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At this time time the world-honoured one, having sat for seven days beneath the Nyagrodha tree, arose and proceeded slowly towards a grove called Ktchirnika,1 where he remained for another seven days enjoying the fruition of deliverance.
It was now forty-nine days since Sujata, the village girl, had given him the milk and rice, and since then he had eaten nothing. Now, it so happened that at this time there were two merchant princes of North India, whose names were Tripusha and the other Bhallika. These men were very prudent, and had taken five hundred wagon loads of valuable goods to Middle India, and were now removing to North India with a corresponding amount of valuable property. Now, when they were not far from this Ktchirnika grove, each of these merchants had an ox that went before the caravan, and whenever there was a place of danger they showed symptoms of fear, and so warned the merchants beforehand. Now it came to pass that the Guardian Spirit of that Tchirnika grove just at this time assuming a bodily form and standing in front of the oxen, they were afraid to go on. Then the two merchants, gently striking the oxen with a twig of the Utpala flower, would have them advance, but they still refused, and so all the other oxen were brought to a standstill; moreover the wheels of the various wagons remained fixed, and the whole caravan was obliged to halt. Then the two merchantmen were filled with fear, and the very hairs of their bodies stood erect as they spake thus one to the other— "What unlucky circumstance is this which has befallen us!" Then each of them going two or three paces from where they stood, with clasped hands and prostrate forms paid reverence to all the Gods2 and all the spirits with their utmost strength, and as they adored they said, "Oh! that we who are involved in this calamity and in fear of death, might find a swift deliverance!" Then the Guardian Deva of the grove, assuming a body and appearing to the merchants, addressed them thus—" Be not afraid, oh merchantmen! there is no cause for apprehension in this place; but the world
1 Fouceaux gives it Tchirikaa, p. 356.
honoured Tathagata, having arrived at Supreme Wisdom, is now dwelling in this wood; and it is now forty-nine days since he has eaten anything. This, then, is your opportunity for making some offering of food to him that you may obtain an enduring recompense of peace and rest." Then those merchants, obedient to the words of the Deva, prepared an offering of honey and wheat, and brought it to the place where Buddha was. Then the merchants, beholding the glory and grace of the body of Tath&gata, were filled with faith, and adored at his feet. They then addressed him thus: — "Would that the world-honoured one, on our account, would accept this pure offering of honey and wheat." Then the worldhonoured one, reflecting that all former Buddhas had first received the offering of an alms-dish, considered thus with himself—" But in what vessel am I to receive this offering?" Then the four Heavenly Kings, each bringing a golden alms-dish, came to the place to present them to Buddha, and besought him to accept them. But he refused, as such costly dishes were unbecoming a recluse. Then they brought silver dishes, and emerald and ruby dishes; but yet he would not accept them. At length they brought four earthen dishes and offered them, on which Buddha, causing them to unite in one (lest there should be jealousy), accepted the one from them all. At this time, the world-honoured one repeated the following Gathas:—A Gatha to each of the four kings].
Then Buddha, having accepted the offering of the two merchants, delivered to them the triple Refuge, and they became his disciples. Finally, he delivered their caravan from its difficulties and presented them (in consequence of their request for some memorial of him) with a hair and fragments of his nails, telling them that hereafter a stone should fall from heaven near the place where they lived, and that there they should erect a pagoda and worship the relics as though they were Buddha himself. On their feeling some doubts, he related to them what had happened when Dipankara was the Supreme Buddha (the story of the five-stalked flower), and how the Devas had taken his hair after he had become a recluse, and erected a pagoda over it in the Heavens: after this they took the relics with joyful heart and departed. After this, having partaken of the food of the two merchants, Buddha was visited with a sickness and colic, on which a medicine-Deva brought him an Amra fruit, which healed him; and in consequence of this good act, Buddha delivered to him and his wife, the Devi, the triple formula of Refuge, which led her to become a female disciple— the first who became so among women. Then Buddha, having buried the Amra stone, immediately there sprung up a tree covered with fruit and flowers. Then the world-honoured one felt his disease perfectly removed.]
[Kiouen XXII contains 6,568 words, and cost 3.284 taels.]
The Exhortation of Brahma Deva.
§ 1. At this time, the world-honoured one reflected thus with himself—" The condition (Law) to which I have arrived is certainly a deep and mysterious one, difficult to perceive, even as the finest dust is hard to see, and its mode and place of existence hard to determine. No teacher or cunning man of wisdom has brought me to this condition. But this system of the twelve Mdanas1 is not for man to comprehend, but for St alone; although I could desire to proclaim this Law to men, yet how can they receive it? it would be useless for me to make the attempt."
Thinking thus, that he had acquired this knowledge from no human source at any time, the world-honoured one remained in that place lost in thought; as the Gathas say—
"Through much sorrow and suffering have I attained to this
condition. How then can I make it known to others in a moment or without
preparation. How difficult for men to receive such a Law, bound as they are
by the chain of evil desire, doubt, anger, and hate, etc."
So Tathagata, perceiving the gravity of the circumstances in which he was placed, desired to remain where he was in the place
1 The twelve Nidanas are the well-known links in the chain of existence, taught by Buddha.
of solitude (aranya1), and not declare his Law to others; as the Gatha says—
"Seeing all flesh weighed down by sorrow, Oppressed by the weight of false teaching and heretical beliefs) He thought,—how difficult to release them by declaring this
inscrutable Law of mine,— Thinking thus, he desired to remain as a solitary hermit
At this time, the Lord of the Sahalokadhatu, Maha Brahma, the King of Heaven (Devaraja), whilst dwelling in his palace, perceived this condition of things, and having perfect cognizance of the intention of Buddha not to declare the Law, he assumed the appearance of a martial youth, with outstretched arms, and appeared thus before TatMgata. Having saluted him by kneeling at his feet, he stood on one side and addressed him thus—"All hail (Sadhu)! honoured by the world! See now the world without a refuge—the seeds of virtue utterly gone: whilst the worldhonoured one has arrived at perfect wisdom, he has acquired that unequalled Law, he has become perfectly enlightened, and yet he has suddenly resolved to enter an Aranya8 place of abode, and not declare his Law for the good of men! Oh, let me exhort the excellent Tathagata not to act thus; be not thus silent, oh worldhonoured! but, for the sake of men sunk in sin, declare Thy Law! Let the love of Tathagata constrain him so to do; let the compassionate heart of Sugata move him to declare his Law! for though the world be naughty, yet there are many prepared to receive this message of love, and to be converted, many who otherwise will perish; let the world-honoured one, therefore, resolve to preach his Law for the good of these!" And to the same tenor are the Gathas.
[These are omitted, being only another form of the same exhortation.]
At this time, the world-honoured one, having heard the exhortation of Brahma Devaraja, was moved by love for all flesh to exercise
1 O'-lan-jo (Mithode, p. 477); does this explain the Tarayana of Foucaux, p. 364?
2 That is, a hermit's cell—apart from men.
his Divine power of sight,1 and so to ascertain the condition of the world around him. Thus by the power of his Divine Wisdom, he beheld men in the various conditions of ignorance, prepared for instruction, or advanced in knowledge, just as in a tank of different Lotus flowers, some are just emerging from the mud, but not yet above the water; others above the water, but not yet opened; others just opening, waiting for the power of external influences (the four elements) to complete their development; thus beholding by his wisdom the various conditions of men, and their several capabilities for further instruction and enlightenment, having thus acquainted himself with these circumstances, he addressed Brahma Devaraja thus— "Oh! Brahma Devaraja, attend carefully!
I am willing now to open the gate of immortality2
If any will listen, let them come gladly;
Let them hearken to me as I declare the tidings of this Law (Religious System)."
Then Maha Brahma, having heard these words and understanding their purport, was filled with joy beyond expression, he rejoiced exceedingly and exulted at the news; and then, having respectfully walked round Tathagata three times, suddenly he disappeared!
Then the world-honoured one began to consider with himself who was worthy first of all to hear the words of his teaching, and in a fit state to accept them. Considering thus, he remembered Udraka Ramaputra and his companions, and wished to preach to them first, but then a voice of an invisible Deva proclaimed to him from space that Ramaputra had already been dead six days; then, considering in what place he was now born, Buddha perceived that he was now an inhabitant of one of the Arupa worlds, the life of the inhabitants of which extends over eighty-four thousand great Kalpas. Then, by the exercise of his wisdom, Buddha saw that at the expiration of this period of time Udraka Ramaputra would return to this world and be born as a flying fox, and after that he would be born
1 This exercise of the Divine power of sight is alluded to by the Priest Migettuwatte, in his " Controversy" with the Christian advocates held at Pantura, in Ceylon, Aug. 1873, vide p. 70 (op. cit.).