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iron worker and spake thus—' Your daughter may contract a marriage with our son.' But the iron-worker said, 'I cannot permit my daughter to marry any one who is not skilful in working metals.' Then the father and the mother said, 'Respectable Sir! what possible use would it be for your daughter to marry such a man—one who could never afford to give her either comforts or clothes and scarce food enough?' The iron-worker said, 'I know all that, yet I seek a fellow craftsman for my daughter, and to none else will I give her.'
"Thefather and the mother, having understood this, went straightway and told their son just what the man had said. Then the youth, being resolved to possess the girl, went and provided himself with the tools fit for a worker in metals, and applied himself thoroughly to master the craft. He soon contrived to learn how to make needles, and having manufactured a good many, he began to rub them to a great degree of fineness, and with oil and polishing made them beautifully bright and clean. Then making a needle-case of a joint of bamboo, he went straightway to the abode of the iron-worker, and approaching the street, standing at the head of the road, he began to chant this song—
"' Made of the smoothest, purest iron,
"At this time the daughter of that iron-worker was sitting at the window in the tower, and hearing the nobleman's son singing his ditty, she replied to him in the following song :— "' Oh my! how mad the man must be! You cannot have the least reflection; To come thus to the iron master's house, And shout, "Who'll buy my needles ?"'
"Then the nobleman's son again sang a verse in reply to the maiden,—
"' Most fair and lovely maid!
The beauty and the finish of my work,
Would give your hand to me in marriage,
And with yourself confer upon me boundless wealth!'
"Then the girl ran down and told her father and mother the purport of the words she, had heard, and said, 'Oh! my dear parents! there is a man outside our door who has just spoken as I have told you, and sang it in a loud voice, about his needles.' Then the old people immediately called out to the nobleman's son to approach and come indoors, and then they asked him and said, 'Well, Sir! and is it true that you are able to make beautiful needles?' He replied, 'I am able.' The old man then added, 'Let me see some of your ware, that I may have an idea of your skill.' Then the noble youth took out of his bamboo cane a needle to show him. The old man, having examined it, replied, 'respectable youth! you are skilful in making needles; you drill the holes well.' Then the noble youth answered—' This needle is nothing! I have others in my case far superior to thiss' on which he took another out of his bamboo case and showed it to the old man. Having examined it, he again began to praise the workmanship and said, 'Very well made and drilled indeed!' Then the youth said, 'Oh! this is nothing, I have others better than that.' So he took out a third and showed to the old man, who, having looked at it, cried out —' Beautifully made! beautifully drilled indeed!' Then the youth said, 'Oh! I have better needles than that;' on which he took out another and showed him. The old man, having examined it, exclaimed, 'You are indeed a clever craftsman, you are able to make beautiful needles;'—and so again and again till the sixth needle, on seeing which the old man said, 'This excels anything I ever saw. Oh! it is very fine work indeed!' Then the youth, taking that needle in his hand, placed it gently in a vessel of water, and lo! it floated on the surface. Seeing this, the old man cried out—' Wonderful! never have I seen such a thing;' and, being filled with delight, he turned to the nobleman's son and said—
"' Never before have I heard or seen such a thing!
Then Buddha addressed Udayi and said, "You must know, Udayi, that at that time I was the nobleman's son, the girl was Yas6dhara, and that I took her then to wife, not on account of her distinguished family and not on account of her excessive beauty, but I took her only as a witness of my skilful handiwork—even so now I take her as a proof of my skill (in other matters)."
The Choice of Gotaml
§ 3. At this time then of all the Sabya princes, the three who excelled in the arts and martial exercises were Siddartha first, then Nanda, and then Devadatta. Now it happened that just at this time there was a certain noblemen in Kapilavastu, a chief minister of the family of Dandi, whose name was Pani. He was very rich in every kind of property, both in cattle and grain, money and slaves, with jewels and precious gems of every sort in vast abundance, so that there was nothing for his heart to desire more, and his palace was like that of Vaisravana.
He had an only daughter called G6tamt; She was very beautiful, and unequalled for grace. Not too tall or too short, not too stout or too thin, not too white or too dark. She was young and in the prime of her beauty. Then Suddhodana, hearing of her fame, having selected a favourable day, sent a messenger, a Brahman, to the house of the minister Pani, who spake thus—" I hear you have a daughter called G6tami, we ask you to give her to the Prince Siddartha in marriage." At the same time, the father of Nanda sent a similar message on behalf of his son, and so also Devadatta, having heard that Suddhodana was seeking Gotaml for Siddartha, sent a message to Dandi, and said, "I require you to give me your daughter in marriage, if you do not I will bring great loss to you." Then Dandi was in much distress of mind, and he reflected thus—"These three powerful families have sons unequalled in skill and prowess, and I have only one daughter, and they each demand her in marriage; so that if I give her to Siddartha, I make the others my mortal foes, and so likewise if I give her to Nanda or Devadatta—I know not what to do." Being thus exceedingly perplexed, he became pensive and sad and could do nothing but sit still and think over the matter, trying to contrive some expedient by which to escape from the dilemma.
Then Gotami, seeing her father thus silent and sad as he sat still, came to his presence and said, " Honoured father! why are you so sorrowful and pensive as you sit here in silence?" To this her father replied, '' Dear Gotami! ask me not, nor inquire further—these matters are not for you to know." Yet she asked him a second time, and notwithstanding a similar reply, she pressed him a third time to tell her the reason of his grief. Even then he refused to tell her; but when a fourth time she said, "Dear father, you ought to let me know the cause of all this, nor try to conceal it from me;"—then he answered her and said, "Dear Gotami! since you insist upon it, listen to my words and weigh them well! You must know then that Suddhodana Raja has sent to me demanding you in marriage for the Prince Siddartha; but at the same time both Nanda and Devadatta are making similar overtures, and threaten me with their anger if I do not consent, and therefore, because I do not know how to adjust this matter so as to avoid trouble, I am in perplexity and sit here in grief. Then Gotami answered her father and said, " Dear father! don't be distressed! I will arrange this matter myself. I will give my father no further trouble than to ask for a man to follow my directions and make my intention known, and then I will select the husband of my choice."
At this time Dandapani, having attended to Gotamt's directions, immediately sent to the Raja, and begged him to proclaim throughout the city of Kapilavastu that after seven days, Gdtami, the Sakya princess, would select a husband; "Whatever youths therefore desire to obtain her hand let them, after six days, assemble together (at the Palace) for her to choose one of their number." Then . after six days all the Sakya youths, with Siddartha at their head, were assembled at the palace gate. Then Suddhodana, taking with him all the old and reverend Sakya ministers, and surrounded by countless multitudes of men and women, came all together to the place of assembly. Then Siddartha with the Sakya youths around him, waited to see on whom the choice of Gotami would fall. At this time the maiden Gotami, the six days having expired, very early on the morning of the seventh, arose, and bathing
her person she proceeded to decorate herself with the choicest jewels and the most costly robes; around her head she wore a, chaplet of the loveliest flowers, and, surrounded by a suite of maidens and accompanied by her mother, she proceeded to the place of assembly. Gradually she drew near, and having come she entered the palace.
Meantime the Sakya youths, of whom Nanda and Devadatta were foremost, had in the early morn anointed themselves with every kind of unguent and perfume, and decorated their persons with gems and costly robes, all except Siddartha, who had taken no pains to ornament his person, and was dressed in his usual attire, simply wearing his earrings, and having three small golden flowers in his hair as ornaments. Then Gotami, accompanied by her mother, entered the assembly, and her mother spoke to her thus— "Whom will you select of all these as a husband?" Then Gotami, looking on one after the other till she had observed the whole of the five hundred youths, answered her mother thus—" Dear mother! it seems to me that all these youths are very much decorated with ornaments. As to their persons they appear to me more like women than men. I, indeed, as a woman, cannot think of selecting one of these as a husband, for I cannot suppose that any youth possessing manly qualities, fit for a woman to respect in a husband, would dress himself out as these have. But I observe that Siddartha, the Prince, is not so bedizened with jewels about his person, there is no love of false appearances in his presence, I do not think that he is of the effeminate disposition that these are—my heart is well affected to him. I will take Siddartha as the husband of my choice." Then Gotami in her right hand holding a beautiful wreath of Sumana flowers (jasmin), advancing past all the youths in succession went straight up to Siddartha, and having reached him she stopped, and then taking the jasmin wreath, having fastened it around the neck of Siddartha, she gently put her arm upon the back of his head and said, "SidMartha ! my Prince! I take you to be my lord and my husband!" Then Siddartha replied, "So let it be—so let it be, even as you say." "At this time Siddartha in return took a jasmin wreath and fastened it round the neck of the maiden Gotami, and spoke thus—" I take you to be my wife; you are now my own wife."
Then Suddhodana Raja, seeing this wonderful course of events, was greatly rejoiced, and his heart danced with delight, so that he