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To which Prabhapala replied, "This may be so; but the disposition of the people of that country is hard and self-willed; each one of them says, 'I am king!' 'Sufficient in myself!' and so they are haughty and disobliging. Again, they are without proper reverence for high or low; arrogant and self-sufficient; you must look elsewhere, therefore [the king, moreover, is not influenced by just considerations in the administration of justice, saying, 'This is law,' and ' this is not law']."
Golden-mass then said, "In the Mavanti country, the city called 'Ujjayani1; the king called 'bright lamp' (Prady6ta?); his son called 'Purna'; the king's personal strength very great: able to subdue all those around him; here may B6dhisatwa be born?"
Prabhapala replied, "All this may be so; but the king of that country is governed or restrained by no fixed law, and believes not in the certain result of actions, good or bad, in a future state; you must, therefore, look elsewhere."
Then he observed, "Mathura,a the capital city of Jambudwipa, has a great king, called ' Subaru '; will it suit Prabhapala to be born in this family?"
To which B6dhisatwa replied, "That king is a heretic; how then can an expectant Buddha be born there ?''
Once more he rejoined, "This city of the white elephant (Hastinapoura); the kings belonging to the Pandavas, of the greatest strength and beauty; unrivalled in the world; able to subdue all hostile armies; perhaps you are agreeable to be born there!"
To which Prabhapala replied, "This may be so; but the race of the Pandavas, pure as it may be, is yet of confused and indefinite origin; hence we find the eldest son of that king (i.e., of Pandu), called 'Yudistira,' spoken of as the son of Dharma, a Brahma Deva; the second son, called Bhimasena, is spoken of as the son of the wind-spirit (Vayu) Raja; the third son, called 'Arjuna,' is spoken of as the son of Sakra; again, there are two sons born of different mothers; one Nakula, the other, Sahadeva; these two are said to be the sons of Asuna (Asvin), the'Deva of the stars. For this reason, I cannot be born there."
1 Oujein. 2 In the province of Agra (L. Y.)
Then the Deva continued, " Prabhapala! the city of Mithila, in Jambudwipa, is governed by a king of the Mithila family, called 'Sumatra ;' he possesses abundance of elephants, horses, chariots, oxen, sheep, and all kinds of property of this sort; together with countless wealth, gold, silver, gems, pearls, and so on. That king, Sumitra, is devoted to the practice and study of the true law; will you, therefore, be born there?"
Prabhapala replied, "What you have said may be so; Sumitra Raja maypossess all this wealth, and be devoted to religion; yet he is old and decrepit, and no longer able to attend to the business of his government; moreover, he has already a large family of sons. For these reasons, I cannot be born there."
Golden-mass continued, "Prabhapala! besides these kings of the middle country, there are other kings of the frontier country, who hold heretical views; for instance, there is the island of Pindu, in which there is a kingdom governed by a king of the Brahman race; he resides on the top of Pindu, and is called 'Moon-branch'; pure in descent, both on his father's and mother's side; particular in his religious devotions to all the gods (Devas); perfectly versed in the knowledge of the four Vedas. Will you, venerable one, be born in that family?"
To whom Prabhapala replied, "It may be so; but when I am born, I desire to be born in the Kshatriya caste, and not in that of the Brahmans. So pray look elsewhere."
The Deva replied, "I have now named every kingdom I can think of in Jambudwipa; every town, village, and the race of all the kings of the Kshatriya race; and now I am overcome with so much sorrow, in consequence of my failure to find a family worthy of you as a son, that my memory fails me as to any other name, and my mouth cannot further declare the character of these families."
Prabhapala replied, "It is as you say; you are yet at fault in finding me a pure Kshatriya family, worthy of me as a son!"
The Deva replied, " I, looking carefully and anxiously for a place worthy of you when born, suddenly find I have forgotten one Kshatriya family."
Prabhapala replied, "What is the name thereof?"
The Deva continued: "An ancient family, descended in direct line from successive Chakravarti Rajas, related to Ikshwaku, in the far distance of antiquity; they live at Kapilavastu, of the race of the Sakyas; the king's name Suddhodana, son of Sinhahanu, celebrated among men and Devas; perhaps you will condescend to be born in that family." M.-- »Exact in determining the rules of reward and punishment. 36.—Strong and vigorous. 37.—pious to Rishis and saints. 38. —Reverent to spiritual powers. 39.—Pious to Devas. 40.—Respectful to wives. 41.—No family jealousies. 42.—Well known through the ten regions. 43.—The most distinguished by all families. 44. — Ancestors, holy men. 45. — The most conspicuous amongst such holy men. 46.—Constantly connected with Chakravarti Rajas. M.- Associated with men of the highest dignity. 48. — Surrounded by very large retinues. 49.— Their family associations not to be broken. 50.—Their family associations superior to all others. 51.—Reverent to mothers. 52. —Obedient to fathers. 53.—Pious to Shamans. 54.—Pious to Brahmans. 55.—Plenteous in grain. 56.—rich in possessions. 57.—Abounding in cattle, slaves, elephants, horses, oxen, sheep, etc. 58.—Not exacting on others. 59.—Not deficient in any worldly possessions. 60.—The race perfectly pure through every generation from its very origin."
Prabhapala replied, "It is well—well! you have well selected this family from the rest. I remember belonging to this family, and I am willing to be born in it as you suggest. Devaputra! it has ever been the rule that the expectant Buddha, when born must appear in a family possessing sixty marks1 of excellence what, then, are these sixty signs of excellence? 1.—All the holy
ones (Buddhas) regard that family with complacency. 2. That
family must practise no wickedness. 3.—The origin of that family must be perfectly pure. 4.—The descent of that family, in every line, must be faultless. 5.—The maternal descent must be without flaw or interruption. 6.—It must, from its origin, have been in the royal line. 7.—All the kings throughout the line, by descent must have had deep religious principles (deeply-sown, virtuous principles—roots). 8.—The origin of that family must always have been made a subject of commendation by the various Buddhas (saints). 9.—The members of that family must possess great personal dignity. 10.—The women of that family must be famed for their beauty. 11.—The young men must be famous for their wisdom. 12.—The disposition of the members of that family must be agreeable and amiable. 13.—Not given to songs or plays. 14.
—They must be fearless. 15.—Not weak or delicate. 16. Well
gifted with intellectual power. 17.—Given to handy work. 18.
Afraid of committing sin. 19.—Not mixed up in trade, or eager in getting wealth. 20.—Faithful in friendships. 21.—Not given
to kill either beasts or reptiles, or anything that has life. 22.
The names of that family chosen with discretion. 23. Able to
practice self-denial. 24.—Not easily led by others. 25. Not fickle
or changeable. 26.—not doubtful or sceptical. 27.—Not led by fear to follow others. 28.—Adverse to slaughter. 29.—No remorse for sin. 30.—successful in obtaining charity (?). 81.—Liberal in charity. 32.—Invincible. 33.—Regular in religious conduct, and willing to comply with all the rules. M.- Fond of relieving others.
1 The "Lalita Vistara " makes the number of signs, sixty-four (Vide in loc. L. V. 27).
"Devaputra! all expectant Buddhas, when they become incarnated in their mother's wombs, must be born of mothers possessing the thirty-two superior signs of female excellency; and what are these? 1.—She is of perfect virtue, or grace. 2 —Her limbs perfect. 3.—Her gait perfect. 4.—Her place of delivery well known (?). 5.—Her going abroad at the time of expecting labour. 6.— Her connections perfectly pure. 7.—Her appearance beautiful. 8.— Her name propitious. 9.—Her figure well proportioned. 10.—Not yet had a child. 11.—Of great religious merit. 12.—Fond of pleasant recreations. 13.—Her heart always virtuously submissive. ]4—Without evil thoughts. 15.—Her body, mouth, and mind, pure. 16. — Her heart fearless. 17. — Recollective. 18. — Extremely handy in female pursuits. 19.—Her heart without guile. 20.—No quarrelsome disposition. 21.—No envy. 22.—No anger. 23.—No hatred. 24.—No roughness. 25.—No levity. 26.—Her body with every propitious mark. 27.—great patience. 28.— great modesty. 29.—Hating sensuality, anger, and doubt. 30.— Without the faults of women. 31.—Obedient to her husband. 32. — Possessed of all grace and virtue from the time of her birth."
Such is the character of the mother of an expectant Buddha; the time of B6dhisatwa's incarnation is, when the constellation Kwei1 is in conjunction with the sun. Before his conception, his mother must have undertaken the eight fasts (is this, fasted for eight days ?), and after that the conception takes place.
Again Prabhapala spoke thus: "I now am about to assume a body (Shan yeou); not for the sake of gaining wealth, or enjoying the pleasures of sense; but I am about to descend and be born among men (take this 'one-birth'), simply to give peace and rest to all flesh; and to remove all sorrow and grief from the world." At this time, in the midst of the assembly, there was a Deva who spake thus to another: "Our Bodhisatwa Prabhapala is about to descend to be born amongst men! he is about to leave our heavenly abode. When he is gone, how shall we, any longer, be joyous or glad in this place?" Then the other replied, " How indeed? how indeed! what can we do then to obtain the privilege of going down into the world to see the place where our illustrious Bodhisatwa shall be born?" A third Deva said, "Oh! I wish my years in this heaven were passed that I might be born there with him!" A fourth Deva said, "Let not your hearts be sad! Our great Bodhisatwa is indeed about to be born amongst men, having completed his years as a Deva in this heaven; but how much more certainly will he come back to us again." Then another Deva called out and said, "Prabhapala! venerable one! you are now going down to be born in the world of men. Oh! great sir! '2 forget us not! forget us not!" At this time, Prabhapala B6dhisatwa replied to these Devas thus: "Let not sorrow and grief affect you thus! for I have already told you that all things are impermanent as the plantain-stalk; without any true foundation; like a thing borrowed which must be returned; like the lightning flash (or, a flash of light), a phantom, a bubble; so are all things which exist around you."
Then Prabhapala B6dhisatwa again addressed the Devas, and said, "There is a cause for all the partings and separations that take place in every form of being, and this cause is 'birth and death!' Be not grieved on my account! Through ages past I have prepared for myself a destinyj(Kama), which secures me now from long continuance in the world. Soon shall I obtain final
1 Corresponding to four stars in cancer (7, 5, m fl).