INTRODUCTION TO THE MAHA-SUDASSANA-SUTTANTA.

 

This Suttanta is an expansion of the conversation recorded in the Book of the Great Decease (above, Ch. V, § 17). The same legend recurs as the Maha-Sudassana Jataka, No. 95 in Mr. Fausboll's edition. As the latter differs in several important particulars from our Suttanta, it is probably not taken directly from it, but is merely derived from the

same source. To facilitate comparison between the two I add here a translation of the Jataka.

 

The part enclosed in square brackets | | is the so-called Story of the Present : and the whole was probably written in Ceylon in the fifth century of our era. There is every reason to believe, for the reasons given in my ' Buddhist India ' (pp. 201-7), that the stories themselves belong to a very early period in the history of Buddhism and are, many of them, older even than Buddhism. We may be sure that if this particular story had been abstracted by the author of the commentary from our Suttanta, he would not have ventured to introduce such serious changes into what he regarded as sacred writ.

 

MAHA-SUDASSANA JATAKA.

 

• How transient are all component things.' This the Master told when lying on his death-couch, concerning that word of Ananda the Thera, when he said : — ' Do not, O Exalted One, die in this little town,' and so on. When the Tathagata was at the Jetavana 1 he thought : —

 

1 It is not easy with our present materials to reconcile the apparently conflicting statements with regard to the Buddha's last journey. According to the Malalahkara-vatthu this refers here to a residence at the Jetavana, which took place between the end of § 23 in Chap. II in the Book of the Great Decease, and the beginning of § 24.

Mr. Fausboll, by his punctuation, includes these words in the following thought ascribed to the Exalted One, but I think they only describe the time at which the thought is supposed to have arisen.

 

'The Thera Sariputta, who was born at Nalagama, has died, on the day of the full moon in the month of Kattika, in the chamber in which he had been born 1 ; and Maha-Moggallana in the latter, the dark half of that same month. As my two chief disciples are thus dead, I too will pass away at Kusinara.' Thereupon he proceeded straight on to that place, and lay down on the Uttarasisaka couch, between the twin Sala trees, never to rise again.

Then the venerable Ananda besought him, saying: — 'Let not the Exalted One die in this little township, in this little town in the jungle, in this branch township. Let the Exalted One die in one of the other great cities, such as Rajagaha, and the rest! '

But the Master answered: — ' Say not, Ananda, that this is a little township, a little town in the jungle, a branch township. I was dwelling formerly in this town at the time when I was Sudassana, the king of kings; and then it was a great city, surrounded by a jewelled rampart, twelve leagues in length! ‘And at the request of the Thera, he, telling the tale, uttered the Maha-Sudassana-Sutta 2} .

 

Now on that occasion when Queen Subhadda saw Maha- Sudassana when he had come down out of the Palace of Righteousness, and was lying down, not far off, on the appropriate couch, spread out in the grove of the seven kinds of gems, and when she said: — ' Thine, O king, are these four and eighty thousand cities, of which the chief is the royal city of Kusavati. Set thy heart on these ' ; — Then replied Maba-Sudassana: 'Speak not thus, O queen! But exhort me rather, saying: — “Cast away desire for these, long not after them 3 ." '

 

1 The text reads ' at Varaka.' But this is a mistake. The word which has puzzled Mr. Fausboll is ovaraka. The modern name of the village, afterwards the site of the famous Buddhist university of Nalanda, is Baragaon. The full-moon day in Kattika is the first of December. An account of the death of Sariputta will be found in the Malalahkara-vatthu (Bigandet, 'Legend,' &c, 3rd ed., II, 1-25), and of the murder of Moggallana by the NigawMas in the Dhammapada commentary (Fausboll, p. 298 seq.), of which Spence Hardy's account (' Manual of Buddhism,' p. 338) is nearly a translation; and Bigandet's account (loc. cit., pp. 25-7) is an abridgement.

2 In the earliest description of this conversation (above, ' Book of the Great Decease/ V, 17) there is no mention of this. But it is inserted most incongruously in the present Suttanta.

3 Both these speeches are different from those given on the same occasion in the Suttanta below.

 

And when she asked: — ' Why so, O king? ' ' To-day my time is come, and I shall die ! ‘was his reply 1 . Then the weeping queen, wiping her eyes, brought herself with difficulty and distress to address him accordingly. And having spoken, she wept, and lamented; and the other four and eighty thousand women wept too, and lamented; and of the attendant courtiers not one could restrain himself, but all also wept. But the Bodisat stopped them all, saying: — ' Enough, my friends! Be still! ‘And he exhorted the queen, saying: — ' neither do thou, O queen, weep: neither do thou lament. For down even unto a grain of sesamum fruit there is no such thing as a compound which is permanent! All are transient; all have the inherent quality of dissolution! ‘And when he had so said, he further uttered this stanza: — ' How transient are all component things! Growth is their nature and decay: They are produced, they are dissolved again: To bring them into full subjection, that is bliss 2

 

[In these verses the words ' How transient are all component things! ' mean ' Dear lady Subhadda, wheresoever and by whatsoever causes made or come together, compounds 3 , — that is, all those things which possess the essential constituents [whether material or mental] of existing things 4 , — all these compounds are impermanence itself. For of these form 5 is impermanent, reason 6 is impermanent, the [mental] eye 7 is impermanent, and qualities 8 are impermanent. And whatever treasure there is, whether conscious or unconscious, that is transitory. Understand therefore “How transient are all component things!"

'And why? "Growth is their nature and decay." These, all, have the inherent quality of coming into [individual] existence, and have also the inherent quality of growing old; or [in other words] their very nature is to come into existence and to be broken up. Therefore should it be understood that they are impermanent. ' And since they are impermanent, when " they are produced, they are dissolved again." Having come into existence,

 

1 This question and answer are not in the Suttanta.

2 All this is omitted in the Suttanta. It is true the verse occurs here, but it is placed in the mouth of the Teacher, after the account of Maha-Sudassana's death.

3 Sankhara.

4 Khandayatanadayo.

5 Rupam.

6 Vififianam.

7 Cakkhum.

8 Dhamma.

 

having reached a state 1 , they are surely dissolved. For all these things come into existence, taking an individual form; and are dissolved, being broken up. To them as soon as there is birth, there is what is called a state; as soon as there is a state, there is what is called disintegration 2 . For to the unborn there is no such thing as state, and there is no such thing as a state which is without disintegration. Thus are all compounds, having attained to the three characteristic marks [of impermanency, pain, and want of any abiding principle], and subject, in this way and in that way, to dissolution. All these component things therefore, without exception, are impermanent, momentary, despicable, unstable, disintegrating, trembling, quaking, unlasting, sure to depart 3 , only for a time 4 , and without substance ; as temporary as a phantom, as the mirage, or as foam !

‘How then in these, dear lady Subhadda, can you feel any sign of satisfaction? Understand rather than “to bring them into subjection, that is bliss." For to bring them into subjection, since it involves mastery over the whole circle of transmigration,

is the same as Nirvana. That and this are one 5 . And there is no other bliss than that.']

 

And when Maha-Sudassana had thus brought his discourse to a point with the ambrosial great Nirvana, and had made exhortation also to the rest of the great multitude, saying : — ' Give gifts ! Observe the precepts ! Keep the sacred days 6 ! ' he became an inheritor of the world of the gods.

[When the Master had concluded this lesson in the truth, he summed up the Jataka, saying: — ' She who was then Subhadda the queen was the mother of Rahula, the great adviser was Rahula, the rest of the retinue the Buddha's retinue, and

Maha-Sudassana I myself.']

The word translated ' component things ' or ' compounds ' is sarikhara, literally confections, from kar, 'to make,' and sam, ' together.' It is a word very frequently used in Buddhist writings, and a word consequently of many different connota- tions ; and there is, of course, no exactly corresponding word

 

1 Thiti.

2 Bhango.

3 Payata, literally 'departed.' The forms payati and payato, given by Childers, should be corrected into payati and payato.

4 Tavakalika. See Jataka I, 121, where the word is used of a cart let out on hire for a time only.

5 Tad ev ekam ekam, which is not altogether without ambiguity.

6 This paragraph, too, is omitted in the Suttanta.

 

in English. ‘Production ' would often be very nearly correct, although it fails entirely to give the force of the preposition sam; but a greater objection to that word is the fact that it is generally used, not of things that have come into being of themselves, but of things that have been produced by some one else. It suggests, if it does not imply, a producer; which is contrary to the whole spirit of the Buddhist passages in which the word sankhara occurs. In this important respect the word ' compound ' is a much more accurate translation, though it lays somewhat too much stress on the sam. The term Confections (to coin a rendering) is sometimes used to denote all things which have been brought together, made up, by pre-existing causes; phenomena in general. In this sense it includes, as the commentator here points out, all those material or mental qualities which unite to form an individual, a separate thing or being, whether conscious or unconscious.

 

It is more usually used, (with special reference to their origin from pre-existing causes, and with allusion to the wider meanings just above explained), of the mental confections only, the mental constituents, of all sentient beings generally, or of man alone. In this sense it forms by itself one of the five classes or aggregates (khan d ha) into which the material and mental qualities of each separate individual are divided in Buddhist writings— the class of dispositions, capabilities, and all that goes together to make what we call character. This class has naturally enough been again divided and subdivided ;

and a full list of the Confections in this sense, as now acknowledged by orthodox Buddhists, will be found in my manual 'Buddhism' (pp. 91, 92). At the time when the Five Nikayas reached their present form, no such elaborate list of Confections in detail seems to have been made ; but the general sense of the word was, as is quite clear from the passages in which it occurs, the idea which these details together convey. It is this second and more usual meaning of the term which is more especially emphasized in the

concluding verse of the above stanza.

 

Turning now to the Suttanta itself, we find that the portion of the legend omitted in the Jataka throws an unexpected light upon the tale ; for it commences with a long description of the riches and glory of Maha-Sudassana, and reveals in its details the instructive fact that the legend is nothing more nor less than a spiritualized sun-myth.

 

It cannot be disputed that the sun-myth theory has become greatly discredited, and with reason, by having been used too carelessly and freely as an explanation of religious legends of different times and countries which have really no historical connexion with the earlier awe and reverence inspired by the sun. The very mention of the word sun-myth is apt to call forth a smile of incredulity, and the indubitable truth which s the basis of the theory has not sufficed to protect it from the shafts of ridicule. The ' Book of the Great King of Glory ' .seems to afford a useful example both of the extent to which the theory may be accepted, and of the limitations under which it should always be applied.

 

It must at once be admitted that whether the whole story is based on a sun-story, or whether certain parts or details of it are derived from things first spoken about the sun, or not, it is still essentially Buddhistic. A large proportion of its contents has nothing at all to do with the worship of the sun ; and even that which has, had not, in the mind of the author, when the book was put together. Whether indebted to a sun-myth or not, it is therefore perfectly true and valid evidence of the religious belief of the people among whom it was current ; and no more shows that the Buddhists were unconscious sun-worshippers than the story of Samson, under any theory of its possible origin, would prove the same of the Jews.

 

What we really have is a kind of wonderful fairy tale, a gorgeous poem, in which an attempt is made to describe in set terms the greatest possible glory and majesty of the

greatest possible king, in order to show that all is vanity, save only righteousness — just such a poem as a Jewish prophet might have written of Solomon in all his glory. It would

have been most strange, perhaps impossible, for the author to refrain from using the language of the only poets he knew, who had used their boldly figurative language in an attempt to describe the appearance of the sun. To trace back all the rhetorical phrases of our Sutta to their earliest appearance in the Vedic hymns would be an interest- ing task of historical philology, though it would throw more light upon Buddhist forms of speech than upon Buddhist forms of belief. In M. Senart's valuable work, ' La Legende du Bouddha,' he has already done this with regard to the seven treasures (mentioned in the early part of the Suttanta) on the basis of the corresponding passage in the later Buddhist Sanskrit poem called the Lalita Vistara. The description of the royal city and of its wondrous Palace of Righteousness has been probably originated by the author, though on the same lines ; and it reminds one irresistibly, in many of its expressions, of the similar, but simpler and more beautiful poem in which a Jewish author, some three or four centuries afterwards, described the heavenly Jerusalem.

 

When the Northern Buddhists, long afterwards, had smothered the simple teaching of the founder of their religion under the subtleties of theological and metaphysical speculation, and had forgotten all about the Aryan Path, their goal was no longer a change of heart in the Arahantship to be reached on earth, but a life of happiness, under a change of outward condition, in a heaven of bliss beyond the skies. One of the most popular books among the Buddhists of China and Japan is a description of this heavenly paradise of theirs, called the Sukhavati-vyuha, the ' Book of the Happy Country.' It is instructive to find that several of the expressions used are word for word the same as the corresponding phrases in our much older ' Book of the Great King of Glory.'

 

Incidentally the details given in this Suttanta enable us to judge as to what was considered, at the time when it was put together, to be the greatest possible luxury and glory of the mightiest and most righteous king. In spite of the exuberance of some of the language used, the luxury is after all curiously simple, and mostly of an out-of-door kind. A summary of the conclusions which can be drawn from the sacred books of the Buddhists as to the social and economic condition of the Ganges valley, at the time when those books were composed, will be found in my ' Buddhist India,' ch. IV-VI. The very simple character of the luxury here depicted is in accordance with the evidence there given.

 

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MAHA-SUDASSANA-SUTTANTA1.

 

The Great King of Glory

 

CHAPTER 1

 

1. [169] Thus have I heard. The Exalted One was once staying at Kusinara in the Upavattana, the Sala grove of the Mallas, between the twin Sala trees, at the time of his death.

 

2. Now the venerable Ananda went up to the place where the Exalted One was, and bowed down before him, and took his seat respectfully on one side. And when he was so seated, the venerable Ananda said to the Exalted One : —

 

 

Benares. Let the Exalted One die in one of them. There there are many wealthy nobles and brahmins and heads of houses, believers in the Tathagata, who will pay due honour to the remains of the Tathagata.'

 

 

3. ' Say not so, Ananda ! Say not so, Ananda, that this is but a small wattle-and-daub town, a town in the midst of the jungle, a branch township. Long ago, Ananda, there was a king, by name Maha-Sudassana, a king of kings, a righteous man who ruled in righteousness, an anointed Kshatriya 2 , Lord of the four quarters

 

1 Sudassana means ' beautiful to see, having a glorious appearance and is the name of many kings and heroes in Indian legend.

 

2 Khattiyo muddhavasitto, which does not occur in the Maha- parinibbana, the Mahapadana, and the Lakkhawa Suttantas, and other places where this stock description of a king of kings is found. It is omitted also in the Lalita Vistara. The Burmese Phayre MS. of the India Office reads here muddabhisitto, but this is an unnecessary correction. The epithet is probably inserted here from § 7 below.

 

 

of the earth, conqueror, the protector of his people, possessor of the seven royal treasures. [170] This Kusinara, Ananda, was the royal city of king Maha- Sudassana, under the name of Kusavati, and on the east and on the west it was twelve leagues in length, and on the north and on the south it was seven leagues in breadth. That royal city Kusavati, Ananda, was mighty, and prosperous, and full of people, crowded with men, and provided with all things for food. Just, Ananda, as the royal city of the gods, A/akamanda by name, is mighty, prosperous, and full of people, crowded with the gods, and provided with all kinds of food, so, Ananda, was the royal city Kusavati mighty and prosperous, full of people, crowded with men, and provided with all kinds of food. Both by day and by night, Ananda, the royal city Kusavati resounded with the ten cries ; that is to say, the noise of elephants, and the noise of horses, and the noise of chariots ; the sounds of the drum, of the tabor, and of the lute ; the sound of singing, and the sounds of the cymbal and of the gong ; and lastly, with the cry: — " Eat, drink, and be merry 1 !"

 

4. 'The royal city Kusavati, Ananda, was surrounded by Seven Ramparts. Of these, one rampart was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems!

 

5. 'To the royal city Kusavati, Ananda, there were Gates of four colours. One gate was of gold, and one of silver, and one of jade, and one of crystal. [171] At each gate seven pillars were fixed ; in height as three times or as four times the height of a man. And one

pillar was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems.

  

1 This enumeration is found also at Jataka I, 3, only that the chank is added there — wrongly, for that makes the number of cries eleven.

  

6. 'The royal city Kusavati, Ananda, was surrounded by Seven Rows of Palm Trees. One row was of palms of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems.

 

And the Golden Palms had trunks of gold, and leaves and fruits of silver. And the Silver Palms had trunks of silver, and leaves and fruits of gold. And the Palms of Beryl had trunks of beryl, and leaves and fruits of crystal. And the Crystal Palms had trunks

of crystal, and leaves and fruits of beryl. And the Agate Palms had trunks of agate, and leaves and fruits of coral. And the Coral Palms had trunks of coral, and leaves and fruits of agate. And the Palms of every kind of Gem had trunks and leaves and fruits of every kind of gem.

 

'And when those rows of palm trees, Ananda, were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating 1.

 

'Just, Ananda, as the seven kinds of instruments yield, when well played upon, to the skilful man, a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating — [172] just even so, Ananda, when those rows of palm trees were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

 

‘And whoever, Ananda, in the royal city Kusavati were at that time gamblers, drunkards, and given to drink, they used to dance round together to the sound of those palms when shaken by the wind.'

  

1 This section should be compared with one in the Sukhavativyuha, translated by Professor Max Miiller as follows (' Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' 1880, p. 170): —

 

‘And again, Sariputra, when those rows of palm trees and strings of bells in that Buddha country are moved by the wind, a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds from them. Yes, O Sariputra, as from a heavenly musical instrument consisting of a hundred thousand kotis of sounds, when played by Aryas, a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds; a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds from those rows of palm trees and strings of bells moved by the wind.

 

' And when the men there hear that sound, reflection on Buddha arises in their body, reflection on the Law, reflection on the Assembly.'

 

Compare also below, § 32, and Jataka I, 32.

  

 7. ' The Great King of Glory, Ananda, was the possessor of Seven Precious Things, and was gifted with Four Marvellous Powers.

 

'What are those seven ?

 

1 ' In the first place, Ananda, when the Great King of Glory, on the Sabbath day 2 , on the day of the full moon, had purified himself, and had gone up into the upper story of his palace to keep the sacred day, there then appeared to him the heavenly Treasure of the Wheel, 3 with its nave, its tire, and all its thousand spokes complete. 

‘When he beheld it the Great King of Glory thought : —

 

"This saying have I heard, ' When a king of the warrior raCe, an anointed king, has purified himself on the Sabbath day, on the day of the full moon, and has gone up into the upper story of his palace to keep the sacred day ; if there appear to him the heavenly Trea- sure of the Wheel, with its nave, its tire, and all its thousand spokes complete — that king becomes a king of kings invincible.' May I, then, become a king of king-s invincible 4 ."

 

8. ' Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory rose from his seat, and reverently uncovering from one shoulder his robe, he held in his left hand a pitcher, and with his right hand he sprinkled water up over the Wheel, as he said : —

 

"Roll onward, O my lord, the Wheel ! O my lord, go forth and overcome ! "

 

'Then the wondrous Wheel, Ananda, rolled onwards

 

1 The following enumeration is found word for word in several other Pali Suttas, and occurs also, in almost identical terms, in the Lalita Vistara (Calcutta edition, pp. 14-19).

 

2 Uposatha, a weekly sacred day ; being full-moon day, new-moon day, and the two equidistant intermediate days. Comp. § 12.

 

3 This is the disk of the sun.

 

4 A king of the rolling wheel.

 

 

towards the region of the East, and after it went the Great King of Glory, and with him his army, horses, and chariots, and elephants, and men. [173] And in whatever place, Ananda, the Wheel stopped, there the Great King of Glory took up his abode, and with him his army, horses, and chariots, and elephants, and men.

 

9. 'Then, Ananda, all the rival kings in the region of the East came to the Great King of Glory and said: —

 

"Come, O mighty king ! Welcome, O mighty king! All is thine, O mighty king! Do thou, O mighty king, be a Teacher to us ! "

 

'Thus spake the Great King of Glory : — " Ye shall slay no living thing. Ye shall not take that which has not been given. Ye shall not act wrongly touching the bodily desires. Ye shall speak no lie. Ye shall drink no maddening drink. Ye shall eat as ye have eaten 1

 

'Then, Ananda, all the rival kings in the region of the East became subject unto the Great King of Glory.

 

10. ' But the wondrous Wheel, Ananda, having plunged down into the great waters in the East, rose up out again, and rolled onward to the region of the South [and there all happened as had happened in the region of the East. And in like manner the wondrous

Wheel rolled onward to the extremest boundary of the West and of the North ; and there, too, all happened as had happened in the region of the East.]

 

11. [174] ' Now when the wondrous Wheel, Ananda, had gone forth conquering and to conquer over the whole earth to its very ocean boundary, it returned back again to the royal city of Kusavati and remained fixed on the open terrace in front of the entrance to

the inner apartments of the Great King of Glory, as

 

1 Yathabhuttambhunjatha. Buddhaghosa has no comment on this. I suppose it means, ' Observe the rules current among you regarding clean and unclean meate.' If so, the Great King of Glory disregards the teaching of the Amagandha Sutta (translated in my ' Buddhism/ p. 131).

 

a glorious adornment to the inner apartments of the Great Kingof Glory. ' Such, Ananda, was the wondrous Wheel which appeared to the Great King of Glory.'

 

12. 'Now further, Ananda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Elephant Treasure J , all white, seven-fold firm 2 , wonderful in power, flying through the sky — the Elephant-King, whose name was " The Changes of the Moon 3 ."

 

'When he beheld it the Great King of Glory was pleased at heart at the thought : —

 

"Auspicious were it to ride upon the Elephant, if only it would submit to be controlled!"

 

‘Then, Ananda, the wondrous Elephant — like a fine elephant of noble blood long since well trained — submitted to control.

 

'And long ago, Ananda, when the Great King of Glory, to test that wondrous Elephant, had mounted on to it early in the morning, it passed over along the broad earth to its very ocean boundary, and then re- turned again, in time for the morning meal, to the royal city of Kusavati 4 .

 

'Such, Ananda, was the wondrous Elephant that appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 

13. ‘Now further, Ananda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Horse Treasure 5 all white

 

1 Hatthi-ratana.

 

2 Satta-ppatittho, that is, perhaps, in regard to its four legs, two tusks, and trunk. The expression is curious, and Buddhaghosa has n.o note upon it. It is quite possible that it merely signifies ' exceeding firm,' the number seven being used without any hard and fast interpretation.

 

3 Uposatho. In the Lalita Vistara its name is 'Wisdom' (Bodhi). Uposatha is the name for the sacred day of the moon's

changes — first, and more especially the full-moon day ; next, the new- moon day ; and lastly, the days equidistant between these two. It was, therefore, a weekly sacred day, and, as Childers says, may often be well rendered ' Sabbath.'

 

4 Compare on this and § 29 my • Buddhist Birth Stories/ p. 85, where a similar phrase is used of Kanthaka.

 

5 Assa-ratanam.

  

with a crow-black head, and a dark mane, wonderful in power, flying through the sky — the Charger-King, whose name was "Thunder-cloud” 1

'When he beheld it, the Great King of Glory was pleased at heart at the thought : —

 

“Auspicious were it to ride upon that Horse if only it would submit to be controlled ! "

 

[175] ' Then, Ananda, the wondrous Horse — like a fine horse of the best blood long since well trained — submitted to control.

 

' When long ago, Ananda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wondrous Horse, mounted on to it early in the morning, it passed over along the broad earth to its very ocean boundary and then returned again, in time for the morning meal, to the royal city of Kusavati.

 

'Such, Ananda, was the wondrous Horse that appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 

14. 'Now further, Ananda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Gem-Treasure z . That Gem was the Veluriya, bright, of the finest species, with eight facets, excellently wrought, clear, transparent, perfect in every way.

 

'The splendour, Ananda, of that wondrous Gem spread round about a league on everyside.

 

' When, long ago, Ananda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wondrous Gem, set all his fourfold army in array and raised aloft the Gem upon his standard top, he was able to march out in the gloom and darkness of the night.

 

1And then too, Ananda, all the dwellers in the villages round about, set about their daily work, thinking : — " The daylight hath appeared."

 

1 Valahako. Compare the Valahassa-Jataka (Fausboll, No. 196), of which the Chinese story translated by Mr. Beal at pp. 332-40 of his ' Romantic History,' &c, is an expanded and altered version. In the Valahaka Sawyutta of the Sawyutta Nikaya the spirits of the skies are divided into Uwha-valahakaDeva, Sita-valahaka Deva, Abbha- valahaka Deva, Vata-valahaka Deva, and Vassa-valahaka Deva, that is, the cloud-spirits of cold, heat, air, wind, and rain respectively.

2 Mani-ratanam.

 

'Such, Ananda, was the wondrous Gem that appeared to the Great King of Glory.'

 

15. ' Now further, Ananda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Woman-Treasure 1 graceful in figure, beautiful in appearance, charming in manner, and of the most fine complexion ; neither very tall, nor very short ; neither very stout, nor very slim ; neither very dark, nor very fair ; surpassing human beauty, she had attained unto the beauty of the gods 2.

 

‘The touch too, Ananda, of the skin of that wondrous Woman was as the touch of cotton or of cotton wool ; in the cold her limbs were warm, in the heat her limbs were cool ; while from her body was wafted the perfume of sandal wood and from her mouth the perfume of the lotus.

 

' That Pearl among Women too, Ananda, used to rise up before the Great King of Glory, [176] and after him retire to rest ; pleasant was she in speech, and ever on the watch to hear what she might do in order so to act as to give him pleasure.

 

'That Pearl among Women too, Ananda, was never, even in thought, unfaithful to the Great King of Glory — how much less then could she be so with the body !

 

'Such, Ananda, was the Pearl among Women who appeared to the Great King of Glory.'

 

16. ' Now further, Ananda, there appeared unto the Great King of Glory a Wonderful Treasurer 3 , possessed,

 

1 Itthi-ratana;

 

2 The above description of an ideally beautiful woman is of frequent

occurrence.

 

3 Gahapati-ratana - The word gahapati has been hitherto usually rendered ' householder,' but this may often, and would certainly here, convey a wrong impression. There is no single word in English which is an adequate rendering of the term, for it connotes a social condition now no longer known among us. The gahapati was the

head of a family, the representative in a village community of a family, the pater fajnilias. So the god of fire, with allusion to the sacred fire maintained in each household, is called in the Rig-veda the grihapati, the pater familias, of the human race. It is often used in opposition to brahmana very much as we used 'yeoman' in opposition to 'clerk' (Jataka I, 83); and the two combined are used in opposition to people of other ranks and callings held to be less honourable than that of clerk or yeoman (Jataka I, 218). The compound brahmawa-gahapatika as a collective term comes to be about equivalent to ' priests and laymen ' (see, for instance, below, § 21, and Vinayal, 35, 36). Then again the gahapati is distinct from the subordinate members of the family, who had not the control and management of the common property (Samanna Phala Suttanta 133, = Tevijja Suttanta I, 47); and it is this implication of the term that is emphasized in the text. Buddhaghosa uses, as an explanatory phrase, the words se//^i-gahapati.

 

through good deeds done in a former birth, of a marvellous power of vision by which he could discover treasure, whether it had an owner or whether it had not.

‘He went up to the Great King of Glory, and said : — ' " Do thou, O King, take thine ease ! I will deal with thy wealth even as wealth should be dealt with."

 

‘Long ago, Ananda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wonderful Treasurer, went on board a boat, and had it pushed out into the current in the midst of the river Ganges. Then he said to the wonderful steward : —

"I have need, O Treasurer, of yellow gold ! "

 

“Let the ship then, O Great King, go alongside either of the banks."

"It is here, O Treasurer, that I have need of yellow gold."

 

Then the wonderful Treasurer reached down to the water with both his hands, and drew up a jar full of yellow gold, and said to the Great King of Glory : —

"Is that enough, O Great King ? Have I done enough, O Great King? "

 

'And the Great King of Glory replied: — ' It is enough, O Treasurer. You have done enough, O Treasurer. You have offered me enough, O Treasurer! "[177]

 

'Such was the wonderful Treasurer, Ananda, who appeared to the Great King of Glory.'

 

17. 'Now further, Ananda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory a Wonderful Adviser \ learned, clever, and wise ; and qualified to lead the Great King of Glory to undertake what he ought to undertake, and to leave undone what he ought to leave undone.

'He went up to the Great King of Glory, and said: — "Do thou, O King, take thine ease ! I will be thy guide."

 

'Such, Ananda, was the wonderful Adviser who appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 

'The Great King of Glory was possessed of these Seven Precious Things.

 

18. ' Now, further, Ananda, the Great King of Glory was gifted with Four Marvellous Gifts 2.

 

'What are the Four Marvellous Gifts ?

 

'In the first place, Ananda, the Great King of Glory was graceful in figure, handsome in appearance, pleasing in manner, and of most beautiful complexion, beyond what other men are. 'The Great King of Glory, Ananda, was endowed with this First Marvellous Gift.

 

19. ' And besides that, Ananda, the Great King of Glory was of long life, and of many years, beyond those of other men.

'The Great King of Glory, Ananda, was endowed with this Second Marvellous Gift.

 

20. ' And besides that, Ananda, the Great King of Glory was free from disease, and free from bodily suffering ; and his internal fire was neither too hot nor too cold, but such as to promote good digestion, beyond that of other men 3 .

 

1 Parinayaka-ratanam. Buddhaghosa says that he was the eldest son of the king. The Lalita Vistara makes him a general.

2 The Four Iddhis. Here again, as elsewhere, it will be noticed that there is nothing supernatural about these four Iddhis. See the passages quoted above, Vol. I, pp. 272 foil. They are merely attributes accompanying or forming part of the majesty (iddhi) of the King of kings.

3 The same thing is said of Ratthapala in the Ratthapala Sutta, where Gogerly renders the whole passage : — ' Ratthajapala is healthy, free from pain, having a good digestion and appetite, being troubled with no excess of either heat or cold ' (' Journal of the Ceylon Asiatic Society,' 1847-8, p. 98). The gaham is a supposed particular organ or function situate at the junction of the stomach and intestines. Moggallana explains it, udare tu tatha pacanalasmiw gahawi (Abhidhana-ppadipika 972), where Subhuti's Sinhalese version is ' kukshi, pakagni,' and his English version, 'the belly, the internal fire which promotes digestion.' Buddhaghosa explains samavipakiya kammaga-tejo-dhatuya, and adds : — ' If a man's food is dissolved the moment he has eaten it, or if it remains like a lump, he has not the samavepakini gahawi, but he who has appetite (bhattacchando) when the time for food comes round again, he has the samavepakini gahawi,' — which is delightfully nai've.

 

'The Great King of Glory, Ananda, was endowed with this Third Marvellous Gift.

 

21. [178] 'And besides that, Ananda, the Great King of Glory was beloved and popular with priests and with laymen alike. Just, Ananda, as a father is near and dear to his own sons, just so, Ananda, was the Great King of Glory beloved and popular with priests and with laymen alike. And just, Ananda, as his sons are near and dear to a father, just so, Ananda, were priests and laymen alike near and dear to the Great King of Glory.

 

'Once, Ananda, the Great King of Glory marched out with all his fourfold army to the pleasure ground. There, Ananda, the priests and laymen went up to the Great King of Glory, and said: —

 

"O King, pass slowly by, that we may look upon thee for a longer time ! "

 

But the Great King of Glory, Ananda, addressed his charioteer, and said : —

 

"Drive on the chariot slowly, charioteer, that I may look upon my people [priests and laymen] for a longer time ! "

 

'This was the Fourth Marvellous Gift, Ananda, with which the Great King of Glory was endowed.

' These are the Four Marvellous Gifts, Ananda, with which the Great King of Glory was endowed.'

 

22. ' Now to the Great King of Glory, Ananda, there occurred the thought : —' " Suppose, now, I were to make Lotus-ponds in the spaces between these palms, at every hundred bowlengths."

 

'Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory, in the spaces between those palms, at distances of a hundred bow-lengths, made Lotus-ponds.

 

'And those Lotus-ponds, Ananda, were faced with tiles of four kinds. One kind of tile was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

'And to each of those Lotus-ponds, Ananda, there were four flights of steps, of four different kinds. One flight of steps was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal. [170] The flight of golden steps had balustrades of gold, with the cross bars and the figure-head of silver. The flight of silver steps had balustrades of silver, with the cross bars and the figure-head of gold. The flight of beryl steps had balustrades of beryl, with the cross bars and the figure- head of crystal. The flight of crystal steps had balus- trades of crystal, with cross bars and figure-head of beryl.

'And round those Lotus-ponds there ran, Ananda, a double railing. One railing was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden railing had its posts of gold, and its cross bars and its capitals of silver. The silver railing had its posts of silver, and its cross bars and its capitals of gold 1 .

 

1 Pokkharawi, the word translated Lotus-pond, is an artificial pool or small lake for water-plants. There are some which are probably nearly as old as this passage still in good preservation in Anuradbapura in Ceylon. Each is oblong, and has its tiles and its four flights of steps, and some had railings. The balustrades, cross bars, figure-head, and railings are in Pali thambha, suciyo, unhisa, and vedika, of the exact meaning of which I am not quite confident. They do not occur in the description of the Lotus-lakes in Sukhavati. General Cunningham says that the cross bars of the Buddhist railings are called suciyo in the inscriptions at Bharahat ('The Stupa of Bharhut,' p. 127). Buddhaghosa, who is good enough to tell us the exact number of the ponds — to wit, 84,000, has no explanation of these words, merely saying that of the two vedikas one was at the limit of the tiles and one at the limit of the parivewa. See below §31; and Rhys Davids, ' Buddhist India,' Figures 6, 7 ; pp. 74-6.

 

23. ' Now, to the Great King of Glory, Ananda, there occurred the thought : —

 

‘ " Suppose, now, I were to have flowers of every season planted in those Lotus-ponds for all the people to have garlands to put on 1 — to wit, blue water-lilies and blue lotuses, white lotuses and white water-lilies."

[And the king had such flowers planted there accordingly.]

' Now, to the Great King of Glory, Ananda, occurred the thought : —

' " Suppose, now, I were to place bathing-men on the banks of those Lotus-ponds, to bathe such of the people as come there from time to time."

[And the king had such bathing-men placed there accordingly.]

' Now, to the Great King of Glory, Ananda, occurred the thought : —

' " Suppose, now, I were to establish a perpetual grant by the banks of those Lotus-ponds — to wit, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked, means of conveyance for those who have need of it, couches for the tired, wives for those who want wives, gold for the poor, and money for those who are in want."

 

[180] ' Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory established a perpetual grant by the banks of those Lotus-ponds — to wit, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked, means of conveyance for those who needed it, couches for the tired, wives for those who wanted wives, gold for the poor, and money for those who were in want.'

 

24. ' Now, Ananda, the people [priests and laymen] went to the Great King of Glory, taking with them much wealth. And they said : —

' " This abundant wealth, O King, have we brought

 

1 Literally ' have garlands planted for all the people to put on ' — an elliptical expression revealing the ideas of that early time as to the only possible use of flowers. I think the reading should be anavaram.

here for the use of the King of kings. Let the King accept it of us ! "

"I have enough wealth, my friends, laid up for myself, the produce of righteous taxation. Do you keep this, and take away more with you ! "

 

'When those men were thus refused by the King they went aside and considered together, saying : —

 

"It would not beseem us now, were we to take back this wealth to our own houses. Suppose, now, we were to build a mansion for the Great King of Glory."

'Then they went to the Great King of Glory, and said : —

 

"A mansion would we build for thee, O King ! "

'Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory signified, by silence, his consent.'

 

25. ' Now, Ananda, when Sakka, the king of the gods, became aware in his mind of the thoughts that were in the heart of the Great King of Glory, he addressed Vissakamma the god, and said : —

 

'"Come now, Vissakamma, create me a mansion for the Great King of Glory — a palace which shall be called ‘Righteousness '."

 

"Even so, lord ! " said Vissakamma, in assent, Ananda, to Sakka, the king of the gods. [181] And as instantaneously as a strong man might stretch forth his folded arm, or draw in his arm again when it was stretched forth, so quickly did he vanish from the heaven of the Great Thirty-Three, and appeared before the Great King of Glory.

 

'Then, Ananda, Vissakamma the god said to the Great King of Glory : —

 

"I would create for thee, O King, a mansion — a palace which shall be called ' Righteousness ' ! "

 

'Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory signified, by silence, his consent.

 

'So Vissakamma the god, Ananda, created for the Great King of Glory a mansion — a palace to be called

"Righteousness".'

 

 

26. ' The Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, was on the east and on the west a league in length, and on the north and on the south half a league in breadth.

 

' The ground-floor, Ananda, of the Palace of Righteousness, in height as three times the height to which a man can reach, was built of bricks, of four kinds. One kind of brick was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

 

'To the Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, there were eighty-four thousand pillars of four kinds. One kind of pillar was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

 

'The Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, was fitted up with seats of four kinds. One kind of seat was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

 

'In the Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, there were twenty-four staircases of four kinds. One staircase was of gold; and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal. The staircase of gold had balustrades of gold, with the cross bars and the figure-head of silver. The staircase of silver had balustrades of silver, with the cross bars and the figure-head of gold. [ 182 ] The staircase of beryl had balustrades of beryl, with the cross bars and the figure-head of crystal. The stair- case of crystal had balustrades of crystal, with cross

bars and figure-head of beryl.

'In the Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, there were eighty-four thousand chambers of four kinds. One kind of chamber was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

 

' In the golden chamber a silver couch was spread ; in the silver chamber a golden couch ; in the beryl chamber a couch of ivory ; and in the crystal chamber a couch of coral.

 

' At the door of the golden chamber there stood a palm tree of silver ; and its trunk was of silver, and its leaves and fruits of silver.

 

' At the door of the beryl chamber there stood a palm tree of crystal ; and its trunk was of crystal, and its leaves and fruits of beryl.

 

' At the door of the crystal chamber there stood a palm tree of beryl ; and its trunk was of beryl, and its leaves and fruits of crystal.'

 

27. ' Now there occurred, Ananda, to the Great King of Glory this thought : —

 

' " Suppose, now, I were to make a grove of palm trees, all of gold, at the entrance to the chamber of the Great Complex 1 under the shade of which I may pass the heat of the day."

 

'Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory made a grove of palm trees, all of gold, at the entrance to the chamber of the Great Complex, under the shade of which he might pass the heat of the day.

 

28. ' The Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, was surrounded by a double railing. [183] One railing was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden railing had its posts of gold, and its cross bars and its figure-head of silver. The silver railing had its posts of silver, and its cross bars and its figure-head of gold.

 

29. ' The Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, was hung round with two networks of bells. One network of bells was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden network had bells of silver, and the silver network had bells of gold.

 

'And when those networks of bells, Ananda, were shaken by the wind there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating. 'Just, Ananda, as the seven kinds of instruments yield, when well played upon, to the skilful man, a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating — just even so, Ananda, when those networks of

 

1 Mahavyuhassa kutagarassa dvare. The ' Great Complex ' contains a double allusion, in the same spirit in which the whole legend has been worked out: (1) To the Great Complex as a name of the Sun God regarded as a unity of the deities; and (2) To the Great Complex as a name of a particular kind of deep religious meditation or speculation.

 

 

bells were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant) and charming, and intoxicating.

 

'And whoever, Ananda, in the royal city Kusavati were at that time gamblers, drunkards, and given to drink, they used to dance round together to the sound of those networks of bells when shaken by the wind.'

 

30. ' When the Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, was finished it was hard to look at, destructive to the eyes. Just, Ananda, as in the last month of the rains in the autumn time, when the sky has become clear and the clouds have vanished away, the sun, springing up along- the heavens, is hard to look at, and destructive to the eyes — [184] just so, Ananda, when the Palace of Righteousness was finished was it hard to look at, and destructive to the eyes.'

 

31. ' Now there occurred, Ananda, to the Great King of Glory this thought : —

 

"Suppose, now, in front of the Palace of Righteousness, I were to make a Lotus-lake to bear the name of Righteousness'."

 

'Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory made a Lotus-lake to bear the name of " Righteousness".

 

‘The Lake of Righteousness, Ananda, was on the east and on the west a league in length, and on the north and on the south half a league in breadth.

 

'The Lake of Righteousness, Ananda, was faced with tiles of four kinds. One kind of tile was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

 

‘ The Lake of Righteousness, Ananda, had four and twenty flights of steps, of four different kinds. One flight of steps was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal. The flight of golden steps had balustrades of gold, with the cross bars and the figure-head of silver. The flight of silver steps had balustrades of silver, with the cross bars and the figurehead of gold. The flight of beryl steps had balustrades of beryl, with the cross bars and the figure-head of crystal. The flight of crystal steps had balustrades of

crystal, with cross bars and figure-head of beryl.

 

'Round the Lake of Righteousness, Ananda, there ran a double railing. One railing was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden railing had its posts of gold, and its cross bars and its capitals of silver. The silver railing had its posts of silver, and its cross bars and its

capitals of gold.

 

32. 'The Lake of Righteousness, Ananda, was surrounded by seven rows of palm trees. One row was of palms of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems.

 

‘And the golden palms had trunks of gold, and leaves and fruits of silver. [185] And the silver palms had trunks of silver, and leaves and fruits of gold. And the palms of beryl had trunks of beryl, and leaves and fruits of crystal. And the crystal palms had trunks of crystal, and leaves and fruits of beryl. And the agate palms had trunks of agate, and leaves and fruits of coral. And the coral palms had trunks of coral, and leaves and fruits of agate. And the palms of every kind of gem had trunks and leaves and fruits of every kind of gem.

 

'And when those rows of palm trees, Ananda, were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and leasant, and charming, and intoxicating. ' Just, Ananda, as the seven kinds of instruments yield, when well played upon, to the skilful man, a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating, — just even so, Ananda, when those rows of palm trees were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

 

'And whosoever, Ananda, in the royal city Kusavati were at that time gamblers, drunkards, and given to drink, they used to dance round together to the sound of those palms when shaken by the wind.'

 

33. ' When the Palace of Righteousness, Ananda, was finished, and the Lotus-lake of Righteousness was finished, the Great King of Glory entertained with all good things those of the Wanderers who, at that time, were held in high esteem, and those of the brahmins who, at that time, were held in high esteem. Then he ascended up into the Palace of Righteousness.'

 

End of the First Portion for Recitation.

 

CHAPTER 2.

 

i. ' Now there occurred, Ananda, this thought to the Great King of Glory : —

 

' " Of what previous character, now, may this be the fruit, of what previous character the result, that I am now so mighty and so great ? "

 

[186] ' And then occurred, Ananda, to the Great King of Glory this thought : — ‘ " Of three qualities is this the fruit, of three qualities the result, that I am now so mighty and so great, — that is to say, of giving, of self-conquest, and of self- control 1 ." '.

 

2. ' Now the Great King of Glory, Ananda, ascended up into the chamber of the Great Complex ; and there he broke out into a cry of intense emotion : —

 

' " Stay here, O thoughts of lust !

Stay here, O thoughts of ill-will !

Stay here, O thoughts of hatred !

Thus far only, O thoughts of lust !

Thus far only, O thoughts of ill-will !

Thus far only, O thoughts of hatred ! "

 

3. 'And when, Ananda, the Great King of Glory had entered the chamber of the Great Complex, and had seated himself upon the couch of gold, having put away all passion and all unrighteousness, he entered into, and remained in, the First Rapture, — a state of joy and ease, born of seclusion, full of reflection, full of investigation.

 

' By suppressing reflection and investigation, he entered into, and remained in, the Second Rapture, —

 

1 I have here translated kamma by ' previous character ' and by ' quality.' The easiest plan would, no doubt, have been to preserve in the translation the technical term karma, which is explained at some length in ' Buddhism,' pp. 99-106.

 

a state of joy and ease, born of serenity, without reflection, without investigation, a state of elevation of mind, of internal calm.

 

' By absence of the longing after joy, he remained indifferent, conscious, self-possessed, experiencing in his body that ease which the noble ones announce, saying: —

" The man indifferent and self-possessed is well at ease," and thus he entered into, and remained in, the Third Rapture.

 

' By putting away ease, by putting away pain, by the previous dying away both of gladness and of sorrow, he entered into, and remained in, the Fourth Rapture, —

a state of purified self-possession and equanimity, without ease, and without pain 1.

 

4. ' Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory went out from the chamber of the Great Complex, and entered the golden chamber and sat himself down on the silver couch. And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Love ; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

 

' And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Pity ; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Pity, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

 

' And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the

 

1 The above paragraphs are an endeavour to express the inmost feelings when they are first strung to the uttermost by the intense effects of deep religious emotion, and then feel the effects of what may be called, for want of a better word, the reaction. Most deeply religious natures have passed through such a crisis ; and though the feelings are perhaps really indescribable, this passage is dealing, not with a vain mockery, but with a very real event in spiritual experience. It implies neither hypnotism nor trance.

 

world with thoughts of Sympathy ; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Sympathy, far reaching, grown great, and beyond

measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

 

'And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Equanimity l ; [187] and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Equanimity, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

 

5. ' The Great King of Glory, Ananda, had four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which was the royal city of Kusavati :

 

' Four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which was the Palace of Righteousness :

 

' Four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which was the chamber of the Great Complex :

 

' Four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with longhaired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins ; covered with lofty canopies ; and provided at both ends with purple cushions :

 

' Four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called " the Changes of the Moon," was chief:

 

' Four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which " Thunder-cloud," the king of horses, was the chief:

 

' Four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, —

 

1 These are the four Appamannas or infinite feelings, also called (e.g. below, § 13) the four Brahma-viharas or Sublime Conditions. They are here very appropriately represented to follow immediately after the state of feeling described in the Raptures ; but they ought to be the constant companions of a good Buddhist.

 

of which the chariot called " the Flag of Victory " was the chief:

 

' Four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem was the chief:

 

' Four and eighty thousand wives, of whom Subhadda, the Queen of Glory 1 , was the chief: [188]

 

' Four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward was the chief :

 

' Four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser was the chief:

 

' Four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze :

 

' Four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool :

 

' Four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning rice was served 2

 

6. ' Now at that time, Ananda, the four and eighty thousand state elephants used to come every evening and every morning to be of service to the Great King of Glory.

 

‘ And this thought occurred to the Great King of Glory : —

 

‘ These eighty-four thousand elephants come every evening and every morning to be of service to me. Suppose, now, I were to let the elephants come in alternate forty-two thousands, once each, every alternate hundred years ! "

 

' Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory said to the Great Adviser : —

 

' " O, my friend, the Great Adviser ! these eighty- four thousand elephants come every evening and every morning to be of service to me. Now, let the elephants

 

1 Subhadda Devi. Subhadda, 'glorious, magnificent’ is a not uncommon name both for men and women in Buddhist and post- Buddhistic Hindu literature.

 

2 Most of the trappings and cloths here mentioned are the same as those referred to in the Moralities translated above, Vol. I, pp. n, 12. The whole paragraph is four times repeated below.

 

come, O my friend, the Great Adviser, in alternate forty- two thousands, [189] once each, every alternate hundred years !

 

' " Even so, lord ! " said the Wonderful Adviser, in assent, to the Great King of Glory.

 

' From that time forth, Ananda, the elephants came in alternate forty-two thousands, once each, every alternate hundred years.'

 

7. ' Now, Ananda, after the lapse of many years, of many hundred years, of many thousand years, there occurred to the Queen of Glory this thought : —

 

' " 'Tis long since I have beheld the Great King of Glory. Suppose, now, I were to go and visit the Great King of Glory."

 

' Then, Ananda, the Queen of Glory said to the women of. the harem : —

 

' " Arise now, dress your hair, and clothe yourselves in fresh raiment. 'Tis long since we have beheld the Great King of Glory. Let us go and visit the Great King of Glory ! "

 

' " Even so, lady ! " said the women of the harem, Ananda, in assent, to the Queen of Glory. And they dressed their hair, and clad themselves in fresh raiment, and came near to the Queen of Glory.

 

' Then, Ananda, the Queen of Glory said to the Great Adviser : —

 

' " Arrange, O Great Adviser, the fourfold army in array. 'Tis long since I have beheld the Great King of Glory. I am about to go to visit the Great King of Glory."

 

' " Even so, O Oueen ! " said the Great Adviser, Ananda, in assent, to the Queen of Glory. And he set the fourfold army in array, and had the fact announced to the Queen of Glory in the words : —

 

' " The fourfold army, O Queen, is set for thee in array. Do now whatever seemeth to thee fit."

 

8. [190] ' Then, Ananda, the Queen of Glory, with the fourfold army, repaired, with the women of the harem, to the Palace of Righteousness. And when she had arrived there she mounted up into the Palace ofRighteousness, and went on to the chamber of the

Great Complex. And when she had reached it, she stopped and leant against the side of the door.

 

' When, Ananda, the Great King of Glory heard the noise he thought : —

 

' " What, now, may this noise, as of a great multitude of people, mean ? "

 

' And going out from the chamber of the Great Complex, he beheld the Queen of Glory standing leaning up against the side of the door. And when he beheld her, he said to the Queen of Glory : —

 

' " Stop there, O Queen ! Enter not ! " '

 

9. ' Then the Great King of Glory, Ananda, said to one of his attendants : —

 

' " Arise, good man ! take the golden couch out of the chamber of the Great Complex, and make it ready under that grove of palm trees which is all of gold."

 

' " Even so, lord ! " said the man, in assent, to the Great King of Glory. And he took the golden couch out of the chamber of the Great Complex, and made it ready under that grove of palm trees which was all of gold.

 

' Then, Ananda, the Great King of Glory laid himself down in the dignified way a lion does ; and lay with one leg resting on the other, calm and self-possessed.'

 

 

10. ' Then, Ananda, there occurred to the Oueen of Glory this thought : —

 

' " How calm are all the limbs of the Great King of Glory! How clear and bright is his appearance! O may it not be that the Great King of Glory is dead 1 ! '

 

' And she said to the Great King of Glory : — ' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand

 

1 On the approach of death, explains the commentator, people are transfigured, shine forth. This idea may be the source of the legend of the Transfiguration translated above, p. 146, 'Book of the Great Decease/ IV, 37.

 

cities, the chief of which is the royal city of Kusavati. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these ! quicken thy longing after life ! [l9l]

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which is the Palace of Righteousness. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which is the chamber of the Great Complex. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins, covered with lofty canopies, and provided at both ends with purple cushions. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called ' the Changes of the Moon,' is chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and eolden coverings of network, — of which ' Thunder- cloud,' the king of horses, is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing- after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called 'the Flag of Victory' is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy loncnnsf after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

‘ " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

‘ " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life [192].

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice is served. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these, quicken thy longing after life." '

 

 

 

II. 'When she had thus spoken, Ananda, the Great King of Glory said to the Queen of Glory : —

 

' " Long hast thou addressed me, O Queen, in pleasant words, much to be desired, and sweet. Yet now in this last time you speak in words unpleasant, disagreeable, not to be desired."

 

' " How then, O King, shall I address thee ? ' ;

 

' " Thus, O Queen, shouldst thou address me — The nature of all things near and dear to us, O King, is such that we must leave them, divide ourselves from them, separate ourselves from them ‘. Pass not away,

 

1 The Pali words are the same as those at the beginning of the constantly repeated longer phrase to the same effect in the ' Book of the Great Decease.'

 

O King, with longing in thy heart. Sad is the death of him who longs, unworthy is the death of him who longs 1 Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which is the royal city of Kusavati. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which is the Palace of Righteousness. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

[193] ' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which is the chamber of the Great Complex. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandalwood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins, covered with lofty canopies, and provided at both ends with purple cushions. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' "Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called ' the Changes of the Moon,' is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' "Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which 'Thunder- cloud,' the king of horses, is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' "Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called the Flag of Victory' is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

1 Compare Jataka, No. 34.

 

‘ " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand wives, of which the Queen of Glory is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom Wonderful Steward is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

[194] ' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice is served. Cast away desire for these, long not after life." '

 

12. 'When he thus spake, Ananda, the Queen of Glory wept and poured forth tears.

 

'Then, Ananda, the Queen of Glory wiped away her tears, and addressed the Great King of Glory, and said :

 

' " The nature of all things near and dear to us, O King, is such that we must leave them, divide ourselves from them, separate ourselves from them. Pass not away, O King, with longing in thy heart. Sad is the death of him who longs, unworthy is the death of him who longs. Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which is the royal city of Kusavati. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which is the Palace of Righteous- ness. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which is the chamber of the Great Complex. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandalwood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins, covered with lofty canopies, and provided at both ends with purple cushions. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called 'the Changes of the Moon,' is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — [ 195 ] of which 'Thunder-cloud,' the king of horses, is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called ' the Flag of Victory ' is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser is the chief. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

' " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

 " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool. Cast away desire for these, long not after life.

 

'  " Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice is served. Cast away desire for these, long not after life." '

 

13. 'Then immediately, Ananda, the Great King of Glory died. Just, Ananda, as when a yeoman has eaten a hearty meal he becomes all drowsy, just so were the feelings he experienced, Ananda, as death came upon the Great King of Glory.

 

[196] ' When the Great King of Glory, Ananda, had died, he came to life again in the happy world of Brahma.

 

' For eight and forty thousand years, Ananda, the Great King of Glory lived the happy life of a prince, for eight and forty thousand years he was viceroy and heir-apparent, for eight and forty thousand years he ruled the kingdom, and for eight and forty thousand years he lived, as a layman, the noble life in the Palace of Righteousness. And then, when full of noble thoughts he died, he entered, after the dissolution of the body, the world of Brahma 1

 

14. ' Now it may be, Ananda, that you may think " The Great King of Glory of that time was another person." But, Ananda, you should not view the matter thus. I at that time was the Great King of Glory.

 

' Mine at that time were the four and eighty thousand cities, of which the chief was the royal city of Kusavati.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand palaces, of which the chief was the Palace of Righteousness.

 

1 The 'noble thoughts' are the Brahma-viharas, the sublime conditions described above, Chap. II, § 4. The ' noble life ' is the Brahmacariyajtt, which does not mean the same as it does in Sanskrit. The adjective Brahma may have reference here also to the subsequent (and consequent?) rebirth in the Brahmaloka.

 

‘ Mine were the four and eighty thousand chambers, of which the chief was the chamber of the Great Complex.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandalwood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers,

and magnificent antelope skins, covered with lofty canopies, and provided at both ends with purple cushions.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called " the Changes of the Moon," was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which " Thunder- cloud," the king of horses, was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand chariots [197] with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called " the Flag of Victory " was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser was the chief.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool.

 

' Mine were the four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice was served.'

 

15. 'Of those four and eighty thousand cities, Ananda, one was that city in which, at that time, I used to dwell — to wit, the royal city of Kusavati.

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand palaces, too, Ananda, one was that palace in which, at that time, I used to dwell — to wit, the Palace of Righteousness.

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand chambers, too, Ananda, one was that chamber in which, at that time, I used to dwell — to wit, the chamber of the Great Complex.

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand divans, too, Ananda, one was that divan which, at that time, I used to occupy — to wit, one of gold, or one of silver, or one of ivory, or one of sandalwood.

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand state elephants, too, Ananda, one was that elephant which, at that time, I used to ride — to wit, the king of elephants, " the Changes of the Moon."

 

[198] ' Of those four and eighty thousand horses, too, Ananda, one was that horse which, at that time, I used to ride — to wit, the king of horses, " the Thunder-cloud."

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand chariots, too, Ananda, one was that chariot in which, at that time, I used to ride — to wit, the chariot called " the Flag of Victory."

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand wives, too, Ananda, one was that wife who, at that time, used to wait upon me — to wit, either a lady of noble birth, or a Velamikani.

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand myriads of suits of apparel, too, Ananda, one was the suit of apparel which, at that time, I wore — to wit, one of delicate texture, of linen, or cotton, or silk, or wool.

 

' Of those four and eighty thousand dishes, too, Ananda, one was that dish from which, at that time, I ate a measure of rice and the curry suitable thereto.'

 

16. 'See, Ananda, how all these things are now past, are ended, have vanished away. Thus impermanent, Ananda, are component things ; thus transitory, Ananda, are component things ; thus untrustworthy,

 

Ananda, are component things. Insomuch, Ananda, is it meet to be weary of, is it meet to be estranged from, is it meet to be set quite free from the bondage of all component things ! '

 

17. ' Now I call to mind, Ananda, how in this spot my body had been six times buried. And when I was dwelling here as the righteous king who ruled in righteousness, the lord of the four regions of the earth, the conqueror, the protector of his people, the possessor of the seven royal treasures — that was the seventh time.

 

' But I behold not any spot, Ananda, in the world of men and gods, nor in the world of Mara, nor in the world of Brahma — no, not among the race of Samaras or Brahmins, of gods or men, — where the Tathagata for the eighth time will lay aside his body 1

 

Thus spake the Exalted One ; and when the Happy One had thus spoken, once again the Teacher said : —

 

' How transient are all component things ! Growth is their nature and decay;

They are produced, they are dissolved again ; To bring them all into subjection — that is bliss 2

 

1 The whole of this conversation between the Great King of Glory and the Queen is very much shorter in the Jataka. This may be perhaps partly explained by the narrative style in which the stories are composed — a style incompatible with the repetitions of the Suttas, and confined to the facts of the story. But I think that no one can read this Suttanta in comparison with the short passage found in the ' Book of the Great Decease ' (above, Chap. V, § 18) without feeling that the latter is the more original of the two, and that the legend had not, when that passage or episode was first composed, attained to its present extended form.

 

2 On this celebrated verse, see the note at Mahaparinibbana Suttanta VI, 16, where it is put into the mouth of Sakka, the king of the gods. The principal word, sawkhara (states, or things, or phenomena), is discussed in the Introduction to this Suttanta. See the 'Journal of the Pali Text Society' for 1909, and below, p. 248.

 

 


 

Source: “Dialogues of the Buddha, Translated from the Pali of the Digha Nikaya by T. W. and C. A. F. Rhys Davids Part II”, 1910


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