« ПредишнаНапред »
eyes, exceeding the power of men's sight, is able to see a chili- cosm of worlds—(so is the sight of Buddha)—but Tathagata says, my power of perception is boundless,—pray explain to me the meaning of this."
Buddha, on this, remained silent: and so he continued after the question had been thrice uttered, but then he opened his mouth and answered thus !" Never, Ananda, never should you attempt to compare the wisdom of Tathagata with that of one of his followers. For let me tell you, at this moment, I, with my pure and heavenly eyes, exceeding the power of human sight, can behold all the Bodhisatwas of all the Buddhakshetras,1 numerous as the sands of the Ganges, belonging to the Eastern regions of space, and trace the virtuous principles which actuated them first of all to aim at the attainment of Supreme Wisdom. I can see all those Bodhisatwas who have received the prediction of their future perfection, and those who are now advancing in the way to this end. I can see countless others who, having pursued a consistent course of pure conduct in the presence of all the Buddhas, are now incarnated from the Tusita2 Heavens in their mothers' wombs. I can see others who are born (tan-yuh) from their mothers' sides; others I can see growing up as youths; others, living within their palace walls, indulging themselves in sensual pleasures; others finally rejecting the thought of becoming Chakravarti Rajas, and quitting their homes as hermits, to practice the attainment of wisdom; others I can see conquering the four sorts of Satanic attacks they are subjected to; others, under the B6dMtree, aiming at Anuttara Samyak Samb6dhi; others emancipated and filled with joy! others, I can see, seated in a becoming manner, considering the distinction of two ways (of proceeding)3; others, I can see, turning the wheel of the law1; others, I can see, for the sake of all creatures, giving up their life, and preparing to enter the perfect condition of Nirvana. A gain, I can see others who, after they have entered Nirvana, have left the true law to abide, and the law of Images,5 for longer or shorter
1 I. B., the innumerable worlds of space.
2 The joyous heavens in which all the B6dhisatwas (beings about to become Buddhas) are born, prior to their last incarnation.
3 I. e., whether to preach the law or refrain from doing so.
4 This expression will be considered under a future section.
5 For a full explanation of these periods, vide " Lotus," p. 365.
periods. Thus, Ananda, can I see the countless Bodhisatwas of the Eastern region of space, and the various stages and histories of the Buddhas. And as with the Eastern, so with the Southern; Western, and other quarters of space.
[The second kiouen contains 6481 words, and cost 3.24 taels.]
Exciting to religious sentiment.
At this time, Ananda arose from his seat, and, baring his right shoulder, &c, addressed Buddha thus:—"World-honoured! Tathagata in ages past, by religious service to the various Buddhas, sought to attain perfection; by whose aid and instrumentality was it, that Buddha, sowing the seeds of virtue for the sake of future ages, thus aimed at B6dhi?"
Buddha replied, "Ananda! listen and examine my words! For your sake, I will recount the names of those Buddhas, and the places where those seeds of virtue were sown. Ananda! I remember in ages gone by, there was a Buddha born in the world, called Dipafikara Tathagata, &c, and by his side I laid the foundation of a virtuous life for the future perfection of Buddha.
Again, there was a Buddha who appeared in the world, called Anuttara; after him, Padmottara; after him, Atyushagami [and so on for five generations); after him, Vipasyi; after him, Sikhi and Vishaman; after these, Kakutsanda and Kanakamuni, and Kasyapa. Moreover, I have practiced every virtuous principle by the side of Maitreya B6dhisatwa, for the benefit of future ages. And so the Gatha says,
'This eminently virtuous Buddha,
Sakya muni Tathagata,
Removing lust, arriving at Rest;
Has sedulously prepared himself for coming.'"
At this time, Ananda asked Buddha this question—"In all these cases what means did Tathagata employ for the purposes aforesaid?" On this, Buddha addressed Ananda, and said, "Ananda! I remember when Dipafikara Buddha was born into the world,that countless multitudes of people were spreading theirpriceless garments in the way for him to walk upon; they covered the earth with them completely. Seeing this, and having on me only a deer-skin doublet, I took this off to spread on the ground. Then all the people, in anger, took my poor garment from the place where it lay, and dragged it away, and flung it on one side; whilst I, in grief, thought, 'Alas for me! Will not the world-honoured Dipankara pity my case, and think of me in my distress?' No sooner had I thought thus, than Buddha, knowing my heart, took pity on me. Accordingly, by his Divine power, he caused a portion of the road to appear as if it were covered with mud,1 on which those men, in astonishment looked at one another, but not one of them entered the muddy place to help Dipankara across. Then I, after some thought, spread out my skin garment on the muddy spot, and undoing my hair, covered the garment with my hair, so that Buddha might cross over in perfect comfort, as on a bridge. . And then I prayed that I might in future ages become a Buddha, even as Dipankara, possessed of the same miraculous power, and worshipped alike by gods and men; and then I vowed that if Dipankara did not give me a prediction of becoming Buddha, I would not rise from out the mud. Then the earth quaked six times, and Dipankara predicted that I should be born as Sakya Muni2.
"Ananda ! observe well my words, they are not equivocal words! for as Dipankara Buddha gave me this distinct assurance and instructed me, so, relying on the merit of my long preparation for this dignity I have now arrived at the condition of Anutara Samyak Samb6dhi."
At this time the world-honoured one uttered this Gatha, and said,
"Though the heavens were to fall to earth,
And the great world be swallowed up and pass away:
Tho' Mount Sumeru were to crack to pieces,
And the great ocean be dried up,
Yet, Ananda! be assured
The words of the Buddha are true." The world-honoured having pronounced this Gatha, he again
1 This fable is alluded to in Julien, ii, 97, and also by Bigandet, "Legend of the Burmese Buddha," p. 400.
2 Vide this fable fully translated, J. R. A. S., Feb. 1873.
addressed Ananda and said "Ananda! I remember in years gone by there was a Tathagata born, whose name was Sarvabhibu (Tsing-yeh-tsai); on one occasion I scattered some golden flowers before this Buddha, and uttered this vow: 'may I in years to come obtain a body endowed with all the distinguishing marks and properties of this world-honoured Tathagata.' Then that Buddha knowing the thoughts of my heart immediately smiled gently,1 on which his disciples respectfully inquired the reason of his doing so, whereupon that Buddha addressed them thus: 'Bhikshus! do you see this man scattering upon me (or before me) these golden flowers? To which they replied in the affirmative, on which he continued, this man, after a Kalpa has gone by, shall become a Buddha, and his name shall be Sakya-muni Tathagata. On that occasion, Ananda, although I received this positive assurance, I ceased not in my earnest endeavours to obtain the requisite merit for arriving thus at perfection, and so I was born in countless worlds in the Brahma heavens, and as a Chakravarttin monarch, and on one occasion I was born as a king called Sadarsana. The very streets, and gates, and towers of my capital city were all ornamented with the purest gold, and so the gardens, fountains, tanks, etc., were all ornamented, and this in consequence of my merit in giving the golden flowers, and shortly afterwards I attained the perfection of a Buddha, and turned the pure and incomparable wheel of the law.
"Ananda, I remember in ages gone by, there was a Tathagata called Padmottara, and in whose honour I scattered silver flowers and made a similar vow, and from whom I received a similar prediction, in consequence of which, among other births I was born as a king called Mahasadarsana, in a city called Kusina, all of silver (as before). Ananda! from the remotest period till now it has always been the case, that at the time of the birth of B6dhisatwa, he should without assistance walk seven paces to the East, the West, the North, and South. Ananda! at the time of the birth of Pad
1 This notice of the smile of Buddha, illustrates the reference to the same token in many mediaeval legends, such as, e. g, that of Edward the Confessor when he saw the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus; also when he smiled during the celebration of the Holy Sacrament, seeing the King of Denmark drowning as he fell from his boat, etc. (Vide Carter's " Specimens of Ancient Sculpture," p. 17.)
mottara Buddha, when his feet touched the ground in each place as he walked to the North, South, East, and West there sprang up a Lotus for his feet to rest on, and hence his name, for it came to pass that countless thousands and myriads of Devas, Nagas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Mahoragas, men and not men, (Kinnaras), at one time cried out with a loud voice in every place ' this great bod- huatwa's name shall be Padmottara,' and because of this he was so named by men.
"Ananda! I remember in years gone by there was a Buddha born called Atyushagami, etc., in whose honour I offered a handful of golden millet, and in consequence he predicted that after a thousand Kalpas I should become a Buddha called Sakya Muni (as before). Ananda! Atyushagami Tathagata, when he wished to go to a town or village to beg his food, would proceed with footsteps six cubits from the ground, and so with a loud voice the supernatural beings, before named, cried out 'his name is Atyushagami (going very high),' etc. Ananda! I remember in years gone by there was another Buddha, on whom I conferred a . house as a charitable offering, and invited the priests and Bhikshus to come to it. In consequence of this I received a prediction that I should be born after five hundred Kalpas as Sakya Muni (as before); in one of my subsequent births I was born as a Ghakravarti Raja called Sudarsana, on which occasion Sakra sent Visvakarman to build me a house,1 after which I obtained perfection (as before).
"Ananda! I remember in years gone by there was a Buddha born called Sakya Muni, etc., his name the same as mine, and his father and mother in name and life the same as mine. I offered to this Tathagata a Kusumana flower (The Kasyapiya school says he offered 'a handful of gold,') on which I received a prediction that after one hundred Kalpas, etc. And so finally by fully keeping the B6dhi pakckika Dharma,2 I obtained perfection. Ananda! I remember in years gone by there was a Buddha born called Tishya Tathagata, etc., before whom I scattered a handful of powdered
1 Literally a hole or sty dug out of the earth, ornamented with different precious things.
2 That is, the thirty-seven conditions necessary for those to possess who are to become Buddhas. (Vide " Eitel Handbook," sub voc.)