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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, I am 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 Prabhapala B6dhisatwa Mahasatwa, for soon he will descend to earth and be born amongst men," and then they raised their voices and said, "the Venerable Prabhapala, the exalted one, shall soon be born as a man. SoonI 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 Prabhapala 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 Samb6dhi, 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, B6dhisatwa 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' s man), 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. "Lai. 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 Prabhapala had to say.
Then Prabhapala, 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 B6dhisatwa 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 Prabhapala Bodhisatwa, having delivered these one hundred and eight gates of the law,1 impressed upon his auditors that they should diligently keep them in their memories, and not let them slip.
[Kiouen VI contains 6177 words, and cost 3-09 Taels.]
At this time Prabhapala B6dhisatwa, 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) Prabha
1 These hundred and eight gates of the law are given by M. Foucaux, " Lai. Vist." pp. 46-7. The Chinese list agrees almost entirely with his.
pala Bodhisatwa Mahasatwa 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 B6dhisatwa, 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 B6dhisatwa was about to descend, and in a spiritual manner enter the womb of Queen Maya;1 then that Maya on that very night addressed Suddhodana Raja, and said, "Maharaja! I wish from the present night to undertake the eight special rules of self discipline, to wit, not to kill anything that lives; not to defraud any one; to have no sexual pleasures; not to lie; not to prevaricate; not to calumniate; to have no irreligious conversation; and, moreover, to pray that I may not cover, or be angry, or hold foolish doubts, so as to avoid all heretical teaching, and adopt all that is true and right. I now bind myself to observe these rules, and I desire to produce in- myself a loving heart towards all living creatures." Then Suddhodana Raja replied to Maya thus, "As your heart desires! act as you wish I will even give up my kingdom rather than that you should n" so act, if you desire it, according to the Gatha,
"'The Raja beholding the Mother of B6dhisatwa
Then Prabhapala B6dhisatwa, with a fixed heart and perfectly self-possessed, descended from Tusita to sojourn on earth, and entered on the right side2 of Queen Maya, wife of Suddhodana Eaja, and there rested in perfect quiet.
Then Devas and men, Mara3 and Brahma, Shamans and Brah
1 Maya, the wife of Suddhodana Raja. The "incarnation scene" is frequently met with in Buddhist sculptures. Vide (amongst others) PI 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 Mara, 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, whilst 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,1 there was a feeling of joy instead of misery.2 [The light shone in the darkness, to show that hereafter Bddhisatwa 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.] B6dhisatwa having then descended into the womb of Maya 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 Suddhodana thus, "Maharaja, 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 Suddh6dana 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 Mahanamaputra, his prime minister, to summon at once to his presence the eight Brahmas who excelled in interpreting dreams, to wit, Yajfiabhadanta, Visakabhadanta, Ishwarabhadanta, Pindubhadanta, Brahmabhadanta, these five, and with them the three sons of old Kasyapa. The messengers then addressed the king, "we dare not disobey the Maharaja'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, Roxana by name, who answered the messenger belonging to the interior (i. e. the harem), "I am here." Then the messenger said "Maharaja 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 Suddhodana Raja 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, "Maharaja! 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 Gathas -.— "' If a mother in her dream, behold
The Sun Deva enter her right side;
That mother shall bear a son
Who shall become a Chakravarti Raja.
If she sees in her dream
The Moon Deva enter her right side,
That son, borne of that mother,
Shall be, of all kings, the chief.
If the mother, in her dream, behold
A white elephant enter her right side,
That mother, when she bears a son,
Shall bear one chief of all the world (Buddha);
Able to profit all flesh;