Графични страници
PDF файл

And desiring to bring them to destruction,
Destroys himself and them together.'

Then Buddha said, "at that time I was Garuda, and Fat was Upagaruda. And so because I have acquired supreme wisdom and desire by benefitting myself to benefit others, he has contracted a spirit of hatred and revenge against me, and would gladly destroy me if he could."

And so it happened that the several Sakya princes having entered the community, obtained the condition of Rahats, except Ananda, who only acquired the first step (Sowan).

Bhadraka', meantime, overwhelmed with joy, could do nothing but exclaim, "ah me! what delight! ah me! what delight!" and the other disciples hearing him thus constantly repeating these words, asked Buddha to explain why he did so. On this, the worldhonoured one having sent for Bhadraka, asked him to explain why he repeated nothing else but the words, "ah me! what joy."

[On this Bhadraka relates his experiences when he was a king. How he feared death in a thousand shapes, although surrounded by troops and guards; and how he looked forward to the future with dread. But now, though alone in the forest, or in the solitude of the mountain, "I have no fear," he said, "and my mind is in perfect peace as to the future, and therefore I exclaim 'ah me! what joy !' "J

Buddha next explains how Bhadraka, 'in a former birth, was made "king of the beggars" of Benares, by Brahmadatta. Having given some food to a Pratyeka Buddha, he was born in consequence as a Sakya prince, and became.Eaja of Kapilavastu, and finally a Eahat.

Now it so happened, that on one occasion Bhadraka, after becoming a Rahat, having received some food from a number of beggars who had come out from Sravasti, was observed by Pasena (Pasenajit), king of Kosala, who was riding on his white elephant, in company with Silabhadra, his chief minister. On inquiry, Pasena found out who the recluse was; whereupon he desired his minister to approach to Bhadraka, riding on his elephant. Being not far off, the Raja descended and approached the saint. He then inquired why he received such food as this at the hands of the beggars. To this Bhadraka replied, "Maharaja! it is not because of my poverty that I receive food from these beggars; for indeed I possess seven precious kinds of wealth. But I would gladly make these poor people, and all living things as rich as myself, and so I take their food. Having my eyes opened, I would also recover them and all others from the blindness of ignorance, and open their eyes. Having escaped from the meshes of anger and passion, I would set them and all others at liberty also. Having crossed over the sea of sorrow and trouble, and arrived at the other shore, I would gladly rescue them also and others from the waters that engulf mankind. Having escaped from all chance of sickness or disease, I would gladly heal these and all others also, and therefore I accept their food." Then Pasena replied, "Holy one! (arya) I also am poor, and without the seven precious possessions of which you speak; would that you would pity me also, and come frequently to my house for food." Bhadraka having assured him that such a step was unnecessary, departed from the king.

[Kiouen LIX contains 6,124 words, and cost 3.062 taels.]


History of Maniruddha and others.

On a certain occasion Buddha, residing at Benares, in a place occupied by an old Rishi, in the Deer Park, requested Maniruddha to proceed to the city to gather alms for himself and the community. Maniruddha accordingly proceeded to beg from door to door, but with no success. Suddenly, in a miraculous manner, there appeared five hundred vessels full of food, which accompanied him back to the Deer Park, and so afforded sufficient food for the whole community.

On this, Maniruddha having returned to the preaching hall and sat down, exclaimed, "wonderful! wonderful indeed is the miraculous power of our teacher. This event that has just happened puts me in mind of what occurred in days long ago, when there was a dreadful famine in Benares, so fatal to the inhabitants, that all the neighbourhood was filled with the dead, and the fields covered with bleached bones and skeletons. Now there was a poor man in the city at that time, without any means of support, and his supply of food nearly all gone. Just then a Pratyeka Buddha having gone round from house to house a-begging, had got nothing, and was returning to his hermitage to sit in meditation. The poor man having perceived this, went after him, and invited him to share with him his two last handfuls of cockle seed, and took him back to his house for this purpose. After the repast, the Pratyeka Buddha having departed, the poor man went out into the neighbouring cemetery (Sitavana) to pick up a few sticks. Everywhere he was surrounded by skeletons. Suddenly one of these skeletons jumping up, sprang on to the back of the poor man, and twisting his legs round his neck, could not be got off. It was in vain he used his utmost force; he could not free himself from the skeleton on his back. At length, when the sun was just sinking in the west, and darkness coming on, the man tried to reach his home unobserved. But as he entered the city, some men perceiving him carrying this skeleton on his shoulders, cried out, 'Psha, man, what are you going to bring that skeleton into the town for?' On this he answered, 'Indeed, my good friends, I have exerted my utmost strength in vain, for I cannot get the thing off my shoulders. Do you all come and try to help me.' On this, the men came and all began to pull at the skeleton's legs and arms; but all for no purpose, for there he remained unmoved and unmovable. Hereupon the poor man gradually crept to his abode, and having opened the door and gone in, all of a sudden the whiteboned skeleton changed itself into yellow gold and fell off his shoulders on to the ground. Then the man seeing this wonderful sight, said to himself, 'I will not keep all this treasure to myself; I will share it with others.' On this he went to king Brahmadatta, and said,' Maharaja, be it known to you I have discovered a treasure, and I wish it to be used for the good of the ^country.' On this, Brahmadatta calling his attendants, bade them accompany the man back to his house. Having reached the door and gone in, the man pointed to the gold on the floor and said, 'behold the treasure!' But to the attendants there appeared nothing but the bones of a skeleton; and so turning to the poor man, they said in


a rage,' How dare you, sirrah, mock us thus? We will return to the king and acquaint him with your impudence' On this, going back to the palace, they explained what had happened. The poor man, however, nothing daunted, soon followed them to the king, and besought him to come and see for himself the treasure he had discovered. On this, Brahmadatta Raja set out in company with the citizen, and, arriving at his house, there saw a ghastly skeleton lying on the floor, whilst the man, pointing to it with exultation, exclaimed, 'There, Maharaja, lies the treasure of which I spoke.' On this, the king, turning to him, indignantly said, 'How dare you, fool that you are, presume to mock me thus! What makes you call this stinking skeleton a golden treasure?' On this, he replied, ' Indeed, Maharaja, it is pure gold, and nothing else.' And he thrice asseverated that it was no skeleton. At length, taking up some of the pieces in his hand, he uttered the following vow : "If this gold was conferred on me for some good deed done in times gone by, oh! let the king, let the king Brahmadatta also perceive that it is gold!' Having uttered this prayer, suddenly the Buck eyes were opened, and he saw before him a heap of gold, and then said, 'Well done, my friend! What good deed of yours has brought this good fortune to your house? What spirit or deva have you entertained to give you such a treasure as this?' Then he related what he had done for the Pratyeka Buddha, much to the delight of the king.

"Now, at this time the Pratyeka Buddha was Tathagata in a former birth, and the poor man was Maniruddha (the speaker)."

[The text then proceeds to relate in Gathas to what wonderful consequences the gift of the handful of cockle seed led, through an indefinite series of births.]

The remainder of this chapter is filled with some trifling allusions to Ananda in his former births. The whole concludes with a story of Ananda when going to Sravasti to beg. On this occasion he came to a large tree midway between the Jetavana Monastery and the town. This tree, called Sisava, was the resort of numerous Brahmans, who, as Ananda went along, challenged him to tell the number of leaves on the tree. Ananda answered with precision, " On the eastern branch there are so many hundreds and so many thousands; on the western branch so many hundreds and so many thousands." Having said this, he went on his way. Then the Brahmans, hoping to deceive him, gathered certain handfuls of leaves from the tree, and then, on Ananda's return, they inquired, "How many leaves did you say were on the tree?" Ananda, perceiving at once their intention, replied," On the eastern branches are so many hundreds and thousands (deducting a certain number), and on the western branches so many hundreds and thousands (deducting a certain number)." On hearing this reply, the Brahmans were convinced of the superior wisdom of Ananda, and, embracing the tenets of Buddha, became Bahats.


There are three other leading disciples, viz., Purnavasu, Kompira, and Nandaka, of whom nothing is known as to their previous births, but only that they became disciples.

It may be asked, "By what title is this Book to be called ?" to which we reply, the Mahasafighikas call it "Ta-sse" (great thing. Mahavastu).1 The Sarvastavadas

1 So I would restore Ta-sse. Wassilief (§ 114, Bouddisme) gives

« ПредишнаНапред »