INTRODUCTION TO THE LAKKHANA SUTTANTA.

 

 

This Suttanta is a very interesting instance of the method, so often followed in the Dialogues, of pouring new wine into the old bottles.1

 

The brahmins had inherited a very ancient speculation (or, if that expression be preferred), a religious belief, in a mystic man, to whose dismemberment the origin of the world, and of all that is in the world, had been due. Such a theory is not, however, exclusively Aryan, Relics of it, in its most savage ferocity, are found as far off as the South Seas, and lie hidden under the grotesque details of the myth of Osiris. It is strange indeed that any such relics should have survived. For this idea runs counter to all the numerous cosmogonies that arose out of the later polytheisms. In India we have the most ancient presentation of it in the well-known Purusa-Sukta — a hymn now incorporated, it is true, in one of the latest portions of the Rig Veda, but preserving the memory of a trend of thought earlier, no doubt, than the cult of most of the Vedic gods. W'e owe a debt of gratitude to the brahmin compilers of this anthology that they should have thought it worth while to include a conception so foreign to the rest of the collection.

 

The dismemberment of the Man is here ascribed to the gods. It is they who slay him and cut him up, and sacrifice him. From the pieces are produced (we are not told how) various things that gods need — metres in which they may be praised ; animals to be sacrificed to them ; men to perform the sacrifices; the earth and sky, the moon and the sun. As the gods are made in the image of men, it is scarcely probable that this bizarre idea could have arisen except among people who believed that a human sacrifice would bring advantage to the tribe. Of course the victim of the gods, before there were any men, was no ordinary man. He was a mythic monster of a man with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes and a thousand feet, as suitable a victim for the gods as a captive enemy would be for men. So say the

 

1 Compare on this method what has been said above, I, 206- 208. 132

 

opening verses ; afterwards the Man is treated as if he were the usual shape. It is therefore quite possible that the beginning of the hymn is by one author and the rest by another.

 

Notwithstanding its own incongruities, and its direct contradiction of other stories of creation, this one survived. A hymn of the Atharva (X, 2) returns to the subject. The mythic Man loses in that hymn his thousand heads and eyes and feet, but the purpose of the hymn is to identify him quite clearly and completely with Brahma, the new personification of the magic words of the sacrifice, the new name for a Spirit of the universe. Thus do new gods absorb the old.

 

There is another mythical Man in the pre-Buddhistic literature, who is also identified with Brahman. He creates all this out of himself. But he is not a sacrificial victim ; and the long account of how he does it does not identify him with the Man of the Purusa-sukta.1

 

There is yet a third Man to be considered — the man in the eye, and in the mirror, and in many other things — the subject of the well-known passage incorporated in two Upanishads, and therefore older than either.2 This third Man is simply the animistic soul.

 

Which of these three is the one referred to in our Suttanta ? It is necessary before we attempt to answer this question to see what the Pali evidence says. It is unfortunately very little, but not without importance. In the first place there are several passages where brahmins of good standing are represented as claiming this theory of natal marks on the body of the superman as part of their stock of hereditary knowledge.3 It is true that when the whole list of such knowledge is given, this theory of marks is put at the end as if it were the least of all in importance. Nevertheless, if this statement be correct for the period of the rise of Buddhism, and for the localities mentioned, then it follows that the theory is not a Buddhist one at all : it is brahmin. And the information is just what we should expect — certain brahmins, in their capacity as augurs and soothsayers, had worked out a theory of such marks, and handed it on to their pupils. It must be recollected that there was then, in the valley of the Ganges, no astrology ;

 

1 See Rh. D.'s Theory of Soul in the Upanishads, J.R.A.S. , 1899, p. 79.

 

2 Brihad. Ar. Up. I, 4.

 

3 Digha I, 89, 114, 120 ; Anguttara I, 163 ; Majjhima II, 136; Sutta Nipata, 6go, 1000 ; Milinda, 10 ; Divyavadana, 620.

 

and that in one of the very oldest of their documents — in the Silas — the Buddhists had expressly condemned all sorts of augury and soothsaying practised for gain by some samaiias and by brahmins.1 This particular form of sooth- saying is there mentioned.

 

Secondly the Buddhists had a theory of the superman, the Maha-purisa. It is only mentioned incidentally in a few passages ; but it was there. Thus at Saijyutta V, 158 when Sariputta asks the Buddha what the saying, ' the superman ' means, he is answered as follows :

 

It is by emancipation of mind that I call a man superman. Without that emancipation there is no superman. And how is one thus emancipated ? With regard to his body, his feelings, his mind and his ideas he continues to be so master of them by insight that, ardent, self-possessed and mindful, he overcomes both the dejection and the hankering common in the world. So doing his mind is purified, emancipated, free from mental intoxications.

 

Again at Anguttara II, 35 a brahmin, known by his epithet of Vassakara, the Rain-maker, calls on the Buddha. He is most probably the same rain-maker as the one who afterwards became notorious as the spy and traitor who brought about the destruction and slaughter of the Licchavis. He says that they (the priests) call a man endowed with four qualities a very wise man, a superman (a Maha-purisa). Those qualities are (i) That he is learned. (2) That he is a good expositor of the meaning of what he has learnt by heart. (3) That he has a good memory. (4) That he is expert and untiring in everything a layman has to do, and can search out expedients for doing and carrying through anything that has to be done.

 

The answer, put into the mouth of the Buddha' by the early Buddhists, amounts to this : —

 

Very well. It is not for me to express approval or disapproval. That you know best. I also call a man of four qualities very wise, a superman. And what are those qualities ? (i) He concerns himself with the advantage and the welfare of the great masses of the people, many are the folk he has established in the Ariyan system — that is in the beauty of righteousness as set forth in the Ariyan Path.

 

(2) He can think about a thing, or not, just as he wishes; he can harbour an aspiration, or not, just as he wishes. Thus is he master of his mind in the trends of thought.

 

(3) He can enter at his pleasure without toil or trouble into the four ecstasies that are beyond thought and yet pertain

 

1 See above, I, 15-19.

 

to this present life.1 (4) He has put away the intoxications arising from lust and becomings from speculation and ignorance. Thus does he gain and abide in that sane emancipation of heart and mind that he knows and realizes even in this present life.

 

The story goes on to say that the Buddha himself (let us add, like any other Arahant) has done all this ; and then it winds up in an impassioned verse which sums up the lesson of the talk.

 

Again there is a verse included in the Dhammapada anthology — it is No. 352 — which in different phraseology asserts the same conclusion, that is, that the Arahant is the superman. Unfortunately this particular verse is one of those the origin of which has not yet been traced ; and the new edition of the text puts the very word in question (Maha- purisa, the superman) in brackets, as if it were an interpolation. This is not correct. The commentary has the word, and the reading is confirmed by Anguttara II, 37.  2

 

These are the only passages in the 16 vols, of the four Nikayas in which the word has so far been traced. This is sufficient to show that the word is not in use as a technical term in the Buddhist doctrine. It occurs only when the brahmin use of the word is referred to (Sariputta was a brahmin), and is there used to show the startling contrast between the brahmin and the Buddhist conceptions of what a superman must be.

 

So with these marks. Our Suttanta says that — granted, for the purposes of this argument, that these are supermen recognizable by bodily marks that may be discerned at birth — then the superiority of these children is due entirely to good deeds done in a former birth, and can only be maintained, in the present life, by righteousness. The superman, by the theory, becomes either king or leader of a religious movement. In either case it is righteousness that produces and keeps alive the gain. The marks must have the same origin, and the results would be the same without them.

 

It follows that the marks are incidental ; they don't really matter. And as a matter of fact we never hear of them again, as a serious proposition, in all the immense literature of Buddhism throughout the centuries of its development in India, and China, in Ceylon, or in Japan. The idea survived in the brahmin schools. Eleven centuries later Varaha Mihira still has a list of such marks. Why did the Buddhists

 

1 See above. III, 108.

 

2 The metre can be corrected by omitting vuccatiti.

 

never take to it ? Can it be possible that this Suttanta was not without influence in keeping ahve among the Buddhists their sane dishke to all the animist arts of soothsaying ?

 

It would seem that the more learned and influential brahmins shared this feeling. They have preserved very little of the details of such arts. And on these particular marks they have nothing to say. Most of the marks are so absurd, considered as marks of any human, that they are probably mythological in origin, and three or four seem to be solar. Our Suttanta seems gravely ironical in the contrast it makes between the absurdity of the marks and the beauty of the ethical qualities they are supposed, in the Suttanta, to mean. And Buddhaghosa makes pathetically futile efforts to bring some sense into them. It is quite evident that his tradi- tional forerunners have understood them as little as he does himself.

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LAKKHANA SUTTANTA

 

THE MARKS OF THE SUPERMAN

 

[142] Thus have I heard : —

 

Chapter 1,

 

1. The Exalted One was once staying near Savatthi, in Anathapindika's park, the Jeta-Vana. And there the Exalted One addressed the Brethren, saying Bhikkhus ! Yea, lord ! they responded. And he said : — There are thirty-two special marks of the Super man,i brethren, and for the Superman possessing them two careers lie open, and none other. 1 If he live the life of the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel, a righteous Lord of the Right, Ruler of the four quarters, Conqueror, Guardian of the people's good, Owner of the Seven Treasures. His do those seven treasures become, to wit, the Wheel treasure, the Elephant treasure, the Horse treasure, the Gem treasure, the Woman treasure, the Housefather treasure, the Adviser treasure making the seventh. More than a thousand sons will be his, heroes, champions, vigorous of frame, crushers of the hosts of the enemy. He, when he has conquered this earth to its ocean bounds, is established not by the scourge, not by the sword, but by righteousness. But if such a boy go forth from the life of the House into the HomelessState, he becomes Arahant, a Buddha Supreme, rolling back the veil from the world.

 

2. And what, brethren, are the Thirty-two Marks of the Superman, wherewith endowed [143] two careers lie open to him and none other : — that of a Monarch, Turner of the Wheel . . . that of Buddha Supreme ?

 

(1) He hath feet with level tread. That this is so counts to him as one of the marks of the Superman.

 

(2) Moreover beneath, on the soles of his feet, wheels appear thousand-spoked, with tyre and hub, in every

 

1 On the following formula cf. the Buddha-legend in The Sublime Story Suttanta, Vol. II, 13 f., and explanatory footnotes; also above, p. 60; below, p. 165.

 

way complete and well divided. That this is so counts to him as one of the marks of the Superman.

 

(3) He has projecting heels. That this is so, etc.

 

(4) He is long in the fingers and toes. . . .

 

(5) Soft and tender in hands and feet. . . .

 

(6) With hands and feet like a net. . . .

 

(7) His ankles are like rounded shells. . . .

 

(8) His legs are like an antelope's. . . .

 

(9) Standing and without bending he can touch and

rub his knees with either hand. . . .

 

(10) His male organs are concealed in a sheath. . . .

 

(11) His complexion is like bronze, the colour of

gold. . . .

 

(12) His skin is so delicately smooth that no dust

cleaves to his body. . . .

 

[144] (13) The down on it grows in single hairs one

to each pore. . . .

 

(14) The down on his body turns upward, every hair of it, blue black in colour like eye-paint, in little curling rings, curling to the right. . . .

 

(15) He has a frame divinely straight. . . .

 

(16) He has the seven convex surfaces. . . .

 

(17) The front half of his body is like a lion's. . . .

 

(18) There is no furrow between his shoulders. . . .

 

(19) His proportions have the symmetry of the banyan-tree : the length of his body is equal to the compass of his arms, and the compass of his arms is equal to his height. . . .

 

(20) His bust is equally rounded. . . .

 

(21) His taste is supremely acute. . . .

 

(22) His jaws are as a lion's. . . .

 

(23) He has forty teeth, . . .

 

(24) Regular teeth. . . .

 

(25) Continuous teeth. . . .

 

{26) The eyeteeth are very lustrous. ...

 

(27) His tongue is long. . . .

 

(28) He has a divine voice like the karavika bird's. ...

 

(29) His eyes are intensely blue. . . .

 

(30) He has eyelashes like a cow's. . . .

 

(31) Between the eyebrows appears a hairy mole white and Hke soft cotton down. . . .

 

[145] (32) His head is Hke a royal turban. . . .

 

3. These, brethren, are the Thirty-two Marks of the Superman, wherewith endowed he has two careers that He open to him and none other : that of the Lord of the Wheel and that of Buddha Supreme. . . . And seers not of our communion, brethren, are acquainted with these Marks, but they know not for what deeds done any one of the Marks is acquired.

 

4. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tatha- gata, then being human, took on mighty enterprise in all good things, took on unfaltering enterprise in seemly course of deed and word and thought : — in dispensing gifts, in virtuous undertakings, in keeping of festivals, in filial duties to mother and to father, in pious duties to recluse and brahmin, in honour to the head of the house and in other such things of lofty merit [146] — by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, he when the body perished was after death reborn in a bright and blessed world. There was he endowed with a larger measure than other devas in ten matters, to wit in celestial years, beauty, happiness, glory, dominion, sights, sounds, odours, tastes and touches. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, 1 he acquires this Mark of the Superman, to wit : feet with level tread, evenly placing his foot upon earth, evenly drawing it up, evenly touching earth with the entire surface of the foot.

 

5. He, endowed with this mark, if he dwell in the House, becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . Conquering not by the scourge, not by the sword, but by righteousness, he doth preside over this earth to its ocean-bounds, an earth void of barrenness, pitfalls 2 or jungle, mighty, prosperous, secure and fortunate

 

1 Itthattam.

 

2 A n i m i ttam ; according to Buddhaghosa, the signs of brigandage, in the sense of causes of disaster, are absent.

 

and without blemish. As Monarch, what doth he get ? He is not hable to obstruction from any human foe with hostile intent. As Monarch this doth he get. If he leave the House for the Homeless State, he becomes Arahant, Buddha Supreme, rolling back the veil of the world. As Buddha what doth he get ? He is not liable to obstruction from any foe or adversary within or without, out of lust or hate or illusion, whether recluse or brahmin or deva or Mara [147] or Brahma or anyone in all the world. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

6. Concerning it this was said : —

 

With heart intent on speaking truth,

On righteous ways and self-restraint^

Curbing of sense and conduct pure.

On virtue s heart Ji and holy feast,

On opeji hand and gentle life,

Harming no creatiu^e, shunning force : —

So failed he ever and a day,

And high resolve upon him took.

He by that karma passed to heaven 1

To share in bliss and ravishment ;

Thence ivhen he fell, reborn as man,

Lo I 'twas with even-treading feet

 

He came and touched the lap of earth.

Interpreters together met

Declared : No obstacle can rise

For him who treads with level foot.

Dwell he among the laity.

Or leave the world as Wanderer,

This doth that sizn betoken clear.

If of the House a diveller he,

U nhindered shall he hold his way,

By foemen ; he shall overcome

All others, he shall rout the foe.

 

1 D i V a m ; v.l. t i d i v a m : the next world, the world of devas, or that region of it called Tusita (blissful). Cf. below, § 15, N a n d a n a.

 

No human power can bid him stay,

So works in him his Karma s friut.

 

Or if, so tj'eading, he doth fare

Forth from the world as Wanderer, 1

With vision clear and wholly fain

Worldly ambitions to forsivear,

Chief among men, and peerless he

Never i faith comes back to birth.

This is for him the natural lazv.' 2

 

7. Whereas in whatsoever former births, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathfigata, then being human, [148] lived for the weal of the great multitudes, dispeller of dread and of panic, purveyor of just protection and wardenship and giver of supplies, he, by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this mark of the Superman, to wit : beneath on the soles of his feet wheels appear, thousand-spoked, with tyre and hub, in every way complete and well divided.

 

8. Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. ... As Monarch what doth he get ? He hath a great retinue ; many are they that surround him : — brahmin householders, townsmen and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatories in chief 3 and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. If he leave the House for the Homeless State, he

 

1 Lit. if he enter the state of going forth (pabbajjam u p e t i) — i.e., leaving a worldly career for religion. On the term Wanderer see Rh. D., Buddhist India, 141 ff.

 

2 Cf . Vol. II, p. 8, n. 3 : e s a hi t a s s a d h a m m a t a. This is his nature (ayag sabhavo), the Cy. here adds.

 

3 Bhogiya. See above. Vol. I, p. 108, n. i, and below, § 17. Cf. M. Ill, 133; J. VI, 344.

 

becomes . . . Buddha Supreme. . . . As Buddha what doth he get ? He hath a great retinue ; many are they that surround him : bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken ot by the Exalted One.

 

9. Concerning it this was said : —

 

In bygone years, in earlier births.

As man, to 'inany bringing weal.

Dispelling dread and quaking fear.

Zealous to ward, to shield, to fend,

[149] He by that Karma passed to heaven

To share in bliss and ravishment.

Thence when he fell, reborn as man.

Wheels upon his two feet are found,

With tyre complete and thousand spokes.

Interpreters together met

Declared when they beheld the boy

With marks of merit, hundredfold :

Ever surrounded will he be

By liegemen, foe-subduer he ;

For lo I the wheels with tyres complete.

If bearing these, he fare ?iot forth

As Waizdei'er, he turns the Wheel

And rules the earth, where princes all

And nobles yield him fealty ,

Attending him, the mighty one.

And if, so marked, he forth do fare

Leaving the world as Wanderer

With vision clear and wholly fain

Worldly ambitions to forswear,

Devas and men and demons all,

Asuras, Sakkas, Rakkhasas,

Nagas, Gandhabbas, Garudas,

Fourfooted beasts, all on him wait: —

Peerless, by devas and by men

Revered, so great and glorious he.

 

10. Whereas in former birth, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, putting away the taking of life, refrained therefrom and laying the scourge and sword aside, dwelt gentle and compassionate, merciful and friendly to all living creatures, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . .

Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires these three marks of the Superman [150], to wit : he has projecting heels, has long fingers and toes, and as to his limbs is divinely straight.

 

11. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . As Monarch, what doth he get ? Longlived is he, long doth he last, for many years doth he preserve his life ; no enemy whatever born of man is able in that interval to take his life away. As Monarch this doth he get. If he . . . become Buddha Supreme, ... as Buddha what doth he get ? Long-lived is he, long doth he last, for many years doth he preserve his life ; no enemy whatever, no foe, be he recluse or brahmin, or deva or Mara or Brahma or anyone in the whole world is able in that interval to take his life. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

12. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Death’s dreadful havoc well he felt

And fellow creatures shunned to slay.

Through such good ways to heaven he came.

Of things well done enjoyed the fruit.

Deceased, and hither come once more.

As man these Marks are on him seen : —

Full long of heel is he reborn,

And like Brahma divinely straight,

Lovely to see, fair shaped of limb.

Of shapely arms and tender skin,

Goodly to see, proportioned well  1

Tender and soft his finger s touch.

 

1 On sujata, cf Dhammapala's comment in the Sela Sutta, Psalms of the Brethren, p. 311, n. 3.

 

[151] By those three marks of man supreme

They tell the boy long-lived will be.

If a layman he grow to be.

Long years his life will be maintained,

And longer yet if from the world

He goeth forth as Wanderer,

Lord over self, life he maintains

To practise saintly gifts and power 1

Wherefore 'tis said those three marks be

The token of longevity.

 

13. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of becoming, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata then being human, became a giver of choice, well-flavoured, tasty, dainty foods, both hard and soft, and drinks, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished

reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this Mark of the Superman, to wit : he has the seven convexes. Seven are these : on both hands, on both feet, on both shoulders and on the trunk.

 

14. Endowed with this mark, if he dwell in the House he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . As Monarch what doth he get ? Choice well-flavoured food, tasty dainty drinks. As Monarch, this doth he get. If he . . . become Buddha . . . being Buddha what doth he get ? Choice well-flavoured food, tasty dainty drinks. As Buddha this doth he get. [152] This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

15. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Giver was he of divers foods,

A nd essences peerless in taste.

Through seemly act, in Nandana 2

Celestial grove, he revelled long.

 

1 Iddhima vasippatto hutva. Comy. Cf. the same pair of terms in Milinda, p. 82.  

 

2 Cf. Kindred Sayings, i, 9, n I.

 

On earth arrived, the sevenfold swell

He bore, on softly rotmded limbs.

And skilled diviners then declared,

Fine food and drink would be his lot.

Nor for the layman s life alone

Was clearly there the token shown,

Even if he as Wanderer

The world forsook, they said, that he,

Cleaving all layman s bonds, e’en then

Foremost in gifts of food would be.

 

16. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, became popular to the people by the four bases of popularity, 1 to wit, by giving, by kindly speech, by sagacious conduct and by impartiality, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and by the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two [153] marks of the Superman, to wit, soft and tender hands and feet, and the hands and feet (reticulated) like a net.

 

17. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . As Monarch what doth he get ? He hath well affected attendants, well affected to him are brahmin house-fathers, townsfolk and countryfolk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. If he become . . . Buddha, ... as Buddha what doth he get ? Well affected are his attendants, well affected to him are bhikkhus and bhikkhunls, lay-brethren and lay- sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas.

As Buddha this doth he get.

 

1 These are also stated below, p. 183, XXXIII, XL ; in Anguttara II, 32, 248; cf. Jat. V, 330; J.P.T.S., 1909, 31.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

18. Concerning it this was said : —

 

By fourfold act and exercise : —

By liberal hand, by conduct wise,

By kindly speech, by jttst intent —

Winning the hearts of many folk.

Holding such parts in honour high,

He zvent to bright and blessed worlds.

Deceased again and hither come.

Exceeding soft his hands and feet,

And bearing net-like meshes fine ;

And passing loveliness is his.

Pleasant to see : — such gifts he hath.

This wondrous youth while yet a babe.

[154] Disposer of the obedient crowd 1

Around him, lo ! on earth he dwells

Of kindly speech, and ever fain

For others weal and happiness :-

Thus doth he practise virtues fair.

And if all wealth of worldly joys

He doth renounce, then C onqueror

Of self to common folk he talks

Of righteousness. And when they hear

With joyful hearts, responsive to

His word, they follow righteousness —

The greater duties and the less.

 

19. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, became one who spoke to the multitude on their good, on righteousness, explaining to the multitude, became a bearer of welfare and happiness to living creatures, a celebrant of righteousness, he, by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two marks of the

 

1 We should probably read parijan' assa vovidheyyo.

 

Superman, to wit, ankles like rounded shells and down on the body turning- upward.

 

20. Endowed with these marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . As Monarch what doth he get ? He becomes Chief, Best, Foremost, Supreme, Paramount among those who have worldly possessions. As Monarch this doth he get. ... As Buddha what doth he get ? He becomes Chief, Best, Foremost, Supreme, Paramount over all beings. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

21. Concerning it this was said : —

 

[155] Of yore he lifted up his voice,

Speaking anent the Good, the Right,

Declared it to the multitude.

And to all living things became

Bearer of weal and happiness,

And offered up unstintingly

The sacrifice of Right, of Truth 1

Through seemly act to heaven he fared,

And in the bright world found delight.

On earth reborn, upon him showed

Two marks of highest happiness : —

Upright the doiun upon him stood ;

Goodly to see his ankles were

Built up beneath the flesh, and skin

Above right shapely, beautiful.

If with these signs house-life he lead.

The height of this world’s wealth he wins ;

Greater than he noivhere is found ;

Of Jambudlpa lord he rules.

[156] If he stibliinely leave the world.

The greatest of all creatures he,

Greater than he is nowhere found.

The whole wide ivorld itself is his ;

He lives the Conqueror over all.

 

1 The sacrifice of the gift of Dhamma, says the Corny. ; of. Anguttara, I, 91 ; Mahavaysa, ch.xxxii, 42, and above: 'celebrant.'

 

22. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, became a zealous learner in craft, trade or science, in conduct or action, saying : What can I quickly learn, quickly understand, quickly acquire, nor long suffer toil ? he, by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma . . . was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing- thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this mark of the Superman, to wit : legs like an antelope's,

 

23. Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get? Whatsoever things are worthy of a Monarch, the appanage, the treasures, the belongings of a Monarch, these doth he quickly acquire. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get ? Whatsoever things are worthy of a recluse, the appanage, the treasures, the belongings of a recluse, these doth he quickly acquire. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

24. Concerning it this was said :

 

In arts and crafts, in life, in deed,

How he may learn to know with case : —

This was his wish [157]; where none was harmed,

Swiftly he learnt, nor laboured long:

That karma wrought, with happy fruit,

Shapely and fair the limbs he gets,

And szoeetly set in spiral citrl

On delicate skin the dozvn goes up.

Ante lope- legged is such a man,

'Tis said, and further : ‘t is the sign

Of swiftly won prosperity.

As by each several downy tip,

Swiftly he comes by heart’s desire.

If from the world he go not forth.

But if, so marked, he forth do fare

Leaving the world as Wanderer,

With vision clear and wholly fain

Worldly ainbitions to forswear,

All that his fit belongings are,

That doth he find accordingly.

And quick, when on his course sublime.

 

25. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata then being human, drew nigh and questioned recluse or brahmin, saying : What, sir, is good ? What is bad ? What is right, what wrong ? What ouo-ht I to do, or not to do ? What when I have done it will long be for my unhappiness ... or for my happiness ? he, by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma . . . was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, [158] his skin is so delicately smooth that no dust cleaves to his body.

 

26. Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. ... As Monarch, what doth he get ? Great wisdom will be his, nor is anyone therein equal to him, nor superior to him amongst those who have worldly wealth. As Monarch this doth he get. ... As Buddha what doth he get ? Great wisdom will be his, and wisdom in many fields, and the wisdom of a glad heart, and the wisdom of swift thought, and the wisdom of discrimination and the wisdom of revulsion.1 Nor is

 

1 This curious formula, used also by Ananda of Sariputta (Kindred Sayings, I, 87), by the Buddha himself of Sariputta (M. Ill, 25) and of any believer (S., V, 376 f . ; cf. A., I, 45), is explained word for word at some length by Buddhaghosa. Great wisdom is grasp of central doctrines. In the next, knowledge proceeds continually respecting many and divers doctrines. The next seems to be knowing the joy both of insight and achievement in ethical and religious exercise. In the ante penultimate term, javana is both swiftly going, and intellect in action. It is here applied to grasping the three signs of all living aggregates (k hand ha). The penultimate refers to detection and extirpation of evil ; the last to horror of evil. The contrast between this notable list and the absurdity and in-significance of the mark of popular superstition is characteristic of this whole Suttanta.  

 

anyone equal to him or superior in wisdom among.all beinos. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This is the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

27. Concerning it this was said : —

 

In days gone by, informer births,

All fain to know, a questioner,

He ivaiteci oft on saintly men,

Eager to listen and to learn.

And with a heart intent on good 1

Heeded discourse anent the good.

By deeds thus done in wisdom's quest.

Fine skin is his, as man reborn.

Diviners of the signs at birth

Declared : "'tis he will know and see

Full subtle meanings and mystery.

If one so marked leave not the world,

The Wheel he’ll turn and rule the earth.

And in such meanings as are taught

And among them that grasp them none

Will equal, none will him excel.

[159] But if so marked he forth do fare.

Leaving the world as Wanderer,

With vision clear and wholly fain

Worldly ambitions to forswear.

He may attain the height supreme

Of wisdom, yea, Enlightenment

‘Tis his to win, with powers of mind

So boundless and so excellent.

 

28. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, lived without wrath, full of serenity,- and even when much had been said, fell not foul of anyone, was neither angry, nor malign,

 

1 A tt h a is here, by Buddhaghosa, opposed to d o s a, resentment or evil, with which so many set out to question others. But the double sense of good and meaning cannot be reproduced.

 

2 Absence of despair or exasperation. Corny.

 

nor enraged, manifesting neither anger nor hate nor melancholy, but was a giver of fine and soft coverlets, and cloaks, and fine linen, fine cotton, fine silken, fine woollen stuffs, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma . . . was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquires this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his complexion is like bronze, and his skin like gold.

 

29. Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get ? Receiver is he of fine and soft coverlets and cloaks and fine linen, fine cotton, fine silken, fine woollen stuffs. As Monarch this doth he get. ... As Buddha what doth he get .? Receiver is he of those same things. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This is the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

30. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Good will he practised and he gave

Raiment and coverings fieecy, fine.

[160] Tims he dispensed in former life,

As god pours rain upon the earth.

So doing fared he hence to heaven.

Reborn to fruit of deeds well done.

Those pleasures o’er, here takes he shape

With body as 'twere wrought of gold.

Than gods more fine, like Indras self

Dwells he at home, a man not fain 1

To leave the ivorld as Wanderer,

The fnighty earth he governeth.

And for past effort he obtains

Choicest of robes and coverings

Abundant, delicate, textured fine.

Raiment and drapery superfine

Doth he receive no less, should he

Go forth into the homeless life.

Victor he wins the past-earned fruit.

What's done can never come to nought.

 

1 Read apabbajam icchao.

 

31. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathugata, then being human, reunited long-lost with long-bereaved 1 relatives, friends and comrades, reunited mother with child and child with mother, father [161] with child and child with father, brother with brother, brother with sister and sister with brother, making them as one, causing them to rejoice, he, by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma, . . . was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his male orgrans were concealed in a sheath.

 

32. Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get ? Abundant children will be his, more than a thousand sons, heroes, victors vigorous of frame, crushers of the host of the enemy. As Monarch this doth he get. ... As Buddha, what doth he get ? Abundant children will be his, for thousands of children will he have, heroes, champions, vigorous of frame, crushers of the hosts of the enemy. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This is the matter that was spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

33. Concerning it this was said : —

 

In bygone days, in former births

Lost ones to those who long had sought,

Kinsfolk and friends to friends he brought.

Made them at one and made them. glad.

By such deeds he to heaven fared

1 share in bliss and ravishment.

Thence falling, born once more on earth.

His organs in a sheath were veiled.

[162] Abundant offspring such will have.

More than a thousand sons are his,

Heroes and champions, quelling foes,

 

1 The Corny, conceives him as a ruler, organizing rescue-work of this kind within and without the city.

 

Greeting with words of filial love,

They are the layman s joy and pride.

But if he fare as Wanderer,

Yet greater will his offspring be,

Children obedient to his word.

So be he layman or Wanderer

This mark such benefit portends.

 

Here ends the First Portion for Recitation.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2.

 

1. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, was sincerely desirous of contemplating the good will of the folk, knew what each man was like,1 himself recognized each, and knew his reputation and how he differed from others, and thus distinguishing, he judged ' This one deserves that, and this one again deserves that,' — he, by the doing and by the accumulation of that karma . . . was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, his proportions have the symmetry of the banyan-tree ; and standing without bending, he can touch and rub his knees with both hands.

 

2. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. ... As Monarch what [163] doth he get ? Rich is he, of great fortune, of great wealth, full is the treasure- house of much gold and silver, of many goods, of coin and corn. As Monarch, this doth he get. ... As Buddha, what doth he get ?. Rich is he, of great fortune, of great wealth. And this is his plenteous currency: — faith, morality, modesty, discretion, learning, renunciation, wisdom. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

3. Concerning it this was said :

 

Seeking alway the folk's good will

Once did he wisely men appraise.

Weighed them in judgment, criticized,

Each by himself : He 's worthy that,

Detecting where each one excelled.

 

1 Read (with Buddhaghosa) samaij janati for saijjanati.

 

Hence can he now unbending stand.

And touch the knees with both his hands.

Afid as a tree for girth and height.

The fruit of other well-wrought deeds.

Experts in divers signs and marks.

Versed in such lore did thus declare :

Things fit for laymen of all kinds

As quite a little boy he gets.

[164] Much worldly wealth for this world' s lord

And ft for laymen shall be his.

And if all wealth of worldly joys

He shall renounce, then doth he win

Of riches highest utmost crown.

 

4. Whereas, in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, grew desirous for the good of the many, for their welfare, their comfort, their safety, considering how they might increase in confidence, in morality, in education, in charity, in righteousness, and in wisdom, might increase in money and corn, in land, in animals twofooted and fourfooted, in wife and children, in servants and slaves, in kinsfolk and friends and connections, he by the doing, and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these three Marks of the Superman, to wit, the front half of his body is like a lion's ; there is no furrow between his shoulders ; his bust is equally rounded.

 

5. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch, what doth he get? [165] He is incapable of failure and loss, he suffers no loss in money or corn, in fields or fallow, in two or four-footed beasts, in wife or children, in servants or slaves, in kinsfolk, friends or connections, he forfeits nothing wherein he succeeds. As Monarch this doth he get. . . . As Buddha what doth he get ? He is incapable of failure or loss, he suffers no loss in faith, in morals, in learning, in renunciation, in wisdom ; he does not fail of success in anything. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

6. Concerning it this is said : —

 

In faith, in morals teaching, wisdom, right,

And charity and other goodly things ;

In coin and corn, fallow and field, in wife

And children and fourfooted things ; kinsfolk

And friends, connections, strength and comeliness

And happiness : — how shall my neighbour lose

Nowise in these ? this was his wish, and thus

Their profit to achieve, his strong desire.

Handsome with lion-fronted body born.

No furrow in his back, and rounded front.

By karma wrought in bygone days, well stored,

Lo ! for him now the birth-sign this shall be 1

Of fortune blest, immunity from loss.

As layman he shall thrive in corn and coin.

In family, and in fourfooted beasts ;

As Wanderer possessing naught, he wins

Enlightenment supreme and unsurpassed.

That perfect sphere where failure entereth not.

 

[166] 7. Whereas, in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, acquired the habit of harming no creatures, 2 either by hand or clod or scourge or sword, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, was reborn in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining this world as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his taste is supremely acute ; of anything on the tip [of the tongue] sensations of taste are produced in the throat and are diffused everywhere.

 

1 Pubbanimittam assa tay.

 

2 Referred to in Milinda 319.

 

8. Endowed with that Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get ? He experiences little of illness or suffering, he is possessed of good digestion, of an equable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold. As Monarch this doth he get. . . . As Buddha what doth he get ? He experiences little of illness or suffering, he is possessed of good digestion, of an equable temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, equable, of patience in exertion. As Buddha this doth he gret.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

9. Concerning it this was said : —

 

No living thirtg he harmed, by hand, by scourge,

By clod, by sword, by any murderous death.

By bonds or threats, no injttry he wrought.

Therefore in blissful bourne he reaped the fruit

Of happiness, found happy things for deeds.

Reborn on earth, he gets most delicate sense,

[167] Erect taste-bearers planted well [in throat.]

And so the seers expert declared of him :

This man shall plenteously happy be.

Live he as layman or as Wanderer,

This is the thing betokened by the mark.

 

10. Whereas in whatsoever former birth . . . brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, acquired the habit of looking not askance nor obliquely nor furtively, but with upright candid and lofty mind contemplating people with affectionate eyes, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof, when the body perished was reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, his eyes are intensely blue and he has eyelashes like a cow.

 

11. Endowed with these marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel.

... As Monarch what doth he get ? The people love to see him ; he is popular among, and beloved by brahmin householders, town and country folk, [168] treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs 1 and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. . . . As Buddha what doth he get ? The people love to see him ; he is popular among, and beloved by bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas and Gandhabbas. As Buddha, this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

12. Concerning it this was said : —

 

With glance not furtive nor askance

Nor downward casting, but as one

Whose upright, candid lofty mind

Looked on the people lovingly,

Resulting fruit in blessed worlds

' Twas his t’ experience and enjoy.

Here born again, his lashes long

As cows, and eyes of deep dark blue,

Most fair to see, wise augurs said, —

Expert such signs t' interpret well,—-

A babe with eyes so rare and fine

Betokens popularity.

Dear to the eyes of many folk.

As layman will he live beloved ;

[169] And if not lay, but Wanderer,

Loved as the healer of their griefs.

 

13. Whereas, in whatsoever former birth . . . brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, became leader among men in goodness, foremost in virtuous deed and word and thought, in dispensing gifts, in conformity to morals, in attending religious festivals, in filial duties, in honouring recluses and brahmins, in deferring to the head of the family, and in other and sundry righteous observances, he by the doing and by

 

1 Here and in following §§ bhogiya is substituted for b h o j a k a. The Siamese ed. reads b h o g i k a.

 

the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . , Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, a head like a turban.

 

14. Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. As Monarch what doth he get ? The loyalty 1 of the multitude, of brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get ? The loyalty of the multitude, of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, of lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

15. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Foremost among good livers once

He lived, and all his love was given

To walk in ways of righteousness,

Loyal to help the multittide.

He reaped in heaven his due reward.

[170] Fruit of good life thus having plucked,

He came to earth with crested head.

And they who knew what signs should mean

Declared : This one will lead the folk.

As in the past so now all men

Will render services to him.

So they reported thus of him : —

If he be born of noble clan.

As lord of lands V is his to win

The faithful service of the folk.

But if he leave the world, this man,

So versed and practised in good deeds.,

Will draw the people after him,

For all their love will given be

To keep what he so well doth teach.

 

1 An vayiko. The expression recurs in Jat. Ill, 348.

 

16. Whereas in whatsoever former birth . . . brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, put away lying, felt revulsion at lies, became truth-speaker, bound to truth, trustworthy, consistent, breaking his word to no one, he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance thereof . . . was reborn in a bright and blessed world. Deceasing thence, and attaining this life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, down growing in separate hairs, all over his body ; and between the eyebrows a hairy mole, white and like soft cotton-down.

 

17. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . , . As Monarch what doth he get ? The people conform to his wishes, brahmin householders, town and [171] country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch, this doth he get. As Buddha, what doth he get ? The people conform to his wishes, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha, this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

18. Concerning it this was said : —

 

True was his promise in past births ;

Sincere his word 1 he shunned the false ;

A breaker of his troth to none.

He pleased by truth, consistency.

White, lustrous, soft as cotton-down

A mole was seen betwixt his brows ;

And from each pore but one hair grew

About his skin: — so was he made.

When many versed in signs were met,

They saw the marks and thus declared :

With mole and hairs well-placed like these.

Him will the people all obey,

 

1 Advejjhavaco.

 

As layman they will look to him.

So far above by past wrought deeds.

As Buddha they will look to him.

Naught owning. Wanderer supreme.

 

19. Whereas, in whatsoever former birth . , . brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, put away abusive speech, revolted against abusive speech, what he heard here not repeating elsewhere, to raise a quarrel against people here ; and what he heard elsewhere not repeating here, to raise a quarrel against people there : — thus becoming a binder together of those who are divided, [172] or fostering those who are triends, a peacemaker, lover of concord, impassioned for peace, a speaker of words that make for peace, 1 he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, he had forty teeth, and they were in unbroken rows.

 

20. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. ... As Monarch what doth he get ? Those about him are not to be divided against themselves,2 among brahmin householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. As Buddha what doth he get ? A following that may not be divided against itself, either of bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, lay- brethren and lay-sisters, gods and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This is the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

21. Concerning it this was said : —

 

No speaker he of slanderous words,

Provoking breach of friendship, growth

 

1 The passage occurs in Vol. I, 4 f.

 

2 Abhejja. See Mil. 359.

 

Of breach, and fostering strife,

Embittering jinseeinly brawls.

Parent of rupture ' twixt good friends.

That which he littered made for peace,

Engendered binding what was broke,

[173] With power to scatter people s brawls,

In folk at one he found delight.

Resulting fruit in blessed worlds

'Twas his f experience and enjoy.

Back on this earth, his teeth gi^ew close.,

Two score, in even rank iinbroke.

If trained to arms he will become

Lord of the soil, and those he lailes

Will be a gentle, peaceful folk.

But if from lusts and blemish free.,

He shall become a Wanderer,

Ranged 1 and firm his band shall be.

 

22. Whereas in whatsoever former birth . . . brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, put away rough language, revolted from rough language, and became an habitual speaker of whatsoever words are blameless, pleasant to the ear, lovely, reaching to the heart, urbane, pleasing to the people, beloved of the people,2 he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasingf thence and attaining life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, his tongue is very long, and he has an exquisite voice like that of the karavika-bird.

 

23. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . As Monarch what doth he get ? A voice that commands attention ;-' all take his words to heart, brahmin house-

 

1 A n u g a t a. Tlie Corny, does not help in this unusual application of the word. The regularity of the teeth seems to call for some corresponding meaning.

 

2 This is from the Silas, above. Vol. I, p. 5.

 

3 Buddhaghosa paraphrases a d e y y a-v aco bygahetabbavacano, one having speech that is to be taken hold of, grasped. Cf. Vin. Texts III, 186, ;z. 3 ; Milinda I, 166, 71. 2.

 

holders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get. . . . As Buddha what doth he get ? [174] A voice that commands attention ; all take his voice to heart, bhikkhus, bhikkhunls, lay- brethren, lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken by the Exalted One.

 

24. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Not his to lift abusive voice,

Contentious, hurtful, harsh and rude,

Afflicting, crushing many folk ;

Gentle his voice and sweet to hear,

Well-pitched and kind, lovely in sense

His words, appealing to the heart.

Thus to his listeners giving ease,

Fruit of good deed was his to enjoy,

In heavens he tasted due reward.

Thereon again reborn on earth.

Gifted he grew with voice divine.

And bounteous was his length of tongue.

Weighty the words of him will be.

Crowned with success, if layman he.

But if this man do leave the world,

[175] People will take his ivords to heart.

And lay great store on all he saith.

 

25. Whereas in whatsoever former birth . . . brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, put away idle talk, revolted from idle talk, and became one who spoke in due season, in accordance with the facts, words full of meaning, who spoke of religion and of discipline, words worthy to be laid up in the heart, fitly illustrated, clearly divided and to the point, 1 he by the doing and by the accumulating of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed

 

1 This passage also is from the Silas in Vol. I, 5.

 

world. . . . Deceasing thence, and attaining this life as ye know it, he acquired this Mark of the Superman, to wit, his jaws were as a lion's.

 

26. Endowed with this Mark, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel. . . . As Monarch what doth he get ? He cannot be over- thrown by any human foe or adversary whatever. As Monarch this doth he get. . . . As Buddha what doth he get ? He cannot be overthrown by any foes or things inimical within or without, out of lust or hate or illusion, by recluse or brahmin, by deva or Mara or Brahma or anyone in the world. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

27. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Not idle talk nor foolishness

Framed by confused thought was his.

Things mischievous he brushed away ;

For all men s good and weal he spoke,

[176] So doing, hence deceased, in heaven

He reaped the fruit of deeds well done.

Once more deceased, reborn on earth.,

His was as a jaw resembling that

Of chief of twice-tway footed things 1

He, as a monarch, sure will be

Lord over men impregnable,

A sovran over sons of men,

Of mighty power, like unto head

Of devas city, Indra’ s self.

The leader of celestial hosts.

Heroes demonic or divine

Will find him hard to overthrow.

Such will he be, so will he prove

In layman s life, throughout the earth.2

 

1 This quaint phrase for a lion is only met with in this passage.

 

2 Literally, as to the quarters, their opposites and intervening points. The Corny, passes over these lines, nor remarks on the absence of the Buddhological complement. This last omission is quite remarkable.

 

28. Whereas in whatsoever former birth, former state of being, former sojourning, brethren, the Tathagata, then being human, put away wrong- hvehhood, maintained himself by right hvehhood, revoked from cheating with scales, bronzes or measures, from deceiving by bribery, cheating and fraud, from maiming, murder, putting in bonds, highway-robbery, dacoity and violence 1; he by the doing [177] and by the accumulation of that karma, by the mass and the abundance of it, was when the body perished reborn after death in a bright and blessed world. . . . Deceasing thence and attaining this life as ye know it, he acquired these two Marks of the Superman, to wit, even and very lustrous teeth.

 

29. Endowed with these Marks, if he dwell in the House, he becomes Monarch, Turner of the Wheel, a righteous Lord of the Right, ruler of the four quarters. Conqueror, Guardian of the people's good. Owner of the Seven Treasures. His do those seven treasures become, to wit, the Wheel-treasure, the Elephant- treasure, the Horse-treasure, the Gem-treasure, the Woman-treasure, the Steward-treasure, the Adviser- treasure 2 making the seventh. More than a thousand sons will be his, heroes, champions, vigorous of frame, crushers of the hosts of the enemy. He, when he has conquered this earth to its ocean-bounds, an earth void of barrenness, pitfalls or jungle, mighty, prosperous, secure, fortunate, without blemish, is established not by the scourge, not by the sword, but by righteousness. As Monarch what doth he get ? Pure in heart are his attendants, pure-hearted are his brahmin, householders, town and country folk, treasury officials, bodyguards, warders, ministers, courtiers, tributary kings, feudatory chiefs and youths of high degree. As Monarch this doth he get.

 

30. But if he go forth from the life of the House into the Homeless State, he becomes Arahant, a

 

1 This passage is taken from the Silas, translated in Vol. I, 6,

 

2 A sort of vizier. See note at II, 2d8.

 

Buddha Supreme, rolling back the veil from the world.

As Buddha what doth he get ? Pure in heart are his

attendants, pure-hearted are bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, lay-brethren and lay-sisters, devas and men, Asuras, Nagas, Gandhabbas. As Buddha this doth he get.

 

This was the matter spoken of by the Exalted One.

 

31. Concerning it this was said : —

 

Wrong- livelihood he laid aside :

And shaped a course just, pure and right.

[178] Things mischievous he brushed away ;

For all men s good and weal he worked.

Happy rewards he learnt in heaven,

Works had he wrought the skilled and wise

Praise ever highly ; hence his lot

To share in bliss and ravishment,

In devas city like the chief.

Thence falling, gaining man’s estate.

By fruit residual of good 1

He thus wins evenness of teeth,

Fine lustre too and purity .

Then the assembled augicrs said,

Chief among men in wisdom’s lore :

Pure will the folk aroicnd him be

Whose teeth so even, bright and pure

And lustrous as bird' s plumage shine.

To him, as prince and governor

Of the great earth, all men shall be

Pure-hearted, waiting upon him.

The people shall not be oppressed

By violence, for they shall seek

The general good and happiness.

But if as Wanderer he lives,

Then free from evil, lusts all quenched,

And rolling back the [murky] Veil,

And pain gone by and weariness,

 

1 The na at the beginning of this pad a cannot be read as negating the following phrase. It is a corrupt reading, and the last word of the previous line c a v i y a is probably part of the same corruption.

 

He sees both this world and the next.

Laymen and Wanderers galore

Heeding his teaching, cast aside

Ways bad, impure, that he doth blame.

For pure are they who on him wait.

[From hearts of men] he casteth out

The stains that mar, the barren soil,

The vice that preys, the hapless fate 1

 

Here ends the Discourse on the Marks of the Superman.

 

1 Expansion of the compound mala-khila-kali-kilesa, the third and fourth factors being transposed.

 

 


 

Source: “Dialogues of the Buddha, Translated from the Pali of the Digha Nikaya by T. W. and C. A. F. Rhys Davids Part III”, 1921


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