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longer to restrain themselves, they rose and offered him water for his feet and all other necessary provision after his journey, and then they exclaimed—"Welcome! welcome ! our old friend Gotama! sit down and rest, and halt awhile in our company!" And so the Gatha says—
"They presented to him an alms-dish and the three garments,
Then Buddha, slowly approaching the place appointed for him, took his seat; and being seated he reflected thus—"What sad weakness is this of these five Rishis unable to keep the vow they had just made together I"
Then they addressed Buddha as follows—" Venerable G6tama! your body is of a beautiful appearance, your face and your eyes round and fresh, and all your senses in perfect accord; you must indeed have found the elixir of immortality, and the way of life."
Then the world-honoured one replied, "Ye Rishis! mock not Tathagata by calling him 'the venerable Gotama.' Ye are indeed in the way of death, and shall reap sorrow and disappointment by continuing therein; but I have found the way of Immortality, and am now abiding in it. I am able also to instruct you therein, if you will but attend and consider my words, if you will but walk according to my directions; if a man or woman will leave the world, and follow me, desiring to find that highest condition of a true Brahmana, to reach the fountain head of such a condition, then such an one shall surely find it, and arrive at the desired goal; his faculties perfected, he shal l cut himself off from further birth and death; and well-founded in his religious life he shall hereafter receive no other form of temporary existence (bhava). This is what ye should meditate on." And so the Gatha says— "Those five Rishis mockingly spoke of Buddha as Gotama, the world-honoured one in pity taught them, saying, 'Let not your thoughts be so proud and high; Let go that pride of self, and obey and reverence me, There is no pride of self in me, but perfect self-composure; I desire to change in you the ground of your destiny,
I, who have become Buddha, honoured by the world,
For the sake of all living things, I would bring this good.'"
Then those five Rishis answered thus—" Venerable Gotama! In days gone by you vainly sought (by austerities) this condition of Supreme Wisdom, you obtained it not then, how much less now, weary as you are of the practice of abstract meditation, your body in the full possession of its faculties and enjoying the complete tide of its life!"
Then the world-honoured one, chiding these Rishis, said, "Speak not thus! Tathagata wearies not in the practice of religion, nor loses his power of meditation nor relaxes his bodily discipline! but ye Rishis! I have now attained the end of all, the condition of 'Araha-Samma-sambudda.' And because I have thus attained the way of life, ye Rishis should attend to my instruction, and not oppose your minds to my instruction, for I am able to teach you the one way by which alone ye may hereafter escape all (personal) existence."
Then the five Rishis rejoined, "Venerable Gotama! surely in old days you sought this Law and this condition of Supreme Wisdom, till your body relaxed from very weakness its efforts." To whom the world-honoured one replied, "Did ye, then, oh Rishis! know me ever lie or speak falsely in my instructions?" To which they answered, "No!" At this time, the world-honoured one, projecting his tongue from his mouth caused it to reach to both his ears, and to the nostrils, and then to cover his whole face, after which he withdrew it again,1 and said, " Can a man, oh Rishis! guilty of lying, perform such an act as this?" To which they replied, " No!" "Mock not, therefore, Tathagata, by saying that he became weary of his bodily discipline, or that he has lost his power of meditation; whereas, in fact, he has attained a condition of Supreme Enlightenment, and is ready to instruct you in the way of life." [In the end the Rishis submit to be taught, and assume the robes and the personal preparation fit for a follower of Buddha.]
[Kiouen XXXIII contains 6148 words and cost 3.074 taels.]
1 This extraordinary power of lengthening the tongue is constantly attributed to Buddha, as one of the peculiar marks of his person. Sometimes (as in the Lotus and elsewhere) it is exaggerated grotesquely into a power to cover the worlds of the universe with the same member.
§ 1. Then the world-honoured one began to reflect as to where the previous Buddhas had first turned the Wheel of the most excellent Law, and in what manner, and what the truths first declared were. Then the spot where he was seated began to heave and quake, and at the same time five hundred lion-thrones appeared in the garden. The world-honoured one, having respectfully circumambulated three of these, took his seat on the fourth, with his legs crossed, without fear, in perfect composure. And then considering what truths the former Buddhas had first taught, he found they were the four truths triply explained.1
At this time, being the fifteenth day of the month Yaishya, at mid-afternoon, the world-honoured one began to preach the most excellent Law of the four truths, which neither Brahman or Shaman had been able to preach before.
On which occasion he addressed the five Rishis as follows [here follows a description of the peculiar characteristics of Buddha's voice]: "Ye Bhikshus! who have left your homes, there are two things ye should finally and for ever renounce—all worldly sources of pleasure and bodily gratification, and also excessive mortification of body, which neither tend to self-profit nor the profit of others!" And so the Gatha says—
"Reject and forsake places and modes of excessive penance; Check and entirely control sensuous gratifications; If a man is able to follow these two lines of conduct Immediately he will attain the true way of eternal life." Then the Buddha continued his address—" Bhikshus! be assured that I have given up each of these erroneous methods, and this is the middle path to which I have attained; thus am I enlightened, thus my eyes are able to see and my mind to know, and therefore I have gained a condition of rest (santi), and am in possession of complete spiritual life, and have accomplished the acquirement of perfect intelligence, and am now a true Shaman, and have reached Nirvana and am perfected. If then, Bhikshus, ye wish to reach
1 This is the Evolution duodedmale des veriUs referred to by M. Leon Feer, Etudes Bouddhiques, p. 213.
this condition, ye must also use this middle path which I have used, and your eyes shall be opened, and wisdom shall spring up within, and you shall enjoy rest and reach Nirvana, and the eight paths of holiness (As'htanga Marga), viz.—Samyak-drishti, Samyaksamkalpa, Samyagvak, Samyagadjiva, Samyak-karmanta, Samyagvyayama, Samyaksmriti, Samyak-samadhi. This, Bhikshus! is the middle path, which having attained to, my eyes are opened, and I have found rest, etc. To this, therefore, ye ought to tend; as the Gatha says—
'Because of these eight paths leading aright,
And now, Bhikshus! listen and consider well what I have to say respecting the four great truths. And what are these four? 1. The Sacred Truth that sorrow exists. 2. The Sacred Truth of the accumulation of sorrow. 3. The sacred truth of the destruction (of sorrow). 4. The sacred truth of obtaining or finding the path (of complete deliverance). These are called the four Holy truths. What, then, oh Bhikshus! are the reasons they are so called? The sacred truth that sorrow exists is this, that there is in the world the sorrow of birth, the sorrow of death, of disease and of old age; the sorrow of loving that which cannot be had or of hating that which cannot be avoided, this is the sacred truth of sorrow. And what is the meaning of the accumulation of sorrow? This is the second sacred truth, Bhikshus! and it is this, that the force of desire (trishna) compelling the mind to seek fresh sources of enjoyment in every place and on every occasion, that this leads to every sort of anxious reflection and constant thought, and so results the accumulation spoken of. And what is the destruction of sorrow mentioned before? This is the third sacred truth, and it is this; the removal of and utter rejection of desire, so that it is destroyed and put away for ever, the heart then has no anxious thoughts or reflections, and in consequence attains the fixity of rest. This is the third sacred truth. And what is it to attain the path (of deliverance)? This is the fourth sacred truth, and it is this; to be able to acquire and walk in the practice of the eight rules aforesaid, viz., Samyak-drishti, etc. This is called the sacred truth of the "way." These truths, oh Bhikshus ! have been on no occasion taught to me from without, they are self-revealed, known by intuition, not acquired from any human source, but of • my own inborn power. [These assertions are again and again repeated in the Sanscrit original; here only a digest is given (Ch. ed)]. Neither the first nor the second or either of the others have I learned from other sources, I have heard them from no one, they are all selfrevealed, they spring only from within myself. So it is I have attained the condition of enlightenment I now enjoy; so it is my eyes behold the truth, so it is I have acquired complete wisdom; it is alone by my own power, by myself, by intuition from within, and from no human source of instruction. [These assertions are repeated in many ways, in the original Sanscrit (Ch. ed.)) It was thus, oh Bhikshus! by thrice turning these four sacred truths and arriving at the very bottom of the matter (which I had not done when ye first sought my company), by simply perceiving the sacred truths aforesaid, I arrived at the condition of Samyaksambodhi and at perfect enlightenment. Bhikshus! by thus comprehending the twelve relationships (i.e., the twelve Nidanas) resulting from the complete consideration of these four sacred truths I arrived at Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi, and so I have accomplished my aim and become Buddha.
"Then it was, oh Bhikshus! wisdom was born in me, I was able to see, my mind no longer confused or fickle, I obtained deliverance. Bhikshus! I have now reached my last birth; hereafter there is no more individual existence for me (bhava)."
When Buddha was thus declaring the marks (or, relationships) of the Law, the aged Kaundinya, as he sat attentively listening, arrived at a condition of supreme knowledge; he was able to cast away and reject the influences of sense (dust) and defilement, to free himself from all trammels and bonds and obtain pure sight, just as a garment freed from defilement is easily dyed and retains its colour, so with him he cast away the defilements of sense, and let go the hold of sorrow, and having done so, he stepped forth a free man, his eye purified, he beheld the Truth.
At the same time, sixty thousand Devaputras also attained the same condition of purified sight and perfect knowledge.
Then the world-honoured one, with his lion voice, spake thus—