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is the name of that attendant of yours ?" to whom Kaundinya replied, "His name is Asvajit." Then Udâyi requested Asvajit to enter the wood and tell Siddartha that a messenger from his Royal Father had come to inquire for him. But Asvajit declined to accede to such a request, and desired Udâyi himself to go into the wood. At length Udâyi complied, and found Bôdhisatwa asleep on the ground; but how altered his appearance! Then, raising a great cry, Udâyi exclaimed, "Alas! alas! that one so beautiful and full of grace should ever come to this!" etc. Then Bôdhisatwa, hearing these cries, demanded, "Who are you?" On which Udâyi explained why he had come; but Bôdhisatwa replied, "I seek Nirvâna, and will have nothing more to do with the troublesome world;" and, he added, "may my body be ground to powder small as the mustard-seed if I ever desire to return to my home! If indeed I die before the completion of my vow, then, Udàyi, take back my bones to Kapilavastu, and say, 'These are the relics of a man who died in the fixed prosecution of his resolve ;' but, as it is, go tell my Royal Father that I am resolved to persevere. For, in truth, in my dreams the Devas come to me, and they tell me that within seven days I shall indeed attain to the perfection I seek. Go, then, Udâyi! return home, for there can be no further communication between us." Then Udâyi, having heard these words, arose and left the wood and returned to Kapilavastu, and told Suddhôdana Râja that his son was still persevering in his aim, and was alive; on this the king said, "My son is yet alive, and my heart is filled with joy."
The Conclusion of his Severe Fast.
§ 2. Now during the six years' penance which Bôdhisatwa endured, Marârâja Pisuna1 had come once and again to try and tempt him to the commission of some small sin, but with no success. so the Gâtha says 2
1 That is, "the Wicked Mâra." Mâra is the same as the Lord of the World of Pleasure (Kama loka). He is sometimes identified with "Death."
2 These Gâthas are almost identical with the Thibetan. Lal. Vist., p. 251.
"To the east of the village of Uravilva,
To subdue one's heart is difficult,
Listen then to me, and give up the quest !'
To whom Bodhisatwa replied in excellent words,
The sounds of which were scarcely heard―(owing to his weakness), 'Pisuna! your attempts are vain!
You seek only your own, as you wander to and fro!
You speak of death! but what is that?
I fear not death, nor the end of the world,' " etc., etc.
Then Bodhisatwa reflected thus-"It is because men seek continually their own things and their own profit that sorrows come; and what am I doing but this ?" And then he thought of the incident of the ploughing match, and how as he sat beneath the Djambu tree he enjoyed the bliss of Dhyâna; and he thought with himself—" Why do I not now experience these joys?" Then he resolved to strengthen his body by partaking of sufficient food, wheat and oil and milk, and also by bathing and caring for his health.
Then Bodhisatwa addressed the Brahman, whose name was Deva,1 and said " Great Brahman! I have resolved to break this long and trying penance, and partake of other food-wheat and honey, and oil and milk! prepare these things for me, I pray."
1 Deva was the niggard Brahman who had supplied Bodhisatwa with the few grains of millet he ate daily. Vid. ante.
To whom Deva replied-"Virtuous sir, indeed I have no such things at hand to offer; but if Bôdhisatwa will follow my advice, it will be easy to procure them."
"And what is your advice ?" he said. "To come to the house of the Brahman Senayana, and receive them there ?" On this Bodhisatwa consented.
Accordingly Deva, returning to Senayana, said-"Oh! great sir, not far from this place is an illustrious Shaman, who is about to break through his long and rigorous fast, and to come to your house to beg for some wheat, oil, and honey, and water, wherewithal to refresh his body. Can you, oh, virtuous sir! provide these things?
Now Senayana had two daughters, one called Nanda, the other Bala, both of them very beautiful, and in the prime of their youthful days. These girls had long ago heard about the Sâkyas who lived at Kapilavastu, beneath the northern mountains, and of Suddhôdana, and Mâya, and their graceful son; and having heard all this, they had besought their father to try to get for them the graceful youth, the child of Suddhôdana, as a husband.
Then Senayana, having heard from the Brahman Deva that Bodhisatwa was coming to his house to beg for food, ordered his two daughters to prepare at once provision of wheat and oil, and milk and honey, and take it, said he, "to the place where the great Shaman is, and carry him warm water for his body, for thus perhaps you may obtain the desire of your hearts, and become the wives of that beautiful Sâkya Prince." The girls having received this intimation, forthwith proceeded to prepare the necessary food, and afterwards they carried it to the place where Bôdhisatwa was undergoing his penance. Arrived there, they bowed down their heads at his feet, and offering their food to him, spake thus-" Illustrious and honourable sir! deign to receive this offering of food at our hands." Then Bôdhisatwa, having received the gift at the hands of the two maidens, ate according to his desire. Then, taking the butter and the oil, he rubbed it into his body, and afterwards using the tepid water, he washed himself as he purposed. Then his body, absorbing the oil, like the thirsty ground drinks up the rain, from that moment he began to revive, and his frame resumed its youthful appearance.
And now Bodhisatwa, having eaten and drunk, addressed the
two maidens thus-" My sisters! you have wrought a meritorious deed by thus ministering to my wants; tell me, then, have you any wish you would have fulfilled ?" On which they replied"Of old time we have heard of a certain beautiful Sâkya Prince, whose equal it would be hard to find; we would wish to become the wives of that prince." Then Bôdhisatwa answered-"My sisters, I am that Sâkya Prince! but I have vowed never again to participate in the five pleasures of sense-for my object is to obtain supreme enlightenment, and to preach the insurpassable Law." To which the maidens replied—“If this be indeed the case, beyond all doubt you will obtain your end; when this is so, come, we pray you, to our house, that we may become followers of yours." On which Bodhisatwa said, "My sisters, it is well-it is well; your wish shall be accomplished."
From that day forth these two maidens continued to bring food and water to Bôdhisatwa, until his body had once more resumed its wonted beauty.
After this Bodhisatwa desired them no longer to bring him food. Now at this time a certain shepherd boy, having observed the invincible purpose of Bôdhisatwa in practising his penance, approached him, being filled with reverence and joy, and bowed before him and said, "Oh! virtuous and honourable sir! may I be permitted to make you some offerings of food." On obtaining the desired permission, he took of his goat's milk and offered it to Bôdhisatwa, and anointed his body therewith; whilst, cutting down some branches of the Nyagrodha tree, he wove a covering over the head of Bodhisatwa, as a shelter from the wind and the rain. Meantime, in virtue of the spiritual power of Bôdhisatwa, these branches took root, and bore flowers and leaves as they sheltered him.
Now it came to pass that the five men, seeing Bôdhisatwa's altered mode of life, and his appearance of revived grace and health, thought with themselves that he had lost his power of Dhyâna, and also his purpose of attaining supreme wisdom; they were therefore incensed against him, and left him with many reproaches. After a time they came to Benares, and entering the deer-garden, they gave themselves up to severe contemplation. And so the Gâtha says
"Those five Rishis practising severe penance,
Seeing Bôdhisatwa partake of various kinds of food,
Spake thus among themselves, This is no contemplative disci
He has given up the quest, and now nourishes his earthly body (5-element-body)'."
Now from the day when the daughter of the village lord had first given Bôdhisatwa the food in charity, which we have described, through the whole of the six years that he had practised his severe penance, she had ever ministered her substance in bestowing charity on all the Brahman and Shaman mendicants who came to her door; and in each case she uttered this vowMay the merit of this charitable act accrue to the benefit of that Sâkya mendicant who is now undergoing such severe penance, and may he in the end attain his earnest desire."
Now the six years being over, on the 16th day of the second month of spring-time, Bôdhisatwa began to reflect thus, "It is not right that I should continue thus eating, and not aiming to attain the end of all, the perfection of complete wisdom; where, then, shall I obtain fitting food for the purpose, which may nourish me, and at the same time not unfit me for that great end of all?"
Thus reflecting, a certain Devaputra, knowing the thoughts of Bôdhisatwa, went straight to the house of the village Lord, Sujata, and his two daughters, and spake thus-" Sujata, now is your opportunity! Bôdhisatwa desires some choice food, after partaking of which he desires to devote himself to the attainment of supreme wisdom. 2 Ye, then, should now prepare some exquisite cream for the purpose of ministering to his wants."
Then the two daughters of Sujata, the village lord, having heard the Devaputra's words, quickly assembled a thousand milch kine, and with their milk fed five hundred others, and with their milk fed two hundred and fifty others, and so on down to fifteen cows; taking the milk of these cows and mixing it in a dish with some of the purest rice, these two maidens proceeded to prepare a lordly dish for Bôdhisatwa. Then appeared all kinds of wonderful portents; every kind of appearance presented itself on the surface
1 But Sujata was given before as the name of one daughter, and the village lord was called Nandika.
2 Here again the expression denotes two, “ni-tang."