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were in charge of his wardrobe, every garment in which was made of Kasika material. [Whereas his Royal Father only wore Kasika on the outside, his under garments being made of every miscellaneous stuff.]
Moreover, the prince was surrounded by servants both male and female, brought up on the purest food. The Prince himself partook only of the daintiest fare, and every sort of luscious fruit. Thus every day and every night brought him some fresh joy and pleasant diversion, protected by a beautiful white umbrella during the day, and sleeping under the finest gauze canopies by night.
Now at this time Suddh6dana Raja, having watched his son gradually growing up to manhood, once more recalled the words of the Rishi Asita to his memory, and in consequence he summoned the great ministers of the Sakya race to an assembly, and spake thus to them: "Do you not remember at the time of the birth of the Royal Prince that the assembled Brahmans and Asita all bare record when they calculated the babe's horoscope, that if he remained a prince he would be a Chakravartin, but if he became a recluse, he would be a supreme Buddha. Now then, my Ministers, tell me by what contrivance I can prevent the Prince leaving his home and assuming a religious life?"
Then the Sakyas answered and said, "You ought, O King! to construct another Palace for the Prince, and let there be prepared there every accommodation for voluptuous pleasures, with women and hand-maidens; so the prince will give up the idea of leaving his home and becoming a recluse; as the Gatha says:—
"The record of Asita
Then Suddhodana Raja said again, " Sakyas! which of all the daughters of our race is fit to be the wife of the Prince Suddartha?
At this time five hundred of the Sakyas exclaimed, "My daughter! my daughter, is fit!" [The two previous sentences in the Sanscrit original are repeated several times. The present is a digest. Ch. Ed.]
Then Suddhodana Raja began to think with himself thus: "If I do not go to the Prince Royal and consult with him about taking a wife, then I shall but provoke him to disobey and thwart my design; and again, if I do go to him and consult, then I fear he will take the subject deeply to heart, and in the end not fall in with my views. What then shall I do? what expedient shall I adopt? I will do this; I will cause every sort of precious ornament to be made, and, when complete, I will offer them to the prince with the request that he will distribute them among the females of his tribe, and then, having trusty persons in watch, I will request them to look well and observe the dis countenance, and on whichever of the ladies he looks with tenderness, her will I select, and propose to him for a wife."
Accordingly the king ordered every kind of jewelled ornament, and delightful trifle (un lung), to be made of silver and gold; and then he sent messengers throughout Kapilavastu to proclaim as follows: "After seven days the Prinoe Royal desires all the ladies of the Sakya race to assemble at the court, and after receiving them he purposes to distribute among them every kind of precious ornament and delightful toy. Let all the ladies, therefore, come, as they are bidden, to the palace gate !" 1
Then six days passed, and on the seventh the Prince Royal, first going forth, arrived in front of the gate of the palace, and advancing towards his cushioned throne, he sat down. Thereupon the ladies, decorated with every sort of precious jewel, began to assemble in numbers before the palace, desiring to see the prince, and still more anxious to receive from him the jewels and precious toys he had promised to bestow upon them.
The prince, seeing the ladies coming, took the jewels he had by him, and the ornaments which had been made, and began to bestow them as he proposed; whilst the ladies, because of the grace and beauty of the prince's demeanour, could not look him straight in the face; but each one simply passing by and bowing the head in profound obeisance, took her gift and departed. And now, when all the gifts were exhausted, at the very last, there came a certain damsel of the family of Basita, of the Sakya tribe, whose name was Yasodhara, the daughter of Mahanama, the great minister of state, surrounded on every side by a circle of personal attendants, to see
1 Swayambara, Speir, " Anc. Ind.," p. 126.
the Prince Royal. With an easy gait, and her eyes fixed before her, she advanced towards the prince, as one who had known him in old time, and, without any timidity, addressed him thus—. "Your Royal Highness! what gift or costly ornament have you for me?" The prince forthwith replied, "You have come too late, the presents are all distributed." To whom she replied again, "And what have I done that you should not have reserved one for me?" To whom the prince said, "I do not refuse to give you one, but why did you not come in time." Now, on the prince's finger there was a very costly signet-ring worth a hundred thousand (pieces of gold). Taking this from his finger, he offered it to Yas6dhara. Yas6dhara, rejoined, "Your Highness! I can remain here by your side, perhaps you may have something else to give." On this the prince replied, "You can take my necklace of pearls if you please;"—to whom she rejoined, "It would be a pity for me to do that, and so deprive the prince of that which so much becomes him." Saying which, she departed in no very amiable temper. »
The Story of YasodharL
§ 4. 1 At this time the world-honoured one, having arrived at complete enlightenment, was addressed by the venerable TJdayi as follows: "How was it when you were still residing in your father's royal palace, and you offered to Yas6dhara the priceless jewels and ornaments that adorned your person, you were unable to cause her any gratification?"
On this Buddha answered Udayi as follows: "Listen! and weigh my words. It was not only on this occasion that Yasodhara was discontented with the gifts I offered her, but from old time, because of an offence she had taken through successive ages, she has never been pleased with me." On which ever said,
1 Here we have the first of the frequent episodes (Avadanas) which occur in this history. It is a story of Yas6dhara in a previous birth. In all these stories the supposition is made that Buddha has arrived at complete inspiration or enlightenment before he enters on the narrative, and so is able to reveal all that occurred in time past.
"Oh ! would that the world-honoured Buddha would recount this history to me."
At this time Buddha addressed the venerable Udayi and said, "I remember in ages gone by, there was in the country of Kasi, and in the city of Benares, a certain king who was an unbeliever. That king had a son who, for some trivial fault, was banished by his father from the kingdom. As he wandered along, he came to a certain Devalaya, and having there contracted a marriage1 with a woman he stopped in the place, and lived with her. Now, after a time it so happened that, all their food being exhausted, this king's son went out to hunt to try to get something to eat. It so chanced that on that day he shot a large sort of lizard, and having skinned it, he cut up the flesh, and put it in a pot of water to boil. When it was nearly cooked, the water in the pot having boiled away, the king's son said to his wife, ' This flesh is hardly done yet, will you run and get some more water?" She immediately consented, and went to fetch it. In the meanwhile, her husband, overcome with hunger and not having patience to wait, began to eat the flesh that was in the pot, and at last finished it all, without leaving a morsel. Just as he had finished, his wife came back with the water, and, seeing the pot empty, she asked her husband 'Where has the flesh gone?' He immediately prevaricated, and said, 'Do you know, just after you left, the lizard came to life again, got out of the pot and ran away.' But his wife would not believe that the half-cooked lizard had really so suddenly come to life again and got away; for she said, 'How is it possible?' and so she thought to herself, 'the fact is, this man of mine has eaten it all up, and now he is mocking me by telling me this story about the animal running away.' So she took offence, and was always in a poor temper.
"Now, after the lapse of a few years, it came to pass that the king, the father of the prince, died; at which time all the ministers sent for the young prince, and immediately anointed him king. On this the king, having ascended the throne, caused every kind of precious jewel, costly ornament, and splendid robe, to be brought to him, and these he forthwith presented to his wife, the queen.
1 It must be understood that in all these stories many expressions are rendered into polite English.
Notwithstanding this, although so liberally and ungrudgingly provided, her face revealed not the slightest pleasure or happiness; but she remained gloomy as before. On this the king addressed her and said, 'How is it, notwithstanding the priceless gifts I have bestowed on you, that you still remain so gloomy and so sad? You are just as unhappy now as you were before?' Then the queen forthwith replied in the following Gatha,—
"Most noble monarch! listen!
And now Udayi! you should know, that at this time, the king was myself—the queen was Yas6dhara, and by this one transgression in those days long gone by, I entailed on myself this perpetual result, that no gift of mine or precious offering can ever cause joy to Yasodhara."
§ 5. Then those messengers whom Suddh6dana had appointed to observe secretly the conduct of the Prince Royal, having with great care watched the glances of his eyes as he was confronted with each of the maidens or spoke to them—having observed all this with great attention, immediately sought the presence of the king, and addressed him thus—"Maharaja! there happened to come to the reception, amongst others, a daughter of the chief minister, Mahaname, who, after saying a few words to the prince, stood by him for some short time, and in a smiling way conversed with him. We observed how their eyes met, and what secret glances there were, and we doubt not about the meaning of these interchanges of look!"