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of the mixture, whilst Brahma, Sâkra, and the other Devas appeared in attendance.1
At length, on the 23rd day of the second month, Bôdhisatwa, having arranged his garments very early in the morning, proceeded towards the village of Uravilva, to beg his food. Arrived there, he at last came to the house of Nandika, the village lord, and there stood silently before the principal door of the dwelling, awaiting charity.
Then Sujata, the daughter of the village lord, seeing Bôdhisatwa standing thus silently before the gate, immediately sent for a golden dish, and filling it up to the brim with the delicious food, with her own hands came and presented it to Bôdhisatwa. Having taken her place before him, she spake thus, "Would that my lord would accept from me this dish full of deliciously prepared rice milk." Then Bodhisatwa, seeing the character of the food, thought thus with himself, "This is a token that I should henceforth strive after the true nectar (sweet dew) of the right law. I vow from this moment to deliver the world from the thraldom of death, and of the Wicked one. I will procure salvation for all men, and conduct them to the other shore." Then, having accepted the gift of Sujata, she likewise urged him to keep the golden dish. Thus Bôdhisatwa departed from Uravilva, having received the charity of Sujata, and step by step advanced towards the Nairañjana river, where he partook of the food, after which he entered the river and bathed, whilst all the Devas showered down upon him every kind of flower and perfume. Afterwards, Bôdhisatwa, taking his Kashya garment, washed it in the stream, and attempted then to proceed to the other shore of the river; but his strength had been so reduced by the penance which for six years he had endured, that he was unable to reach the opposite bank. Then the Deva of a certain great tree which was called Pinjuna,2 the Deva's name being Akuba, stretched forth his jewelled arm to assist Bôdhisatwa.3 Then Bodhisatwa, having taken the outstretched hand, reached
1 These portents I omit, vide M. B., 167-8.
2 Observe that Foucaux gives the name of the tree Kakoubha (Lal. Vist., 257). Compare also Pancu (kulasiva)na with Pinjuna (in the Text).
3 It seems plain that this incident is the subject of the sculpture on the right hand pillar of Plate lviii, Tree and Serpent Worship.
the shore in safety. Meanwhile, all the Devas, taking portions of the water of the river in which Bôdhisatwa had bathed, returned therewith to their several palaces.
Now the lord of that Nairañjana river had a certain Nâga daughter of the same name as the river, who, with her hand advanced from a spring that bubbled up from the earth, presented to Bôdhisatwa a seat,1 on which, taking his place, he finished the delicate food of Sujata, the village lord's daughter. Having concluded his meal, he forthwith cast the golden dish on the river stream, which the Nâga, who was lord of the river, at once seized and conveyed to his palace; but King Sâkra, observing this, assumed the form of a Garuda, and forthwith snatched it from the hands of the Nâga, and transported it to the Trâyastriñshas heaven, where it is still an object of worship.
Then Bodhisatwa arose, and, step by step, advanced towards the Bodhi tree; whilst the Nâga Râja's daughter, taking the seat she had provided for Bôdhisatwa, carried it to her own palace, as an object for future worship. And so the Gâtha says
"Bodhisatwa, having partaken of the choice food, as the laws of religion direct,
The food which Sujata had piously prepared,
Filled with joy, proceeded onward to the Bôdhi tree,
Determined to attain to Supreme Wisdom."
[Kiouen XXV has 6,480 words, and cost 3.24 taels.]
The advance to the Bôdhi Tree.
§ 1. THUS refreshed with the food he had taken, and the water of Nairañjana river, Bôdhisatwa set his face toward the Bôdhi tree, and proceeded onward-slowly and with dignity, like all the former Bodhisatwas had done. (Here follows a long description of the method of walking adopted by the Bôdhisatwas.) And as he
1 A sort of basket-seat, confer, Tree and Serpent Worship, Pl. xxiv, Fig. 2.
advanced in this way, he began to reflect with himself thus"I am now proceeding to that sacred arena of the Bôdhi tree; what, then, is the method of sitting adopted by other Bôdhisatwas when engaged in the attainment of the highest wisdom?" Immediately he recognised the truth that he ought to make a cushion of grass for a seat.
At this time certain Devas of the Suddhavasa Heavens addressed Bôdhisatwa, and said—“Even so! even so! Holy and reverend one, the former Bôdhisatwas have all made their seat of grass arranged for the purpose, and thus have attained complete enlightenment." Then Bodhisatwa thought, "And who is there to give me this grass ?" Thinking thus, he looked on every side of him to see if any one were near him who could supply the want. At this time Sâkra Râja, of the Trâyastriñshas Heavens, by his divine wisdom knowing the thoughts of Bôdhisatwa, immediately transformed himself into the shape of a grass-cutter, and taking his stand not far from Bôdhisatwa, he remained there on the right hand side of him, cutting some beautiful grass, shining as the peacock's feathers, of a beautiful blue-like colour, its points all turning to the right.1 When Bodhisatwa perceived him thus engaged, he approached to his side and said, "Excellent sir, and what is your name;' to which the grass-cutter replied, "My name is Kih-li2 (Santi ?)" On hearing this, Bôdhisatwa thought thus with himself, "This name is an assurance to me that I shall attain my aim;" and then, in a soft and melodious voice (here follows a long description of the different qualities of his voice) he addressed the grass-cutter and said, "Can you give me some of this grass ?" The supposed grass-cutter immediately answered, "I can." Then Sâkra, under the form of Santi, came forward and respectfully offered some of his grass to Bôdhisatwa. Having taken one handful of it, he proceeded onwards. Then the earth quaked six times. And now, just as Bôdhisatwa took the grass, suddenly five hundred blue birds, coming from the ten quarters of
1 This, amongst numerous other notices of a similar character, will explain many Buddhist symbols and emblems; the lines, which turn to the right in the composition of various figures, constitute the emblem a fortunate one, e.g., the conch, the volute of which twists to the right, the swastika, etc.
2 That is, "good luck," or "fortunate."
space, flew up, and turning to the right, circumvented Bôdhisatwa three times, and then followed him as he advanced. Again, five hundred Garuda birds, coming from the four quarters, did the same. Again, five hundred peacocks (and, in short, every kind of bird and beast) coming up, did the same. Thus, surrounded by Devas, Nagas, Asuras, and creatures of every grade and kind, Bôdhisatwa marched onwards.1
Now at this time there was a Nâga Râja belonging to that region whose name was Ka-cha (Kâlika). This Nâga Râja was very old, and in ages and kalpas gone by had seen many Buddhas. He had now been asleep for some time, when he was suddenly roused by the shaking of the earth, and by hearing the noise of the earthquake. Proceeding outside his palace, with some anxiety, he looked round on every hand to see the cause of the commotion, and there, not far from his dwelling, he saw Bôdhisatwa proceeding onward with dignified gait towards the Bôdhimandala. Observing this, the Nâga Râja feeling sure that Bôdhisatwa, like the former ones, would reach Supreme Wisdom, with great joy began to utter the following stanzas:
"How full of grace and dignity this great and virtuous person! Just as I have heretofore seen
All the Bodhisatwas coming towards this central point,
So this one is now advancing in the same way.
I clearly see that this illustrious youth as he proceeds
Will certainly attain to supreme enlightenment.
His walk and bearing indicate him as the Lord of the World; First raising his right foot, and so moving onwards.
See him now looking round with an inquiring gaze;
He surely must attain the perfection of Buddha.
He now with straight course advances to the Bôdhi Tree!
1 The description here is very florid and exaggerated. I have not thought it worth my while to translate the whole. Vide Lal. Vist., p. 263.
2 The interpretation is "the black one."
3 That is the arena round the Bôdhi tree.
Sounding like the distant voice of the King of the Oxen;
This virtuous one will accomplish his aim and become the Lord of the World.
And now again the elephants and horses and such domestic creatures,
And all the turbanned1 crowd approach his side.
See them thus together advance and greet the Bodhisatwa,
And now the Devas of the Suddhavasa Heavens,
Of pure and lovely form and person,
Bending before the virtuous one as he advances !
Pay him reverence! soon will he become a perfect Buddha," etc. Having uttered these stanzas, the Nâga Râja, filled with the greatest joy, proceeded with hands clasped together to meet Bodhisatwa, and humbly pay him reverence. On which Bôdhisatwa addressed him thus: "Be it so! be it so! great Nâga Râja as you say! I am now bent upon the acquisition of the highest wisdom." And then he repeated the following Gâthas:
"Great Nâga Râja! these words of thine
Cause my resolution to increase still more,
I now am fixed, and soon shall reach perfection!
I now must soon cross over this sea of sorrow
To the other shore; of this there can be little doubt."