Графични страници
PDF файл

followers must do the same; but this is not right;? if I alone rise, they will lose respect for me.”

Thinking thus, and reflecting on the best course of action, Buddha forthwith, by the exercise of his spiritual power, ascended into space, and there manifested himself in various and wonderful transformations.

At this time, Suddhôdana, afar off, perceiving the spiritual transformations of Bhagavat, as he remained unsupported in the air, began to think thus with himself: “It is long since the Royal Prince Siddartha left his home, and he now has evidently attained to the spiritual power of a Rishi.” Thinking thus, the Râja descended from his chariot, and approached the spot near which Bhagavat was. Buddha perceiving his Royal Father drawing near, descended from the air, and occupied the same spot as before.

Then the Râja beholding his son's appearance, that he wore no royal head dress, but was closed shaved, and clad in a poor Kashâya robe, was, for a moment transfixed to the earth; but recovering himself after a while, he found relief in tears and sad lamentations, in which all those 99,000 Sâkya people joined.

[After a long argument between the Râja and the Prince, the narrative continues thus. ]

Then the king observing Sariputra and the other Rahats, seated around their master, inquired of Buddha who these were, and whence they came! on which the world-honoured one, turning to his father, and at the same time pointing to each of his disciples in succession, mentioned their names one after the other. On this, Suddhodana was not pleased; for he thought it derogatory to his son, a Prince of the Royal Kshatriya line, to be surrounded by followers belonging to the Brahman caste. And so rising up, he departed and returned to his palace.

The History of Upali. § 2. At this time, there was a youth called Upali, who had come

1 That is, according to Buddha's law, no priest should rise, even in the presence of a king.

among the first of the people to the spot where Buddha was seated. This youth being led by the hand of his mother, now approached the world-honoured one, and standing thus, his mother desired that Buddha would allow her child to shave his head. On this Buddha consented, and during four different operations the youth entered successively the four Dhyânas.

Then Suddhôdana having returned to his palace, convoked all the Sâkya princes to an assembly, and explained how his son had now become possessed of supreme wisdom, and had begun to turn the wheel of the Law (establish his kingdom), and how he was surrounded by a body of Brahmans instead of Kshâtriyas.

Then they replied, “and what would the king have us to do?" On this Suddhôdana Kâja recommended that as many of the Sâkya princes as were so disposed should leave their homes, assume the robes and become followers of Buddha. Whereupon, proclamation having been made, five hundred of the Sâkyas agreed to become disciples. They then determined to consign all their goods to the care of Upali; but he knowing their purpose, hastened to Buddha, and requested permission to enter the priesthood first. This being granted, Suddhôdana Raja and the five hundred Sakyas approached, and, on making their request known, they also were permitted to become disciples on condition that they first bowed down at the feet of Upali. So the pride of these Sâkya princes was mortified. Buddha then related the previous history of Upali thus :

“I remember in days gone by there were two men living in Benares who were great friends, but they were both poor and looked down upon by the world. At a certain time it happened that they just had in their house one pint of millet, which had been consigned to them by a stranger who was leaving the city of Benares. At this time a certain Pratyeka Buddha, having entered the city on a begging excursion, proceeded from house to house, holding his alms-dish in his hand before each door. Whereupon, the two poor men resolved to bestow the grain in their charge on this begging priest, and at the same time beseech his pity. Having done so, the Pratyeka Buddha accepted it, and, forthwith mounting into the air, flew away.”

[Kiouen LIII contains 6,158 words, and cost 3.079 taels.]

[ocr errors]



[blocks in formation]

The two friends, seeing the mendicant fly away thus, were filled with joy, and, joining their hands in adoration, they bowed down and worshipped ; and as they worshipped they prayed that they might always be privileged to be born within sound of the true doctrine, and thus escape the evil ways of birth; whilst one in par. ticular prayed that he might be born as a Brahman, and gain perfect knowledge of the four Vedas and the six treatises on the mechanical arts.

So it came to pass after their deaths that one was born in Benares as a Kshatriya, of the royal race, and his name was Brahmadatta; the other was born as a Brahman, and his name was Upakamanava, so skilful in learning that he was able to explain all the Shasters with ease. Now this Upakamanava had a wife, whose name was Manavika, very fair to behold, and of incomparable grace, and in her love the whole of Upakamanava's happiness consisted. Now it so happened, for some reason or other, that Manavika withdrew herself from the company of her husband, and lived altogether apart, very much to his grief and distress. At length, after the four months of extreme summer heat had passed, the wife said to her spouse, “Go now, my dear, to the market, and buy me perfumes and flowers, for I wish to enjoy the pleasures (five pleasures) of life again, and be as I was before.” Upaka hearing this, was overjoyed and beside himself for delight. “ What in the world,” he said, “ has made my wife alter her mind and become good-tempered again?” Whereupon, taking out a gold piece he had hidden, he went forth at noon-day to buy the necessary articles for his wife's adornment. Now the sun at this time was scorching hot and the earth dried up like a sheet of red copper (as red as a cock's feather); nevertheless, as Upaka went along from his house to the village, so overjoyed was he that he did nought but sing and shout for very delight.

At this time, Brahmadatta Raja was reposing in the balcony of his palace, sleeping through the heat of the day, when suddenly in his slumbers he thought he heard the sound of some one shouting out the words of a love song. Having listened and heard the

[ocr errors]

sounds, the king himself began to entertain similar thoughts; and
so the Gatha says,
“ Whether from one's own foolish thoughts,

Or from thoughts raised up by others,
From either cause the pollution of love arises,

As mysteriously as the lily appears on the water.” Meantime, Brahmadatta, having listened to the burthen of the love ditty, suddenly roused himself and said, “Who can this fellow be that in the broiling sun at noontime goes along singing his lovesong?” Having thought thus, he looked through his window, and there he saw Upaka strolling along on the parched and reddened ground, carelessly trolling his lay as he went. Then the king, calling to his attendant minister, commanded him to bring in the fellow to his presence, on which the minister went out and cried after him, “ Young man! (Mânava) come hither! come hither! the king wants you.” Then Upaka's heart began to fail him and the hairs of his body to stand on end through fear, and he thought thus: “What crime have I committed that the king orders me to his presence ?” But the minister meantime conducted him into the palace and brought him to the king. Now, as soon as ever Brahmadatta saw him, a sort of affection sprung up in his heart for him, and he addressed him in the following Gâthas : “How is it you are not irritated with the heat, Instead of singing your songs and being so light-hearted At this time of day, when the sun pours its rays On the earth, parched as red as the plumes of the cock ?

How is it,” etc. [repeated.]
To which Upaka replied in the following Gâthas:
“Mahârâja ! at present no heat would irritate me;
What care I if I be roasted by the sun.
It is only when a man has båd bad luck
That he gets angry at such trifling matters as these.
Though the rays of the sun were as hot again,
This would give me the least of trouble just pow.
It is only when a man is vexed about all sorts of things

That he is irritable and weighed down by care.”
Then the king addressed Upaka, and said, “Manava! and pray



what were your thoughts just now as you went along in the heat singing your ditty ?” Then Upaka explained to the king all about his private matters at home. Then Brahmadatta addressed him thus : “ Manava ! I pray you don't leave me, but stop here with

and I will give you two golden pieces." Upaka, having received these two golden pieces, still hankered after his home, and so ad. dressed the king and said, “ Maharaja ! I will venture to ask you for one more piece, and then the three you have given me, with the one I already possess, will make four, and these will buy abundant luxuries for my wife at this time of her returning affection.” · The king having heard this, said, “ Pray don't go; I will give you eight pieces.” Mânava having received these, still begged one more [and so on to one hundred and twenty pieces]. The king then offered him the government of a village, a town, a district, and at last consented to give him half his kingdom. Then Upaka, remaining in the palace with Brahmadatta, thought thus with himself: “ Why should I not possess the whole kingdom ? I have only to slay the king as he sleeps, and all will be mine.” On this he took a sword in his hand, and proceeded to the side of the sleeping monarch, and was about to put his plan in execution, when the thought of such ingratitude suddenly stopped him, and, raising a shout, he woke the king, who inquired the reason of his making such a noise. Having told him the truth, the king at first refused to believe him, but afterwards, on Upaka's repeated asseveration that it was so, was constrained to credit it; but yet, owing to his extreme affection for him, freely forgave him. On this Upaka, seeing to what a pass his covetousness had nearly brought him, resolved to become a recluse and to leave his home.

Upaka having joined himself to the company of a famous Rishi of Benares, soon acquired supernatural powers (and was able to touch the sun and moon with his finger). On hearing this, Brahmadatta, highly gratified, recited a Gâtha in the presence of his chamberlain, to the effect that Upaka by his previous merit had obtained this great eminence as a Rishi.

« ПредишнаНапред »