« ПредишнаНапред »
release. Through ages past have I acquired the merit to be derived from Buddha,' the Law,' 'the Church.'1 I have ever prepared my heart for the possession of supreme wisdom, and now, having obtained the result of my constant vows and prayers, about to consummate all in the acquisition of it. You should rejoice, therefore, and not be sad.”
Then all those Devas having heard these words said amongst themselves, “Look Devas ! look well at this Prabhápala Bôdhisatwa Mahåsatwa, for soon he will descend to earth and be born amongst men,” and then they raised their voices and said, “ the Venerable Prabhâpâla, the exalted one, shall soon be born as a
Soon! soon shall all the beauty and the glory of this heaven disappear, and all the happiness of its inhabitants. What services shall we have to render? What religious homage to pay, when the venerable one departs to be born in the shape of perishable man !”
Then Prabhåpâla rejoined—“Again I repeat in your ears the truth of the doctrine—all things are perishable—Let this be bound and fixed in your memories, forget it not for a moment, and now I go down to earth to be born, to arrive at the goal of Anuttara Samyak Sambôdhi, to preach the incomparable truth. You on your parts should each pray to be born in the world likewise, and so obtain deliverance from all sorrow, and arrive at perfect Rest.” Now there was a certain palace in the Tusita Heaven called “Exalted Standard,” equal in length and breadth, i.e. sixty Yojanas each way. In this palace, from time to time, Bodhisatwa was in the habit of preaching the law for the advantage of the Tusita Devas. So on this occasion, having repaired to this abode and taken his seat, he began to speak to all the Devas of the Tusita Heaven, and said “Ye Devas! assemble here and listen! not long hence this body of mine shall descend amongst men, and be born in the world ; let me now therefore on your account recite in succession the names of the various modes of salvation (fă mun), as a means to your conversion, now for the last time I name these particulars to you, and impress them on your memory, that you, on your part hearing them may derive joy and peace from their recital.
1 The three objects of reliance, or refuge, for the Buddhists. 2 Utchadhvaja. “ Lal. Vist.” p. 37.
Then all the Devas of this Tusita Heaven, having heard these words, assembled together in that heavenly palace to listen to what Prabhâpâla had to say.
Then Prabhâpåla, sitting on his Lion throne, surrounded by an incalculable number of Devas, and honoured by every kind of external homage, spake thus, “ Devas, before the once-born Bôd. hisatwa descends to earth to be incarnated he desires on your account to recite the one hundred and eight methods of salvation, listen therefore and weigh my words whilst I recite these methods to you.”
At this time Prabhâpâla Bôdhisatwa, having delivered these one hundred and eight gates of the law, impressed upon his audi. tors that they should diligently keep them in their momories, and not let them slip.
[Kiouen VI contains 6177 words, and cost 3.09 Taels.)
The descent into the Royal Palace.
At this time Prabhâpâla Bôdhisatwa, the Winter being now passed, and the opening month of Spring arrived, when all the flowers and the trees put out their sweets, the vernal air soft and serene, neither too cold or hot, the young grass and other verdure freshly come forth, brightly shining on every side. At the time of the junction of the constellation Kwei (with the sun), having repeated the necessary portions of the law (as before given), in the hearing of all the Devas, causing their hearts to be filled with joy and ravishment, having by his excellent discourse led them to discard all thought and things so transient in their nature, as are subject to life and old age, and disease and death, and to seek after the brighter state of being, at this time (I say) Prabhâ
1 These hundred and eight gates of the law are given by M. Foucaux, “ Lal. Vist.” pp. 46-7. The Chinese list agrees almost entirely with his.
pâla Bôdhisatwa Mahâsatwa about now to descend and to be born, his heart at rest, without excitement, with no anxiety or confusion of thought, again spake thus to the assembled Devas, “Know well! and consider, ye Devas all, that this is my very last and final birth.” Then Bôdhisatwa, his mind immovably fixed, descended from Tusita, as other Devas had done, the years of their sojourn in Tusita being come to an end.
At this time, when Bôdhisatwa was about to descend, and in a
Respectfully rose from his seat before her,
His heart wholly free from any thought of sensual desire." Then Prabhậpåla Bôdhisatwa, with a fixed heart and perfectly self-possessed, descended from Tusita to sojourn on earth, and entered on the right sideof Queen Mâya, wife of Suddhôdana Râja, and there rested in perfect quiet.
Then Devas and men, Mara’ and Brahma, Shamans and Brah
i Mâya, the wife of Suddhôdana Râja. The “incarnation scene is frequently met with in Buddhist sculptures. Vide (amongst others) Pl xxxiii, “ Tree and Serpent Worship.”
2 He is generally represented as descending in the shape of a white elephant. The tikas, however, explain this as indicating “ Power and Wisdom.”
8 Mâra, the author of evil. Sometimes called the “ King of
mans, beheld a wonderful light, which shone through the entire world, and lit up the gloom of the external mountain depth, where eternal darkness reigns. Then every creature beholding this light began to speak to his fellow thus, “What does this sudden appearance amongst us portend ?” Then the great earth quaked six times, and all the mountains of the great Sakwala shook; the seas roared, and the rivers turned backwards in their course, wbilst all forests, trees, flowers, and every kind of herb, exuded their rich nourishment, and shed it on the ground; and so even down to the bottommost Hell of Avitchi," there was a feeling of joy instead of misery.” [The light shone in the darkness, to show that hereafter Bodhisatwa would arrive at perfect enlightenment, and by the preaching of the four truths, illuminate the darkness and ignorance of men's minds. The mountains shook and the seas roared, etc., to indicate that hereafter Buddha, having arrived at perfect wisdom, should shake the powers of evil which afflict the world, and draw men to the true Nirvana ; the rivers flowed backwards to indicate that hereafter Buddha should cause the natural tide of events, the perpetual flow of life and death to be reversed, and men to find deliverance, and so with the other indications.] Bôdhisatwa having then descended into the womb of Mâya the Queen, she in the midst of her sleep had a dream to this effect, “she thought she saw a six tusked white elephant, his head coloured like a ruby (or red pearl), etc., descend thro' space and enter her right side." In the morning the queen addressed her husband Suddhôdana tbus, “Mahârâja, be it known to you that last night I had the following dream, it appeared to me that a white elephant entered my right side, and gave me such joy as I never had before! From this time forth I will no more partake of any sensual pleasure, and I pray you find out some interpreter of dreams who will tell me what this wonderful vision of mine may portend.” Then Suddhôdana called to the women who were waiting outside, and bade them go in haste
Death,” at other times the “God of the World of Pleasure” (Kamaloka).
1 Avitchi, the no-interval hell—the bottomless pit.
2 These explanations are part of the original text, introduced without any comment. They are probably of a later date than the thread of the narrative. When they occur they will be printed in italic letters.
and tell Mahânamaputra, his prime minister, to summon at once to his presence the eight Brahmas who excelled in interpreting dreams, to wit, Yajñabhadanta, Visakabhadanta, Ishwarabhadanta, Pindubhadanta, Brahmabhadanta, these five, and with them the three sons of old Kâsyapa. The messengers then addressed the king, “we dare not disobey the Mahârâja's commands." Then these messengers in obedience to the king's commands went forth to the palace gates, and cried with a loud voice before the gates, “Who is there on guard?” Then there was before the gate a certain guard, Rojana by name, who ans. wered the messenger belonging to the interior (i. e. the harem), “I am here.” Then the messenger said “Mahârâja has given orders to summon to his presence the eight Brahmans, interpreters of dreams, by name [as before]. Then Rojana, went forthwith to the presence of Mahanamaputra, the prime minister, who having heard his words, immediately summoned the eight Brahmans aforesaid, and soon both Mahanamaputra and they together entered within the royal palace. Then Suddhôdana Râja addressed the interpreters of dreams, and said, “Last night the Queen had this extraordinary dream [relating it], what is the interpretation of it ?”
Then the Brahmans, having heard the king's words, perfectly understanding all portents, and able to interpret all dreams, replied, “Mahârâja! listen and hear the meaning of this dream, according to the explanation given by the old Rishis, and in the books of divine wisdom; thus it is written in the following Gâthas :
“If a mother in her dream, behold
The Sun Deva enter her right side;