-eyed crusher of the A suras, out- 
shines the Three-and-Thirty-devas, so does the Buddha with 
all his splendour outshine the noble lords of earth. 

As Brahma, compassionate to all creatures, outshines the 
splendour of all the devas, so does the Buddha with all his 
splendour outshine the nohle lords of earth. 

The Exalted One shed a pure, perfect^ radiance. Then, 
aware of their faith in immortality, he instructed the nohle 
lords, and revealed dharma to them as clearly as though he 
held it in his hand. 

Thus did the venerable Ananda praise the Exalted One. 
The Exalted One instructed, gladdened and thrilled the 
Licchavis of Vaisali with a discourse on dharma, and he 
converted many thousands. 

Thus the gift made by the Licchavis of Vaisali was a 
meritorious gift^ conferred as a mark of their gratitude.^ 

^ Dasdngupeta (?) literally " endowed with ten limbs or parts," i.e. a 
radiance shining to all the ten quarters, hence, perfect. Senart, however, 
translates " douee des dix qualites," though he admits that he does not know 
what these ten qualities can be. 

* Deyadharma, Pali deyyadhamma, " that which has the quality of being 
given," a gift, especially a gift or set of gifts which it was a rule to give to 
monks, hence " a meritorious gift." See a list of such gifts at Nd^ 373 and 
Nd^ 528. 

3 Anumodandye, dative of purpose. For the sense compare Pali anumo- 
danagdthd, " verses expressing gratitude." 



THE BUDDHA IN VE^ALI 



247 



As the bees come together and cull the essence of various 
flowers, gathering it in their mouths and on their feet. . . .^ 

(29S)Through their concerted efforts is made a juice^ that 
is sweet of taste and smell, and that, pressed together, becomes 
choicest honey, goodly in colour, taste and smell, and useful 
as food and medicine. 

In the same way, wherever the Exalted One comes, to 
village or to town, the multitude flock together, children and 
wives, men and women, bent on lovely deeds. 

Making common contribution they give the Sangha drink 
and food, and prepare rice-gruel for them. They give drink and 
most pleasant hard food, and essences approved by Aryans. 

In proportion to their faith and their means they make 
their common contribution over a long period, and, with 
devotion in their hearts, they give again and again. And 
thus the store of their merit goes on increasing. 

Adoring him with their joined hands raised in salutation, 
they respectfully rise up from their seats. ^ They render 
him service, * and give thanks for dharma. So does the great 
multitude joyfully perform its deed of merit. 

Those who give gifts and do deeds of merit, whether they 
contribute with words of praise{299) or participate in the com- 
munal offering all go to a heavenly abode. 

Invested with the forms of devas, waited on by throngs 
of Apsarases, with plenty of food, choice things to eat and 
drink, they rejoice in the mansion^ they have come to. 

And when they come again into the world of men, they all 
are born in families that are rich, thriving, prosperous, and 
fruitful in men and women. 

The good and true man esteems the honey gathered from 
all kinds of flowers as bringing great blessing. Whatever 
man desires, so he desire it with his mind, it all shall turn 
out well for him, even as he wishes. 

Gaining all your ejids, you pass on to that release in which 

^ Lacuna. 

2 Yosa, a Prakrit form conjectured by Senart, as being equivalent to 
Sanskrit yilsa, Pali yusa. 

^ Reading dsanatdt or dsanatd (so 2 MSS.) for dsanatdnt of the text. 

* Vaiydvrta, a Buddhist Sanskrit from of Pali veyydvacca which corresponds 
to Sanskrit * vaiydpritya, abstract from of vydprita, " active," " busy." 
(See Pali Dictionary). 

• Vimdna. See note p. 26. 



248 THE MAHAVASTU 

all the lusts that are inherent in the elements of sentient life^ 
are cast away. Thus did the Saviour of the world, the Great 
Lord, bestow his blessing on them, their sons and wives, 
their kith and kin. 

Then the Licchavis said to the Exalted One, " Here, Lord, 
is the greatest of our pleasure grounds, namely the Great 
Grove 2, with its pavilion. This we give and present to the 
Exalted One and his company of disciples." The Exalted One 
said to his disciples, " Herewith, monks, I grant you permission 
to use this as a place of rest, of lodging, and of recreation." 

Then the Exalted One left the Great Grove and came to 
the shrine of Capala.3(300) The Licchavis asked, "Where is 
the Exalted One ? " The monks replied, " O sons of Vasistha, 
the Exalted One has gone from the Great Grove to pass the 
day at the shrine of Capala." Then the Licchavis said, " We 
give and present the shrine of Capala to the Exalted One 
and his company of disciples." 

On another occasion, when the Licchavis went to the Great 
Grove to bow at his feet, the Exalted One had finished his 
meal and had gone to pass the day at the Saptamra* shrine. 
The Licchavis asked the monks, " Friends, where is the P^xalted 
One ? " The monks replied, " O sons of Vasistha, the Exalted 
One has finished his meal and has gone to pass the day at 
the Saptamra shrine." The Licchavis proceeded to the 
Saptamra shrine, and, after bowing at the feet of the Exalted 
One, said to him, " Lord, we give and present the Saptamra 
shrine to thee and thy company of disciples." 

In the same way were presented the shrines of Bahuputra,^ 
Gautamaka^ and Kapinahya.* 

^ Samskdrd. See p. 99. 

2 Mahdvana. 

^ A shrine near Vesali, at one time the dwelling place of the yaksa Capala. 

* Pali Sattamba or Sattambaka, a shrine near Vesali, so-called after the 
seven daughters of King Kiki of Benares who strove for attainment there. 
{D.P.N.) 

* Pali Bahuputta or Bahuputtaka, a shrine to the north of Vesali, originally 
a many-branched banyan tree where people prayed to the spirit of the tree 
for sons. Hence the name. {D.P.N.) 

3 Pali Gotarnaka, a shrine to the south of Vesali, so-called after Gotama. 

* As the above three shrines were, respectively to the west, north, and 
south of Vesali, it may be presumed that Kapinahya was to the east, although 
the shrine named at -D. i. 9-10 as being to the east was Udena. It is possible 
that Kapinahya has some connexion with the place called Kapinaccana, 
which, however, was not a shrine. (See D.P.N.) 



THE STORY OF MALINI 249 

On yet another occasion, the Exalted One, having finished 
his meal, had left the Great Grove to pass the day at the shrine 
of Markatahradatira, 1 when the Licchavis came to the Great 
Grove to bow at his feet. They asked the monks, '* Friends, 
where is the Exalted One ? " The monks replied, " O sons 
of Vasistha, the Exalted One has finished his meal and has 
gone to pass the day at the shrine of Markatahradatira." 
Thereupon, the Licchavis went to the shrine of Markatahra- 
datira, and, having bowed at the feet of the Exalted One, 
said to him, " We give and present the shrine of 
Markatahradatira to the Exalted One and his company of 
disciples/' 

When AmrapalP had entertained the Exalted One and his 
company of disciples she gave them the Mango Grove, ^ and 
when Balika* had done so she gave them her park 
BalikachavT. 

Here ends the chapter of " The Sunshades " in the Mahdvastu- 

Avaddna.^ 

And so may the noble Sangha, guardian of the treasure 
of dharma, which is contained in the nine-fold^ scriptures, 
the Sangha that belongs to the king of dharma of infinite 
^/ory(301), long continue in the greatest prosperity, as 
steadfast as Mount Meru. 



THE STORY OF MALINI 

Whenever Buddhas appear in the world, Pratyekabuddhas' 
also appear, who, splendid in their silence and of great power, 



1 I.e. the shrine on " the shore of the Ape's Pool," a locality near Vesali. 

2 See p. 216, 
' Amravana. 

* Otherwise unknown, but Senart suggests that BalikSchavi is identical 
with the Valikarama, a monastery in Vesali. (See D.P.N.) 

^ This chapter has, in translation, been divided into several. 

« N avavidha^dsana, cf. Pali navangabuddhasdsana, " the nine-fold teaching 
of the Buddhas," i.e. the nine divisions of the Buddhist scriptures according 
to their form or style, as sutta, gdtha, jdtaka, etc. 

' See p. 40. 



250 THE MAHAVASTU 

live in loneliness like a rhinoceros,^ train each his own self, 
and finally pass away. 

Now a certain Pratyekabuddha of the land of Ka^i one 
morning entered a village to beg for alms. He was courteous 
of manners, both in approaching and in taking his leave, 
in looking forwards and backwards, in extending and with- 
drawing his hand, and in carrying his cloak, bowl and robe. 
HewaslikeaNaga. He had accomplished his task ; his faculties 
were turned inwards ; his mind was not turned outwards. 
He was unwavering as one who had achieved harmony with 
dharma. He did not look before him farther than the length 
of a plough. 

The village overseer, who w^as an amiable man and at peace 
with devas and men, happened to be hurrying out of the village 
to inspect the w^ork in the fields. Meanwhile, the Pratyeka- 
buddha, although he had scoured all the streets systematically ^ 
in quest of alms, had to hurry away from the village with 
his bowl j ust as it w^as after being washed. ^ " It is meal-time, ' ' * 
said he, " yet no one has given me alms." 

When the village overseer had attended to his business and 
was returning to the village, he saw the Pratyekabuddha 
hurrying away. He thought to himself "It is meal-time. Til 
just see what alms this mendicant has received." So he 

^ Khadgavisdnakalpa, literall}^ "like the horn of the Indian rhinoceros" 
{Rhinoceros unicornis). This was a stock description of Pratyekabuddhas, 
cf. Mahdvastu i, 357, 327; Divy. 294, 582, and, in Pali, Vism. 234. It is 
the title of a sutta in Sn. (35 ff.) a version of which is given below, p. 358. 
Translators do not seem to be agreed as to whether khadgavisdna denotes 
the animal itself or its horn. The Commentary on /. 5. 406 gives khagga 
{= khadga) as the equivalent of paldsdda, " rhinoceros," so that khadgavis- 
dnakalpa must thus mean " like the horn of a rhinoceros " and is so translated, 
e.g. by P. Maung Tin in Path of Purity {— Vism. 234). Others, however, 
like Fausboll {S.B.E. X, pt. II, p. 6) and E. M. Hare in Woven Cadences, p. 6 
(S.B.B. XV) render " like a rhinoceros." The latter rendering is possible 
if khadga in its primary sense of " sword " and visdna, " horn " be taken 
together as a bahuvrihi compound name for a one-horned animal. 

' Literally " part by part," sdvaddnam (from sa-ava-dd), Pali sapaddnam. 
According to Senart the Pali form is due to a wrong assumption that the root 
of the word is pada. (Cf. the etymologies cited in Pali Dictionary.) He is 
of the opinion that the Mahdvastu form is the correct one, and seems to be 
supported in this by Beal's rendering of the Chinese version by " divide 
the streets." The confusion of apa and ava is a commonplace of Pali etymology. 

^ Yathddhauta, i.e. not soiled by food. 

^ Prdyonnakdlo, an admittedly doubtful conjecture of Senart' s. If the 
MSS. did not seem to be agreed here and immediately below that the word 
begins with priya (which Senart emends into prd) it would be tempting to read 
pdndnnakdlo, " time for drink and food." 



THE STORY OF MALINI 251 

went up to the Pratyekabuddha and asked him, " My friend, 
have you obtained any alms ? " The Pratyekabuddha, splendid 
in his silence, replied by showing the village overseer his empty 
bowl. 

When he saw the Pratyekabuddha 's empt)^ bowl, the overseer 
said to himself, *' How uncharitable people must be, since this 
man, who is so worthy of offerings, is allowed to depart from 
such a wealthy village with his alms-bowl as it was when 
washed ! Can it be that these people want to deprive them- 
selves of the joy of giving alms to this illustrious man ? "^ 
Aloud he said, " My friend, come with me, I will give you food." 
And taking the Pratyekabuddha with him he entered the 
village. In the square he stopped, and shouted avidha ! 
avidha !^ 

The whole village, men and women, hearing the village 
overseer as he stood there crying avidha I avidha I ran to the 
spot. They came up to him (302) and asked him, " What is 
the matter? 3 Why do you shout avidha I avidha !" The 
village overseer replied, " I cry because you do not delight 
in generosity, because you have not the virtue of charity. 
For, see, this one monk leaves such a rich village with his 
alms-bowl as it was when washed." The elders of the village, 
after hearing the overseer, were of opinion that honour should 
be paid to the Pratyekabuddha. 

The village overseer took the Pratyekabuddha to his home, 
honoured him with food, and invited him to be his guest 
as long as he lived. " I shall," said he, " keep this worthy man 
in every comfort and ease as long as he lives." And he gave 
instructions to his daughter, saying, " See to it that you serve 
this worthy man with food every day." The young girl was 
pleased and glad. " It will mean " said she, " that 111 have 
done a shining and lovely deed." And so, serene and devoted 
to devas and men, she served the Pratyekabuddha with food 
every day. 

1 The text is so corrupt here as almost to make it advisable to omit the 
sentence and leave a lacuna. Not the least objectionable feature is the 
reference to a Pratyekbuddha as a " light " dipa, if, that is, Senart's 
conjecture of taddipam for the MS. uddlpayam and taddlpayam, together with 
the insertion of na, is correct. 

2 Senart compares the Prakrit interjection avida. 

^ The text has kim ksemam, which Senart attributes to a scribal error, 
by way of khemam, for kim khimam = kim khalvidam {kim khalu idam). 



£52 THE MAHAVASTU 

The Pratyekabuddha, eating with the right view of food/ 
and ridding himself of all impurity, had great good fortune. 
And as the village overseer's daughter saw the Pratyekabuddha 's 
various deportments there grew up in her a sublime trust. 
And other people, too, believed in him. 

Now the Pratyekabuddha, through the kindness of the 
village overseer, won his final release ^ in a field near the village. 
The overseer cremated him, and erected a tope for him, neither 
very low nor very high, plastered with durable cement. At 
that tope the overseer's daughter made daily offerings of food 
in a bronze bowl, of perfumes, wreaths and incense. One day, 
her wreath of various flowers was snatched away from the tope 
by the wind. She thereupon, with her servants' help, made 
a fresh wreath in place of the one carried away, a long wreath 
like a chain consisting of various flowers. With this wreath 
she encircled the whole of the Pratyekabuddha's tope. Her 
heart became filled with exceeding great joy when she saw 
that this wreath of hers outshone in beauty and brilliance all 
other wreaths, and kept its beauty fresh even after she had 
lived the life-time of a deva among the devas. Then with 
devotion in her heart (303) she made a vow, saying, " Wherever 
I am reborn, may I have a chaplet on my head like this wreath 
that glitters here on the tope." 

After doing this fair deed she died, and was reborn among 
the devas having a chaplet of jewels on her head, and was 
waited on by a thousand Apsarases. Passing away thence she 
came to a new existence in the womb of the chief wife of King 
KrikP of Benares. After nine or ten months there was born 
to the queen a handsome and beautiful daughter whose head 
was crowned by a chaplet of jewels. Hence they gave her 
the name of Malini. She was dear to and beloved of not only 

1 Parijiidtabhojana, cf. Fali parinndtabhoj and, Dh. 92, where it is translated 
by Mrs. Rhys Davids as " who understand the body's need," and by Max 
Miiller, " who live on recognised food." The Commentary {DhA. 2. 172) 
explains the term with reference to the three parinnds or " understandings," 
viz. ndtaparinnd, " understanding through experience (of cooked food)," 
tlranaparinnd, " understanding through judgment (of what is unwholesome)," 
and pahdnaparinnd, " understanding (what food to leave)." 

2 Literally " passed away without attachment or clinging (to rebirth) " 
anupdddya -harinirvrita. 

' Pali Kiki, king of Benares in the time of the Buddha Kasyapa. The 
Pali texts mention eight daughters of his, of whom seven have already been 
referred to (see p. 248^), but Malinf is not mentioned among them. 



THE STORY OF MA LINT 253 

the king but all his court, and the whole capital was unanimous 
in judging her a virtuous maiden. 

A Pratyekabuddha^ went to a village to beg for alms, but 
came away with his bowl just as it was when washed. A 
village overseer saw this Buddha^ and said, "I wonder what 
this healthy, exalted man, has received by way of alms.*' 

Then the exalted man held out his alms-bowl to the overseer, 
who, when he saw it contained no alms, was sorely distressed. 

"The world is blind," said he, " and always afflicted with 
wrong belief. Men do not duly honour such a man who is 
so worthy of offerings." 

Coming to the village he stood in the square and shouted 
avidha ! avidha ! so that people collected in crowds. 

When a great crowd, both men and women, had come 
together, they approached the village overseer and asked him, 
"What is the matter? What means this cry of avidha! 
avidha ! 

(304) The overseer replied : — 

"You are indeed a fine crowd, ^ but without any sense of 
generosity. For here is this solitary mendicant treated 
scurvily in your village." 

When they heard the overseer's words, the whole village 
including the women, treated the Buddha with repeated acts 
of kindness. * 

The overseer himself, with his wife and children, said, 
"I shall invite the Tathdgata to live with me in ease and 
comfort." 

And the overseer's own daughter, well-clothed in neat 
garments, and virtuous in her conduct, ministered to the 
Tathdgata. 

^ A verse redaction. 

= It is worth remarking that the terms usually denoting a Buddha are 
in this passage applied to a Pratyekabuddha. 

^ Koti — if the reading is correct — here used as an indefinite number and, 
perhaps, in a depreciatory sense, like the Horatian nos numerus sumus. 

* Sdrdyaniyam karensu. Sdrdyanlya is the Pali sdrdnlya, which, however, 
is used only with kathd in the sense of " polite, courteous, kindly speech," 
or with dhammd, " states of conciliation." Other Buddhist Sanskrit texts 
have samranjanl and samranjanlya {Av$. i. 229 and Divy. 404), which seem 
to confirm its etymology as being from sam -\- raj, " to gladden." The use 
of the word as a substantive, as here, is unusual. Cf. Mahdvastu, 3. 47, 60, 
206. etc. 



254 THE MAIIAVASTU 

Through the overseer's kindness, the devout Buddha, a seer 
exempt from further existence, won final release in that village. 

And when he had thus passed away, the overseer cremated 
him, erected a tope, and honoured the great seer with dance 
and music and song. 

One day, his daughter finding white flowers blown about 
by the wind, gathered them, put them together and wove them 
into a long wreath. 

"May I," said she, "wherever I be reborn, have a chaplet 
round my head like this bright wreath placed here by my 
hands. May this vow of mine be fulfilled." 

After doing this lovely deed in the Buddha's honour she 
passed away, and was reborn as an Apsaras amo7tg the devas 
of Trdyastrimsa. 

A hundred-thousand Apsarases attended to do her honour, 
but of them all she was the fairest and best, a maiden of 
consummate beauty. 

(ZOb)Then when she, the glorious deva maiden, passed 
away hence, she appeared in the womb of King Kriki's wife. 

When the twelfth month had run its course, the king's wife 
gave birth to a girl, beautiful throughout, Mdlim by name. 

. . .1 Exceeding fair and lovely was she, the best of royal 
maidens, daughter of Kdsi's king. 

Virtuous, well-clothed in neat garments, she came and 
stood before King Krikl, raising her joined hands in greeting. 

And as she stood thus in respectful salutation, the king 
spoke to her and said, "Good daughter, I bid you feed the 
brdhmans without wearying." 

Obeying her father's command, Mdlinl ministered to all 
the needs of twenty-thousand brdhmans. 

Now when the brdhmans saw Mdlim, who was so like an 
Apsaras, passion assailed their hearts, and they strove again 
and again to caress her. 

When Mdlinl saw how frivolous, insolent, wanton and 
crude of sense they were, she decided that they were not worthy 
of offerings. 

Going up to the terrace she looked out all around, and espied 
a pupil of the Exalted One, the glorious Buddha. 

^ Lacuna. 



THE STORY OF MALINI 255 

She, King Krtkt's daughter, her body anointed with 
ointment of Kdsi sandal-wood, came to the terrace and looked 
out in all directions. 

And she saw approaching with a stately gait disciples of 
the Buddha, who had put away all sin, and were in their last 
existence. 

{Z06)She sent out a female servant and hade her to greet 
these seers, and when she had greeted them to say to them, 
''Enter, sirs, and sit down." 

And the servant approached, and bowed at the feet of these 
men whose selves were well-developed.'^ Raising her joined 
hands she said, "Enter, sirs, and sit down." 

The disciples of the Buddha, who had overcome passion, 
who were confident, and the wisest in the world, who had put 
away sin, and were in their last existence. 

Entered the chamber of the king's charming daughter, a 
white chamber, well-wrought, ivith fine portals, and guarded 
by sword and spear. 

Here there was a special couch covered with a rug of 
Benares cloth, fringed with sparkling gems and strewn with 
bright flowers. 

They, with hearts untarnished like a fair lotus that grows 
in water and is yet unspotted by it, sat there, rid of all folly. 

To please these noble men Mdlinl with her own hands 
served them gruel of rice made without admixture of black 
grain, and seasoned with various condiments. 

Then the monks said, "Our Master is the wisest in all 
the ivorld, and therefore the great and valiant one must eat 

first". 

Hearing the sound of the word "Buddha " unheard before 
amid the world's tumult, Mdlini rejoiced exceedingly to hear 
that he was even more distinguished than these men. 

Mdlinl then said, "Eat, and afterwards take food to your 
Master {307) and invite the world's Saviour in my name." 

The Exalted One consented to eat on the morrow, along 
with his monks, in the chamber of the king's charming 
daughter. 

Then the two chief disciples of the exalted Kasyapa, namely 

* Literally " whose selves were made-to-become " bhdvitdtmanan. 



256 THE MAHAVASTU 

Ti§ya^ and Bharadvaja, having partaken of Malinl's food, 
hastened to Risivadana, taking some food with them for 
the exalted Ka^yapa. When they had proferred the bowl to 
the exalted Kasyapa, they reverently greeted him in Malinl's 
name. " Lord," said they, " the daughter of Kriki, king of 
Kasi, sends her greeting to the Exalted One and his company 
of disciples and invites him and them to a meal on the morrow 
in the palace of King Kriki. Therefore, let the Exalted One 
out of his compassion consent." 

The exalted Kasyapa accepted the invitation for the sake 
of men ready to be trained. ^ And the men who had come 
with the great disciples, having thus secured the exalted 
Kasyapa's consent, returned and informed MaHni. " The 
exalted Kasyapa," said they, " along with his company of 
monks, has accepted the invitation to eat with you to-morrow." 

When Malini heard these men she stayed awake that night 
preparing plentiful food, both solid and soft, as it had been 
announced to her what time the exalted Kasyapa would eat. 
For the Exalted One pays due regard to time, occasion, circum- 
stance, individuals, and the difference between individuals.^ 
Having dressed early the Exalted One took his alms-bowl and 
robe. And when evening, the time for desisting from the 
alms-round, was come, having taken his breakfast at Magadha,* 
he entered the city of Benares with twenty-thousand monks. 

Buddhas make their entry into a city in the same formation 
as that of a flight of swans. On the right was the great disciple 
Tisya, on the left the great disciple Bharadvaja. Behind them 
came four great disciples ; behind these four came eight ; 
behind the eight came sixteen ; behind the sixteen came 
thirty-two, and behind the thirty-two came sixty-four. 

And so the Exalted One, attended by twenty-thousand 
monks, (308) entered the palace of King Kriki. As he came 

1 Pali Tissa. He was the Buddha's brother. He and Bharadvaja are 
the two chief disciples of Kasyapa (Kassapa) in the Pali texts also. 

* Vaineyava&ena. See note p. 42. 

' Pudgalapardparajna. See note p. 4. 

* Mdgadhe prdtardse vartamdne, literally, " the morning-meal being Magadh- 
ian " — a strange expression, and suspect for several reasons. In spite 
of the present tense of the participle, it has to be translated as though it 
were past. Besides, the Buddha is said to be at Risipatana, near Benares. 
Perhaps, there is an implication of his magic power of rapid motion, i.e. 
that he went from Risipatana to Magadha, breakfasted there, and was back 
again at Risipatana in the evening. 



THE STORY OF MALINI 25; 

into the city, the depressions in the ground rose up so that 
the whole surface was on the same level. All unsightl}^ rocks, 
gravel, and pebbles disappeared into the earth, leaving it 
covered with masses of flowers. Flowering trees blossomed ; 
fruit-bearing trees bore fruit. The ponds in which lotuses had 
been sown, pools full of cool water on the right and on the left 
of the roadway, became covered with fragrant blue, white, 
and red lotuses. Water streamed from the mouths of wells. 
Horses neighed, bulls bellowed and elephants roared. At the 
same time Indra's column left its pedestal, and the whole city 
quaked. The blind saw ; the deaf heard. The insane recovered 
their reason ; the sick were healed, and women with child 
were safely delivered. The naked appeared clad, and the 
fetters of those in bondage were loosened. Jewels rattled in 
their caskets, and earthenware vessels clattered. All the 
seven-stringed lutes in the city, all the Indian lutes, all the 
mandolins, flutes, tabours, drums and cymbals, without any 
cause, ^ without being touched, gave forth music. Parrots, 
idrikas, ^ crows, swans, and peacocks all uttered their notes. 

The Buddha walked without touching the ground for even 
as much as the width of four fingers, and yet the impress of 
the wheel-marks on his feet, complete with a thousand spokes, 
hub, and every part, was visible on the ground. In the sk}' 
devas played on thousands of celestial musical instruments 
and rained down celestial flowers. 

The exalted Kasyapa, with his company of disciples, in this 
manner and with all this splendour, effulgence, pomp and power, 
and honoured by devas and men, entered the palace of King 
Kriki. There, in the inner square room, the Exalted One 
was reverently served by Malini with plentiful and choice food, 
both solid and soft, of correct, (309) excellent, lasting, and 
most exquisite flavour. 

When the Exalted One, with his company of disciples, had 
eaten, washed his hands, and put away his bowl, he instructed, 



* Asankhatdni, the plural, if correct, of Pali asankhata (Sanskrit asamskrita) . 
which, however, is used in the very special sense of " not put together, no^ 
proceeding from a cause," e.g. as epithet of nibbdna. Perhaps we should, 
therefore, read in our text sankhdni, " trumpets," a word often included 
in lists of musical instruments, e.g. in a practically identical passage on 
p. 235 of text above, where, however, it is masculine. 

" See note p. 226. 



25^ THE MAHAvASTU 

roused, inspired and thrilled Malini with a talk on dharma. 
Then he rose up from his seat and departed. 

All the twenty-thousand brahmans who were the permanent 
guests of KrikT, king of Kasi, were incensed when the Exalted 
One, with his company of disciples, was waited upon by Malini 
in the king's court with such great honour and respect. They 
called together the whole multitude of brahmans, several 
thousands of them. At that time and on that occasion the 
whole land was over-ridden with brahmans. 

When they assembled the brahmans were eager to put Malini 
to death. " For," said they, " she is a thorn in the side of 
the brahmans in the king's court. King Kriki was devoted 
to the brahmans, and twenty-thousand of them ate daily at 
his court, while Malini had been charged by her father to 
minister to the brahmans in these words, ' Serve the brahmans 
daily with food.' But she, disdaining the brahmans, has 
introduced recluses into the king's court and has treated them 
with all this veneration and honour. She has served and 
honoured the recluses with the means of subsistence which 
was due to the brahmans at the king's court." 

The brahmans, therefore, resolved to put Malini to death. 
Now it happened that at that time Kriki, king of Kasi, had 
gone on a tour of inspection in the provinces. So the brahmans 
sent a messenger to him to say : " Malini has developed a 
great contempt for the brahmans. She has introduced Kasyapa 
and his company of disciples into the king's court, and showed 
them all reverence and honour, but pays no regard to the 
brahmans. She does not do as she was bidden by your majesty. 
The permanent sustenance which the twenty-thousand brah- 
mans had at the king's court is no longer forthcoming. Malini 
pays no regard to the brahmans." 

As soon as the king heard this he left the provinces, (310) 
and returned to Benares, where he saw several thousands 
of brahmans assembled. He went to them, and they rose up 
to meet the king, greeting him with cries of " Victory to the 
king ! " Then they told him all about Malini 's conduct. 
" Your majesty," said they, " Malini here has become a thorn 
in the side of the brahmans, and they will not be able to receive 
the king's hospitality until Malini is done away with. This is 
the unanimous resolve of the brahman assembly. Your 



THE STORY OF MAL I N I 259 

majesty is devoted to the brahmans, and you must give your 
consideration to this resolve of the brahman assembly. If you 
are still attached to the brahmans, then you will give up 
Malini. But if you do not give up Malini, then you are no 
longer attached to the brahmans." 

As the king was pondering this resolution of the brahman 
assembly, he thought : " This land is full of brahmans, over- 
ridden b}^ them. If I do not give up Malini there will be a riot, 
and then neither Malini nor I will survive." 

One should he ready to sacrifice one individual for the sake 
of a family, a family for the sake of a village, a village 
for the sake of a country, and a whole country for the sake 
of self. 

Thus it was that the king of Kasi delivered up Malini, 
saying, " Let it be as the assembly of brahmans wishes." The 
brahmans replied, " Since Malini is to be given up, let his 
majesty give instructions accordingly." 

Then the king, as he stood with the brahmans outside 
the city, sent a messenger to go and fetch Malini. And the 
messenger reached the court with the king's orders. " Come, 
Malini," said he, " your father has given you up to the 
brahmans, and they will put you to death." 

Malini ran to her mother, while a cry rang through the whole 
palace. And the people of the city at the sound of that cry 
became distressed and bewildered. Great was the lamentation. 

(311) Malini was taken by the messenger from Benares to 
the presence of her father. And when she had thus been taken 
by the messenger, she clung to her father and said, " Here, 
sire, is Malini." The king, sobbing and weeping, handed over 
Malini, thus sacrificed by a father, to the large concourse of 
brahmans. 

When Malini had been given up by her father to the will 
of the brahmans, raising her joined hands she prostrated herself 
before the assembly of the brahmans, and said, " I have one 
request to make, if the assembled brahmans will grant it." 
The brahmans replied, " Speak, what is j^our request ? " 

" I," replied she, " have been given up to you by my father, 
and am now in your power. And it is the brahmans' resolve 
that Malini die. Now this is the request that I make of the 



26o THE MAHAVASTU 

assembly of brahmans, namely, that I be allowed to live for 
seven days in order to give largesse and thus perform a deed 
of merit. After all, 1 duly ministered to the brahmans and 
tended them at my father's bidding. Then at the end of 
seven days put me to death, or do whatsoever is your pleasure." 

The oldest among the brahmans reflected : " Yes, this is 
as Malini says. For a long time she served and fed the brahmans 
by her father's orders. But, afterwards, it was a wicked 
thought that arose in her when she turned away from the 
brahmans and became' devoted to the recluses. Now, when 
she is at liberty again, she will not deign to give more alms 
to the recluses, but for seven days will give them to the 
brahmans instead. Therefore let her request be granted. 
Let her be set free for seven nights. On the seventh day she 
will be put to death." 

Thus the cause which led the brahmans to resolve to kill her 
turned out to be the cause of a renewed term of life for her. 
Her request was thus granted by the brahmans. Malini said 
to herself, " Having gained a week's respite from the large mob 
of brahmans, I must not be remiss and waste ^ the seven nights." 

Free once more, and attended by a great crowd, she entered 
her father's court and appealed to him, saying, " I desire to 
spend these seven days in giving gifts and performing deeds 
of merit(312) wherever I wish." The king replied, " So be it, 
child. Do good wherever you wish." " I would invite to the 
court for seven days," said Malini, " the exalted Buddha Kasyapa 
and his company of disciples." "As you please," answered 
the king. 

Thus the exalted Kasyapa with his company of disciples 
was invited to the king's court for seven daj^s. Out of com- 
passion the exalted Kasyapa complied for the sake of men 
ready to be trained, ^ saying, "The great multitude will be 
converted." 

The brahmans were greatly enraged and designed to kill her 
in spite of the reprieve they had given her.^ But Malini, 

^ Vilupe, from vilumpati, literally, " to tear away, rob, etc.," a unique use 
of this verb in the sense for which our text generally uses ksepayati, a hybrid 
causative to be referred to the two roots ksip, " to throw " and ksi, " to 
destroy." 

2 Vaineyavaiena. See note p. 42. 

3 Literally " to kill her alive," hanitum jlvantlm. 



THE STORY OF MALINI 261 

raising her joined hands, beseeched them, saying, "Forbear 
for the seven days that I may give alms. A giver, O brahmans, 
is but doing as you desire." 

On the first of these seven days the Master with his company 
was entertained in the palace in the presence of Malini's mother 
and father. And the Master preached an edifying discourse 
to the king, who, as well as his court, won a clear^ comprehen- 
sion of dharma. On the second day Kasyapa converted the 
king's five hundred sons, and on the third day their attendants. 
On the fourth day the Buddha converted the king's ministers. 
On the fifth day the Master established the army in the realisa- 
tion of the first stage of the Way. ^ On the sixth day the 
Buddha converted the king's priest, and on the seventh day he 
led the townspeople to the " realisation of stream-winning. "^ 

The king, delighted to see the Buddha and his company, 
invited the exalted Kasyapa to partake of an excellent repast. 
And then, on the seventh day, when she saw that the exalted 
Kasyapa had finished his meal and put away his bowl, Malini 
made a vow. " May I," said she, " reach the end of ill here 
and now. May I have a son like the exalted Kasyapa who 
lives for the welfare of devas and men. Thus let my son, too, 
awake to. the incomparable perfect enlightenment and live for 
the welfare of devas and men." 

Malini(313) had a young brother named Aniyavanta.* He 
too made a vow, saying, " May I have a father like this exalted 
Kasyapa here. May I make an end of ill here and now." 

Thus the exalted Kasyapa converted to the noble dharma 
Kriki, king of Kasi, his court, his five hundred young sons, 
his ministers, his soldiers, and all the townspeople as well. 
And these thought to themselves : " Malini has been a good 
friend to us. Thanks^ to her we have had a clear insight into 
dharma in all things. Her do the brahmans intend to put 
to death. No, we shall sacrifice ourselves rather than give up 
Malini." 

They communicated this resolve to the brahmans. " Let 

^ Literally " without hindrance or obstacle," vinlvarana. 
2 Prathamaphala, " the first fruition." 

^ Srotdpattiphala, " the fruit of entering upon the stream," See pp. 82, 138. 
* Not in the Pali texts, where the only son of King Kriki to be named 
is Pathavindhara or Puthuvindhara. {D.P.N.) 
^ A gamy a. See note p. 198. 



262 THE MAHAVASTU 

us go," said they, " along with MaHnT. She has been a good 
friend to us, and while we live you may not put her to death. 
But when none of us is left then you may kill her." 

So in a great crowd including soldiers, and with Malini at 
their head, they left Benares and proceeded to the place 
where those thousands of brahmans were. And when they 
saw the endless army coming with Mahni, the brahmans were 
sore afraid and terrified. They sent a messenger to the king, 
saying, " Let Malini this day go free. Let her whose punish- 
ment had been fixed ^ be reprieved and set free to go to her 
father's sight. It is not Malini who has offended us. It is 
Kasyapa with his crowd who has offended us, and on him 
will we wreak our vengeance." 

And the brahmans sent ten armed conspirators with a 
thousand wiles at their command to Risivadana, with instruc- 
tions to kill Kasyapa the recluse and his company of disciples. 
But the exalted Kasyapa inspired them with friendliness and 
established them in the truths of the noble dharma. Then 
the brahmans sent another twent}^ armed conspirators to kill 
Kasyapa the recluse. These men came to Risivadana with 
arms and weapons, but they, too, were inspired with friendliness 
by the Exalted One and established in the truths of the noble 
dharma. 

In the same way(314) thirty, forty, and fifty men were sent, 
but all were inspired with friendliness by the exalted Kasyapa 
and established in the truths of the noble dharma. Such is 
the Buddha's power of attraction. Through the Exalted One's 
power of attracting those amenable to conversion, all those 
who were amenable to the Buddha among those thousands 
of brahmans and w^ere sent to him, were established in the 
truths of the noble dharma by the Exalted One. And there 
remained but a few thousands who were still sunk in 
error. 

Then those who had been converted to dharma thought : 
" These brahmans do not know the Buddha's magnanimity. 
If they were to go to the exalted Kasyapa they would derive 
great profit." So they sent a messenger to the brahmans, 

^ Reading, on Senart's suggestion, avadhritadandd, " fixed punishment," 
for the first of the two uddhritadandd's (" lifted punisiiment ") in this sentence. 
The second has been rendered " reprieved." 



THE STORY OF mALINI 263 

saying, " The exalted Kasyapa, the Buddha, is magnanimous, 
full of great compassion, and bent on doing good in the world. 
Friends, do not be guilty of this crime of violence against 
Kasyapa or even^ against his community of monks. But, 
leaving conceit and pride behind you, come all of you to bow 
at the feet of the exalted Kasyapa. Great will be the good 
you will derive therefrom." 

The Buddha's kindly speech^ is sincere, untinged with 
malice, beneficial,^ pure, sweet to others, and apt. 

The Buddha's kindly speech gives delight. It is not 
blustering,'^ but destroys the fires of evil. It is faultless 
and pleasant. 

The Buddha's kindly speech is without impediment and 
defect. It is not untruthful, nor false, but truthful and 
apposite. 

The speech of him who is infinitely wise is replete with 
the knowledge of what is to be known. It has no beginning 
nor end. It is inimitable. It has power over man, and is 
well-ordered. 

He speaks the truth without malice. Ever is he kindly 
of heart to others. ^(315) Rich in the highest good that brings 
blessing to men — such is this perfect eloquence. 

Penetrating and gushing^ is his speech, in the high, 
the low and the middle tone, correct in measure and in sound, 
and pure — such is this perfect eloquence. 

Wedded to perfect compassion and joy, wedded to the ten 
fruitions'^ is the speech that he utters. It has the eight quali- 

^ Reading °antaso for °antike. So Senart. Antasa: is Buddhist Sanskrit 
for Sanskrit * antamasah, Pali antamaso, in same sense. The second and third 
forms are adverbial formations from the superlative antama, while the first 
is from the positive anta. 

2 For a similar description of the Buddha's voice see above p. 134. 

2 Literally, "is it not beneficial ? " nam ca arthavatl, nam ca being 
interpreted, with Senart, as a form of nanu ca. 

* Nirvamhanl, connected by Senart with Pali vamha (for vamhha), " brag- 
ging, boasting, despising." See Pali Dictionary. 

^ Reading paramaitracitta for punar maitra of the text. So Senart. 

• Restoring galita of MSS. for gadita of text, as Senart decides to do in 
his notes. 

' This set of ten fruitions {sc. of the Path) do not seem to be referred to 
elsewhere, unless the reference is to the ten haldni of a Tathagata. Miss 
I. B. Horner, in a communicated note, suggests that the ten fruitions may be 
the eight factors in the Ariyan way with the addition of sammdndna and 
sammdvimutti, as at ^. 5. 240 ff., and D. 2. 217. 



264 THE MAHAvASTU 

ties and^ the four modes of the Buddha's voice — such is this 
perfect eloquence. 

The speech that he utters has the five good qualities. Full 
of conviction is it, and dispelling doubt. No evil at all does 
it work. Such is the nature of the supreme of men. 

A nature endowed with excellent qualities, which rules 
the great host of light. Renouncing the fair treasure of kith 
and kin it goes forth to larger joy. 

When she saw the complete transfiguration of him who 
was preparing to win the source of immortality, the best 
of trees of incomparable fragrance, Nanda's daughter^ boiled 
him gruel of rice. 

{316)Thus do these men of inferior understanding revile 
Kdsyapa the seer, the eloquent preacher, the irreproachable, 
the sterling^ man who does not transgress. 

Him, the sinless, do these men revile, him who is tranquil, 
who has abandoned sin, who rejoices in the falling off of 
the fetters of existence, who is calm and well-controlled in 
mind. 

We, monks and faithful laymen, who have great joy in 
Kdsyapa's teaching, gather here to adore him, the burning, 
fiery flame. 

He, the supreme of two-footed creatures, is a giver of insight; 
he is a guide. Putting off pride and conceit we gather here 
to adore Kdsyapa. 

The brahmans, however, were in the class of those who are 

1 These eight quaUties of the Buddha's voice, to which Senart could find 
no reference, are described at D. 2. 211, as follows: {saro hoti) vissattho ca 
vinneyyo ca manju ca saranlyo ca bindti ca avisdri ca gambhiro ca ninnddi, 
" fluent, intelligible, sweet, audible, continuous, distinct, deep, and resonant." 
For other references see Pali Dictionary (s.v. atih'anga). But there does not 
seem to be any reference elsewhere to the four modes (prakdrds) of the 
Buddha's voice nor to the set of five qualities referred to below, unless the 
latter are the five first ones in the pairs of vacanapatha at M. i. 126. 

2 Senart refers this passage to the episode of Nanda's daughter feeding 
the Buddha in the forest. The following stanzas then relate to the 
vituperation of the Buddha or bodhisattva on that occasion by the five monks, 
who were incensed at his abandoning the practice of austerities. {Lai. Vist. 
331.) But it must be remembered that in Bu A. 263 his wife Sunanda is said 
to have given Kasyapa rice-gruel just before his enlightenment, and the 
allusion to Kasyapa's transfiguration in our text would seem to imply that 
the reference is to that incident and that Nandajata (Nanda's daughter) 
and Sunanda are identical. In either case the verses are an interpolation 
as far as the story of Malini is concerned. 

* Purusdjdniya, " a noble steed of a man." See p. 185. 



GHATIKARA and JYOTIPALA 265 

fixed in wrongfulness/ and even if a thousand Buddhas were 
to preach dharma to them, they would be incapable of under- 
standing it and of believing in the Buddha, the dharma and 
the Sangha. 

Armed with sticks and cudgels they rushed on the exalted 
Kasyapa. The Exalted One called up the goddess of earth, ^ 
and she, by her own power, appeared and stood as tall as 
a palm-tree in front of Kasyapa. He spoke to her, saying, 
" Who are these brahmans here ? " " These," she repHed, 
" are mine, the earth-bound^ slaves of the goddess of earth." 
The Exalted One said to her, " Deal with them, therefore, 
as slaves are wont to be dealt with." 

Then the goddess, plucking up the trunk of a big palm- 
tree(317) by its roots, advanced against the brahmans and 
brought it heavily to the ground. Thus the terrified brahmans 
were utterly destroyed. 

Here ends the story of Malini in the Mahdvastu-Avaddna, 

GHATIKARA AND JYOTIPALA 

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was 
touring in Kosala, accompanied by a large crowd of five- 
hundred monks. He came on a visit to Marakaranda, * a town 
of Kosala, and sojourned there in a forest grove. 

One evening the Exalted One emerged from his seclusion 
and left his sojourning-place. He looked up, he looked to 
the ten quarters, and he looked down. With his gaze on 
the level ground he smiled, and walked on a long way. 

Now the venerable Ananda saw him doing all this, ° and when 

* Reading mithyatvaniyatardsl for niyatva°, so as to make the word identical 
with the name of one of the three rdsls, two of which are referred to above 
p. 138, and all the three at 3, 318 (text). 

2 Another interesting sidelight on the relations between Buddhism and 
primitive belief. With this may be compared the incident of a yaksa {yakkha 
vajirapdnin — ^akra = Indra) appearing from below the ground to confirm 
the Buddha's words to Saccaka the Jain. M. i. 231. (The translator is 
indebted for this reference to Miss I. B. Horner.) 

' Reading, with Senart and as the context seems to require, °nisritd for 
'^nisritd. 

* Called Vehalinga (v.l. Vekalinga, Vebhalinga) in the Pali texts, which 
may correspond to its earlier name of Verudinga. (See below p. 267.) The 
Pali texts, however, do not seem to mention the newer name of Marakaranda. 

^ The text repeats the narration of the actions in detail. 



266 THEMAHAVAvSTU 



he had seen it he repaired to where the large body of monks 
was, and said to them, "Behold, the Buddha, the Exalted One, 
emerged from his seclusion in the evening, and left his 
sojourning-place. He looked up, he looked to the ten quarters, 
and he looked down. And now with his gaze on the level ground 
he is taking a long walk, with a smile on his face. Now 
brethren, Tathagatas, Arhans, and Buddhas do not smile 
without reason or cause. What if, brethren, we were now to 
go to the Exalted One and ask him the meaning of this ? 
As the Exalted One will explain it, so will we believe." 

"So be it, O venerable one," assented the monks. 

Then the venerable Ananda with those monks went to the 
Exalted One, and, after bowing at his feet, stood to one side. 
As he thus stood on one side the venerable Ananda(318) said 
to the Exalted One, " Behold, I saw the Exalted One emerging 
from his seclusion at evening and leaving his sojourning-place. 
He looked up ; he looked down ; he looked to the ten quarters, 
and then with his gaze fixed on the level ground he walked 
a long way, with a smile on his face. Now, Ta.thagatas, Arhans, 
and Buddhas do not smile without cause or reason. Lord, 
what is the reason, what is the cause of thy smiling ? " 

When this had been said, the Exalted One replied to the 
venerable Ananda, " You see that plot of ground, Ananda ? " 

" Yes, Lord." 

" That plot of ground, Ananda, was the site of the exalted 
Kasyapa's retreat.^ 

" You see that plot of ground, Ananda ? " 

" Yes, Lord." 

" That plot of ground, Ananda, was the site of the exalted 
Kasyapa's hut. 

" You see that plot of ground, Ananda ? " 

" Yes, Lord." 

" That plot of ground, Ananda, was the site of the exalted 
Kasyapa's cloister. ^ 



^ The text has dgama, which is obviously to be emended into drama. 

2 The text has cankramasasti. Sasti is obviously corrupt as there can be 
no question of sixty cloisters or terraced walks. Senart suggests bhiimi, 
" site," to correspond with the vastu of the other terms. Miss I. B. Horner, 
in a letter to the translator, makes the more plausible suggestion that the 
reading should be cankramaidld, " hall for pacing up and down," corresponding 
with cankamanasdld at V. i. 139. 



GHATIKARA and JYOTIPALA 267 

" You see that plot of ground, Ananda ? '* 

" Yes, Lord." 

" On that plot of ground, Ananda, were the seats of the three 
Tathagatas, Arhans and Buddhas, the exalted Krakucchanda, 
the exalted Kanakamuni, and the exalted Kasyapa." 

Then the venerable Ananda, amazed, astonished, stirred and 
thrilled, went in a very great hurry to that plot of ground 
and folded his robe in four. Raising his joined hands to the 
Exalted One he said to him, " Let the Exalted One sit here^ 
as on an appointed seat. Then will this plot of ground have 
been made use of by four Tathagatas, Arhans, and Buddhas, 
by the exalted Krakucchanda, by the exalted Kanakamuni, 
by the exalted Kasyapa, and now by thee. Let the Exalted 
One, therefore, sit down as on an appointed seat." 

And the venerable Ananda, having bowed at the feet of 
the Exalted One (319) sat down on one side. The monks, too, 
having bowed at the feet of the Exalted One sat down on 
one side. To Ananda thus seated on one side the Exalted One 
said, " Would you like, Ananda, to hear from the Tathagata 
an instructive tale relating to a former existence of his which 
is connected with this town of Marakaranda } " 

When this had been said, the venerable Ananda replied, 
" Now is the time. Lord, now is the occasion, vSugata, to tell 
this tale which will be profitable to the monks. For the monks, 
having heard it from the lips of the Exalted One, having 
grasped it from the lips of the Exalted One, will hold it for 
truth." 

Then the Exalted One said to the venerable Ananda : — 

Once upon a time, Ananda, in the time of the exalted 
Kasyapa, this town of Marakaranda was a brahman village 
called Verudinga.2 Now in this brahman village of Verudinga 
there lived a potter named Ghatikara,' who was a servant 
of the exalted Kasyapa. Ghatikara the potter had a young 
brahman friend named Jyotipala, companion and playmate* 

^ I.e. on the robe. 

^ See above p. 265. 

^ The story of Ghatikara and Jyotipala is given also in the Ghatikara Sutta 
at M. 2. 45 ff„ while references to them are made in /. i. 43, Bu. XXV, 10, 
5. I. 34 f., and Miln. 222. 

*■ Literally, " with whom he played at making mud-pies," sahapdmsukri- 
danaka. 



268 THE MAHAVASTU 

of his youth, dear to him and beloved, who was the son of 
a brahman of good birth. ^ 

Now, Ananda, the exalted Ka^yapa happened to be touring 
in Ko^ala along with a great company of seven thousand 
monks. He came on a visit to the brahman village of Verudinga 
in Ko^ala, and stayed there in the forest grove. Ghatikara 
the potter heard that the exalted Kasyapa while touring in 
Kosala had come on a visit to the brahman village of Verucjinga 
and was staying there in a certain forest grove. He went then 
to the young brahman Jyotipala and said to him, " I have 
heard, my dear^ Jyotipala, that the exalted Kasyapa in the 
course of his tour of Kosala, along with his company of seven 
thousand monks, has come on a visit to the brahman village 
of Verudinga, (320) and is staying there in a certain forest grove. 
My dear Jyotipala, what if we were to go to the exalted Kasyapa 
and see, adore, and honour him ? " 

When this had been said, the young brahman Jyotipala 
replied to Ghatikara the potter, " Look here, Ghatikara, what 
have I to do with these shaveling ascetics that I should go 
and see them and do them honour? " Twice and thrice, 
Ananda, did Ghatikara the potter speak thus to the young 
brahman Jyotipala [and each time the latter replied]^ " What 
have I to do with these shaveling ascetics that I should go 
and see them and do them honour ? " 

Then, Ananda, Ghatikara the potter considered what means 
there might be by which the young brahman Jyotipala should 
be induced to go to the exalted Kasyapa, to see and honour 
him. And this is what he thought of. 

Not far from that forest grove is a lotus-pond called Sumuka. 
** What if I and the young brahman Jyotipala," thought he, 
" were to go and bathe our heads in the lotus-pond Sumuka ? " 
So he went to him and said, " My dear Jyotipala, let us go 
and bathe our heads in the lotus-pond Sumuka." 

When this had been said, the young brahman Jyotipala 



1 Ajanya for djanya, which corresponds to Pali djanna, the contracted form 
of djanlya, Skt. djdneya. Cf. note p. 185, 

2 Samyag, a form due to faulty Sanskritisation of Pali samma (which some 
relate to Sanskrit saumya, " my friend "), through confusion with Pali sammd, 
" perfect " which regularly gives Sanskrit samyag. For other suggested 
etymologies see Andersen : Pali Reader, s.v. 

' Lacuna in text. 



GHATIKARA and JYOTIPALA 269 

replied to Ghatikara the potter, " Well then, Ghatikara, 
let it be as you wish."^ 

Then, Ananda, Ghatikara the potter, taking his bathing- 
mantle, and accompanied by the young brahman Jyotipala, 
went to the lotus-pond to bathe. After bathing, the young 
brahman Jyotipala stood on the bank tidying his hair. And 
Ghatikara the potter said to the young brahman Jyotipala, 
" My dear Jyotipala, the exalted Kasyapa is actually in the 
forest grove here. What if we were to go, my dear Jyotipala, 
to the exalted Kasyapa to see and honour him ? " 

When this had been said, the young brahman Jyotipala (321) 
answered, " Look here, Ghatikara, what have I to do with 
these ascetics that I should go and see them and do them 
honour ? " 

Then, Ananda, Ghatikara the potter seized the young 
brahman Jyotipala by the neck, and said to him, " My dear 
Jyotipala, the exalted Kasyapa is actually in the forest-grove 
here. Let us go to the exalted Kasyapa to see him and to do 
him honour." But the young brahman Jyotipala pushed him 
off and went his way. 

Ghatikara the potter hurried after him, and, seizing him 
by his braided hair, said to him, " My dear Jyotipala, the 
exalted Kasyapa is actually staying in the forest grove here. 
Let us go to the exalted Kasyapa to see him and do him 
honour." 

Then, venerable Ananda, Jyotipala thought, " It cannot be 
without reason that Ghatikara the potter should seize me by 
the hair as I come from washing my head, although I resist him, 
and although he is of low birth." So he said, " Well then, 
Ghatikara, let it be as you wish." 

Thus, Ananda, Ghatikara the potter along with the young 
brahman Jyotipala went to the exalted Kasyapa, and, having 
bowed at his feet, stood to one side. And as he thus stood 
on one side, Ghatikara the potter said to the exalted Kasyapa, 
" Lord, this young brahman Jyotipala was the friend of my 
boyhood and my playmate. He is dear to me and beloved. 

^ Sukhl bhava yasyeddni kdlam manyase, literally " be lucky in what you 
think it is time now (to do)." Cf. Pali yassa kdlam mannasi, rendered in 
Pali Dictionary by " good-bye." But the context and the presence of sukhl 
bhava in our phrase require some translation like that given above. 



270 THEMAHAVASTU 

He is the son of a brahman of good birth. Teach him, Lord, 
and instruct him." 

And so, Ananda, the Exalted One initiated the young 
brahman Jyotipala in the three refuges ^ and in the five 
precepts. 2 But Jyotipala said to the exalted Kasyapa, " Lord, 
I am not yet prepared to be initiated in all the five precepts, 
for there is a troublesome and ill-tempered man whom I must 
put to death." 

When this had been said, the Exalted One asked, " Who, 
Jyotipala, is this troublesome and ill-tempered man whom you 
must put to death ? "(322) Jyotipala replied, " Lord, it is 
this Ghatikara the potter here. He seized me by the hair 
just as I was coming from bathing my head. And then he 
said, * Let us go to the exalted Kasyapa to see him and do 
him honour '." 

3 

" Let it be, sir, as Ghatikara the potter wishes. I am now 
prepared to be initiated in the five precepts." 

Then, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa exhorted Ghatikara 
the potter and the j^oung brahman Joytipala, instructing, 
rousing, gladdening, thrilling and inciting them with a discourse 
on dharma. Then Ghatikara the potter and the young brahman 
Jyotipala bowed at the feet of the exalted Kasyapa and went 
their way. 

Before they had gone far the young brahman Jyotipala said 
to Ghatikara the potter, " I say, Ghatikara, you know the 
perfect dharma taught by the exalted Kasyapa just as well 
as I do." Ghatikara answered,* " Yes, my dear Jyotipala. 
I know the perfect dharma taught by the exalted Kasyapa 
just as you do." Jyotipala asked, " Why then, Ghatikara, 
do you not go forth from home into the homeless state with 
the exalted Kasyapa ? " Ghatikara replied, " My dear 
Jyotipala, I have aged parents w^hose sight is failing, and there 

^ I .e., Buddha, dharma and Sangha. 

' ^iksdpaddni, Pali sikkhdpaddni, five rules or precepts enjoining the sllas 
or points of good conduct. (See p. i68,) 

^ There is an evident lacuna here of a passage in which Jyotipala finishes 
his account of his friend's conduct, and the latter, or Kasyapa, by some means 
or other mollifies him. 

* In this interlocution, as on a few other occasions, the introductory phrase 
evamukte, Ananda, " when this was said, Ananda," is omitted in translation, 
in order to avoid close repetition of the same words, 



GHATIKARA ANDJYOTIPALA 271 

is no one else but me to look after them. That is why I do not 
embrace the religious life with the exalted Kasyapa." 

Not long afterwards, Ananda, the young brahman Jyotipala, 
becoming dissatisfied with his home life turned his thoughts 
to the religious life. He went to Ghatikara the potter and said 
to him, " Come, my dear Ghatikara, (323) I am going to express 
to the exalted Kasyapa my resolve to take up the religious Ufe, 
and I shall go forth from home into the homeless state." 

So Ghatikara the potter repaired with the young brahman 
Jyotipala to the exalted Kasyapa, and, having bowed at his 
feet, stood to one side. And as he thus stood on one side, 
Ghatikara the potter said to the exalted Kasyapa, " Lord, 
this young brahman Jyotipala was the friend of my boyhood 
and my playmate. He is dear to me and beloved, and is 
the son of a brahman of good birth. Ordain him, Lord, and 
admit him to the community." 

Then, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa addressed his monks, 
saying, " Monks, ordain and admit the young brahman Jyoti- 
pala." And the monks ordained him. 

Shortly after the admission of Jyotipala as monk, the 
exalted Kasyapa left Kosala and went touring in Kasi. And, 
venerable Ananda, as the exalted Kasyapa was touring in 
Kasi with his great company of seven thousand monks, he 
made for and reached the Kasi city of Benares, and stayed 
at Risivadana in the Deer Park. King Kriki heard that the 
exalted Kasyapa was touring in Kasi with a great company 
of seven thousand monks and had made for and reached the 
Ka^i city of Benares, and was staying at Risivadana in the 
Deer Park. 

Then, Ananda, Kriki, king of Kasi, instructed a certain man, 
saying, "Go, man, to the exalted Kasyapa and greet him in 
my name, and say, ' Kriki, king of Kasi bows at the feet of 
the exalted Kasyapa and inquires after his health, well-being, 
strength, ease, and comfort. He invites him and his company 
of monks to eat at his house on the morrow, if the exalted 
Kasyapa will consent." 

When this had been said, Ananda,^ the exalted Kasyapa 
replied to the man, " It shall be as Kriki(324) king of Kasi, 

* There is a lacuna here representing the repetition of the king's message 
to Kasyapa. 



272 THE MAHAVASTU 

his son and his court wish."^ And when the man had 
ascertained the Exalted One's consent, he returned to Benares, 
went to King Kriki and said to him, " Your majesty, I saluted 
the exalted Kasyapa in your name. I inquired after his health, 
well-being, ease, strength, and comfort, and invited him and 
his company of disciples to a meal to-morrow. The exalted 
Kasyapa complies with your wish." 

Then, Ananda, KrikT, king of Ka^i, spent that night preparing 
a plentiful supply of choice food, solid and soft. And when 
the night was past he bade a man go to the exalted Kasyapa 
and say to him, " Lord, it is time to eat at the house of KrikT, 
king of Kasi, and we await the Exalted One's pleasure." ^ 
The man, saying "So be it, your majesty," in obedience to 
Kriki, king of Kasi, left the city of Benares and went to the 
Deer Park at Risivadana. And when he had come to the 
exalted Kasyapa and bowed at his feet, he said to him, " Lord, 
it is time to eat at the house of Kriki, king of Kasi, and we 
await our lord's pleasure." 

When the exalted Kasyapa heard the man, he dressed 
betimes, took his alms-bowl and robe, and, attended and 
honoured by his monks, set out for the city of Benares. 

Now, Ananda, at that time Kriki, king of Ka^i, accompanied 
by his sons and ministers was standing at the door of his palace, 
looking out for the approach of the exalted Kasyapa and his 
company of disciples. When they were yet a long way off 
he saw them, and, having seen them, he went to meet the 
exalted Kasyapa and his company of disciples. He bowed 
at their feet and led them in great honour (325) to his palace. 

At that time, Ananda, the palace of Kriki, king of Kasi, had 
a terrace called Kokanada.^ It was new, having but recently 
been completed, and had not been used before by any recluse 
or brahman. And Kriki, king of Kasi, said to the exalted 



1 Sukhl bhavatu Kriki . . . yasya ddni kdlam manyase, a modification 
of the phrase noted above, p. 269. Note that bhavatu is 3rd and manyase 
13 2nd person. Literally, " Good luck to Kriki in what you think it is time 
now (to do)." But as the messenger represents the king the change of person 
does not materially affect the idiom. 

2 Yasya ddni bhagavan kdlam manyasi. See p. 269. 

^ For the name compare Kokanada, " Lotus," the name of the newly built 
palace of Bodhirajakumara, to which he invited the Buddha. According 
to Buddhaghosa, it was so called because it was built in the form of a hanging 
lotus. {D.P.N.) 



GHATIKARA a nd JYOTTPALA 273 

Kasyapa, " Here, at m}^ house, Lord, I have a new terrace 
called Kokanada, but recently finished and not used yet by 
any recluse or brahman. Let the Exalted One be the first 
to use it, and when he has used it, then we shall afterwards 
make use of it." 

When this had been said, the exalted Kasyapa replied to 
Kriki, king of Kasi, " Be it as you wish."^ 

So, King Kriki arranged seats on the terrace which was 
called Kokanada, and had solid and soft food served out. 
And the Exalted One mounted the terrace Kokanada and sat 
down, he and his disciples each on the seat assigned to him. 
With his own hands Kriki, king of Kasi, regaled and served 
the exalted Kasyapa with solid and soft food, while seven men 
waited on each member of the company with seven kinds of 
dishes and with parnakulaka^ rice. 

When Kriki, king of Kasi, saw that the exalted Kasyapa 
had finished his meal, washed his hands and put away his bowl, 
he took a low stool, and going up to the exalted Kasyapa, 
he bowed at his feet and sat down to one side. And as he thus 
sat down on one side, Ananda, he said to the exalted Kasyapa, 
" May it please the Exalted One to reside at Benares for the 
rainy season. I, Lord, shall have a retreat made, and in it 
seven thousand gabled buildings, seven thousand seats, seven 
thousand paths, and seven thousand horses. And I shall 
appoint seven thousand park attendants who will individually 
serve each one of the brotherhood. With a service of this kind 
they shall wait upon the Exalted One and his company of 
monks." 

When this had been said, (326) Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa 
replied to Kriki, king of Kasi, " No, your majesty, it is not 
possible for me to spend the rainy season among the Vajjis.''^ 

A second and a third time did Kriki make the same request 
and Kasyapa the same reply. * 

And, Ananda, when Kriki, king of Kasi, saw that the 

1 Sukhl bhava, etc. See above p. 272. 

* It cannot be known what particular sort of rice is meant here, as the word 
is otherwise unknown. But the reading is confirmed by the occurrence 
of the same word on p. 329, where all the MSS. are agreed as to the reading. 

' See note p. 219. 

* Literally " This (pass age) is to be repeated a s econd and a third time, 
dvitiyatti pi tritiyani evameva kartavyam. 



274 THE MAHAVASTU 

exalted Ka^yapa would not consent to stay in Benares for 
the rainy season he cried and wept. And he asked the exalted 
Ka^yapa, " Has the Lord any other servant such as me ? " 

The exalted Ka^yapa replied^ to Kriki, king of Ka^i, " Indeed, 
your majesty, you are an imperfect servant of mine." 
King Kriki then asked, " Who, Lord, is a more satisfactory 
and perfect servant than I ? " The exalted Kasyapa replied, 
" In your domain, O great king, there is a brahman village 
called Verudinga. There lives a servant of mine, Ghatikara." 
King Kriki asked, " What manner of wealth has Ghatikara 
with which he has served the Exalted One and his community?" 

The exalted Kai^yapa replied, " Your majesty, Ghatikara 
the potter has all his life abstained from murder ; all his life 
he has abstained from theft ; all his life he has abstained 
from immorality ; all his life he has abstained from false speech ; 
all his life he has abstained from intoxication by strong spirits, 
rum and wine ; all his life he has abstained from dance, music 
and song ; all his life he has abstained from the use of scents, 
garlands, and cosmetics ; all his life he has abstained from 
lying on high and large beds ; all his life he has abstained 
from taking food at the wrong time ; ^ and all his life he has 
abstained from hoarding gold and silver. 

" Ghatikara the potter, your majesty, does not dig up earth 
himself.^ But wherever there are heaps of earth thrown up 
by mice or washed down or (327) scooped out by water, it is 
there that he takes his earth and makes it into pots. These 
he sets down on the cross-roads, and those people who want 
pots pay for them by putting down in their place a measure 
of kidney-beans, or beans, or rice. They take the pots with 
them without more ado, and go their way. 

" Such, your majesty, is the wealth of Ghatikara the potter 
wherewith he serves the Tathagata and his community. And 
his parents are infirm, aged and blind. There was one occa- 
sion, your majesty, when I was staying in the brahman village 
of Verudinga. One morning, I dressed early, took my 
alms-bowl and robe and went round the brahman village of 

1 Evamukte Ananda, " when this had been said, Ananda," is omitted in 
the rest of this dialogue. 

2 I.e. " in the afternoon." The correction of vikdra, which makes no sense, 
into vikdla, is imperative here, although Senart does not remark on it. 

8 I.e., for fear of harming animal life. 



ghatikAra and jyotipAla 275 

Verudinga begging for alms. And as I was making my way 
systematically^ through the village in quest of alms, I came 
to the house of Ghatikara the potter and stopped there. Now 
at that time Ghatikara the potter was absent from home, but 
his parents said to the Tathagata, ' Lord, thy servant is gone 
out, but in the store-loft there is curry and rice-gruel. Let 
the Exalted One help himself thereto.' And I, your majestj^ 
accepted the curry and rice-gruel from the kindly folk,^ ate 
them and went my way. 

" Then Ghatikara the potter returned home, and saw that 
the curry and rice-gruel in the store-loft had been partaken 
of. When he saw this he asked his parents. * Father,' said he, 
' who has helped himself to the curry and rice-gruel in the 
store-loft of Ghatikara ? ' His parents replied, ' Son, it was 
the exalted Kasyapa.' 

" Then, your majesty, Ghatikara the potter reflected, 
* Now great is my gain and well-won in that the exalted 
Kasyapa, even in my absence ^ has shown me exceeding great 
trust.' And joy and gladness did not leave him for a fortnight, 
nor his infirm, aged and blind parents for a week. 

(328)" There was another occasion, your majesty, when the 
Tathagata had not enough straw to roof his hut in the woods. 
r bade the monks to go and fetch straw from the house of 
Ghatikara the potter. And the monks went. 

" Now at that time again, your majesty, Ghatikara the 
potter was away from home. The monks saw no straw there, 
but they did see the new roof of the potter's workshop. So 
they returned to the Tathagata, bowed at his feet and said 
to him, ' Lord, thy servant is absent from home, nor is there 
any straw there. But his workshop has a new roof.' 

" When this had been said, the Tathagata said to his monks, 
' Go, monks, to the house of Ghatikara the potter, and strip 
the straw off the new roof of his workshop and bring it here.' 
And the monks went to the house of Ghatikara the potter 
and stripped off the straw on the new roof of his workshop. 

" The parents of Ghatikara the potter asked the monks. 



1 Literally " part by part," savaddnam, see p. 250. 
' Devatdhi. 

' Literally, " even (when he was) alone," ydvadeko, but the reading is 
doubtful. 



276 THE MAHAVASTU 

* Who is it that strips off the straw from the new roof of 
Ghatikara the potter's workshop ? ' The monks answered 
them, ' Good folk, since there is not enough straw for the roof 
of the hut of the exalted Kasyapa and his monks, this straw 
is being taken there.' Ghatikara the potter's parents then said 
to the monks, ' Take it, take it for your own.' 

" Then, your majesty, Ghatikara the potter returned home. 
He saw that the straw had been taken away from the new roof 
of his workshop, and when he had seen this he questioned 
his parents. ' Father,' said he, ' who (329) has stripped the 
straw off the new roof of Ghatikara the potter's workshop ? ' 
His parents replied, ' Son, the exalted Kasyapa had not enough 
straw for his hut in the woods, and the monks have taken 
your straw there.' 

" Then, your majesty, Ghatikara the potter reflected, * Now 
great is my gain and well-won in that the exalted Kasyapa 
even in my absence^ has again shown me exceeding great 
trust.' Joy and gladness did not leave him for a whole month, 
nor his blind parents for a fortnight. 

" I am sure, your majesty, that Ghatikara the potter would 
not take as much umbrage as you do because the exalted 
Kasyapa does not consent to stay for the rainy season in the 
city of Benares." 

Then, Ananda, Kriki, king of Kasi, reflected, " Great is my 
gain and well-won in that such a holy man dwells in ray realm. 
For men are fields wherein one may win merit." ^ So Kriki, 
the king of Kasi, sent to Ghatikara the potter seven cartloads 
of parnakula rice, fresh water, sesamum oil, salt and cooked 
food. 

Then, Ananda, Kasyapa taught, roused, gladdened, and 
thrilled Kriki, king of Kasi, with a discourse on dharma. 
And rising from his seat he went his way. 

Then, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa, after finishing his meal 
on his return from the alms-round, said to his monks, " Sit 
down together, monks, and cross your legs, as I am doing. 
I shall not uncross them until the hearts of all the seven 



^ Ydvadeko, see p. 275. 

' Punyaksetrdni. Cf. D. 3. 5, of the sangha or community, anuttaram 
punna-kkhettam lokassdti, " for it is the world's unsurpassed field for (sowing) 
merit." 



GHATIKARA and JYOTIPALA 277 

thousand monks seated on these couches are completely rid 
of the d^ravas." 

" So be it, Lord," said the monks in obedience to the exalted 
Kasyapa. And they sat down together crossing their legs. 

Afterwards, Ananda, this mental reflection arose in the 
monk Jyotipala as he was meditating in solitude and seclusion : 
(330) "Ah, may I in some future time become a Tathagata, an 
Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, 
a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver 
of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. And after 
gaining experience of this world, of the world beyond, of the 
worlds of devas, of Mara, of brahmans and recluses, and of the 
offspring of devas and men, then may I here in the Deer Park 
at Risivadana near Benares set rolling the wheel of dharma 
that is twelve-fold and that can not be rolled by recluse, 
brahman, deva, Mara or anyone else. Reborn in the world 
again, together with dharma, may I thus teach the dharma 
that is endowed with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, 
as this exalted Kasyapa now does. Thus may devas and men 
deem me worthy to hearken to and believe in, as they now do 
the exalted Kasyapa. May I become all this for the welfare 
and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for the world, 
for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare and happi- 
ness of devas and men. May the hosts of asuras dwindle ; 
may the hosts of devas wax great. "^ 

Now, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa, becoming aware of 
such a mental reflection on the part of the monk Jyotipala, 
told a certain monk to go to the monk Jyotipala and say 
to him, " Your master calls you, venerable Jyotipala. Come 
to the Tathagata." In obedience to the exalted Kasyapa 
that monk went to the monk Jyotipala and said to him, 
*' Venerable Jyotipala, your master calls you. Come to the 
Exalted One." "So be it, venerable sir," said the venerable 
Jyotipala, and in obedience to the monk, he went to the 
exalted Kasyapa, bowed at his feet and sat down to one side. 

And as the venerable monk Jyotipala thus sat down on one 
side, the exalted Kasyapa said to him, " Jyotipala, did not 
this mental reflection arise in Jyotipala as he was meditating 
in solitude and seclusion ? : — ' May I in some future time become 

1 See note p. 37. 



278 THE MAHAVASTU 

a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with 
knowledge and virtue, a Sugata,(331) an unsurpassed knower 
of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas 
and men. And after gaining experience of this world, of the 
world beyond, of the worlds of devas, Mara, brahmans, and 
recluses, and of the offspring of devas and men, then may I 
here in the Deer Park at Risivadana near Benares, set rolling 
the wheel of dharma which is thrice-revolved and twelve-fold^ 
and may not be rolled by recluse, brahman, deva, Mara, 
Brahma or any one else. Reborn in the world again, together 
with dharma, may I thus teach the dharma that is endowed 
with and altogether perfect in good qualities, as this exalted 
Kasyapa now does. Thus may I preserve in harmony a 
community of monks as the exalted Kasyapa now does. Thus 
may devas and men deem me worthy to hearken to and believe 
in, as they now do the exalted Kasyapa. May I become all 
this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of com- 
passion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, 
for the welfare and happiness of devas and men. May the 
hosts of asuras dwindle ; may the hosts of devas wax great '." 

When this had been said, Ananda, the monk Jyotipala replied 
to the exalted Kasyapa, " It was so. Lord." Then the exalted 
Kasyapa said to the monk Jyotipala, " Therefore, Jyotipala, 
give to the community of monks, with the Buddha at their 
head, this seat of gold and a suit of garments. For when you 
have performed this meritorious deed,^ devas and men will 
deem you worthy to hearken to and believe in." 

So, Ananda, (332) the monk Jyotipala gave a golden seat and 
a suit of garments to the community of monks, with the Buddha 
at their head. Then the exalted Kasyapa smiled, and pro- 
claimed of the monk Jyotipala, " You, Jyotipala, in some 
future time will become a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect 
Buddha, endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an 
unsurpassed knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, 
and a teacher of devas and men. Having gained experience 
of this world and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, 
Mara and Brahma, of the race of brahmans, recluses, devas 

1 The wheel, to which these epithets are applicable, is the symbol of dhamma 
or the teaching of it. Cf. p. 279 and p. 280, and S. 5. 422. 

' Reading, on Senart's suggestion, kritapunyasyate for kritapunydsie. 



GHATIKARA and JYOTIPALA 279 

and men, here in the Deer Park at Risivadana, near Benares, you 
will set rolling the wheel of dharma that is thrice-revolved and 
twelve-fold, and may not be rolled^ by recluse, brahman, deva, 
Mara, or by anyone else. Reborn in the world again, together 
with dharma, thus will you teach the dharma that is endowed 
with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, as the exalted 
Kasyapa now does. Thus will you preserve in harmony a com- 
munity of disciples even as the exalted Kasyapa now does. Thus 
will devas and men deem you worthy to hearken to and believe in 
as they do now the exalted Kasyapa. You will become all this for 
the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for 
the world, for the sake of the multitude, and for the welfare 
and happiness of devas and men. The hosts of asuras will 
dwindle ; the hosts of the devas will wax great." 

Then, Ananda, when this had been proclaimed of Jyotipala 
by the exalted Kasyapa, the devas of earth cried, " Ho ! 
friends, it has been proclaimed by the exalted Kasyapa of 
this monk who is named Jyotipala, that in some future time 
he will become a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, 
endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed 
knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher 
of devas and men. After gaining experience of this world 
and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas, Mara, Brahma, 
and of the race of recluses, brahmans, devas, and men, he 
will here in the Deer Park at Risivadana, near Benares, set 
rolling the wheel of dharma that is thrice-revolved and twelve- 
fold, and may not be rolled by recluse, brahman, deva(333) 
Mara, Brahma or by any one else. Reborn in the world again, 
together with dharma, thus will he teach the dharma that 
is endowed with and altogether perfect in all good qualities, 
as the exalted Kasyapa now does. He will become all this for 
the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compassion for 
the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the welfare 
and happiness of devas and men. The hosts of asuras will 
dwindle ; the hosts of devas will wax great." 

This cry of the devas of earth was heard by the Caturmaha- 

^ Text here has apravartitam, " that has not been rolled," but this has 
been emended into apravartiyam, which is the form used in the corresponding 
passages above. Similarly aparivartitam on the same page, below, has been 
emended into aparivartiyam. 



28o THE MAHAVASTU 

rajaka devas, the Trayastrim^a devas, the Yama devas, the 
Tusita devas, the Nirmanarati devas and the Paranirmitava^a- 
vartin devas. And at that instant they raised a shout that 
reached the devas in the world of Brahma, crying, " Ho ! 
friends, it has been proclaimed by the exalted Kasyapa of 
this monk who is named Jyotipala, that in some future time 
he will become a Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, 
endowed with knowledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed 
knower of the world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher 
of devas and men. After gaining experience of this world 
and the world beyond, of the worlds of devas including 
Brahma's devas, and of the race of recluses, brahmans, devas 
and men, then here in the Deer Park at Risivadana, near 
Benares, he will set rolling the wheel of dharma that is thrice- 
revolved and twelve-fold, and may not be rolled by recluse, 
brahman, deva, Mara, Brahma, or by anyone else. Reborn 
in the world again, together with dharma, thus will he teach 
the dharma that is endowed with and altogether perfect in all 
good qualities, as the exalted Kasyapa now does. Thus will 
devas and men deem him worthy to hearken to and believe 
in as they now do the exalted Kasyapa. He will become all 
this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of compas- 
sion for the w^orld, for the sake of the multitude, for the welfare 
and happiness of devas and men. The hosts of the asuras will 
dwindle ; the hosts of devas will wax great." 

Then, Ananda, when that shout had died away, the exalted 
Kasyapa taught (334), roused, gladdened and thrilled the monks 
with a discourse on dharma. " Reason thus, monks," said he, 
" not thus. Apply your minds thus, not thus. Abide having 
your own selves as your island^, not others ; having your own 
selves as your refuge, not others ; having the dharma as your 
island, and not anything else ; having the dharma as your 
refuge and not anything else." 

Then the exalted Kasyapa, with his body all aflame, burning 



^ Dvlpa. This is dlpa in Pali, indistinguishable from dlpa, " light," and 
has so been translated, e.g. by Prof, and Mrs. Rhys Davids in Dial. 2. 108, 
and by the latter also in her book on Buddhism (Home University Library, 
1934). The Commentary on S. 3. 42, takes attadipa as synonymous with 
aitasarana (" refuge "), and the translation by Woodward (K.S. 3. 37) renders 
" islands unto yourselves." The dvlpa of the Mahdvastu is not, of course, 
an argument that dvipa, " island " is more original than dlpa, " light." 



GHATIKARA and JYOTIPALA 281 

and glowing, rose up in the air to the height of one palm-tree, 
and from there he taught, roused, gladdened and thrilled the 
monks with a discourse on dharma. " Reason thus, not thus, 
monks," said he. "Apply your minds thus, not thus. Abide 
having your own selves as your island, and not others ; having 
your own selves as your refuge, and not others ; having the 
dharma as your island, and not anything else ; having the 
dharma as your refuge and not anything else." 

Then, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa rose from the height 
of one palm-tree to two, from two to three, from three to four, 
from four to five, from five to six, and from six to seven. 
And from that height he taught, roused, gladdened and thrilled 
the monks with a discourse on dharma. " Reason thus, 
monks," said he, " not thus. Apply your minds thus, not 
thus. Abide having your own selves as your island, and not 
others ; having your own selves as your refuge, and not others ; 
having the dharma as your refuge and not anything else." 

Then, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa, descending from the 
height of seven palm-trees to six, from six to five, four, three, 
two, and one, sat down on his seat again. There he taught, 
roused, gladdened, and thrilled the monks with a talk on 
dharma. " Reason thus, monks," said he, " not thus. Apply 
your minds thus, not thus. Abide having your own selves as 
your island and not others ; having your own selves as your 
refuge, and not others ; having the dharma as your island, 
and not anything else ; having the dharma as your refuge, 
and not anything else." 

Then, Ananda, the exalted Kasyapa uncrossed his legs(335) 
and said to his monks, " Monks, I uncross my legs as I have 
completely rid of the dsravas the hearts of all these seven 
thousand monks who are seated on these seats, except only 
the heart of the monk Jyotipala. And of him I have proclaimed 
that he will win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment." 

Now, Ananda, you will perhaps think that the monk named 
Jyotipala at that time and on that occasion was somebody 
else. You must not think so. For it was I who at that time 
and on that occasion was the monk named Jyotipala. 

Thus did the Exalted One speak, and the venerable Ananda 
himself and the seven thousand monks rejoiced in his words. 

Here ends the chapter on Jyotipala in the Mahavastu-A vadana. 



282 THE MAHAVASTU 

When^ the monk Jyotipala had prepared rice-gruel for the 
exalted Ka^yapa and his compan}^ of disciples, he bought a 
thousand-pieces' 2 worth of kesara powder and sprinkled it 
over the exalted Kasyapa and his company of disciples. He 
then gave the exalted Kasyapa a golden seat and a suit of 
garments, and afterwards made his vow. " Like this exalted 
Kasyapa," said he, "a perfect Buddha, who bears the thirty- 
two marks of a Great Man, is gifted with his eighty minor 
characteristics, has a radiant body, is endowed with the 
eighteen special attributes of a Buddha, strong with the ten 
powers of a Tathagata, and confident with the four grounds 
of confidence, may I, too, in some future time become a 
Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with know- 
ledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the 
world, a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and 
men, as this exalted Kasyapa now is. Thus m.ay I set rolling 
the wheel of dharma, that is thrice-revolved, twelve-fold, and 
incomparable, as the exalted Kasyapa now does. Thus may I 
maintain a community of disciples in harmony as the exalted 
Kasyapa now does. Thus may devas and men deem me worthy 
to hearken to and believe in as they do now the exalted 
Kasyapa. Thus having myself crossed, may I lead others 
across ; released, may I release others ; comforted may I 
comfort others ; finally released (336) may I give final release 
to others, as this exalted Kasyapa now does. May I become 
all this for the welfare and happiness of mankind, out of 
compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, 
for the welfare and happiness of devas and men." 

Then the exalted Kasyapa proclaimed to Jyotipala that he 
would win the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. " You, 
Jyotipala," said he, " will become in some future time a 
Tathagata, an Arhan, a perfect Buddha, endowed with know- 
ledge and virtue, a Sugata, an unsurpassed knower of the world, 
a driver of tameable men, and a teacher of devas and men. 
As soon as that auspicious kalpa comes, you will become 
endowed with the thirty-two marks of a Great Man, with his 



^ A partial repetition of the history of Jyotipala. Such repetitions are 
usually in verse, and there are some indications thai this passage also was 
originally metrical. 

* See note p. 32. 



GHATIKARA AND JYOTIPALA 283 

eighty minor characteristics, and with a radiance round your 
body. You will be endowed with the eighteen special attributes 
of a Buddha ; you will be strong with the ten powers of a 
Tathagata, and confident with the four grounds of confidence. 
Thus, having yourself crossed, you will lead others across ; 
released, you will release others ; comforted, you will comfort 
others ; finally released you will give final release to others, 
as I do now. You will become all this for the welfare and 
happiness of mankind, for the sake of the multitude, out of 
compassion for the world, for the welfare and happiness of 
devas and men." 

And immediately it was proclaimed by the exalted Kasyapa 
that the monk Jyotipala would win the unsurpassed perfect 
enlightenment, this great earth violently shook, trembled, 
and quaked six times. And the devas of earth cried out and 
made their shout heard. . . . The account of this proclamation 
by the Exalted One is to be completed in the same way as that 
of other proclamations. 

The Bodhisattva Jyotipala embraced the religious life under 
the exalted Kas3^apa, cleaned his retreat, served him with 
drink, and in turn was instructed by the Buddha. 

Jyotipala^ the Bodhisattva in his quest for the cessation 
of existence, gave the Exalted One rice-gruel, a seat of gold, 
and a suit of garments. 

When he had made this gift he made a vow to be a guide 
of the world, a teacher of devas and men, and a preacher 
of the noble dharma. 

(337)" Thus," said he, " may the dharma be preached by 
me, and thus may many beings be established by me in the 
noble dharma. Thus may devas and men hearken to my voice. 
May I for the sake of mankind set rolling the wheel of dharma. 
May I light the torch of dharma ; may I beat the bannered 
drum of dharma ; may I raise on high the standard of dharma ; 
may I blow the trumpet of dharma. May I bring the sight 
of understanding to those who are in the ways of ill, who are 
fallen on suffering, are tormented by birth and old age, and 
are subject to death, who see only with the eye of the flesh. 

* Another repetition, partly verse, and partly prose. 



284 THE MAHAVASTU 

May I set free from the round of rebirths those who are in 
the hells of Sanjiva, Kalasiitra, San ghat a, Raurava and Avici, 
or are scattered in the six realms of existence.^ May I set free 
from the round of rebirths those who have fully or partially 
expiated^ their sins in hell, who are tormented in the states 
of desolation, who are subject to death, whose bliss is little 
and misery great. May I live for the welfare of the world, 
and teach dharma to devas and men. Thus may I convert 
men as this Light of the world now does *'. 

When that auspicious kalpa comes, you will be a Buddha, 
a guide of the world, in Risivadana, a Sdkyan of the city 
named Kapila. Then will your vow he realised. 

After living a flawless, faultless, unspotted, unblemished, 
perfect holy life Jyotipala died and w^as reborn in the deva 
w^orld called Tusita as a deva named Svetaketu, who was 
of great power and might. He excelled the other devas in 
the ten heavenly attributes, namely, heavenly length of life, 
heavenly complexion, heavenly bliss, heavenly majesty, 
heavenly fame, heavenly form, heavenly voice, and the 
heavenly senses of smell, taste, and touch. [And the other 
devas asked him for orders in all cases where an order was 
necessary. ^J 

This deva named Svetaketu was learned, accomplished, 
confident, skilled, and intelligent, and he pursued the religious 
life under eighty-four thousand Buddhas, not to speak of 
ninety-six kotis of Pratyekabuddhas and illustrious disciples. 

[ZZ^)Forty thousand Buddhas, guides of the world, passed 
away, what time the Conqueror lived the holy life in his quest 
to end existence. 

Fifty thousand Buddhas, guides of the world, passed away, 
and under them the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest 
to end existence. 



1 Gatis, see p. 36. 

2 Pakvipakva, see p. 36. 

^ Senart is undoubtedly right in enclosing this passage in brackets, as it 
is obviously a gloss meant to explain ^ras/ay^/a [prastavyehi), which, however, 
the glossator mistook for the future participle passive of prach, " to ask," 
whereas it is really a Buddhist Sanskrit form for spuria, and corresponding 
to Pali photthabba, " touch." The form prastavya occurs also above p. 31 
(text). 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 285 

Ninety -six kotis of independent Pratyekabuddhas passed 
away, and under them the Conqueror fulfilled his time in 
his quest to end existence. 

Countless kotis 0/ Arhans of great learning passed away, 
and under them the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest 
to end existence. 

The association of the Master, the Dasabala, with these in 
his former lives has thus been related. A few Buddhas have 
been mentioned, many more are unmentioned of those under 
whom the Conqueror fulfilled his time in his quest to make 
existence cease. 

Here ends the proclamation made concerning Jyotipala 
in the Mahdvastu-Avaddna. 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 

Here begins the Rajavamsa.^ 

Monks, there comes a time, there comes an occasion when 
this universe after a long stretch of time begins to dissolve. ^ 
And while it is in the course of dissolution beings are for the 
most part reborn in the world of the Abhasvara^ devas. 

There comes a time, monks, there comes an occasion, when 
this universe after a long stretch of time begins to re-evolve* 
once more, and while it is re-evolving certain beings, in order 
to achieve the extinction of existence and karma, leave Abhas- 
vara and are born in this world. These beings are 
self-luminous, move through space, are made of mind, feed 
on joy, abide in a state of bliss, and go wherever they wish. 
That, monks, is the appropriate condition of these beings who 
are self-luminous, move through space, are made of mind, 
feed on joy, (339) abide in a state of bliss, and go wherever 
they wish. The moon and sun were not yet known in the 
world. Hence the forms of the stars were not known, nor 
the paths of the constellations, nor day and night, nor months 

1 I.e. The lineage or history of kings. For a parallel account of this 
Buddhist " Genesis " see D. 3. 84 ff. Cf. D. i. 17. 

2 Samvartati. See note p. 43. 
^ See note p. 44. 

* Vivartati. See p. 43. 



286 THE MAHAVASTU 

and fortnights, nor seasons and years. That, monks, is the 
appropriate condition of those beings who are self-luminous, 
move through space, are made of mind, feed on joy, abide in 
a state of bliss, and go wherever they wish. 

Then this great earth came into being like a lake of water, 
goodly in colour and taste. It was sweet even as the pure^ 
honey of the bee. In appearance it was like an expanse of 
milk or butter. 

Then, monks, some being who was wanton and of greedy 
disposition tasted this essence of earth '^ with his finger. It 
pleased him by its colour, smell and taste. Now other beings, 
when they saw what he had done, began to follow his example, 
and they too tasted this essence of earth with their fingers. 
They also were pleased, and so on to " taste." 

On another occasion, monks, that being ate a whole mouthful 
of this essence of earth as ordinary food. ^ Other beings, also, 
when they saw him, began to follow his example, and ate 
whole mouthfuls of this essence of earth as ordinary food. 
Now, monks, from the time that these beings began to eat 
whole mouthfuls of this essence of earth as food, their bodies 
became heavy, rough and hard, and they lost the qualities 
of being self-luminous, of moving through space, of being made 
of mind, of feeding on joy, of being in a state of bliss and 
of going wherever they wished. (340) When these qualities^ 
disappeared the moon and sun became known, and conse- 
quently the forms of the stars, the paths of the constellations, 
night and da}^ months and fortnights, and the seasons and years. 

These beings, monks, lived on a very long time feeding on 
this essence of earth, it being the source of their appearance, 
nourishment and sustenance. Those who took much of it 
for food became ugly ; those who ate little became comely. 
And those who were comely scoffed at the ugly saying, " We 



1 Anedaka, see note p. 211. 

2 PHthivlrasa. The parallel Pali version {D. 3, 85) has rasapathavi 
which is translated {Dial. 3, 82) as " savoury earth." In S. 1. 134 pathav'lrasa 
is used of the earth's surface or humus which receives and nourishes the 
fallen seed. The Pali Dictionary rendering of " essence of earth " suits 
the Mahdvastu context very well, as it expresses the inchoate state of the 
earth at the time. 

3 Kdrakamdhdram. For this sense of kdraka Senart compares sannidhi- 
kdram (p. 345), " en provision," " par provision." 

* The text repeats their enumeration. 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 287 

are comely; they are ugly." But while they thus lived on, 
proud of their beauty, vain and conceited, this essence of earth 
vanished. 

Then there appeared on the surface of the earth an excres- 
cence, ^ like honey 2 in appearance. This was goodly of colour 
and smell, and it was sweet like the pure honey of the bee. 

And, monks, when the essence of earth had vanished those 
beings exclaimed, "Ah ! What flavour it had ! Ah ! What 
flavour it had ! " Even as men now do, when they are satisfied 
after eating good food, and exclaim "Ah ! What flavour it 
had ! Ah ! What flavour it had ! " Thus does that ancient 
primevaP expression become current once more, although men 
do not understand the significance of it. 

And so, monks, (341) those beings lived on a very long time 
feeding on this excrescence on the surface of the earth, it being 
the source of their appearance, nourishment and sustenance. 
Those who ate much of it became ugly ; those who ate little, 
comely. And those who were comely scoffed at those who 
were ugly, saying, " We are comely, they are ugly." 

While they thus lived on, proud of their beauty, vain and 
conceited, the excrescence on the surface of the earth vanished, 
and in its place a creeping-plant appeared, like the bamboo 
in appearance. It was goodly of colour, smell and taste. 
It was sweet as the pure honey of the bee. 

When the excrescence on the surface of the earth had 
disappeared those beings groaned, " Alas ! Oh ! Alas ! Oh ! " 
Just as now, when men are afflicted by any calamity, they 
groan, "Alas ! Oh ! Alas ! Oh \ " In this way does that 
ancient primeval expression become current once more, 
although men do not understand the significance of it. Thus, 
then, did those beings, when the excrescence on the surface 
of the earth had disappeared, groan, "Alas ! Oh ! Alas ! Oh ! " 

Now, monks, when the excrescence on the surface of the 
earth had disappeared, those beings went on living for a very 

1 Parpataka, a reading which Senart, without being aware of the Pali 
pappataka [D. 3. 87), estabhshed for the paryataka of the MSS., basing his 
conjecture on Sanskrit parpata, which the lexicographers give as meaning 
not only " a medicinal plant " but also " fragrant substance " and " perfumed 
earth," 

2 Chdtraka = chdtra, " eine Art Honig " (Bohtlingk and Roth). ^ 

' Making the obvious emendation of °agninyam into °agrajnam Pali 
agganna), " recognised as primitive," " primeval." {Pali Dictionary 



288 THE MAHAVASTU 

long time on the creeping-plant, which became the source of 
their appearance, nourishment and sustenance. Those who 
ate much of it became ugly ; those who ate little, comely. 
And those who were comely scoffed at those who were ugly, 
saying, " We are comely, they are ugly." While they thus 
became proud of their beauty, vain and conceited, the creeping- 
plant vanished. 

In its place there appeared rice (342) which was without 
powder or husk, being just fragrant grain. If it was cropped 
at evening, by the morning it had sprouted, ripened and fully 
grown, without any signs of its having been cut. If it was 
cropped in the morning, by the evening it had sprouted, 
ripened and fully grown, without any signs of its having been cut. 

Now, monks, at the disappearance of the creeping-plant, 
those beings groaned, "Alas ! Oh ! Alas ! Oh ! " Even as 
men now do when they are afflicted by any calamity. In this 
way does an ancient primeval expression become current once 
more, although men do not understand the significance of it. 

Then, monks, after the disappearance of the creeping-plant, 
those beings lived on a very long time feeding on the rice 
which was without powder or husk, but was just fragrant 
grain. And from the time that they did so,^ the distinguishing 
characteristics of female and male appeared among them. 
They looked on one another with inordinate passion in their 
hearts. Looking on one another with passion in their hearts 
they became inflamed with passion for one another. Becoming 
inflamed with passion they violated one another. 

And, monks, those who witnessed them violating one 
another, threw sticks at them, and clods of earth and mud. 
For, my friends, wrong and sin appear in the world when one 
being violates another. Just as now, monks, when the young 
bride is being carried away, people throw sticks and clods. 
In this way does an ancient primeval custom ^ become current 
once more, although men do not understand the significance 
of it. Then, indeed, this was considered immoral, irreligious 
andirregular, but now it is considered moral, religious, and regular. 

^ Text repeats the preceding sentence. 

2 Aksara, translated above in its usual sense of " expression," But 
" custom " is not wholly unconnected with its primary sense of " non- 
transitory," " durable," " lasting." 



GENESIS OF THE V/ORLD 289 

Now, monks, those beings, (343) because of their immoraHty, 
got into trouble, and they were shunned by their fellows. 
So they left their homes for one day, for two days, for three, 
four or five, for a fortnight or for a month, in order to conceal 
their immorality, and during this time had their housework 
done by others. 

Then, monks, this thought occurred to some being who had 
gone to gather rice, " Why should I tire myself, as I have 
hitherto been doing, by gathering rice at evening for supper, 
and again in the morning for breakfast ? What if I were to 
gather once daily enough rice for both the evening and morning 
meals ? " So, monks, this being gathered once a day enough 
rice for evening and morning. Then some other being said 
to him, " Come, good being, let us go and gather rice." When 
this had been said, that other being replied, " You go, good 
being. As for me, I have fetched at one and the same time 
enough rice for both evening and morning." 

Then, monks, it occurred to that other being also, " This is 
surely a splendid practice. What if I in my turn were to gather 
at one and the same time enough rice for two or three days ? " 
And he went and gathered enough rice at one time for two 
or three days. 

Then yet another being said to him, " Come, good being, 
let us go and gather rice." When this had been said, that 
being replied, " Do you go, good being, for I have gathered 
at one time enough rice for two or three days." 

Then, monks, it occurred to that being also, " Surely this is 
a splendid practice. What if I in my turn were to gather 
at one time enough rice for four or five days ? " And he went 
and gathered enough rice for four or five days at one time. 

From the time, monks, that these beings began to live by 
hoarding the rice that was without powder or husk, but was 
just fragrant grain, powder and husk began to appear on it. 
And when it was cropped at evening it did no longer sprout, 
ripen and fully grow by the morning, while the signs of its 
having been cut were clearly seen. 

(344)Then, monks, those beings hurriedly gathered together 
and took counsel. "Friends," said they, "in the past we 
were self-luminous, moved through space, were made of mind, 
fed on joy, lived in bliss, and went wherever we wished. And 



290 THE MAHAVASTU 

while we were thus self-luminous, moved through space, were 
made of mind, fed on joy, lived in bliss, and went wherever 
we wished, the moon and sun were not known in the world, 
nor the forms of the stars, nor the paths of the constellations, 
nor day and night, months and fortnights, nor seasons and years. 

" Then this great earth appeared, like a lake of water. 
In appearance it was like an expanse of butter or milk, and 
had a goodly colour, smell and taste. It was as sweet as 
the pure honey of the bee. But, friends, some being who was 
wanton and of greedy disposition tasted this essence of earth 
with his finger, and it delighted him with its colour, smell 
and taste. Then that being on another occasion ate a whole 
mouthful of this essence of earth as ordinary food. And we, 
seeing him, followed his example and ate whole mouthfuls 
of this essence of earth as ordinary food. 

" Now, friends, from the time that we began to eat whole 
mouthfuls of this essence of earth as ordinary food, our bodies 
acquired weight, roughness and hardness, while the attributes 
we had before of being self-luminous, of moving through space, 
of being made of mind, of feeding on joy, of living in a state 
of bliss, and of going wherever we wished, were lost. And 
with the loss of these attributes,^ moon and sun became known 
in the world (345), and the forms of the stars, the paths of the 
constellations, days and nights, months and fortnights, and 
seasons and years. 

" Friends, we lived on for a very long time feeding on that 
essence of earth, which was the source of our appearance, our 
nourishment and our sustenance. But when wrong and sinful 
states came to be known among men, ^ when wrong and sinful 
states came to be known among us, then this essence of earth 
disappeared. And in its place there appeared an excrescence on 
the surface of the earth, like honey in appearance and of goodly 
colour and smell. It was as sweet as the pure honey of the bee. 

" For a very long time, friends, we lived on that excrescence, 
which was the source of our appearance, nourishment and 

^ Text repeats in full. 

" Literally " among them," sdnam. Not necessarily a use of the 3rd person 
for the ist. Apparently the whole phrase has been inadvertently repeated 
from its first occurrence when it had an objective application, in which case 
its further repetition here with mo, " among us," is an explanatory 
interpolation. Mo is frequently ist pers, plural in the Mahdvastu. 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 291 

sustenance. But when wrong and sinful states came to be 
known among men, then the excrescence on the earth dis- 
appeared. And in its place there appeared a creeping-plant, 
like the bamboo in appearance, goodly of colour, smell and 
taste. It was as sweet as the pure honey of the bee. 

*'And for a very long time, friends, we lived on that creeping- 
plant, which was the source of our appearance, nourishment 
and sustenance. But when wrong and sinful states came to be 
known among men, when wrong and sinful states came to 
be known among us, then did this creeping-plant disappear. 
In its place rice appeared, which was without powder or husk, 
being just fragrant grain. If this was cropped at evening, 
by the morning it had sprouted, ripened and fully grown, 
without any signs of its having been cut. 

" For a very long time, friends, we lived on this rice, which 
was without powder or husk, but was just fragrant grain, and 
it was the source of our appearance, nourishment (346) and 
sustenance. But when wrong and sinful states came to be 
known among men, powder and husk began to envelop the 
rice. And now when cropped at evening it did not sprout, 
ripen and fully grow by the morning, while the signs of its 
having been cut were clearly seen. Nor when cropped in the 
morning did it sprout, ripen and fully grow by the evening, 
while the signs of its having been cut were clearly seen. 

" What if we were now to divide the rice-fields and set 
boundaries to them ? Let us allot this field to you, and this 
to ourselves." And so, monks, they set boundaries to the 
rice-fields, saying, " This field is yours, this is ours." 

Then, monks, this thought occurred to some being who had 
gone to gather rice : " What will become of me ? How shall 
I get a living, if my plot of rice fails ? What if now I were 
to steal and take another's ? "^ And so, monks, while he was 
watching over his own plot of rice, he stole and took another's. 

1 Anydtaka. Etymologically, this can only be a Buddhist Sanskrit equiva- 
lent of Pali anndtaka, " he who is not a kinsman " {DhA i. 222), which in 
classical Sanskrit would be ajndtaka, from a-jndti. But the word is here 
obviously used in the sense of " another," anya, and the sense may have 
influenced the orthography. At the same time, if the word were written 
ajndtaka it would be possible to render " (steal and take the rice of one) 
who is not a kinsman," which at a later stage of tribal development would be 
an apposite way of expressing " another," and might imply justification 
of a theft from him as being an " alien " without rights. 



292 THE MAHAVASTU 

Another being saw him steal and take another's rice, and 
when he had seen him, he went to him and said, " Indeed, 
good being, you have stolen and taken another's rice." And 
he replied, " Yes, good being, but it will not happen again:" 

But, monks, the thought occurred to him a second time 
when he had gone to gather rice : " What will become of me ? 
How shall I get a living, if my plot of rice fails ? What if now 
I were to steal and take another's rice ? " And a second time 
did that being, while watching over his own plot, steal and 
take another's rice. 

That other being saw him thus a second time steal and take 
another's rice, and when he had seen him, he went to him 
and said, " Good being, it is the second time(347) that you 
have stolen and taken another's rice," And a second time, 
monks, did he reply, " Yes, but it will not happen again." 

But a third time, monks, did the thought occur to that being 
when he had gone to gather rice : " What will become of me ? 
How shall I get a living if my plot of rice fails ? What if 
now I were to steal and take another's rice ? " And so a 
third time did that being while watching over his own plot 
steal and take another's rice. 

The other being saw him thus a third time steal and take 
another's rice, and when he had seen him he went to him 
and beat him with a stick, saying, " Good being, this is the 
third time you have stolen and taken another's rice." Then, 
monks, he stretched out his arms, wailed, and cried, " Sir, 
wrong and injustice have made their appearance in the world, 
now that violence is known." But, monks, the other being, 
throwing his stick on the ground, stretched out his arms, 
wailed and cried out, " Sir, it is when theft and falsehood 
make their appearance in the world that wrong and injustice 
are known." 

And so, monks, the three wrong and sinful states of theft, 
falsehood, and violence made their first appearance in the 
world. 

Then, monks, those beings hurriedly gathered together 
and took counsel. "Friends," said they, "what if we were 
to select him who is most kind-hearted among us, and most 
authoritative, to reprove whoever among us deserves reproof, 
and to approve whoever deserves approval ? And we will 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 293 

assign^ to him a portion of the rice in the fields of each of us." 

And so, monks, those beings selected him (348) who was 
the most kind-hearted and authoritative among them, and 
said to him, " Let your majesty reprove whosoever among us 
deserves reproof, and approve whosoever deserves approval. 
We elect you to sovereignty over us all, and we give you 
a sixth part of the rice in the fields of each of us." 

So originated the idea that Maha-Sammata^ means " elected 
by the great body of the people." So originated the idea that 
raj an means he who is worthy ^ of the rice-portions from the 
rice-fields. So originated the idea that an anointed [noble]* 
means he who is a perfect guardian and protector. So origin- 
ated the idea that he who achieves security for his country ^ 
is as a parent to towns and provinces. That is how a king 
can say, " I am king, an anointed noble, and one who has 
achieved security for my people." 

The son of King Sammatawas Kalyana, whose son was Rava. 
Rava's son was Uposadha, and (Jposadha's son was King 
Mandhatar.^' 

King Mandhatar had many thousand sons, grandsons, and 
grandsons' grandsons, all of them kings. The last of these 
was Iksvaku,*^ styled Sujata, king in the great city of Saketa. 

^ The text has desaye cayam, " and he shall designate," which is not 
satisfactory in view of what is explicitly said later that the rice portions 
were assigned by the owners themselves. Senart, therefore, proposes desey- 
yema vayam or dadydma vayam, and this has been followed in the translation. 

2 The first king of the present age, and the progenitor of the ^akyan clan, 
his name being here explained from his having been thus " elected " or 
" selected " (sammata). 

' I.e., arahati, " he deserves or merits " is here taken to be etymologically 
connected with raj an, " king." 

* There is a lacuna in the text, but Senart makes the obvious conjecture 
and supplies ksatriyati, for this seems just the word the fanciful etymology 
requires to connect with raksati, " to protect." 

* Senart prints the form janapadasthdmavlryaprapta, which, however, as 
he says in his note, is inexplicable in this context. He cites the form 
janapadasthdvlryaprapta given in some other MSS, and interprets this as 
" qui excerce sur le pays I'autorite de I'age." That the latter form is the 
correct one is proved by the Pali janapadathdviriya, literally " security of 
a country," i.e. an appeased country as one of the blessings of the reign 
of a Cakkavattin (see Pali Dictionary for references). It seems better to give 
sthdvirya here its primary sense of " fixity," " security," etc. {/ sthd), rather 
than the derivative one of " age." (Cf. Pali thera and thdvara.) 

« The genealogy in most Pali texts is, Mahasammata, Roja, Vararoja, 
Kalyana, Varakalyana, Uposatha and Mandhata. (D.P.N.) 

' Pali Okkdka, " although it is unlikely that the latter is identical with 
the Iksvaku of the Puranas, the immediate son of Manu." (D.P.N.) The 
story here given, with some differences in nomenclature, follows pretty closely 
that in the Pali texts. 



294 THE MAHAVASTU 

King Iksvaku Sujata had five sons, Opura, Nipura, Kara- 
kandaka, Ulkamukha and Hastikasirsa, and five young 
daughters, Suddha, Vimala, Vijita, Jala and Jali. Also he 
had a son named Jenta by a concubine.^ Jenta's mother was 
named Jenti. King Sujata was pleased by her womanly 
qualities, and he thus became gracious to her and offered her 
the choice of a boon. " Jenti," said he, " I grant you a boon. 
Whatever boon you ask of me I will give it to you." Jenti 
replied, " Sire, after I have consulted with my parents, I shall 
make a request of you." 

Then Jenti informed her parents and said, " The king has 
offered me the choice of a boon. What do you say ? What 
shall I ask of the king ? " And they both(349) expressed what 
was in the mind of each and said, "Ask for the boon of a 
village." 

But there was a certain female devotee who was clever, 
cute and crafty, and she said, " Jenti, you are yourself a 
concubine's daughter, and your son has no right to his father's 
estate, not to speak of that of a king's. It is those five boys, 
the sons of a noble woman, who have the right to their father's 
kingdom and estate. Now the king has offered you the choice 
of a boon, and King Sujata does not go back on his word, 
but is truthful and keeps his promises. Do you, therefore, 
ask this of him and say, * Banish those five sons of yours 
from the kingdom, and anoint my young son Jenta as heir 
to the throne. And he shall become king in the great city 
of Saketa after you.' After that everything will be yours." 

And so Jenti asked this boon of the king. " Your majesty," 
said she, " banish these five sons of yours from the kingdom, 
and anoint the young boy Jenta as heir to the throne, so that 
he will become king in the great city of Saketa after his father. 
Let your majesty grant me this boon." 

W^hen Sujata heard this, he was sorely troubled, for he 
loved those boys. And yet, having offered a boon, he could 
not do otherwise. So he said to the woman Jenti, "So be it. 
Let this boon be granted you." 

Cities and provinces heard of this granting of the boon, 
of how the young men were to be banished, and the young 

^ Vaildsikd, seems to occur only here in this sense, but is evidently related 
to vildsini, " courtesan," " harlot." 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 295 

Jenta, a concubine's son, anointed heir to the throne. Then, 
owing to the sterling worth of those young men, there was great 
sorrowamong the people, and they said, " Where they go, we go." 

King Sujata heard that the people were intending to leave 
Saketa and the provinces with the princes, and he caused a 
proclamation to be made in the great city of Saketa : "To all 
who go out of Saketa with the princes will be given all they 
want from the royal ^ store. If they want elephants, horses, 
chariots, carts, carriages, waggons, oxen, rams,^ goats, ante- 
lopes, corn, or anything else, such as clothes, ornaments, (350) 
male and female slaves, all these will be given them from the 
royal store." And at the king's command, his ministers 
produced and gave from his store-house, granary and treasury, 
whatever any of those going into exile asked for. 

So the young princes accompanied by several thousands 
of their countrymen left the city of Saketa in a strong body 
with many thousands of waggons, carts and carriages, and 
made for the north. There they were befriended by the king 
of Kasi and Kosala^. For the young men were good, masterly, 
gentle,*pleasant,^ virtuous and honourable, and all the people 
of Kasi and Kosala were entirely delighted with them. "Ah ! " 
said they, " how good and honourable are these young men." 

But then it happened with this king as the Exalted One 
says in the Questions of Sakra :^ " Devas and men, Asuras, 
Garudas, Gandharvas, Yaksas, Raksasas, Pisacas, Kum- 
bhandas, and all other denizens of earth are bound in the 
fetters of jealousy and envy." 

^ Rdjakritya. For this use of kritya as a genitival suffix Senart compares 
one or two instances in Lai. Vist., as well as the parallel formation in Prakrit 
and certain modern Indian languages, e.g. the genitive ending kd, he, hi 
in Hindi. 

2 The text has masniyehi {masniya) which is obviously corrupt. Senart 
takes the reading of one MS., masniyehi as being, palaeographically, an 
approximation to the true reading, which he says should be menda, Pali 
for " ram " (Prakrit nientha or mintha, see Pali Dictionary). But, to speak 
without the palaeographical evidence, the regular Sanskrit mesa, " ram," 
seems quite as close, if not closer, to the reading of both text and manuscript. 

' These two countries were often at war, now one and now the other being 
conquered and ruled by one king. 

* Nivdta, cf. Pali nivdta (" sheltered from the wind " and therefore "low "), 
" lowliness," " humbleness," " obedience," " gentleness." {Pali Dictionary.) 

^ Sukhasarnsparsd, " pleasant to touch, deal with." 

• The reference is to the Sakkapanha Sutta, D. 2. 263 ff. In the particular 
extract quoted (p. 276) the Pali text names only devas, men, Nagas, and 
Gandharvas. 



296 THE MAHAVASTU 

And so jealousy took hold of the kmg of Kasi and Kosala. 
"As this people of mine," thought he, "have been attracted 
by these young men, it is possible they will kill me and then 
anoint them as heirs to the throne." Therefore the king of 
Kasi and Kosala drove them out of the land. 

Now there dwelt on the slopes of the Himalayas a seer named 
Kapna, who was in possession of the five super-knowledges, 
had achieved the four meditations, and was of great might 
and power. His hermitage was extensive, delightful, rich in 
roots, flowers, leaves, fruits, and water, was bright with a 
thousand plants, and included a large wood of sdkota^ 
trees. 

And the young men sojourned there in the wood of sdkota 
trees. Thither there came some merchants on their way to 
the lands of Kasi and Kosala. (On their return home) some- 
body asked these merchants, " Whence do you come ? " 
And they repHed, " From the forest of sdkota trees yonder. 
Men of Saketa in (351) Kosala also are travelling there in the 
forest of sdkota trees. For we asked them, " Where are you 
going?" And they replied, "To the sdkota forest in the 
Himalayas '."2 

Now those young princes said among themselves, " There 
must be no corruption of our race." And from fear of such 
a corruption they each married a half-sister born of a different 
mother. ^ 

Then King Sujata asked his ministers, saying, " My ministers, 
where do the princes dwell ? " And his ministers replied, 
" Your majesty, the princes dwell in a great wood of sdkota 
trees in the Himalayas." 

Next, the king asked his ministers, " Whence do the princes 
get themselves wives ? " They replied, " W^e have heard, 
your majesty, that the princes, through fear of corrupting 
their race, each married a half-sister of a different mother, 
saying, ' There must be no corruption of our race '." 



^ An unidentified tree. 

^ The text here is very corrupt, 

^ The word mdtriyo, if the reading is correct, presents a serious grammatical 
difficulty. Senart, on the basis of the Tibetan account translated by Csoma, 
proposes to read, svakasvakd paramdiriyo hhaginlyo, and this has been followed 
in translation. But the form mdtriyo, which must be nom. pi., cannot be 
satisfactorily accounted for. 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 297 

Then the king asked his priest and other learned brahmans, 
" Can that be done as it has been done by these princes ? " 
And the learned brahmans with the priest at their head replied, 
" It can be done, your majesty, and thereby the princes do not 
contract any taint." 

When he heard the learned brahmans, the king, gladdened, 
delighted and enraptured, exclaimed, " Cunning, ^ sirs, are 
these princes." And from the " cunning " of these princes 
arose their name, appellation and designation of Sakiyans.^ 

Then it occurred to those princes, " What sort of dwelHng- 
place shall we prepare for ourselves here in the idkota forest ? 
For it is a great multitude that has come with us. What if we 
were to found a city ? " 

And the princes went into the presence of Kapila the seer, 
and having bowed at his feet, said, " If the blessed Kapila 
permits, we shall found a city here, and call it Kapila vastu 
after the seer's name." 

The seer replied, "If in founding your city you will make 
this hermitage of mine (352) the site of your royal palace, then 
I give my consent." The princes answered, "As is the seer's 
wish, so will we do. In founding our city we shall make this 
hermitage the site of our royal palace." 

So the seer with the water he had brought in a pitcher ^ 
handed over the property to the princes, and they founded 
their city, making the hermitage the site of their royal palace. 
The name Kapilavastu arose from the land having been given 
by Kapila the seer. 

And the city of Kapilavastu became prosperous, rich, 
peaceful, well-supplied with food, and densely peopled with 
happy citizens, with a wide area of populous country around. 
It was known far and wide, and had many festivals and fairs ; 
it was a favourite resort of merchants and the centre of a 
busy trade. 

Now of these five princes Opura, Nipura, Karandaka, 
Ulkamukha and Hastikasirsa, Opura was the eldest, and he 
was anointed to the throne of Kapilavastu. King Opura's son 

1 I.e. in its etymological sense as a derivative from " can," (A.S. cunnan.) 
The Sanskrit is sakya from sak, " to be able." 

2 Or ^alcyans according to the usual orthography in the Mahdvastu. 

3 I.e. the water was given to the princes as a sanction or ratification of 
the gift, a type of formality common in primitive conveyancing. 



298 THE MAHAVASTU 

was Nipura ; his son was Karancjaka ; his son was Ulkamukha ; 
his son was Hastika^irsa, and his son was Simhahanu.^ 

King Simhahanu had four sons Suddhodana, Dhautodana, 
Suklodana and Amritodana, and he had a daughter named 
Amita. 

Now a certain chieftain of the Sakyans had a daughter who 
was charming, comely, strikingly handsome, and gifted with 
consummate beauty. But leprosy attacked this young girl, 
and she was being consumed by this disease. Physicians 
exerted themselves, and everything possible was done for her, 
but she was not cured. Salves after salves, emetics, and 
purgatives were applied, but the leprosy was not checked. 
Her whole body became one sore, and all the people were 
filled with pity at sight of her. 

Then her brothers put her in a litter, and carried her to 
the slopes of the Himalayas. There on the crest of a hill 
they dug a hole and put the young girl in it. They placed 
with her a plentiful supply of food and water, as well as bedding 
and covering. (353) Having sealed the mouth of the hole 
carefully and raised a big mound of earth over it, they returned 
to the city of Kapilavastu. 

Now while the young girl was living in the hole she got rid 
of all her leprosy, because the hole was sheltered from the wind 
and therefore warm. Her body became clean and spotless, 
and regained its former exquisite beauty. To see her no one 
would think her human. 

Then a tiger marauding around came to the spot. 

Beasts perceive with their noses, hrdhmans by means of 
the Vedas, kings by means of spies, but ordinary folk with 
their eyes. 

The tiger scented the smell of human flesh, and with its paws 
scratched away the big mound of earth. 

Not far away there dwelt a royal seer, ^ named Kola, ^ who 

1 In the Pali texts Simhahanu {Slhahanu) is the son of Jayasena. He there 
has five, not four, sons, although the names are identical as far as they go. 

' Rdjarisi, a king or member of the military caste who has become a recluse. 
The regular Sanskrit form is rdjarsi, which is found on page 210 as an 
honorific title of the Buddha. 

'The Pali Commentaries contain a very similar tale, but the sufferer 
from leprosy there is a daughter of Okkaka, and she is discovered and married 
by a king, Rama. They build a city in the forest, removing a big jujube tree 
(kola) for the purpose, whence their descendants are called Koliyans. {D.P.N.) 



GENESIS OF THE WORLD 299 

possessed the five superknowledges and had achieved the four 
meditations. His hermitage was deb'ghtful, and furnished 
with roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, water and divers trees. 

Now as he was strolHng up and down his hermitage he came 
to the spot where the Sakyan maiden was buried in a hole. 
By that time the tiger had scratched away with its paws 
all the heap of earth, leaving only the wooden framework. 
At the sight of the seer, however, the tiger slinked off. When 
he saw the earth scratched away by the tiger, the seer was 
greatly disturbed, and he pulled away the pieces of wood so 
that the entrance to the hole was revealed. When he saw 
the Sakyan maiden in the perfection of her bloom, he exclaimed, 
" This is no human female that I see here." 

The seer questioned her. " Good lady," said he, " who may 
you be ? " The woman repHed, " I am from Kapilavastu, 
the daughter of a Sakyan there. I was afflicted with leprosy 
and was abandoned alive here." 

When he saw the peerless beauty of the Sakyan maiden 
violent passion stirred in him. 

(Z5^)Though a man live a chaste life for a long time, 
yet the latent fires of passion in him are not put out. But 
once again will the poison of passion break out, just as 
the fir e^ that is latent^ in wood can not he suppressed. 

So the royal seer had intercourse with the Sakyan maiden, 
thus apostasizing from his meditations and his super-know- 
ledges. He took the Sakyan maiden with him to his hermitage. 
There she lived with Kola, the royal seer, and bore him sixteen 
pairs of twin sons. The seer's thirty-two young sons were 
prepossessing and beautiful, and wore antelope's hide and 
kept their hair braided. 

When they had grown up they were sent by their mother 
to Kapilavastu. " Go, my sons," said she, " to the great city 
of Kapilavastu. A Sakyan of such and such a name is my 
father and your grandfather. That Sakyan's sons are your 
uncles, and almost all the Sakyan nobles are your kinsmen. 

1 The text has tistham, which is obviously corrupt. Tigma which can 
mean " fire " is a plausible conjecture and may be palaeographically possible, 
although Senart cannot think of any emendation which can be made " sans 
violence a la le9on des manuscrits." 

^ Literally " gone to the wood," kdsthagatam. 



300 THE MAHAVASTU 

Such is the great family to which you belong. They will 
provide you with means to live." 

And she trained them in the ways of the Sakyans, saying, 
" Thus are you to approach the assembly of the Sakyans ; 
thus are you to address them ; thus are you to sit down 
among them." And when they had all been instructed in 
the ways of the Sakyans, they were sent off. The}^ respectfully 
took leave of their mother and father, departed, and in due 
time reached Kapilavastu. 

They entered Kapilavastu one after the other in the order 
of their ages. When the multitude saw these young hermits 
they remarked on them, saying, "Ah ! look at these young 
hermits. How charming and beautiful they are in their 
antelope's hide and braided hair." 

And so the young men, escorted by a great crowd, proceeded 
to the public place of assembly. About five hundred Sakyans 
were seated there, having come together on some business. 
The young men approached the assembly in the manner taught 
them by their mother, so that when the assembly of the 
Sakyans saw the young hermits (355) comporting themselves 
like Sakyans, they were amazed. 

Then the Sakyans asked the young hermits, "Where do 
you come from ? " In reply they related all the circumstances 
as they had been instructed by their mother. " We are the 
sons of Kola, a royal seer of a certain hermitage on the slopes 
of the Himalayas, and our mother is the daughter of a certain 
Sakyan." And repeating what they had heard from their 
mother they told the Sakyans in full how the Sakyan maiden 
had been driven forth to that place. 

When the Sakyans heard this they were delighted. Now 
their grandfather, a chieftain of the Sakyans, and a large 
number of their relatives were still living. Further, Kola, 
the royal hermit, was from Benares, whence he had gone into 
seclusion after anointing his eldest son to the throne, and he 
was a distinguished seer, known far and wide. 

Thus the ^akyans were delighted that these young men 
were the sons of a royal seer and not of a common man. And 
the thought occurred to them : " These young men are of 
our blood, so let them be given Sakyan maidens and means 
to live." So Sakyan maidens were given them, as well as tracts 



HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 301 

of arable land, namely, A^rama, Nigama, Sumukta, Karkara- 
bhadra,^ and other tracts — a rich estate for their very own. 

The Koliyans were so named from their being the offspring 
of Kola the seer, and Vyaghrapadya^ was so named after 
the tiger's haunt. 

Here ends the chapter of the Mahdvastu-Avaddna on the 
origin of the name of the Koliyans. ^ 



THE HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 

Now the Sakyans had a town named Devadaha, where there 
lived a Sakyan chieftain named Subhiiti.* And he took to wife 
a Kohyan maiden from a certain town, who bore him seven 
daughters, namely, Maya, Mahamaya, Atimaya, Anantamaya, 
Culiya, KolTsova,^ and Mahaprajapati. 

The history of Mdyd. 

The Sakyan king Simhahanu had four sons and one daughter. 
The sons were Suddhodana, Suklodana, Dhautodana and 
Amritodana, while the daughter was Amita. When King 
Simhahanu died(356), Suddhodana succeeded to the throne. 
And King Suddhodana bade his ministers bring him a maiden 
who was lovely and of good birth. The ministers at once 
sent out brahmans who were clever, learned and adept in 
assessing the qualities of women, men and maidens. " Go," 
said they, " discover a maiden worthy to be a consort to 
King Suddhodana." 

As these brahmans scoured the villages, towns, cities and 
provinces, they saw in the Sakyan town of Devadaha the seven 
daughters of the Sakyan SubhUti, and of the seven Maya was 
outstanding. A maiden like her it would be very hard to find 
in the whole of Jambudvipa. 

1 The last of these names alone is known elsewhere as that of a Koliyan 
township. 

^ Pali Vyagghapajjd. 

' The chapter has, however, dealt mainly with the history of the Jsakyans, 
that of the Koliyans being only a supplement. Possibly the subscription 
to the main chapter has dropped out. 

* In Mhv. 2. 17 Maya's father is Afijana of Devadaha; in ThlgA. 140 he is 
called Maha-Suppabuddha. 

5 A corrupt form. The general tradition, also, knows of only one sister 
of Maya's, viz. Mahaprajapati. The second, third and fourth' names here 
were obviously in origin appellatives of Maya. Possibly the fifth, also, is so, 
being formed from the Pali culla or ciila, " younger." 



302 THE MAHAVASTU 

They reported this to the king, saying, " In the town of 
Devadaha the Sakyan Subhuti has seven lovely and beautiful 
daughters, and one of them is pre-eminent among all the 
seven sisters in beauty, radiance, and wisdom. She is gifted 
with all good qualities, and her name is Maya. In all the 
villages, cities, towns, ^and provinces that w^e searched, we did 
not see before we came to Devadaha anyone like Maya, the 
daughter of the Sakyan Subhiiti." 

Suddhodana sent a message to Subhuti, saying, " Give me 
your daughter Maya to wife, and she shall become my chief 
queen." But Subhiiti replied to the messengers, " Maya has 
six sisters older than she. When these are married, then shall 
Maya be given to his majesty." 

The messengers reported this to king Suddhodana and said, 
" Your majesty, thus says the Sakyan Subhiiti, 'When her six 
elder sisters are married, then will Maya be given to his majesty '." 

King Suddhodana sent a further message to Subhuti the 
Sakyan, saying, " Give me all your seven daughters." The 
messengers took this message back to Subhuti the Sakyan 
and said to him, " Thus says king Suddhodana, ' Give me all 
your seven daughters '." And Subhuti the Sakyan complied 
with king Suddhodana's request, and said, " Your majesty, 
let them be given you." 

And so with great royal magnificence, pomp and splendour 
all the seven maidens (357) were led forth by King Suddhodana 
from the town of Devadaha to Kapilavastu. The king estab- 
lished two of them, Maya and Mahaprajapati, in his own harem, 
and gave the other five to his five brothers. ^ 

" In twelve years the Bodhisattva will leave his abode in 
Tusita." So did the Suddhavasa devas proclaim ^ to the 
Pratyekabuddhas in JambudvTpa, " The Bodhisattva is about 
to descend. Quit the field of the Buddha." 

The Great and Glorious One, endowed with infinite 
knowledge and insight, is about to come down from his abode 
in Tusita. Quit the field of the Buddha [the Master],* who 
bears the marks of excellence. 

1 See note p. 14. 

* pp. 298 and 301, he is said to be one of four brothers. 
» See p. 95- 

* Lacuna in text. 



HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 303 

When the Pratyekahuddhas heard the Buddha proclaimed 
by these great lords, they passed away, emancipated in heart, 
independent, masters of their hearts. 

Now Pratyekabuddhas pass away after they have each 
recited his own verse. ^ 

In a great wood a yojana and a half from Benares there dwelt 
five hundred Pratyekabuddhas. They too recited each his own 
verse and passed entirely away. 

Strenuous, constantly devoted, sublime in heart, alert, 
firm, and courageous, endued with strength and energy, 
they live in loneliness like a rhinoceros."^ 

They rose up in the air and having at their command the 
element of fire,^ they passed completely away. Their flesh 
and blood were consumed in their own fire. Their corpses fell 
to earth. 

In due time developing equanimity and pity, cultivating 
sympathy^ with others, with love in one's heart, friendly and 
compassionate, let one live in loneliness like a rhinoceros.^ 

{Zh^) Discarding the use of the scourge against all creatures, 
causing hurt to none of them ; discarding the use of the 
scourge against the timid as well as the bold,^ let one live 
in loneliness like a rhinoceros. 



1 Literally " made their proclamations" or " manifestoes," vydkarandni 
vydkaritvd. 

2 See note p. 250. 

' Tejodhdtum samdpadyitvd. This expression is rendered in the Pali 
Dictionary by " converting one's body into fire." The same rendering is 
found in S.B.E. XIII. 120 for the passage at V. 1. 25, where it is said 
hhagavdpi tejodhdtum samdpajjitvd pajjali — " and the Blessed One converting 
his body into fire sent forth flames." But samdpadyati {samdpajjati) has 
no passive or middle force here, but literally means " to attain," " win mastery 
over." The idea then is that the Pratyekabuddhas in the passage in the 
Mahdvastu summoned up fire, over which they had command, to achieve 
their own parinibbdna, just as Dabba at V. 2. 76 called up fire {tejodhdtum 
samdpajjitvd) to light the way for the monks. (Note : S.B.E. XX. 7, translates 
the phrase here " caught up fire.") 

(The translator owes this interpretation to a suggestion by Miss I. B. 
Horner.) 

* Muditd, Pali id., a by-form of Pali mudutd (Sanskrit mridutd) in the 
special sense of sympathising in the joys of others. 

5 This begins a version of the Khaggavisdna Sutta {Sn. 35 ff.). The second 
stanza, however, is based on Dham.mapada, 405. 

' Niksiptadando trasasthdvaresu, cf. Dhp. 405, nidhdya dandam hhutesu 
tasesu thdvaresu ca, " whoso has laid aside the rod of force, concerning creatures 
cowed or truculent." (Mrs. Rhys Davids' translation.) 



304 THE MAHAVASTU 

Throwing off the marks of a householder, like Ihe paripatra^ 
tree denuded of leaves, and going forth from home clad in 
the yelloiv robe, let one live in loneliness like a rhinoceros. 

Tearing off the marks of a householder, let one go forth 
from home clad in the yellow robe, like a solitary flame that 
rises from the ashes, ^ and live in loneliness like a 
rhinoceros. 

If one associates ivith one's fellows, there is the risk of 
too great affection. And the pain in this ivorld is the result 
of affection. Therefore, one should avoid society, and live 
in loneliness like a rhinoceros. 

If one associates with one's fellows, there is the risk of 
too great affection. And the pain in this world is the result 
of affection. Therefore one should avoid too great affection 
for those who are dear, and live in loneliness like a 
rhinoceros. 

If one associates with one's fellows, there is the risk of 
too great affection. And the pain in this world is the result 
of affection. Therefore although one is loth to part from 
friends, one should live in loneliness like a rhinoceros. 

If one associates with one's fellows, there is the risk of too 
great affection[Zh%) . And the pain in this world is the result 
of affection. Therefore, thoroughly grasping the peril that 
lies in having friends, one should live in loneliness like 
a rhinoceros. 

If one associates with one's fellows, there is the risk of 
too great affection. And the pain in this world is the result 
of affection. Therefore, thoroughly grasping the peril that 
lies in having sons, one should live in loneliness like a 
rhinoceros. 

He who takes thought of sons and friends, and whose heart 
is bound by the ties of affection, loses his own good. One 
should not, then, desire sons, much less friends, but live in 
loneliness like a rhinoceros. 

He who takes thought of relatives and friends and whose 
heart is bound by the ties of affection, loses his own good. 
One should not, then, desire relatives, much less friends, but 
live in loneliness like a rhinoceros. 

1 Seep. 221. 

' Reading, on Senart's suggestion, bhasmavivekacarl for bhasmani ekacan. 



HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 305 

All the stanzas of the Khadgavisdna^ are to be supplied 
here in full, namely the stanzas pronounced by each one 
of the Pratj^ekabuddhas. 

Risipatana was so named from the falling of the seers. ^ 

Now in a forest at that place there was a king of deer named 
Rohaka who looked after a herd of a thousand deer. He had 
two sons, Nyagrodha and Visakha.^ And the king gave five 
hundred deer to each son. 

Brahmadatta, the king of Kasi, was continually hunting in 
all parts of that forest ind killing deer. But not all the deer 
he shot found their way to his table, for many of them escaped 
wounded into the bushes and thickets of the forest, into the 
clumps of grass, reeds and brambles, and died, and were 
devoured by ravens(360) and vultures. 

The deer-king Nyagrodha said to his brother Visakha, " Let 
us, Visakha, appeal to the king and say to him, " You do not 
feed on all the deer you shoot, for many of them escape wounded 
to their lairs, where they die and are devoured by ravens and 
vultures. Now we shall give your majesty one deer daily 
which will come of its own will to your kitchen. In this way 
disaster and destruction will not befall this herd of deer '." 

His brother Visakha replied, " Very well, let us appeal 
to him." 

Now the king was out hunting, and the kings of the herds 
of deer saw him coming from a distance, with an army and 
accompanied by men carrying knives, bows, spears and lances. 
When they saw the king, they went up to him without fear 
or trembhng, although it was at the risk of their lives. 

The king of Kasi saw the deer-kings coming when they were 
still some way off, and he gave an order to his army. " Let 
no one molest these deer which are coming. Who knows what 
significance it has that they do not flee at the sight of the army, 
but come to meet me ? " So the army made way for those 
deer, parting to the left and to the right. And the two deer 
came up to the king and fell at his knees. 

^ The Khaggavisdna Sutta in Sn. (35-75) contains only 41 stanzas. But 
it is implied here that there were 500 stanzas, i.e. the number of the 
Pratyekabuddhas. 

^ The form of the name of this place in the Mahdvastu, however, is generally 
Rifiivadana. 

^ This story is Nigrodhamiga Jdtaka (No. 12). 



3o6 THE MAHAVASTU 

The king asked the deer-kings, " What do you ask for ? 
Make known what you want done." And they, in a human 
voice, appealed to the king and said, " Your majesty, this is 
what we beg for. We two were born and grew up in your 
dominion in the forest here, together with many a hundred 
other deer as well. We two are brothers, and kings of these 
herds of deer, and we dw^ell here in your majesty's domain. 
Now, just as your majesty's cities, towns, villages and provinces 
are graced by people, kine, oxen and many thousands of other 
'living creatures, two-footed and four-footed, so are these 
forest glades, fastnesses, rivers and streams graced by these 
herds of deer. And this, your majesty, is what adorns 
sovereignty, that all the two-footed and four-footed creatures 
which dwell in your majesty's domain, (361) in village, forest 
or mountain, come to your majesty for protection and all of 
them are cared for and protected by you. Your majesty and 
no other is their sovereign. 

" But when your majesty goes hunting many hundreds of 
deer come by disaster and destruction. Not all the deer hit 
by arrows reach your majest3^'s table, for some escape into 
the thickets and brushwood of the forest, and into clumps 
of grasses and reeds, where they die and are devoured by 
ravens and vultures. Thus your majesty is tainted with 
wrongdoing. 

" Now, if it is your majesty's pleasure, we two kings of deer 
will send you each day one deer which will come of its own 
free will to your kitchen. From one herd on one day and from 
the second the next, each day will we send one deer to your 
majesty, so that there will be no break in the provision 
of venison for the king, while these deer will not come by 
disaster and destruction." 

The king granted this appeal of the kings of the herds of deer, 
saying, " Let it be as you wish. Go, and live without fear 
or trembling, and send me one deer daily." 

And when he had granted this appeal the king instructed 
his ministers that no one was to molest the deer. Having 
given this order he returned to the city. 

The kings of the herds of deer gathered all the deer together 
and comforted them. "Be not afraid," said they, "for we 
have appealed to the king not to go hunting any more, and 



HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 307 

no one will molest deer. But each day one deer is to be sent 
to the king's kitchen, from one herd on one day and from 
the other the next ". 

And they counted the numbers in both herds and decided 
the order^ in which they should be taken from each. From 
one herd on one day, and from the other the next day, one 
deer was to go daily to the king's kitchen. 
• One day, it being the turn of Visakha's herd, it fell to the lot 
of a doe which was with young to go to the king's kitchen. 
And the deer which acted as crier^ called her and said, " To-day 
it is your turn. Go(362) to the king's kitchen." But she repHed, 
" I am pregnant, and have two young ones in my womb. 
Therefore order another to go, and when I am delivered, then 
will I go. n I go now we shall be three going instead of one. 
But if these two young ones are born, the time of you all 
will be so much lengthened."^ 

The crier reported this matter to the king of the herd, who 
repUed, " Bid another deer to go, the one due to go next after 
the doe, and she will go afterwards when she is dehvered." 
The crier thus passed over the doe, and ordered the deer 
whose turn it was next after her to go to the king's kitchen. 
But that deer said, "It is not my turn to go to-day; it is 
that doe's turn. I have, therefore, yet a while to live." 

In the same way others were called, but they would not 
go out of their turn. They all said, " It is that doe's turn. 
Let her go." 

So the doe was called again. " Good doe," she was told, 
" no one is willing to go out of his turn. It is really your turn, 
so do you go to the king's kitchen." Then, as they would not 
give her respite, the doe, out of love for her young, knowing 
that if she were slain* they also would be destroyed, went to 
the other herd. And when she had come thither, she 
prostrated herself before the king of the herd. He asked her, 
" Good doe, what is this ? What do you want ? What is 
to do ? " The doe replied, " To-day it is my turn to go from 

1 Literally, " made or fixed the turn," osaram (= avasaram) kritam. 

2 Andpaka (Pali), " giving an order," " one who calls out orders." 

3 I.e. " the turn of each will be longer in coming." 

* Mama sannipdtena, " by the death of me." For this sense of sannipdta 
Senart refers to Bohtlingk and Roth who cite Nilakantha as giving this sense 
to the word in the Mahdbhdrata XII. 7408. 



3o8 THE MAHAVASTU 

my herd to the king's kitchen. But I have two young ones 
in my womb. So I appealed to Visakha, the king of my herd 
and said to him, ' To-day it is my turn, but I have two youn 
ones in my womb. Send others in my place, and when I am 
delivered I shall go.' But those others who have been ordered 
by the king of the herd to go are not willing, and say, ' It is 
not our turn, but that doe's. Let her go.' Thus they will 
not release me from my turn, but call me and say, ' Go, it is 
your turn.' Now this is what I desire, that a deer from this 
herd be sent by the king of the herd, and then, when I am 
delivered(363), I shall go." 

The king of the deer said to her, " Now be not afraid. I 
shall send another." And he instructed the crier, saying, 
"Command the deer in this herd, whose turn it is, to go. 
I have granted immunity to this doe." 

So the crier ordered the deer, whose turn it was, to go to 
the king's kitchen. But that deer replied, "It is not the turn 
of our herd to-day, it is the turn of Visakha's herd." The crier 
answered and said, " Yes, to-day it is the turn of Visakha's 
herd, but the doe whose turn it is, is pregnant with two 
young ones in her womb. But they will not give her respite, 
and say, * It is your turn, go.' And thus, as she was not 
relieved, she came to this herd, and appealed to Nyagrodha, 
the king of the herd. Nyagrodha granted her immunity, and 
gave orders that the deer in this herd whose turn it was should 
go. Now, that turn is yours, so go." But that deer replied, 
" To-day is the turn of the other herd. I shall not go out 
of my turn." And in the same way all who were ordered 
were unwilling to go out of their turn. 

So the crier reported to Nyagrodha, the king of the deer, 
and said, " No one at all is willing to go out of his turn ; they 
say that it is not the turn of this herd to-day, but of the other." 
The king of the herd replied, " Go to !^ I have granted immu- 
nity to this doe, and therefore she cannot be sent to the king's 
kitchen. I shall go myself." 

The king of the herd came down the track that led from 
the forest and went towards Benares. All men who saw him 

^ ? millehi. Senart doubtfully suggests that this is a simpler orthographical 
form of the imperative of niell, " to drive away," and compares the Greek 
art aye. 



i 



HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 



309 



going followed him, for he was a deer of striking comehness, 
brightly speckled, with red hoofs, and bright and lovely 
jet-black eyes. 

Followed by a great crowd of people he went on his way 
until he entered the city. And when he was seen by the citizens 
he was recognized by the great throng as the king of the deer. 
When they saw him they were sore distressed. (364) For they 
thought that the whole herd of deer had dwindled away, 
and that now the king himself was coming. " Let us go 
to our king," said they, " and appeal to him and ask that 
this king of the deer be set free and not killed. For this deer 
will be an eye-delighting adornment of this capital city as he 
runs about in the gardens and parks, and when people see him 
they will enjoy a pleasing sight." 

So the nobles, accompanied by the great multitude, entered 
the king's palace on the heels of the king of the deer. And 
while the king of the deer proceeded to the kitchen, the citizens 
approached the king where he sat on the seat of judgment 
and petitioned him. " O great king," said they, " all that herd 
of deer is destroyed. Though they feed inoffensively on dried 
and fresh grass, molesting no one, yet have they all been 
destroyed, and here is the king of the herd himself come. 
Hard would it be, your majesty, to find such a lovely, beautiful 
deer, such a delight to the eye of man, as this king of deer is. 
As the people strolled out of the cit}^ among the gardens, 
parks, pleasure-grounds and lotus-ponds, they could see this 
king of deer, and would be glad that he had becom.e an 
adornment of the city's pleasaunces. Therefore, if it is your 
majesty's pleasure, let this king of deer go free with his life." 

Then the king bade his ministers go and bring that king 
of deer from the kitchen. The ministers went and brought 
the deer into the king's presence. The king asked him, " Why 
did you come yourself ? Is there no longer any other deer 
that you come yourself ? " 

The king of deer replied, " Your majesty, it is not that 
there are no other deer. Moreover, to-day it was really the 
turn of the other herd. But the doe in that herd, whose turn 
it happened to be, was pregnant with two young ones in her 
womb. That doe was called and bidden : ' Go to the king's 
kitchen. To-day is your turn.' 



310 THE MAHAVASTU 

" Now the king of that other herd is Vi^akha. The doe 
went to him and said, ' To-day, it is my turn to go to the 
king's kitchen, but I am pregnant with two young ones in 
my womb. I wish, therefore, that another be sent, and then, 
when I am delivered, I will go.' But the other deer that was 
ordered to go in her stead was not willing, saying that it was 
the doe's turn and that she should go. In short, all those deer 
would not excuse her but kept saying, ' To-day is your turn. 
Go.' 

"And as she was not relieved by them she came and appealed 
to me, saying, (365) * To-day it is my turn to go from my herd, 
and I have two young ones in my womb. But they will not 
let me be. What I desire is that the king of the deer should 
order a deer from this herd to go to the king's kitchen. When 
I am delivered I will go myself.' 

" I gave immunity to that doe. But the deer that I ordered 
to go in her place was not willing and said, ' It is not the turn 
of our herd, but of the other.' And in the same way all who 
were ordered were unwilling to com.e hither out of their turn. 
Then I reflected that, since I had given immunity to the doe, 
I should go myself. And so here am I come mj^self." 

When the king heard the deer he was amazed, and all the 
people with him, exclaiming, "Ah ! What a righteous king 
of deer ! " And the king of Kasi thought, " It is not this deer 
which lays down his life for another and knows what is dharma, 
that is the beast. W^e are the beasts, who know not dharma 
and inflict harm on such beaiitiful, sterling, and inoffensive 
creatures." To the king of deer he said, " I am delighted 
with your presence. You are compassionate and magnanimous, 
since, though only a deer, you gave immunity to that doe 
who bore life within her. On your account and as a result 
of what you have said, 1 also grant immunity to all deer. 
From this day forth I grant immunity to all deer in the land. 
Go, and dwell here all of you without fear or trembling." 

And the king caused a proclamation to be made in the city 
by bellmen : "No one is to molest deer in my realm, because 
of the grant of immunity that I have bestowed on this king 
of deer." 

In time the rumour of this reached the devas, and Sakra, 
the lord of devas, in order to test the king, created several 



HISTORY OF THE DEER PARK 311 

hundred thousand deer. The whole land of Kasi swarmed 
with them ; there was not a field without deer. The people 
of the country appealed to the king. 

Nyagrodha, the king of deer, called the doe and said to her, 
" Good doe, return to the herd of Visakha." But she replied, 
" king of deer, I will not go. I had rather die with you 
than live with Visakha." And she recited this verse : — 

(366)Af^w should follow Nyagrodha and not seek Visakha. 
It is better to die with Nyagrodha than live with Visakha ^ 

The people of the coimtry appealed to the king, saying, 

*'The land is being despoiled; this rich realm is being 
ruined. Deer devour the crops. king, put an end to this." 

'*Let the land be despoiled and this rich realm ruined. 
I will not call it a wrong that I have given this boon to the 
king of deer." 

From this bestowing of a gift on the deer the wood at 
Risipattana^ was named Mrigadaya.^ 

" In twelve years the Bodhisattva will leave his existence 
among the Tusitas." And the ^uddhavasa devas, assuming 
the guise of brahmans, recited the Vedas and Mantras, and 
told the thirty-two marks of a Great Man, as they proclaimed 
the coming of the Bodhisattva into the world. 



^ Cf. Jdtaka I. 152, 4. 43. 

2 So spelt here. 

3 Elsewhere in the Mahduastu and in Buddhist Sanskrit the name of 
this park is Mrigadava. Here it is called Mrigadaya in order to fit ttie 
etymology suggested by the above story {Mriga + da). In the Pali texts, 
also, the name is almost always Migadaya, 



INDEX I. TOPICS 



Affection {sneha), 304 

Alms, duty to give, 39 ; time to beg, 

30, 46, 256 
Amenability to teaching, 42, 262, 

194, 265 
Apparitions, 140 ff. 
Applied thought {vitarka), 183 /. 
Architecture, 153/. 
Arhan ( = Buddha), i, passim 
Arhans, 49, 79, 84, 125/., 199, 203/., 

238 
Aryans, 81, 184, _238, 247 ; Aryan 

teaching, 146 ; Aryan truths, 243 ; 

see also ISToble disciple. 
Asravas, 49, 116, 130, 136 /., 161, 

201 n., 204, 206, 277, 281 
Assemblies of disciples, 49, 57, 59, 

204, 206 
Atimuktaka, plant, 205 
Attachment (sanga), 37, 40, 42, 94, 

197. 198 
Attainments [sampadd), 198 n., 243 n. 
Austerities, 5, 83 
Average worldling (prithagjana), 28, 

61, 81, 99, 112, 125 



Barter of goods, 274 

Benares cloth, 191, 245, 255 

Bhavya, tree, 205 

Bhlsma, plant, 186, 221 

Bhumis, see Bodhisattvas, careers of 

Birds do not fly over a Buddha's 
mother, 167 
I Birth, old age and death, 36, 283 

Birth without parents, 115, 134 

Bodhi tree, 3, 99, 124, 204 

Bodhisattvas, as discoverers and in- 
ventors, 107/. ; as universal kings, 
85 ; austerities of, 65, 83 ; careers 
of, I, 39 ff., 53 ff. {bhumis) ; equal 
to Buddhas from the eighth bhUmi, 
83 ; families in which they are 
born, 156/. ; special place in hell, 
81 ; their leaving home, 122 ff. ; 
their ten powers, 234 ; who com- 
mit murder, 82 

Brahmans, 39, 73, 119, 148, 155, 156, 
163, 178, 182, 188 j^T., 216, 222, 233, 
238 #., 254^., 268^., 277 #., 297, 
298, 301 

Brutes, world of, 22, 26/., 81, 200, 202 

Buddha, sound of the word, 190, 
201 /., 255 

Buddha = Pratyekabuddha, 253 /. 



Buddha, Dharma, vSangha, 31, 66, 
212, 242 ff., 265, 270 n. 

Buddhas, birth of, 77 j^^., 117 #., 171 
ff. ; chastity of their mothers, 113, 
115/-. 157; conception of, 112 ff., 
157 #• J do not worship gods, 177 ; 
eighteen attributes of, 33/., 42, 127, 
192, 194 /., 282 /; eighty minor 
characteristics, see Great Man ; 
extent of their radiance, ^d> ff. ; 
' fields ' of, 95 ff., 155, 163, 202 ; 
five ' eyes ' of 12^ ff. ; five obliga- 
tions of, 42 /. ; four assurances of 
33 /., 42, 193, 282 /. ; how they 
enter a town, 256 ; ideal mother of, 
113, 157/., 162/. ; innumerability 
of, 94, 98, 198, 285 ; length of their 
lives, 88 ff. ; marvels when they 
enter a town, 191 /., 257 ; passing 
away of, 53 ff. ; previous Buddhas, 
I/-. 39#.. 48#.. 108 #. ; qualities 
of their voice, 134 ff., 263/. ; rarity 
of, 42, 43, 92, 96, 190, 224 ; sym- 
pathetic appeal of, 4 ; thirty-two 
marks of excellence, see Great Man ; 
tasks of, 112 ; three miraculous 
powers of, 193 ; transcendental 
nature of. 3, 45, 76, 78, 175, 132 #., 
174 ; why they laugh after their 
birth, 1 75 /. ; why they take seven 
strides, 174, 176 ; worship of, 39/., 
40, 48, 49, 223 /. 

Bull drives away disease, 240 /. 

Burial-ground, awareness of, 183 

Calm (samatha), 94, 137 (sama) 
Campaka, plant, 172, 205 
Canopy, magical, 193/., 196/. 
Charity {ddna), 80, 141, 146-156 

[tydga) ; see also Renunciation 
City, the prosperous, 31, 297 
Civilization, growth of, 285 ff. 
Client monk, 31, 199 
Coins, 32, 188, 198 
Colours as signs of clans, 21^ ff. 
Concentration {samddhi), 127, 130 j5^., 

184, 243 
Conqueror (Jina), 4, passim 
Conversion [abhisamaya), 206 
Convert, 94 n., 126 
Courtesans, 216 n., 294 
Craving {trisnd) 74 
Crimes, five, 199 
Cross, to, 33, 40, 88, 94, 130, 177, 

194 /., 207, 282 /. 



313 



314 



INDEX 



Damanaka, plant, 205 

Da^abala, 51, passim 

Death, king of, 244 

Deer hunting, 74, 305 ff. 

Defilement {raja), 55 n., 93 

Demons of disease, 208 ff., 2^5 ff. 

Desolation, state of (apdya), 80, 137/., 
197. 203, 284 

Deva ear, 201 n. 

Deva eye, 53/., 12^ ff., 201 n. 

Deva maidens, 116/., 161, 167, 170, 
172 /. 

Devas, acclaim birth of Buddha, 78/., 
176 /. ; acclaim Buddha and his 
doctrine, 58, 77 Jf. ; bathe the 
newly-born Buddha, 78 ; beat 
drums, 57 ; hhumyd deva, 34, 185, 
195. 279 ; cast no shadows, 179 ; 
confer blessings, 230 ; converted 
by Buddha, 137 /., 206 ; enjoy 
pleasures of sense, 2$ ff. ; greet the 
unborn Buddha, 114, 170; help 
their living kinsmen, 209 ; hold 
sunshades, 190/. ; honour Buddha, 
186 /. ; kdmdvacara, 126, 166 ; 
magic-working [siddhadeva), 237 ; 
mode of life, 2Sff-, 217 ; prayed to, 
245 ; reborn with the Bodhisattva, 
157 /. ; rupdvacara, 126 ; subject 
to change and rebirth, 26 ff. ; 
Three-and-Thirty devas, 124, 162, 
191, 210, 219, 246, see also 
Trayastrimsa devas in Names Index; 
who are arhans, 28 ; see also 
Proper names 

Dharma, as island and refuge, 280/. ; 
Buddha identified with, 192 n. ; 
Buddha's clear exposition of, 246 ; 
drum of, 36, 45, 206, 283 ; eye of, 
126/., 203; immoveable, 28; in- 
fluence on disease, 212 ; king of, 
145, 150 ; nature of, 28 ; the noble 
{dryadharma), 36, 45, 262 ; sover- 
eignty of, 117 ; standard of, 36, 45, 
283 ; torch of, 36, 45, 205, 283 ; 
trumpet of, 36, 45, 283 ; wheel of, 
33/-. 37. 40. 42, 45. 57. 99, 137, 187. 
194/-. 197. 222, 245, 277 j^., 282/. 

Discipline (vinaya), 57, 77, 137, 157, 
163 

Diviners, 119/., 165/., 178 ff. 

Doctrine (sdsana), 56 ff. 

Doubt {samsaya), 59, 92 {vimati), 128, 
150, 243 (vicikitsita) 

Driver of tameable men, 5, passim 

Earthquakes, 34, 37, 53, 57, 64, 77/., 

164, 195, 197 
Ease {sukha), 183 /, 
Egotism {ahamkdra), 74 
Eight classes of disciples, 94W., 126, 243 



Element {dhdtii), 71, 72, 126 

Elephant wards off disease, 239 

Emancipate, emancipation, see Re- 
lease 

Energy (vlrya), 43 n., 112, 127, 137, 
207 

Enlightenment, how attained, i83j5^. ; 
portents on attainment, 186 /. ; 
proclamation of future, 33, 37, 48, 
195. 205, 278 ff. ; signs attending, 
34 /., 195 /. ; thought of, nullifies 
past misdeeds, 82 ; time taken to 
attain, 30, 39 ff., 46 ff. ; vow to 
win, 33, 36, 40/., 44/., 50, 64, 82, 
88 ff., 194, 205, 261, 277 ff., 282, 
337 ; merit of vow, 63 ; portents 
attending vow, 64, 76 ff. 

Equanimity {upeksd), 30 n., 184,303 

Eunuchs, 82, 86 

Existence, ending of, 84, 89, 92, 97, 
116, 203, 285 

Faculties {indriyd), 193, 250 

Falsehood, origin of, 292 

Fasts, 162, 210 

Fetters {samyojandni), 49, 54 {ban- 

dhandni), 138 n., 204, 264 
Fiery body of a Buddha, 281 
Fig-tree {asvattha), 207 ; (plaksa), 

118 ; (udumbara), 190,224 
Five fingers mark, 223 
Folly [moha), 53, 156, 167, 203, 255 
Food, primeval, 285 ff. ; right view 

of, 252 ; right time for, 256, 274 ; 

seven days' supply of, 91 n., 93 
Forest of sword-leaves, 8, 11, 17 
Four assemblies, 9, 22, 24 ff. 
Four great continents, 2, 7, 41, 44, 62, 

75, 86, 90, 92/., 152, 157, 165, 175 
Four great kings (lords), 25, 124, 162, 

165, 173, 174, 177, 200, 218/. 
Four truths, 137, 148, 205, 206 
Friendliness (maitrd), 30 n., 138, 262 
Friendship, 198 
Fruition {phala), consolidation of, 29 ; 

first, 137/., 150, 261; ten fruitions, 

263 

Gambling with dice, 75, 229 
Ghosts, world of, 22/., 26/., 77, 81 
Gods of Hinduism, 81 n., 124 n., 

177 /., 200, 265 n. 
Good conduct (sUa), five rules of, 168, 

270 ; ten rules, 3, 39, 41, 80, 85 ; 

eleven rules, 115, 160, 274 
Good works [sllavrata), delusion 

about, 243 
Great Man (Mahdpurusa), 93, 116; 

his thirty-two marks [laksandni) 

33/., 42, 51, 56, 91 ff.. 97. 134/-. 

156, 180 ff, 192, 194 /., 282, 302 ; 



INDEX 



315 



eighty minor characteristics {anu- 
vyanjandni), 33 /., 42, 192, 194 /., 
282 
Grottos presented to Buddha, 45 
Groves presented to Buddha, 248 

Hair braided, 300 

Harmlessness (ahimsd), 115, 160, 

224 /., 274, 303 * 
Hatred, 13 /., 62, 104, 229 
HeaUng powers of a Buddha, 209 ff., 

235 ^. ; of a brahman seer, 236 
Heaven {svarga), 233 /., 242, 247 
Heir to throne, consecration of, 42 /., 

52, 60 
Hells, 6 ff., 26, 74, 77, 81, 163, 200 
Heresy and schism, 56, 68, 71, 80, 134, 

200, 208 n. 
Hidden treasures revealed, 79 
Hindrances {nlvarandni), 117 
Holy (chaste) life {brahmacarya), 9, 

22, 24 ff., 48, 51, 168, 210, 284 
Home life, dissatisfaction with, 271 
Homeless state, loi, 270, 271 
Horse born same time as its master, 

123 
Householder, marks of, 304 

111 {du:kha), 57, 62, 64, 72, 136, 184, 

202 ; ending of, 223, 261 
Immortality {amritam), 24, 25, 26, 29, 

244, 246 
Immortals {amritd), 113, 119, 158/., 

163, 165, 172, 176, 178 
Impermanence [anityam), 4, 26/., 46, 

51 /., 71, 136, 307 
Individuality, theory of [satkdya- 

dristi), 243 
Indra column, 154, 191, 243, 257 
Intoxication [madya, madana), 115, 

167, 274 
Introspection (vipasyand), 94 
Invitations, 211 n. 

Jatakas, viii /., period of, 82 /. ; In- 
dividual Jatakas : Abhiya, 29 ff. ; 
Bull, 240 /, ; Elephant, 239 /. ; 
Jyotipala, 265 ff. ; Megha, 184 j^. ; 
Nyagrodha, 305 ff. ; Raksita, 235 ; 
Three Birds, 225^. ; Vagisa, 222 j5^. 

Kalpavriksa, tree, 118, 171 

Karkdrava, plant, 221 

Karma, exhaustion of, 244, 285; mixed 

{vydmisra), 80; persistence of, 6 ff. 
Karnikdra, plant, 186, 245 
Kesara, plant, 32, 168 /., 187, 221, 

282 
King, duties of, 228 ff., 306 ; five-fold 

power of, 233 ; insignia, 214 ff. ; 

institution of, 293 



King, universal, if., 41, 44, 48, 52, 84, 
88^., 121/., 152, 157, 165/., 175, 
221 ; his capital city, 152 ff., 189, 
204 /. ; his seven treasures, 41, 
85 /., 88, 152 

Kingdom, the prosperous, 152, 225, 
235. 238 /., 240 

Knower of the world {lokavid), 32, 
passim. 

Knowledges, three, 201 

Koviddra [Kovilara), 27 w. 

Ksatriyan (noble), 121, 156, 293 

Lakuca, tree, 205 

Leaves of trees not harmed, 80 

Leprosy {kustha), 298 

Life, destruction of, 14, i(> ff., 162, 
164, 224, 274 ; elements of {sams- 
kdrd), 99, 207, 248 ; length of life, 
49, 88 Jf., 204 ; seed of {btjd), 244 

Light of the world, 37, 45, 51, 78, 80, 
163, 167, 192, 196 /,, 284 

Lokottaravadins, xi, 3, 125 n., 174 n. 

Loneliness, 183, 303 /. 

Lovely, the {kalydna), 11, 121, 198, 
247. 251/., 254 

Lust {kilesa, klesa), 92, 121, 127, 184/., 

203, 209, 219, 248 

Magic (riddhi), 54, 57 ff., 125, 201 n., 

204, 209, 221 ; see also Apparitions, 
Miracles 

Magic herbs, 103 

Magic stride, 30, 46 /., 54 

Mahayana x/., ix, 94 w. 

Malice (dosa), 75, 156 

Malice and folly {dosa, moha), 50 

Mansion, heavenly {vimdna), 25, 247 

Marks of excellence, thirty-two, see 

Great Man 
Marriage custom, 288 
Material form (rupa), 199 
Meditation (dhydna), 83, 127, 183 ff., 

226, 236, 296, 298 
Memory of former lives, 5, 28, 39, 114, 

184 /., 201 n., 222 ff. 
Mental forms {manomayd rupd), 126 ; 

images {nimitta), 46 
Merchant, patron of monks, 31 
Mercy, 103 /. 
Merit, 22, 28, 39, 40. 63, 85 /., 88 ff., 

125, 134, 161/., 205/., 22^ ff., 251, 

260, 276, 279 ; see also Root of 

merit 
Meritorious gift, 246 /. 
Metals, discovery of, 107 /. 
Mindfulness {smriti). 77, 78, 127 /., 

184 
Mind-reading, 59, 201 n. 
Miracles {prdtihdrya), 193 



3i6 



INDEX 



Monks, chapters of, 3 ; requisities of, 

29, 41, 44, 90, 245 . 
Moon reached by the hand of a seer, 

236 
Moral state {vihdra), 30, 147 
Multiformity of phenomena [ndndtva), 

128 
Musical instruments, five, 135, 153 

Niggardly teachers, 71 

Nine-fold scriptures {navavidha — 

idsana) 249 
Nirvana, 29, 132, 145, 221 {parinir- 

vdna) 
Noble disciple {dryasrdvaka), powers 

of, 43 
Nuns, 86, 204, 207 

Observances (vrata), 49, 156, 204 
Offerings, 61, 70, 243, 251, 253 /. 
Old age and birth, 118 
Old age and death, 78, 79, 88, 112, 

124, 132 
Old age, death and doubt, 92 
Old age and disease, 173 
Old age, disease and death, 44, 45, 139 
Ordination {up as amp add), 3, 271 
Owl counsels a king, 228 ff. 



Palaces presented to Buddha, 41, 44, 

52, 89, 92, 93 
Pdlevata, tree, 205 

Palm-trees of precious substances, 152 
Parents, treatment of, 39, 146, 270/. 
Pdriydtra {Pdripdtra), tree, 27 n., 221 
Parricide, 21, 80, 145, 199 
Parrot acts as messenger, 217 ; 

counsels a king, 232 j^^. 
Pass away {nirvrita, nirvriti), 54, 56, 

58, 84, 244, 247 ; (parinirvrita) 33, 

42, 114, 195, 252, 282/. ; {nirvdti, 

parinirvdti) 28 n., 33, 39, 155, 195, 

222, 252, 282 /., 303 
Passion (rdga), 74, 134, 161, 166, 171, 

199 ; overcome, 255 ; overcoming 

of proneness to, 244 
Passion, hatred and folly {rdga, 

dvesa, moha), 87, 106 
Passion, malice and folly {rdga, dosa, 

moha), 30, 31, 141 
Perception, cessation of, 94 ; objects 

of {dlamhana), 100 
Perfume dealers, 32 
Pity {kantnd, mahdkarund) , 30 n., 90, 

loi, 108, 138, 157, 263, 303 
Pleasures of sense (kdma), 26, 27, 46, 

58, 62, 68, 69, 74. 84, 145, 153, 158, 

183, 228 
Postures {trydpathd), 18, 132, 137, 192 



Powers {baldni), of a Bodhisattva, 
see Bodhisattvas ; of a noble 
disciple, see Noble disciple ; of a 
Tathagata, see Tathagata 

Pride and conceit {mdna, mada), 53, 
65, 120, 180, 219, 263, 264 

Pratyekabrahma, 81 

Pratyekabuddha, 40, 48, 51, 68, 94 
{pyatyekajina), 112, 119 n., 125, 

155. 249 ff., 285, 302 /. 
Price of truth, 72 ff. 

Raj an, etymology of, 293 

Reasoning, valid {yathdtatha sthdna), 
130 

Rebirth, 45, 53, 57, 71, 222, 247 ; 
round of {samsdra), 9, 29, 36, 80, 
94, 98, 163, 174 ; source of {upddi, 
upadhi), 56, 91, 199, 203 

Recluses, 33, 34, 39, 136, 148, 155, 

156, 163, 183, 190, 197, 233, 238, 
258, 260, 268 (shaveling ascetics), 
277 #• ; false, 16 ; unorthodox, 236 

Refuge, 78, 123, 145, 147/-, 150, 198. 

207, 211 /., 270 (three refuges), 

280/. 
Release(d) {mukta, vimukti), 33, 34, 

131. ^55> 194. 195. 244, 282, 283, 

303 ; complete, see Pass away 
Religious life {pravrajyd), 271 ; to 

take up {pravrajafi), 76, 165, 198, 

271, 283 
Renunciation {tydga), 72, 83, loi 
Restraint {samvara), 82 
Rice, first cultivation of, 288 ff. 
Rocamdna, plant, 186, 221 
Root of goodness (merit), i, 38, 40, 

48/., 63/., 88, 106, 112 ff., 170, 194, 

224 

Sdhika, animal, 16, 18 

Saints {vasibhuta), 59, 112, 128, 144, 

, 147/- 

Sdkota, tree, 296 
Sal tree, 54, 175 
Samantagandha, tree, 186, 221 
Sangha, the, 80, 88, 93, 243 ff., 249 ; 

its influence on disease, 212 
Sdnkusa, insect, 18 
Sdrika, a bird, 226 ff. ; counsels a 

king, 231 #. 
Sarvastivadins, xiii /. 
Scorpion and snake, 229 
Sectaries, 190 
Sects, 3 n. 

Seers {risis), 150, 22^ ff., 236 
Self {dim an), 24 ; and not-self, 136 ; 

as island and refuge, 280 /. ; 

-becoming, 3, 29, 69 ; -control, 

82, loi, 138 ; -made-to-become, 

255 ; -sacrifice, 4, 72 ff. 



INDEX 



317 



Selfishness [mamakdra), 74 

Sexual pleasure, 106 

Shrines presented to the Buddha, 

24S /. 
Sixteen great provinces, 157, 240 «. 
Skandhas, 58 

Slavery, 15, 18, 31, 75, 156, 295 
Spells, 80, 86, 102 /., 242 
Spheres of existence, 36, 45, 80/., 244 
Stream-winner {srotdpanna), 82, 94 n., 
^ 137, 138, 261 n. 
Sudra, 148 
Sugata, 4, passim 

Sun reached by the hand of a seer, 236 
Super-knowledge [ahhijnd), 84, 201, 

226, 236, 296, 298 
Sustained thought [vicar a), 183 /. 
Svayambhu, 3«., 29 n. 
Sympathetic appeal, 4 n., 105 
Sympathy (muditd), 30 n., 303 



Tathagata, i, passim ; born with a 
mind-made body, 174 ; = Pratye- 
kabuddha, 253, 304 ; ten powers 
(baldni), 33, 34, 40, 42, 51, 63, 126/., 
193. 194 /. 220, 282 

Ten precepts {siksdpaddni), 274 

Theft, origin of, 292 

Theravadins, xii ff. 



Three ' heaps ' [rdsis), 138 /. 

Three refuges, 270 

Three Birds, 225 ff. 

Three distractions [auddhatya), 106 

Topes [stupa), 50, 80, 222 /., 252,254 

Tortures, 16 

Triad of treasures, 70, 242 ff. 

Vdtushdra, plant, 205 
Violence, origin of, 292 

War, wrongfulness of, 14 

Way {nidrga), 86, 223 ; the wrong 
{vdma nidrga), 11, 239 {apamdrga) 

Wizard, 103 

World, dissolution of, 43, 184/., 192, 
197, 222, 285 /. ; evolution of, 44, 
184/., 222, 285/. ; the other, 141, 
224, 228, 230, 233, 236, 242 ; 
withdrawal from, 61/., 69, 84, 121, 
244 

Worlds, spaces between, 35, 186, 196 ; 
three, 78 /., 139, 220 ; three 
thousand, 34, 63, 96, 98, 192, 197 

Worthy man {satpurusa), 31, 243, 247 

Writing, syles of, 107 

Yogacaras, xiii, 94 
Zest ipriti), 183 /. 



INDEX II. NAMES* 



(Titles of works in italics. Pali works cited in footnotes are not listed. See 
list of abbreviations.) 



Abhasvara, 44, 52, 285 

Abhaya, 141 ff. 

Abhaya, 177 n. 

Abhijit, 2 

Abhiya, 30 jf. 

Aditya, 49, 51 

Ajakarna, 59 

Ajita. 43 

Ajita Kesakambala, 209 

Alakundala-Bhattiya, 59 

Amavakosa, 86 n. 

Ambara, 97 

Amita, 298, 301 

Andersen, D., 268 n. 

Amrapalika (Amrapali), 216, 249 

Amritodana, 298, 301 

Ananda, 61 ff., 207, 234, 246, 265 ff. 

Anantamaya, 301 

Anathapindika, 5 

Anga, 29, 240 /. 

Anihata, 97 

Aniruddha, 54, 59 

Anyonya, 49, 51 

Aparagodaniya, 7, 41 

Aparajita, 88 

Aparajitadhvaja, i, 50 

Apratima, 101 ff. 

Apsaras, 27, 114, 117 /., 170, 172, 

247, 252, 254 
Arcimat, 152 ff. 
Arka, 45 
A^oka, 204, 207 
Asura, 24 ff., 37, 55 /.. 77. 84, 149, 

166, 197, 212, 219, 246, 277, 295 
Asvaka, 29 
Asvatara, 217 /. 
Atimaya, 301 
Atula, 205 /. 
A vaddna-sataka, 253 n. 
Avici, 13, 20 /., 36, 45, 64, 81, 145, 

178, 186, 196, 284 
Avanti, 29 

Bailey, H. W., xi, xix, i n., 6 n., 11 n., 

14 n., 15 n. 
Balika, 249 
Balikachavl, 249 
Bamboo Grove, 210 
Bandhuma, 43 
Barth, A., xviii. 
Beal, S., 118 «., 154 n. 



Benares, 128, 137, 149, 225, 227, 238 

ff.. 256, 271 ff., 300 
Bharadvaja, clan name, 88, 93 56 
Bharadvaja, disciple of Ka^yapa, 2 
Bodhisattvabhumi, xiii 
Bohtlingk, O. and Roth, R., 8 n., 

105 n., 154 n., 164 n., 171 n., 175 n., 

219 n., 234 n., 287 n., 307 n. 
Brahma, 37, 81, 84, 182, 220, 246 
Brahma devas, 28, 34, 163, 169, 176, 

186/., 218, 280 
Brahmadatta, 225 ff., 235 /., 238, 

305 ff- 
Buddhaghosa, 43 n., 95 n., 188 n. 
Buddhdnusmriti, 129 
Burnouf, E., 72 n., 127 n., 187 n., 

200 n. 

Caitra, month, 244 

Cakravada, 7 

Caldwell, R., 107 n. 

Capala, 248 

Carunetra, 97 

Caruvarna, 144 

Caturmaharajika devas, 25, 34, 169, 

186, 195, 218, 280 
Caturangabala, 92 
Caturanta, 144 
Ceti, 29 

Chalmers, Lord, 5 n., 16 n., 243 n. 
Chandaka, 122 ff. 
Childers, R. C, 87 n., 115 n. 
Chinese, 107, 135 
Citraratha, 27 

Coomaraswamy, A. K., i n., 153 n. 
Culiya, 301 

Danava devas, 55, 159 

Darada, 107, 135 

Dasabhumika, xiii 

Dasabhumlsvara, 87 n. 

Dasarna, 29 

Dayal, Har, xiv, 60 n., 70 n., 100 n. 

Deer Park, 128, 271/., 2^7 ff., 301 j^., 

310 
Devadaha, 301 /. 
Devadatta, loi, 103 /. 
Dhammapada, xv 
Dharanimdhara, 88 
Dharmadeva, 204 
Dharmaruci, 201 j^^. 



* The Long lists of Buddhas on pp. 108 ff. are not included. 

318 



INDEX 



31^ 



Dhautodana, 298, 301 
DhritarSstra, 25 n., 124 n., 200 
Dhruva, 140, 145 /. 
Dlpamkara, 2, 48, 51, 53, 134, 152^., 

189 #. 
DipavatI, 152 ff. 
Divydvaddna, xiii, 15 n., 30 n., 131 n., 

250 n., 253 w. 
Dravidians, 107 
Dridhabahu, Buddha, 98 
Dridhabahu, monk, 144 
Dridhadhanu, 50 
Durjaya, 91 

Edgerton, F,, x 

FausboU, v., 250 n. 

Gandharva, 81, 99, 115, 135, 137, 

148 /., 159, 162, 295 
Ganges, 213 /., 216 ff. 
Garuda, 163 n., 295 
Gautamaka, 248 
Gaya, 5 

Ghatikara, 265 ff. 
Gosringi, 216, 225, 245 
Gotama, xii /., 9, 54, 129 /., 244 /. 
Gotama, clan name, 88 /,, 207 
Great Grove, 248 
Greeks, 107, 135 
Gridhrakuta, 29, 46, 59 
Guhyaka, 84, 108, 149 
Guptakama, 1 44 
Guru, 45 

Hare, E, M., 250 n. 
Haryaksa, 59 
Hastikasirsa, 294, 297 /. 
Himalayas, 188, 226, 236, 295 /., 

298 #. 
Hitopadesa, 229 n. 
Horner, Miss I. B., xix/,, 37 w., 58 «., 

91 «., 153 n., 183 n., 192 n., 211 n., 

266 n,, 303 n. 
Huns, 107 

Indra, 81, 124, 139, 144, 162, 166 
Indradhvaja. 48, 51 
Iksvaku, 77 /., 293 /. 
Itihdsa, 188 n. 

Jain (Nirgrantha), 209, 212, 240 n. 

Jala, 294 

J all, 294 

Jambudhvaja, 48, 51 

Jambudvipa, 7, 41, 44, 62, 75, 172, 

301/. 
Jathara, 101 Jf. 
Jenta, 292 ff. 
Jenti, 294 ff 



Jeta Grove, 5, 22 ff. 

Jnanadhvaja, 97 

Jyotispala (Jyotipala), 2, 265 ff. 



Kakuda Katyayana, 209 

Kalandakanivapa, 210 

Kalasutra, 6, 9, 12, i^ff., 36, 45, 284 

Kalinga (Kalinga), 140 

Kalyana, 293 

Kambala, 217 /. 

Kampilla, 235 

Kanakamuni, 245, 267 

Kanakaparvata, 90 

Kanthaka, 122. ff. 

Kapila, 296 ff. 

Kapilahvaya, i n. 

Kapilavastu, i, 37, 123, 195, 198, 207, 

284, 297 ff- 
Kapinahya, 248 
Karabhogaja, 149 
Karakandaka, 294, 297 
Karotapani (Yaksa), 25 
Kasi, 29. 57. 238^.. 250, 254, 271 ff.. 

295 f-> 305 
Kasivardhana, 145 
Kasyapa, Buddha, 2, 48, 51, 245, 

255 ff: 266 /. 
Kasyapa, disciple, 53 ff. 
Kasyapa, clan name, 92 
Kasyapa Piirana, 208 
Katyayana, 60 ff. 
Kaundinya, 48, 51, 90 
Khadgavisdna-sutra, 303 
Khuddakapdtha, xv 
Kinnara, 54, 134 
Kirfel, W., 6 n. 
Kirtiman, 144 
Kokanada, 272 
Kola, 298 ff. 
Kolisova (?), 301 
Koliyans, 301 
Kolita, 6, 22, 24, 51, 207 
Kosala, 29, 265 jf., 295 /. 
Krakucchanda, 245, 267 
Krakutsanda, 2 
Kriki, 252 ff.. 271 ff. 
Krisna, 219 n. 
Ksema, 207 
Ksudravastu, xiii 
Kukkula, 7, 10 
Kumbha, 8 
Kumbhanda, 212, 295 
Kunapa, 7, 10 /. 
Kundala, 224 
Kundala, 208 
Kunjara, 149 
Kuru, 29 
Kusa, loi j5^. 
Kusuma, 140, 143 ff. 
Kusumbha, 143 



320 



INDEX 



Lak§aneya, 144 

Lalitavikrama, 9^ 

Lalita Vistara, 15 «., 84 n., 107 «., 
118 n., 121 n., 123 M., 131 n., 160 «., 
185 n., 209 w,, 264 «., 295 n. 

La Valine Poussin, L. de, xviii 

Law, B. C, xviii 

Licchavi, 209 ff., 240, 246, 248 

Lokaguru, 97 

Lotus {Saddharmapi(p(^arlka), 35 n., 
126 n., 127 w., 131 w., 187 n. 

Lotus Grove, 171 /., 177, 183, 187 

Lumba, 78 

Liimbini, 118 

Magadha, 29, 107, 256 
Maha-Avici, 9 
Mahabala, 144 
Mahabhaga, 98 
Mahdbhdrata, 307 n. 
Maha-Brahma (Great Brahma), 165 

ff., 177, 187, 218 
Maha-Cakravada, 7 
Mahadhyayin, 149 
Maha-Maudgalyayana, see Maud- 

galyayana 
Mahamaya, 301 
Mahanaga, 144 
Mahaprajapati, 301 
Maha-Raurava, 7, 9, 12, 19 
Maha-Sammata, 293 
Mahasamudra, 25 
Mahasanghika, 3 
Mahavana, 27 

Mahdvyutpatti, 126 n., 193 n., 234 n. 
Mahayasas, 92 
Mahesvara, 178 /., 218, 220 
Magha, 26 n., 27 n., 131 n. 
Maghavan, 131 
Maitreya, 43, 49 /. 
Maladhara Yaksa, 25 
Maladharin 97 
Malla, 29, 54 
MalinI, 249 ff. 
Manasa, 57 

Mdnava Dharmasdstra, 3 n. 
Mandhatar, 293 
Mangala, 204 ff. 
Mango Grove, 249 
Mara, 33 ff., 88, 118, 159, 176, 186, 

196, 224, 277 
Mara's devas, 175 
Maradhvaja, 48, 51 
Marakaranda, 265, 267 
Markatahradatira, 249 
Marutas, 119 w., lyg n. 
Matsya, 29 
Maudgalyayana, 6 ff. 
Maung Tin, 43 n., 250 n. 
Maya, 77/., 113 ff., 207, 301 ff. 
Megha, 2, 18 j /f. 



Meghadatta, 184 ff. 

Meghaduta, 57 n. 

Meru, 77, 131, 141, 159, 164, 177 

Middle Country, 3, 29 

Misrakavana, 27 

Mithila, 239 

Morris, R,, 6 n. 

Mrigadava (Mrigadaya), 128 w., 311 w. 

Mrigapatiskandha, 97 

Mrigapatisvara, 92 

Miiller, F. W. K., 6 n. 

Miiller, M., 115 n., 252 n. 

Naga, 35, 81, 103, 149, 161, 165, 168, 
170, 177, 186, 196, 205/., 212, 217, 

219 ff; 250 

Nagabhuja, 75 

Nairafijana, 5 

Namatideva, 77 

Namuci, 165, 219 

Nanda, monk, 31 j^. 

Nanda, king, 264 

NandapuskarinI, 27 

Nandana, 27 

Naresvara, 88 

Nilakesa, 144 

Nipura, 294, 297 /. 

Nirgrantha Jiiatiputra, 209, 212 

Nirmanarati devas, 28, 35, 169, 185, 

196, 280 
Nyagrodha, 305 ff. 

Opura, 294, 297 /. 

Padmottara, 48, 51 

Palita, 204 

Paiicala, 29, 235 

Pancatanira, 229 n. 

Pausa, month, 162 

Persians, 135 

Pisaca, 74, 170, 212, 295 

Paranirmitavasavartin devas, 28, 35, 

169, 185, 196, 218, 220, 280 
Parusyaka, 27 
Parvata, 45 
Pradyota, 48, 51 
Pralambabahu, 59 
Pratapa, Buddha, 48, 31 
Pratapa, hell, 7 
Priyadarsana, 90 
Purnacandra, 97 
Purnaka, 200 
Piirvavideha, 7, 41 
Puspa, 39, 48 
Puspadanta, 91 

Questions of 3akra, 295 

Rahula, 121, 134 

Rajagriha, 29 /., 30. 46 /., 57. ^39. 
I 209 ff., 240 /. 



INDEX 



321 



lidjavaynsa, 285 

Raksasa, 73, 126, 146, 161, 166, 170, 

212, 295 
Raksita, 236, 238 
Ramatha, 107, 135 
Ratanacuda, 93 
Ratanakholaka, 147 
Ratanaparvata, 89 
Ratna (Ratnavan), 52 
Rava, 293 

Raurava, 7, 9, 12/., 18/., 36, 45, 284 
Rhys Davids, Mrs., ix, i «., 115 n., 

127 n., 199 n., 252 n., 280 n., 303 n. 
Rhys Davids, T. W., 5 n., 29 w., 43 n., 

71 w., 138 7Z., 153 n. 
Risipattana, 37 w., 311 
Risivadana, 37, 128, 137, 256, 262, 
' 271 /., 277 ff., 284 
Rohaka, 305 
Ry lands, C. A., xix 

Sadamatta Yaksa, 25 

Jsaketa, 294 ff. 

^akra (= Indra), 27, 165, 177, 186, 

210, 218 /., 246, 310 
^akyamuni, i /., 33, 40, 48, 51, 88, 

128, 195, 200, 205 
^akyans, 3, 37, 57, 78, 123, 195, 198, 

207, 284, 293W, 297 ff. 
Sal Forest, 245 
Samantagupta, 48 
Samitavin, 2, 41 /., 44, 49 
Sanghata, 6, 9, 12, 17 /., 36, 45, 284 
Sanjaya, 74 

Sanjayin Verattiputra, 209 
Saiijlva, 6, 9 f., 13 f., 36, 45, 284 
^anta, 144 

Santusita, 165, 186, 218 
Saptamra, 248 
Saptaparna, 57 
Sarasa, 144 

^ariputra, 38, 207 n., 234 
Sarva'bhibhu, 2, 31 ff. 
^astravisarada, 144 
^astri, Haraprasad, xi 
^atarasmi, 159 
Satvara, 74 
Saudamani, 122 
Schiefner, F. D. V., 12 n. 
Scythians, 135 
Senart, E., ix /., 2 n., and passim in 

notes 
Sesa, 219 «• 
^ikharadara, 137 
Simha, 240 /. 
Simhahanu, Buddha, 97 
Simhahanu, ^akyan king, 29S 
Simhahanu, monk, 144 
Simhanandi, 144 
Sineru, 217 n. 
$iri, 205 



6iva, 200, 219 n. 

^Ivali, 204 ' 

6ivi, 29 

Skanda, 200 

^ravasti, 5, 201 

^reniya Bimbisara, 110 ff., 238, 240/. 

Stede, W., xix, 24 n. 

Sthapakarnika, 200 

Stavakarnin, 200 n. 

Subhiiti, 301 /. 

Sudarsana, Buddha, 88 

Sudarsana, city in Trayastrim^a, 216 

Buddha, 294 

§uddhavasa devas, 28, 30, 39, 46 /., 

119. 155/-. 165, 169, 182, 218, 302 
^uddhodana, 113 ff., 207, 234, 298, 

301 ff. 
Sudeva, 204 
Sudipa, 155 ff. 
Sujata, see Iksvaku 
J^uklodana, 298, 301 
Sumuka, 268 
Sundara, Buddha, 97 
Sundara, king, 205 
Sundarananda, 59 
Sunirmita, 165, 186, 218, 220 
Suparna, 165, 168 
Suprabha, 89 
Suprabhasa, 49/. 
Sura, 24, 37, 56, 77, 113, 122, 138, 145, 

159, 163, 180, 197 
Surasena, 29 
SuUanipdta, xv 
Suyama, 165, 186, 218 /. 

Tapana, 7, 9, 13, 19/- 

Taru, 148 /. 

Thapakarni, 200 

Thomas, E. J., xviii, i n. 

Timitimingila, 200 

Tisya, 256 

Tomara, 2og ff., 240, 251 

Trayastrimsa devas, 25 ff., 34, 77, 

169, 185, 195, 216/., 218, 254, 280 
Trenckner, V., 90 n. 
Tridasa, 124 n. 
Tundaturika, 200 
Tusita, 78, 99, 112/., 117, 155/., 159. 

162 /., 220, 284, 361 
Tusita devas, 4, 28, 35, 137, 169, 196, 

218, 280 

Ugra, 103 

Ulkamukha, 294, 297 /. 
Upali, 59. 139 
Upatisya, 207 
Upendra, 81 
Uposadha, 293 
Utpalavarna, 207 
Uttara, 204, 206 
Uttarakuru, 7, 41, 81, 107 
Uttiya, 31. 38 



322 



INDEX 



Va{2;isa (Vagina), 129, 222 /. 

Vaihaya, 57 

Vaijayanta, 27 

Vairocana, 49 

Vai^ali (Ve^ali), 208 ff., 235, 238, 240, 

242 ff., 246 
Vaisravana, 200 
Vaitarani, 8, 11 
Vajji, 29, 219, 273 
Valguya, 155 
Varana, 149 
Varuna, god, 200, 22p 
Varuna, disciple of Buddha, 59 
Vasavartin, 165, 186 
Vasistha, 32, 88, 92, 225, 235, 238 ff., 

248 
Vasumata, 30 jf. 
Vasundhara, 74 
Vatsa, clan name, 91 
Vatsa, 29 

Veda, 156, 188, 198, 298 
Veddnga, 188 
Venidinga, 267, 274 /. 
Vicintaciita, 59 
Videha, 239 
Vijaya, 89 
Vijita, 294 
Vimala, 294 



Vimdnavatthu, xv 

Vinaya-Pitaka, xii /., 3 
Vipa^yin, 2, 244 
Virudhaka, 200 
Virupaksa, 200 
Vilakha, 305 ff. 
Vi^alaksa, 144 
Visnu, 219 n. 
Viivabhu, 244 
Vriddha, 144 
Vriji, 219 n. 
Vyagrapadya, 301 

Wassiljew, V. P., 129 n. 

Williams, Monier, 8 n., to n. 

Windisch, E., xii 

Winternitz, M., xviii 

Woodward, F. L., 16 n., 43 n., 280 n. 

Yaksa, 25, 35, 81, 84, 126, 162, 166, 
170, 177, 186, 196, 212, 218/., 221, 

295 
Yaksini, 208 
Yama, 11, 15, 200, 220 
Yama devas, 28, 35, 169, 185, 195, 

219, 280 
Yasavrata, 88 
Yasodhara, loi, 121 



INDEX III. SANSKRIT WORDS 

Some Sanskrit words discussed in the notes, with some Pali equivalent 
or related words in brackets. 

akhila, i6o 

agrajfia (agganna), 287 

agha (id.), 35 

agrapudgala, 39 

atinameti {id.), 151 

atriptiga (atittiga), 105 

adanaguna, 70 

advaya, 193 

adhivasa, 208 

adhisthanaka, 153 

anantavudagra, 64 

anavadyabala (anavajjabala), 43 

anavaragra (anamatagga), 29 

anavartikadharma, 28 

anivartanacarya, i 

anumodana {id.), 246 

anulomacarya, i 

anuvarga, 154 

anelika (anelaka), 211 

anotrapin (anottapin), 87 

antaraparinirvayin (antaraparinib- 

bayin), 28 
antevasin, 223 
anyataka (aiiiiataka), 291 
apravartita, 33 

abhavyata (abhabbatthana), 243 
abhijna (abhiiina), 84 
abhinirvrita (abhinibbati), 132 
abhinivesa, 50 

abhisamskrita (abhisankhara), 21 
abhisamaya {id.), 206 
abhisamadayitva (samadaya), 21 
arhan (arahant), i 
alpotsukatva (appossukkata), 134 
avakirnin, 68 
avasruta (avassuta), 69 
avidha, 251 
astamaka (atthamaka), 94 



agamya (agamma), 198 
ade^ana (adesana), 193 
arttiyante (attiyati), 174 
alambana (arammana), 94 
avarjana (avajjana), 106 
avigalita, 122 
avuso {id.), 139 
avenika {id.), 33 
asrava (asava), 49 
asphara, 10 

iryapatha (iriyapatha), 18 

ucchanga (ussankha), 181 
utkutika (ukkutika), 169 



utsada (ussada),^6, 51 

utsedha, 6 

udvedha (ubbedha), 154 

upaksetra, 95 

upapaduka (opapatika), 115 

upahara, 139 

upadi {id.), 199 

upeksa (upekkha), 30 

iihate, 129 

rillaka, 187 

erakavarsika, 16 
eluka, 154 

auddhatya (uddhacca), 106 
aupapaduka (opapatika), 115 

kartrima (kittima), 102 
kalpa (kappa), 2 
karsapana (kahapana), 32 
kalajfia (kalanfiuta), 4 
koti, 3 

kaupina (koplna), 105 
krosika, 36 
khara, 11 

guruka (garuka), 70 
gufusthayin, 22 

cakravartin, i 
catu:karna (catukanna), g 
cirakavarsika, 16 

j anapadasthavirya ( j anapadathavi- 
riya), 293 

tirthika (titthiya), 84 

daksiniya (dakkhineyya), 61 
deyadharma (deyyadhamma), 246 
desanamatsarin, 71 

dhutaguna (dhutanga), 53 
dhutaraja, 53 
dhyana (jhana), 83 
dhyama, 36 

nagavriksa (nagarukkha), 204 
nayuta (nahuta), 4 
nimittika (nemittaka), 164 
nirvarnhani (vamha), 263 
nivata {id.), 295 
nivesayati (niveseti), 29 
ni§raya (nissaya), 114 



323 



324 I N D E X 

pakvavipakva, 35 
patimodaka, 154 
paramantra^a: 12 
parigohya, 154 
parinirvrita (paiiiiibbuta), 42 
parivartaka, 21 
paropahara, 139 
pudgalaparaparajfiata, 4 
purana, 188 

prithagjana (puthujjana), 28 
prakriticarya, i 
pranasamsrita, q 
ptanidhanacarya, 1 
pratij rimbhita, 118 
prativedha (pativedha), 67 
prati^rabdha, 208 
pfatyaya (paccaya), 90 
pravacana (pavacana), 106 
prasaraniya, 164 
prastavya (photthabba), 284 
pratiharya (patihariya), 193 
phatikaphalaka, 154 
phaia {id.), 10 

bahusrutya (bahusacca), 70 
bhumi, 53 

mandakala, 208 

miliehi, 308 

mukhullocaka (mukhullokika), 22 

mukholokiya (mukhullokana), 129 

mrigavasa: 12 

mriduta (mudita, muduta), 303 

mo, 290 

yojana, 7 

ravita (rava), 127 

rasi, 138 

riktaka, riktata (rittaka), 23 

fificati {id.), 155 

ruccha, 58 

laficaka, 90 
lalaghara, 183 
listapattiyayam (?), 20 

vatta, 229 
vatta (vatta). 53 



vana {id.), 73 

vapra (vappa), 14 

varta, 1 2 

vikasati, 171 

vigalita, 121 

viddh, 1 1 

vidhvamsita, 10 

vipancanika (vipancitannu), 164 

vilumpati, 260 

vivarta (vivatta), 43 

viskambhana, 8 

viryabala (viriyabala), 43 

vedika {id.), 152 

vaineyaka (veneyya), 42 

vai^aradya (vesarajja), 33 

vaiyavritya (veyyavacca), 247 

vailasika, 294 

vyamotsanga, 154 

santara (santharin), 130 

samyag, 268 

samvarta (samvatta), 43 

samslisya, 88 

samskara (sankhara), 99 

samsparsa, 173 

sankaliya, 56 

Sanger iy a, 172 

sangrahavastu, 4 

sangrahabala (sangahabala), 43 

sadya, 145 

sandhicitta, 72 

sapratlsa (sappatissa), 137 

samata, 3 

samaya, 4 

samayajfia, 4 

samucchraya, 134 

samucchrita, ib. 

sahita, 115 

sarayaniya (saraniya), 253 

savadanam (sapadanam), 250 

siddhadeva, 237 

subhassu, 15 

sucika (suci), 153 

sutrayitvana, 11 

skandha (khandha), 58 

sthulabhiksa, 156 

spharita (pharitva), 10 



BL 
1410 
S2 
V.16 



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