Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

!

enclosure (district; arânya), in which a deer-king with his herd had found a place of pasture, and lived in contentment. At this time a hunter, having discovered the spot where these deer congregated, set a snare to entrap one or more of them, and as it happened he caught the king of the herd himself. At this time a certain hind, the wife of the deer-king, big with young, seeing the deer king thus in the snare of the huntsman, stopped in the neighbourhood and would not leave the spot where he was. Meantime, all the other deer having fled from the spot, the deer-mother spake as follows, in Gâthas which she addressed to the king :

6 Deer-King ! exert your strength,

Push with your head and your heel,
Break to pieces the trap which man

Has set to catch you, and escape.' “ Then the Deer-king answered in the following Gâthas and said :

Although I used all my strength,
Yet I could not escape from this trap,
Made as it is with thongs of skin, sewn with silk,
In vain should I struggle to get away from such a snare.
Oh! ye mountain dells and sweetest fountains !
May none of your occupants henceforth

Meet with such a misfortune as this !
“And the Gâtha continues as follows:-
«« At this time those two Deer,

Filled with alarm, and shedding bitter tears !
Beheld the wicked hunter approaching the spot

With his knife and club in his hand (ready to slay.)' “Then the Deer-king, seeing the hunter thus armed approaching the place, said to the Mother-deer

“This is the Hunter, coming here,

His face dark and forbidding, his doublet of skin,
He will come and strip off my hide,

Cut up my flesh in joints, and depart.' “ Then the female deer gradually approaching the hunter, addressed him and said

«* Most illustrious Hunter ! listen !

You may arrange your seat of grass, and prepare

[ocr errors]

:

6

.

First of all to kill me, and skin my hide from my body,

Then go and kill your prisoner—the Deer-king.' At this time the hunter addressed the hind as follows : 'Is this Deer-king related to you ?' Then the hind answered and said, . He is my husband. I love and revere him with all my heart, and therefore I am determined to share his fate; kill me first then, hunter! and afterwards do as you list to bim !

“ Then the huntsman reflected and said, 'What a faithful and exemplary wife is this ! seldom indeed is such a one to be found !” Then he addressed the hind and said, “Most respectable one ! your conduct is very commendable; I will let your lord go!' Then there was great joy, and the huntsman said“Seldom have I seen such faithfulness,

Go, then! oh, Deer-king!
And as you owe your life to your mate,

Cherish and nourish her as you ought.' “ Then the huntsman loosed the snare and let the Deer-king go, on which the hind overjoyed, addressed the huntsman and said,

- Most virtuous and illustrious huntsman !

May all your friends and relations,
As you have caused me to rejoice

Seeing my husband escape, likewise so rejoice.'» Then Buddha said, “ This Deer-king was myself, and the hind was Yasodharâ, who, on my account, experienced much sorrow, so much indead, that for six years she carried Rahûla in her womb, till at last hearing that I was about to return and assume the dignity of a universal monarch (whereas my kingdom is of a spiritual character), overcome with joy she brought forth her son, Rahûla, and clothed and adorned him as became the child of a queen.”

Then Suddhôdana, hearing of the birth of the child, was much incensed against Yasodharâ, and thought she had done his son dishonour, on which he assembled the various Sâkya princes and laid the case before them.

After consultation, they severally proposed the following punishments : That she should be whipped, burned, mutilated, blinded, impaled, buried alive, etc., etc. [But at length the Lord of the

در و

world, knowing the trouble and danger of Yasodharâ, sent to Sud. dhôdana and said, “The child is my child;' and then all honour was done both to the mother and babe.]

[The rest of this chapter is occupied by an account of the conversion of Udâyi and the charioteer Tchandaka, who had been sent to the place where Tathâgata was, for the purpose of asking him to return to Kapilavastu.

These two, having taken on them the usual vows, and shaved their heads, and assumed the robes, were sent by Buddha to Kapilavastu to announce his intention of visiting the place of his birth. They gradually returned till they arrived at the Garden of the Nyagrodha-trees, where Suddhôdana, having gone for some other purpose, beheld them. Astonished when he heard that these two strange figures were Shamans like his own son, filled with grief, without further inquiries, he returned within the city walls.

Buddha then relates to Saripútra the miracles that attended the progress of a former Buddha, called Sikhin, as he returned to his own country. The trees, flowers, fountains, rivers, and all created things combined to do him honour]."

CHAPTER LII.

The History of Udâyi. § 1. Now Buddha, at the end of the 14th day of the month, began to move towards his native country of Kapilavastu. On this occasion the earth quaked and countless Devas accompanied the cortège, showering down flowers, and producing many spiritual manifestations.

At length, having arrived in the neighbourhood, the worldhonoured one took up his residence in the Nyagrodha wood.?

Then Udâyi and Tchandaka, having saluted the feet of the Lord of the world, related how Suddhôdana had not a believing heart, or a pure mind, and how he had no desire to have anything to do with the Bhikshus.

1 Compare M. B. 201, 202, etc.

2 Here follows a poetical description of his progress, similar to that of Sikhin in the previous chapter.

[ocr errors]

The Lord of the world, understanding the case, addressed all the Bhikshus and said, Which of all your company, oh! Bhikshus ! is able to go to the place where Suddhôdana resides, and convert him to the faith!”

Then some said, Sariputra can; others, Mugalan is able ; others Mahâ Kâsyapa ; others, Katyâyana; others, Uravilva Kâsyapa ; others, Nadi Kâsyapa ; others, Upâsana.

Then the lord addressing Udâyi said, “ You, Udâyi ! are fit to discharge this mission ; go then to the presence of Suddhôdana, and use your ability to convert him to the faith.”

[Udâyi then proceeds to Kapilavastu, and explained to Suddhôdana that he had come from the royal prince who is now residing in the Nyagrodha garden. The king then begins to form an affection for the Shaman, and orders food to be prepared for him; hut Udâyi prefers taking the food to the Lord of the world. Suddhôdana offers to give other and better food for his son ; but Udâyi instructs the king that his master will eat nought except rice and vegetables, with sugar and honey. Hereupon the king orders a special dish to be prepared for his son, and Udâyi consents to take it to him. [There is some slight divergence here betwixt the Kàsyapiyas and the Mahâsanghîkas, but not of any importance.] Then Buddha, having received the food of Udâyi, and heard that his royal father was about to visit him, related the following story]:

The Story of the Two Parrots. § 2. “I REMEMBER in years gone by, in the country about Benares, there was a certain King of the Birds, named Suputra, who dwelt in the midst of all the birds (80,000 birds) that frequented the city of Benares. This Suputra had a wife called Suputrî. The latter, on a certain occasion, took a strange fancy that she must, some how or other, get some of the food to eat of which the King of Benares partook day by day, or else that she would die. Her husband seeing how restless and excited his mate had become, in. quired of her the reason. On this she told him the whole truth and assured him that she never could survive her trouble unless she had some of the food from the royal table of the Râja of Benares. The king of the birds bemoaned her fate, but was hopeless as to the accomplishment of her wish. At this time a bird be. longing to the company undertook to provide for the queen the food she wanted : taking his seat therefore on a tree near the open window of the royal palace, he watched his opportunity till the servant brought in the rice and other food for the king. Then flying into the chamber and alighting on the head of the dishcarrier, he laid hold of his nose, and bit it so hard, that he let go the dishes and scattered all the food on the floor. The bird then, having picked up as much as he wished, conveyed it to the disconsolate queen. [And so he does again and again.]

“ Then Brahmahdatta, the King of Benares, being deprived of his food, began to think, ‘I wonder what bird this is that comes here and dares to carry off my food in this way.'

Accordingly, he ordered his fowler to catch the bird, and at last, being brought into his presence, he inquired what he meant by this conduct, on which the bird told the whole truth, and Brahmadatta, much pleased with his faithfulness, let him go, and told him he was always welcome to as much food as he desired from the royal table.

“Now, said Buddha, at that time I was King of the Birds, Udâyi was the faithful one who got the food, and Brahmadatta was Suddhôdana Râja.”

[ocr errors]

[Kiouen LII contains 5,762 words, and cost 2.884 taels.]

CHAPTER LIII.

1 §. At this time, Suddhôdana Râja, surrounded by all the Sakyas of Kapilavastu, 99,000 in all, and accompanied by the four kinds of military escort, left the city in order to go to the spot where Bhagavat was sojourning. On perceiving him thus approaching, the world-honoured one thought thus with himself: “If I rise not to salute my father, men will say 'how comes it to pass that he who professes to teach others their duty, is neglectful of this first duty of all—respect to his father?' if I rise to salute him, then all my

:

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »