The Jataka, Vol. VI: Title Page



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. i p. ii p. iii

THE JATAKA

OR

STORIES OF THE BUDDHA'S

FORMER BIRTHS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE PALI BY VARIOUS HANDS

UNDER THE EDITORSHIP OF

PROFESSOR E. B. COWELL.

VOL. VI.

TRANSLATED BY

E. B. COWELL, M.A.,

FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF SANSKRIT IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

AND

W. H. D. ROUSE, M.A., LITTḌ.,

UNIVERSITY TEACHER OF SANSKRIT, AND HEADMASTER OF THE PERSE GRAMMAR SCHOOL

The Cambridge University Press

[1907]

Scanned, proofed and formatted at sacred-texts.com, February 2010. This text is in the public domain in the US because it was published prior to 1923.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: Preface



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. v

PREFACE.

When I returned to Cambridge in 1902, Professor Cowell asked me to revise with him the translation of this volume. We accordingly went through the first three stories, before his death took place: his manuscripts were then handed over to me, and I have supplied what he left undone. The translation was completed down to page 338, excepting no. 541 and a few small gaps elsewhere; my portion of the work therefore consists of no. 541 and page 338 to the end, together with the shorter omissions which are indicated each in its place, being altogether about half the book. I have also revised that part of Professor Cowell's translation which we were unable to do together. I have not felt at liberty to make any alterations in his text, excepting very rarely, where there was some obvious mistake or oversight. These are all indicated in the notes.

Since the proportion of verse is very large in this book, and the verse is often obscure, scholars must be prepared to find a certain number of difficulties which I have been unable to solve. The remarks on the text accordingly are more numerous than usual: the doubtful points are indicated in the notes.

I have to thank Mr. H. T. Francis for help kindly given in many places.

I have a peculiar satisfaction in completing this labour, because in 1888 I first suggested the work to Professor Cowell. I had originally intended to carry it through myself; but circumstances modified this plan to the great advantage of the work.

W. H. D. ROUSE.

September 1907.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: Errata



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. vi

ERRATA.

p. 1, l.4. Read Jetavana.

p. 13, l. 5 from bottom. Read transcendent.

p. 75, l. 2. Read Selā.

p.75, l. 27. Read Canda's.

p. 83, l. 25. Add note: Compare the trick of Brer Rabbit and the briar patch.

p. 126, l. 12. Read Sunakkhatta.

p. 131, l. 23. Read Kimpurusa.

p. 160, last line. Read maṁsaṁ.

p. 164, l. 12. Read Goḷakāḷa.

p. 167, footnotes 1,2. Read Sinhalese for Burmese. (So also pp. 1811, 2131, 2181, 2191, 2311,4,6, 236, 2431, 2492, 2511, 2803 2832, 2852, 2872.)

VOL. IV.

p. 304, l. 12 f. Omit those and read: in the company of the K. Birth, of the M. Birth, of the C. Birth, of the A. Birth, and of the H. Birth: these were called the late corners. Compare vi p. 30 (p.17 of the translation).


The Jataka, Vol. VI: Contents



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. vii

CONTENTS.

538. MŪGA-PAKKHA-JĀTAKA 1

A prince pretends to be dumb and incapable. Various means are taken to try to break through his reserve, but fail for sixteen years. At last, as he is about to be buried, he opens his mouth and discourses on religion to the charioteer. He then becomes an ascetic, and is followed by his father.

539. MAHĀJANAKA-JĀTAK 19

A prince suspected by his brother, without reason, rebels against him and kills him. The king's consort, being with child, flees from the city; her son is brought up without knowledge of his father, but when he learns the truth, goes to sea on a merchant venture. He is wrecked, and a goddess brings him to his father's kingdom, where after answering some difficult questions, he marries the daughter of the usurper. By and by, he becomes an ascetic, and is followed by his wife.

540. SĀMA-JĀTAKA 38

A hunter's son marries a hunter's daughter, and both become ascetics. The wife becomes pregnant without human intercourse, and bears a son. The parents are both blinded by a snake, and the son attends upon them. A king, coming out to hunt, sees the lad and shoots him with an arrow; but on learning his dutiful affection he repents, and attends upon the parents himself. The boy is miraculously cured and the parents recover their sight.

541. NIMI-JĀTAKA 53

A king, on the appearance of his first grey hair, becomes an ascetic. Sakka explains to him that holy life is better than giving alms. Sakka's charioteer takes him all round the heavens and the hells, and finally brings him to Sakka.

542. THE KHAṆḌAHĀLA-JĀTAKA 68

A king misled by a false judge decrees that all his family shall be put to death in order that he may go to heaven. After various fluctuations Sakka comes to the rescue and saves them.

p. viii

543. BHŪRIDATTA-JĀTAKA 80

An ascetic is seduced by a Nāga-woman. Afterwards he becomes a king. Scenes in the Nāga country are described. He has four sons, one of whom becomes an ascetic. The feud between the Nāgas and the Garuḷas. A magic spell, and the adventures of the prince in snake form.

544. MAHĀNĀRADAKASSAPA-JĀTAKA 114

A king questions an ascetic as to the various moral duties. He is himself devoted to pleasure, but his daughter is virtuous and tries to deliver him from heretical beliefs, which is finally effected by the help of the Buddha.

545. VIDHURAPAṆḌITA-JĀTAKA. 126

Four kings, including Sakka, dispute as to which is the most virtuous and they ask a solution from a wise man who decides that they are all equal. The wife of the Nāga king is so enchanted at what she hears that she desires the wise man's heart. The king promises his daughter's hand to a Yakkha if he will bring the heart. The Yakkha visits the court where the wise man is, defeats the king at dice, and claims the wise man. The wise man asks for three days' delay to exhort his family. The Yakkha tries to kill him, but fails. The wise man asks him what he wants, and he tells him. The wise man then wins over the Yakkha and goes to the Nāga king where no harm comes to him.

546. THE MAHĀ-UMMAGGA-JĀTAKA 156

A story of four pretended wise men and one real wise man, of numerous problems which the four failed to solve and the one succeeded, of many attempts of the four to destroy the one and of his final triumph, including wars, battles, sieges, and the description of a wonderful tunnel full of machinery.

547. VESSANTARA-JĀTAKA 246

A prince devoted to giving gifts falls into disrepute through giving a magical elephant. He is banished with his family into the forest where he gives away everything he has left, including his two children. Ultimately the children are set free and all ends well.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 538.: Mūga-Pakkha Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. 1

BOOK XXII. MAHĀNIPĀTA.

No. 538.

MŪGA-PAKKHA JĀTAKA 1

[1] "Shew no intelligence," etc. This story the Master told at Jatavana concerning the great renunciation. One day the Brethren seated in the Hall of Truth were discussing the praises of the Blessed One's great renunciation. When the Master came and inquired of the Brethren what was the topic which they were discussing as they sat there, on hearing what it was, he said, "No, Brethren, this my renunciation of the world, after leaving my kingdom, was not wonderful, when I had fully exercised the perfections; for before, even when my wisdom was still immature, and while I was still attaining the perfections, I left my kingdom and renounced the world." And at their request he told them a story of the past.


Once upon a time a king Kāsirājā ruled justly in Benares. He had sixteen thousand wives, but not one among them conceived either son or daughter. The citizens assembled as in the Kusa Jātaka 2, saying, "Our king has no son to keep up his line"; and they begged the king to pray for a son. The king commanded his sixteen thousand wives to pray for sons; but though they worshipped the moon and the other deities and prayed, they obtained none. Now his chief queen Candādevī, the daughter of the king of the Maddas, was devoted to good works, and he asked her also to pray for a son. So on the day of the full moon she took upon herself the Uposatha vows, and while lying on a little bed, as she reflected on her virtuous life, she made an Act of Truth in these terms, "If I have never broken the commandments, by the truth of this my protestation 2 may a son be borne to me." Through the power of her piety, Sakka's dwelling became hot. Sakka, having considered and ascertained the cause, said, "Candādevī asks for a son, I will give her one"; so, as he looked for a suitable son, he saw the Bodhisatta. Now the Bodhisatta, after having reigned twenty years in Benares, had been reborn in the Ussada hell

p. 2

where he had suffered for eighty thousand years, and had then been born in the world of the thirty-three gods, and after having stayed there his allotted period, he had passed away therefrom and was desirous of going to the world of the higher gods. Sakka went up to him and said, "Friend, if you are born in the world of men you will fully exercise the perfections and the mass of mankind will be advantaged; now this chief queen of Kāsirājā, Candā, is praying for a son, do you be born in her womb." He consented, and came attended by five hundred deities, and was himself conceived in her womb, while the other deities were conceived in the wombs of the wives of the king's ministers. The queen's womb seemed to be full of diamond; when she became aware of it, she told it to the king, who caused every care to be taken for the safety of the unborn child; and at last she brought forth a son endued with auspicious marks. On the same day five hundred young nobles were born in the ministers' houses. At that moment the king was seated on his royal dais, surrounded by his ministers, when it was announced, "A son is born to thee, O king"; at hearing it, paternal affection arose, and piercing through his skin reached to the marrow in his bones; joy sprang up within him and his heart became refreshed. He asked his ministers, "Are you glad at the birth of my son?" "What art thou saying, Sire?" they answered, "we were before helpless, now we have a help, we have obtained a lord." The king gave orders to his chief general, "A retinue must be prepared for my son, find out how many young nobles have been born to-day in the ministers' houses." He saw the five hundred and went and told it to the king. The king sent princely dresses of honour for the five hundred young nobles, and he also sent five hundred nurses. He gave moreover sixty-four nurses for the Bodhisatta, all free from the faults of being too tall, &c., [ 3] with their breasts not hanging down, and full of sweet milk. If a child drinks milk, sitting on the hip of a nurse who is too tall, its neck will become too long; if it sits on the hip of one too short, its shoulder-bone will be compressed; if the nurse be too thin, the babe's thighs will ache; if too stout, the babe will become bow-legged 1; the body 2 of a very dark nurse is too cold, of one very white, is too hot; the children who drink the milk of a nurse with hanging breasts, have the ends of their noses flattened; some nurses have their milk sour, others have it bitter, &c. Therefore, avoiding all these faults, he provided sixty-four nurses all possessed of sweet milk and without any of these faults; and after paying the Bodhisatta great honour, he also gave the queen a boon. She accepted it and kept it in her mind. On the day of naming the child they paid great honour to the brahmans who read the different marks, and inquired if there was any danger threatening. They, beholding the excellence of his marks, replied, "O king, the prince

p. 3

possesses every mark of future good fortune, he is able to rule not one continent only but all the four,—there is no danger visible." The king, being pleased, when he fixed the boy's name, gave him the name Temiyakumāro, since it had rained all over the kingdom of Kāsī on the day of his birth and he had been born wet.

When he was one month old, they adorned him and brought him to the king, and the king having looked at his dear child, embraced him and placed him on his hip and sat playing with him. Now at that time four robbers were brought before him; one of them he sentenced to receive a thousand strokes from whips barbed with thorns, another to be imprisoned in chains, a third to be smitten with a spear, the fourth to be impaled. The Bodhisatta, on hearing his father's words, was terrified and thought to himself, "Ah! my father through his being a king, is becoming guilty of a grievous action which brings men to hell." The next day they laid him on a sumptuous bed under a white umbrella, and he woke after a short sleep and opening his eyes beheld the white umbrella and the royal pomp, and his fear increased all the more; 4 and as be pondered "from whence have I come into this palace?" by his recollection of his former births, he remembered that he had once come from the world of the gods and that after that he had suffered in hell, and that then he had been a king in that very city. While he pondered to himself, "I was a king for twenty years and then I suffered eighty thousand years in the Ussada hell, and now again I am born in this house of robbers, and my father, when four robbers were brought before him, uttered such a cruel speech as must lead to hell; if I become a king I shall be born again in hell and suffer great pain there," he became greatly alarmed, his golden body became pale and faded like a lotus crushed by the hand, and he lay thinking how he could escape from that house of robbers. Then a goddess who dwelt in the umbrella, and who in a certain previous birth had been his mother, comforted him, "Fear not, my child Temiya; if you really desire to escape, then pretend to be a cripple, although not really one; though not deaf, pretend to be deaf, and, though not dumb, pretend to be dumb. Putting on these characteristics, shew no signs of intelligence." So she uttered the first stanza,

"Shew no intelligence, my child, be as a fool in all men's eyes,
Content to be the scorn of all, thus shalt thou gain at last the prize."

Being comforted by her words he uttered the second stanza,

"O goddess, I will do thy will,—what thou commandest me is best,
Mother, thou wishest for my weal, thou longest but to see me blest,"

and so he practised these three characteristics. The king, in order that his son might lose his melancholy, had the five hundred young nobles brought near him; the children began crying for their milk, but the

p. 4

[paragraph continues] Bodhisatta, being afraid of hell, reflected that to die of thirst would be better than to reign, and did not cry. The nurses told this 5 to Queen Candā and she told it to the king; he sent for some brahmans skilled in signs and omens and consulted them. They replied, "Sire, you must give the prince his milk after the proper time has passed; he will then cry and seize the breast eagerly and drink of his own accord." So they gave him his milk after letting the proper time pass by, and sometimes they let it pass by for once, and sometimes they did not give it to him all through the day. But he, stung by fear of hell, even though thirsty, would not cry for milk. Then the mother or the nurses gave him milk, though he did not cry for it, saying, "The boy is famished." The other children cried when they did not get their milk, but he neither cried nor slept nor doubled up his hands nor feet, nor would he hear a sound. Then his nurses reflected, "The hands and feet of cripples are not like his, the formation of the jaws of the dumb is not like his, the structure of the ears of the deaf is not like his; there must be some reason for all this, let us examine into it"; so they determined to try him with milk, and so for one whole day they gave him no milk; but, though parched, he uttered no sound for milk. Then his mother said, "My boy is famished, give him milk," and she made them give him milk. Thus giving him milk at intervals they spent a year in trying him, but they did not discover his weak point. Then saying, "The other children are fond of cakes and dainties, we will try him with them "; they set the five hundred children near him and brought various dainties and placed them close by him, and, telling them to take what they liked, they hid themselves. The other children quarrelled and struck one another and seized the cakes and ate them, but the Bodhisatta said to himself, "O Temiya, eat the cakes and dainties if you wish for hell," and so in his fear of hell he would not look at them. Thus even though they tried him with cakes and dainties for a whole year they discovered not his weak point. Then they said, "Children are fond of different kinds of fruit," and they brought all sorts of fruit and tried him; 6 the other children fought for them and ate them, but he would not look at them, and thus for a whole year they tried him with various kinds of fruit. Then they said, "Other children are fond of playthings"; so they set golden and other figures of elephants, &c., near him; the rest of the children seized them as if they were spoil, but the Bodhisatta would not look at them, and thus for a whole year they tried him with playthings. Then they said, "There is a special food for children four years old, we will try him with that"; so they brought all sorts of food; the other children broke them in pieces and ate them; but the Bodhisatta said to himself, "O Temiya, there is no counting of the past births when you did not obtain food," and for fear of hell he did not look at them; until at last his mother, with her heart well nigh rent, fed him with her

p. 5

own hand 1. Then they said, "Children five years old are afraid of the fire, we will try him with that"; so, having had a large house made with many doors, and having covered it over with palmleaves, they set him in the middle surrounded by the other children and set fire to it. The others ran away shrieking, but the Bodhisatta said to himself that it was better than the torture in hell, and remained motionless as if perfectly apathetic, and when the fire came near him they took him away. Then they said, "Children six years old are afraid of a wild elephant "; so they had a well-trained elephant taught, and, when they had seated the Bodhisatta with the other children in the palace-court, they let it loose. On it came trumpeting and striking the ground with its trunk and spreading terror; the other children fled in all directions in fear for their lives, but the Bodhisatta, being afraid of hell, sat where he was, and the well-trained animal took him and lifted him up and down, and went away without hurting him. When he was seven years old, as he was sitting surrounded by his companions, they let loose some serpents with their teeth extracted and their mouths bound; the other children ran away shrieking, but the Bodhisatta, remembering the fear of hell, remained motionless, saying, "It is better to perish by the mouth of a fierce serpent"; then the serpents enveloped his whole body and they spread their hoods on his head, but still he remained motionless. Thus though they tried him again and again, they still could not discover his weak point. [7] Then they said, "Boys are fond of social gatherings"; so, having set him in the palace-court with the five hundred boys, they caused an assembly of mimes to be gathered together; the other boys, seeing the mimes, shouted "bravo" and laughed loudly, but the Bodhisatta, saying to himself that if he were born in hell there would never be a moment's laughter or joy, remained motionless as he pondered on hell, and never looked at the dancing. Thus trying him again and again they discovered no weak point in him. Then they said, "We will try him with the sword"; so they placed him with the other boys in the palace-court, and while they were playing, a man rushed upon them, brandishing a sword like crystal and shouting and jumping, saying, "Where is this devil's-child of the King of Kāsī? I will cut off his head." The others fled, shrieking in terror at the sight of him, but the Bodhisatta, having pondered on the fear of hell, sat as if unconscious. The man, although he rubbed the sword on his head and threatened to cut it off, could not frighten him and at last went away. Thus though they tried him again and again, they could not discover his weak point. When he was ten years old, in order to try whether he was really deaf, they hung a curtain round a bed and made holes in the four sides and placed conch-blowers underneath it without letting him see them. All at once they blew the conchs,—there was one burst of sound; but the ministers,

p. 6

though they stood at the four sides and watched by the holes in the curtain, could not through a whole day detect in him any confusion. of thought or any disturbance of hand or foot, or even a single start. So after a year had past, they tried him for another year with drums; but even thus, though they tried him again and again, they could not discover his weak point. Then they said, "We will try him with a lamp"; so in the night-time in order to see whether he moved hand or foot in the darkness, they lighted some lamps in jars, and having extinguished all the other lamps, they put these down for a while in the darkness, and then suddenly lifting the lamps in the jars, created all at once a blaze, and watched his behaviour; but though they thus tried him again and again for a whole year, they never saw him start even once. [8] Then, they said, "We will try him with molasses"; so they smeared all his body with molasses and laid him in a place infested with flies and stirred the flies up; these covered his whole body and bit it as if they were piercing it with needles, but he remained motionless as if perfectly apathetic; thus they tried him for a year, but they discovered no weak point in him. Then when he was fourteen years old, they said, "This youth now he is grown up loves what is clean and abhors what is unclean,—we will try him with what is unclean"; so from that time they did not let him bathe or rinse his mouth or perform any bodily ablutions, until he was reduced to a miserable plight, and he looked like a released prisoner. As he lay, covered with flies, the people came round and reviled him, saying, "O Temiya, you are grown up now, who is to wait on you? are you not ashamed? why are you lying there? rise up and cleanse yourself." But he, remembering the torments of the hell Gūtha, lay quietly in his squalor; and though they tried him again and again for a year, they discovered no weak point in him. Then they put pans of fire in the bed under him, saying, "When he is distressed by the heat, he will perhaps be unable to bear the pain and will shew some signs of writhing "; boils seemed to break out on his body, but the Bodhisatta resigned himself, saying, "The fire of the hell Avīci flames up a hundred leagues,—this heat is a hundred, a thousand times preferable to that," so he remained motionless. Then his parents, with breaking hearts, made the men come back, and took him out of the fire, and implored him, saying, "O prince Temiya, we know that thou art not in any way crippled by birth, for cripples have not such feet, face, or ears as thou hast; we gained thee as our child after many prayers, do not now destroy us, but deliver us from the blame of all the kings of Jambudīpa"; but, though thus entreated by them, he lay still motionless, as if he heard them not. Then his parents went away weeping; [9] and sometimes his father or his mother came back alone, and implored him; and thus they tried him again and again for a whole year, but they discovered no weak point in him. Then when he was sixteen years old they

p. 7

considered, "Whether it be a cripple or deaf and dumb, still there are none, who when they are grown up, do not delight in what is enjoyable and dislike what is disagreeable; this is all natural in the proper time like the opening of flowers. We will have dramas acted before him and will thus try him." So they summoned some women full of all graces, and as beautiful as the daughters of the gods, and they promised that whichever of them could make the prince laugh, or could entangle him in sinful thoughts should become his principal queen. Then they had the prince bathed in perfumed water and adorned like a son of the gods, and laid on a royal bed prepared in a suite of royal chambers like the dwellings of the gods, and having filled his inner chamber with a mingled fragrance of perfumed wreaths, wreaths of flowers, incense, unguents, spirituous liquor, and the like, they retired. Meanwhile the women surrounded him and tried hard to delight him with dancing and singing and all sorts of pleasant words; but he looked at them in his perfect wisdom and stopped his inhalations and exhalations in fear lest they should touch his body, so that his body became quite rigid. They, being unable to touch him, said to his parents, "His body is all rigid, he is not a man, but must be a goblin." Thus his parents, though they tried him again and again, discovered no weak point in him. Thus, though they tried him for sixteen years with the sixteen great tests and many smaller ones, they were not able to detect a weak point in him. Then the king, being full of vexation, summoned the fortune-tellers and said, "When the prince was born ye said that he has fortunate and auspicious marks, he has no threatening obstacle; but he is born a cripple and deaf and dumb; your words do not answer to the facts." "Great king," they replied, "nothing is unseen by your teachers, but we knew how grieved you would be if we told you that the child of so many royal prayers 1 would be all Ill-luck; so we did not utter it." "What must be done now?" "O king, if this prince remains in this house, three dangers are threatened, viz. to your life or your royal power, or the queen; therefore it will be best to have some unlucky horses yoked to an unlucky chariot, and, placing him therein, to convey him by the western gate and bury him in the charnel-ground 1." The king assented, being frightened at the threatened dangers. When the queen Candādevī heard the news she came to the king, "My lord, you gave me a boon and I have kept it unclaimed, give it to me now." "Take it, O queen." "Give the kingdom to my son." "I cannot, O queen; thy son is all Ill-luck." "Then if you will not give it for his life, give it to him for seven years." "I cannot, O queen." "Then give it to him for six years,—for five, four, three, two, one year. Give it to him for seven months, for six, five, four, three, two months, one month, for half a month." "I cannot, O queen." "Then give

p. 8

it to him for seven days." "Well," said the king, "take your boon." So she had her son adorned, and, the city being gaily decorated, a proclamation was made to the beat of a drum, "This is the reign of prince Temiya," and he was seated upon an elephant and led triumphantly rightwise round the city, with a white umbrella held over his head. When he returned, and was laid on his royal bed she implored him all the night, "O my child, prince Temiya, on thy account for sixteen years I have wept and taken no sleep: and my eyes are parched up, and my heart is pierced with sorrow; I know that thou art not really a cripple or deaf and dumb,—do not make me utterly destitute." In this manner she implored him day after day for five days. On the sixth day the king summoned the charioteer Sunanda and said to him, "To-morrow morning early yoke some ill-omened horses to an ill-omened chariot, and having set the prince in it, take him out by the western gate and dig a hole with four sides in the charnel-ground; throw him into it, and break his head with the back of the spade and kill him, then scatter dust over him and make a heap of earth above, 1 and after bathing yourself come hither." That sixth night the queen implored the prince, "O my child, the King of Kāsī has given orders that you are to be buried to-morrow in the charnel-ground,—to-morrow you will certainly die, my son." When the Bodhisatta heard this, he thought to himself, "O Temiya, your sixteen years' labour has reached its end," and he was glad; but his mother's heart was as it were cleft in twain. Still he would not speak to her lest his desire should not attain its end. At the end of that night, in the early morning, Sunanda the charioteer yoked the chariot and made it stand at the gate, and entering the royal bedchamber he said, "O queen, be not angry, it is the king's command." So saying, as the queen lay embracing her son he pushed her away with the back of his hand, and lifted up the prince like a bundle of flowers and came down from the palace. The queen was left in the chamber smiting her breast and lamenting with a loud cry. Then the Bodhisatta looked at her and considered, "If I do not speak she will die of a broken heart," but though he desired to speak, he reflected, "If I speak, my efforts for sixteen years will be rendered fruitless; but if I do not speak, I shall be the saving 1 of myself and my parents." Then the charioteer lifted him into the chariot and saying, "I will drive the chariot to the western gate," he drove it to the eastern gate, and the wheel struck against the threshold. The Bodhisatta, hearing the sound, said, "My desire has attained its end," and he became still more glad at heart. When the chariot had gone out of the city, it went a space of three leagues by the power of the gods, and there the end of a forest

p. 9

appeared to the charioteer as if it were a charnel-ground; so thinking it to be a suitable place, he turned the chariot out of the road, and stopping it by the roadside he alighted and took off all the Bodhisatta's ornaments and made them into a bundle and laid them down, and then taking a spade began to dig a hole. Then the Bodhisatta thought, "This is my time for effort; for sixteen years I have never moved hands nor feet, are they in my power or not?" So he rose and rubbed his right hand with his left, and his left hand with his right, 1 2 and his feet with both his hands, and resolved to alight from the chariot. When his foot came down, the earth rose up like a leather bag filled with air and touched the hinder end of the chariot; when he had alighted, and had walked backwards and forwards several times, he felt that he had strength to go a hundred leagues in this manner in one day. Then he reflected, "If the charioteer were to set against me, should I have the power to contend with him?" So he seized hold of the hinder end of the chariot and lifted it up as if it were a toy-cart for children, and said to himself that he had power to contend with him; and as he perceived it, a desire arose to adorn himself. At that moment Sakka's palace became hot. Sakka, having perceived the reason, said, "Prince Temiya's desire has attained its end, he desires to be adorned, what has he to do with human adornment?" and he commanded Vissakamma to take heavenly decorations and to go and adorn the son of the King of Kāsī. So he went and wrapt the prince with ten thousand pieces of cloth and adorned him like Sakka with heavenly and human ornaments. The prince, decked with all the bravery of the King of the gods, went up to the hole as the charioteer was digging, and standing at the edge, uttered the third stanza:

"Why in such haste, O charioteer? and wherefore do you dig that pit?
Answer my question truthfully,—what do you want to do with it?"

The charioteer went on digging the hole without looking up and spoke the fourth stanza:

"Our king has found his only son crippled and dumb,—an idiot quite;
And I am sent to dig this hole and bury him far out of sight."

The Bodhisatta replied:

"I am not deaf nor dumb, my friend, no cripple, not e’en lame am I;
If in this wood you bury me, you will incur great guilt thereby.

[13] Behold these arms and legs of mine, and hear my voice and what I say;
If in this wood you bury me, you will incur great guilt to-day."

Then the charioteer said, "Who is this? It is only since I came here that he has become as he describes himself." So he left off digging the hole and looked up; and beholding his glorious beauty and not knowing whether he was a god or a man, he spoke this stanza:

"A heavenly minstrel or a god, or art thou Sakka, lord of all?
Who art thou, pray; whose son art thou? what shall we name thee when we call?"

p. 10

Then the Bodhisatta spoke, revealing himself and declaring the law,

"No heavenly minstrel nor a god, nor Sakka, lord of all, am I 1;
I am the King of Kāsi's son whom you would bury ruthlessly.

I am the son of that same king under whose sway you serve and thrive,
You will incur great guilt to-day if here you bury me alive.

If ’neath a tree I sit and rest while it its shade and shelter lends 2,
I would not break a single branch,—only the sinner harms his friends.

The sheltering tree—it is the king—; I am the branch that tree has spread;
And you the traveller, charioteer, who sits and rests beneath its shade;
If in this wood you bury me, great guilt will fall upon your head."

[14] But though the Bodhisatta said this, the man did not believe him. Then the Bodhisatta resolved to convince him, and he made the woods resound with his own voice and the applause of the gods, as he commenced these ten gāthās in honour of friends 3.

"He who is faithful to his friends may wander far and wide,—
Many will gladly wait on him, his food shall be supplied.

Whatever lands he wanders through, in city or in town,
He who is faithful to his friends finds honour and renown.

No robbers dare to injure him, no warriors him despise;
He who is faithful to his friends escapes all enemies.

Welcomed by all he home returns,—no cares corrode his breast,
He who is faithful to his friends is of all kin the best.

He honours and is honoured too,—respect he takes and gives;
He who is faithful to his friends full meed from all receives.

He is by others honoured who to them due honour pays,
He who is faithful to his friends wins himself fame and praise.

Like fire he blazes brightly forth, and sheds a light divine,
He who is faithful to his friends will with fresh splendour shine.

His oxen surely multiply, his seed unfailing grows,
He who is faithful to his friends reaps surely all he sows.

If from a mountain-top he falls or from a tree or grot,
He who is faithful to his friends finds a sure resting spot.

The banyan tree defies the wind, girt with its branches rooted round,—
He who is faithful to his friends doth all the rage of foes confound."

[15] Even though he thus discoursed, Sunanda did not recognise him and asked who he was; but as he approached the chariot, even before he saw the chariot and the ornaments which the prince wore, he recognised him as he looked at him, and falling at his feet and folding his hands spoke this stanza:

"Come, I will take thee back, O prince, to thine own proper home;
Sit on the throne and act the king,—why in this forest roam?"

p. 11

The Great Being replied:

"I do not want that throne or wealth, I want not friends nor kin,
Since ’tis by evil acts alone that I that throne could win."

The charioteer spoke:

"A brimful cup of welcome, prince, will be prepared for thee;
And thy two parents in their joy great gifts will give to me.

The royal wives, the princes all, Vesiyas and brahmans both,
Great presents in their full content will give me, nothing loth.

Those who ride elephants and cars, foot-soldiers, royal guards,
When thou returnest home again, will give me sure rewards.

The country folk and city folk will gather joyously,
And when they see their prince returned will presents give to me."

[16] The Great Being spoke:

"By parents I was left forlorn, by city and by town,
The princes left me to my fate,—I have no home my own.

My mother gave me leave to go, my father me forsook,—
Here in this forest-wild alone the ascetic's vow I took."

As the Great Being called to mind his own virtues, delight arose in his mind and in his ecstasy he uttered a hymn of triumph:

"Even to those who hurry not, th’ heart's longing wins success;
    Know, charioteer, that I to-day have gained ripe holiness 1.

Even by those who hurry not, the highest end is won;
    Crowned with ripe holiness I go, perfect and fearing none."

The charioteer replied:

"Thy words, my lord, are pleasant words, open thy speech and clear;
Why wast thou dumb, when thou didst see father and mother near?"

The Great Being spoke:

"No cripple I for lack of joints, nor deaf for lack of ears,
I am not dumb for want of tongue as plainly now appears.

In an old birth I played the king, as I remember well,
But when I fell from that estate I found myself in hell.

Some twenty years of luxury I passed upon that throne,
But eighty thousand years in hell did for that guilt atone.

[17] My former taste of royalty filled all my heart with fear;
Thence was I dumb, although I saw father and mother near.

My father took me on his lap, but midst his fondling play,
I heard the stern commands he gave, "At once this miscreant slay,
Saw him in sunder,—go, that wretch impale without delay."

Hearing such threats well might I try crippled and dumb to be,
And wallow helplessly in filth, an idiot willingly.

Knowing that life is short at best and filled with miseries,
Who ’gainst another for its sake would let his anger rise?

Who on another for its sake would let his vengeance light,
Through want of power to grasp the truth and blindness to the right 2?"

p. 12

[18] Then Sunanda reflected, "This prince, abandoning all his royal pomp as if it were carrion, has entered into the wood, unwavering in his resolve to become an ascetic,—what have I to do with this miserable life? I too will become an ascetic with him"; so he spoke this stanza:

"I too would choose th’ ascetic's life with thee;
Call me, O prince, for I as thou would be."

[paragraph continues] When thus requested, the Great Being reflected, "If I at once admit him to the ascetic life, my father and mother will not come here and thus they will suffer loss, and the horses and chariot and ornaments will perish, and blame will accrue to me, for men will say, "He is a goblin,—has he devoured the charioteer?" So wishing to save himself from blame and to provide for his parents' welfare, he entrusted the horses and chariot and ornaments to him and spoke this stanza:

"Restore the chariot first, thou’rt not a free man now;
First pay thy debts, they say,—then take the ascetic's vow."

[paragraph continues] The charioteer thought to himself, "If I went to the city and he meanwhile departed elsewhere his father and mother on hearing my news of him would come back with me to see him; and if they found him not they would punish me; so I will tell him the circumstances in which I find myself and will get his promise to remain here"; so he spoke two stanzas:

"Since I have done thy bidding, prince, I pray,
Do thou be pleased to do what I shall say.

Stay till I fetch the king,—stay here of grace,
He will be joyful when he sees thy face."

[19] The Great Being replied:

"Well, be it as thou sayest, charioteer;
I too would gladly see my father here.

Go and salute my kindred all, and take
A special message for my parents' sake."

The man took the commands:

He clasped his feet and, all due honours paid,
Started to journey as his Master bade.

At that moment Candādevī opened her lattice and, as she wondered whether there were any tidings of her son and looked on the road by which the charioteer would return, she saw him coming alone and burst into lamentation.

The Master has thus described it:

"Seeing the empty car and lonely charioteer,
The mother's eyes were filled with tears, her breast with fear:

"The charioteer comes back,—my son is slain;
Yonder he lies, earth mixed with earth again.

Our bitterest foes may well rejoice, alack!
Seeing his murderer come safely back.

p. 13

Dumb, crippled,—say, could he not give one cry,
As on the ground he struggled helplessly?

Could not his hands and feet force thee away,
Though dumb and maimed, while on the ground he lay?"

[20] The charioteer spoke:

"Promise me pardon, lady, for my word,
And I will tell thee all I saw and heard."

The queen answered:

"Pardon I promise you for every word;
Tell me in full whate’er you saw or heard."

Then the charioteer spoke:

"No cripple he, he is not deaf,—his utterance clear and free;
He played fictitious parts at home, through dread of royalty.

In an old birth he played the king as he remembers well,
But when he fell from that estate he found himself in hell.

Some twenty years of luxury he passed upon that throne,
But eighty thousand years in hell did for that guilt atone.

His former taste of royalty filled all his heart with fear;
Hence was he dumb although he saw father and mother near.

Perfectly sound in all his limbs, faultlessly tall and broad,
His utterance clear, his wits undimmed, he treads salvation's road.

If you desire to see your son, then come at once with me,
You shall behold prince Temiya, perfectly calm and free."

[21] But when the prince had sent the charioteer away, he desired to take the ascetic vow. Knowing his desire, Sakka sent Vissakamma, saying, "Prince Temiya wishes to take the ascetic vow, go and make a hut of leaves for him and the requisite articles for an ascetic." He hastened accordingly, and in a grove of trees three leagues in extent he built a hermitage furnished with an apartment for the night and another for the day, a tank, a pit, and fruit-trees, and he prepared all the requisites for an ascetic and then returned to his own place. When the Bodhisatta saw it, he knew that it was Sakka's gift; so he entered into the hut and took off his clothes and put on the red bark garments, both the upper and under, and threw the black antelope-skin on one shoulder, and tied up his matted hair, and, having taken a carrying pole on his shoulder and a walking staff in his hand, he went out of the hut. Then he walked repeatedly up and down, displaying the full dress of an ascetic, and having shouted triumphantly "O the bliss, O the bliss," returned to the hut; and sitting down on the ragged mat 1 he entered upon the five transcended faculties. Then going out at evening and gathering some leaves from a kāra 2 tree near by, he soaked them in a vessel supplied by Sakka in water without salt or

p. 14

buttermilk or spice, and ate them as if they were ambrosia, and then, as he pondered on the four perfect states, he resolved to take up his abode there.

Meanwhile the King of Kāsī, having heard Sunanda's words, summoned his chief general and ordered him to make preparation for the journey, saying:

"The horses to the chariots yoke,—bind girths on elephants and come;
Sound conch and tabour far and wide, and wake the loud-voiced kettledrum.

Let the hoarse tomtom fill the air, let rattling drums raise echoes sweet,—
Bid all this city follow me,—I go my son once more to greet.

Let palace-ladies, every prince, vesiyas and brahmans every one,
All have their chariot-horses yoked,—I go to welcome back my son.

Let elephant-riders, royal guards, horsemen and footmen every one,
Let all alike prepare to go, I go to welcome back my son.

Let country folk and city folk gather in crowds in every street,
Let all alike prepare to go, I go once more my son to greet."

[22] The charioteers thus ordered yoked the horses, and having brought the chariots to the palace-gates informed the king.

The Master has thus described it:

"Sindh horses of the noblest breed stood harnessed at the palace gates;
The charioteers the tidings bring, "The train, my lord, thy presence waits."

The king spoke:

"Leave all the clumsy horses out, no weaklings in our cavalcade,"
(They told the charioteer, "Be sure not to bring horses of that kind,")
Such were the royal orders given, and such the charioteers obeyed."

The king, when he went to his son, assembled the four castes, the eighteen guilds, and his whole army, and three days were spent in the assembling of the host. On the fourth day, having taken all that was to be taken in the procession, he proceeded to the hermitage and there was greeted by his son and gave him the due greeting in return.

The Master has thus described it 1:

"His royal chariot then prepared, the king without delay
Got in, and cried out to his wives—"Come with me all away!"

With yakstail fan and turban crest, and royal white sunshade,
He mounted in the royal car 2, with finest gold arrayed.

Then did the king set forth at once, his charioteer beside,
And quickly came where Temiya all tranquil did abide.

[23] When Temiya beheld him come all brilliant and ablaze,
Surrounded by attendant bands of warriors, thus he says:

p. 15

"Father, I hope ’tis well with thee, thou hast good news to tell,
I hope that all the royal queens, my mothers, too, are well?"

"Yes, it is well with me, my son, I have good news to tell,
And all the royal queens indeed, thy mothers, all are well."

"I hope thou drinkest no strong drink, all spirit dost eschew,
To righteous deeds and almsgiving thy mind is ever true?"

"Oh yes, strong drink I never touch, all spirit I eschew,
To righteous deeds and almsgiving my mind is ever true."

"The horses and the elephants I hope are well and strong,
No painful bodily disease, no weakness, nothing wrong?"

"Oh yes, the elephants are well, the horses well and strong,
No painful bodily disease, no weakness, nothing wrong."

"The frontiers, as the central part, all populous, at peace,
The treasures and the treasuries quite full—say, what of these?

Now welcome to thee, royal Sir, O welcome now to thee!
Let them set out a couch, that here seated the king may be."

The king, out of respect for the Great Being, would not sit upon the couch 1.

[24] The Great Being said, "If he does not sit on his royal seat, let a couch of leaves be spread for him," so he spoke a stanza:

"Be seated on this bed of leaves spread for thee as is meet,
They will take water from this spot and duly wash thy feet."

The king in his respect would not accept even the seat of leaves but sat on the ground. Then the Bodhisatta entered the hut of leaves, and, taking out a kāra leaf 2, and inviting the king, he spoke a stanza:

"No salt have I, this leaf alone is what I live upon, O king;
Thou art come here a guest of mine,—be pleased to accept the fare I bring."

The king replied:

"No leaves for me, that's not my fare; give me a bowl of pure hill rice,
Cooked with a subtil flavouring of meat 3 to make the pottage nice."

At that moment the queen Candādevī, surrounded by the royal ladies, came up, and after clasping her dear son's feet and saluting him, sat on one side with her eyes full of tears. The king said to her, "Lady, see what thy son's food is," and put some of the leaves into her hand and also gave a little to the other ladies, who took it, saying, "O my lord, dost thou indeed eat such food? thou endurest great hardship," and sat down. Then the king said, "O my son, this appears wonderful to me," and he spoke a stanza:

"Most strange indeed it seems to me that thou thus left alone
Livest on such mean food and yet thy colour is not gone."

p. 16

[25] The prince thus replied:

"Upon this bed of leaves strewn here I lie indeed alone,—
A pleasant bed it is and so my colour is not gone;

Girt with their swords no cruel guards stand sternly looking on,—
A pleasant bed it is and so my colour is not gone;

Over the past I do not mourn nor for the future weep,—
I meet the present as it comes, and so my colour keep.

Mourning about the hopeless past or some uncertain future need,—
This dries a young man's vigour up as when you cut a fresh green reed."

The king thought to himself, "I will inaugurate him as king and carry him away with me"; so he spoke these stanzas inviting him to share the kingdom:

"My elephants, my chariots, horsemen, and infantry,
And all my pleasant palaces, dear son, I give to thee.

My queen's apartments too I give, with all their pomp and pride,
Thou shalt be sole king over us,—there shall be none beside.

Fair women skilled in dance and song and trained for every mood
Shall lap thy soul in ease and joy,—why linger in this wood?

The daughters of thy foes shall come proud but to wait on thee;
When they have borne thee sons, then go an anchoret to be.

Come, O my first-born and my heir, in the first glory of thine age,
Enjoy thy kingdom to the full,—what dost thou in this hermitage?"

The Bodhisatta spoke:

"No, let the young man leave the world and fly its vanities,
The ascetic's life best suits the young,—thus counsel all the wise.

[26] No, let the young man leave the world, a hermit and alone;
I will embrace the hermit's life, I need no pomp nor throne.

I watch the boy,—with childish lips he "father" "mother," cries,—
Himself begets a son, and then he too grows old and dies.

So the young daughter in her flower grows blithe and fair to see,
But she soon fades cut down by death like the green bamboo tree.

Men, women all, however young, soon perish,—who in sooth
Would put his trust in mortal life, cheated by fancied youth?

As night by night gives place to dawn life still contracts its span;
Like fish in water which dries up,—what means the youth of man?

This world of ours is smitten sore, is ever watched by one,
They pass and pass with purpose fell,—why talk of crown or throne?

"Who sorely smites this world of ours? who watches grimly by?
And who thus pass with purpose fell? Tell me the mystery."

’Tis death who smites this world, old age who watches at our gate,
And ’tis the nights which pass and win their purpose soon or late.

As when the lady at her loom sits weaving all the day,
Her task grows ever less and less,—so waste our lives away.

As speeds the hurrying river's course, on with no backward flow,
So in its course the life of men doth ever forward go;

And as the river sweeps away trees from its banks uptorn,
So are we men by age and death in headlong ruin borne."

p. 17

[27] The king, as he listened to the Great Being's discourse, became disgusted at a life spent in a house, and longed to leave the world; and he exclaimed, "I will not go back to the city, I will become an ascetic here; if my son will go to the city I will give him the white umbrella,"—so to try him he once more invited him to take his kingdom:

"My elephants, my chariots, horsemen, and infantry,
And all my pleasant palaces, dear son, I give to thee.

My queen's apartments too I give, with all their pomp and pride,
Thou shalt be sole king over us,—there shall be none beside.

Fair women skilled in dance and song and trained for every mood
Shall lap thy soul in ease and joy, why linger in this wood?

The daughters of thy foes shall come proud but to wait on thee;
When they have borne thee sons, then go an anchoret to be.

My treasures and my treasuries, footmen and cavalry,
And all my pleasant palaces, dear son, I give to thee.

With troops of slaves to wait on thee, and queens to be embraced,
Enjoy thy throne, all health to thee, why linger in this waste?"

But the Great Being replied by shewing how little he wanted a kingdom.

"Why seek for wealth,—it will not last; why woo a wife,—she soon will die;
Why think of youth, ’twill soon be past; and threatening age stands ever nigh.

What are the joys that life can bring? beauty, sport, wealth, or royal fare?
What is a wife or child to me? I am set free from every snare.

This thing I know,—where’er I go, Fate watching never slumbereth;
Of what avail is wealth or joy to one who feels the grasp of death? 1

[28] Do what thou hast to do to-day, who can ensure the morrow's sun?
Death is the Master-general who gives his guarantee to none.

Thieves ever watch to steal our wealth,—I am set free from every chain;
Go back and take thy crown away; what want I with a king's domain?"

The Great Being's discourse with its application came to an end, and when they heard it not only the king and the queen Candā but the sixteen thousand royal wives all desired to embrace the ascetic life. The king ordered a proclamation to be made in the city by beat of drum, that all who wished to become ascetics with his son should do so; 2 he caused the doors of his treasuries to be thrown open, and he had an inscription written on a golden plate, and fixed on a great bamboo as a pillar, that his treasure jars would be exposed in certain places and that all who pleased might take of them. The citizens also left their houses with the doors open as if it were an open market, and flocked round the king. The king and the multitude took the ascetic vow together before the Great Being. An hermitage erected by Sakka extended for three leagues. The Great Being went through the huts made of branches and leaves, and he appointed those in the centre for the women as they were naturally timid, while those on the outside were for the men. All of them on the fast-day

p. 18

stood on the ground, and gathered and ate the fruits of the trees which Vissakamma had created, and followed the rules of the ascetic life. The Great Being, knowing the mind of every one, whether he indulged thoughts of lust or malevolence or cruelty, sat down in the air and taught the law to each, and as they listened they speedily developed the Faculties and the Attainments.

A neighbouring king, hearing that Kāsirājā had become an ascetic, resolved to establish his rule in Benares, so he entered the city, and seeing it all adorned he went up into the palace, and, beholding the seven kinds of precious stones there, he thought to himself that some kind of danger must gather round all this wealth; so he sent for some drunken revellers and asked them by which gate the king had gone out. They told him "by the eastern gate"; so he went out himself by that gate and proceeded along the bank of the river. The Great Being knew of his coming, and having gone to meet him, sat in the air and taught the law. Then the invader took the ascetic vow with all his company; and the same thing happened also to another king. In this way three kingdoms were abandoned; the elephants and horses were left to roam wild in the woods, the chariots dropped to pieces in the woods, and the money in the treasuries, being counted as mere sand, was scattered about in the hermitage. All the residents there attained to the eight Ecstatic Meditations; and at the end of their lives became destined for the world of Brahma. Yea the very animals, as the elephants and horses, having their minds calmed by the sight of the sages, were eventually reborn in the six heavens of the gods.


The Master, having brought his lesson to an end, said, "Not now only but formerly also did I leave a kingdom and become an ascetic." Then he identified the Birth: "the goddess in the umbrella was Uppalavaṇṇā, 3 the charioteer was Sāriputta, the father and mother were the royal family, the court was the Buddha's congregation, and the wise Mūgapakkha was myself 1."

After they had come to the island of Ceylon, Elder Khuddakatissa, a native of Maṅgaṇa, Elder Mahāvaṁsaka, Elder Phussadeva, who dwelt at Kaṭakandhakāra 2, Elder Mahārakkhita, a native of Uparimaṇḍakamāla, Elder Mahātissa, a native of Bhaggari, Elder Mahāsiva, a native of Vāmattapabbhāra, Elder Mahāmaliyadeva, a native of Kāḷavela,—all these elders are called the late comers in the assembly of the Kuddālaka birth 3, the Mūgapakkha birth 4, the Ayoghara birth 5, and the Hatthipāla birth 6. Moreover Elder Mahānāga, a native of Maddha, and Elder Maliyamakādeva,

p. 19

remarked on the day of Pārīnibbāna, "Sir, the assembly of the Mūgapakkha birth is to-day extinct." "Wherefore?" "I was then passionately addicted to spirituous drink, and when I could not bring those with me who used to drink liquor with me I was the last of all to give up the world and become an ascetic."


Footnotes

1:1 The story of the deaf cripple.

1:2 No. 531, transl. V. p. 141.

2:1 Khalaṃkapādo?

2:2 There is another reading, "the milk."

5:1 I have followed B d here.

7:1 Cf. Vol. I., transl., p. 215.

8:1 Prof. Cowell translates as follows: "I shall be the death of my father and mother as well as of myself," adding a note: "I have doubtfully translated paccayo as if it were the opposite of the phrase ἔργον τινὸς εῖναι."

10:1 Petavatthu, p. 24.

10:2 Jāt. V. 340 (p. 180 of the translation), Petavatthu, p. 23.

10:3 See Feer in the Journ. Asiatique, 1871, XVIII. p.248.

11:1 See Vol. I. p. 30.

11:2 The four lines of triumph are here repeated.

13:1 Kaṭṭhattharake in IV. 5824 attharo is a "rug," .

13:2 Canthium parviflorum.

14:1 This passage, down to the end of p. 23, was omitted by Prof. Cowell.

14:2 upādhiratham: Schol. suvaṇṇapādukārathaṁ āruyhantu, ime tayo pāde puttassa tatth’ eva abhisekakaraṇatthāya pañca rājakakudhabhaṇḍāni ganhathā ti.

15:1 These words, printed in the Comm. on p. 23, should be put in the text. Read: pallaṁke na nisīdi; and so on p. 241.

15:2 A leaf of the tree Canthium parviflorum.

15:3 Cf. supra, III. 299.

17:1 Four lines are here repeated from Vol. IV. transl. p. 81, ll. 11—14.

18:1 A later addition here describes how certain priests were later than the others in adopting the ascetic life, in this birth, cf. Jāt. IV. 490.

18:2 See Sum. 190.

18:3 No. 70, I. p. 311.

18:4 No. 538, VI. p. 1.

18:5 No. 510, IV. p. 304.

18:6 No. 509, IV. p. 293.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 539.: Mahājanaka-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


No. 539.

MAHĀJANAKA-JĀTAKA.

"Who art thou, striving," etc. This story the Master, while dwelling at Jetavana, told concerning the great Renunciation. One day the Brethren sat in the Hall of Truth discussing the Tathāgata's great Renunciation. The Master came and found that this was their subject; so he said "This is not the first time that the Tathāgata performed the great Renunciation,—he performed it also formerly." And herewith he told a story of the past.


Once upon a time there was a king named Mahājanaka reigning in Mithilā in the kingdom of Videha. He had two sons, Ariṭṭhajanaka and Polajanaka; the elder he made viceroy and the younger commander-in-chief. Afterwards, when Mahājanaka died, Ariṭṭhajanaka, having become king, gave the viceroyalty to his brother. One day a slave went to the king and told him that the viceroy was desirous to kill him. The king, after repeatedly hearing the same story, became suspicious, and had Polajanaka thrown into chains and imprisoned with a guard in a certain house not far from the palace. The prince made a solemn asseveration, "If I am my brother's enemy, let not my chains be unloosed nor the door become opened; but otherwise, may my chains be unloosed and the door become opened," and thereupon 1 3 the chains broke into pieces and the door flew open. He went out and, going to a frontier village, took up his abode there, and the inhabitants, having recognised him, waited upon him; and the king was unable to have him arrested. In course of time he became master of the frontier district, and, having now a large following, he said to himself, "If I was not my brother's enemy before, I am indeed his enemy now," and he went to Mithilā with a large host, and encamped in the outskirts of the city. The inhabitants heard that Prince Polajanaka was come, and most of them joined him with their elephants and other riding animals, and the inhabitants of other towns also gathered with them. So he sent a message to his brother, "I was not your enemy before but I am indeed your enemy now; give the royal umbrella up to me or give battle." As the king went to give battle, he bade farewell to

p. 20

his principal queen. "Lady," he said, "victory and defeat in a battle cannot be foretold,—if any fatal accident befalls me, do you carefully preserve the child in your womb": so saying he departed; and the soldiers of Polajanaka ere long took his life in battle. The news of the king's death caused a universal confusion in the whole city. The queen, having learned that he was dead, quickly put her gold and choicest treasures into a basket and spread a cloth on the top and strewed some husked rice over that; and having put on some soiled clothes and disfigured her person, she set the basket on her head and went out at an unusual time of the day, and no one recognised her. She went out by the northern gate; but she did not know the way, as she had never gone anywhere before and was unable to fix the points of the compass; so since she had only heard that there was such a city as Kāḷacampā, she sat down and kept asking whether there were any people going to Kāḷacampā city. Now it was no common child in her womb, but it was the Great Being re-born, after he had accomplished the Perfections, and all Sakka's world shook with his majesty. Sakka considered what the cause could be, and he reflected that a being of great merit must have been conceived in her womb, and that he must go and see it; so he created a covered carriage and prepared a bed in it and stood at the door of the house where she was sitting, as if he were an old man driving the carriage, and he asked if any one wanted to go to Kāḷacampā. "I want to go there, father." 2 3 "Then mount up into this carriage, lady, and take your seat." "Father, I am far gone with child, and I cannot climb up; I will follow behind, but give me room for this my basket." "What are you talking about, mother? there is no one who knows how to drive a carriage like me; fear not, but climb up and sit down." By his divine power he caused the earth to rise as she was climbing up, and made it touch the hinder end of the carriage. She climbed up and lay down in the bed, and she knew that it must be a god. As soon as she lay down on the divine bed she fell asleep. Sakka at the end of thirty leagues came to a river, and he woke her, saying, "Mother, get down and bathe in the river; at the head of the bed there is a cloak, put it on; and in the carriage there is a cake to eat, eat it." She did so and lay down again and at evening time, when she reached Campā and saw the gate, the watch-tower and the walls, she asked what city it was. He replied, "Campā city, mother." "What sayest thou, father? Is it not sixty leagues from our city to Campā?" "It is so, mother, but I know the straight road." He then made her alight at the southern gate; "Mother, my village lies further on,—do you enter the city," so saying Sakka went on, and vanishing, departed to his own place.

The queen sat down in a certain hall. At that time a certain Brahmin, a reciter of hymns, who dwelt at Campā, was going with his five hundred disciples to bathe, and as he looked he saw her sitting there so fair and

p. 21

comely, and, by the power of the being in her womb, immediately as he saw her he conceived an affection for her as for a youngest sister, and making his pupils stay outside he went alone into the hall and asked her, "Sister, in what village dost thou dwell?" "I am the chief queen of King Ariṭṭhajanaka in Mithilā," she said. "Why art thou come here?" "The king has been killed by Polajanaka, and I in fear have come here to save my unborn child." "Is there any kinsman of thine in this city?" "There is none, father." "Do not be anxious; I am a Northern Brahmin of a great family, a teacher famed far and wide, I will watch over you as if you were my sister,—call me your brother and clasp my feet and make a loud lamentation." 3 She made a great wailing and fell at his feet and they each condoled with the other. His pupils came running up and asked him what it all meant. "This is my youngest sister, who was born at such a time when I was away." "O teacher, do not grieve, now that you have seen her at last." He caused a grand covered carriage to be brought and made her sit down in it and sent her to his own house, bidding them tell his wife that it was his sister and that she was to do everything that was necessary. His Brahmin wife gave her a hot water bath and prepared a bed for her and made her lie down. The Brahmin bathed and came home; and at the time of the meal he bade them call his sister and ate with her, and watched over her in the house. Soon after she brought forth a son, and they called him after his grandfather's name Prince Mahājanaka. As he grew up and played with the lads,—when they used to provoke him with their own pure Khattiya birth, he would strike them roughly from his own superior strength and stoutness of heart. When they made a loud outcry and were asked who had struck them, they would reply "The widow's son." The prince reflected "They always call me the widow's son,—I will ask my mother about it"; so one day he asked her, "Mother, whose son am I?" She deceived him, saying that the Brahmin was his father. When he beat them another day and they called him the widow's son, he replied that the Brahmin was his father; and when they retorted "What is the Brahmin to you?" he pondered, "These lads say to me "What is the Brahmin to you?" My mother will not explain the matter to me, she will not tell me the truth for her own honour's sake,—come, I will make her tell it to me." So when he was sucking her milk he bit her breast and said to her, "Tell me who my father is,—if you do not tell me I will cut your breast off." She, being unable to deceive him, said, "My child, you are the son of King Ariṭṭhajanaka of Mithilā; thy father was killed by Polajanaka, and I came to this city in my care to save thee, and the Brahmin has treated me as his sister and taken care of me." From that time he was no longer angry when he was called the widow's son: and before he was sixteen years old he had learned the three vedas and all the sciences; 3 4 and by the time he was sixteen,

p. 22

he had become very handsome in his person. Then he thought to himself, "I will seize the kingdom that belonged to my father "; so he asked his mother "Have you any money in hand? If not, I will carry on trade and make money and seize my father's kingdom." "Son, I did not come empty-handed, I have a store of pearls and jewels and diamonds sufficient for gaining the kingdom—take them and seize the throne; do not carry on trade." "Mother," he said, "give that wealth to me, but I will only take half of it, and I will go to Suvaṇṇabhūmi and get great riches there, and will then seize the kingdom." He made her bring him the half, and having got together his stock-in-trade he put it on board a ship with some merchants bound for Suvaṇṇabhūmi, and bade his mother farewell, telling her that he was sailing for that country. "My son," she said, "the sea has few chances of success and many dangers,—do not go,—you have ample money for seizing the kingdom." But he told his mother that he would go,—so he bade her adieu and embarked on board. That very day a disease broke out in Polajanaka's body and he could not rise from his bed. There were seven caravans with their beasts 1 embarked on board; in seven days the ship made seven hundred leagues, but having gone too violently in its course it could not hold out:—its planks gave way, the water rose higher and higher, the ship began to sink in the middle of the ocean while the crew wept and lamented and invoked their different gods. But the Great Being never wept nor lamented nor invoked any deities, but knowing that the vessel was doomed he rubbed some sugar and ghee, and, having eaten his belly-full, he smeared his two clean garments with oil and put them tightly round him and stood leaning against the mast. When the vessel sank the mast stood upright. The crowd on board became food for the fishes and tortoises, and the water all round assumed the colour of blood; but the Great Being, standing on the mast, having determined the direction in which Mithilā lay, flew up from the top of the mast, and by his strength passing beyond the fishes and tortoises fell at the distance of 140 cubits from the ship. That very day Polajanaka died. After that the Great Being crossed through the jewel-coloured waves, making his way like a mass of gold, 3 5 he passed a week as if it had been a day, and when he saw the shore again he washed his mouth with salt water 2 and kept the fast. Now at that time a daughter of the gods named Maṇimekhalā had been appointed guardian of the sea by the four guardians of the world. They said to her, "Those beings who possess such virtues as reverence for their mothers and the like do not deserve to fall into the sea,—look out for such"; but for those seven days she had not looked at the sea, for they say that her memory had become bewildered in her enjoyment of her

p. 23

divine happiness, and others even say that she had gone to be present at a divine assembly; at last however she had looked, saying to herself, "This is the seventh day that I have not looked at the sea,—who is making his way yonder?" As she saw the Great Being she thought to herself, "If Prince Mahājanaka had perished in the sea I should [not] have kept 1 my entry into the divine assembly!" so assuming an adorned form she stood in the air not far from the Bodhisatta and uttered the first stanza, as she thus tested his powers:

"Who art thou, striving manfully here in mid-ocean far from land?
Who is the friend thou trustest in, to lend to thee a helping hand?"

[paragraph continues] The Bodhisatta replied, "This is my seventh day here in the ocean, I have not seen a second living being beside myself,—who can it be that speaks to me?" so, looking into the air, he uttered the second stanza:

"Knowing my duty in the world, to strive, O goddess, while I can,
Here in mid ocean far from land I do my utmost like a man."

Desirous to hear sound doctrine, she uttered to him the third stanza:

"Here in this deep and boundless waste where shore is none to meet the eye,
Thy utmost strivings are in vain,—here in mid-ocean thou must die."

[paragraph continues] The Bodhisatta replied, "Why dost thou speak thus? if I perish while I make my best efforts, I shall at all events escape from blame," and he spoke a stanza: [36]

"He who does all a man can do is free from guilt towards his kin,
The lord of heaven acquits him too and he feels no remorse within."

[paragraph continues] Then the goddess spoke a stanza:

"What use in strivings such as these, where barren toil is all the gain,
Where there is no reward to win, and only death for all thy pain?"

Then the Bodhisatta uttered these stanzas to shew to her her want of discernment:

"He who thinks there is nought to win and will not battle while he may,—
Be his the blame whate’er the loss,—’twas his faint heart that lost the day.

Men in this world devise their plans, and do their business as seems best,—
The plans may prosper or may fail,—the unknown future shows the rest.

Seest thou not, goddess, here to-day ’tis our own actions which decide;
Drowned are the others,—I am saved, and thou art standing by my side.

So I will ever do my best to fight through ocean to the shore;
While strength holds out I still will strive, nor yield till I can strive no more."

[37] The goddess, on hearing his stout words, uttered a stanza of praise:

"Thou who thus bravely fightest on amidst this fierce unbounded sea
Nor shrinkest from the appointed task, striving where duty calleth thee,
Go where thy heart would have thee go, nor let nor hindrance shall there be."

p. 24

[paragraph continues] Then she asked him whither she should carry him, and on his answering "to the city of Mithilā," she threw him up like a garland and seizing him in both arms and making him lie on her bosom, she took him as if he was her dear child and sprang up in the air. For seven days the Bodhisatta slept, his body wet with the salt spray and thrilled with the heavenly contact. Then she brought him to Mithilā and laid him on his right side on the ceremonial stone in a mango grove, and, leaving him in the care of the goddesses of the garden, departed to her own abode. Now Polajanaka had no son: he had left only one daughter, wise and learned, named Sīvalīdevī. They had asked him on his death-bed, "O king, to whom shall we give the kingdom when thou art become a god?" and he had said, "Give it to him who can please the princess, my daughter Sīvalī, or who knows which is the head of the square bed, or who can string the bow which requires the strength of a thousand men, or who can draw out the sixteen great treasures." "O king, tell us the list of the treasures." Then the king repeated it:

"The treasure of the rising sun, the treasure at his setting seen,
The treasure outside, that within, and that not outside nor within, [38]

At th’ mounting, at the dismounting, sāl-pillars four, the yojana round,
The end of th’ teeth, the end of th’ tail, the kebuka, th’ ends of the trees,—

The sixteen precious treasures these, and these remain, where these are found,
The bow that tasks a thousand men, the bed, the lady's heart to please."

The king, besides these treasures, repeated also a list of others. After his death the ministers performed his obsequies, and on the seventh day they assembled and deliberated: "The king said that we were to give the kingdom to him who is able to please his daughter, but who will be able to please her?" They said, "The general is a favourite," so they sent a command to him. He at once came to the royal gate and signified to the princess that he was standing there. She, knowing why he had come, and intending to try whether he had the wisdom to bear the royal umbrella, gave command that he should come. On hearing the command and being desirous to please her, he ran up quickly from the foot of the staircase and stood by her. Then to try him, she said, "Run quickly on the level ground." He sprang forward, thinking that he was pleasing the princess. She said to him, "Come hither." He came up with all speed. She saw his want of wisdom and said, "Come and rub my feet." In order to please her, he sat down and rubbed her feet. Then she struck him on the breast with her foot and made him fall on his back, and she made a sign to her female attendants, "Beat this blind and senseless fool and seize him by the throat and thrust him out"; and they did so. "Well, general?" they said; he replied, "Do not mention it, she is not a human being." Then the treasurer went, but she put him also in the same way to shame. So too the cashier, the keeper of the umbrella, the sword- bearer:

p. 25

she put them all to shame. Then the multitude deliberated and said, "No one can please the princess: give her to him who is able to string the bow which requires the strength of a thousand men." But no one could string it. Then they said, "Give her to him who knows which is the head of the square bed." But no one knew it. "Then give her to him who is able to draw out the sixteen great treasures." But no one could draw them out. 3 Then they consulted together, "The kingdom cannot be preserved without a king; what is to be done?" Then the family priest said to them, "Be not anxious; we must send out the festive carriage, the king who is obtained by the festal carriage will be able to rule over all India." So they agreed, and having decorated the city and yoked four lotus-coloured horses to the festive chariot and spread a coverlet over them and fixed the five ensigns of royalty, they surrounded them with an army of four hosts. Now musical instruments are sounded in front of a chariot which contains a rider, but behind one which contains none; so the family priest, having bid them sound the musical instruments behind, and having sprinkled the strap of the car and the goad with a golden ewer, bade the chariot proceed to him who has merit sufficient to rule the kingdom. The car went solemnly round the palace and proceeded up the kettle-drum road. The general and the other officers of state each thought that the car was coming up to him, but it passed by the houses of them all, and having gone solemnly round the city it went out by the eastern gate and passed onwards to the park. When they saw it going along so quickly, they thought to stop it; but when the family priest said, "Stop it not; let it go a hundred leagues if it pleases," the car entered the park and went solemnly round the ceremonial stone and stopped as ready to be mounted. The family priest beheld the Bodhisatta lying there and addressed the ministers, "Sirs, I see someone lying on the stone; we know not whether he has wisdom worthy of the white umbrella or not; if he is a being of holy merit he will not look at us, but if he is a creature of ill omen he will start up in alarm and look at us trembling; sound forthwith all the musical instruments." Forthwith they sounded the hundreds of instruments,—it was like the noise of the sea. The Great Being awoke at the noise, and having uncovered his head and looked round, beheld the great multitude; and having perceived that it must be the white umbrella which had come to him he again wrapped his head and turned round and lay on his left side. The family priest uncovered his feet and, beholding the marks, said, "Not to mention one continent, he is able to rule all the four," so he bade them sound the musical instruments again.

[40] The Bodhisatta uncovered his face, and having turned round lay on his right side and looked at the crowd. The family priest, having comforted the people, folded his hands and bent down and said, "Rise, my lord, the kingdom belongs to thee." "Where is the king?" he replied.

p. 26

[paragraph continues] "He is dead." "Has he left no son or brother?" "None, my lord." "Well, I will take the kingdom"; so he rose and sat down cross-legged on the stone slab. Then they anointed him there and then; and he was called King Mahājanaka. He then mounted the chariot, and, having entered the city with royal magnificence, went up to the palace and mounted the dais, having arranged the different positions for the general and the other officers. Now the princess, wishing to prove him by his first behaviour, sent a man to him, saying, "Go to the king and tell him, "the princess Sīvalī summons thee, go quickly to her". The wise king as if he did not hear his words, went on with his description of the palace,—"Thus and thus will it be well." Being unable to attract his attention he went away and told the princess, "Lady, the king heard thy words but he only keeps on describing the palace and utterly disregards thee." She said to herself, "He must be a man of a lofty soul," and sent a second and even a third messenger. The king at last ascended the palace walking at his own pleasure at his usual pace yawning like a lion. As he drew near, the princess could not stand still before his majestic bearing; and coming up she gave him her hand to lean on. He caught hold of her hand and ascended the dais, and having seated himself on the royal couch beneath the white umbrella, he inquired of the ministers, "When the king died, did he leave any instructions with you?" Then they told him that the kingdom was to be given to him who could please the princess Sīvalī. "The princess Sīvalī gave me her hand to lean on as I came near: I have therefore succeeded in pleasing her; tell me something else." "He said that the kingdom was to be given to him who could decide which was the head of the square bed." The king replied, "This is hard to tell, but it can be known by a contrivance," so he took out a golden needle from his head and gave it into the princess' hand, saying, "Put this in its place." 1 4 She took it and put it in the head of the bed. Thus they also say in the proverb "She gave him a sword 1." By that indication he knew which was the head, and, as if he had not heard it before, he asked what they were saying, and when they repeated it, he replied, "It is not a wonderful thing for one to know which is the head"; and so saying, he asked if there were any other test. "Sire, he commanded us to give the kingdom to him who could string the bow which required the strength of a thousand men." When they had brought it at his order, he strung it while sitting on the bed as if it were only a woman's bow for carding cotton 2. "Tell me something else," he said. "He commanded us to give the kingdom to him who could draw out the sixteen great treasures." "Is there a list?" and

p. 27

they repeated the before-mentioned list. As he listened the meaning became clear to him like the moon in the sky. "There is not time to-day, we will take the treasure to-morrow." The next day he assembled the ministers and asked them, "Did your king feed pacceka-buddhas?" When they answered in the affirmative, he thought to himself, "The sun’ cannot be this sun, but pacceka-buddhas are called suns from their likeness thereto; the treasure must be where he used to go and meet them." Then he asked them, "When the pacceka-buddhas came, where did he use to go and meet them?" They told him of such and such a place; so he bade them dig that spot and draw out the treasure from thence, and they did so. "When he followed them as they departed, where did he stand as he bade them farewell?" They told him, and he bade them draw out the treasure from thence, and they did so. The great multitude uttered thousands of shouts and expressed their joy and gladness of heart, saying, "When they heard before of the rising of the sun, they used to wander about, digging in the direction of the actual sunrise, and when they heard of his setting, they used to go digging in the direction of the actual sunset, but here are the real riches, here is the true marvel." When they said, "The treasure within" he drew out the treasure of the threshold within the great gate of the palace; "The treasure outside,"—he drew out the treasure of the threshold outside; "Neither within nor without,"—he drew out the treasure from below the threshold; 2 4 "At the mounting,"—he drew out the treasure from the place where they planted the golden ladder for mounting the royal state elephant; "At the dismounting,"—he drew out the treasure from the place where they dismounted from the royal elephant's shoulders; "The four great sāl-pillars,"—there were four great feet, made of sāl-wood, of the royal couch where the courtiers made their prostrations on the ground, and from under them he brought out four jars full of treasure;"A yojana round,"—now a yojana is the yoke of a chariot, so he dug round the royal couch for the length of a yoke and brought out jars of treasure from thence; "The treasure at the end of the teeth,"—in the place where the royal elephant stood, he brought out two treasures from the spot in front of "his two tusks"; "At the end of his tail,"—at the place where the royal horse stood, he brought out jars from the place opposite his tail; "In the kebuka"; now water is called kebuka; so he had the water of the royal lake drawn off and there revealed a treasure; "The treasure at the ends of the trees,"—he drew out the jars of treasure buried within the circle of shade thrown at midday under the great sāl trees in the royal garden. Having thus brought out the sixteen treasures, he asked if there was anything more, and they answered "No." The multitude were delighted. The king said, "I will throw this wealth in the mouth of charity"; so he had five halls for alms erected in the middle of the city and at the four gates, and made a great distribution. Then he

p. 28

sent for his mother and the Brahmin from Kāḷacampā, and paid them great honour.

In the early days of his reign, King Mahājanaka, the son of Ariṭṭhajanaka, ruled over all the kingdoms of Videha. "The king, they say, is wise, we will see him," so the whole city was in a stir to see him, and they came from different parts with presents; they prepared a great festival in the city, covered the walls of the palace with plastered impressions of their hands 1, hung perfumes and flower-wreaths, darkened the air as they threw fried grain, flowers, perfumes and incense, and got ready all sorts of food to eat and drink. In order to present offerings to the king they gathered round and stood, bringing food hard and soft, and all kinds of drinks and fruits [43], while the crowd of the king's ministers sat on one side, on another a host of brahmins, on another the wealthy merchants and the like, on another the most beautiful dancing girls; brahmin panegyrists, skilled in festive songs, sang their cheerful odes with loud voices, hundreds of musical instruments were played, the king's palace was filled with one vast sound as if it were in the centre of the Yugandhara ocean 2;— every place which he looked upon trembled. The Bodhisatta as he sat under the white umbrella, beheld the great pomp of glory like Sakka's magnificence, and he remembered his own struggles in the great ocean; "Courage is the right thing to put forth,—if I had not shewn courage in the great ocean, should I ever have attained this glory?" and joy arose in his mind as he remembered it, and he burst into a triumphant utterance 3. 4 He after that fulfilled the ten royal duties and ruled righteously and waited on the pacceka-buddhas. In course of time Queen Sīvalī brought forth a son endowed with all auspicious marks and they called his name Dīghāvu-kumāra. When he grew up his father made him viceroy. One day when various sorts of fruits and flowers were brought to the king by the gardener, he was pleased when he saw them, and shewed him honour, and told him to adorn the garden and he would pay it a visit. The gardener carried out these instructions and told the king, and he, seated on a royal elephant and surrounded by his retinue, entered at the garden-gate. Now near it stood two bright green mango trees, the one without fruit, the other full of very sweet fruit. As the king had not eaten of the fruit no one ventured to gather any, and the king, as he rode on his elephant, gathered a fruit and ate it. The moment the mango touched the end of his tongue, a divine flavour seemed to arise and he thought to himself, "When I return I will eat several more"; but when once it was known that the king had eaten of the first fruit of the

p. 29

tree, everybody from the viceroy to the elephant-keepers gathered and ate some, and those who did not take the fruit broke the boughs with sticks and stripped off the leaves till that tree stood all broken and battered, while the other one stood as beautiful as a mountain of gems. As the king came out of the garden, he saw it and asked his ministers about it. "The crowd saw that your majesty had eaten the first fruit and they have plundered it," they replied. "But this other tree has not lost a leaf or a colour." "It has not lost them because it had no fruit." The king was greatly moved, "This tree 4 5 keeps its bright green because it has no fruit, while its fellow is broken and battered because of its fruit. This kingdom is like the fruitful tree, but the ascetic life is like the barren tree; it is the possessor of property who has fears, not he who is without anything of his own. Far from being like the fruitful tree I will be like the barren one,—leaving all my glory behind, I will give up the world and become an ascetic." Having made this firm resolution, he entered the city, and standing at the door of the palace, sent for his commander-in-chief, and said to him, "O general, from this day forth let none see my face except one servant to bring my food and another to give me water for my mouth and a toothbrush, and do you take my old chief judges and with their help govern my kingdom: I will henceforth live the life of a Buddhist priest on the top of the palace." So saying he went up to the top of the palace alone, and lived as a Buddhist priest. As time passed on the people assembled in the courtyard, and when they saw not the Bodhisatta they said, "He is not like our old king," and they repeated two stanzas:

"Our king, the lord of all the earth, is changed from what he was of old,
He heeds no joyous song to-day nor cares the dancers to behold;

The deer, the garden, and the swans fail to attract his absent eye,
Silent he sits as stricken dumb and lets the cares of state pass by."

They asked the butler and the attendant, "Does the king ever talk to you?" "Never," they replied. Then they related how the king, with his mind plunged in abstraction, and detached from all desires, had remembered his old friends the pacceka-buddhas, and saying to himself, "Who will show me the dwelling-place of those beings free from all attachments and possessed of all virtues?" had uttered aloud his intense feelings in three stanzas:

"Hid from all sight, intent on bliss, freed from all bonds and mortal fears,
In whose fair garden, old and young, together dwell those heavenly seers?

[46] They have left all desires behind,—those happy glorious saints I bless,
Amidst a world by passion tost they roam at peace and passionless.

They have all burst the net of death, and the deceiver's outspread snare,—
Freed from all ties, they roam at will,—O who will guide me where they are?"

p. 30

Four months passed as he thus led an ascetic's life on the palace, and at last his mind turned intently towards giving up the world: his own home seemed like one of the hells between the sets of worlds 1, and the three modes of existence 2 presented themselves to him as all on fire. In this frame of mind he burst into a description of Mithilā, as he thought, "When will the time come that I shall be able to leave this Mithilā, adorned and decked out like Sakka's palace, and go to Himavat and there put on the ascetic's dress?"

"When 3 shall I leave this Mithilā, spacious and splendid though it be,
By architects with rule and line laid out in order fair to see,
With walls and gates and battlements,—traversed by streets on every side,
With horses, cows, and chariots thronged, 4 with tanks and gardens beautified,
Videha's far-famed capital, gay with its knights and warrior swarms,
Clad in their robes of tiger-skins, with banners spread and flashing arms,
Its brahmins dressed in Kāçi cloth, perfumed with sandal, decked with gems,—
Its palaces and all their queens with robes of state and diadems!
When shall I leave them and go forth, the ascetic's lonely bliss to win,—
Carrying my rags and water-pot,—when will that happy life begin?
When shall I wander through the woods, eating their hospitable fruit,
Tuning my heart in solitude as one might tune a seven-stringed lute 4,
Cutting my spirit free from hope of present or of future gain,
As the cobbler 5 when he shapes his shoe cuts off rough ends and leaves it plain 6."

[52] Now he had been born at a time when men lived to the age of 10,000 years; so after reigning 7,000 years he became an ascetic while 3,000 years still remained of his life: and when he had embraced the ascetic life, he still dwelt in a house four months from the day of his seeing the mango tree; but thinking to himself that an ascetic's house would be better than the palace, he secretly instructed his attendant to have some yellow robes and an earthen vessel brought to him from the market. He then sent for a barber and made him cut his hair and beard; he put on one yellow robe as the under dress, another as the upper, and the third he wrapped over his shoulder, and, having put his vessel in a bag, he hung it on his shoulder; then, taking his walking-stick, he walked several times backwards and forwards on the top-story with the triumphant step of a pacceka-buddha. That day he continued to dwell there, but the next day at sunrise he began to go down. The queen Sīvalī sent for seven hundred favourite concubines, and said to them, "It is a long time,

p. 31

four full months, since we last beheld the king, we shall see him to-day, do you all adorn yourselves and put forth your graces and blandishments and try to entangle him in the snares of passion." Attended by them all arrayed and adorned, she ascended the palace to see the king; 3 5 but although she met him coming down, she knew him not, and thinking that it was a pacceka-buddha come to instruct the king she made a salutation and stood on one side; and the Bodhisatta came down from the palace. But the queen, after she had ascended the palace, and beheld the king's locks, of the colour of bees, lying on the royal bed, and the articles of his toilet lying on the royal bed, exclaimed, "That was no pacceka-buddha, it must have been our own dear lord, we will implore him to come back "; so having gone down from the top-story and reached the palace yard, she and all the attendant queens unloosed their hair and let it fall on their backs and smote their breasts with their hands, and followed the king, wailing plaintively, "Why dost thou do this thing, O great king?" The whole city was disturbed, and all the people followed the king weeping, "Our king, they say, has become an ascetic, how shall we ever find such a just ruler again?"

Then the Master, as he described the women's weeping, and how the king left them all and went on, uttered these stanzas:

"There stood the seven hundred queens, stretching their arms in pleading woe,
Arrayed in all their ornaments,—"Great king, why dost thou leave us so?"

But leaving those seven hundred queens, fair, tender, gracious,—the great king
Followed the guidance of his vow, with stern resolve unfaltering.

Leaving the inaugurating cup 1, the old sign of royal pomp and state,
He takes his earthen pot to-day, a new career to inaugurate."

[54] The weeping Sīvalī, finding herself unable to stop the king, as a fresh resource sent for the commander-in-chief and bade him kindle a fire before the king among the old houses and ruins which lay in the direction where he was going, and to heap up grass and leaves and make a great smoke in different places. He did so. Then she went to the king and, falling at his feet, told him in two stanzas that Mithilā was in flames.

"Terrible are the raging fires, the stores and treasures burn,
The silver, gold, gems, shells, and pearls, are all consumed in turn;

Rich garments, ivory, copper, skins,—all meet one ruthless fate;
Turn back, O king, and save thy wealth before it be too late."

The Bodhisatta replied, "What sayest thou, O queen? the possessions of those who have can be burned, but I have nothing;

"We who have nothing of our own may live without a care or sigh;
Mithilā's palaces may burn, but naught of mine is burned thereby 2."

p. 32

[55] So saying he went out by the northern gate, and his queens also went out. The queen Sīvalī bade them shew him how the villages were being destroyed and the land wasted; so they pointed out to him how armed men were running about and plundering in different directions, while others, daubed with red lac, were being carried as wounded or dead on boards. The people shouted, "O king, while you guard the kingdom, they spoil and kill your subjects." Then the queen repeated a stanza, imploring the king to return:

"Wild foresters lay waste the land,—return, and save us all;
Let not thy kingdom, left by thee, in hopeless ruin fall."

The king reflected, "No robbers can rise up to spoil the kingdom while I am ruling,—this must be Sīvalīdevī's invention," so he repeated these stanzas as not understanding her:

"We who have nothing of our own may live without a care or sigh,
The kingdom may lie desolate, but naught of mine is harmed thereby.

We who have nothing of our own may live without a care or sigh,—
Feasting on joy in perfect bliss like an Ābhassara deity 1."

Even after he had thus spoken the people still followed. Then he said to himself, "They do not wish to return,—I will make them go back"; so when he had gone about half a mile he turned back, and standing in the high road, he asked his ministers, "Whose kingdom is this?" 5 6 "Thine, O king." "Then punish whosoever passes over this line," so saying he drew a line across with his staff. No one was able to violate that line; and the people, standing behind that line, made loud lamentation. The queen also being unable to cross that line, and beholding the king going on with his back turned towards her, could not restrain her grief, and beat her breast, and, falling across, forced her way over the line. The people cried, "The line-guardians have broken the line," and they followed where the queen led. The Great Being went towards the Northern Himavat. The queen also went with him, taking all the army and the animals for riding. The king, being unable to stop the multitude, journeyed on for sixty leagues. Now at that time an ascetic, named Nārada, dwelt in the Golden Cave in Himavat who possessed the five supernatural faculties; after passing seven days in an ecstasy, he had risen from his trance and was shouting triumphantly, "O the bliss, O the bliss!" and while gazing with his divine eye to see if there was anyone in India who was seeking for this bliss, he beheld Mahājanaka the potential Buddha. He thought, "The king has made the great renunciation, but he cannot turn the people back who follow headed by the queen Sīvalī,—they may put a hindrance in his way, and I will give him an exhortation to confirm his purpose still more"; so by his divine power

p. 33

he stood in the air in front of the king and thus spoke, to strengthen his resolve:

"Wherefore is all this noise and din, as of a village holiday?
Why is this crowd assembled here? will the ascetic kindly say?"

The king replied:

"I've crossed the bound and left the world, ’tis this has brought these hosts of men;
I leave them with a joyous heart: thou know’st it all,—why ask me then?"

[57] Then the ascetic repeated a stanza to confirm his resolve:

"Think not thou hast already crossed, while with this body still beset;
There are still many foes in front,—thou hast not won thy victory yet."

The Great Being exclaimed:

"Nor pleasures known nor those unknown have power my steadfast soul to bend,
What foe can stay me in my course as I press onwards to the end?"

Then he repeated a stanza, declaring the hindrances:

"Sleep, sloth, loose thoughts to pleasure turned, surfeit, a discontented mind—
The body brings these bosom-guests,—many a hindrance shalt thou find."

[58] The Great Being then praised him in this stanza:

"Wise, Brahmin, are thy warning words, I thank thee, stranger, for the same;
Answer my question if thou wilt; who art thou, say, and what thy name."

Nārada replied:

"Know I am Nārada by name,—a kassapa 1; my heavenly rest
I have just left to tell thee this,—to associate with the wise is best.

The four perfections exercise,—find in this path thy highest joy;
Whate’er it be thou lackest yet, by patience and by calm supply;

High thoughts of self, low thoughts of self,—nor this, nor that befits the sage;
Be virtue, knowledge, and the law the guardians of thy pilgrimage."

Nārada then returned through the sky to his own abode. After he was gone, another ascetic, named Migājina, who had just arisen from an ecstatic trance, beheld the Great Being and resolved to utter an exhortation to him that he might send the multitude away; so he appeared above him in the air and thus spoke:

[59] "Horses and elephants, and they who in city or in country dwell,—
Thou hast left them all, O Janaka: an earthen bowl contents thee well.

Say, have thy subjects or thy friends, thy ministers or kinsmen dear,
Wounded thy heart by treachery that thou hast chosen this refuge here?"

The Bodhisatta replied:

"Never, O seer, at any time, in any place, on any plea,
Have I done wrong to any friend nor any friend done wrong to me.

p. 34

I saw the world devoured by pain, darkened with misery and with sin;
I watched its victims bound and slain, caught helplessly its toils within;
I drew the warning to myself and here the ascetic's life begin."

[60] The ascetic, wishing to hear more, asked him:

"None chooses the ascetic's life unless some teacher point the way,
By practice or by theory: who was thy holy teacher, say."

The Great Being replied:

"Never at any time, O seer, have I heard words that touched my heart
From Brahman or ascetic lips, bidding me choose the ascetic's part."

He then told him at length why he had left the world:

"I wandered through my royal park one summer's day in all my pride,
With songs and tuneful instruments filling the air on every side,

And there I saw a Mango-tree, which near the wall had taken root,—
It stood all broken and despoiled by the rude crowds that sought its fruit.

Startled I left my royal pomp and stopped to gaze with curious eye,
Contrasting with this fruitful tree a barren one which grew close by.

The fruitful tree stood there forlorn, its leaves all stripped, its branches bare,
The barren tree stood green and strong, its foliage waving in the air.

[61] We kings are like that fruitful tree, with many a foe to lay us low,
And rob us of the pleasant fruit which for a little while we show.

The elephant for ivory, the panther for his skin is slain,
Houseless and friendless at the last the wealthy find their wealth their bane;
That pair of trees my teachers were,—from them my lesson did I gain."

Migājina, having heard the king, exhorted him to be earnest and returned to his own abode.

When he was gone, Queen Sīvalī fell at the king's feet, and said

"In chariots or on elephants, footmen or horsemen, all as one,
Thy subjects raise a common wail, "Our king has left us and is gone!"

O comfort first their stricken hearts and crown thy son to rule instead;
Then, if thou wilt, forsake the world the pilgrim's lonely path to tread."

The Bodhisatta replied:

"I've left behind my subjects all, friends, kinsmen, home and native land;
2 6 But th’ nobles of Videha race, Dīghāvu trained to bear command,—
Fear not, O queen of Mithilā, they will be near to uphold thy hand."

The queen exclaimed, "O king, thou hast become an ascetic, what am I to do?" Then he said to her, "I will counsel thee, carry out my words"; so he addressed her thus:

"If thou would’st teach my son to rule, sinning in thought, and word and deed,
An evil ending will be thine—this is the destiny decreed;
A beggar's portion, gained as alms, so say the wise, is all our, need."

Thus he counselled her, and while they went on, talking together, the sun set.

The queen encamped in a suitable place, while the king went to the root of a tree and passed the night there, and the next day, after performing

p. 35

his ablutions, went on his way. The queen gave orders that the army should come after, and followed him. At the time for going the round for alms they reached a city called Thūṇā. At that time a man in the city had bought a large piece of flesh at a slaughter-house and, after frying it on a prong with some coals, had placed it on a board to grow cool; but while he was busied about something else a dog ran off with it. The man pursued it as far as the southern gate of the city, but stopped there, being tired. The king and queen were coming up separately in front of the dog, 3 6 which in alarm at seeing them dropped the meat and made off. The Great Being saw this, and reflected, "He has dropped it and gone off, disregarding it, the real owner is unknown, there is not another piece of offal alms so good as this: I will eat it "; so taking out his own earthen dish and seizing the meat he wiped it, and, putting it on the dish, went to a pleasant spot where there was some water and ate it. The queen thought to herself, "If the king were worthy of the kingdom he would not eat the dusty leavings of a dog, he is not really my husband "; and she said aloud, "O great king, dost thou eat such a disgusting morsel?" "It is your own blind folly," he replied, "which prevents your seeing the especial value of this piece of alms"; so he carefully examined the spot where it had been dropped, and ate it as if it were ambrosia, and then washed his mouth and his hands and feet.

Then the queen addressed him in words of blame:

"Should the fourth eating-time come round, a man will die if still he fast;
Yet for all that the noble soul would loathe so foul a mess to taste;

This is not right which thou hast done,—shame on thee, shame, I say, O king;
Eating the leavings of a dog, thou hast done a most unworthy thing."

The Great Being replied:

"Leavings of householder or dog are not forbidden food, I ween;
4 6 If it be gained by lawful means, all food is pure and lawful, queen."

As they thus talked together they reached the city-gate. Some boys were playing there; and a girl was shaking some sand in a small winnowing-basket. On one of her hands there was a single bracelet, and on the other two; these two jangled together, the other one was noiseless. The king saw the incident, and thought to himself, "Sīvalī keeps following me; a wife is the ascetic's bane, and men blame me and say that even when I have left the world I cannot leave my wife; if this girl is wise, she will be able to tell Sīvalī the reason why she should turn back and leave me. I will hear her story and send Sīvalī away." So he said to her:

"Nestling beneath thy mother's care, girl, with those trinkets on thee bound,
Why is one arm so musical while the other never makes a sound?"

The girl replied:

"Ascetic, on this hand I wear two bracelets fast instead of one,
’Tis from their contact that they sound,—’tis by the second this is done.

p. 36

But mark this other hand of mine: a single bracelet it doth wear,
That keeps its place and makes no sound, silent because no other's there.

The second jangles and makes jars, that which is single cannot jar;
Would’st thou be happy? be alone; only the lonely happy are."

[65] Having heard the girl's words, he took up the idea and addressed the queen:

"Hear what she says; this servant girl would overwhelm my head with shame
Were I to yield to thy request; it is the second brings the blame.

Here are two paths: do thou take one, the other by myself take I;
Call me not husband from henceforth, thou art no more my wife: goodbye."

The queen, on hearing him, bade him take the better path to the right, while she chose the left; but after going a little way, being unable to restrain her grief, she again came to him, and she and the king entered the city together.

Explaining this, the Master said: "With these words on their lips they entered the city of Thūṇā."

[66] After they had entered, the Bodhisatta went on his begging-round and reached the door of the house of a maker of arrows, while Sīvalī stood on one side. Now at that time the arrow-maker had heated an arrow in a pan of coals and had wetted it with some sour rice-gruel, and, closing one eye, was looking with the other while he made the arrow straight. The Bodhisatta reflected, "If this man is wise, he will be able to explain the incident,—I will ask him"; so he went up to him:

The Master described what had happened in a stanza:

"To a fletcher's house he came for alms; the man with one eye closed did stand,
And with the other sideways looked to shape the arrow in his hand."

Then the Great Being said to him:

"One eye thou closest and dost gaze with the other sideways,—is this right?
I pray, explain thy attitude; thinkest thou, it improves thy sight?"

He replied:

"The wide horizon of both eyes serves only to distract the view;
But if you get a single line, your aim is fixed, your vision true.

It is the second that makes jars, that which is single cannot jar;
Would’st thou be happy? be alone; only the lonely happy are."

[67] After these words of advice, he was silent. The Great Being proceeded on his round, and, having collected some food of various sorts, went out of the city, and sat down in a spot pleasant with water; and having done all he had to do, he put away his bowl in his bag and addressed Sīvalī:

"Thou hear’st the fletcher: like the girl, he would o’erwhelm my head with shame
Were I to yield to thy request; it is the second brings the blame.

Here are two paths: do thou take one, the other by myself take I;
Call me not husband from henceforth, thou art no more my wife: goodbye."

p. 37

She still continued to follow him even after this speech; but she could not persuade the king to turn back, and the people followed her. Now there was a forest not far off and the Great Being saw a dark tract of trees. He was wishing to make the queen turn back, and he saw some muñja grass near the road; so he cut a stalk of it, and said to her, "See, Sīvalī, this stalk cannot be joined again, so our intercourse can never be joined again"; and he repeated this half stanza; "Like to a muñja reed full-grown, live on, O Sīvalī, alone." When she heard him, she said, "I am henceforth to have no intercourse with King Mahājanaka"; and being unable to control her grief, she beat her breast with both hands and fell senseless 6 on the road. The Bodhisatta, perceiving that she was unconscious, plunged into the wood, carefully obliterating his footsteps. His ministers came and sprinkled her body with water and rubbed her hands and feet, and at last she recovered consciousness. She asked, "Where is the king?" "Do you not know?" they said. "Search for him," she cried. But though they ran hither and thither they saw him not. So she made a great lamentation, and after erecting a tope where he had stood, she offered worship with flowers and perfumes, and returned. The Bodhisatta entered into the region of Himavat, and in the course of seven days he perfected the Faculties and the Attainments, and he returned no more to the land of men. The queen also erected topes on the spots where he had conversed with the arrow-maker, and with the girl, and where he had eaten the meat, and where he had conversed with Migājina and with Nārada, and offered worship with flowers and perfumes; and then, surrounded by the army, she entered Mithilā and had her son's coronation performed in the mango-garden, and made him enter with the army into the city. But she herself, having adopted the ascetic life of a ṛishi, dwelt in that garden and practised the preparatory rites for producing mystic meditation until at last she attained absorption and became destined to birth in the Brahma world.


The Master, his lesson ended, said, "This is not the first time that the Tathāgata performed the great Renunciation; he performed it also formerly." So saying he identified the Birth: "At that time the sea-goddess was Uppalavaṇṇā, Nārada was Sāriputta, Migājina was Moggallāna, the girl was the princess Khemā, the maker of arrows was Ānanda, Sīvalī was the mother of Rāhula, Prince Dīghāvu was Rāhula, the parents were the members of the royal family, and I myself was the king Mahājanaka."


Footnotes

22:1 I would read sattajaṁghasatthāni (cf. Text, iii. 283, 18). The text -satāni would mean "700 legs," i.e. 350 men (?).

22:2 Reading loṇodakena as Dr Fausbøll proposes.

23:1 Prof. Cowell adds on the margin of his text: "na, or is it a question?"

26:1 So in the Kathāsaritsāgara, § 72, 47, 54, the snake-maiden gives the hero a sword and horse.

26:2 See Grierson's Bihār Peasant Life, pp. 64, 98.

28:1 Hatthattharādīhi, cf. piṣṭapañcāṅgula Harṣac. 63, 13, and 157, l. 1.

28:2 This is one of the seas between the seven concentric circles of rock round Meru. Hardy, p. 12.

28:3 The six stanzas which follow in the Pali were translated in Vol. IV. p. 171.

30:1 See Hardy, Budhism, p. 27.

30:2 Sc. the Kāmaloka, the Rūpabrahmaloka, and the Arūpabrahmaloka.

30:3 A long description, full of repetitions, is here much condensed.

30:4 See Mahāvagga, V. 1. 16.

30:5 The use of the word rathakāro might suggest "wooden shoes," but these were forbidden by Buddha, see Mahāvagga, V. 6.

30:6 Cf. Vol. IV. p. 172 (text).

31:1 For the golden jars used at a king's inauguration see Rāmāy. II. 15, Kathāsarits. XV. 77.

31:2 These lines seem proverbial in various shapes, cf. Dhammapada, 200; Mahābh. XII. 9917, 529, 664s1.

32:1 For these heavenly beings, "the Radiant ones," see Burnouf, Introd. p. 611.

33:1 Nārada is sometimes called the son of the Muni Kaçyapa; see Wilson, Vishṇu Purāna, Vol. II. p. 19.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 540.: Sāma-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. 38

No. 540.

SĀMA-JĀTAKA.

"Who, as I filled," etc. This story the Master told at Jetavana, about a certain priest who supported his mother. They say that there was a wealthy merchant at Sāvatthi, who was worth eighteen crores; and he had a son who was very dear and winning to his father and mother. One day the youth went upon the terrace of the house, and opened a window and looked down on the street; and when he saw the great crowd going to Jetavana with perfumes and garlands in their hands to hear the law preached, 6 he exclaimed that he would go too. So having ordered perfumes and garlands to be brought, he went to the monastery, and having distributed dresses, medicines, drinks, etc. to the assembly and honoured the Blessed One with perfumes and garlands, he sat down on one side. After hearing the law, and perceiving the evil consequences of desire and the blessings arising from adopting the religious life, when the assembly broke up he asked the Blessed One for ordination, but he was told that the Tathāgatas do not ordain anyone who has not obtained the permission of his parents; so he went away, and lived a week without food, and having at last obtained his parents' consent, he returned and begged for ordination. The Master sent a priest who ordained him; and after he was ordained he obtained great honour and gain; he won the favour of his teachers and preceptors, and having received full orders he mastered the law in five years. Then he thought to himself, "I live here distracted,—it is not suitable for me," and he became anxious to reach the goal of mystic insight; so having obtained instruction in meditation from his teacher, he departed to a frontier village and dwelt in the forest, and there having entered a course of spiritual insight, he failed, however much he laboured and strove for twelve years, to attain any special idea. His parents also, as time went on, became poor, for those who hired their land or carried on merchandise for them, finding out that there was no son or brother in the family to enforce the payment, seized what they could lay their hands upon and ran away as they pleased, and the servants and labourers in the house seized the gold and coin and made off therewith, so that at the end the two were reduced to an evil plight and had not even an ewer for pouring water; and at last they sold their dwelling, and finding themselves homeless, and in extreme misery, they wandered begging for alms, clothed in rags and carrying potsherds in their hands. Now at that time a Brother came from Jetavana to the son's place of abode; he performed the duties of hospitality and, as he sat quietly, he first asked whence he was come; and learning that he was come from Jetavana he asked after the health of the Teacher and the principal disciples and then asked for news of his parents, "Tell me, Sir, about the welfare of such and such a merchant's family in Sāvatthi." "O friend, don't ask for news of that family." "Why not, Sir?" "They say that there was one son in that family, but he has become an ascetic under the law, and since he left the world that family has gone to ruin; and at the present time the two old people are reduced to a most lamentable state and beg for alms." When he heard the other's words he could not remain unmoved, but began to weep with his eyes full of tears, and when the other asked him why he wept, "O Sir," he replied, "they are my own father and mother, I am their son." "O friend, thy father and mother have come to ruin through thee,—do thou go and take care of them." "For twelve years," he thought to himself, "I have laboured and striven but never been able to attain the path or the fruit: [70] I must be incompetent; what have I to do with the ascetic life? I will become a householder and will support my parents and give away my wealth, and will thus eventually become destined for

p. 39

heaven." So having determined he gave up his abode in the forest to the elder, and the next day departed and by successive stages reached the monastery at the back of Jetavana which is not far from Sāvatthi. There he found two roads, one leading to Jetavana, the other to Sāvatthi. As he stood there, he thought, "Shall I see my parents first or the Buddha?" Then he said to himself, "In old days I saw my parents for a long time, from henceforth I shall rarely have the chance of seeing the Buddha; I will see the perfectly Enlightened One to-day and hear the law, and then to-morrow morning I will see my parents." So he left the road to Sāvatthi and in the evening arrived at Jetavana. Now that very day at daybreak, the Master, as he looked upon the world, had seen the potentialities of this young man, and when he came to visit him he praised the virtues of parents in the Mātiposaka-sutta 1. As he stood at the end of the assembly of elders and listened, he thought, "If I become a householder I can support my parents; but the Master also says, "A son who has become an ascetic can be helpful"; I went away before without seeing the Master, and I failed in such an imperfect ordination; I will now support my parents while still remaining an ascetic without becoming a householder." So he took his ticket and his ticket-food and gruel, and felt as if he had committed a sin deserving expulsion after a solitary abode of twelve years in the forest. In the morning he went to Sāvatthi and he thought to himself, "Shall I first get the gruel or see my parents?" He reflected that it would not be right to visit them in their poverty empty-handed; so he first got the gruel and then went to the door of their old house. When he saw them sitting by the opposite wall after having gone their round for the alms given in broth, he stood not far from them in a sudden burst of sorrow with his eyes full of tears. They saw him but knew him not; then his mother, thinking that it was someone standing for alms, said to him, "We have nothing fit to be given to you, be pleased to pass on." When he heard her, he repressed the grief which filled his heart and remained still standing as before with his eyes full of tears, and when he was addressed a second and a third time he still continued standing. At last the father said to the mother, "Go to him; can this be thy son 2?" She rose and went to him and, recognising him, fell at his feet and lamented, and the father also joined his lamentations, and there was a loud outburst of sorrow. To see his parents he could not control himself, but burst into tears; then, after yielding to his feelings, he said, "Do not grieve, I will 1 support you"; so having comforted them and made them drink some gruel, and sit down on one side, he went again and begged for some food and gave it to them, and then went and asked for alms for himself, and having finished his meal, took up his abode at a short distance off. From that day forward he watched over his parents in this manner; he gave them all the alms he received for himself, even those at the fortnightly distributions, and he went on separate expeditions for his own alms, and ate them; and whatever food he received as provision for the rainy season he gave to them, while he took their worn-out garments and dyed them with the doors fast closed and used them himself: but the days were few when he gained alms and there were many when he failed to win anything, and his inner and outer clothing became very rough. As he watched over his parents he gradually grew very pale and thin and his friends and intimates said to him, "Your complexion used to be bright, but now you have become very pale,—has some illness come upon you?" He replied, "No illness has come upon me, but a hindrance has befallen me," and he told them the history. "Sir," they replied, "the Master does not allow us to waste the offerings of the faithful, you do an unlawful act in giving to laymen the offerings of the faithful." When he heard this he shrank ashamed. But not satisfied with this they went and told it to the Master, saying, "So and so, Sir, has wasted the offerings of the faithful and used them to feed laymen." The Master sent for the young man of family and said to him, "Is it true that you, an ascetic, take the

p. 40

offerings of the faithful and support laymen with them?" He confessed that it was true. Then the Master, wishing to praise what he had done and to declare an old action of his own, said, "When you support laymen whom do you support?" "My parents," he answered. Then the Master, wishing to encourage him still more said, "Well done, well done" three times; "You are in a path which I have traversed before you: I in old time, while going the round for alms, supported my parents." The ascetic was encouraged thereby. At the request of the Brethren the Master, to make known his former actions, told them a legend of the olden time.


Once on a time, not far from Benares on the near bank of the river, there was a village of hunters, and another village on the further side; five hundred families dwelt in each. Now two hunter chiefs dwelt in the two villages who were fast friends; and they had made a compact in their youth, that if one of them had a daughter and the other a son, they would wed the pair together. In course of time 2 a son was born to the chief in the near village and a daughter to the one in the further; the name. Dukūlaka was given to the first as he was taken up when he was born in a wrapping of fine cloth 1, while the second was named Pārikā because she was born on the further side of the river. They were both fair to look at and of a complexion like gold; and though they were born in a village of hunters they never injured any living creature. When he was sixteen years old his parents said to Dukūlaka, "O son, we will bring you a bride"; but he, a pure being newly come from the Brahma world, closed both his ears, saying, "I do not want to dwell in a house, do not mention such a thing"; and though they spoke three times to the same effect, he shewed no inclination for it. Pārikā also, when her parents said to her, "Our friend's son is handsome and with a complexion like gold, we are going to give you to him," made the same answer and closed her ears, for she too had come from the Brahma world. Dukūlaka privately sent her a message, "If you wish to live as a wife with her husband, go into some other family, for I have no wish for such a thing," and she too sent a similar message to him. But however unwilling they were, the parents would celebrate the marriage. But both of them lived apart like the Archangel Brahman, without descending into the ocean of carnal passion. Dukūlaka never killed fish or deer, he never even sold fish which was brought to him. At last his parents said to him, "Though you are born in a family of hunters you do not like to dwell in a house, nor kill any living creature; what will you do?" "If you will give me leave," he replied, "I will become an ascetic this very day." They gave them both leave at once. Having bid them farewell, they went out along the shore of the Ganges and entered the Himavat region, where the river Migasammatā flows down from the mountain and enters the Ganges; then, leaving the Ganges, they went up

p. 41

along the Migasammatā. Now at that moment Sakka's palace grew hot. Sakka, having ascertained the reason, commanded Vissakamṃa, "O Vissakamṃa, two great beings have left the world and entered Himavat, we must find an abode for them,—go and build them 3 a hut of leaves and provide all the necessaries of an ascetic's life a quarter of a mile from the river Migasammatā and come back hither." So he went and prepared everything as it is described in the Mūgapakkha Birth 1, and returned to his own home, after having driven away all beasts that caused unpleasant noises, and having made a footpath near. They saw the footpath and followed it to the hermitage. When Dukūlaka went into the hermitage and saw all the necessaries for an ascetic's life, he exclaimed, "This is a gift to us from Sakka"; so having taken off his outer garment and put on a robe of red bark and thrown a black antelope-hide over his shoulder and twisted his hair in a knot, and assumed the garb of an anchorite, and having also given ordination to Pārikā, he took up his abode there with her, exercising all the feelings of benevolence which belong to the world of sensual pleasure 2. Through the influence of their benevolent feelings all the birds and beasts felt only kindly feelings towards each other,—not one of them did harm to any other. Pārī brings water and food, sweeps the hermitage, and does all that has to be done, and both collect various kinds of fruits and eat them, and then they enter their respective huts of leaves and live there fulfilling the rules of the ascetic life. Sakka ministers to their wants. One day he foresaw that a danger threatened them, "They will lose their sight," so he went to Dukūlaka; and having sat on one side, after saluting him, he said, "Sir, I foresee a danger which threatens you,—you must have a son to take care of you: follow the way of the world." "O Sakka, why dost thou mention such a thing? Even when we lived in a house we shrank in disgust from all carnal intercourse; can we practise it now when we have come into the forest and are living an anchorite life here?" "Well, if you will not do as I say,—then at the proper season touch Pārī's navel with your hand." This he promised to do; and Sakka, after saluting him, returned to his own abode. The Great Being told the matter to Pārī, and at the proper time he touched her navel with his hand. Then the Bodhisatta descended from the heavenly world and entered her womb and was conceived there. 4 At the end of the tenth month she bore a son of golden hue, and they called his name accordingly Suvaṇṇasāma. (Now the Kinnarī nymphs in another mountain had nursed Pārī.) The parents washed the babe and laid it down in the hilt of leaves and went out to collect different sorts of fruit. While they were gone the Kinnaras took the child and washed it in their caves,

p. 42

and, going up to the top of the mountain, they adorned it with various flowers, and made the sectarial marks with yellow orpiment, red arsenic, and other paints, and then brought it back to its bed in the hut; and when Pārī came home she gave the child suck. They cherished him as he grew up year after year, and when he was about sixteen they used to leave him in the hut and go out to collect forest roots and fruits. The Bodhisatta considered, "Some danger will one day happen"; he used to watch the path by which they went. One day they were returning home at evening time after collecting roots and fruits, and not far from the hermitage a great cloud rose up. They took shelter in the roots of a tree and stood on an ant-hill; and in this ant-hill a snake lived. Now water dropped from their bodies, which carried the smell of sweat to the snake's nostrils, and, being angry, it puffed out its breath and smote them as they stood there, and they both were struck blind and neither could see the other. Dukūlaka called out to Pali, "My eyes are gone, I cannot see you"; and she too made the same complaint. "We have no life left," they said, and they wandered about, lamenting and unable to find the path. "What former sin can we have committed?" they thought. Now in former times they had been born in a doctor's family, and the doctor had treated a rich man for a disease of his eyes, but the patient had given him no fee; and being angry he had said to his wife, "What shall we do?" She, being also angry, had said, "We do not want his money; make-some preparation and call it a medicine and blind one of his eyes with it." He agreed and acted on her advice, and for this sin the two eyes of both of them now became blind.

Then the Great Being reflected, "On other days 5 my parents have always returned at this hour, I know not what has happened to them, I will go and meet them"; so he went to meet them and made a sound. They recognised the sound, and making an answering noise they said, in their affection for the boy, "O Sāma, there is a danger here, do not come near." So he held out to them a long pole and told them to lay hold of the end of it, and they, seizing hold of it, came up to him. Then he said to them, "How have you lost your sight?" "When it rained we took shelter in the roots of a tree and stood on an ant-hill, and that made us blind." When he heard it, he knew what had happened. "There must have been a snake there, and in his anger he emitted a poisonous breath"; and as he looked at them he wept and also laughed. Then they asked him why he wept and also laughed. "I wept because your sight is gone while you are still young, but I laughed to think that I shall now take care of you; do not grieve, I will take care of you." So he led them back to the hermitage and he tied ropes in all directions, to distinguish the day and the night apartments, the cloisters, and all the different rooms; and from that day forwards he made them keep within, while he himself collected the forest roots and fruits, and in the morning swept their apartments, and fetched

p. 43

water from the Migasammatā river, and prepared their food and the water for washing and brushes for their teeth, and gave them all sorts of sweet fruits, and after they had washed their mouths he ate his own meal. After eating his meal he saluted his parents and surrounded by a troop of deer went into the forest to gather fruit. Having gathered fruit with a band of Kinnaras in the mountain he returned at evening time, and having taken water in a pot and heated it, he let them bathe and wash their feet as they chose, then he brought a potsherd full of hot coals and steamed their limbs, and gave them all sorts of fruits when they were seated, and at the end ate his own meal and put by what was left. In this way he took care of his parents.

Now at that time a king named Piliyakkha reigned in Benares. He in his great desire for venison had entrusted the kingdom to his mother, and armed with the five kinds of weapons had come into the region of Himavat, and while there had gone on killing deer and eating their flesh, 6 till he came to the river Migasammatā, and at last reached the spot where Sāma used to come and draw water. Seeing there the footsteps of deer he erected his shelter with boughs of the colour of gems, and taking his bow and fitting a poisoned arrow on the string he lay there in ambush. In the evening the Great Being having collected his fruits and put them in the hermitage made his salutation to his parents, and saying, "I will bathe and go and fetch some water," took his pot, and surrounded by his train of deer, singled out two deer from the herd surrounding, and putting the jar on their backs, leading them with his hand, went to the bathing-place. The king in his shelter saw him coming, and said to himself, "All the time that I have been wandering here I have never seen a man before; is he a god or a nāga? Now if I go up and ask him, he will fly up into heaven if he is a god, and he will sink into the earth if he is a nāga. But I shall not always live here in Himavat, and one day I shall go back to Benares, and my ministers will ask me whether I have not seen some new marvel in the course of my rambles in Himavat. If I tell them that I have seen such and such a creature, and they proceed to ask me what its name was, they will blame me if I have to answer that I do not know; so I will wound it and disable it, and then ask it." In the meantime the animals went down first and drank the water and came up from the bathing-place; and then the Bodhisatta went slowly down into the water like a great elder who was perfectly versed in the rules, and, being intent on obtaining absolute calm, put on his bark garment and threw his deer-skin on one shoulder and, lifting up his water-jar, filled it and set it on his left shoulder. At this moment the king, seeing that it was the time to shoot, let fly a poisoned arrow and wounded the Great Being in the right side, and the arrow went out at the left side. The troop of deer, seeing that he was wounded, fled in terror, but Suvaṇṇasāma, although wounded, balanced

p. 44

the water jar as well as he could, and, recovering his recollection, slowly went up out of the water. He dug out the sand and heaped it on one side and, placing his head in the direction of his parents' hut, [77] he laid himself down like a golden image on the sand which was in colour like a silver plate. Then recalling his memory he considered all the circumstances; "I have no enemies in this district of Himavat, and I have no enmity against anyone." As he said these words, blood poured out of his mouth and, without seeing the king, he addressed this stanza to him:

"Who, as I filled my water-jar, has from his ambush wounded me,—
Brahman or Khattiya, Vessa,—who can my unknown assailant be?"

Then he added another stanza to shew the worthlessness of his flesh as food:

"Thou canst not take my flesh for food, thou canst not turn to use my skin;
Why couldst thou think me worth thine aim; what was the gain thou thought’st to win?"

And again another asking him his name, &c.:

"Who art thou, say,—whose son art thou? and what name shall I call thee by?
Why dost thou lie in ambush there? Answer my questions truthfully."

When the king heard this, he thought to himself, "Though he has fallen wounded by my poisoned arrow, yet he neither reviles me nor blames me; he speaks to me gently as if soothing my heart,—I will go up to him"; so he went and stood near him, saying:

"I of the Kāsis am the lord, King Piliyakkha named; and here,
Leaving my throne for greed of flesh, I roam to hunt the forest deer.

Skilled in the archer's craft am I, stout is my heart nor given to change;
No Nāga can escape my shaft if once he comes within my range."

[78] Thus praising his own merits, he proceeded to ask the other his name and family:

"But who art thou? Whose son art thou? How art thou called? Thy name make known;
Thy father's name and family,—tell me thy father's and thine own."

The Great Being reflected, "If I told him that I belonged to the gods or the Kinnaras, or that I was a Khattiya or of similar race, he would believe me; but one must only speak the truth," so he said:

"They called me Sāma while I lived,—an outcast hunter's son am I;
But here stretched out upon the ground in woful plight thou see’st me lie.

Pierced by that poisoned shaft of thine, I helpless lie like any deer,
The victim of thy fatal skill, bathed in my blood I wallow here.

Thy shaft has pierced my body through, I vomit blood with every breath,—
Yet, faint and weak, I ask thee still, why from thy ambush seek my death?

Thou canst not take my flesh for food, thou canst not turn to use my skin;
Why could'st thou think me worth thy aim; what was the gain thou thought’st to win?"

p. 45

When the king heard this, he did not tell the real truth, but made up a false story and said:

"A deer had come within my range, I thought that it my prize would be,
But seeing thee it fled in fright,—I had no angry thought for thee."

[79] Then the Great Being replied, "What say’st thou, O king? In all this Himavat there is not a deer which flies when he sees me":

"Since my first years of thought began, as far as memory reaches back,
No quiet deer or beast of prey has fled in fear to cross my track.

Since I first donned my dress of bark and left behind my childish days
No quiet deer or beast of prey has fled to see me cross their ways.

Nay, the grim goblins are my friends, who roam with me this forest's shade,
Why should this deer then, as you say, at seeing me have fled afraid?"

When the king heard him, he thought to himself, "I have wounded this innocent being and told a lie,—I will now confess the truth." So he said:

"Sāma, no deer beheld thee there, why should I tell a needless lie?
I was o’ercome by wrath and greed and shot that arrow,—it was I."

Then he thought again, "Suvaṇṇasāma cannot be dwelling alone in this forest, his relations no doubt live here; I will ask him about them." So he uttered a stanza:

"Whence didst thou come this morning, friend,—who bade thee take thy water-jar
And fill it from the river's bank and bear the burden back so far?"

[80] When he heard this, he felt a great pang and uttered a stanza, as the blood poured from his mouth:

"My parents live in yonder wood, blind and dependent on my care,—
For their sakes to the river's bank I came to fill my water-jar."

Then he went on, bewailing their condition:

"Their life is but a flickering spark 1, their food at most a week's supply,—
Without this water which I bring blind, weak, and helpless they will die.

I reek not of the pain of death, that is the common fate of all;
Ne’er more to see my father's face—’tis this which doth my heart appall 2.

Long, long, a sad and weary time my mother there will nurse her woe,
At midnight and at early morn her tears will like a river flow 3.

Long, long, a sad and weary time my father there will nurse his woe,
At midnight and at early morn his tears will like a river flow.

They will go wandering through the wood and of their tarrying son complain,
Expecting still to hear my step or feel my soothing touch—in vain.

This thought is as a second shaft which pierces deeper than before,
That I, alas! lie dying here, fated to see their face no more."

p. 46

[81] The king, on hearing his lamentation, thought to himself, "This man has been fostering his parents in his excessive piety and devotion to duty, and even now amidst all his pain he only thinks of them,—I have done evil to such a holy being,—how can I comfort him? When I find myself in hell what good will my kingdom do me? I will watch over his father and mother as he watched over them; thus his death will be counteracted to them." Then he uttered his resolution in the following stanzas:

"O Sāma of auspicious face, let not despair thy soul oppress,
Lo I myself will wait upon thy parents in their lone distress.

I am well practised with the bow,—my promise is a surety good,—
I'll be a substitute for thee and nurse thy parents in the wood.

I'll search for leavings of the deer, and roots and fruits to meet their need;
I'll wait myself upon them both, their household slave in very deed.

Which is the forest where they are? Tell me, O Sāma, for I vow
I will protect and foster them as thou thyself hast done till now."

The Great Being replied, "It is well, O king, then do thou foster them," so he pointed out the road to him:

"Where my head lies there runs a path two hundred bow lengths through the trees,
’Twill lead thee to my parents' hut,—go, nurse them there if so thou please."

[82] Having thus shewn the path and borne the great pain patiently in his love for his parents, he folded his hands respectfully, and made his last request that he would take care of them:

"Honour to thee, O Kāsi king, as thus thou goest upon thy way;
Helpless my parents are and blind,—O guard and nurse them both, I pray.

Honour to thee, O Kāsi king,—I fold my hands respectfully,
Bear to my parents in my name the message I have given to thee."

The king accepted the trust, and the Great Being, having thus delivered his final message, became unconscious. Explaining this, the Master said:

"When Sāma of auspicious face thus to the king these words had said,
Faint with the poison of the shaft he lay unconscious as if dead."

Up to this point when he uttered his words he had spoken as one out of breath; but here his speech was interrupted, as his form, heart, thoughts, and vital powers were successively affected by the violence of the poison 1, his mouth and his eyes closed, his hands and feet became stiffened, and his whole body was wet with blood. The king exclaimed, "Till just this moment he was talking to me, what has suddenly stopped his inhaling and exhaling his breath? These functions have now ceased, his body has become stiff, surely Sāma is now dead"; and being unable to control his sorrow, he smote his head with his hands and bewailed in a loud voice.

p. 47

Here the Master, to make the matter clearer, spoke these stanzas:

"Bitterly did the king lament, "I knew not until this befell.
That I should e’er grow old or die,—I know it now, alas! too well.

All men are mortal, now I see; for even Sāma had to die,
Who gave good counsel to the last, yea in his dying agony;

[83] Hell is my sure and certain doom,—that murdered saint lies speechless there;
In every village all I meet will with one voice my guilt declare.

But in this lone unpeopled wood who will there be to know my name?
Here in this desert solitude who will remind me of my shame?"

Now at this time a daughter of the gods, named Bahusodarī, who dwelt in the Gandhamādana mountain and who had been a mother to the Great Being in his seventh existence before this one, was continually thinking of him with a mother's affection; but on that day in the enjoyment of her divine bliss she did not remember him as usual; and her friends only said that she had gone to the assembly of the gods (and so remained silent). Suddenly thinking of him at the very moment when he became unconscious, she said to herself; "What has become of my son?" and then she saw that King Piliyakkha had wounded him with a poisoned arrow on the bank of the Migasammatā and that he was lying on a sandbank, while the king was loudly lamenting. "If I do not go to him, my son Suvaṇṇasāma will perish there and the king's heart will break, and Sāma's parents will die of hunger and thirst. But if I go there, the king will carry the jar of water and go to his parents, and after hearing their words, 4 will take them to their son, and I and they will make a solemn asseveration which shall overpower the poison in Sāma's body, and my son shall then regain his life and his parents their sight, and the king, after hearing Sāma's instruction, will go and distribute great gifts of charity and become destined for heaven; so I will go there at once." So she went, and standing unseen in the sky, by the bank of the river Migasammatā, she discoursed with the king.

Here the Master, to make the matter clearer, spoke these stanzas:

"The goddess, hidden out of sight upon the Gandhamādan mount,
Uttered these verses in his ears, by pity moved on his account;

"A wicked action hast thou done,—heavy the guilt which rests on thee;
Parents and son all innocent, thy single shaft hath slain the three;

Come, I will tell thee how to find a refuge from thy guilt and rest;
Nurse the blind pair in yonder wood, so shall thy sinful soul be blest."

When he heard her words, he believed what she said,—that, if he went and supported the father and mother, he would attain to heaven; so he made a resolve, "What have I to do with a kingdom? I will go and devote myself to nursing them." After an outburst of weeping he conquered his sorrow, and thinking that Sāma was indeed dead, he paid homage to his body with all kinds of flowers and sprinkled it with water, and thrice went round it, turning his right side towards it, and made his

p. 48

obeisance at the four several points. Then he took the jar which had been consecrated by him, he turned his face to the south and went on his way with a heavy heart.

Here the Master added this verse of explanation:

"After a burst of bitter tears, lamenting for the hapless youth,
The king took up the water-jar and turned his face towards the south."

[85] Strong as he was by nature, the king took up the water jar and resolutely forced his way to the hermitage and at last reached the door of wise Dukūla's hut. The wise man, seated inside, heard the sound of approaching footsteps, and, as he pondered doubtfully, he uttered these two lines:

"Whose are these footsteps which I hear? someone approaches by this way;
’Tis not the sound of Sāma's steps,—who art thou,—tell me, Sir, I pray."

When the king heard him, he thought to himself; "If I tell him that I have killed his son and do not reveal my royal character, they will be angry and speak roughly to me, and then my anger will be roused against them and I shall do them some outrage, and this would be sinful; but there is no one who does not feel afraid when he hears that it is a king, I will therefore make myself known to them"; so he placed the jar in the enclosure where the water jar should be put, and standing in the doorway of the hut, exclaimed:

"I of the Kāsis am the lord, King Piliyakkha named; and here,
Leaving my throne for greed of flesh, I roam to hunt the forest deer.

Skilled in the archer's craft am I, stout is my heart nor given to change;
No Nāga can escape my shaft if once he comes within my range."

The wise man gave him a friendly greeting, and replied 1:

"Welcome, O king, a happy chance directed thee this way:
Mighty thou art and glorious: what errand brings thee, pray?

The tindook and the piyal leaves, and kāsumārī sweet,
Though few and little, take the best we have, O king, and eat.

And this cool water from a cave high hidden on a hill,
O mighty monarch, take of it, drink if it be thy will."

[86] When the king heard his welcome he thought to himself, "It would not be right to address him at once with the bare statement that I have just killed his son; I will begin to talk with him as if I knew nothing about it and then tell him"; so he said to him

"How can a blind man roam the woods? These fruits,—who brought them to your door?
He must have had good eyes y-wis, who gathered such a varied store."

The old man repeated two stanzas to shew the king that he and his wife did not gather the fruit, but that their son had brought it to them:

p. 49

"Sāma our son is young in years, not very tall but fair to the eye,
The long black hair that crowns his head curls like a dog's tail 1 naturally.

He brought the fruit, and then went off, hastening to fill our water jar;
He will be back here presently,—the way to the river is not far."

The king replied:

"Sāma, that duteous son of yours, whom you describe so fair, so good,—
I have slain him: those black curls of his are lying yonder, drenched in blood."

Pārikā's hut of leaves was close by, and as she sat there she heard the king's voice, and went out anxious to learn what had happened, [87] and, having gone near Dukūla by the aid of a rope, she exclaimed:

"Tell me, Dukūla, who is this who says that Sāma has been slain?
"Our Sāma slain,"—such evil news seem to have cleft my heart in twain.

Like a young tender pēpul shoot torn by the blast from off the tree,—
Our Sāma slain,—to hear such news my heart is pierced with agony."

The old man gave her words of counsel:

"It is the king of Kāsi land, his cruel bow has slain, I wot,
Our Sāma by the river's bank, but let us pause and curse him not."

Pārikā replied:

"Our darling son, our life's sole stay, longed for and waited for so long,—
How shall my heart contain its wrath against the man who did this wrong?"

The old man exclaimed:

"A darling son, our life's sole stay, longed for and waited for so long!
But all the wise forbid our wrath against the doer of the wrong."

Then they both uttered their laments, beating their breasts and praising the Bodhisatta's virtues. Then the king tried to comfort them:

"Weep not, I pray you, overmuch, for your loved Sāma's hapless fate;
Lo I will wait upon you both,—mourn not as wholly desolate;

I am well practised with the bow, my promise is a surety good,
Lo I will wait upon you both and nurse you in this lonely wood.

I'll search for leavings of the deer, and roots and fruits for all your need;
Lo I will wait upon you both, your household slave in very deed."

[88] They remonstrated with him:

"This is not right, O king of men, this would be utterly unmeet;
Thou art our lord and rightful king: here we pay homage to thy feet."

When the king heard this he was glad. "A wonderful thing," he thought, "they do not utter one harsh word against me who have committed such a sin, they only receive me kindly"; and he uttered this stanza:

"Ye foresters, proclaim the right, this welcome is true piety;
Thou art a father from henceforth, and thou a mother unto me."

p. 50

They respectfully raised their hands and made their petition, "We have no need of any act of service from thee, but guide us, holding out the end of a staff; and show us our Sāma," and they uttered this couplet of stanzas:

"Glory to thee, O Kāsi-king who art thy realm's prosperity,
Take us and lead us to the spot where Sāma, our loved son, doth lie.

There fallen prostrate at his feet, touching his face, eyes, every limb 1,
We will await the approach of death, patient so long as near to him."

[89] While they were thus speaking, the sun set. Then the king thought, "If I take them there now, their hearts will break at the sight; and if three persons thus die through me I shall certainly lie down in hell, —therefore I will not let them go thither"; so he said these stanzas:

"A region full of beasts of prey, as though the world's extremest bound,—
’Tis there where Sāma lies, as if the moon had fallen on the ground.

A region full of beasts of prey, as though the world's extremest bound,—
’Tis there where Sāma lies, as if the sun had fallen on the ground.

At the world's furthest end he lies, covered with dust and stained with blood;
Stay rather in your cottage here nor tempt the dangers of the wood."

They answered in this stanza to shew their fearlessness:

"Let the wild creatures do their worst,—by thousands, millions, let them swarm,
We have no fear of beasts of prey, they cannot do us aught of harm."

So the king, being unable to stop them, took them by the hand and led them there.

[90] When he had brought them near, he said to them, "This is your son." Then his father clasped his head to his bosom and his mother his feet, and they sat down and lamented.

The Master, to make the matter clear, spoke these stanzas 2:

"Covered with dust and pierced to th’ heart, beholding thus their Sāma lie
Prostrate as if a sun or moon had fallen earthward from the sky,
The parents lifted up their arms, lamenting with a bitter cry.

"O Sāma, art thou fast asleep? art angry? or are we forgot?
Or say, has something vexed thy mind, that thou liest still and answerest not?

Who will now dress our matted locks and wipe the dirt and dust away,
When Sāma is no longer here, the poor blind couple's only stay?

Who now will sweep the floor for us, or bring us water, hot or cold?
Who fetch us forest roots and fruits, as we sit helpless, blind, and old?"

p. 51

[91] After long lamentation the mother smote her bosom with her hand, and considering her sorrow carefully, she said to herself, "This is all mere grief for my son,—he has swooned through the violence of the poison, I will perform a solemn asseveration of truth to take the poison from him"; so she performed an act of truth and repeated the following stanzas:

"If it be true that in old days Sāma lived always virtuously,
Then may this poison in his veins lose its fell force and harmless be.

If in old days he spoke the truth and nursed his parents night and day,
Then may this poison in his veins be overpowered and ebb away.

Whatever merit we have gained in former days, his sire and I,
May it o’erpower the poison's strength and may our darling son not die 1."

[92] When his mother had thus made the solemn asseveration, Sāma turned as he lay there. Then his father also made his solemn asseveration in the same words; and while he was still speaking, Sāma turned round and lay on the other side 2.

Then the goddess made her solemn asseveration. The Master in explanation uttered these stanzas:

"The goddess hidden out of sight upon the Gandhamādan mount
Performed a solemn act of truth, by pity moved on Sāma's count;

"Here in this Gandhamādan mount long have I passed my life alone,
In forest depths where every tree beareth a perfume of its own,

And none of earth's inhabitants is dearer to my inmost heart,—
As this is true so from his veins may all the poison's power depart."

While thus in turn by pity moved they all their solemn witness bore,
Lo in their sight up Sāma sprang, young, fair, and vigorous as before."

Thus the Great Being's recovery from his wound, the restoration of both his parents' sight, and the appearance of dawn,—[93] all these four marvels were produced in the hermitage at the same moment by the goddess's supernatural power. The father and mother were beyond measure delighted to find that they had regained their sight and that Sāma was restored to health. Then Sāma uttered these stanzas:

"I am your Sāma, safe and well,—see me before you and rejoice:
Dry up your tears and weep no more, but greet me with a happy voice.

Welcome to thee too, mighty king, may fortune wait on thy commands;
Thou art our monarch: let us know what thou desirest at our hands.

Tindukas, piyals, madhukas, our choicest fruits we bring our guest,—
Fruits sweet as honey to the taste,—eat whatsoe’er may please thee best.

Here is cold water, gracious lord, brought from the caves in yonder hill,
The mountain-stream best quenches thirst,—if thou art thirsty, drink thy fill 3."

The king also beholding this miracle exclaimed:

"I am bewildered and amazed, which way to turn I cannot tell,
An hour ago I saw thee dead,—who now stand here alive and well!"

p. 52

Sāma thought to himself, "This king looked upon me as dead, I will explain to him my being alive"; so he said:

"A man possessed of all his powers, with not one thought or feeling fled,
Because a swoon has stopped their play, that living man they think is dead."

Then being desirous to lead the king into the real meaning of the whole matter, he added two stanzas to teach him the Law:

[94] "Those mortals who obey the Law and nurse their parents in distress,
The gods observe their piety and come to heal their sicknesses.

Those mortals who obey the Law and nurse their parents in distress,
The gods in this world praise their deed and in the next with heaven them bless."

The king, on hearing this, thought to himself; "This is a wonderful miracle: even the gods heal him who cherishes his parents when he falls into sickness; this Sāma is exceeding glorious"; then he said:

"I am bewildered more and more, which way to turn I cannot see,
Sāma, to thee I fly for help, Sāma, do thou my refuge be."

Then the Great Being said, "O king, if thou wishest to reach the world of the gods and enjoy divine happiness there, thou must practise these ten duties," and he uttered these stanzas concerning them:

"Towards thy parents first of all fulfil thy duty, warrior king;
Duty fulfilled in this life here to heaven hereafter thee shall bring 1.

Towards thy children and thy wife, fulfil thy duty, warrior king;
Duty fulfilled in this life here to heaven hereafter thee shall bring.

Duty to friends and ministers, thy soldiers with their different arms,
To townships and to villages, thy realm with all its subject swarms,

To ascetics, Brahman holy men, duty to birds and beasts, O king,
Duty fulfilled in this life here to heaven hereafter thee shall bring.

Duty fulfilled brings happiness,—yea Indra, Brahma, all their host,
By following duty won their bliss: duty pursue at any cost."

[95] The Great Being, having thus declared to him the ten duties of a king, gave him some still further instruction, and taught him the five precepts. The king accepted the teaching with bended head, and, having reverentially taken his leave, went to Benares, and, after giving many gifts and performing many other virtuous actions, passed away with his court to swell the host of heaven. The Bodhisatta also, with his parents, having attained the supernatural faculties and the various degrees of ecstatic meditation, went to the Brahma world.


After the lesson, the Master said, "O Brethren, it is an immemorial custom with the wise to support their parents." He then declared the truths (after which the Brother attained to the Fruit of the First Path) and identified the Birth: "At that time the king was Ānanda, the goddess was Uppalavaṇṇā, Sakka was Anuruddha, the father was Kassapa, the mother was Bhaddakāpilānī, and Suvaṇṇasāma was I myself."


Footnotes

39:1 Query Brāhmaṇa-saṃyutta, II. 9.

39:2 Reading kho for ko. Prof. Cowell, omitting gaccha, translates:"Who is this who is as a son of your own?"

40:1 dukūla.

41:1 No. 530 in Westergaard's Catalogue, but no such title occurs in our collection. Vissakamma however performs this duty in other Births: see IV. 303, V. 98 (trans.).

41:2 As opposed to the Brahmaloka.

45:1 The Schol. explains usā as "food,"—I have taken it as = ushmā. This is also given as an alternative by the Scholiast. This word however occurs in Pali as usmā or usumā.

45:2 This stanza is twice said.

45:3 Lit. they will only grow dry as a river does.

46:1 Should we not read upaṭṭitabhavañga &c.?

48:1 Repeating the four stanzas given in Vol. IV. p. 270, Vol. V. p. 171.

49:1 Cf. Hitop, II. 135. "Even whilst being raised to honour, a bad man invariably reverts to his natural habit; as a dog's tail, after all the expedients of sudorifics and unguents, remains curled." I read sunagga-.

50:1 If I follow the schol. who seems to connect bhuja with bhuñjati. But could the words mean "beating our faces, arms and eyes"? Sumh, sumbh mean "to strike." Cf. "to hurt." The rendering in the text is clearly right; "his" not "our": but there is nothing to give a clue to the sense of saṁsumbhamānā except the scholiast's note "vaṭṭentā."

50:2 I have omitted some of these stanzas, as they are full of repetitions.

51:1 Here eight stanzas have been compressed into three.

51:2 The prose narrative is often repeated in verse, as it is here. Such repetitions have generally been omitted.

51:3 See above, p. 48.

52:1 See Vol. V. p. 123 (text), Mahāvagga, I. 281.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 541.: Nimi-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. 53

No. 541 1

NIMI-JĀTAKA.

"Lo these grey hairs," etc. This story the Master told while dwelling in Makhādeva's mango park, near Mithilā, about a smile. One day at eventide, the Master with a large company of Brethren was walking up and down in this mango park, when he espied a pleasant spot. Being desirous of telling his behaviour in former times, he allowed a smile to be seen on his face. When asked by the Reverend Ānanda why he smiled, he answered, "In yonder spot, Ānanda, I once dwelt, deep in ecstatic meditation, in the time of King Makhādeva." Then at his request, he sat down upon an offered seat, and told a story of the past.


Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Videha, and in the city of Mithilā, a certain Makhādeva was king 2. Four and eighty thousand years he took his pleasure as a young man, four and eighty thousand years he was viceroy, eighty and four thousand years he was king.

Now he told his barber to be sure to inform him as soon as ever he should see grey hairs on his head. When by and by the barber saw grey hairs, and told him, he made the man pull them out with a pair of tongs, and to lay them upon his hand, and seeing death as it were clinging to his forehead, 6 "now," thinks he, "is the time for me to leave the world." So he gave the barber his choice of a village, and sending for his eldest son, he told him to undertake the government, since he was himself about to renounce the world. "Why, my lord?" asked he. The king replied:

"Lo these grey hairs that on my head appear
Take of my life in passing year by year:
    They are God's messengers, which bring to mind
The time I must renounce the world is near."

[paragraph continues] With these words he made his son king with the ceremonial sprinkling, and leaving him directions to act thus and thus, he left the city; and embracing the life of a Brother, through eighty-four thousand years he fostered the Four Excellencies, and he was then reborn in Brahma's heaven.

His son also, in like manner, renounced the world, and became destined to Brahma's heaven. So also his son again; and so one royal prince after another, to the number of eighty and four thousand less two— each as he saw a white hair in his head became an ascetic in this mango park, and fostered the Four Excellencies, and was born in Brahma's

p. 54

heaven. The first of all this line to be there born, King Makhādeva, standing in Brahma's heaven looked down upon the fortunes of his family, and was glad at heart to see that four and eighty thousand princes less two had renounced the world. He pondered: "Will there be nirvana now, or not?" Seeing that there would not, he resolved that he and no other must round off his family. Accordingly, he came from thence and was conceived in the womb of the king's consort in Mithilā city. On his name-day, the soothsayers looking at his marks, said, "Great king, this prince is born to round off your family. This your family of hermits will go no further." Hearing this, the king said, "The boy is born to round off my family like the hoop of a chariot-wheel!" so he gave him the name of Nemi 1-Kumāra, or Prince Hoop.

From his childhood upwards, the boy was devoted to giving, to virtue, to keeping the sabbath vow. Then his father, as usual, saw a white hair, gave a village to his barber, made his son king, became a hermit in the mango park, and was destined for Brahma's heaven. King Nimi, in his devotion to almsgiving, made five almshalls, one at each of the four gates of the city, and one in the midst of it, and [97] distributed great gifts: in each of the almshalls he distributed a hundred thousand pieces of money, that is five hundred thousand each day; continually he kept the Five Precepts; on the moon-days 2 he observed the sabbath; he encouraged the multitude in almsgiving and good works; he pointed out the road to heaven, and affrighted them with the fear of death, and preached the Law. They abiding by his admonitions, giving gifts and doing good, passed away one after another and were born in the world of gods: that world became full, hell was as it were empty. Then in the Heaven of the Thirty-three, the company of gods assembled in Sudhammā the divine hall of assembly, crying aloud—"Hail to our teacher, King Nimi! By his doing, by the knowledge of a Buddha, we have attained to this divine enjoyment infinite!" Thus they sang the virtues of the Great Being. Even in the world of men that sound of praise was spread, as oil spreads over the surface of the great deep.

The Master explained this to the assembled Brethren in the following lines:

"It was a marvel in the world how good men did arise
In the days of good King Nimi, the worthy and the wise.

Alms gave Videha's monarch, the conqueror of his foes;
And as he gave in charity, this thought in him arose:
"Which is more fruitful—holy life or giving alms? who knows 3?"

At that moment Sakka's throne became hot. Sakka pondering the

p. 55

reason, saw him reflecting there. [98] "I will solve the question," he said; and going about, and swiftly, he made the palace one blaze of light, and entering the chamber, stood there glowing; and at the king's request, made all clear.

To explain this, the Master said:

"The mighty monarch of the gods, he of the thousand eyes,
Perceives his thought; before his light away the darkness flies.

Great Nimi spake to Vāsava, and all his flesh did creep:

"Who art thou? or a demigod or Sakka's self must be:
For I have never seen or heard such glory as I see."

Then Vāsava to Nimi spake, knowing his flesh did creep:

Sakka, the king of gods, I am; to visit you I'm here;
Ask what you will, O king, and let your flesh not creep for fear."

Then Nimi spake to Vāsava, this invitation made:

"Most puissant lord of all that breathe, this question solve for me:
Holy to live, or alms to give, which should more fruitful be?"

Then Vāsava to Nimi spake, solving his question so,
And told the fruit of holy life to him who did not know:

"He's born a Khattiya, who lives holy in the third degree:
A god, the middle; and the first brings perfect purity."

Not easy are these states to win by any charity,
Which hermits who have left the world win by austerity."

[99] By these verses he illustrated the great fruitfulness of a holy life, and then recited others, naming the kings who in times past had been unable to get beyond the domain of sense by giving great gifts:

"Dudīpa, Sāgara, Sela, Mucalinda, Bhagīrasa,
Usīnara and Aṭṭhaka, Assaka, and Puthujjana,

Yea, kings and brahmins, Khattiya chiefs, many and many a one,
For all their sacrifice, beyond the Peta world came none."

Having thus explained how much greater was the fruitfulness of holy life than that of almsgiving, he described those ascetics who by the holy life had passed the Peta world to be born in Brahma's heaven, and said:

"These holy hermits who had left the world,
Seven sages, passed beyond: Yāmahanu,
Somayāga, Manojava, Samudda,
Māgha, and Bharata, and Kālikara:
Four others: Kassapa, Aṅgīrasa,
Akitti, Kisavaccha, these besides."

[100] So far, he described by tradition the great fruit of a holy life; but now he went on, declaring what he had himself seen:

"Sīdā's a river in the north, unnavigable 1, deep:
About it, like a fire of reeds, blaze golden mountains steep,

p. 56

With creepers filled and fragrant plants river and hills as well.
Thereby ten thousand eremites once on a time did dwell.

Noble am I, who kept the vow of temperance, self-control,
Almsgiving: solitary then tended 1 each stedfast soul.

Caste or no caste, the upright man I would attend at need:
For every mortal man is bound by his own act and deed.

Apart from righteousness, all castes are sure to sink to hell:
All castes are purified if they are righteous and act well."

[102] After this, he said: "But, great king, although holy living is more fruitful by far than almsgiving, yet both these are the thoughts of great men: do you be watchful in both, give alms and follow virtue." With this advice, he went to his own place.

Then the company of gods said: "Sire, we have not seen you lately; where have you been?" "Sirs, a doubt arose in the mind of King Nimi at Mithilā, and I went to resolve the question, and to place him beyond doubt." And then he described the occurrence in verse:

"Listen to me, Sirs, one and all that here assembled be:
Men who are righteous differ much in caste and quality.

There is King Nimi, wise and good, the better part who chose—
King of Videha, gave great gifts, that conqueror of his foes;

And as these bounteous gifts he gave, behold this doubt arose:
Which is more fruitful—holy life or giving alms? who knows?"

[103] So he spoke, without omission, telling the king's quality. This made the deities long to see that king; and they said, "Sire, King Nimi is our teacher; by following his admonitions, by his means, we have attained to the joy of godhood. We wish to see him—send for him, Sire, and show him to us!" Sakka consented, and sent Mātali: "Friend Mātali, yoke my royal car, go to Mithilā, place King Nimi in the divine chariot and bring him here." Mātali obeyed and departed. Whilst Sakka was talking with the gods, and giving his orders to Mātali, and sending his chariot, one month had past by men's reckoning. So it was the holy day of the full moon: King Nimi opening the eastern window was sitting on the upper floor, surrounded by his courtiers, contemplating virtue; and just as the moon's disk rose in the east this chariot appeared. The people had eaten their evening meal, and sat at their doors talking comfortably together. "Why, there are two moons to-day!" they cried. As they gossiped, the chariot became plain to their view. "No, it is no moon," they said, "but a chariot!" In due course there appeared Mātali's team of a thousand thoroughbreds, and the car of Sakka, and they wondered whom that could be for? Ah, their king was righteous; for him Sakka's divine

p. 57

car must be sent; Sakka must wish to see their king. So in delight they cried out:

"A marvel in the world, to make one shiver with delight:
For glorious Videha comes the car divine in sight!"

As the people talked and talked, swift as the wind came Mātali, who turned the chariot, and brought it to rest out of the way by the sill of the window, and called on the king to enter.

[104] Explaining this, the Master said:

"The mighty Mātali, the charioteer
Of heaven, summoned now Videha's king
Who lived in Mithilā: "Come, noble king,
Lord of the world, upon this chariot mount:
Indra and all the gods, the Thirty-three,
Would see you, waiting in Sudhammā Hall."

The king thought, "I shall see the gods' dwelling-place, which I never have seen; and I shall be showing kindness to Mātali," so he addressed his women and all the people, and said—"In a short time I shall return: you must be watchful, do good and give alms." Then he got into the car.

The Master said, to explain this 1:

"Then with all speed, Videha's king arose,
And went towards the chariot, and got in.
When he was in it, Mātali thus spoke:
"By which road shall I take you, noble king?
Where dwell the wicked, or where dwell the good?"

At this the king thought—"I have never seen either of these places before, and I should like to see both." He answered:

"Mātali, charioteer divine, both places I would see:
Both where the righteous men abide, and where the wicked be."

Mātali thinking, "One cannot see both at once; I will question him," recited a stanza:

"Which first, great monarch, noble king—which place first would you see,
That where the righteous men abide, or where the wicked be?"

[105] Then the king, thinking that go to heaven he would in any case, and that he might as well choose to see hell 2, recited the next stanza:

"I'd see the place of sinful men; please let me go to hell;
Where they who once did cruel deeds and where the wicked dwell."

Then he just showed him Vetaraṇī 3, the river of hell.

To explain this, the Master said;

"Mātali showed the king Vetaraṇī,
A river stinking, full of corrosive brine,
Hot, covered all with burning flames of fire."

p. 58

The king was terrified when he saw creatures thus sorely tormented in Vetaraṇī, and he asked Mātali what sins they had done. Mātali told him.

This the Master explained:

"Then Nimi, when he saw the people fall
In this deep river-flood, asked Mātali
1 6 "Fear comes on me to see it, charioteer:
Tell me, what is the sin these mortals did
Who are cast in the river?" He replied,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"Who in the world of life are strong themselves,
Yet hurt the weak, oppress them, doing sin,
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Are cast into the stream Vetaraṇī."

Thus did Mātali answer his question. And when the king had seen the hell Vetaraṇī, he caused this place to disappear, and driving the chariot onwards showed him the place where they are torn by dogs and other beasts. He answered the, king's question as follows.

This the Master explained:

"Black dogs and speckled vultures, flocks of crows
Most horrid, prey upon them. When I look,
Fear seizes on me. Tell me, Mātali,
What sin have these committed, charioteer,
Whom ravens prey on?" Mātali replied,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These are the churls, the misers, foul of tongue
To brahmins and ascetics, that do hurt;
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Are those you see of ravens here the prey."

[107] His other questions are answered in the same way.

"Their bodies all ablaze they lie prostrate,
Pounded with red-hot lumps: when I behold,
Fear seizes on me. Tell me, Mātali,
What sins have these committed, charioteer,
Who lie there beaten with the red-hot lumps?"
Then Mātali the charioteer replied,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These in the world of life were sinful men,
Who hurt and did torment those without sin,
Both men and women, sinful as they were.
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Now lie there beaten with the red-hot lumps."

"Others lie struggling in a pit of coals,
Roaring, their bodies charred: when I behold,
1 Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin have these committed, charioteer,
Who lie there struggling in the fiery pit?"
Then Mātali the charioteer replied,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These are they who before a crowd of men
Suborned a witness and forswore a debt;
And thus destroying people, mighty king,
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Lie there now struggling in the pit of coals."

p. 59

"Blazing and flaming, all one mass of fire,
I see an iron cauldron, huge and great:
Fear comes upon me, as I look upon it.
Mātali, tell me, charioteer divine—
What sin these mortals did, that here headfirst
They're cast into the iron cauldron huge?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"Whoso has hurt a brahmin or ascetic,
Foul men of sin, and he a virtuous man,
Those cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Now headlong fall into the iron bowl."

[109] "They wring them by the neck and cast them in,
Filling the cauldron full of boiling water!
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
That with their heads all battered, there they lie?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These are the wicked men who in the world
Caught birds, and did destroy them, mighty king;
And thus, destroying other creatures, they
By these their cruel acts gave rise to sin,
And they lie yonder, with their own necks wrung."

"There flows a river, deep, with shallow banks,
Easy of access: thither go the men,
Scorcht with the heat, and drink: but as they drink,
The water turns to chaff 1; which when I see,
Fear seizes on me. Tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
That as they drink, the water turns to chaff?"
1 Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These men are they who mixt good grain with chaff,
And sold it to a buyer, doing ill;
Therefore now scorcht with heat and parcht with thirst,
Even as they drink, the water turns to chaff."

"With spikes and spears and arrowheads they pierce
Those loudly-wailing folk on either side:
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
That they lie yonder riddled with the spears?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These in the world of life were wicked men
Who took what was not theirs, and lived upon it—
Goats, sheep, kine, bulls, corn, treasure, silver, gold:
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Now yonder lie all riddled with the spears."

[111] "Who are these fastened by the neck I see,
Some cut to pieces, others all to-torn:
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
That they lie yonder torn in little bits?"

p. 60

Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"Fishers and butchers, hunters of the boar,
Slayers of cattle, bulls, and goats, who slew
And laid the corpses in the slaughter-house,
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Are lying yonder torn in little bits."

"Yon lake of filth and ordure, stinking foul,
With evil scent unclean, where starving men
Eat of the contents! this when I behold,
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
Whom there I see devouring dirt and filth?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These are malicious persons 1, who, for hurt
Of others, lived with them, and harmed their friends:
1 2 These cruel creatures begat sin, and now,
Poor fools, they have ordure and filth to eat."

"Yon lake is full of blood, and stinking foul,
With evil scent unclean, where scorcht with heat
Men drink the contents! which when I behold,
Fear seizes on me; tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
That they must now drink of the draught of blood?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"They who have slain a mother or a father,
Whom they should reverence; excommunicate
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Are those who yonder drink the draught of blood."

"That tongue see, pierced with a hook, like as a shield
Stuck with a hundred barbs; and who are those
1 3 Who struggle leaping like a fish on land,
And roaring, drabble spittle? when I see it,
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
Whom I see yonder swallowing the hook?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These men are they who in the market-place
Haggling and cheapening from their greed of gain
Have practised knavery, and thought it hidden,
Like one that hooks a fish: but for the knave
There is no safety, dogged by all his deeds:
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Are lying yonder swallowing the hook."

"Yon women, bent and broken, stretching their arms
And wailing, wretched, smeared with stains of blood,
Like cattle in the shambles, stand waist-deep
Buried in earth, the upper trunk ablaze!
1 4 Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those women,
That now they stand all buried in the earth
Waist-deep, the upper trunk a mass of flame?"

p. 61

Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"They were of noble birth when in the world,
Lived lives unclean, did deeds of wickedness,
Were traitors, left their husbands, and besides
Did other things to satisfy their lust;
They spent their lives in dalliance; therefore now
Stand blazing, waist-deep buried in the earth."

"Why do they seize yon persons by the legs
And cast them headlong into Naraka 1?
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
1 5 What sin has been committed by those men,
That they are so hurled headlong into Naraka?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"These in the world did evil, did seduce
Another's wife, stole his most precious thing,
So now are headlong cast in Naraka.
They suffer misery for countless years
In hell; there is no safety for the sinner,
But he is ever dogged by his own deeds.
These cruel creatures begat sin, and they
Are now cast headlong into Naraka."

With these words, Mātali the charioteer made this hell to disappear also, and driving the chariot onwards, showed him the hell of torment for heretics. On request he explained it to him.

"Many and various causes I have seen
Most terrible, amongst these hells: to see them
Fear seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What sin has been committed by those mortals,
Why they must suffer this excessive pain,
So sharp, so cruel, so intolerable?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how sin ripens and bears fruit:
"Who in the world were wicked heretics,
Who put their faith in false delusion,
Made proselytes of others to their heresy,
1 6 They by their heresy begetting sin
Must therefore suffer this excessive pain,
So sharp, so cruel, so intolerable."

Now in heaven the gods were sitting in Sudhammā. Hall, looking for the king's coming. "Mātali is a long time away," thought Sakka; and he perceived the reason, so he said, "Mātali is going the round as guide, showing all the different hells to the king and telling him what sin led to each hell. So calling to him a young god, very swift, he said to him—"Go tell Mātali to bring the king quickly hither. He is using up King Nimi's life; he must not go round all the hells." With speed the young god went, and gave his message. When Mātali heard it, he said, "We must not delay"; then showing to the king at one flash all the great hells in the four quarters, he recited a stanza:

p. 62

"Now, mighty monarch, thou hast seen the place
Of sinners, and where cruel men are sent,
And where the wicked go: now, royal sage,
Come let us hasten to the king of heaven."

With this speech he turned the chariot towards heaven. As the king went towards heaven he beheld 1 in the air the mansion of a goddess, Bīraṇī, with pinnacles of jewels and gold, ornamented in great magnificence, having a park and a lake covered with lilies, and surrounded with trees worthy of the place: and there was this goddess seated upon a divan in a gabled chamber towards the front, and attended by a thousand nymphs, looking out through an open window. He asked Mātali who she was, and Mātali explained it to him.

"Behold yon mansion with five pinnacles:
There, deckt with garlands, lies upon a. couch
A most puissant woman, who assumes
All kinds of majesty and wondrous power.
Joy comes on me to see it, charioteer:
But tell me, Mātali, what her good deeds,
That she is happy in this heavenly mansion."
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"Heard you ever in the world of Bīraṇī?
A brahmin's home-born slave, who once received
A guest at the right moment, welcomed him
As mother might her son.; and therefore now,
Generous and chaste, lives happy in this mansion."

[118] With these words, Mātali drove the chariot onwards and showed him the seven golden mansions of the god Soṇadinna. The other, when he saw these and the glory of the god, asked an explanation, which Mātali gave.

"There are seven mansions, shining clear and bright,
Where dwells a mighty being, richly dight,
Who with his wives inhabits them. Delight
Moves me, to see it: tell me, Mātali,
What is the good this mortal did, that he
Dwells happy in this mansion heavenly?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Declaring how good ripens and bears fruit:
"This once was Soṇadinna, one who gave
With royal bounty, and for hermits wrought
Seven hermitages: all their needs did crave
He faithfully provided. Food he brought,
Bedding to lie on, clothes to wear, and light,
Contented with those men of life upright,
He kept the sabbath day, and each fortnight
The eighth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth days;
Generous, controlled, he walked in holy ways 1,
So now dwells in this mansion of delight."

[119] Thus he described the deeds of Soṇadinna; then driving onwards his chariot, he showed a mansion of crystal: in height it was five and

p. 63

twenty leagues, it had hundreds of columns made of the seven precious things, hundreds of pinnacles, it was set about with lattices and little bells, a banner of gold and silver flew, beside it was a park and grove full of many bright flowers, with a lovely lake of lilies, nymphs cunning to sing and to make music were there in plenty. Then the king seeing this asked what were the deeds of these nymphs, and the other told him.

"Yon mansion built of crystal, shining bright,
With pinnacles uplifted in the height,
With food and drink in plenty, and a throng
Of goodly women skilled in dance and song!
Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good these women did, that now in heaven
They dwell within this palace of delight?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"These women ever walked in holy ways,
Faithful lay sisters, kept the holy days,
Generous, controlled, and watchful, heart-serene,
Now happy in the mansion you have seen."

He drove the chariot on, and showed a mansion of gems: it stood on a level spot, lofty, like a mountain of gems, bright shining, full of gods that played and sang divine music. Seeing this, the king asked what were the deeds of these gods, and the other replied.

[120] "Yon mansion built of jewels, shining bright,
Symmetrical, proportioned, a fair sight,
Where in divinest melody around,
Songs, dances, drums and tabours do resound:
I never have beheld a sight so fair,
Nor sounds so sweet have ever heard, I swear!
Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good these mortals did, that now I see
Happy in this heavenly mansion of delight?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"These were lay Brethren in the world of men:
Provided parks and wells, or water drew
In the well-shed, and tranquil saints did feed,
Found clothes, food, drink and bedding, every need,
Contented with these men of life upright,
Who kept the sabbath day, and each fortnight
The eighth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth days;
Generous, controlled, they walked in holy ways,
And now dwell in this mansion of delight."

Thus having described the deeds of these persons, he drove on and showed him another crystal mansion: with many a pinnacle, and all manner of flowers all about, and fine trees, echoing with the songs of birds of all kinds, by which flowed a river of pure water, 1 2 become the dwelling-place of a virtuous person surrounded by a company of nymphs. Seeing this the king asked what his deeds were; and the other told him.

"Yon mansion built of crystal, shining bright,
Its pinnacles uplifted in the height,

p. 64

With food and drink in plenty, and a throng
Of goodly women skilled in dance and song,
And rivers, fringed with many a flower and tree—
Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good this mortal did in life, that he
Rejoices in this mansion heavenly?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"At Kimbilā a householder was he,
Bounteous, gave parks and wells, and faithfully
Drew water, and the tranquil saints did feed,
Found clothes, food, drink and bedding, every need,
Contented with these men of life upright,
He kept the sabbath day, and each fortnight
The eighth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth days;
Generous, controlled, he walked in holy ways,
And now dwells in this mansion of delight."

Thus he described the deeds of this man, and drove on. Then he showed another crystal mansion: this even more than the last was grown about with all manner of fruit and flowers and clumps of trees. This seen, the king asked what were the deeds of this man who was so fortunate, and the other told him.

"Yon mansion, built of jewels, shining bright,
Its pinnacles uplifted in the height,
With food and drink in plenty, and a throng
1 2 Of goodly women skilled in dance and song,
And rivers, fringed with many a tree and flower,
Royal and elephant trees, and mango, sāl,
Roseapple sweet, and tindook, piyal bower,
And orchard-trees fruit-bearing one and all—
Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good this mortal did in life, that he
Rejoices in this mansion heavenly?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"At Mithilā a householder was he,
Bounteous, gave parks and wells, and faithfully
Drew water, and the tranquil saints did feed,
Found clothes, food, drink and bedding, all their need,
Contented with these men of life upright,
He kept the sabbath day, and each fortnight
The eighth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth days;
Generous, controlled, he walked in holy ways,
And now dwells in this mansion of delight."

Thus he described the deeds of this man also, and drove on. Then he showed another mansion of jewels, like the first, and at the king's request told him the deeds of a god who was happy there.

"Yon mansion built of jewels, shining bright,
Symmetrical, proportioned, a fair sight,
Where in divinest melody around,
Songs, dances, drums and tabours do resound:
I never have beheld a sight so fair,
Nor sounds so sweet have ever heard, I swear!

p. 65

[123] Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good these mortals did, whom now I see
Happy in this heavenly mansion of delight?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"Once a Benares householder was he,
Bounteous, gave parks and wells, and faithfully
Drew water, and the tranquil saints did feed,
Found clothes, food, drink and bedding, all their need,
Contented with these men of life upright,
He kept the sabbath day, and each fortnight
The eighth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth days;
Generous, controlled, he walked in holy ways,
And now dwells in this mansion of delight."

Again driving on, he showed a mansion of gold, like the sun in his strength, and at the king's request told him the deeds of the god who dwelt there.

"Behold yon mansion made of flaming fire,
Red like the sun whereas he riseth higher!
Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good this mortal did in life, that he
Rejoices in this mansion heavenly?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"Once a Sāvatthi householder was he,
Bounteous, gave parks and wells, and faithfully
Drew water, and the tranquil saints did feed,
Found clothes, food, drink and bedding, all their need,
Contented with these men of life upright,
He kept the sabbath day, and each fortnight
The eighth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth days;
Generous, controlled, he walked in holy ways,
And now dwells in this mansion of delight."

[124] As he thus described these eight mansions, Sakka, king of the gods, thinking that Mātali was a long time in coming, sent another swift god with a message. Mātali, on hearing the message, saw that there must be no more delay; so at one flash he showed many mansions, and described to the king what were the deeds of those who dwelt in then.

"See many fiery mansions in the air,
As in a bank of cloud the lightning's flare!
Joy seizes on me: tell me, Mātali,
What good these mortals did, whom now I see
Rejoicing in the heavenly mansion there?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"Good-living, well-instructed, full of faith,
They acted as the Master's teaching saith;
By living as the Allwise Buddha told
They came to these abodes you now behold."

Having thus shown him these mansions in the sky, he set out to come before Sakka with these words:

"Thou’st seen the places of the good and wicked in the air;
Unto the monarch of the gods come let us now repair."

p. 66

[125] With these words he drove on, and showed him the seven hills which make a ring about Sineru; to explain how the king questioned Mātali on seeing these, the Master said:

"As the king journeyed on his way in the celestial car
Drawn by a thousand steeds, he saw the mountain peaks afar
In Sīdā ocean, and he asked, "Tell me what hills these are."

At this question of Nimi the god Mātali replied:

"The mighty hills Sudassara, Karavīka, Īsadhara,
Yugandhara, Nemindhara, Vinataka, Assakaṇṇa.
These hills are in Sīdantara, in order there they be,
Which high-upstanding in the air thou, mighty king, dost see."

Thus he showed the Heaven of the Four Great Kings, and drove on until he could show the statues of Indra which stood around the great Cittakūṭa gateway of the Heaven of the Thirty-three. At this sight the king asked, and the other answered.

"This place so fine, elaborate, adorned,
Set round with Indra's statues, as it were
By tigers guarded—[126] as I see this sight,
Joy comes upon me: tell me, Mātali,
What is the name of this that I behold?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
"This place is Cittakūṭa which you see,
The entrance to the place of heaven's king,
The doorway of the Mountain Beautiful:
Elaborate, adorned, and set about
With Indra's statues, as by tigers guarded.
Enter, wise king! enter this spotless place."

With these words Mātali led the king within; so it is said—

"Journeying in the car celestial,
Drawn by a thousand steeds, the mighty king
Beheld the place where all the gods assemble."

And as he passed along, standing in the car still, he saw the place of the gods' assemblage in Sudhammā, and questioned Mātali, who replied.

"As in the autumn is the sky all blue,
So is that jewelled mansion to the view.
Joy comes upon me: tell me, Mātali,
What is this mansion which I now behold?"
Then answered Mātali the charioteer,
Describing how good ripens and bears fruit:
1 2 "This is Sudhammā, where the gods assemble,
Supported by fair columns, finely wrought,
Eight-sided, made of gems and jewels rare,
Where dwell the Three-and-thirty, with their chief,
Lord Indra, thinking of the happiness
Of gods and men: enter this lovely place,
O mighty monarch, where the gods abide!"

The gods on their part sat watching for his arrival; and when they heard that the king was come, they went out to meet him with divine

p. 67

flowers and perfumes as far as the great Cittakūṭa gateway; and presenting him with their flowers and perfumes they brought him to Sudhammā Hall. The king dismounting from the car entered the hall of the gods, and the gods offered him a seat, Sakka the like and all pleasures too.

Explaining this, the Master said 1:

"The gods beheld the king arrive: and then, their guest to greet,
Cried—"Welcome, mighty monarch, whom we are so glad to meet!
O king! beside the king of gods we pray you take a seat."

And Sakka welcomed Vedeha, the king of Mithilā town,
Ay, Vāsava offered him all joys and prayed him to sit down.

"Amid the rulers of the world O welcome to our land:
Dwell with the gods, O king! who have all wishes at command,
Enjoy immortal pleasures, where the Three-and-thirty stand."

Thus Sakka offered him celestial pleasures; and the king declining made answer 2:

"As when a chariot, or when goods are given on demand,
So is it to enjoy a bliss given by another's hand.

[128] I care not blessings to receive given by another's hand,
My goods are mine and mine alone when on my deeds I stand.

I'll go and do much good to men, give alms throughout the land,
Will follow virtue, exercise control and self-command:
He that so acts is happy, and fears no remorse at hand."

Thus did the Great Being discourse to the gods with honeyed sound; and discoursing he stayed seven days by men's reckoning, and gave delight to the company of the gods. And standing in the midst of the gods he described the virtue of Mātali:

"A most obliging personage is Mātali the charioteer,
The places where the good abide and where the bad, he showed me clear."

Then the king took leave of Sakka, saying that he wished to go to the world of men. Then Sakka said, "Friend Mātali, take King Nimi at once to Mithilā." He got ready the chariot; the king exchanged friendly greetings with the company of gods, left them and entered the car. Mātali drove the car eastwards to Mithilā. There the crowd, seeing the chariot, were delighted to know that their king was returning. Mātali passed round the city of Mithilā rightwise, and put down the Great Being at the same window, took leave, and returned to his own place. A great number of people surrounded the king, and asked him what the gods' world was like. The king, describing the happiness of the gods and of Sakka their king, exhorted them to give alms and do good, for so they should be born in that divine place.

Afterwards, when his barber found a white hair and told him, he

p. 68

made the barber put aside that white hair; 1 2 then he gave a village to the barber, and desiring to renounce the world, made his son king in his place. So when asked why he wished to renounce the world, he recited the stanza, "Lo, these grey hairs"; and like the former kings he renounced the world, and dwelt in the same mango grove, developing the Four Excellencies, and became destined to Brahma's heaven.

It is his renouncing of the world which is described by the Master in the last stanza:

"Thus spake King Nimi, lord of Mithilā,
And having made a mighty sacrifice,
Entered upon the path of self-control."

And his son, named Kaḷāra janaka, also renounced the world, and brought his line to an end.


When the Master had finished this discourse, he said—"So, Brethren, this is not the first time the Tathāgata left the world; he did the same before." Then he identified the Birth: "At that time, Anuruddha was Sakka, Ānanda was Mātali, the eighty-four kings were the Buddha's followers, and King Nimi was I myself."


Footnotes

53:1 No. 541 was not amongst Prof. Cowell's MSS.

53:2 See No. 9, Vol. I. p. 137 (trans. p. 30). See also note I. 32 trans.

54:1 Sic, but below, Nimi.

54:2 pakkhadivasesu.

54:3 The scholiast says that this doubt occurred to him in the night, and that he could not decide.

55:1 "Because," quoth the scholiast, "the water is so delicate, that even a peacock's feather will not float, but sinks to the bottom."

56:1 The scholiast adds upatthahiṁ to complete the construction. He adds a long dull story to explain how this came about. This stanza is quite as abrupt in the original.

57:1 The composite character of the following episode is clear.

57:2 With the description of hell compare Vol. V. p. 266 ff. (translation, p. 137 ff.), Mahāvastu, I. 9 ff., 16 ff., Çikṣāsamuccaya, p. 75 ff.

57:3 The scholiast gives a long description of the horrors of this region.

59:1 "And all blazes up": schol.

60:1 kāraṇikā: "kāraṇakārakā." The small St Petersburg Dictionary gives "Lehrer" as one meaning of it. There is nothing more to guide us.

61:1 "An abyss full of blazing coals": schol.

62:1 See IV. 32019 ff., translation IV. 202 with note 1.

67:1 Vol. IV. p. 356 (IV. 225 of the translation).

67:2 Vol. IV. p. 358(IV. 225 of the translation); and II. 257.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 542.: The Khaṇḍahāla-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


No. 542.

THE KHAṆḌAHĀLA-JĀTAKA.

"In Pupphavatī once there reigned," etc. The Teacher, while dwelling on the Gijjhakūṭa mountain, related this story concerning Devadatta. Its substance is contained in the section relating to the sin of causing schisms in the community; it is to be fully known by studying the Tathāgata's conduct from his first becoming an ascetic down to the murder of King Bimbisāra. As soon as he had caused him to be killed, Devadatta went to Ajātasattu and said to him, "O king, thy desire has attained its end, but mine has not yet attained it." He replied, "What is your desire?" "I wish to have Dasabala killed and then myself become Buddha." "Well, what have we to do?" "We must collect some archers together." The king assented and collected five hundred archers, all able to shoot as quick as the lightning, and of these he chose out one-and-thirty 1 3 and sent them to wait on Devadatta, telling them to carry out his commands. He called the chief one amongst them and said to him, "My friend, the ascetic Gotama lives on the Gijjhakūṭa mountain: at a certain time he walks up and down in his place of retirement during the day; do you go there and wound him with a poisoned arrow, and when you have killed him return hither by such a road." Then he sent two archers by that road, and said to them, "You will meet a man coming by your road,—kill him and return by such a road." Then he sent four archers by that road with the same instructions, and after that similarly eight and sixteen. If you ask why he did this, he did it to conceal his own wickedness. So this chief man among the archers bound his sword on his left side and his quiver on his back, and taking his bow made of a

p. 69

ram's horn went to the Tathāgata; but after he had strung his bow to wound him, and fixed the arrow, and pulled the string, he could not discharge it. His whole body became stiff as if it were crushed, and he stood terrified with the fear of death. When the Teacher saw him he spoke in a gentle voice, "Fear not, come hither." He at once threw down his weapons and fell with his head on the Blessed One's feet, saying, "My lord, sin has overpowered me like a child or a fool or a sinner; I knew not thy virtues, and I came here at the command of that blind dotard Devadatta, to take away thy life: forgive me, I pray." He gained his pardon and sat down on one side. Then the Teacher revealed the Truths to him and caused him to attain the first grade of sanctification. Then he told him to return by another road than that ordered by Devadatta; and himself came down from his covered walk and sat at the foot of a tree. As the first archer did not return, the two others came along the road to meet him, and wondered why he delayed so long, until at last they saw the Buddha, when they went up to him, and after saluting him sat down on one side of him. Then he revealed the Truths to them also and made them attain the first grade of sanctification, and told them to return by another road than that ordered by Devadatta. In the same way, as the others came up and successively sat down, he established them also in the first grade of sanctification and sent them away by another road. Then the archer who first returned 1 3 went to Devadatta and said to him, "Master, I was not able to kill the Allwise One, he is the Mighty One, the Blessed One of supernatural powers." Thus they all recognised that they had saved their lives only through the Allwise One, and they embraced the ascetic life under him, and became arhats. This incident became known in the assembly of the Brotherhood, and one day they began to talk of it in the hall of truth; "Brethren, have you heard how Devadatta, in his enmity against one person, the Blessed One, has tried hard to deprive many people of their lives, and how they all saved their lives through the Teacher?" In came the Master and asked, "Brethren, what are you talking of as you sit here?" and when they told him, "This is not the first time," said he; "he tried before this to deprive many people of their lives in his enmity against me"; and he told them a story of the past.


In the olden time this Benares was called Pupphavatī. The son of King Vasavatti reigned there, named Ekarājā, and his son Candakumāra was viceroy. A brahmin named Khaṇḍahāla was the family priest: he gave the king counsel in temporal and spiritual matters, and the king, having a high opinion of his wisdom, made him a judge. But he, being fond of bribes, used to take bribes and dispossess the real owners and put the wrong owners in possession. One day a man who had lost his suit went out of the judgment hall loudly complaining, and, as he saw Candakumāra passing by to visit the king, he threw himself at his feet. The prince asked him what was the matter. "My lord, Khaṇḍahāla robs the suitors when he judges: I have lost my cause, although I gave him a bribe." The prince told him to cease his fears, and, having taken him to court, made him the owner of the disputed property. The people loudly shouted their applause. When the king heard it and asked the reason, they replied, "Candakumāra has rightly decided a suit which was determined wrongly by Khaṇḍahāla: this is why there was such shouting." When the prince came and had paid his homage, the king said to him, "My son, they say you have just judged a case." "Yes, Sire." He gave the office of judge to the prince and told him thenceforth to determine all

p. 70

suits. Khaṇḍahāla's income began to fall off, and from that time he conceived a hatred against the prince and watched for some fault in him. Now the king had little religious insight; and one day at dawn, at the end of his sleep he saw the heaven of the Thirty-three gods with its ornamented portico, and its walls made of the seven precious things, sixty 1 2 3 yojanas in extent, with golden streets, a thousand yojanas in height, adorned with the Vejayanta and other palaces, with all the glories of the Nandana and other forests and the Nandā and other lakes and filled everywhere with heavenly beings. He longed to enter into it and he thought, "when the teacher Khaṇḍahāla comes I will ask him the way to the world of the gods, and I will enter it by the road which he points out." Khaṇḍahāla came to the palace in the early morning, and asked whether the king had passed a happy night. Then the king commanded that a seat should be given him and asked his question. The Teacher has thus narrated it:

"In Pupphavatī once there reigned a wicked king who in his need
Asked Khaṇḍahāla, his base priest, brahmin in name but not in deed;

Thou art a seer to whom, they say, all sacred learning has been given,—
Tell me the road whose travellers rise by their good merits up to heaven."

Now this was a question which, in default of an all-knowing Buddha or his disciples, one must ask of a Bodhisatta, but which the king asked of Khaṇḍahāla; just as a man who for seven days had lost his way might ask guidance of another who had lost his way for a fortnight. He thought to himself, "Now is the time to see my enemy's back, now I will kill Candakumāra and fulfil my desire." So he addressed the king:

"Exceeding many gifts bestow, those who deserve not death destroy,—
Thus men surpassing merit win and reach at last to heaven's joy."

The king asked:

"What are th’ exceeding many gifts? and who deserve not to be slain?
I'll give the gifts, the victims slay, if you but make your meaning plain."

[133] Then he explained his meaning:

"Thy sons, thy queens must offered be, thy merchant princes too must fall,
Thy choicest bulls, thy noblest steeds,—yea the four kinds of victims all";

And thus, being asked the road to heaven, in answer to the question he declared the road to hell.

He said to himself, "If I take Candakumāra alone they will think that I have done it through enmity to him"; so he put him in with a number of people. When the matter came to be talked about, the ladies of the royal palace, hearing the rumour, were filled with alarm, and at once raised a loud cry. Explaining this, the Master recited a stanza:

"The royal ladies heard the news: "Princes and queens are doomed," they cried,
And a wild cry of sudden fear rose up to heaven on every side."

p. 71

The entire royal family were agitated like a grove of sāl trees shaken by the wind at the world's end; even the brahmin asked the king whether or not it was possible for him to offer the sacrifice. "What dost thou mean, O teacher? If I offer it I shall go to the world of the gods." "O king, those who are timid and weak of purpose cannot offer this sacrifice. Do thou assemble them all here, and I will make the offering in the sacrificial pit." So he took sufficient forces and went out of the city, and ordered a sacrificial pit to be dug with a level floor, and surrounded it with a fence; for ancient brahmins had enjoined that this surrounding fence should be made, lest some righteous ascetic or brahmin might come and stop the rite.

[134] The king also caused a proclamation to be made, "By sacrificing my sons and daughters and my wives I shall go to the world of the gods, do you go and announce this to them and bring them all here"; and he at once ordered them to bring his sons:

"Warn Canda, Suriya 1 of my will, then Bhaddasena in his turn,
Sūra and Vāmagotta next,—they must all die: my will is stern."

So they went first to Candakumāra and said, "O prince, thy father desires to kill thee and go to heaven; he has sent us to seize thee." "By whose instructions has he ordered me to be seized?" "By those of Khaṇḍahāla." "Does he wish to have me alone seized or others also with me?" "Others also with thee, for he desires to offer a sacrifice of the four kinds of victims." He thought to himself, "He has no enmity against others, but he intends to put many to death in his enmity against me alone, because I prevent him from committing robbery by his unjust judgment; it is my duty to obtain an interview with my father and gain from him the release of all the rest." So he said to them, "Carry out my father's commands." They took him to the palace yard and placed him by himself, and then they brought the other three 2 and when they had set them near they informed the king. Then he bade them bring his daughters and place them near the others:

"Upaseṇī and Kokilā, Muditā, Nandā, each in turn,
Tell the princesses of their doom,—they must all die: my will is stern."

So they went and brought them weeping and wailing, and placed them near their brothers. Then the king uttered a stanza to order that his wives should be seized:

"Tell Vijayā, first of all my queens, Sunandā, Kesinī, each in turn,
With all their beauty and their charms, they must all die: my will is stern."

[135] Then they brought them also, loudly wailing, and placed them

p. 72

near the princes. Then the king uttered a stanza ordering them to seize his four merchants:

"Punṇamukha and Bhaddiya, Siṅgāla, Vaddha, each in turn,
Bear to my merchants my command,—they all must die: my will is stern."

The king's officers went and brought them. When the king's sons and wives were brought the citizens uttered not a word; but the merchants had a widely-spread kindred, and the whole city was troubled when they were seized, and loudly protested against their being sacrificed, and went with their relatives into the king's presence. Then the merchants surrounded by their kindred begged the king to spare their lives. Explaining this, the Master said:

"The merchants raised a bitter cry, surrounded by their sons and wives,
"Leave but the topknot, shave our heads,—make us thy slaves, but spare our lives."

[paragraph continues] Still however much they entreated, they could not find mercy. The king's officers at last forced the rest to retire and dragged the merchants to stand near the princes.

Then the king ordered the elephants and the other animals to be brought:

"Bring hither all my elephants, of matchless might, and costly price,
My best of horses and of mules, let them all be the sacrifice;

[136] My bulls the leaders of the herd,—a noble offering they shall be;
And all the officiating priests shall have their gifts accordingly.

Make ready for the sacrifice against to-morrow's dawning light;
And bid the princes feast their fill, enjoying now their life's last night."

The king's father and mother were still living, so men went and told them of their son's purposed offering. In consternation they took their hearts in their hands and went weeping before, him, "Is it true, O son, that thou purposest such a sacrifice?"

The Teacher thus described it:

"The mother left her royal home, "My son, what means this monstrous thing?
Must thy four sons be put to death to swell thy cruel offering?"

The king answered:

"When I lose Canda I lose all; but him and them will I resign,
For by this costly sacrifice a heavenly dwelling will be mine."

His mother said:

"To sacrifice thy sons, my child, can never lead to heaven's bliss;
Give ear to no such lying words; the road to hell and night is this."

[137] Take thou the well-proved royal road: let all thy wealth in alms be given,
And hurt no living thing on earth—this is the certain path to heaven."

The king replied:

"I must obey my teacher's words,—my sons alas! must all be slain,—
’Tis hard indeed to part with them, but heaven's the prize which I shall gain."

p. 73

So the mother went away, being unable to convince him by her words. Then the father heard the tidings and came to remonstrate.

The Teacher describes what happened:

"The father Vasavatti came: "Strange tidings fill my soul with fright!
Must thy four sons be put to death to crown to the full thy monstrous rite?"

The same dialogue is repeated 1 3 and the old king, unable to turn his son, goes away repeating as his parting words:

"Give all thou canst and never harm a living thing of thine own will;
And with thy sons as body-guard shield thou thy land from every ill."

Then Candakumāra thought within himself, "All this sorrow has befallen so many people on my single account, I will entreat my father and so deliver them all from the pain of death"; so he thus spoke to his father:

"Let us be Khaṇḍahāla's slaves, but spare our lives and do not kill,
His horses and his elephants we'll watch in chains, if such his will.

Let us be Khaṇḍahāla's slaves, but spare our lives and do not kill,
We'll sweep his stables and his yards, and work in chains, if such his will.

Give us as slaves to whom thou wilt,—we are as bondsmen in thy hands;
Or banish us from thy domains to beg our bread in foreign lands."

The king listened to his lamentations, and felt his heart broken; and his eyes filled with tears, and he ordered them all to be set free: "No one," he said, "shall kill my sons, I have no need of the world of the gods."

"These piteous pleadings for their lives do break my heart,—go set them free,
Release the princes, let them go: no more of sacrifice for me."

On hearing the king's words they set the whole multitude at liberty, beginning with the princes and ending with the birds. Khaṇḍahāla 1 3 was busily engaged in the sacrificial pit, and a man said to him, "You villain Khaṇḍahāla, the king has released the princes; do you go and kill your own sons and offer a sacrifice with their throats' blood." "What has the king been doing?" he cried, and he rushed in haste and said to him:

"I warned thee that this sacrifice would prove a hard and toilsome one;
Why interfere to stop the rite when it is all so well begun?

They who give offerings such as these go by a certain road to heaven;
Or those who heartily approve, seeing the same by others given."

The blinded king, hearing the words of the incensed brahmin, and having his thoughts fixed on religion, ordered his sons to be recaptured. Then Candakumāra reasoned with his father:

"Why did the brahmin at our birth utter vain blessings on our path,
When ’twas our fate that we should die innocent victims of thy wrath?

Why didst thou spare us while still babes, too young as yet to feel the blow?
We are to die to-day instead, now that the joys of youth we know.

Think of us riding clothed in mail on horse or elephant to the fight,
And then as victims butchered here in sacrifice—can this be right?

In battle ’gainst a rebel chief or in a forest such as I
Are wont to serve: whom now thou slay’st without a cause or reason why.

p. 74

See the wild birds who build their nests and sing amidst the trees all day,
They love their young and tend them well—and thou, would’st thou thy children slay?

[140] Nor think thy treacherous brahmin friend will spare thy life when I am gone;
Thy turn, O king, will follow next: I shall not perish all alone.

Kings give these brahmins villages, choice cities are their appanage,
On every family they feed and gain a goodly heritage;

And ’tis these benefactors, sire, whom they most readily betray;
The brahmin order, take my word, are faithless and ingrate alway 1."

[141] The king exclaimed, on hearing his son's reproach:

"These piteous pleadings for their lives do break my heart,—go set them free,
Release the princes and the rest, no more of sacrifice for me."

[paragraph continues] Khaṇḍahāla again rushed up as before and repeated his former expostulations; and the prince again reasoned with his father:

"If they who sacrifice their sons are, when they die, all glorified,
Then let the brahmin offer his: the king shall follow him as guide.

If they who sacrifice their sons go straight to heaven when they die,
Why does the brahmin offer not himself and all his family?

Nay rather, they who offer up such victims all shall go to hell,
And those who dare to approve the deed shall perish at the last as well."

When the prince, as he uttered these words, found that he could not convince his father, he turned to the multitude who surrounded the king and thus addressed them:

[142] "How can the fathers, mothers, here stand silent, looking on, and none,
Loving their children as they do, forbids the king to slay his son?

I love the welfare of the king, I love to see your hearts rejoice,
And is there none among you found to utter one protesting voice?"

But not one spoke a word. Then the prince bade his wives go and implore the king to show pity:

"Go, noble ladies, with your prayers, implore the king, implore his priest,
To spare these guiltless sons of his, well-proved in battle's sternest test;

Implore the king, implore the priest, to spare these sons unstained by crime,
Whose names are blazoned through the world, the glory of their land and time."

They went and implored him to show mercy; but the king paid no regard. Then the prince feeling himself helpless began to lament:

"O had I but been born from courts aloof,
Under some cobbler's, sweeper's, outcast's roof,
I should have lived my days to the end in peace,
Nor died a victim to a king's caprice."

Then he exclaimed:

"Go, all ye women in a band,—low before Khaṇḍahāla fall,
And tell him ye have wronged him not, that ye are guiltless one and all."

p. 75

[143] These are the Teacher's words:

"Loudly wails Sela when she sees her brothers sentenced by the king,
"My father longs for heaven, they say, and this forsooth his offering."

[paragraph continues] But the king paid no regard to her either. Then the prince's son Vāsula, seeing his father's grief, said, "I will entreat my grandfather, I will make him grant me my father's life," and he fell at the king's feet and lamented.

The Teacher thus described it:

"Then Vāsula with uncertain steps went this way, that way to the throne,
"O spare our father, children we,—leave us not helpless and alone."

The king heard his lament, and his heart being as it were cleft in twain, he embraced the boy with tears in his eyes and said to him, "Be comforted, my child, I will give thy father up to thee," and he uttered his orders:

"Here is thy father, Vāsula; thy words o’erpower me,—he is free;
Release the princes, let them go,—no more of sacrifice for me."

Then again Khaṇḍahāla rushed up with his old expostulations, 1 4 and again the king blindly yielded to his words and ordered his sons to be recaptured.

Then Khaṇḍahāla thought to himself, "This tender-hearted king now seizes his sons and now releases them: he will now again release them through the words of his children; I will take him into the sacrificial pit." So he repeated a verse to urge him to go thither:

"The sacrifice has been prepared, the costliest treasures have been given:
Go forth, O king, to offer it, and claim the choicest joys of heaven."

When they took the Bodhisatta into the sacrificial pit the royal ladies went out in a body.

The Teacher has described it:

"Prince Chanda's seven hundred queens, radiant in all their youthful bloom,
With hair dishevelled, weeping eyes, followed the hero to his doom;

And other ladies joined the train like beings from heaven's firmament,
With hair dishevelled, weeping eyes, following the hero as he went."

Then they all raised their lamentations:

"With earrings, aloes, sandal-wood, in Kāsī silk of costly price,
See Canda, Suriya 1 yonder led as victims to the sacrifice.

Piercing their mother's heart with woe, filling the citizens with gloom,
See Canda, Suriya yonder led as victims to their cruel doom.

Bathed and perfumed with richest scents and with white robes of Kāsī drest,
See Canda, Suriya yonder led as victims at the king's behest.

[145] They who once rode on elephants, a gallant sight for every eye,
Our Canda, Suriya yonder see, toiling along on foot to die.

They who in chariots wont to ride, or mules, or horses gold-bedight,
Our Canda, Suriya 1 yonder see, toiling on foot to die ere night."

p. 76

While the queens were thus lamenting, the officers carried the Bodhisatta out of the city. The whole city went out with him in great agitation. But as the vast multitude went out, the gates were not wide enough to give them room; and the brahmin apprehensive of what might happen, ordered the gates to be stopped up. The multitude were thus unable to find an outlet; but there was a garden near the inner gate, and they gathered there and lamented the prince's fate with a loud cry; and at the sound a great concourse of birds gathered in the sky. The citizens raised a general wailing and thus addressed the birds:

"Birds, would ye feast on flesh? then fly to Pupphavatī's eastern gate,
There the mad king is offering up his four brave sons in blinded hate.

Birds, would ye feast on flesh? then fly to Pupphavatī's eastern gate,
There the mad king is offering up four daughters in his blinded hate 1."

[146] Thus did the multitude lament in the garden. Then they went to the Bodhisatta's house, going round it in solemn procession and uttering their lamentations as they gazed on the queens' apartments, the towers and gardens, 1 4 the groves and lakes, and the elephants' stables 2:

"Villages uninhabited turn to a forest solitude;
So will our capital lie waste, if once our princes shed their blood."

[148] Unable to find a way out of the city, they wandered about lamenting within its walls.

In the meantime the Bodhisatta was led to the sacrificial pit. Then his mother, Queen Gotamī, threw herself prostrate at the king's feet, begging with tears and cries that he would spare her son's life:

"I shall go crazy in my grief, covered with dust, undone, forlorn,
If my son Canda 3 has to die, my breath will choke me as I mourn."

When she got no answer from the king, she embraced the prince's four wives and said to them, "My son must have gone away from you in displeasure, why do you not persuade him to turn back?"

"Why do you not talk lovingly each to the other as ye stand,
And dance around him cheerfully, clasping each other hand in hand,

Until his melancholy flies and leaves him cured at your command,
For who can dance, indeed, like you, although they search through all the land?"

[paragraph continues] Then seeing nothing else that could be done she ceased to lament with the royal ladies and began to curse Khaṇḍahāla:

"Now may thy mother, cruel priest, feel all the bitter agony
Which tears my heart when I behold my precious Canda led to die 4.

p. 77

[149] Now may thy wife, O cruel priest, feel all the bitter agony
Which tears my soul when I behold my precious Suriya led to die;

May she see sons and husband slain, for thou, O cruel priest, to-day
The pride and glory of the world, those guiltless lion-hearts wouldst slay."

Then the Bodhisatta entreated his father in the sacrificial pit 1:

[150] "Some women long and beg for sons and offer prayers and gifts to heaven,
They long for sons and grandsons too, but none to cheer their homes are given;

O slay us not thus recklessly, though given in answer unto prayer,
Nor offer us a sacrifice in spite of all our mother's care."

When he received no reply from his father, he fell lamenting at his mother's feet:

"Tenderly hast thou nursed thy son, hard is the lot which falls to thee;
I bow before thy sacred feet: all blessings on my father be.

Give me thy feet to kiss once more, embrace me, mother, ere we part,
’Tis a long journey which I go, a bitter sorrow to thy heart."

[151] Then his mother uttered her stanzas of wailing:

"Bind on your head, my darling son, a diadem of lotus leaves,
With Campāk flowers,—such coronal thy manly beauty well receives.

For the last time anoint thyself with all those unguents rich and rare
Which in old days before the king in court festivities thou didst wear.

For the last time put on, my boy, bright Kāsi silk in fine array,
And wear the jewels and the pearls which thou shouldst wear on gala day."

Then his chief queen, named Candā, fell at his feet and bitterly lamented:

"This lord of lands, this sovereign king, whose will in all his realm is done,
Sole heir of all his country's wealth, has no affection for his son."

When the king heard her he replied:

"My sons are dear, myself is dear, and ye, my queens, are dear as well;
I sacrifice my son, because I wish to go to heaven, not hell."

[152] Candā exclaimed:

"O king, in mercy slay me first, nor let the anguish rend my heart,
Thy boy is garlanded for both, he is complete in every part.

Slay us together on the pile, and let me go where Canda goes:
Infinite merit will be thine, two souls will rise to heaven's repose."

The king answered:

"Wish not for death before its time; gallant brothers-in-law hast thou;
They will console thee, large-eyed one, for the dear prince thou losest now."

Then she beat her breast with her hands, and threatened to drink poison, and at length she burst into loud lamentations:

"No friends or counsellors surround this king,
Who dare to warn him not to do this thing,

p. 78

He has no faithful ministers, not one,
Who dares persuade him not to slay his son.

[153] His other sons wear all their bravery,
Let them be offered and set Canda free.

Cut me in pieces, offer me,—but spare my eldest son, my knight,
Him whom the world doth reverence, the lion-hearted in the fight."

Having thus mourned out her soul and found no comfort, she went up to the Bodhisatta and stood weeping by his side, until he said to her, "O Candā, during my lifetime many various pearls and gems have been given by me to thee in times of social unbending; now to-day I give thee this last ornament from my body; pray accept it."

Candā burst into tears, uttering the following stanzas:

"His shoulders once were bright with flowers, which hung down as his diadem,—
To-day the cruel sharp bright sword spreads its dark shadow over them.
Soon will the sword come sweeping down upon that guiltless royal neck,—
Ah! iron bands must bind my heart,—or else what could it do but break?

[154] With aloes and with sandal decked, wearing rich silks and many a ring,
Go, Canda-Suriya, to the pile, befitting offering for the king.

With aloes and with sandal-wood, with silken robes and gems of price,
Go, Canda-Suriya, to the pile, the great king's worthy sacrifice.

Bathed for the offering, waiting there in silk and gems the impending blow,
Go, Canda-Suriya, to the pile, filling the people's hearts with woe."

While she thus lamented, all the preparations were completed in the sacrificial pit. They brought the prince and placed him in his proper position with his neck bent forward. Khaṇḍahāla held the golden bowl close and took the sword and stood up, saying, "I will cut his neck." When the queen Cana, saw this, she said to herself; "I have no other refuge, I will bless my lord with all my power of truth," and she clasped her hands, and, walking amidst the assembly, performed a solemn asseveration of truth.

The Teacher thus described it:

"When all is ready for the rite and Canda sits and waits the blow,
The daughter of the Pañcāl king went through the assembly, high and low:

"As truly as the brahmin here works a vile purpose by his guile,
So may I gain my dear-loved lord restored me in a little while.

May all the spirits in this place—ghosts, goblins, fairies—hear my word,
Do my commission loyally and reunite me to my lord.

[155] Oh all ye gods who fill this place, lo! prostrate at your feet I fall,
Protect me in my helplessness, hear me in mercy as I call."

p. 79

Sakka, the king of the gods, having heard her cry 1 and seen what had happened, took a blazing mass of iron and frightened the king, and dispersed the assembly.

The Teacher has described the scene:

"A heavenly being heard the cry and came to earth to help the right,
Whirling a blazing iron mass, filling the tyrant's heart with fright,

"Know me, O tyrant, who I am; mark well the weapon which I wield,
Harm not thy guiltless eldest son, the lion of the battlefield.

Where has earth seen a crime like this,—thy sons, their wives, to slaughter given,
With all thy noblest citizens, worthy to fill my highest heaven?"

The tyrant and his minister then set the guiltless victims free,
And all the crowd seized sticks and stones, and in a fit of frenzied glee
Made Khaṇḍahāla there and then pay forfeit for his cruelty."

[156] When they had killed the minister, the great crowd sought to put the king himself to death; but Sakka embraced him and would not allow them to kill him. The multitude decided that they would spare his life, "but we will not give him rule or dwelling in this city,—we will make him an outcast and appoint his dwelling outside this city." So they stripped him of his royal garments and made him wear a yellow dress, and put a yellow cloth on his head, and having made him an outcast sent him away to an outcast-settlement. And all who had helped in any way in the sacrifice or approved of it went to hell as their portion.

The Teacher uttered this stanza:

"All who had done so vile a deed passed straight to hell,—none could attain
An afterbirth in any heaven, who bore the trace of such a stain."

The great multitude, having caused the two monsters of wickedness to be removed out of sight, brought the materials for the coronation and anointed Prince Canda as king.

"When all the captives were released, a vast assembly gathering
With solemn pomp and festival anointed Canda to be king;

A vast assembly, gods and men, waved cloths and flags and sang his praise,
Starting a new and happy reign of plenty, peace and halcyon days.

Men, women, gods and goddesses joined in one great festivity,
Comfort and peace filled every home and every captive was set free."

[157] The Bodhisatta caused all his father's wants to be attended to, but he was not allowed to enter within the city; and when all his allowance was spent, he used to go up to the Bodhisatta, when the latter went to join in the amusements of the public gardens or other public spectacles. At these times he did not use to join his hands to salute his son, for he said to himself, "I am the true king," but he addressed him, "Live

p. 80

long, O Master"; and when he was asked what he wanted, he mentioned it, and the Bodhisatta ordered the sum to be given to him.


When the Master had ended his discourse, he added, "Brethren, this is not the first time that Devadatta has sought to kill many persons on my sole account; he did the same before." Then he identified the Birth: "At that time Devadatta was Khaṇḍahāla, Mahāmāyā was Queen Gotamā, Rāhula's mother was Candā, Rāhula was Vāsula, Uppalavaṇṇā was Selā, Kassapa of the Vāma family was Sūra, Moggallāna was Candasena, Sāriputta was Prince Suriya and I myself was Candarāja."


Footnotes

71:1 The scholiast adds that these were the sons of Queen Gotamā, but perhaps Canda-Suriya is only one name; see afterwards. Two princes are especially mentioned and identified at the final summary.

71:2 Should it not be "four"?

74:1 He then repeats the six stanzas "Let us be Khaṇḍahāla's slaves," &c. from p. 73.

75:1 It is curious to observe that the prose throughout has only one prince, but the verses seem to have two.

76:1 Six stanzas are omitted here about the four queens, householders, elephants, horses, bulls, and the complete sacrifice of four kinds of victims. See Morris, Pali Text S. Journ. 1864, p. 80.

76:2 Some 15 stanzas are here omitted, as they only repeat what has been said before.

76:3 This verse is repeated with the name Suriya instead of Canda.

76:4 Cp. IV. 28512.

77:1 I omit the eight lines repeated from p. 74.

79:1 I read tassū.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 543.: Bhūridatta-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


No. 543.

BHŪRIDATTA-JĀTAKA.

"Whatever jewels there may be," etc. This story the Master told, while dwelling at Sāvatthi, about some lay-brethren who kept the fast-days. On a fast-day, it is said, they rose early in the morning, took upon them the fasting vows, gave alms, and after their meal took perfumes and garlands in their hands and went to Jetavana, and at the time of hearing the Law seated themselves on one side. The Master, coming to the Hall of Truth, having sat down in the adorned Buddha-seat, looked upon the assembly of the brethren. 1 5 Now the Tathāgatas like to converse with those among the brethren or others, in reference to whom a religious discourse takes its rise; therefore on the present occasion, as he knew that a religious discourse concerning former teachers would arise in connection with these lay-brethren, while he was conversing with them, he asked them, "O lay-brethren, do you keep the fast-day?" On their replying in the affirmative, he said, "It is right and well done of you, O lay-brethren; but yet it is no matter for wonder that you who have a Buddha teacher like me should keep the fast-day,—sages of old who were without any teacher forsook great glory and kept the fast-day." And so saying, he told at their request an old legend of the past.


I.

Once upon a time, Brahmadatta, when he was reigning in Benares, had made his son viceroy; but when he saw his great glory, he became suspicious lest he should also seize the kingdom. So he said to him, "Do you depart hence and dwell for the present where you please, and at my death take the hereditary kingdom." The prince complied, and after saluting his father, went out and proceeding to the Yamunā built a hut of leaves between the river and the sea and dwelt there, living on roots and fruits. Now at that time a young Nāga female in the Nāga-world beneath the ocean who had lost her husband, and on account of her carnal passions

p. 81

when she saw the happiness of the other Nāgas who had husbands living she had left the Nāga-world, was wandering by the seashore, when she observed the prince's foot-prints, and following the track saw the hut of leaves. Now the prince happened to be away, having gone out in search of various kinds of fruit. She entered into the hut, and as she saw the wooden bedstead and the rest of the furniture she thought to herself, "This is the dwelling-place of some ascetic, I will prove him, whether he is an ascetic from faith or not. If he is an ascetic from faith and bent upon self-abnegation he will not accept my adorned bed; but if he is at heart a lover of pleasure and not an ascetic from faith he will lie down on my bed; then I will take him and make him my husband and dwell here." So she went back to the Nāga-world and collected divine flowers and perfumes and prepared a bed of flowers, and having made an offering of flowers and scattered perfumed powder about and adorned the hut, she departed to the abode of the Nāgas. When the prince returned at evening time and entered the hut, and saw what she had done, he said, "Who has prepared 1 5 this bed?" And when he ate the various fruits, he exclaimed, "Oh these sweet-scented flowers, this bed has been pleasantly arranged," and being filled with pleasure as he was not a true ascetic at heart, he lay down on the couch of flowers and fell fast asleep. The next day he rose at sunrise and went off to collect fruits, without sweeping his hut of leaves. At that moment the female Nāga came up and seeing the withered flowers knew at once, "This man is a lover of pleasure and not an ascetic from faith, I shall be able to capture him"; so she took away the old flowers and brought others and spread a fresh bed and adorned the hut of leaves and strewed flowers etc. in the covered walk and then returned to the Nāga-world. He rested that night also on that bed of flowers and the next day he thought to himself, "Who can it be that adorns this hut?" So he did not go out to gather fruits, but remained concealed not far from the hut. The Nāga woman, having collected perfumes and flowers, came along the path to the hermitage. The prince, having beheld the Nāga in all her great beauty, at once fell in love with her, and, without letting himself be seen, entered the hut as she was preparing the couch and asked her who she was. "My lord, I am a Nāga woman." "Hast thou a husband or not?" "I am a widow without a husband; and where dost thou dwell?" "I am Brahmadattakumāra, the son of the king of Benares; but why dost thou wander about, leaving the abode of the Nāgas?" "My lord, as I beheld the happiness of the other Nāga women who had husbands I became discontented on account of carnal passion and I came away and go wandering about, seeking for a husband." "I also am not an ascetic from faith, but I have come to dwell here because my father drove me away; vex not thyself, I will be thy husband and we will dwell here in concord." She at once consented;

p. 82

and from that time they lived harmoniously together there. By her magic power she made a costly house and brought a costly couch and spread a bed. Thenceforth he ate no roots or fruits but feasted on divine meat and drink. After a while she conceived and brought forth a son whom they called Sāgara-Brahmadatta. 1 6 When the child was able to walk, she brought forth a daughter, and as she was born on the seashore they called her Samuddajā. Now a forester who lived in Benares came to that place, and on giving him greeting recognised the prince, and after he had stayed there a few days, he said, "My lord, I will tell the king's family that you are dwelling here," and he accordingly departed and went to the city. Now just then the king died, and after the ministers had buried him they met together on the seventh day, and they deliberated together, "a kingdom without a king cannot stand; we know not where the prince dwells nor whether he is alive or dead,—we will send forth the festal car and so get a king." At that time the forester came to the city, and having heard the news went to the ministers and told them that before he came there he had been staying three or four days near the prince. The ministers paid him respect and went there under his guidance, and after a friendly greeting told the prince that the king was dead and asked him to assume the kingdom. He thought to himself, "I will learn what the Nāga woman thinks"; so he went to her and said, "Lady, my father is dead and his ministers have come to raise the royal umbrella over me; let us go and we will both reign in Benares which is twelve yojanas in extent, and you shall be the chief among the sixteen thousand queens." "My lord, I cannot go." "Why?" "We possess deadly poison and we are easily displeased for a trifling matter; and the anger of a co-wife is a serious thing; if I see or hear anything and cast an angry glance thereon, it will be instantly scattered like a handful of chaff; therefore I cannot go." The prince asked her again the next day; and then she said to him, "I myself will on no account go, but these my sons are not young Nāgas; as they are your children they are of the race of men; if you love me watch over them. But as they are of a watery nature and therefore delicate, they would die if they went by the road and bore the burden of the wind and sunshine; so I will hollow out a boat and fill it with water, and you shall let them play in the water and when you have brought them to the city 1 6 you shall have a lake prepared in the precincts of the palace; in this way they will not suffer." With these words, having saluted the prince and walked round him respectfully, she embraced her sons and folded them between her breasts and kissed their heads, and entrusted them to him, and with many tears and sobs at once vanished and departed to the Nāga-world. The prince also, overcome with sorrow, his eyes filled with tears, went out of the house, and, after wiping his eyes, proceeded to the ministers, who at once besprinkled him and said, "Sire, let us go to

p. 83

our city." He commanded them to hollow out a ship and put it on a cart and fill it with water. "Strew all sorts of flowers of various colours and scents on the surface of the water, for my sons have a watery nature and they will go along joyfully playing there"; and the ministers did so. When the king came to Benares he entered the city which was all adorned, and he seated himself on the terrace, surrounded by sixteen thousand dancing girls and his ministers and other officers; and having held a great drinking feast for seven days, he caused a lake to be prepared for his sons, where they sported continually. But one day when the water was let into the lake, a tortoise entered, and not seeing any way of exit it floated on the surface of the water; and while the lads were playing about, it rose out of the water and putting out its head looked at them and then sank down in the water. When they saw it they were frightened and ran to their father, and said to him, "O father, a yakkha has frightened us in the lake." The king ordered some men to go and seize it, and they threw a net and caught the tortoise and shewed it to the king. When the princes saw it, they cried out, "O father, it is a demon." The king through love of his sons was angry with the tortoise, and ordered the attendants to punish it. Some said, "It is an enemy to the king, it should be pounded to powder with a pestle and mortar," others said, "Let us cook it three times over and eat it," others, "Bake it upon hot coals," others, "It must be baked in a jar"; but one minister who was afraid of the water, said, "It should be thrown into the whirlpool of the Yamunā, it will be utterly destroyed there, there is no punishment for it like that." The tortoise, as he heard his words, 1 2 6 thrust out his head and said, "Friend, what sin have I committed that you are discussing such a punishment for me? The other punishments I can bear, but this last is excessively cruel, do not even mention it." When the king heard him, he said, "This is the one to carry into action," so he ordered him to be thrown into the whirlpool of the Yamunā; there he found a current which led to the dwelling of the Nāgas, and went by it to their place. Now at that time some young sons of the Nāga king Dhataraṭṭha 1 were sporting in that stream, and when they saw they cried, "Seize that slave." The tortoise thought, "I have escaped from the hand of the king of Benares to fall into the hands of these fierce Nāgas;. by what means shall I get away?" Then he thought of a plan, and, making up a false story, he said to them, "Why do you speak in this way who belong to the court of King Dhataraṭṭha? I am a tortoise named Cittacūḷa, and I am come to Dhataraṭṭha as a messenger from the king of Benares; our king has sent me as he wishes to give his daughter to King Dhataraṭṭha, shew me to him," and they well pleased took him, and going to the king related the whole matter. The king ordered them to bring him; but being displeased when he

p. 84

saw him, he said, "Those who have such mean bodies cannot act as messengers." The tortoise, when he heard this, replied by telling his own good qualities, "Why should the king need messengers as tall as a palm tree? a small body or a big body is of no matter,—the real matter is the power to carry out the errand where you are sent. Now our king, O monarch, has many messengers; men do his business on the dry land, birds in the air, and I in the water, for I am a favourite of the king's named Cittacūḷa and I have a particular post, do not scoff at me." Then King Dhataraṭṭha asked him why he was sent by the king, and he made answer, "The king said to me that he had made friendship with all the kings of Jambudīpa, and that he now wished to give his daughter Samuddajā in order to make friendship with the Nāga king Dhataraṭṭha; with these words he sent me, and do you make no delay but send a company at once with me and name the day and receive the maiden." Being highly pleased 1 3 6 the king paid him great honour and sent four Nāga youths with him, bidding them go and fix a day after hearing the king's words, and then return, and they, having taken the tortoise with them, departed from the abode of the Nāgas. The tortoise saw a lotus-pond between the Yamunā and Benares, and wishing to escape by some device he said, "O Nāga youths, our king and his queen and son saw me coming out of the water as I went to the king's palace, and they asked me to give them some lotuses and lotus roots; I will gather some for them; do you let me go here, and, if you do not see me, go forward to the king,—I will meet you there." They believed him and let him go, and he hid himself; and the others, as they could not see him, thought that he must have gone on to the king, and so proceeded to the palace in the guise of young men. The king received them with honour and asked them from whence they had come. "From Dhataraṭṭha, your majesty." "Wherefore?" "O king, we are his messengers; Dhataraṭṭha asks after your health and he will give you whatever you desire; and he asks you to give us your daughter Samuddajā as his queen." To explain this they repeated the first stanza:

"Whatever jewels there may be in Dhataraṭṭha's palace stored,
They all are yours, his royal boon; give us your daughter for our lord."

When the king heard it he replied in the second stanza:

"Ne’er has a man been known to wed his daughter to a Nāga king;
Such match were utterly unfit,—how could we think of such a thing?"

The youths made answer, "If an alliance with Dhataraṭṭha seems so improper to you, then why did you send your attendant the tortoise Cittacūḷa to our king, offering to give your daughter Samuddajā? 1 4 6 Since after sending such a message you now shew scorn to our king, we shall know how to deal with you as you deserve." So saying they uttered two stanzas by way of threat:

p. 85

"You sacrifice your life, O king,—your throne and kingdom what are they?
Before a Nāga in his wrath all mortal glory fades away;

You a poor mortal standing there, who, by your vanity undone,
Would look with scorn on Yamuna, king Varuṇa's imperial son 1."

Then the king repeated two stanzas:

"I do not scorn that king of yours, Dhataraṭṭha of wide renown,
Of many Nāgas is he king, he wears by right a royal crown;

But great and noble though he be, sprung from Videha's khattiya line,
My daughter is of purer blood,—let him not dream of child of mine."

Although the Nāga youths wished to kill him on the spot by the blast of their breath, yet they reflected that as they had been sent to fix the marriage day it would not be right to go away and leave the man dead; so they vanished at once out of sight, saying, "we will depart and tell the king." Their king asked them whether they had brought the princess. They being angry replied, "O king, why dost thou send us about hither and thither without cause? If thou wishest to kill us, then slay us here at once. 1 5 6 He reviles and defames thee, and sets his daughter on a pinnacle in his pride of birth,"—in this way repeating things said and unsaid, they roused the king's wrath. He ordered them to assemble his army, saying:

"Assataras and Kambalas 2,—summon the Nāgas one and all;
Towards Benares let them flock, but do no harm to great or small."

Then the Nāgas answered, "If no man is to be harmed, then what shall we do, if we go there?" He uttered two stanzas to tell them what they were to do and what he himself would do:

"Over the tanks and palaces, the public roads and tops of trees,
Over the gateways twilled in wreaths let them hang dangling in the breeze;

While with white body and white hoods I will the city all invest,
And drawing close my lines of siege with terror fill each Kāsi breast."

The Nāgas did so. 1 6 The Teacher thus described what happened:

"Seeing the snakes on every side, the women throng, a trembling crowd,
And as the monsters swell their hoods in fear they shriek and wail aloud;

Benares city prostrate lay before these wild invading bands,
Raising their arms all begged and prayed, "Give him the daughter he demands."

While the king lay in bed he beard the wailing of his own wives and those of the citizens, and being afraid of death from the threats of the four youths, he thrice exclaimed, "I will give to Dhataraṭṭha my daughter Samuddajā"; and all the Nāga kings, when they heard it, retired for the distance of a league, and, fixing their camp there, built a very city of the gods and despatched a complimentary present, saying, "Let him send his

p. 86

daughter as he says." 1 6 The king, having received the proffered present, dismissed those who brought it, saying, "Do you depart, I will send my daughter by the hands of my ministers." Then he sent for his daughter and, taking her upon the terrace, he opened a window and said to her, "Daughter, behold this adorned city; they say that you are to be the chief queen of a king there,—the city is not far off, you can come back when you feel a home-longing,—but you must go there now." Then he made the attendants wash her head and adorn her with all kinds of ornaments and set her in a covered carriage and sent her off in the care of his ministers. The Nāga kings came to meet her and paid her great honour. The ministers entered the city and gave her up and returned with much wealth. The princess was taken up into the palace and made to lie on a divinely decked bed; and the young Nāga women, assuming humpbacked and other deformed appearances, waited on her as if they were human attendants. As soon as she lay down on the heavenly bed she felt a divinely soft touch and fell asleep. Dhataraṭṭha, having received her, vanished instantly with all his host and appeared in the world of the Nāgas. When the princess awoke and saw the adorned heavenly bed and the golden and jewelled palaces, etc., and the gardens and tanks and the Nāga-world, itself like an adorned city of the gods, she asked the humpbacked and other female attendants, "This city is magnificently adorned, it is not like our city; whose is it?" "O lady, it belongs to your lord,—it is not those of scanty merits who win such glory as this,—you have obtained it by reason of your great merits." Then Dhataraṭṭha ordered the drums to be carried about the Nāga city, which was five hundred yojanas in extent, with a proclamation that whoever betrayed any signs of his snake-nature to Samuddajā should be punished; therefore not one dared to appear as a snake before her. So she lived affectionately and harmoniously with him under the idea that it was a world of men 1.

II.

In course of time Dhataraṭṭha's queen conceived and brought forth a son, and from his fair appearance they named him Sudassana; then again she bore a second whom they called Datta, [168]—now he was a Bodhisatta. Then she bore another whom they called Subhaga, and a fourth whom they called Ariṭṭha. Yet even though she had borne these four sons, she knew not that it was the world of the Nāgas. But one day they said to Ariṭṭha, "Your mother is a woman, not a Nāga." Ariṭṭha said to himself, "I will prove her," so one day while drinking his mother's breast, he assumed a serpent's form and struck the back of her

p. 87

foot with his tail. When she saw his serpent-form she uttered a great cry in her terror and threw him on the ground, and struck his eye with her nail so that the blood poured forth. The king, hearing her cry, asked why she screamed, and when he learned what Ariṭṭha had done, he came up, with threats, "Seize the slave and put him to death." The princess, knowing his passionate nature, exclaimed in her love for her son, "My lord, I struck my son's eye, forgive him." The king, when she said this, replied, "What can I do?" and forgave him. That very day she learned that it was the dwelling of the Nāgas, and thenceforth Ariṭṭha was always called Kāṇāriṭṭha (or one-eyed Ariṭṭha).

Now the four princes grew up to years of discretion. Then their father gave them each a kingdom a hundred yojanas square; they possessed great glory, and each was attended by sixteen thousand Nāga maidens. Now their father's kingdom was only a hundred yojanas square, and the three sons went every month to visit their parents. But the Bodhisatta went every fortnight, and he used to propound some question which had arisen in the Nāga realm and then go with his father to visit the great king Virūpakkha 1, when he would discuss the question with him. Now one day when Virūpakkha had gone with the Nāga assembly to the world of the gods, and were sitting there waiting upon Sakka, a question arose among the gods and none could answer it, but the Great Being who was seated on a noble throne answered it. Then the king of the gods honoured him with divine flowers and fruits, and addressed him, "O Datta, thou art endued with a wisdom as broad as the earth; henceforth be thou called Bhūridatta," and he gave him this name.

[169] From that time forth he used to go to pay his homage to Sakka, and when he saw the exceedingly delightful splendour of his court with its heavenly nymphs he longed for the heavenly world, "What have I to do with this frog-eating snake-nature? I will return to the snake-world and keep the fast and follow the observances by which one may be born among the gods." With these thoughts he asked his parents on his return to the abode of the snakes, "O my father and mother, I will keep the fast." "By all means, O son, keep it; but when you keep it do not go outside, but keep it within this one empty palace in the Nāga realm, for there is great fear of the Nāgas outside." He consented; so he kept the fast only in the parks and gardens of the empty palace. But the snake maidens kept waiting on him with their musical instruments, and he thought to himself, "If I dwell here my observance of the fast will never come to its completion,—I will go to the haunts of men and keep the fast there." So in his fear of being hindered he said to his wife, without telling it to his parents, "Lady, if I go to the haunts of men there is a banyan tree on the bank of the Yamunā,—I will fold up my body in the

p. 88

top of an ant-hill near by and undertake the fast with its four divisions 1, and I will lie down there and observe the fast; and when I have lain there all night and kept the fast let ten of your women come every time at dawn with musical instruments in their hands, and after decking me with perfumes and flowers let them conduct me back with song and dance to the abode of the Nāgas." With these words he went and folded his body on the top of an ant-hill, and saying aloud, "Let who will take my skin or muscles or bones or blood," he undertook the fast with its four divisions and lay down, after assuming a body which only consisted of a head and a tail, and kept the fast. At daybreak the Nāga girls came, and having done as they were ordered, conducted him to the Nāga abode; and while he observed the fast in this fashion, 1 a long period of time elapsed 2.

III.

Now at that time a Brahmin 3 who dwelt in a village near the gate of Benares used to go into the forest with his son Somadatta and set snares and nets and stakes and kill wild animals, and carrying the flesh on a pole sold it and so made a livelihood. One day he failed to catch even a young lizard, and he said to his son, "If we go home empty-handed your mother will be angry, let us catch something at any rate"; so he went towards the ant-hill where the Bodhisatta was lying, and observing the footsteps of the deer who went down to the Yamunā to drink, he said, "My son, this is a haunt of deer, do you return and wait, while I will wound some deer that has come to drink"; so taking his bow he stood watching for deer at the foot of a tree. Now at evening time a deer came to drink,—he wounded it; it did not however fall at once, but spurred on by the force of the arrow it fled with the blood flowing down, and the father and son pursuing it to the spot where it fell took its flesh and, going out of the wood, reached that banyan as the sun set. "It is a bad time, we cannot go on, we will stay here," so saying they laid the flesh on one side and climbing the tree lay among the branches. The Brahmin woke at dawn, and was listening to hear the sound of the deer, when the Nāga maidens came up and prepared the flowery couch for the Bodhisatta. He laid aside his snake's body and assuming a divine body adorned with all kinds of ornaments sat on his flower-bed with all the glory of a Sakka.

p. 89

[paragraph continues] The Nāga maidens honoured him with perfumes and garlands and played their heavenly instruments and performed their dance and song. When the Brahmin heard the sound he said, "Who is this? I will find out"; and he called to his son, but though he called he could not wake him. "Let him sleep on," he said, "he is tired, I will go myself alone"; so he came down from the tree and approached, but the Nāga maidens when they saw him sank into the earth with all their instruments and departed to the abode of the Nāgas, 1 and the Bodhisatta was left alone. The Brahmin, standing near, questioned him in these two stanzas:

"What youth is this, red-eyed, who here is seen,
His shoulders broad with ample space between,—
And what ten maidens these who guard him round
Clad in fair robes, with golden bracelets bound!

Who art thou ’midst this forest greenery,
Bright like a fire just newly dressed with ghee?
Art thou a Sakka or a yakkha, say,
Or some famed Nāga prince of potent sway?"

When the Great Being heard him he thought, "If I say that I am one of the Sakkas he will believe me, for he is a Brahmin; but I must speak only the truth to-day," so he thus declared his Nāga birth:

"I am a Nāga great in power, invincible with poisonous breath,
A prosperous land with all its sons my angry bite could smite with death;

My mother is Samuddajā, Dhataraṭṭha as sire I claim,
Sudassan's youngest brother I, and Bhūridatta is my name."

But when the Great Being said this, he reflected, "This Brahmin is fierce and cruel, he may betray me to a snake-charmer, and so hinder my performance of the fast; what if I were to take him to the Nāga kingdom and, give him great honour there, and thus carry on my fast without a break" So he said 1 2 to him, "O Brahmin, I will give thee great honour, come to the pleasant home of the Nāgas, let us go at once thither." "My lord, I have a son, I will go if he comes too." The Bodhisatta replied, "Go, Brahmin, and fetch him," and he thus described to him his own dwelling:

"Awful and dark is yonder lake, incessant storms its waters toss,
That is my home: my subjects there all hear and none my bidding cross;

Plunge thou beneath the dark blue waves,—the peacocks and the herons call,—
Plunge and enjoy the bliss there stored for those who keep the precepts all."

The Brahmin went and told this to his son and brought him, and the Great Being took them both and went to the bank of the Yamunā, and, standing there, said:

"Fear not, O Brahmin with thy son,—follow my words and thou shalt live
Honoured and happy in my home with all the pleasures I can give."

So saying the Great Being by his power brought the father and son to

p. 90

the dwelling of the Nāgas, where they obtained a divine condition; and he bestowed on them divine prosperity and gave to each of them four hundred Nāga maidens, and great was the prosperity they enjoyed. The Bodhisatta continued to practise his fast diligently, and every fortnight he went to pay honour to his parents and discoursed on the law; and then going to the Brahmin he inquired concerning his health, and said to him, "Tell me anything that you want, enjoy yourself without discontent"; and, after giving a kindly greeting also to Somadatta, he proceeded to his own home. The Brahmin, after dwelling a year in the Nāga realm, through his lack of previous merit began to grow discontented 1 3 and longed to return to the world of men; the dwelling-place of the Nāgas seemed like a hell to him, the adorned palace like a prison, the Nāga maidens with their ornaments like female yakkhas. He thought to himself, "I am discontented, I will learn what Somadatta thinks"; so he went to him and said, "Art thou not discontented, my son?" "Why should I be discontented? let us not feel any such feeling. Are you discontented, father?" "Yes, my son?" "Why so?" "Because I do not see your mother and your brothers and sisters; come, my son, let us go." He answered that he would not go, but, being repeatedly entreated by his father, he at last consented. The Brahmin reflected, "I have won my son's consent, but if I tell Bhūridatta that I am discontented, he will heap more honour upon me, and I shall not be able to go. My object can only be attained in one way. I will describe his prosperity and then ask him, "why do you leave all this glory and go to the world of men to practise the observance of the fast?" When he answers, "for the sake of obtaining heaven," I will tell him, "far more then should we do so, who have made our livelihood by slaughtering living creatures. I too will go to the world of men, and see my kindred, and will then leave the world and follow the law of the ascetics," and then he will let me depart." Having thus determined, one day when the other came up to him and asked him whether he was discontented, he assured him that nothing was wanting that he could supply, and, without making any mention of his intended departure, at first he only described the other's prosperity in the following stanzas:

"Level the ground on every side, with tagara blossoms whitened o’er,
Red with the cochineal insect-swarms, the brightest verdure for its floor,

With sacred shrines in every wood, and swan-filled lakes which charm the eye,
While strewn the fallen lotus leaves as carpets on the surface lie,—

The thousand-columned palaces with halls where heavenly maidens dance,
Their columns all of jewels wrought, whose angles in the sunshine glance;—

[174] Thou hast indeed a glorious home, won by thy merits as thine own,
When all desires are gratified as soon as each new wish is known;—

Thou enviest not great Sakka's halls,—what are his stateliest courts to thine?
Thy palaces more glorious are and with more dazzling splendours shine."

p. 91

The Great Being replied, "Say not so, Brahmin; our glory compared to Sakka's seems only as a mustard-seed beside Mount Meru,—we are not even equal to his attendants," and he repeated a stanza:

"Our highest thoughts cannot conceive the imperial pomp round Sakka's throne,
Or the four Regents 1 in his court, each in his own appointed zone."

When he heard him repeat his words "this palace of yours is Sakka's palace," he said, "I have had this in my mind, and it is through my desire to obtain Vejayanta 2 that I practise the observance of the fast,"—then he repeated a stanza, describing his own earnest wish:

"I long intensely for the home of the immortal saints on high,
Therefore upon that ant-hill top I keep the fast unceasingly."

[175] The Brahmin, on hearing this, thought to himself, "Now I have gained my opportunity," and filled with joy he repeated two stanzas, begging leave to depart:

"I too sought deer when with my son into that forest glade I sped;
The friends I left at home know not whether I am alive or dead;

O Bhūridatta, let us go, thou glorious lord of Kāsi race,
Let us depart and see once more our kindred in their native place."

The Bodhisatta answered:

"’Tis my desire that you should dwell with us, and here pass happy hours;
Where in the upper world of men will you find haunts of peace like ours?

But would you dwell awhile elsewhere and yet enjoy our pleasures still,
Then take my leave,—go, see your friends, and be as happy as you will."

And thinking to himself "if he obtains this happiness through me he will be sure not to tell it to anyone else,—I will give him my jewel which grants all desires," he gave him the jewel and said

"The bearer of this heavenly gem beholds his children and his farm;
Take it, O Brahmin, and begone,—its bearer never comes to harm."

The Brahmin replied:

"I understand thy words too well, I am grown old as thou canst see,
I will adopt the ascetic life, what are life's pleasures now to me?"

The Bodhisatta said:

"If thou shouldst fail and break thy vow then seek life's common joys once more,
And come and find me out again and I will give thee ample store."

[176] The Brahmin answered:

"O Bhūridatta, I accept with thanks the offer thou hast made;
Should the occasion come to me I will return to claim thy aid."

p. 92

The Great Being perceived that he had no desire to abide there, so he commanded some young Nāgas to take him to the world of men. The Master thus described what happened:

"Then Bhūridatta gave commands to four of his young Nāgas, 'Go,
Take ye this Brahmin in your charge and lead him where he wants to go."

The four attendants heard the words,—at once their lord's command was done:
They brought the Brahmin to the place and leaving him returned alone."

Then the Brahmin, as he went along, said to his son, "Somadatta, we wounded a deer in this place and a boar in that," and seeing a lake on the way he exclaimed, "Somadatta, let us bathe"; so they both took off their divine ornaments and clothes, and wrapping them up in a bundle laid them on the bank and bathed. At that very moment the ornaments vanished and returned to the Nāga-world, and their former poor yellow clothes were wrapped round their bodies, and their bows, arrows, and spears came back as they were before. "We are undone, father," bewailed Somadatta; but his father comforted him, "Fear not; as long as there are deer we shall make a livelihood by killing deer in the forest." Somadatta's mother heard of their coming, and having gone to meet them she brought them home and she satisfied them with food and drink. When the Brahmin had eaten and fallen asleep she asked her son, 1 "Where have you been all this time?" "O mother, we were carried by the Nāga king Bhūridatta to the great Nāga realm, and we have now come back, as we were discontented." "Have you brought any jewels? " None, mother." "Why did he not give any to you?" "Mother, Bhūridatta gave to my father a jewel which grants all desires, but he would not accept it." "Wherefore?" "He is going, they say, to become an ascetic." "What, after leaving me so long with the burden of the children and dwelling in the Nāga realm, he is now going to become an ascetic?" so flying into a passion she struck his back with the spoon which she used for frying the rice and upbraided him, saying, "Thou wicked Brahmin, why didst say that thou wast going to become an ascetic and so refuse the precious jewel, and why didst thou come here and not take the ascetic's vow? Depart from my house directly." But he said to her, "Good lady, be not angry, as long as there are deer in the forest I will support you and your children." So the next day he went with his son into the forest and followed there the same livelihood as before 1.

p. 93

IV.

Now at that time a garuḷa bird which dwelt in a silk-cotton tree in Himavat in a region of the great southern ocean swept up the water with the wind of its wings, and swooping down on the Nāga region seized a Nāga king by the head; but this was the period when the garuḷas did not know how to seize the Nāgas,—they learned how in the Paṇḍara Jātaka 1. So although he seized it by the head, without scattering the water, he carried it dangling to the summit of Himavat. A Brahmin, an old inhabitant of Kāsi, who was following the life of an anchorite in the region of Himavat, was dwelling in a hut of leaves which he had built, and there was a great banyan tree at the end of his covered walk, and he had made his abode by day at its root. The garuḷa carried the Nāga to the top of the banyan, and the Nāga as it hung down in its effort to escape twined its tail round a branch. The garuḷa, being unaware of it, flew up to heaven by dint of his great strength and carried up the banyan tree without its roots 2. The bird then bore the Nāga to the silk-cotton tree and struck it with his beak and split open its belly, and having eaten 1 the fat dropped the body into the middle of the sea. The banyan tree as it fell made a great noise, and the bird, wondering what noise it could be, looked down, and seeing the tree thought to himself, "From whence did I carry that off?" and recognising that it was the banyan at the end of the anchorite's covered walk, he considered, "This tree was of great service to him,—is an evil consequence following me or not? I will ask him and learn." So he went to him in the guise of a young pupil; now at that moment the ascetic was smoothing the earth down. So the king of the garuḷas, having saluted him and sat down on one side, asked him, as if he were himself ignorant of the fact, what had once grown in that spot. He replied, "A garuḷa was carrying off a Nāga for his food, which twined its tail round a branch of a banyan tree in order to escape; but the bird by its great strength made a spring upwards and flew off, and so the tree was torn up; this is the place out of which it was torn." "What demerit accrued to the bird?" "If he did it not knowing what he did, it was only ignorance, not a sin." "What was the case with the Nāga?" "He did not seize the tree with an intent to hurt it, therefore he also has no demerit." The garuḷa was pleased with the ascetic and said, "My friend, I am that king of the garuḷas, and I am pleased with your explanation of my question. Now you live here in the forest and I know the Ālambāyana spell of

p. 94

priceless value. I will give it to you as my fee for your lesson,—be pleased to accept it." "I know enough about spells,—you can be going." But he continued to press him and at last he persuaded him to accept it, so he gave him the spell and shewed him the simples and departed.

Now at that time a poor Brahmin in Benares had got deeply into debt, and being pressed by his creditors he said to himself, "Why should I go on living here? I am sure it will be better to go into the forest and die." So having gone from his home he went by successive journeys till he came to that hermitage. He entered it and pleased the ascetic by his diligent discharge of his duties. The ascetic said to himself, "This Brahmin is very helpful to me, I will give him the divine spell which the king of garuḷas gave to me." So he said to him, "O Brahmin, I know the Ālambāyana spell, I will give it to you, do you take it." The other replied, "Peace, good friend, I do not want any spell," 1 but the other pressed him again and again and at last persuaded him; so he gave him the spell and shewed him the simples necessary for it and described the entire method of using it.

The Brahmin said to himself, "I have gained a means of livelihood"; so after staying there a few days, he made the excuse of an attack of rheumatism, and after begging the ascetic's forgiveness he took his respectful leave of him and departed from the forest, and by successive stages reached the bank of the Yamunā, from whence he went along the high road repeating the spell. Now at that very time a thousand Nāga youths who waited on Bhūridatta were carrying that jewel which grants all desires. They had come out of the Nāga-world and had stopped and placed it on a hillock of sand, and there, after playing all night in the water by its radiance, they had put on all their ornaments at the approach of morning, and, causing the jewel to contract its splendour 1, had sat down, guarding it. The Brahmin reached the spot while he was repeating his charm, and they, on hearing the charm, seized with terror lest it should be the garuḷa king, plunged into the earth without staying to take the jewel and fled to the Nāga-world. The Brahmin, when he saw the jewel, exclaimed, "My spell has at once succeeded"; and he joyfully seized the jewel and went on his way. Now at that very time the outcast Brahmin was entering the forest with his son Somadatta to kill deer, and when he saw the jewel on the other's hand he said to his son, "Is not this the jewel which Bhūridatta gave to us ?" "Yes," said his son, "it is the very same." "Well, I will tell him its evil qualities and so deceive him and get the jewel for my own." "O father, you did not keep the jewel before when Bhūridatta gave it to you: this Brahmin will assuredly cheat you,—be silent about it." "Let

p. 95

be, my son; you shall see which can cheat best, he or I." So he went to Ālambāyana and addressed him:

"Where did you get that gem of yours, bringing good luck and fair to th’ eye;
But having certain signs and marks, which I can recognise it by?"

[180] Ālambāyana answered in the following stanza:

"This morning as I walked along I saw the jewel where it lay,
Its thousand red-eyed guards all fled and left it there to be my prey."

The outcast's son, wishing to cheat him, proceeded in three stanzas to tell him the jewel's evil qualities, desiring to secure it himself:

"Carefully tended, honoured well, and worn or stowed away with care,
It brings its owner all good things, however large his wishes are;

But if he shews it disrespect and wears or stows it heedlessly,
Sore will he rue the finding it,—’twill only bring him misery.

Do you have nought to do therewith,—you have no skill such ware to hold:
Give it to me and take instead a hundred pounds of yellow gold."

Then Ālambāyana spoke a stanza in reply:

"I will not sell this gem of mine, though cows or jewels offered be;
Its signs and marks I know full well, and it shall ne’er be bought from me."

[181] The Brahmin said:

"If cows or jewels will not buy from you that jewel which you wear,
What is the price you'll sell it for? come, a true answer let me hear."

Ālambāyana answered:

"He who can tell me where to find the mighty Nāga in his pride,
To him this jewel will I give, flashing its rays on every side."

The Brahmin said:

"Is this perchance the Garuḷ King, come in a Brahmin's guise to-day,
Seeking, while on the track for food, to seize the Nāga as his prey?"

Ālambāyana answered:

"No bird-king I,—a garuḷ bird ne’er came across these eyes of mine,—
I am a Brahmin doctor, friend, and snakes and snake-bites are my line."

The Brahmin said:

"What special power do you possess, or have you learned some subtil skill
Which gives you this immunity to handle snakes whose fangs can kill?"

He replied, thus describing his power:

"The hermit Kosiya in the wood kept a long painful penance well,
And at the end a Garuḷa revealed to him the serpent-spell.

That holiest sage, who dwelt retired upon a lonely mountain height,
I waited on with earnest zeal and served unwearied day and night;

And at the last to recompense my years of faithful ministry
My blessed teacher did reveal the heavenly secret unto me.

[182] Trusting in this all-powerful spell, the fiercest snakes I do not fear;
I counteract their deadliest bites, I Alambāyana the seer."

p. 96

As he heard him, the outcast Brahmin thought to himself, "This Ālambāyana is ready to give the pearl of gems to anyone who shews him the Nāga; I will shew him Bhūridatta and so secure the gem"; so he uttered this stanza as he consulted with his son:

"Let us secure this gem, my son; come, Somadatta, let's be quick,
Nor lose our luck as did the fool 1 who smashed his meal-dish with his stick."

Somadatta replied:

"All honour due he shewed to you, when you came in that stranger's way;
And would you turn and rob him now, his kindly welcome to repay?

If you want wealth, go seek for it from Bhūridatta as before;
Ask him and he will gladly give all that your heart desires, and more."

The Brahmin said:

"That which, by lucky fortune brought, in bowl or hand all ready lies,
Eat it at once nor questions ask, lest thou shouldst lose the offered prize."

Somadatta replied:

[183] "Earth yawns for him, hell's fiercest fires await the traitor at the end,
Or, with fell hunger gnawed, he pines a living death, who cheats his friend.

Ask Bhūridatta,—he will give, if you want wealth, the wished-for boon;
But if you sin, I fear the sin will find you out and that right soon."

The Brahmin said:

"But, through a costly sacrifice Brahmins may sin and yet be clean;
Great sacrifices we will bring and, so made pure, escape the sin."

Somadatta said:

"Cease your vile talk, I will not stay,—this very moment I depart,
I will not go one step with you, this baseness rankling in your heart."

So saying, the wise youth, rejecting his father's counsel, exclaimed with a loud voice which startled the deities in the neighbourhood, "I will not go with such a sinner," and fled away as his father stood looking on; and, plunging into the recesses of Himavat, there became an ascetic, and, having practised the Faculties and the Attainments and become perfected in mystic meditation, he was born in the Brahma world. The Teacher explained this in the following stanza:

"The noble Somadatta thus rebuked his father where he stood,
Startling the spirits of the place, and turned and hurried from the wood."

The outcast Brahmin thought to himself, "Whither will Somadatta go except to his own home?" and when he saw that Ālambāyana was a little vexed, 1 4 he said to him, "Do not mind, Ālambāyana, I will introduce you to Bhūridatta." So he took him and went to the place where the snake king kept the fast-day; and when he saw him lying on

p. 97

the top of the ant-hill with his hoods contracted he stood a little way off, and holding out his hand uttered two stanzas:

"Seize this King-serpent where he lies and snatch forthwith that priceless gem,
Which bright-red like a lady-bird glows on his head a diadem.

On yonder ant-heap see! he lies, stretched out without a thought of fear,—
Spread like a heap of cotton there,—seize him before he knows you're near."

The Great Being opened his eyes, and, seeing the outcast, he pondered, "I took this fellow to my Nāga home and settled him in high prosperity, but he would not accept the jewel which I gave him, and now he is come here with a snake-charmer. But if I were angry with him for his treachery, my moral character would be injured. Now my first of all duties is to keep the fast-day in its four periods,—that must remain inviolate; so whether Ālambāyana cut me in pieces or cook me or fix me on a spit, I must at all events not be angry with him." So closing his eyes and following the highest ideal of Resolution he placed his head between his hoods and lay perfectly motionless 1.

V.

Then the outcast Brahmin exclaimed, "O Ālambāyana, do you seize this Nāga and give me the gem." Ālambāyana, being delighted at seeing the Nāga, and not caring the least for the gem, threw it into his hand, saying, "Take it, Brahmin"; but the jewel slipped out of his hand, and as soon as it fell it went into the ground and was lost in the Nāga-world. The Brahmin found himself bereft of the three things, the priceless gem, Bhūridatta's friendship, and his son, and went off to his home, loudly lamenting, "I have lost everything, I would not follow my son's words." But Ālambāyana, 1 5 having first anointed his body with divine drugs and eaten a little and so fortified himself within, uttered the divine spell, and, going up to the Bodhisatta, seized him by the tail, and, holding him fast, opened his mouth and, having himself eaten a drug, spat into it. The pure-natured Nāga king did not allow himself to feel any anger through fear of violating the moral precepts, and though he opened his eyes did not open them to the full 2. After he had made the snake full of the magic drug, and, holding him by the tail with his head downwards, had shaken him and made him vomit the food he had swallowed, he stretched him out at full length on the ground. Then pressing him like a pillow with his hands he crushed his bones to pieces, and then, seizing his tail, pounded him as if he were beating cloth. The Great Being felt no anger even though he suffered such pain.

p. 98

The Teacher described this in the following stanza:

"By dint of drugs of magic power and muttering spells with evil skill,
He seized and held him without fear and made him subject to his will."

Having thus made the Great Being helpless, he prepared a basket of creepers and threw him into it; at first his huge body would not go into it, but after kicking it with his heels he forced it to enter. Then, going to a certain village, he set the basket down in the middle of it and shouted aloud, "Let all come here who wish to see a snake dance"; and all the villagers crowded round. Then he called to the Nāga king to come out, and the Great Being reflected, "It will be best for me to please the crowd and dance to-day; perhaps he will gain plenty of money and in his content will let me go; whatever he makes me do, I will do it." So when Ālambāyana took him out of the basket and told him to swell out he assumed his full size; and so when he told him to become small or round or heaped up like a bank 1, or to assume one hood or two hoods or three or four or five or ten or twenty or any number up to a hundred, or to become high or low, or to make his body visible or invisible, or to become blue or yellow or red or white or pink, or to emit water, or to emit water and smoke, 1 6 he made himself assume all these various appearances as he was commanded and exhibited his dancing powers. No one who witnessed it could keep back his tears and the people brought gold coin, gold, garments, ornaments, and the like, so that he received a hundred thousand pieces in that village alone.

Now at first, after he had captured the Great Being, he had intended to let him go when he had gained a thousand pieces; but when he had made such a harvest, he said, "I have gained all this money in one little village,—what a fortune I shall get in a city!" So, after settling his family there, he made a basket all covered with jewels, and having thrown the Great Being into it, he mounted a luxurious carriage and started with a great train of attendants. He made him dance in every village and town which they passed, and at last they reached Benares. He gave the snake-king honey and fried grain, and killed frogs for him to eat; but he would not take the food, through fear of not being released from his captivity 2; but even though he did not take his food, the other made him shew his sports, and began with the four villages at the gates of the city, where he spent a month. Then on the fast-day of the fifteenth he announced to the king that he would that day exhibit the snake's dancing powers before him. The king in consequence made a proclamation by beat of drum and collected a large crowd, and tiers of scaffolding were erected in the courtyard of the palace 3.

p. 99

VI.

But on the day when the Bodhisatta was seized by Ālambāna, the Great Being's mother saw in a dream that a black man with red eyes had cut off her arm with a sword and was carrying it away, streaming with blood. She sprang up in terror, but on feeling her right arm she recognised it to be only a dream. Then she considered in herself, "I have seen an evil frightful dream; it portends some misfortune either to my four sons or to King Dhataraṭṭha or to myself." But presently she fixed her thoughts especially on the Bodhisatta: "Now all the others are dwelling in the Nāga-world, but he has gone into the world of men resolved to keep the precepts and under a vow to observe the fast-day; therefore I wonder whether some snake-charmer or garuḷa is seizing him." So she thought of him more and more, and at last at the end of a fortnight she became quite dejected, saying, "My son could not live a whole fortnight without me,—surely 1 some evil must have befallen him." After a month had passed there was no limit to the tears which flowed from her eyes in her distress, and she sat watching the road by which he would come back, continually saying, "Surely he will now be coming home,—surely be will now be coming home." Then her eldest son Sudassana came with a great retinue to pay a visit to his parents at the end of a month's absence, and having left his attendants outside he ascended the palace, and after saluting his mother stood on one side; but she said nothing to him as she kept sorrowing for Bhūridatta. He thought to himself, "Whenever I have returned before my mother has always been pleased and given me a kind welcome, but to-day she is in deep distress; what can be the reason?" So he asked her, saying:

"You see me come with all success, my every wish has hit the mark;
And yet you shew no signs of joy, and your whole countenance is dark,—

Dark as a lotus rudely plucked which droops and withers in the hand;
Is this the welcome which you give when I come back from foreign land?"

Even at these words of his she still said nothing. Then Sudassana thought, "Can she have been abused or slandered by someone?" So he uttered another stanza, questioning her:

"Has anyone upbraided you or are you racked with secret pain,
That thus your countenance is dark, e’en when you see me back again?"

She replied as follows:

"I saw an evil dream, my son, a month agone this very day;
1 There came a man who lopped my arm as on my bed I sleeping lay,
And carried off the bleeding limb,—no tears of mine his hand could stay.

Blank terror overpowers my heart, and since I saw that cruel sight
A moment's peace or happiness I have not known by day or night."

p. 100

When she had said this she burst out lamenting, "I cannot see anywhere my darling son your youngest brother; some evil must have happened to him," and she exclaimed:

"He whom fair maidens in their bloom used to be proud to wait upon,
Their hair adorned with golden nets,—Bhūridatta,—alas! is gone;

He whom stout soldiers used to guard, with their drawn swords, a gallant train,
Flashing like kaṇikāra flowers,—alas! I look for him in vain!

I must pursue your brother's track and find where he has fixed to dwell,
Fulfilling his ascetic vow, and learn myself if all be well."

Having uttered these words she set out with his retinue as well as her own.

Now Bhūridatta's wives had not felt anxious when they did not find him on the top of the ant-hill, as they said that he was no doubt gone to his mother's home; but when they heard that she was coming weeping because she could nowhere see her son, they went to meet her and fell at her feet, making a loud lamentation, "O lady, it is a month to-day since we last saw your son."

The Teacher described this as follows:

"The wives of Bhūridatta there beheld his mother drawing nigh,
And putting out their arms they wept with an exceeding bitter cry;

"Bhūridatta, thy son, went hence a month ago, we know not where;
Whether he be alive or dead we cannot tell in our despair."

[189] The mother joined with her daughters-in-law in their lamentations in the middle of the road and then went up with them into the palace, and there her grief burst forth as she looked on her son's bed:

"Like a lone bird whose brood is slain, when it beholds its empty nest,
So sorrow, when I look in vain for Bhūridatta, fills my breast.

Deep in my heart my grief for him burns with a fierce and steady glow
Just like the furnace which a smith carries where’er he is called to go."

As she thus wept, Bhūridatta's house seemed to be filled with one continuous sound like the hollow roar of the ocean. No one could remain unmoved, and the whole dwelling was like a sāl-forest smitten by the storm of doom's-day.

The Teacher thus described it:

"Like sāl-trees prostrate in a storm, their branches broken, roots uptorn,
So mother, wives, and children, lay in that lone dwelling-place forlorn."

Ariṭṭha and Subhaga also, the brothers, who had come to visit their parents, heard the noise and entered Bhūridatta's dwelling and tried to comfort their mother.

The Teacher thus described it:

"Ariṭṭha then and Subhaga, eager to help and comfort, come,
Hearing the sounds of wild lament which rose in Bhūridatta's home;

"Mother, be calm, thy wailings end,—this is the lot of all who live;
They all must pass from birth to birth: change rules in all things,—do not grieve.''

p. 101

[190] Samuddajā 1 replied:

"My son, I know it but too well, this is the lot of all who live,
But now no common loss is mine,—left thus forlorn I can but grieve;

Verily if I see him not, my jewel and my soul's delight,
My Bhūridatta, I will end my wretched life this very night."

Her sons answered:

"Mourn not, dear mother, still your grief,—we'll bring our brother back;
Through the wide earth on every side we will pursue his track

O’er hill and dale, through village, town and city, till he's found,—
Within ten days we promise you to bring him safe and sound."

Then Sudassana thought, "If we all three go in one direction there will be much delay: we must go to three different places,—one to the world of the gods, one to Himavat, and one to the world of men. But if Kāṇāriṭṭha 2 goes to the land of men he will set that village or town on fire where he shall happen to see Bhūridatta, for he is cruel-natured,—it will not do to send him"; so he said to him, "Do thou go to the world of the gods; if the gods have carried him to their world in order to learn the law from him, then do thou bring him thence." But he said to Subhaga, "Do thou go to Himavat and search for Bhūridatta in the five rivers and come back." But as he was resolving to go himself to the world of men, he reflected, "If I go as a young man people will revile 3 me; I must go as an ascetic, for ascetics are dear and welcome to men." So he took the garb of an ascetic and, after bidding his mother farewell, set out.

Now the Bodhisatta had a sister, born of another mother, named Accimukhī, who had a very great love for the Bodhisatta. When she saw Subhaga setting out, she said to him, 1 "Brother, I am greatly troubled, I will go with you." "Sister," he replied, "you cannot go with me, for I have assumed an ascetic's dress." "I will become a little frog and I will go inside your matted hair." On his consenting, she became a young frog and lay down in his matted hair. Subhaga resolved that he would search for him from the very commencement, so asked his wife where he spent the fast-day and went there first of all. When he saw there the blood on the spot where the Great Being had been seized by Ālambāna and the place where the latter had made the basket of creeping plants, he felt sure that the Bodhisatta had been seized by a snake-charmer and being overcome with grief, and having his eyes filled with tears, he followed Ālambāna's track. When he came to the village where he had first displayed the dancing, he asked the people whether a snake-charmer had shewn his tricks there with such and such a kind of snake. "Yes, Ālambāna shewed these tricks a month ago." "Did he gain anything thereby?" "Yes, he gained a hundred thousand pieces in this one

p. 102

place." "Where has he gone now?" "To such and such a village." He went off and, asking his way as he went, he at last arrived at the palace-gate. Now at that very moment Ālambāna had come there, just bathed and anointed, and wearing a tunic of fine cloth 1, and making his attendant carry his jewelled basket. A great crowd collected, a seat was placed for the king, and he, while he was still within the palace, sent a message, "I am coming, let him make the king of snakes play." Then Ālambāna placed the jewelled basket on a variegated rug, and gave the sign, saying, " Come hither, O snake-king." At that moment Sudassana was standing at the edge of the crowd, while the Great Being put out his head and looked round surveying the people. Now Nāgas look at a crowd for two reasons, to see whether any garuḷa is near or any actors; if they see any garuḷas, they do not dance for fear,—if any actors, they do not dance for shame. The Great Being, as he looked, beheld his brother in another part of the crowd, and, repressing the tears which filled his eyes, he came out of the basket and went up to his brother. The crowd, seeing him approach, retreated in fear and Sudassana was left alone; so he went up to him and laid his head on his foot and wept; and Sudassana also wept. The Great Being at last stopped weeping and went into the basket. Ālambāna said to himself, "This Nāga must have bitten yonder ascetic, I must comfort him"; so he went up to him and said:

[192] "It slipped out of my hand and seized your foot with all its might;
Did it chance bite you? never fear,—there's no harm in its bite."

Sudassana wished to have some talk with him, so he answered:

"This snake of yours can harm me not,
I am a match for him, I wot;

Search where you will, you will not see
One who can charm a snake like me."

Ālambāna did not know who it was, so he answered angrily:

"This lout dressed out in Brahmin guise challenges me to-day,—
Let all the assembly hear my words and give us both fair play."

Then Sudassana uttered a stanza in answer:

"A frog shall be my champion, and let a snake be yours,
Five thousand pieces be the stake, and let us shew our powers."

Ālambāna rejoined:

"I am a man well-backed with means, and you a bankrupt clown;
Who will stand surety on your side, and where's the money down?

There is my surety, there's the stake in case I lose the bet;
Five thousand coins will shew my powers,—your challenge, see, is met."

[193] Sadassana heard him and said, "Well, let us show our powers

p. 103

for five thousand pieces"; and so undismayed he went up into the royal palace and, going up to the king his father-in-law, he said this stanza:

"O noble monarch, hear my words,—ne’er may good luck thy steps forsake;
Wilt thou be surety in my name? Five thousand pieces is the stake."

The king thought to himself, "This ascetic asks for a very large sum, what can it mean?" so he replied:

"Is it some debt your father left or is it all your own,
That you should come and ask from me such an unheard-of loan?"

Sudassana repeated two stanzas:

"Ālambāna would beat me with his snake;
I with my frog his Brahmin pride will break.

Come forth, O king, with all thy train appear,
And see the beating which awaits him here."

The king consented and went out with the ascetic. When Ālambāna saw him, he thought, "This ascetic has gone and got the king on his side, he must be some friend of the royal family"; so he grew frightened and began to follow him, saying:

"I do not want to humble thee, I will not boast at all;
But you despise this snake too much, and pride may have a fall."

[194] Sudassana uttered two stanzas:

"I do not seek to humble thee, a Brahmin, or despise thy skill;
But wherefore thus cajole the crowd with harmless snakes that cannot kill?

If people knew your real worth as well as I can see it plain,—
Why talk of gold?—a little meal would be the limit of your gain."

Ālambāna grew angry and said:

"You mendicant in ass's skin, uncombed and squalid to the sight,
You dare to scorn this snake of mine, and say forsooth it cannot bite;

Come near and try what it can do,—learn by experience if you must;
I warrant you its harmless bite will make of you a heap of dust."

Then Sudassana uttered a stanza, mocking him:

"A rat or water-snake perchance may bite
And leave its poison if you anger it;
But your red-headed snake is harmless quite,
It will not bite, however much it spit."

Ālambāna replied in two stanzas:

"I have been told by holy saints who practised penance ceaselessly,—
Those who in this life give their alms will go to heaven when they die;

I counsel you to give at once if you have anything to give,—
This snake will turn you into dust,—you have but little time to live."

Sudassana said:

"I too have heard from holy saints, those who give alms will go to heaven;
Give you your alms while yet you may, if you have aught that can be given.

p. 104

[195] This is no common snake of mine, she'll make you lower your boastful tone;
A daughter of the Nāga king, and a half-sister of my own,—
Accimukhī, her mouth shoots flames; her poison 's of the deadliest known."

Then he called to her in the middle of the crowd, "O Accimukhī, come out of my matted locks and stand on my hand"; and he put out his hand; and when she heard his voice she uttered a cry like a frog three times, while she was lying in his hair, and then came out and sat on his shoulder, and springing up dropped three drops of poison on the palm of his hand and then entered again into his matted locks. Sudassana stood holding the poison and exclaimed three times, "This country will be destroyed, this country will be wholly destroyed"; the sound filled all Benares with its extent of twelve leagues. The king asked what should destroy it. "O king, I see no place where I can drop this poison." "This earth is big enough, drop it there." "That is not possible," he answered, and he repeated a stanza:

"If I should drop it on the ground, listen, O king, to me,—
The grass and creeping plants and herbs would parched and blasted be."

"Well then, throw it into the sky." "That also is not possible," he said, and he repeated a stanza:

"If I should do thy hest, O king, and throw it in the sky,
No rain nor snow will fall from heaven till seven long years roll by."

"Then throw it into the water." "That is not possible," he said, and he repeated a stanza:

[196] "If in the water it were dropped,—listen, O king, to me,—
Fishes and tortoises would die and all that lives i’ the sea."

Then the king exclaimed, "I am utterly at a loss,—do you tell us some way to prevent the land being destroyed." "O king, cause three holes to be dug here in succession." The king did so. Sudassana filled the middle hole with drugs, the second with cowdung, the third with heavenly medicines; then he let fall the drops of poison into the middle hole. A flame, which filled the hole with smoke, burst out; this spread and caught the hole with the cowdung, and then bursting out again it caught the hole filled with the heavenly plants and consumed them all, and then itself became extinguished. Ālambāyana was standing near that hole, and the heat of the poison smote him,—the colour of his skin at once vanished and he became a white leper. Filled with terror, he exclaimed three times, "I will set the snake-king free." On hearing him the Bodhisatta came out of the jewelled basket, and assuming a form radiant with all kinds of ornaments, he stood with all the glory of Indra. Sudassana also and Accimukhī stood by. Then Sudassana said to the king, "Dost thou not know whose children these are?" "I know not." "Thou dost not know us, but thou knowest that the king of Kāsi gave

p. 105

his daughter Samuddajā to Dhataraṭṭha." "I know it well, for she was my youngest sister." "We are her sons, and you are our uncle." Then the king embraced them and kissed their heads and wept, and brought them up into the palace, and paid them great honour. While he was shewing all kindness to Bhūridatta he asked him how Ālambāna had caught him, when he possessed such a terrible poison. Sudassana related the whole story and then said, "O great monarch, a king ought to rule his kingdom in this way," and he taught his uncle the Law. Then he said, "O uncle, our mother is pining for want of seeing Bhūridatta, we cannot stay longer away from her." "It is right, you shall go; but I too want to see my sister; how can I see her?" "O uncle, where is our grandfather, the king of Kāsi?" 1 "He could not bear to live without my sister, so he left his kingdom and became an ascetic, and is now dwelling in such and such a forest." "Uncle, my mother is longing to see you and my grandfather; we will take her and go to our grandfather's hermitage, and then you too will see him." So they fixed a day and departed from the palace; and the king, after parting with his sister's sons, returned weeping; and they sank into the earth and went to the Nāga-world 1.

VII.

When the Great Being thus came among them, the city became filled with one universal lamentation. He himself was tired out with his month's residence in the basket and took to a sick-bed; and there was no limit to the number of Nāgas who came to visit him, and he tired himself out, talking to them. In the meantime Kāṇāriṭṭha, who had gone to the world of the gods 2 and did not find the Great Being there, was the first to come back; so they made him the doorkeeper of the Great Being's sick residence, for they said that he was passionate and could keep away the crowd of Nāgas. Subhaga also, after searching all Himavat and after that the great ocean and the other rivers, came in the course of his wanderings to search the Yamunā. But when the outcast Brahmin saw that Ālambāna had become a leper, he thought to himself, "He has become a leper because he worried Bhūridatta; now I too, through lust of the jewel, betrayed him, although he had been my benefactor, to Ālambāna, and this crime will come upon me. Before it comes, I will go to the Yamunā and will wash away the guilt in the sacred bathing-place." So he went down into the water, saying that he would wash away the sin of his treachery. At that moment Subhaga came to the spot, and, hearing his words, said to himself, "This evil wretch for the sake of a gem-charm

p. 106

betrayed my brother, who had given him such a means of enriching himself, to Ālambāna; I. will not spare his life." So, twisting his tail round his feet and dragging him into the water, he held him down; then when he was breathless he let him remain quiet a while, 1 and when the other lifted his head up he dragged him in again and held him down; this he repeated several times, until at last the outcast Brahmin lifted his head and said:

"I'm bathing at this sacred spot here in Payāga's holy flood;
My limbs are wet with sacred drops,—what cruel demon seeks my blood?"

Subhaga answered him in the following stanza:

"He who, men say, in ancient days to this proud Kāsi wrathful came,
And wrapped it round with his strong coils, that serpent-king of glorious fame,
His son am I, who hold thee now: Subhaga, Brahmin, is my name."

The Brahmin thought, "Bhūridatta's brother will not spare my life,—but what if I were to move him to tender-heartedness by reciting the praises of his father and mother, and then beg my life?" So he recited this stanza:

"Scion of Kāsi's 1 royal race divine,
Thy mother born from that illustrious line,
Thou wouldst not leave the meanest Brahmin's slave
To perish drowned beneath the ruthless wave."

[199] Subhaga thought, "This wicked Brahmin thinks to deceive me and persuade me to let him go, but I will not give him his life"; so he answered, reminding him of his old deeds:

"A thirsty deer approached to drink—from your tree-porch your shaft flew down:
In fear and pain your victim fled, spurred by an impulse not its own;

Deep in the wood you saw it fall and bore it on your carrying-pole
To where a banyan's shoots grew thick, clustering around the parent bole;

The parrots sported in the boughs, the kokil's song melodious rose,
Green spread the grassy sward below,—evening invited to repose;

But there your cruel eye perceived my brother, who the boughs among
In summer pomp of colour drest sported with his attendant throng.

He in his joyance harmed you not, but you in malice did him slay,
An innocent victim,—lo that crime comes back on your own head to-day,
I will not spare your life an hour,—my utmost vengeance you shall pay."

Then the Brahmin thought, "He will not give me my life, but I must try my best to escape"; so he uttered the following stanza:

"Study, the offering of prayers, libations in the sacred fire,
These three things make a Brahmin's life inviolate to mortal's ire."

[200] Subhaga, when he heard this, began to hesitate and he thought

p. 107

to himself, "I will carry him to the Nāga-world and ask my brothers about this"; so he repeated two stanzas:

"Beneath the Yamunā's sacred stream, stretching to far Himālaya's feet,
Lies deep the Nāga capital where Dhataraṭṭha holds his seat;

There all my hero brethren dwell, to them will I refer thy plea,
And as their judgment shall decide, so shall thy final sentence be."

He then seized him by the neck, and, shaking him with loud abuse and revilings, carried him to the gate of the Great Being's palace 1.

VIII.

Kāṇāriṭṭha who had become the doorkeeper was sitting there, and when he saw that the other was being dragged along so roughly he went to meet them, and said, "Subhaga, do not hurt him; all Brahmins are the sons of the great spirit Brahman; if he learned that we were hurting his son he would be angry and would destroy all our Nāga-world. In the world Brahmins rank as the highest and possess great dignity; thou dost not know what their dignity is, but I do." For they say that Kāṇāriṭṭha in the birth immediately preceding this had been born as a sacrificing Brahmin, and therefore he spoke so positively. Moreover being skilled in sacrificial lore from his former experiences, he said to Subhaga and the Nāga assembly, "Come, I will describe to you the character of sacrificial Brahmins," and he went on as follows:

"The Veda and the sacrifice, things of high worth and dignity,
Belong to Brahmins as their right, however worthless they may be;

Great honour is their privilege and he who flouts them in his scorn,
Loses his wealth and breaks the law, and lives guilt-burdened and forlorn."

[201] Then Kāṇāriṭṭha asked Subhaga if he knew who had made the world; and when he confessed his ignorance, he told this stanza to shew that it was created by Brahman the grandfather of the Brahmins:

"Brahmins he made for study; for command
He made the Khattiyas; Vessas plough the land;
Suddas he servants made to obey the rest;
Thus from the first went forth the Lord's behest."

Then he said, "These Brahmins have great powers, and he who conciliates them and gives them gifts is not fated to enter any new birth, but goes at once to the world of the gods "; and he repeated these stanzas:

"Kuvera, Soma, Varuṇa, of old,
Dhātā, Vidhātā, and the Sun and Moon,
Offered their sacrifices manifold,
And to their Brahmin priests gave every boon.

p. 108

The giant Ajjun too who wrought such woe,
Round whose huge bulk a thousand arms once grew,
Each several pair with its own threatening bow,
Heaped on the sacred flame the offerings due."

[202] Then he went on describing the glory of the Brahmins and how the best gifts are to be given to them.

"That ancient king who feasted them so well
Became at last a god, old stories tell.
King Mujalinda long the fire adored,
Glutting its thirst with all the ghee he poured;
And at the last the earned reward it brought,
He found the pathway to the heaven he sought."

He also repeated these stanzas to illustrate this lesson:

[203] "Dujīpa lived a thousand years in all,
Chariots and hosts unnumbered at his call;

But an ascetic's life was his at last,
And from his hermitage to heaven he past.

Sāgara all the earth in triumph crost,
And raised a golden sacrificial post;

None worshipped fire more zealously than he,
And he too rose to be a deity.

The milk and curds which Aṅga, Kāsi's lord,
In his long offerings so profusely poured,

Swelled Gaṅgā to an ocean by their flood,
Until at last in Sakka's courts he stood.

Great Sakka's general on the heavenly plain,
By soma-offerings did the honour gain;

[204] He who now marshals the immortal powers
Rose from a mortal sin-stained lot like ours.

Brahma the great Creator, he who made
The mountains landmarks in his altar yard,

Whose hest the Ganges in its path obeyed,
By sacrifice attained his great reward."

Then he said to him, "Brother, know you how this sea became salt and undrinkable?" "I know not, Ariṭṭha." "You only know how to injure Brahmins,—listen to me." Then he repeated a stanza:

"A hermit student, versed in prayer and spell,
Once stood upon the shore, as I've heard tell;
2 5 He touched the sea,—it forthwith swallowed him,
And since that day has been undrinkable."

"These Brahmins are all like this"; and he uttered another stanza:

"When Sakka first attained his royal throne,
His special favour upon Brahmins shone;
East, west, north, south, they made their ritual known,
And found at last a Veda of their own."

Thus Ariṭṭha described the Brahmins and their sacrifices and Vedas.

When they heard his words, many Nāgas came to visit the Bodhisatta's sick-bed, and they said to one another, "He is telling a legend of the past,"

p. 109

and they seemed to be in danger of accepting false doctrine. Now the Bodhisatta heard it all as he lay in his bed, and the Nāgas told him about it; then the Bodhisatta reflected, "Ariṭṭha is telling a false legend,—I will interrupt his discourse, and put true views into the assembly." So he rose and bathed, and put on all his ornaments, and sat down in the pulpit and gathered all the Nāga multitude together. Then he sent for Ariṭṭha and said to him, "Ariṭṭha, you have spoken falsely when you describe the Brahmins and the Vedas, for the sacrifice of victims by all these ceremonies of the Vedas is not held to be desirable and it does not lead to heaven,—see what unreality there is in your words"; so he repeated these gāthās describing the various kinds of sacrifice:

[206] "These Veda studies are the wise man's toils,
The lure which tempts the victims whom he spoils;

A mirage formed to catch the careless eye,
But which the prudent passes safely by.

The Vedas have no hidden power to save
The traitor or the coward or the knave;

The fire, though tended well for long years past,
Leaves his base master without hope at last.

Though all earth's trees in one vast heap were piled
To satisfy the fire's insatiate child,

Still would it crave for more, insatiate still,—
How could a Nāga hope that maw to fill?

Milk ever changes,—thus where milk has been
Butter and curds in natural course are seen;

And the same thirst for change pervades the fire,
Once stirred to life it mounts still higher and higher.

Fire bursts not forth in wood that 's dry or new,
Fire needs an effort ere it leaps to view;

If dry fresh timber of itself could burn,
Spontaneous would each forest blaze in turn.

If he wins merit who to feed the flame
Piles wood and straw, the merit is the same

When cooks light fires or blacksmiths at their trade
Or those who burn the corpses of the dead.

[207] But none, however zealously he prays
Or heaps the fuel round to feed the blaze,

Gains any merit by his mummeries,—
The fire for all its crest of smoke soon dies.

Were Fire the honoured being that you think,
Would it thus dwell with refuse and with stink,

Feeding on carrion with a foul delight,
Where men in horror hasten from the sight?

Some worship as a god the crested flame,
Barbarians give to water that high name;

But both alike have wandered from their road:
Neither is worthy to be called a god.

p. 110

To worship fire, the common drudge of all,
Senseless and blind and deaf to every call,

And then one's self to live a life of sin,—
How could one dream that this a heaven could win?

These Brahmins all a livelihood require,
And so they tell us Brahma worships fire;

Why should the increate who all things planned
Worship himself the creature of his hand?

Doctrines and rules of their own, absurd and vain,
Our sires imagined wealth and power to gain;

"Brahmins he made for study, for command
He made the Khattiyas; Vessas plough the land;

Suddas he servants made to obey the rest;
Thus from the first went forth his high behest 1."

[208] We see these rules enforced before our eyes,
None but the Brahmins offer sacrifice,

None but the Khattiya exercises sway,
The Vessas plough, the Suddas must obey.

These greedy liars propagate deceit,
And fools believe the fictions they repeat;

He who has eyes can see the sickening sight;
Why does not Brahma set his creatures right?

If his wide power no limits can restrain,
Why is his hand so rarely spread to bless?

Why are his creatures all condemned to pain?
Why does he not to all give happiness?

Why do fraud, lies, and ignorance prevail?
Why triumphs falsehood,—truth and justice fail?

I count your Brahma one th’ injust among,
Who made a world in which to shelter wrong.

Those men are counted pure who only kill
Frogs, worms, bees, snakes or insects as they will,—

These are your savage customs which I hate,—
Such as Kamboja 2 hordes might emulate.

[210] If he who kills is counted innocent
And if the victim safe to heaven is sent,

[211] Let Brahmins Brahmins kill—so all were well—
And those who listen to the words they tell.

We see no cattle asking to be slain
That they a new and better life may gain,—

Rather they go unwilling to their death
And in vain struggles yield their latest breath.

To veil the post, the victim and the blow
The Brahmins let their choicest rhetoric flow;

"The post shall as a cow of plenty be
Securing all thy heart's desires to thee";

But if the wood thus round the victim spread
Had been as full of treasure as they said,

p. 111

As full of silver, gold and gems for us,
With heaven's unknown delights as overplus,

They would have offered for themselves alone
And kept the rich reversion as their own.

These cruel cheats, as ignorant as vile,
Weave their long frauds the simple to beguile,

"Offer thy wealth, cut nails and beard and hair,
And thou shalt have thy bosom's fondest prayer."

The offerer, simple to their hearts' content,
Comes with his purse, they gather round him fast,

Like crows around an owl, on mischief bent,
1 2 And leave him bankrupt and stripped bare at last,

The solid coin which he erewhile possessed,
Exchanged for promises which none can test.

Like grasping strangers 1 sent by those who reign
The cultivators' earnings to distrain,

These rob where’er they prowl with evil eye,—
No law condemns them, yet they ought to die.

The priests a shoot of Butea must hold
As part o’ the rite sacred from days of old;

Indra's right arm ’tis called; but were it so,
Would Indra triumph o’er his demon foe?

Indra's own arm can give him better aid,
’Twas no vain sham which made hell's hosts afraid.

"Each mountain-range which now some kingdom guards
Was once a heap in ancient altar-yards,

And pious worshippers with patient hands
Piled up the mound at some great lord's commands."

So Brahmins say,—fie on the idle boast,
Mountains are heaved aloft at other cost;

And the brick mound, search as you may, contains
No veins of iron for tile miner's pains.

[213] A holy seer well known in ancient days,
On the seashore was praying, legend says;

There was he drowned and since this fate befell
The ocean's waves have been undrinkable.

Rivers have drowned their learned men at will
By hundreds and have kept their waters still;

Their streams flow on and never taste the worse,
Why should the sea alone incur the curse?

And the salt-streams which run upon the land
Spring from no curse but own the digger's hand.

At first there were no women and no men;
’Twas mind first brought mankind to light,—and then,

Though they all started equal in the race,
 2Their various failures made them soon change place;

It was no lack of merit in the past,
But present faults which made them first or last.

p. 112

A clever low-caste lad would use his wit,
And read the hymns nor find his head-piece split;

The Brahmins made the Vedas to their cost
When others gained the knowledge which they lost.

Thus sentences are made and learned by rote
In metric forms not easily forgot,—

The obscurity but tempts the foolish mind,
They swallow all they're told with impulse blind.

Brahmins are not like violent beasts of prey,
No tigers, lions of the woods are they;

They are to cows and oxen near akin,
Differing outside they are as dull within.

[214] If the victorious king would cease to fight
And live in peace with his friends and follow right,

Conquering those passions which his bosom rend,
What happy lives would all his subjects spend!

The Brahmin's Veda, Khattiya's policy,
Both arbitrary and delusive be,

They blindly grope their way along a road
By some huge inundation overflowed.

In Brahmin's Veda, Khattiya's policy,
One secret meaning we alike can see;

For after all, loss, gain and glory, and shame
Touch the four castes alike, to all the same.

As householders to gain a livelihood
Count all pursuits legitimate and good,

So Brahmins now in our degenerate day
Will gain a livelihood in any way.

The householder is led by love of gain,
Blindly he follows, dragged in pleasure's train,

Trying all trades, deceitful and a fool,
Fallen alas! how far from wisdom's rule."

[217] The Great Being, having thus confuted their arguments, established his own doctrine, and when they heard his exposition the assembly of Nāgas was filled with joy. The Great Being delivered the outcast Brahmin from the Nāga-world and did not wound him with a single contemptuous speech. Sāgara-brahmadatta also did not let the appointed day pass, but went with his complete army to his father's dwelling-place. The Great Being also, having proclaimed by beat of drum that he would visit his maternal uncle and grandfather, crossed over from the Yamunā and went first to that hermitage with great pomp and magnificence, and his remaining brothers and his father and mother came afterwards. At that moment Sāgara-brahmadatta, not recognising the Great Being, as he approached with his great retinue, asked his father 1:

"Whose drums are these?. whose tabours, conchs, and what those instruments, whose voice
Swells with deep concert through the air and makes the monarch's heart rejoice?

p. 113

Who is this youth who marches there, with quiver and with bow arrayed,
Wearing a golden coronet that shines like lightning round his head?

Who is it that approaches there, whose youthful countenance shines bright,
Like an acacia brand which glows in a smith's forge with steady light?

[218] Whose bright umbrella, golden-hued, o’erpowers the sun in noonday's pride,
While deftly hangs a fly-flapper ready for action by his side?

See peacocks' tails on golden sticks wave by his face with colours blent 1,
While his bright ear-rings deck his brow as lightning wreaths the firmament.

What hero owns that long large eye, that tuft of wool between the brows,
Those teeth as white as buds or shells, their line so faultless and so even,
Those lac-dyed hands, those bimba lips,—he shines forth like the sun in heaven;

Like some tall sāl-tree full of bloom, upon a mountain peak alone,
Indra in his triumphant dress with every demon foe o’erthrown.

Who is it bursts upon our view, drawing from out its sheath his brand,
Its jewelled handle and rich work radiant with splendour in his hand,

Who now takes off his golden shoes, richly inwrought with varied thread,
And, bending with obeisance low, pours honour on the Sage's head?"

[219] Being thus asked by his son Sāgara-brahmadatta, the ascetic, possessed of transcendent knowledge and supernatural power, replied, "O my son, these are the sons of King Dhataraṭṭha, the Nāga sons of thy sister"; and he repeated this gāthā:

"These are all Dhataraṭṭha's sons glorious in power and great in fame,—
They all revere Samuddajā and her as common mother claim."

While they were thus talking, the host of Nāgas came up and saluted the ascetic's feet and then sat down on one side. Samuddajā also saluted her father, and then after weeping returned with the Nāgas to the Nāga-world. Sāgara-brahmadatta stayed there for a few days and then went to Benares, and Samuddajā died in the Nāga-world. The Bodhisatta, having kept the precepts all his life and performed all the duties of the fast-day, at the end of his life went with the host of Nāgas to fill the seats of heaven.


After the lesson the Teacher exclaimed, "Thus pious disciples, wise men of former times before the Buddha was born, gave up the glory of the Nāga state and rigorously fulfilled the duties of the fast-day"; and he then identified the birth: "At that time the family of the great King were my father and mother, Devadatta was the outcast Brahmin, Ānanda was Somadatta, Uppalavaṇṇā was Accimukhī, Sāripputta was Sudassana, Moggallāna was Subhaga, Sunakkhatta was Kāṇāriṭṭha, and I myself was Bhūridatta."


Footnotes

83:1 The Nāga king.

85:1 Varuṇa is called a Nāga rāja in Lalita Vistara, p. 249, 13. These lines seem to be a quotation from another poem.

85:2 Names of Nāga tribes.

86:1 "Nagara-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitam."

87:1 I read this by conjecture for Virukkha.

88:1 In I. 39012 we read caturaṅgasamānnāgataṁ brahmacariyavāsaṁ vasiṁ, which by the light of II. 190 ff. we may interpret "free from jealousy, drunkenness, desire, and wrath." (But compare Maj. Nik. I. 77.) I do not find it however in connexion with the Uposatha vow; although eight divisions of this are recognised in IV. 3186, trans. p. 200. The Catuposatha Jātaka, No. 441, would have thrown light on this subject; but its name only is mentioned in its proper place, a reference being given to another which has not been identified.

88:2 "Uposatha-khaṇḍaṁ niṭṭhitaṁ."

88:3 He is called later on Alambāyana, see p. 95.

91:1 The four lokapālas.

91:2 Sakka's heaven.

92:1 "Vanappavesana-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitaṁ."

93:1 Jāt. 518, Vol. V. p. 43 (trans.).

93:2 Bd samūlo, "roots and all," which suits the context better.

94:1 Or perhaps "causing bringing its splendour amongst them."

96:1 Cf. Hitopad. IV., story 8.

97:1 "Sīla-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitaṁ."

97:2 Would their full gaze have made the offender blind?

98:1 Bs. vappito, from vappo? The text reads vippito.

98:2 Through the guilt which he would incur through eating.

98:3 Kīḷana-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitaṁ.

101:1 See supra, p. 85.

101:2 See p. 87.

101:3 I read osapissanti (√avaçap).

102:1 Read maṭṭasātakaṁ, cf. p. 34, 1. 23, text.

105:1 Nāgara-pavesana-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitaṁ.

105:2 Cf. p. 100.

106:1 The text reads Kaṁsassa, "another name for the king of Kāsi" (Schol.).

107:1 "Mahāsattassa pārīyesana-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitaṁ."

110:1 See p. 106.

110:2 The Kambojas were a north-western tribe who were supposed to have lost their original Aryan customs and to have become barbarous, see Manu, X. 44.

111:1 A-kāsiyā.

111:2 Vossaggavibhaṅgam may mean "difference of occupation."

112:1 See V. p. 3224.

113:1 Does this refer to his whiskers? or is it to be taken literally?


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 544: Mahānāradakassapa-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. 114

No. 544.

MAHĀNĀRADAKASSAPA-JĀTAKA.

"There was a king of the Videhas," etc. This story was told by the Master, while dwelling in the Laṭṭhivana pleasure garden, in relation to the conversion of Uruvela-Kassapa. Now the Teacher by whom the glorious reign of law was begun, 2 after converting the ascetics Uruvela-Kassapa and the rest, came to the pleasure garden of Laṭṭhivana, surrounded by the thousand bhikkhus who had before been ascetics, in order to persuade the King of Magadha to give his promise 1; and at that time, when the Magadha king, who had come with an attending company of twelve myriads, had seated himself after saluting the Buddha, a dispute arose among the Brahmans and householders of his train, "Has Uruvela-Kassapa placed himself under the spiritual guidance of the great Samana, or has the great Samana placed himself under the spiritual guidance of Uruvela-Kassapa?" Then the Blessed One thought to himself, "I will shew them that Kassapa has placed himself under my spiritual guidance," and he uttered this stanza:

"What was it that you saw, O inhabitant of Uruvelā, that you, renowned for your asceticism 2, abandoned your sacred fire? I ask you, Kassapa, this question,—how is it that your fire sacrifice has been deserted?"

Then the elder, Who understood the Buddha's purport, replied in this stanza:

"The sacrifices only speak of forms and sounds and tastes, and sensual pleasures and women; and knowing that all these things, being found in the elements of material existence, are filth, I took no more delight in sacrifices or offerings."

And in order to shew that he was a disciple, he laid his head upon the Buddha's feet and said, "The Blessed One is my teacher, and I am his disciple." So saying he rose into the air seven times, to the height of a palm tree, two palm trees, and so on to seven palm trees, and then having come down and saluted the Blessed One, he sat down on one side. The great multitude when they saw that miracle uttered the glories of the Teacher, saying, "O great is the power of Buddha; though filled with such a firm conviction of his own, and though he believed himself to be a saint, Uruvela-Kassapa burst the bonds of error and was converted by the Tathāgata." The Teacher said, "It is not wonderful that I who have now attained omniscience should have converted him; in olden time when I was the Brahma named Nārada and still subject to passion, I burst this man's bonds of error and made him humble"; and so saying he told the following, at the request of the audience:

In the olden time at Mithilā in the kingdom of Videha there ruled a just king of righteousness named Aṅgati. Now in the womb of his chief queen there was conceived a fair and gracious daughter, named Rujā,

p. 115

possessing great merit, and one who had offered prayer for a hundred thousand ages. All his other sixteen thousand wives were barren. This daughter became very dear and engaging to him. Every day he used to send her five and twenty baskets full of various flowers and delicate raiment, bidding her adorn herself with them; 1 2 and he used to send her a thousand pieces, bidding her give away alms every fortnight as there was abundance of food and drink. Now he had three ministers, Vijaya, Sunāma and Alāta; and one day when the feast came round on the full moon of the fourth month, and the city and the palace were adorned like the city of the gods, having properly bathed and anointed himself and put on all sorts of ornaments, as he stood with his ministers on a terrace at an open window and saw the round moon mounting up into the clear sky, he asked his ministers, "Pleasant indeed is this clear night,—with what amusement shall we divert ourselves?"

The Teacher thus explained the matter:

"There was a Khattiya king of the Videhas named Aṅgati, possessing many carriages, wealthy and with an innumerable army. One day on the fifteenth night of the fortnight, ere the first watch was over, on the full moon of the fourth month of the rains, he gathered his ministers together,—Vijaya, and Sunāma, and the general Alātaka, all wise, fathers of sons, wearing a smile, and full of experience. The Videha king questioned them, "Let each of you utter his wish, this is the full moon of the fourth month, it is moonlight without any darkness; with what diversion to-night shall we pass the time away?"

Thus asked by the king, each spoke in accordance with the desire of his heart.

The Teacher thus explained the matter:

"Then the general Alāta thus spoke to the king: "Let us gather a gay gallant army together; 2 let us go forth to battle, with a countless host of men; let us bring under thy power those who have kept themselves independent; this is my opinion, let us conquer what is still unconquered." Hearing the words of Alāta, Sunāma spoke thus, "All your enemies, O king, are met together here,—they have laid aside their strength and behave themselves with submission; to-day is the chief festival; war pleases me not. Let them forthwith bring to us meat and drink and all kinds of food: O king, enjoy thy pleasure in dance and song and music." Hearing the words of Sunāma, Vijaya spoke thus, "All pleasures, O great king, are always ready at thy side; these are not hard to find, so as to rejoice in all thy desires: but even if they are always attained, this resolution is riot approved by me. Let us wait on some Samana or Brahmin learned in sacred lore, one who versed in the text and its meaning may remove our doubt to-day as to the object of our desire 1." Having heard the words of Vijaya, the king Aṅgati said, "This saying of Vijaya is what pleases me also. Let us wait on some Samana or Brahmin learned in sacred lore, one who versed in the sacred text and its meaning may remove our doubt to-day as to the object of our desire. Do ye all carry out this resolution; on what teacher shall we wait? Who, to-day, versed in the sacred text and its meaning, will remove our doubt as to the object of our desire?" Having heard the words of Videha, Alāta replied, "There is yonder naked ascetic in the deer-park, approved by all as wise, Guṇa, of the Kassapa family, famous, a man of varied discourse, and with a large following of disciples; wait on him, O king, he will remove our

p. 116

doubt." Having heard the words of Alāta, the king commanded his charioteer, "We will go to the deer-park, bring hither the chariot yoked."

[223] Then they yoked his chariot made of ivory and with silver decorations, having its equipage all bright and clean, white and spotless like a clear night 1 in its appearance. Four Sindh horses were yoked therein, white as lilies, swift as the wind, well-trained, wearing golden wreaths,—white the umbrella, white the car, white the horses and white the fan. The Videha king as he set out with his counsellors shone like the moon. Many wise and strong men armed with spears and swords, mounted on horses, followed the king of heroes. Having traversed the distance, as it were, in a moment, and alighted from the chariot, the Videha with his ministers approached Guṇa on foot; and even the Brahmins and wealthy men who were already gathered at the place the king did not order to be removed, though they left him no room."

[224] Surrounded by that mixed assembly the king sat on one side and made his greeting.

The Teacher thus explained the matter:

"Then the king sat down on one side on a soft mattress, covered with soft variegated squirrel-skins and with a soft cushion put over them. The king, being seated, addressed him with the compliments of friendship and civility, "Are your bodily needs provided for? are your vital airs not wasted? is your mode of life comfortable? do you get your due supply of alms? are your movements unimpeded? is your sight unimpaired?" Guṇa courteously answered the Videha who was so attentive to his duties, "All my wants are provided for, and those two last-mentioned points are as I would wish them. You too,—are your neighbours not too strong for you? have you such good health as you need? does your chariot carry you well? have you none of the sicknesses which afflict the body?" The king, seeking to know the law, having received this kindly greeting, next proceeded to ask him concerning the meaning and text of the law and the rules of right conduct. "How, O Kassapa, should a mortal fulfil the law towards his parents, how towards his teacher, and how towards his wife and children? how should he behave towards the aged, how towards Samanas and Brahmins, how should he deal with his army, how with the people in the country? How should he practise the law and so eventually attain to heaven? and how do some on account of unrighteousness fall down into hell?"

[225] Through the lack of some one who was preeminent among omniscient buddhas, paccekabuddhas, buddhist disciples, or sages, the king asked his successive royal questions well deserving to be asked, of a poor naked mendicant who knew nothing and was as blind as a child; and he, being thus asked, giving no proper answer to the question but seizing the opportunity with a "Hear, O king," declared his own false doctrine, like one who strikes an ox when it is going along or throws refuse into another's food- vessel.

The Teacher thus explained the matter:

"Having heard the Videha king's words, Kassapa thus replied: "Hear, O king, a true unerring utterance. There is no fruit, good or evil, in following the law; there is no other world, O king,—who has ever come back hither from thence? There are no ancestors,—how can there be father or mother? There is no teacher,—who will tame what cannot be tamed? All beings are equal and alike, there are none who should receive or pay honour; there is no such thing as strength or courage,—how can there be vigour or heroism?

p. 117

[paragraph continues] All beings are predestined, just as the stern-rope must follow the ship. Every mortal gets what he is to get, what then is the use of giving? There is no use, O king, in giving,—the giver is helpless and weak; gifts are enjoined by fools and accepted by the wise; weak fools who think  themselves wise give to the prudent."

[226] Having thus described the uselessness of giving, he went on to describe the powerlessness of sin to produce consequences hereafter:

"There are seven aggregates indestructible and uninjuring,—fire, earth, water, air, pleasure, and pain, and the soul; of these seven there is none that can destroy or divide, nor are they ever to be destroyed; weapons pass harmless amongst these aggregates. He who carries off another's head with a sharp sword does not divide these aggregates: how then should there be any consequence from evil doing? All beings become pure by passing through eighty-four great aeons; till that period arrives not even the self-restrained becomes pure. Till that period arrives, however much they have followed virtue, they do not become pure, and even if they commit many sins they do not go beyond that limit. One by one we are purified through the eighty-four great æons: we cannot go beyond our destiny any more than the sea beyond its shore.'"

[227] Thus did the advocate of annihilation enforce his own doctrine by his vehemence without appealing to any precedent 1:

"Having heard Kassapa's words, Alāta thus replied: "What you say approves itself also to me. I too remember having gone through a former birth. I was a cow-killing huntsman named Piṅgala in a city. Many a sin did I commit in wealthy Benares,—many living creatures I slew, buffaloes, hogs, and goats. Passing from that birth, I was then born in the prosperous family of a general; verily there are no evil consequences for sin, I did not have to go to hell."

Now there happened to be a slave clothed in rags, named Bījaka, who was keeping the fast, and who had come to listen to Guṇa; when he heard Kassapa's words and Alāta's reply, he drew many a hot sigh and burst into tears. The Videha king asked him, "Why dost thou weep? what hast thou seen or heard? why dost thou shew me thy pain?"

[228] Bījaka replied, "I have no pain to vex me: listen to me, O king. I too remember my former birth, a happy one; I was one Bhavaseṭṭhi in the city of Sāketa, devoted to virtue, pure, given to alms, and esteemed by Brahmins. and rich men; and I remember no single evil deed that I committed. But when I passed from that life I was conceived in the womb of a poor prostitute, and was born to a miserable life. But miserable as I am I keep my tranquil mind, and I give the half of my food to whosoever desires it. I fast every fourteenth and fifteenth day, and I never hurt living creatures, and I abstain from theft. But all the good deeds which I do produce no fruit; as Alāta says, I think that virtue is useless. I lose my game in life as an unskilful dice-player; Alāta wins as he has done, just like a skilled player; I see no door by which I may go to heaven; it is for this that I weep when I heard what Kassapa said."

[229] Having heard Bījaka's words, King Aṅgati said, "There is no door to heaven: only wait on destiny. Whether thy lot be happiness or misery, it is only gained through destiny: all will at last reach deliverance from transmigration; be not eager for the future. I too have been fortunate in former births and devoted to Brahmins and rich men, but while I was busy administering the laws I myself had meanwhile no enjoyment."

Thus having spoken he took his leave: "O venerable Kassapa, all this long time I have been heedless, but now at last I have found a teacher,

p. 118

and from henceforth, following your teaching, I will take my delight only in pleasure, and not even hearing discourses on virtue shall hinder me. Stay where you are, I will now depart; we may yet see one another again and meet hereafter."

So saying the King of Videha went to his home.

[230] When the king first visited Guṇa he saluted him respectfully and then asked his question; but when he went away, he went without any salutation: because Guṇa was untrue to his name, through his own unworthiness 1, he received no salutation, still less did he get alms. So after the night was passed and the next day had come, the king gathered his ministers together and said to them, "Prepare all the elements of enjoyment, henceforth I will only follow the pursuit of pleasure, no other business is to be mentioned before me, let such and such a one carry on the administration of justice," and he gave himself up accordingly to enjoyment.

The Teacher thus explained the matter:

"When the night turned to day Aṅgati summoned his ministers into his presence and thus addressed them: "In the Candaka palace let them always provide pleasures ready for me, let no one come with messages concerning public or secret matters. Let Vijaya, Sunāma, and the general Alātaka, all three well skilled in law, sit in judgment on these matters." So the king, having said this, thought only of pleasure and busied himself no more in the company of Brahmins and wealthy men.

Then on the fourteenth night the dear daughter of the king, named Rujā, said to her nurse-mother, "Adorn me quickly with my jewels, let my female companions wait on me; to-morrow is the sacred fifteenth day, I will go into the royal presence." They brought her a garland and precious sandal wood, gems, shells, pearls, and precious things and garments of various dyes; and her many attendants, surrounding her as she sat on a golden chair, adorned her, shining in her beauty.

[231] Then in the midst of her train, blazing with all kinds of ornaments, Rujā entered the palace Candaka as lightning enters a cloud. Having drawn near the king and saluted him, with all due respect 2, she sat down on one side on a chair inlaid with gold.

[232] The king, when he beheld her surrounded by her train as if a company of heavenly nymphs had visited him, thus addressed her: "Do you enjoy yourself in the tank within the precincts of the palace? do they always bring you all sorts of delicate food? Do you and your maidens gather all kinds of garlands and build bowers for yourselves continually, intent upon sport? Is anything wanting to you? Let them bring it forthwith,—ask what you will, impetuous 3 one, even though it be as hard to get as the moon."

Hearing his words Rujā answered her father:

"O king, in my lord's presence every desire of mine is gained. To-morrow is the sacred fifteenth day,—let them bring me a thousand pieces, that I may give it all as a gift to the mendicants."

p. 119

Hearing Rujā's words King Aṅgati replied:

"Much wealth has been wasted by you idly and without fruit. You keep the fast-days and neither eat nor drink; this idea of the duty of fasting comes from destiny,—there is no merit because you abstain. [233] 1 While you live with us, Rujā, put not food away; there is no other world than this,—why vex thyself for nought?"

Then Rujā bright in her beauty, when she heard his words, thus answered him, knowing as she did the past and the future law: "I have heard in time past and I have seen it with mine own eyes,—he who follows children becomes himself a child. The fool who associates with fools plunges deep into folly. It is fitting for Alāta and Bījaka to be deceived; 2 3 4 but thou art a king full of learning, wise and skilled in the conduct of affairs; how hast thou fallen into such a low theory, worthy of children? If a man is purified by the mere course of existence, then Guṇa's own asceticism is useless; like a moth flying into the lighted candle, the idiot has adopted a naked mendicant's life. Having accepted the idea that all will at last be purified through transmigration, in their great ignorance many corrupt their actions; and being fast caught in the effects of former sins they find it hard to escape, as the fish from the hook.

I will tell thee a parable, O king, for thy case; the wise sometimes learn the truth by a parable. As the ship of the merchants, heavy through taking in too large a cargo, sinks overladen into the sea, so a man, accumulating sin little by little, sinks overladen into hell. Alāta's present cargo, O king, is not what he is collecting now; for that which he is now taking on board he will hereafter sink to hell. Formerly Alāta's deeds were righteous, and it is as their result that he enjoys this prosperity. That merit of his is being spent, for he is all intent upon vice; having forsaken the straight road, he is running headlong in a crooked path.

[235] As the balance properly hung in the weighing-house 2 causes the end to swing up when the weight is put in, so does a man cause his fate at last to rise if he gathers together every piece of merit little by little, like that slave Bījaka intent on merit and thinking too much of heaven.

In the sorrow which the slave Bījaka now suffers he receives the fruit of sins which he formerly committed. That sin is melting away since he is devoted to moral virtue, but let him not enter into Kassapa's devious paths."

Then she proceeded to shew the evil of practising sin and the good results of following worthy friends 3:

"Whatever friend a king honours, whether he be good or evil, devoted to vice or to virtue, the king falls into his power. As is the friend whom he chooses for himself and follows, such he himself becomes,—such is the power of intimacy. 2 3 6 One in constant intercourse affects his fellow, a close comrade his associate, just as a poisoned arrow defiles a pure quiver. Let not the wise become the friend of the wicked for fear of contamination. If a man ties up stinking fish with a band of kusa grass, the grass will acquire a putrid smell, so is intimacy with a fool; but if a man binds up myrrh in a common leaf, it will acquire a pleasant odour, so is intimacy with the wise. Therefore, knowing the maturity of his own actions like the ripeness of a basket of fruit, let not the wise man follow the wicked but follow the good, for the wicked lead to hell, while the good bring us to heaven."

The princess, having discoursed on righteousness in these six stanzas, declared the sorrows which she had undergone in her past births:

p. 120

"I too remember seven births which I have experienced, and when I go from my present life I shall yet pass through seven future ones. My seventh former birth, O king, was as the son of a smith in the city Rājagaha in Magadha. I had an evil companion and I committed much evil; we went about corrupting other men's wives as if we had been immortal. Those actions remained laid up like fire covered with ashes. By the effect of other actions I was born in the land of Vaṁsa 2 3 in a merchant's family in Kosambī, great and prosperous and wealthy: I was an only son, continually fostered and honoured. There I followed a friend who was devoted to good works, wise and full of sacred learning, and he grounded me in what was good. I fasted through many a fourteenth and fifteenth night; and that action remained laid up like a treasure in water. But the fruit of the evil deeds which I had done in Magadha came round to me at last like a noxious poison. I passed from thence for a long time, O king, into the Roruva hell, I endured the effects of my own works; when I remember it grieves me still. After spending there a wretched time through a long series of years, I became a castrated goat in Bheṇṇākaṭa. 2 3 I carried the sons of the wealthy on my back and in a carriage; it was the fated consequence of my going after other men's wives.

After that I was born in the womb of a monkey in a forest; and on the day of my birth they shewed me to the leader of the herd, who exclaimed, "Bring my son to me," and violently seized my testicles with his teeth and bit them off in spite of my cries." She explained this in verse.

"Passing from this birth, O king, I was born as a monkey in a great forest; I was mutilated by the fierce leader of the herd: this was the fated consequence of my going after other men's wives."

Then she went on to describe the other births:

I was next born, O king, as an ox among the Dasaṇṇas, castrated but swift and fair to look at, and I long drew a carriage: this was the fatal consequence of my going after other men's wives. When I passed from that birth I was born in a family among the Vajjī people 1 but I was neither man nor woman, for it is a very hard thing to attain the being born as a man;—this was the fatal consequence of my going after other men's wives. Next, O king, I was born in the Nandana wood,—a nymph of a lovely complexion in the heaven of the Thirty-three, dressed in garments and ornaments of various hues and wearing jewelled earrings, skilled in dance and song, an attendant in Sakka's court. While I stayed there I remembered all these births and also the seven future births which I shall experience when I go from hence. The good which I did in Kosambī has come round in its turn, and when I pass from this birth I shall be born only among gods or men. For seven births, O king, I shall be honoured and worshipped, but till the sixth is past I shall not be free from my female sex. 2 3 But there is my seventh birth, O king,—a prosperous son of the gods, I shall be born at last as a male deity in a divine body. Even to-day they are gathering garlands from the heavenly tree in Nandana, and there is a son of the gods, named Java, who is seeking a garland for me. These sixteen years of my present life are only as one moment in heaven —a hundred mortal autumns are only as one heavenly day and night. Thus do our actions follow us even through countless births, bringing good or evil,—no action is ever lost."

[240] Then she declared the supreme Law:

"He who desires to rise continually from birth to birth, let him avoid another's wife as a man with washed feet the mire. He who desires to rise continually from birth to birth, let him worship the Lord as his attendants worship Indra. He who wishes for heavenly enjoyments, a heavenly life, glory, and happiness, let him avoid sins and follow the threefold law. Watchful and wise in body, word and thought, he follows his own highest good, be he born as a woman or a man. Whosoever are born glorious in the world and nursed in all

p. 121

pleasures, without doubt in former time they had lived a virtuous life; all beings separately abide by their own deserts. Dost thou thyself think, O king, what caused thee to own these wives of thine like heavenly nymphs, beautifully adorned and dressed with golden nets?"

[241] Thus she counselled her father. The Teacher thus explained the matter:

"Thus did the maiden Rujā please her father, she taught the bewildered one the true road, and devoutly declared to him the law."

Having proclaimed the law to her father all night from early morning, she said to him, "O king, listen not to the words of a naked heretic, but receive the words of some good friend 1 like me, who tells thee that there is this world and there is another world, and that there are fated consequences to every good or evil action,—rush not on by a wrong road." Still she was not able to deliver her father from his false doctrine: he was only pleased when he heard her sweet words, for all parents naturally love their dear children's speech, but they do not give up their old opinions. So too there arose a stir in the city, "The king's daughter Rujā is trying to drive away heretical views by teaching the law," and the multitude were well-pleased, "The wise princess will set him free from false teaching today and will inaugurate prosperity for the citizens." But though she could not make her father understand she did not lose heart, but resolving that by some means or other she would bring her father true happiness, she placed her joined hands on her head and after having made her obeisance in the ten directions, she offered worship, saying, "In this world there are righteous Samanas and Brahmins who support the world, there are the presiding deities, there are the great Brahma deities,—let them come and cause my father to give up his heresy; 2 4 and if they have no power in themselves, then let them come by my power and virtue and drive away this heresy and bring about the welfare of the whole world." Now the Great Brahma of that time was a Bodhisatta named Nārada; and the Bodhisattas in their mercy, compassion, and sovereignty, cast their eyes over the world from time to time to behold the righteous and the wicked beings. As he was that day looking over the world he saw the princess worshipping the presiding deities in her desire to deliver her father from heresy, and he thought to himself, "Except me, none other can drive away false teaching, I must come to-day and shew kindness to the princess and bring happiness to the king and his people. In what garb shall I go? Ascetics are dear and venerable to men and their words are counted worthy to be received; I will go in the garb of an ascetic." So he assumed a pleasing human form, having a complexion like gold, with his hair matted and a golden needle thrust into the tangle; and having put on a tattered dress red outside and within, and having hung

p. 122

over one shoulder a black antelope's hide made of silver and decorated with golden stars, and having taken a golden begging bowl hung with a string of pearls, and having laid on his shoulders a golden carrying pole curved in three places 1, and taken up a coral water-pot by a string of pearls, he went with this garb through the heavens shining like the moon in the firmament, and having entered the terrace of the Canda palace he stood in the sky in front of the king.

The Teacher thus explained it:

"Then Nārada came down to men from the Brahma-world, and surveying Jambudīpa he beheld King Aṅgati. Then he stood on the palace before the king, and Rujā, having beheld him, saluted the divine sage who had come."

[243] Then the king, being rebuked by the Brahma's glory, could not remain on his throne, but came down and stood on the ground and asked him the cause of his coming and his name and family.

The Master thus explained it:

"Then the king, alarmed in his mind, having come down from his seat spoke thus to Nārada, making his inquiries: "Whence comest thou, of heavenly aspect, like the moon illumining the night; tell me in answer thy name and family, how do they call thee in the world of men?"

Then he thought to himself, This king does not believe in another world, I will tell him about another world," so he uttered a verse:

"I come now from the gods like the moon illumining the night,—I tell thee my name and family as thou askest: they know me as Nārada and Kassapa."

Then the king thought to himself, "By and bye I will ask him about another world; I will now ask him as to the purpose of this miracle."

"In that thou goest and standest in this marvellous fashion, I ask thee, O Nārada, what does it mean; for what reason is this miracle wrought?"

[244] Nārada replied:

"Truth, righteousness, self-command, and liberality,—these were in old days my notorious virtues; by these same virtues diligently followed I go swift as thought wherever I desire."

Even while he was thus speaking the king, unable to believe in another world from the inveteracy of his evil doctrines, exclaimed, "Is there such a thing as recompense for good actions?" and repeated a stanza:

"Thou utterest a marvel when thou talkest of the might brought by good actions; if these things are as thou sayest, Nārada, this question, being asked, do thou answer me truly."

Nārada replied:

"Ask me, O king; this is thy business; this doubt of thine which thou feelest, I will assuredly solve it for thee by reasoning, by logic, and by proofs."

p. 123

[245] The king said:

"I ask thee this matter, O Nārada; give me not a false answer to my question; are there really gods or ancestors,—is there another world as people say?"

Nārada answered:

"There are indeed gods and ancestors, there is another world as people say; but men being greedy and infatuated for pleasure know not of another world in their illusion."

When the king heard this he laughed and uttered a verse:

"If thou believest, Nārada, that there is in another world a dwelling-place for the dead, then give me here five hundred pieces, and I will give thee a thousand in the next world."

Then the Great Being replied, reproving him in the midst of the assembly:

"I would give thee the five hundred if I knew that thou wast virtuous and generous; but who would press thee for the thousand in the next world, if thou, the merciless one, wast dwelling in hell? Here when a man is averse to virtue, a lover of sin, idle, and cruel,—wise men do not entrust a loan to him: there is no return from such a debtor. 2 4 6 When men know that another is skilful, active, virtuous and generous, they invite him to borrow by the advantages they hold out; when he has done his business, he will bring back what he has borrowed."

The king, thus rebuked, was not ready with an answer.

The multitude, being delighted, shouted, "O princess, thou art a being of miraculous power, thou wilt deliver the king this day from his false doctrines," and the whole city was filled with excitement. Then by the power of the Great Being there was not a person within the range of the seven leagues over which Mithilā extends who did not hear his teaching of the law. Then the Great Being reflected, "This king has grasped his false doctrines very firmly; I will frighten him with the fear of hell and make him give them up, and then I will comfort him with some heaven of the gods"; so he said to him, "O king, if thou dost not give up these doctrines, thou wilt go to hell with its endless torments," and he began to give an account of the different hells:

"When thou goest hence thou wilt see thyself dragged by flocks of ravens and devoured by them as thou livest in hell, and by crows, vultures, and hawks, with thy body torn and dripping blood: who would press thee for a thousand pieces in the next world?"

[247] Having described the raven hell, he said, "If thou dost not dwell there, thou wilt dwell in a hell in the space between three spheres," and he uttered a stanza to describe it:

"Blind darkness is there, and no moon or sun, a hell evermore tumultuous and dreadful; it is not known as either night or day: who would wander seeking money in such a place?"

p. 124

Then having described that intermediate hell at full length, he said, "O king, if thou abandonest not thy false doctrines, thou wilt suffer not only this but other torments as well," and he uttered a stanza:

"Two dogs Sabala and Sāma of giant size, mighty and strong, devour with their iron teeth him who is driven hence and goes to another world."

A similar rule applies to the subsequent hells; therefore all these worlds, together with their guardians, are to be described in a pregnant prose version of the various gāthās as in the preceding narrative.

"As he lives in hell thus devoured by cruel beasts of torture, with his body torn and dripping blood, who would press him for a thousand pieces in the next world?

[248] With arrows and well-sharpened spears the Kāḷūpakāḷas as enemies smite and wound him in hell who before committed evil.

As he wanders in hell thus smitten in belly and side, and with his entrails mangled, his body torn and dripping blood,—who would press him for a thousand pieces in the next world?

Heaven rains down these spears, arrows, javelins and spikes and various weapons, flames fall like burning coals, it rains missiles of rock on the cruel man.

An intolerable hot wind blows in hell, not even a transient pleasure is felt there; rushing about, sick, with no refuge,—who would press him for a thousand pieces in the next world?

Hurrying along yoked in chariots, treading along the fiery ground, 2 4 urged on with goads and sticks,—who would press him for a thousand pieces in the next world?

As he climbs a fearful blazing mountain studded with razors, his body gashed and dripping with blood,—who would press him for a thousand pieces in the next world?

As he climbs a dreadful blazing heap of burning coals like a mountain, with his body all burned, and miserable, and weeping,—who would press him for a thousand pieces in the next world?

There are lofty thickets like heaps of clouds, full of thorns, with sharp iron spikes which drink the blood of men,—women and men who go after other people's wives have to climb it, driven on by the servants of Yama bearing spears in their hands.

As he climbs the infernal silk-cotton tree all covered with blood, his body gashed and flayed, sick and racked with pain, panting with deep hot sighs and thus expiating his former crimes,—who would ask him for his old debt?

[250] There are lofty forests like heaps of clouds, covered with swords for leaves, armed with iron knives which drink the blood of men; as he climbs the tree with iron leaves, cut with sharp swords, his body gashed and dripping blood,—who would press him for the thousand pieces in the next world?

When he escapes from that hell of iron leaves and falls into the river Vetaraṇī, who would ask him for his old debt?

On flows the river Vetaranī, cruel 1 with boiling water and covered with iron lotuses and sharp leaves; as he is hurried along covered with blood and with his limbs all cut, in the stream of Vetaranī where there is nothing to rest upon,—who would ask him for his debt?"

p. 125

When the king heard this description of hell from the Great Being, bewildered in heart and seeking a refuge, he thus addressed him:

"I tremble like a tree which is being cut down; confused in mind, I know not which way to turn; I am tormented with terror, great is my fear, when I hear these verses uttered by thee. As when a thing burning is plunged in the water, or like an island in a stormy ocean, or like a lamp in the darkness, thou art my refuge, O sage.

[251] Teach me, O seer, the sacred text and its meaning; verily the past has been all sin; teach me, Nārada, the path of purity, so that I may not fall into hell."

Then the Great Being to teach him the path of purity told him by way of example of various former kings who had followed righteousness:

"Dhataraṭṭha Vessāmitta and Aṭṭhaka, Yāmataggi and Usinnara and King Sivi, these and other kings, waiting diligently on Brahmins and Samanas, all went to Sakka's heaven; do thou, O king, avoid unrighteousness and follow righteousness. Let them proclaim in thy palace, bearing food in their hands, "Who is hungry or thirsty? Who wants a garland or ointment? What naked man would put on garments decked with various jewels? Who would take an umbrella for his journey, and soft delicate shoes?'" Thus let them proclaim aloud in thy city evening and morning. Put not to labour the aged man nor the aged ox and horse: give to each the due honour still; when he was strong he fulfilled his position of trust."

[252] Thus the Great Being, having discoursed to him concerning liberality and good conduct, seeing that the king would be pleased at being compared to a chariot, proceeded to instruct him in the law under the figure of a chariot which brings every desire:

"Thy body is called a chariot, swift and provided with the mind as a charioteer: having the abstinence from all injury as its axle, liberality as its covering, a careful walk with the feet as the circumference of the wheel, a careful handling with the hands as the side of the carriage; watchfulness over the belly is the name of the wheel, watchfulness over the tongue is the prevention of the wheel's rattling. Its parts are all complete through truthful speech, it is well fastened together by the absence of slander, its frame is all smooth with friendly words and joined well 1 with well-measured speech; well-constructed with faith and the absence of covetousness, with the respectful salutation of humility as the carriage-pole, with the shaft of gentleness and meekness, with the rope of self-restraint, according to the five moral precepts, and the key (?) of absence of anger, and the white umbrella of righteousness, driven with a thorough knowledge of the proper seasons, having the three sticks 2 prepared in his assured confidence, having humble speech as the thong, and with the absence of vain-glory as the yoke, with the cushion of unattached thoughts, following wisdom and free from dust,—let memory be thy goad, and the ready application of firmness thy reins; mind pursues the path of self-control with its steeds all equally trained, desire and lust are an evil path, but self-control is the straight road. 2 3 5 As the steed rushes along after forms and sounds and smells, intellect uses the scourge and the soul is the charioteer. If one goes with his chariot, if this calmness and firmness be steadfast, he will attain all desires, O king,—he will never go to hell.

[254] Thus, O king, I have described to thee in various ways that path to happiness which I begged Nārada to tell me that I might not fall into hell 3."

p. 126

Having thus instructed him in the law and taken away his false doctrines, and established him in the moral precepts, he commanded him henceforth to eschew evil friends and to follow virtuous friends and to take heed how he walked; then he praised the virtues of the princess and 2 5 exhorted the royal court and the royal wives, and then passed in their sight to the world of Brahma with great majesty.


The Master, having ended his lesson, exclaimed, "Not now only, but formerly also, Brethren, I converted Uruvela-Kassapa and cut the net of heresy which bound him"; so saying, he identified the Birth, and uttered these stanzas at the end:

"Devadatta was Alāta, Bhaddaji was Sunāma, Sāriputta was Vijaya, Mogallāna Bījaka, the Licchavi prince Sunakkhalta the naked ascetic Guṇa; Ānanda was Rujā who converted the king, and Uruvela-Kassapa the king who held false doctrines, and the Bodhisatta 1 was the great Brahmā.; thus ye hold the story of the birth."


Footnotes

114:1 He gave the Veḷuvana pleasure garden to the fraternity, Mahāv, I. 22. Cf. this introduction with the whole chapter.

114:2 Or perhaps "you, an ascetic and a teacher." See Rhys David's note Vinaya, trans., I. p. 138. See Jāt. I. p. 83, Vin. I. p. 36.

115:1 ise.

116:1 Dosinā.

117:1 1 2 3 4 5 6 nippadesato. See St Petersb. Dict., pradeça.

118:1 There is a play upon the words Guṇo attano aguṇatāya.

118:2 Vinaye rataṁ seems used adverbially.

118:3 Prof. Cowell has written in the margin, 'cp. '; but the scholiast explains kuḍḍamn.ukhī as referring to mustard-paste (sāsapakuḍḍena..ṣāsapakakkena) used by women for the face.

119:1 A couplet has here been omitted, referring to Bījaka, and almost the same as the lines on p. 22723 ff.: "B. wept to hear what Kassapa said." Obviously they do not belong to this place.

119:2 Obscure.

119:3 Cp. IV. 43521, trans., p. 270.

120:1 They live on the northern shores of the Ganges, opposite to Magadha.

121:1 The Good Friend is a locus communis of Buddhism. See Çikṣā, 41° etc.

122:1 To fit neck and shoulders?

124:1 khara might mean "solid."

125:1 silesito?

125:2 The ascetic carried a tidaṇḍaṁ, three sticks in a bundle, but the reference is obscure.

125:3 Some of the phrases here are obscure. I leave the line 1131 b untranslated.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 545.: Vidhurapaṇḍita-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


No. 545.

VIDHURAPAṆḌITA-JĀTAKA.

"Thou art pale and thin and weak," etc. The Master told this tale while dwelling in Jetavana, concerning the Perfection of Wisdom. One day the Brethren raised a discussion in the Hall of Truth, saying, "Sirs, the Master has great and wide wisdom, he is ready and quick-witted, he is sharp and keen-witted and able to crush the arguments of his opponents, by the power of his wisdom he overthrows the subtil questions propounded by Khattiya sages and reduces them to silence, and having established them in the three Refuges and the moral precepts, causes them to enter on the path which leads to immortality." The Master came and asked what was the topic which the Brethren were debating as they sat together; and on hearing what it was he said, "It is not wonderful, Brethren, that the Tathāgata, having attained the Perfection of Wisdom, should overthrow the arguments of his opponents and convert Khattiyas and others. For in the earlier ages, when he was still seeking for supreme knowledge, he was wise and able to crush the arguments of his opponents. Yea verily in the time of Vidhurakumāra, on the summit of the Black Mountain which is sixty leagues in height, by the force of my wisdom I converted the Yakkha general, Puṇṇaka, and reduced him to silence and made him give his own life as a gift"; and so saying he told a story of the past.


I.

Once upon a time in the Kuru kingdom in the city of Indapatta a king ruled named Dhanañjaya-korabba. He had a minister named Vidhurapaṇḍita who gave his instructions concerning temporal and spiritual matters; and having a sweet tongue and great eloquence in discoursing of the law, he bewitched all the kings of Jambudīpa by his

p. 127

sweet discourses concerning the law as elephants are fascinated by a favourite lute 1, 2 5 6 nor did he suffer them to depart to their own kingdoms, but dwelt in that city in great glory, teaching the law to the people with all a Buddha's power. Now there were four rich Brahmin householders in Benares, friends, who, having seen the misery of desires, went into the Himalaya and embraced the ascetic life, and having entered upon the transcendental faculties and the mystical meditations, continued to dwell a long time there, feeding on the forest roots and fruits, and then, as they went their rounds to procure salt and sour condiments, came to beg in the city Kālacampā in the kingdom of Aṅga. There four householders who were friends, being pleased with their deportment, having paid them respect and taken their begging vessels, waited upon then with choice food, each in his own house, and taking their promise arranged a home for them in their garden. So the four ascetics having taken their food in the houses of the four householders, went away to pass the day, one going to the heaven of the Thirty-three, another to the world of the Nāgas, another to the world of the Supaṇṇas, and the fourth to the park Migācira belonging to the Koravya king. Now he who spent his day in the world of the gods, after beholding Sakka's glory, described it in full to his attendant, and so too did he who spent his day in the Nāga and Supaṇṇa world, and so too he who spent his day in the park of the Koravya king Dhanañjaya; each described in full the glory of that respective king. So these four attendants desired these heavenly abodes, and having performed gifts and other works of merit, at the end of their lives, one was born as Sakka, another was born with a wife and child in the Nāga world, another was born as the Supaṇṇa king in the palace of the Simbali lake, and the fourth was conceived by the chief queen of King Dhanañjaya; while the four ascetics were born in the Brahma world. The Koravya prince grew up, and on his father's death assumed his kingdom and ruled in righteousness, but he was famed for his skill in dice. He listened to the instruction of Vidhurapaṇḍita and gave alms and kept the moral law and observed the fast. One day when he had undertaken the fast, he went into the garden, determining to practise pious meditation, 2 5 and, having seated himself in a pleasant spot, he performed the duties of an ascetic. Sakka also, having undertaken to keep the fast, found that there were obstacles in the world of the gods, so he went into that very garden in the world of men, and, having seated himself in a pleasant spot, performed the duties of an ascetic. Varuṇa also, the Nāga king, having undertaken to keep the fast, found that there were obstacles in the Nāga world, so he went into that same garden, and, having seated himself in a pleasant place, performed the duties of an ascetic. The Supaṇṇa king also, having

p. 128

undertaken to keep the fast, found that there were obstacles in the Supaṇṇa world, so he went into that same garden, and, having seated himself in a pleasant spot, performed the duties of an ascetic. Then these four, having risen from their places at evening time, as they stood on the bank of the royal lake, came together and looked at one another, and, being filled with their old kindly affection, they woke up their former friendship and sat down with a pleasant greeting. Sakka sat down on a royal seat, and the others seated themselves as befitted the dignity of each. Then Sakka said to them, "We are all four kings,—now what is the preeminent virtue of each?" Then Varuṇa the Nāga king replied, "My virtue is superior to that of you three," and when they inquired why, he said, "This Supaṇṇa king is our enemy, whether before or after we are born, yet even when I see him such a destructive enemy of our race I never feel any anger; therefore my virtue is superior"; and he then uttered the first stanza of the Catuposatha jātaka 1:

"The good man who feels no anger towards one who merits anger and who never lets anger arise within him, he who even when angered does not allow it to be seen,—him they indeed call an ascetic.

[258] "These are my qualities; therefore my virtue is superior."

The Supaṇṇa king, hearing this, said, "This Nāga is my chief food; but since, even though I see such food at hand, I endure my hunger and do not commit evil for the sake of food, my virtue is superior," and he uttered this stanza:

"He who bears hunger with a pinched belly, a self-restrained hermit who eats and drinks by rule, and commits no evil for the sake of food,—him they indeed call an ascetic."

Then Sakka the king of the gods said, "I left behind various kinds of heavenly glory, all immediate sources of happiness, and came to the world of mankind in order to maintain my virtue,—therefore my virtue is superior"; and he uttered this stanza:

"Having abandoned all sport and pleasure, he utters no false word in the world, he is averse to all outward pomp and carnal desire,—such a man they indeed call an ascetic."

Thus did Sakka describe his own virtue.

Then King Dhanañjaya said, "I to-day have abandoned my court and my seraglio with sixteen thousand dancing girls, and I practise an ascetic's duties in a garden; therefore my virtue is superior"; and he added this stanza:

[259] "Those who with full knowledge abandon all that they call their own and all the workings of lust, he who is self-restrained, resolute, unselfish, and free from desire,—him they indeed call an ascetic."

p. 129

Thus they each declared their own virtue as superior, and then they asked Dhanañjaya, "O king, is there any wise man in thy court who could solve this doubt?" "Yes, O kings, I have Vidhura-paṇḍita, who fills a post of unequalled responsibility and declares civil and ecclesiastical law, he will solve our doubt, we will go to him." They at once consented. So they all went out of the garden and proceeded to the hall for religious assemblies, and, having ordered it to be adorned, they seated the Bodhisatta on a high seat, and, having offered him a friendly greeting, sat down on one side and said, "O wise sir! a doubt has risen in our minds, do thou solve it for us:

"We ask thee the minister of lofty wisdom: a dispute has arisen in our utterances,—do thou consider 1 and solve our perplexities to-day, let us through thee to-day escape from our doubt."

[260] The wise man, having heard their words, replied, "O kings, how shall I know what you said well or ill concerning your virtue, as you uttered the stanzas in your dispute?" and he added this stanza:

"Those wise men who know the real state of things and who speak wisely at the proper time,— how shall they, however wise, draw out the meaning of verses which have not been uttered to them? How does the Nāga king speak, how Garuḷa, the son of Vinatā? Or what says the king of the Gandhabbas? Or how speaks the most noble king of the Kurus?"

Then they uttered this stanza to him:

"The Nāga king preaches forbearance, Garuḷa the son of Vinatā gentleness, the king of the Gandhabbas abstinence from carnal lust, and the most noble king of the Kurus freedom from all hindrances to religious perfection."

Then the Great Being, having heard their words, uttered this stanza:

"All these sayings are well spoken,—there is nothing here uttered amiss; and he in whom these are properly fitted 1 2 6 like the spokes in the nave of a wheel,—he, who is endowed with these four virtues, is called an ascetic indeed."

Thus the Great Being declared the virtue of each of them to be one and the same. Then the four, when they heard him, were well pleased, and uttered this stanza in his praise:

"Thou art the best, thou art incomparable, thou art wise, a guardian and knower of the law: having grasped the problem by thy wisdom, thou cuttest the doubts in thy skill as the ivory-workman the ivory with his saw."

Thus all the four were pleased with his explanation of their question. Then Sakka rewarded him with a robe of heavenly silk, Garuḷa with a golden garland, Varuṇa the Nāga king with a jewel, and King Dhanañjaya with a thousand cows, etc.; then Dhanañjaya addressed him in this stanza:

"I give thee a thousand cows and a bull and an elephant, and these ten chariots drawn with thoroughbred horses, and sixteen excellent villages, being well pleased with thy solution of the question 2."

p. 130

[262] Then Sakka and the rest, having paid all honour to the Great Being, departed to their own abodes. Here ends the section of the fourfold fast.

II.

Now the queen of the Nāga king was the lady Vimalā; and when she saw that no jewelled ornament was on his neck, she asked him where it was. He replied, "I was pleased at hearing the moral discourse of Vidhura-paṇḍita the son of the Brahmin Canda, and I presented the jewel to him, and not only I, but Sakka honoured him with a robe of heavenly silk, the Supaṇṇa king gave him a golden garland, and King Dhanañjaya a thousand oxen and many other things besides." "He is, I suppose, eloquent in the law." "Lady, what are you talking about? It is as if a Buddha had appeared in Jambudīpa! a hundred kings in all Jambudīpa, being caught in his sweet words, do not return to their own kingdoms, but remain like wild elephants fascinated by the sound of their favourite lute,—this is the character of his eloquence!" When she heard the account of his preeminence she longed to hear him discourse on the law, and she thought in herself, "If I tell the king that I long to hear him discourse on the law, and ask him to bring him here, he will not bring him to me; what if I were to pretend to be ill and complained of a sick woman's longing?" So she gave a sign to her attendants and took to her bed. When the king did not see her when he paid his visit to her, he asked the attendants where Vimalā was. They replied that she was sick, and when he went to see her he sat on the side of her bed and rubbed her body as he repeated a stanza:

"Pale and thin and weak,—your colour and form was not like this before,—O Vimalā, answer my question, what is this pain of the body which has come upon you?"

She told him in the following:

[263] "There is an affection in women,—it is called a longing, O king; O monarch of the Nāgas, I desire Vidhura's heart brought here without guile."

He replied to her:

"Thou longest for the moon or the sun or the wind; the very sight of Vidhura is hard to get: who will be able to bring him here?"

When she heard his words, she exclaimed, "I shall die if I do not obtain it," so she turned round in her bed and showed her back and covered her face with the end of her robe. The Nāga king went to his own chamber and sat on his bed and pondered how bent Vimalā was on obtaining Vidhura's heart; "She will die if she does not obtain the flesh of his heart; how can I get it for her?" Now his daughter Irandatī, a Nāga

p. 131

princess, came in all her beauty and ornaments to pay her respects to her father, and, having saluted him, she stood on one side. She saw that his countenance was troubled, and she said to him, "You are greatly distressed,—what is the reason?"

"O father, why are you full of care, why is your face like a lotus plucked by the hand? 2 4 6 Why are you woe-begone, O king? Do not grieve, O conqueror of enemies."

Hearing his daughter's words, the Nāga king answered:

"Thy mother, O Irandatī, desires Vidhura's heart, the very sight of Vidhura is hard to get,—who will be able to bring him here?"

Then he said to her, "Daughter, there is no one in my court who can bring Vidhura here; do thou give life to thy mother, and seek out some husband who can bring Vidhura."

So he dismissed her with a half-stanza, suggesting improper thoughts to his daughter:

"Seek thou for a husband, who shall bring Vidhura here."
And when she heard her father's words, she went forth in the night and gave free course to her passionate desire."

[265] As she went she gathered all the flowers in the Himalaya which had colour, scent, or taste, and, having adorned the entire mountain like a precious jewel, she spread a couch of flowers upon it, and, having executed a pleasant dance, she sang a sweet song:

"What gandhabba or demon, what Nāga, kimpurasa or man, or what sage, able to grant all desires, will be my husband the livelong night?"

Now at that time the nephew of the great king Vessavana 1, named Puṇṇaka, the Yakkha general, as he was riding on a magic Sindh horse, three leagues in length, and hastening over the red arsenic surface of the Black Mountain to a gathering of the Yakkhas, heard that song of hers, and the voice of the woman which he had heard in his last previous life pierced his skin and nerves and penetrated to his very bones; and, being fascinated by it, he turned back, seated as he was on his Sindh horse, and thus addressed her, comforting her, "O lady, I can bring you Vidhura's heart by my knowledge, holiness, and calmness,—do not be anxious about it," and he added this verse:

"Be comforted, I will be thy husband, I will be thy husband, O thou of faultless eyes: verily my knowledge is such, be comforted, you shall be my wife."

Then Irandatī answered, with her thoughts following the old experience of a wooing in a former birth, 2 6 "Come, let us go to my father, he will explain this matter to thee."

Adorned, clad in bright raiment, wearing garlands, and anointed with sandal, she seized the Yakkha by the hand and went into her father's presence.

p. 132

And Puṇṇaka, having taken her back, went to her father the Nāga king and asked for her as his wife:

"O Nāga chief, hear my words, receive a fitting present for thy daughter; I ask for Irandatī: give her to me as my possession. A hundred elephants, a hundred horses, a hundred mules and chariots, a hundred complete waggons 1 filled with all sorts of gems,—take thou all these, O Nāga king, and give me thy daughter Irandatī."

Then the Nāga king replied:

"Wait while I consult my kinsmen, my friends, and acquaintances; a business done without consultation leads afterwards to regret."

[267] Then the Nāga king, having entered his palace, spoke these words as he consulted his wife, "This Puṇṇaka the Yakkha asks me for Irandatī; shall we give her to him in exchange for much wealth?"

Vimalā answered:

"Our Irandatī is not to be won by wealth or treasure; if he obtains by his own worth and brings here the sage's heart, the princess shall be won by that wealth,—we ask no further treasure."

Then the Nāga Varuṇa went out from his palace, and, consulting with Puṇṇaka, thus addressed him:

"Our Irandatī is not to be won by wealth or treasure; if thou obtainest by thine own worth and bringest here the sage's heart, the princess shall be won by that wealth,—we ask no further treasure."

Puṇṇaka replied:

"Him whom some people call a sage, others will call a fool; tell me, for they utter different opinions about the matter, who is he whom thou callest a sage, O Nāga?"

[268] The Nāga king answered:

"If thou hast heard of Vidhura the minister of the Koravya king Dhanañjaya, bring that sage here, and let Irandatī be thy lawful wife."

Hearing these words of Varuṇa, the Yakkha sprang up greatly pleased; just as he was, he said at once to his attendant, "Bring me here my thoroughbred ready harnessed."

With ears of gold and hoofs of ruby, and mail-armour of molten gold. The man brought the Sindh horse thus caparisoned; and Puṇṇaka, having mounted him, went through the sky to Vessavana and told him of the adventure, thus describing the Nāga world; this is described as follows:

"Puṇṇaka, having mounted his horse, a charger fit for bearing the gods, himself richly adorned and with his beard and hair trimmed, went through the sky.

Puṇṇaka, greedy with the passion of desire, longing to win the Nāga maiden Irandatī, 2 6 having gone to the glorious king, thus addressed Vessavana Kuvera:

"There is the palace Bhogavatī called the Golden Home, the capital of the snake kingdom erected in its golden city.

Watch-towers which mimic lips and necks, with rubies and cat's eye jewels, palaces built of marble and rich with gold, and covered with jewels inlaid with gold.

p. 133

Mangoes, tilaka-trees and rose-apples, sattapaṇṇas, mucalindas and ketakas, piyakas, uddālakas and sahas, and sinduvāritas with their wealth of blossom above,

Champacs, Nāgamālikās, bhaginīmālās, and jujube trees,—all these different trees bending with their boughs, lend their beauty to the Nāga palace.

There is a huge date palm made of precious stones with golden blossoms that fade not, and there dwells the Nāga king Varuṇa, endowed with magical powers and born of supernatural birth.

There dwells his queen Vimalā with a body like a golden creeper, tall like a young kālā plant, fair to see with her breasts like nimba fruits.

Fair-skinned and painted with lac dye, like a kaṇikāra tree blossoming in a sheltered spot, like a nymph dwelling in the deva world, like lightning flashing from a thick cloud.

[270] Bewildered and full of a strange longing, she desires Vidhura's heart. I will give it to them, O king,—they will give me for it Irandatī."

As he dared not go without Vessavana's permission, he repeated these stanzas to inform him about it. But Vessavana did not listen to him, as he was busy settling some dispute about a palace between two sons of the gods. Puṇṇaka, knowing that his words were not listened to, 1 2 remained near that one of the two disputants who proved victorious in the contest. Vessavana, having decided the dispute, took no thought of the defeated candidate, but said to the other, "Go thou and dwell in thy palace." Directly the words were said "go thou," Puṇṇaka called some sons of the gods as witnesses, saying, "Ye see that I am sent by my uncle," and at once ordered his steed to be brought and mounted it and set out.

The Teacher thus described what took place:

"Puṇṇaka, having bidden farewell to Vessavana Kuvera the glorious lord of beings, thus gave his command to his servant standing there, "Bring hither my thoroughbred harnessed." With ears of gold, hoofs of ruby, and mail-armour of molten gold. Puṇṇaka, having mounted the god-bearing steed, well-adorned and with his beard and hair well-trimmed, went through space in the sky."

As he went through the air he pondered, "Vidhura-paṇḍita has a great retinue and he cannot be taken by force, but Dhanañjaya Koravya is renowned for his skill in gambling. I will conquer him in play and so seize Vidhura-paṇḍita. Now there are many jewels in his house: he will not play for any poor sum; I shall have to bring a jewel of great value, the king will not accept a common jewel. Now there is a precious jewel of price belonging to the universal monarch, in the Vepulla Mountain near the city Rājagaha; I will take that and entice the king to play and so conquer him." He did so.

The Teacher declared the whole story:

"He went to pleasant Rājagaha, the far-off city of Aṅga, rich in provisions and abounding with food and drink. Like Masakkasāra, Indra's capital, 2 filled with the notes of peacocks and herons, resonant, full of beautiful courts, and with every kind of bird like the mountain Himavat covered with flowers. So Puṇṇaka climbed Mount Vepulla, with its heaps of rocks inhabited by kimpurisas, seeking for the glorious jewel, and at last he saw it in the middle of the mountain.

p. 134

When he saw the glorious precious gem thus flashing light, gleaming so splendidly with its beauty, shining like lightning in the sky,—he at once seized the precious lapis lazuli, the jewel of priceless value, and mounted on his peerless steed, himself of noble beauty, he rushed through space in the sky.

He went to the city Indapatta, and he alighted in the court of the Kurus; 2 3 the fearless Yakkha summoned the hundred warriors who were gathered there.

"Who wishes to conquer from us the prize of kings? or whom shall we conquer in the contest of worth? what peerless jewel shall we win? or who shall win our best of treasures?"

Thus in four lines he praised Koravya. Then the king thought to himself, "I have never before seen a hero like this who uttered such words; who can it be?" and he asked him in this stanza:

"In what kingdom is thy birthplace? these are not the words of a Koravya: thou surpassest us all in thy form and appearance; tell me thy name and kindred."

The other reflected, "This king asks my name: now it is the servant Puṇṇaka; but if I tell him that I am Puṇṇaka, he will say, "He is a servant, why does he speak to me so audaciously?" and he will despise me; I will tell him my name in my last past birth." So he uttered a stanza:

"I am a youth named Kaccāyana, O king; they call me one of no mean name; 2 4 my kindred and friends are in Aṅga; I have come here for the sake of play."

Then the king asked him, "What wilt thou give if thou art conquered in play? what hast thou got?" and he uttered this stanza:

"What jewels has the youth, which the gamester who conquers him may win? A king has many jewels,—how canst thou, a poor man, challenge them?"

Then Puṇṇaka answered:

"This is a fascinating jewel of mine, it is a glorious jewel which brings wealth; and the gamester who conquers me shall win this peerless steed which plagues all enemies."

When the king heard him, he replied

"What will one jewel do, O youth? and what will one thoroughbred avail? Many precious jewels belong to a king, and many peerless steeds swift like the wind 1

III.

[275] When he heard the king's speech, he said, "O king, why dost thou say this? there is one horse, and there are also a thousand and a hundred thousand horses; there is one jewel, and there are also a thousand jewels; but all the horses put together are not equal to this one, see what its swiftness is." So saying, he mounted the horse and

p. 135

galloped it along the top of a wall, and the city wall seven leagues in length was as it were surrounded by horses striking neck against neck, and then in course of time neither horse nor Yakkha could be distinguished, and a single strip of red cloth tied on his belly seemed to be spread out all round the wall. Then he alighted from the horse, and, telling him that he had now seen the steed's swiftness, he bade him next mark something new: and lo he made the horse gallop within the city garden on the surface of the water, and he leapt without wetting his hoofs; then he made him walk on the leaves of the lotus beds, and when he clapped his hand and stretched out his arm the horse came and stood upon the palm of his hand. Then he said, "This is indeed a jewel of a horse, O king." "It is indeed, O youth." "Well, let the jewel of a horse be put on one side for a while,—see now the power of the precious jewel."

"O greatest of men, behold this peerless jewel of mine; in it are the bodies of women and the bodies of men; the bodies of beasts are in it and the bodies of birds, the Nāga kings and Supaṇṇas,—all are created in this jewel.

"An elephant host, a chariot host, horses, foot-soldiers, and banners,—behold this complete army created in the jewel; elephant-riders, the king's body-guard, warriors fighting from chariots, warriors fighting on foot, and troops in battle array,—behold all created in this jewel.

[276] "Behold created in this jewel a city furnished with solid foundations and with many gateways and walls, and with many pleasant spots where four roads meet. Pillars and trenches, bars and bolts, watch-towers and gates,—behold all created in the jewel.

"See 1 various troops of birds in the roads under the gateways, geese, herons, peacocks, ruddy geese and ospreys; cuckoos, spotted birds, peacocks, jīvajīvakas,—birds of every sort behold gathered together and created in the jewel.

"See a marvellous city with grand walls, making the hair stand erect with wonder, pleasant with banners upraised, and with its sands all of gold,—see the hermitages divided regularly in blocks, and the different houses and their yards, with streets and blind lanes between.

"Behold the drinking shops and taverns, the slaughter-houses and cooks' shops, and the harlots and wantons, created in the jewel. The garland-weavers, the washermen, the astrologers, the cloth merchants, the gold workers, the jewellers—behold created in the jewel.

[277] "See drums and tabours, conchs, tambours and tambourines and all kinds of cymbals, created in the jewel.

"Cymbals, and lutes, dance and song well executed, musical instruments and gongs, behold created in the jewel.

"Jumpers and wrestlers too are here, and a sight of jugglers, and royal bards and barbers, behold created in the jewel.

"Crowds are gathered here of men and women, see the seats tiers beyond tiers created in the jewel.

"See the wrestlers in the crowd striking their doubled arms, see the strikers and the stricken, created in the jewel.

"See on the slopes of the mountains troops of various deer, lions, tigers, boars, bears, wolves, and hyenas; rhinoceroses, gayals, buffaloes, red deer, rurus, antelopes, wild boars, niṁkas and hogs, spotted kadalī-deer, cats, rabbits, all kinds of hosts of beasts, created in the jewel.

p. 136

[278] "Rivers well-situated, paved with golden sand, clear with flowing waters and filled with quantities of fishes; crocodiles, sea-monsters are here and porpoises and tortoises, pāṭhīnas, pāvusas, vālajas, and muñjarohitas.

"Behold created in the jewel all kinds of trees, filled with various birds, and a forest with its branches made of lapis lazuli.

"See too lakes well-distributed in the four quarters, filled with quantities of birds and abounding with fish with broad scales. See the earth surrounded by the sea, abounding with water everywhere, and diversified with trees,—all created in the jewel.

"See the Videhas in front, the Goyāniyas behind, the Kurus and Jambudīpa all created in the jewel.

"See the sun and the moon, shining on the four sides, as they go round Mount Sineru,—created in the jewel.

"See Sineru and Himavat and the miraculous sea and the four guardians of the world,—created in the jewel.

"See parks and forests, crags and mountains, pleasant to look at and full of strange monsters,—all created in the jewel.

"Indra's gardens Phārusaka, Cittalatā, Missaka, and Nandana, and his palace Vejayanta,—behold all created in the jewel.

"Indra's palace Sudhamma, the heaven of the Thirty-three, the heavenly tree Pāricchatta in full flower, and Indra's elephant Erāvaṇa,—behold created in the jewel. See here the maidens of the gods risen like lightning in the air, wandering about in the Nandana,—all created in the jewel.

[279] "See the heavenly maidens bewitching the sons of heaven, and the sons of heaven wandering about, all created in the jewel,

"Behold more than a thousand palaces covered with lapis lazuli, all created with brilliant colours in the jewel. And the beings of the Tāvatiṁsa heaven and the Yāma heaven and the Tusita heaven, and those of the Paranimmita heaven all created in the jewel. See here pure lakes with transparent water covered with heavenly coral trees and lotuses and water-lilies.

"In this jewel are ten white lines and ten beautiful lines dark blue; twenty-one brown, and fourteen yellow. Twenty golden lines, twenty silver, and thirty appear of a red colour. Sixteen are black, twenty-five are of the colour of madder,—these are mixed with bandhuka flowers and variegated with blue lotuses.

"O king, best of men, look at this bright flame-like jewel, perfect in all its parts,—this is the destined prize 1 for him who wins 2."

IV.

[280] Puṇṇaka, having thus spoken, went on to say, "O great king, if I am overcome by thee in play I will give thee this precious jewel, but what wilt thou give me?" "Except my body and white umbrella let all that I have be the prize." "Then my lord, do not delay—I have come from a far distance—let the gaming room be got ready." So the king gave orders to his ministers and they quickly got the hall ready and prepared a carpet of the finest fibre-cloth 3 for the king and seats for the other kings, and having appointed a suitable seat for Puṇṇaka, they told

p. 137

the king that the time was come. Then Puṇṇaka addressed the king in a verse:

"O king, proceed to the appointed goal,—thou hast not such a jewel: let us conquer by fair dealing, and by the absence of violence, and when thou art conquered pay down thy stake."

Then the king replied, "O youth, do not be afraid of me as the king, our several victory or defeat shall be by fair dealing and by the absence of violence." Then Puṇṇaka uttered a verse as calling the other kings to witness that the victory was to be gained by fair dealing only:

"O lofty Pañcāla and Surasena, O Macchas, and Maddas, with the Kekakas, —let them all see that the contest is without treachery, no one is to interfere in our assembly."

[281] Then the king attended by a hundred kings took Puṇṇaka and went into the gaming hall, and they all sat down on suitable seats, and placed the golden dice on the silver board. Then Puṇṇaka said quickly, "O king, there are twenty-four throws in playing with dice, they are called mālika, sāvaṭa, bahula, santi, bhadra 1, &c.; choose thou whichever pleases thee." The king assented and chose the bahula, Puṇṇaka chose that called sāvaṭa. Then the king said, "O youth, do thou play the dice first." "O king, the first throw does not fall to me, do thou play." The king consented. Now his mother in his last existence but one before this was his guardian deity and by her power the king wins in play. She was standing close by, and the king remembering the goddess sang the song of play 2 and turned the dice in his hand and threw them up into the air. By Puṇṇaka's power the dice fall so as to conquer the king. The king by his skill in play recognised that the dice were falling against him 2 and seizing them and mixing them together in the air he threw them again in the air but he detected that they were again falling against him and seized them as they were. Then Puṇṇaka thought to himself, "This king, though he is playing with a Yakkha like me, mixes the dice as they fall and so takes them up, what can be the reason of this?" Then, having recognised the power of the guardian goddess, he opened his eyes wide as if he were angry and looked at her and she being frightened fled and took refuge trembling in the top of the Cakkavāla mountain. The king, when he threw the dice a third time, although he knew that they would fall against him could not put out his hand and seize them in consequence of Puṇṇaka's power and they fell against the king. Then Puṇṇaka threw the dice and they fell favourable to him. Then knowing that he had won he clapped his hands with a loud noise, saying three times, "I have won,

p. 138

[paragraph continues] I have won," and that sound thrilled through all Jambudīpa. The Teacher described the event as follows:

"The king of the Kurus and the Yakkha Puṇṇaka entered wild with the intoxication of play; the king played the losing throw and the Yakkha Puṇṇaka the winning throw. They two met there in contest in the presence of the kings and amidst the witnesses,—the Yakkha conquered the mightiest of men and loud was the tumult which arose there."

The king was displeased at being conquered, and Puṇṇaka repeated a verse to comfort him:

[283] "Victory and defeat belong to one or another of the contending parties, O king; O king, thou hast lost the great prize; being worsted, pay down the price forthwith."

Then he bade him take it in the following verse:

"Elephants, oxen, horses, jewels and earrings, whatever gems I have in the earth, take the best of wealth, O Kaccāna,—take it and go where thou wishest."

Puṇṇaka answered:

"Elephants, oxen, horses, jewels and earrings, whatever gems thou hast in the earth, Vidhura the minister is the best of them all, he has been won by me, pay him down to me."

The king said:

"He is my minister, my refuge and help, my shelter, my fortress and my defence,—that minister of mine is not to be weighed against wealth, that minister of mine is like my life."

Puṇṇaka answered:

"There would be a long contest between thee and me, let us go to him and ask him what he wishes, 2 4 let him decide this matter between us, let then what he determines be the judgment of us both."

The king replied:

"Verily thou speakest truth; O youth, thou utterest no injustice, let us go at once and ask him: in this way we shall both be satisfied."

So saying the king took the hundred kings and Puṇṇaka went gladly in haste to the court of justice; and the sage rose from his seat and saluted the king and sat on one side. Then Puṇṇaka addressed the Great Being and said, "O wise man, thou art firm in justice, thou wilt not utter a falsehood, even for the sake of life; such is the echo of thy fame which has spread through the whole world. I shall know to-day whether thou art really firm in justice," and so saying he uttered a verse:

"Have the gods truly set thee among the Kurus as the councillor Vidhura firm in justice? Art thou the slave or the kinsman of the king? What is thy value in the world, Vidhura?"

Then the Great Being thought to himself, "This man asks this question of me; but I cannot tell him whether I am a kinsman of the king or whether I am superior to the king or whether I am nothing to the king.

p. 139

[paragraph continues] In this world there is no protection like the truth; 2 5 one must speak the truth." So he uttered two verses to show that he was no kinsman to the king nor his superior, but only one of his four slaves:

"Some are slaves from their mothers, others are slaves bought for money, some come of their own will as slaves, others are slaves driven by fear. These are the four sorts of slaves among men. I verily am a slave from my birth: my weal and my woe come from the king, I am the king's slave even if I go to another,—he may give me by right to thee, O young man."

Puṇṇaka, on hearing this, being excessively pleased, clapped his hands and said:

"This is my second victory to-day, thy minister when asked has answered thy question; verily the best of kings is unjust; it has been well decided, but thou dost not give it to me."

Hearing this the king was angry with the Great Being and said, "Not regarding one who can confer honour like me thou regardest this young man who catches thine eye"; then turning to Puṇṇaka, and saying, "If he is a slave take him and go," he uttered the following stanza:

[286] "If he has thus answered our question, saying, "I am a slave and not a kinsman," then take, O Kaccāna, this best of treasures, take it and go whither thou wilt."

But when the king had thus spoken, he reflected, "The young man will take the sage and go where he pleases, and after he is once gone I shall find it hard to get any sweet converse about holy things; what if I were to set him in his proper place and ask him some question in reference to a householder's life?" So he said to him, "O sage, after thou art gone I shall find it hard to get any sweet converse about holy things; wilt thou sit down in a well-decorated pulpit and taking thy proper position expound to me a question relating to the householder's life?" He assented, and having sat down in a well-decorated pulpit he expounded the question which the king asked; and this was the question:

"O Vidhura, how shall there be a prosperous life to him who lives as a householder in his own house? how shall there be for him kind favour among his own people? how shall he be free from suffering? and how shall the young man who speaks truth escape all sorrow when he reaches the next world?" Then Vidhura, full of wisdom and insight, he who sees the real aim and presses steadily onward, he who knows all doctrines, uttered these words:

"Let him not have a wife in common with another; let him not eat a dainty meal alone; let him not deal in vain conversation, for this increases not wisdom. Virtuous, faithful to his duties, not careless, quick to discern, humble-minded, not hard-hearted, compassionate, affectionate, gentle, 2 skilled in winning friends, ready to distribute, prudent in arranging in accordance with the season,—let him continually satisfy the monks and Brahmins with food and drink. Let him long for righteousness and be a pillar of the sacred text, ever ready to ask questions and let him reverentially attend to the virtuous learned. Thus shall there be a prosperous life to one who lives as a householder in his own house, thus shall there be for him kind favour among his own people; thus shall he be free from suffering; and thus the youth who speaks truth shall escape all sorrow when he reaches the next world."

p. 140

The Great Being, having thus expounded the question relating to the householder's life, came down from his seat and made his salutation to the king. The king also, having paid him great respect, went away to his own abode, surrounded by the hundred kings 1.

[288] When the Great Being returned, Puṇṇaka said to him:

"Come, I will now depart,—you were given to me by the king; attend only to this duty—this is the ancient law."

The sage Vidhura replied:

"I know it, O youth; I was won by thee; I was given by the king to thee; let me lodge thee for three days in my home while I exhort my sons."

When Puṇṇaka heard this, he thought within himself, "The sage has spoken the truth; this will be a great benefit to me; if he had asked leave to lodge me there for seven days or even for a fortnight, I ought at once to have assented "; so he answered:

"Let that advantage be for me too, let us dwell there three days; do, Sir, whatever needs to be done in thy home; instruct to-day thy sons and thy wife, that they may be happy after thou art gone."

So saying, Puṇṇaka went with the Great Being to his home.

[289] The Teacher thus described the incident:

"Gladly assenting and eagerly longing, the Yakkha went with Vidhura; and the best of the holy ones introduced him into his home, attended by elephants and thoroughbred steeds."

Now the Great Being had three palaces for the three seasons,—one of them was called Koñca, another Mayūra, and the third Piyaketa; this verse was uttered about them:

"He went there to Koñca, Mayūra, and Piyaketa, each of most pleasant aspect, furnished with abundance of food and plenty to eat and to drink, like Indra's own palace Masakkasāra."

After his arrival, he had a sleeping-chamber, and a raised platform in the seventh story of the decorated palace, and having had a royal couch spread and every kind of dainty to eat and drink set out, he presented to him five hundred women like daughters of the gods, saying, "Let these be your attendants, stay here without a care," and then went to his own abode. When he was gone, these women took their different musical instruments end performed all kinds of dances as they attended on Puṇṇaka.

The Teacher has thus described it:

"These women adorned like nymphs among the gods dance and sing and address him, each better in her turn 2.

The guardian of the law, having given him food and drink and fair women, 2 next, thinking only of his highest good, brought him into the presence of his wife.

p. 141

Then he said to his wife, who was adorned with sandal and liquid perfumes and stood like an ornament of purest gold, "Come, listen, lady; call thy sons here, O fair one with eyes of the hue of copper."

Anujjā, hearing her husband's words, spoke to her daughter-in-law, fair-eyed and with nails like copper, "O Cetā, who wearest thy bracelets as an armour, and art like a blue water-lily, go, call my sons hither."

Having uttered her assent and traversed the whole length of the palace she assembled all the friends as well as the sons and daughters, saying, "Your father wishes to give you an exhortation, this will be your last sight of him." When the young prince Dhammapāla-kumāra heard this he began to weep, and went before his father surrounded by his younger brothers. When the father saw them, unable to maintain his tranquillity, he embraced them with eyes full of tears, and kissed their heads and pressed his eldest son for a moment to his heart. Then, raising him up from his bosom and going out of the royal chamber, he sat down in the middle of the couch on the raised platform and delivered his address to his thousand sons.

[291] The Teacher has thus described it:

"The guardian of the law, without trembling, kissed his sons on their foreheads when they drew near, and having addressed them uttered these words, "I have been given by the king to this young man. I am subject to him, but to-day I was free to seek my own pleasure, he will now take me and go whither he will, and I am come to admonish you, for how could I go if I had not given you salvation? If Janasandha, the king who dwells in Kurukhetta, should very earnestly ask you, "What do you reckon as having been ancient even in ancient time? what, did your father teach first and foremost?" and if he were then to say, "Ye are all of an equal position with me,—which of you here is not more than a king? 1 do you make a respectful salutation and reply to him, "Say not so, O monarch, this is not the law; how shall the baseborn jackal be of equal position with the royal tiger?"

[292] Having heard this discourse of his the sons and daughters and all the kinsmen, friends, servants, and common folk were unable to maintain their tranquillity and uttered a loud cry; and the Great Being consoled them 2.

V.

Then having come to all those kinsmen and seeing that they were silent, he said, "Children, do not grieve, all material things are impermanent, honour ends in misfortune; nevertheless I will tell you of a means of obtaining honour, namely, a king's court; listen to it with your minds earnestly intent." Then through the Buddha's magic power he made them enter into a royal court.

p. 142

The Teacher thus described it:

"Then Vidhura thus addressed his friends and his enemies, his kindred, and his intimates, with his mind and will detached from all things, "Come, dear ones, sit down and listen to me as I tell of a royal dwelling, how a man who enters a king's court may attain to honour. When he enters a king's court he does not win honour while he is unknown, nor does one ever win it who is a coward, nor the foolish man, nor the thoughtless. When the king finds out his moral qualities, his wisdom and his purity of heart, then he learns to trust him and hides not his secrets from him.

When he is asked to carry out some business, like a well-fixed balance, with a level beam, and evenly poised, he must not hesitate; if like the balance, he is ready to undertake every burden, he may dwell in a king's court.

[293] Whether by day or by night, the wiser man should riot hesitate when set upon the king's business; such an one may dwell in a king's court. The wise man who, when set upon the king's business, whether by day or by night, undertakes every commission,—he is the one who may dwell in a king's court.

He who sees a path made for the king and carefully put in order for him, and refrains from entering himself therein, though advised to do so,—he is the one who may dwell in a king's court. Let him on no account ever enjoy the same pleasures as the king, let him follow behind in everything,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him not put on a garment like the king's nor garlands nor ointment like his; let him not wear similar ornaments or practise a tone of voice like his; let him always wear a different attire,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. If the king sports with his ministers or surrounded by his wives, let not the minister make any allusion to the royal ladies. He who is not lifted up, nor fickle, who is prudent and keeps his senses under control, he who is possessed of insight and resolution,—such an one may dwell in a king's court.

[294] Let him not sport with the king's wives nor talk with them privately; let him not take money from his treasury,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him not think too much of sleep, nor drink strong drink to excess, nor kill the deer in the king's forest,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him not seat himself on the king's chair or couch or seat or elephant or chariot; as thinking himself a privileged person,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him prudently keep not too far from the king nor yet too near to him, and let him stand ready before him, telling something for his lord to hear. The king does not count as a common person, the king must not be paired with anyone else; kings are easily vexed, as the eye is hurt if touched by a barley-awn. Let not the wise man, thinking himself to be held in honour, ever venture to speak roughly to the suspicious king. If he gets his opportunity, let him take it; but let him not trust in kings; let him be on his guard as in the case of fire 1,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. If the ruler favours his son or his brother with a gift of some villages or towns or some people in his kingdom as clients, let him quietly wait in silence, nor speak of him as prudent or faulty.

[295] If the king increases the pay of his elephant-driver or his life-guardsman, his chariot-soldier or his foot-soldier, through hearing some story of their exploits, let him not interfere to hinder it,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. The wise man will keep his belly small like the bow 2, but he will bend easily like the bamboo; let him not go contrary to the king 3, so he may dwell in a king's court. Let him keep his belly small like the bow, and let him have no tongue like the fish; let him be moderate in eating, brave and prudent; such an one may dwell in a king's court.

p. 143

Let him not visit a woman too often, fearing the loss of his strength; the foolish man is a victim to cough, asthma, bodily pain and childishness. Let him not laugh too much, nor keep always silent; he should utter, when the due season comes, a concise and measured speech. Not given to anger, not ready to take offence, truthful, gentle, no slanderer, let him not speak foolish words,—such an one may dwell in a king's court.

[296] Trained, educated, self-controlled, experienced in business 1, temperate, gentle, careful, pure, skilful,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Humble in behaviour towards the old, ready to obey, and full of respect, compassionate, and pleasant to live with,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him keep at a distance from a spy sent by a foreign king to intermeddle 2; let him look to his own lord alone, and own no other king.

Let him pay respect to monks and Brahmins who are virtuous and learned; let him carefully wait on them; such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him satisfy virtuous and learned monks and Brahmins with food and drink,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him draw near and devotedly attend on virtuous and learned monks and Brahmins,—desiring thereby his own real good.

Let him not seek to deprive monks or Brahmins of any gift previously bestowed on them, and let him in no way hinder mendicants at a time of distributing alms. One who is righteous, endowed with wisdom, and skilled in all business arrangements, and well-versed in times and seasons,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. 2 One who is energetic in business, careful and skilful, and able to conduct his affairs successfully,—such an one may dwell in a king's court.

Visiting repeatedly the threshingfloor, the house, the cattle and the field, he should have the corn carefully measured and stored in his granaries, and he should have it carefully measured for cooking in his home. (Let him not employ or promote 3) a son or a brother who is not stedfast in virtue; such children are no true members of one's own body, they are to be counted as if they were dead; let him cause clothing and food for sustenance to be given to them and let them sit while they take it. Let him employ in offices of authority servants and agents who are established in virtue and are skilful in business and can rise to an emergency.

One who is virtuous and free from greed and devoted to his king, never absent from him 4 and seeking his interest,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. Let him know the king's wish, and hold fast to his thoughts, and let his action be never contrary to him,—such an one may dwell in a king's court. 2 He will rub him with perfumes and bathe him, he will bend his head low when washing his feet; when smitten he will not be angry; such an one may dwell in a king's court.

He will make his salutation to a jar full of water, or offer his reverential greeting to a crow, yea, he will give to all petitioners and be ever prudent and preeminent,—he will give away his bed, his garment, his carriage, his house, his home, and shower down blessings like a cloud on all beings. This, Sirs, is the way to dwell in a king's court, this is how a man is to behave himself and so to conciliate the king's favour, and to obtain honour from his rulers 5."

p. 144

VI.

Three days went by as he thus discoursed to his sons, wives, friends and others. Then, knowing that the time was accomplished, early in the morning, after having eaten his meal of various dainties, he said, "I will take my leave of the king and depart with the young man"; so he went to the king's palace surrounded by a company of kinsmen and saluted the king and stood on one side, and uttered his words of wise practical counsel.

The Teacher has thus described it:

"Having thus counselled the company of his kindred, the wise one, surrounded by his friends, went up to the king. 2 Having saluted his feet with his head and made a reverential homage, Vidhura with his hands clasped thus addressed the king, "This youth, wishing to employ me according to his will, is leading me away; I will speak for the sake of my kindred,—hear what I say, O enemy-conqueror. Wilt thou be pleased to look to my sons and whatever property I may have besides in my house, so that when I am gone my company of kinsmen may not hereafter perish? As when the earth trembles that which is upon it likewise trembles, and as when the earth is firm it all remains firm 1, so I see that my kindred fall in my fall; this I perceive was my error."

When the king heard this, he said, "O sage, thy going pleases me not; do not go; I will send for the young man on some pretext, then we will kill him and hush it up"; and in illustration of this he repeated a stanza:

"Thou canst not go, this is my resolve; having smitten and slain this Kātiya 2 fellow, do thou dwell here,—this is what seems best to me; do not go hence, O thou possessed of such vast wisdom."

When the Great Being heard this he exclaimed, "Such an intention is not worthy of thee," and then he added,

"Do not set thy mind on unrighteousness, be thou devoted to temporal and spiritual good 3; shame on an action which is ignoble and sinful, which when a man has done, he goes afterwards to hell.

[300] This is not righteousness, this is not what ought to be done; a king, O lord of men, is the supreme authority of a poor slave, which sets him to kill or to burn or kills by its own act; I have no wrath against him and I depart."

So saying the Great Being respectfully saluted the king and exhorted the king's wives and his officers; and then went out from the palace while they, unable to retain their fortitude, burst out into a bitter cry; and all the inhabitants of the city exclaimed, "The sage is going with the young man, come, we will see him as he goes," and they gazed upon him in the king's court. Then they too said to one another, "Sorrow not for it, all material things are transitory, be zealous in almsgiving and other good works," and then they returned and went each to his own house.

p. 145

The Teacher has thus described it:

"Having embraced his eldest son and controlled the anguish in his heart, with eyes filled with tears he entered the palace."

Now in the palace there were a thousand sons, a thousand daughters, a thousand wives, and seven hundred courtezans, and with these and the other servants and attendants and relations and friends lying prostrate everywhere the palace appeared like a sāl grove with its trees strewed about by the fury of the great wind which heralds the end of the world.

The Teacher has thus described it:

"The sons and wives of Vidhura lie prostrate in the palace like sāl-trees shaken and shattered by the wind.

[301] A thousand wives, and seven hundred female slaves wailed stretching out their arms, in the palace of Vidhura. The ladies of the harem and the princes, the Vesiyas and Brahmins wailed stretching out their arms in the palace of Vidhura. Elephant-drivers, the soldiers of the body-guard, chariot-riders and foot-soldiers wailed stretching out their arms in the palace of Vidhura. The people of the country and the towns collected together wailed stretching out their arms in the palace of Vidhura."

The Great Being, having comforted the vast assembly and performed all that remained to be done and exhorted the ladies of the harem and pointed out all that needed to be told, went to Puṇṇaka and announced to him that he had done everything that was to be done.

The Teacher has thus described it:

"Having done all that was to be done within the house and having instructed all the people, his friends and counsellors and companions, his wives, sons and relations, and having arranged the outside work which demanded attention and informed them of the stores in the house, the treasure and the debts that were to be paid, he thus spoke to Puṇṇaka, Thou hast dwelt three days in my house, I have done all that needed to be done in my home, I have instructed my sons and my wives, let us now act according to thy will, O Kaccāna 1."

[302] Puṇṇaka replied:

"If, O thou who attest of thine own will 2, thou hast instructed thy sons, thy wives, and thy dependents, then alas! thou standest here as one about to cross: this is a long journey before thee. Take hold, without fear, of the tail of thy noble steed, this is thy last sight of the world of the living."

Then the Great Being said to him:

"Of whom shall I be afraid, when I have done no evil to him by body, speech or thought, whereby I could come to misfortune?"

So the Great Being, uttering a loud shout, fearless like an undismayed lion, said, "This is my robe—put it not off without my permission"; and then, guided by his own perfect resolution, and having girt his robes tightly, he disentangled the horse's tail and seizing it firmly with both hands, he pressed the horse's thighs with his two feet and said to him,

p. 146

[paragraph continues] "I have seized the tail, proceed, O youth, as thou wilt." At that moment Puṇṇaka gave a signal to the horse who was endowed with reason, and he forthwith bounded into the sky, carrying the seer.

The Teacher has thus described it:

"The prince of horses bearing Vidhura went up into the sky and soon reached the Black Mountain 1 without coming in contact with the boughs of trees or the rocks."

[303] While Puṇṇaka thus went off carrying the Great Being with him, the seer's sons and the other spectators went to Puṇṇaka's dwelling; but when they found not the Great Being, they lamented with loud and repeated cries, falling down as if their feet had been cut off 2.

When they thus had seen and heard the Great Being, as he went up without any cause into the sky, and had thus uttered their lamentations, they all went wailing to the king's gate, accompanied by all the citizens. The king, hearing the loud sound of lamentation, opened his window and asked why they lamented. They replied, "O sire, that was no Brahmin youth, but a Yakkha who has come in the guise of a Brahmin and carried off the seer; 3 4 without him there is no life for us; if he does not return on the seventh day from this, we will collect timber in hundreds, yea, thousands of carts and will all enter the fire 2."

When the king heard their words, he replied, "The sage with his honied speech will soon beguile the youth by his religious discourse and will make him fall down at his feet, and will ere long come back and bring smiles to your tearful faces,—sorrow not"; and he repeated a stanza:

"The seer is wise, and learned, and skilful; he will soon set himself free; fear not, he will come back."

Meantime Puṇṇaka, after he had set the Great Being on the top of the Black Mountain, thought to himself, "As long as this man lives there is no chance of prosperity for me; I will kill him, and take his heart's flesh and I will then go to the Nāga world and give it to Vimalā 3, and having thus obtained his daughter Irandatī I shall rise to the world of the gods."

The Teacher has thus described it:

"When he had gone there he thought to himself, "Rational beings exist in various gradations; I have no possible use for his life,—I will kill him and take his heart."

[305] Then again he thought, "What if without killing him by my own hand I were to cause him to perish by shewing him some frightful

p. 147

shape?" So having assumed the form of a frightful demon, he went up to him and threw him down, and seizing him in his mouth made as if he were about to devour him; but not a hair of the Great being stood on end. Then he came up in the shape of a lion and of a furious elephant, he threatened to attack him with teeth and tusks; and when the other still shewed no fear, he assumed the appearance of a great serpent as big as a great trough-shaped canoe, and coming up to him hissing and coiling his body round him it covered his head with its hood, but the other shewed no signs of alarm. Then he said, "As he stands on the top of a mountain and falls down, I will shatter him into fragments by the fall,"—so he raised up a mighty wind; but it stirred not the end of one of his hairs. Then he set him on the top of a mountain and himself standing in the form of an elephant, he made it shake to and fro like a wild date palm tree, but even then he could not stir one hair of his head from its place. Then he said, "I will make his heart burst by terror at some frightful sound"; so he entered the inside of the mountain, and uttering a tremendous roar filled heaven and earth with one mighty sound; but still the Great Being shewed no alarm; for he knew that he who had thus come in the form of a Yakkha and a lion and an elephant and a Nāga, and had shaken the mountain with the wind and rain, and had entered into the mountain and uttered the great roar, was still only a man and nothing else. Then the Yakkha thought to himself, "I shall not be able to kill him by external attacks, I shall only destroy him by my own hand." So he set the Great Being on the top of a mountain and himself going to the mountain's foot rose up from the centre of the mountain as though he were inserting a white thread into a perforated gem, and with a roar he seized the Great Being violently and whirled him round, and flung him head downwards into the sky where there was nothing that he could lay hold of. It has thus been described:

[306] "Having gone thither and entered within the mountain Kātiyāna of evil mind held him with his head downwards in the open expanse of the world 1. While he hung there as on the precipice of hell frightful to see and most difficult to traverse, he the best of all the Kurus in action thus addressed Puṇṇaka undismayed: "Thou art base in thy nature, though thou assumest for a time a noble form, utterly licentious though wearing the guise of one restrained, thou art doing a cruel and monstrous deed,—there is nothing good in thy nature. What is thy reason for killing me, when thou wishest to see me thrown down this precipice? Thy appearance bespeaks thee as something superhuman, tell me what kind of a god thou art."

[307] Puṇṇaka answered:

"Thou hast heard perchance of the Yakkha Puṇṇaka,—he is the minister of King Kuvera. There is an earth-ruling Nāga called Varuṇa, mighty, pure, and endowed with beauty and strength; I desire his younger sister, the Nāga maiden named Irandatī; for the love of that fair damsel I have set my mind on killing thee, O sage."

p. 148

The Great Being reflected, "This world is ruined by a thing being misunderstood, why should a wooer of a Nāga maiden want my death? I will learn the whole truth of the matter," so he uttered a stanza:

"Be not deceived, O Yakkha; many people are destroyed by a thing being misunderstood; what has thy love for that fair maiden to do with my death? Come, let us hear the whole."

Then Puṇṇaka said to him, "In my love for the daughter of that mighty Nāga I consulted her kinsfolk, and when I sought her hand my father-in-law told me that they knew that I was moved by an honourable passion. "We will give thee the damsel endowed with beautiful body and eyes, fair-smiling and with her limbs perfumed with sandal wood, if thou bringest to me the sage's heart won in fair fight; 3 the maiden is to be won by this prize, we ask no other gift besides. Thus I am not deceived,—listen, O thou doer of right actions; there is nothing misunderstood by me; the Nāgas will give me the Nāga maiden Irandatī for thy heart won in fair fight. It is for this that I am set on killing thee, it is in this way that I have need of thy death. If I threw thee hence down into hell I would kill thee and take thy heart."

When the Great Being heard this he reflected, "Vimalā 1 has no need of my heart. Varuṇa, after he had heard the discourse on the law and honoured me with his jewel must have gone home and described my power in discoursing concerning the law, and Vimalā must have felt a great longing to hear my words. Puṇṇaka must have been ordered by Varuṇa through a misconception, and he influenced by this his own misconception has brought about all this calamity. Now my character as a sage consists in my power to bring to light and to discover absolute truths. If Puṇṇaka kills me, what good will it do? Come, I will say to him, Young man, I know the law as followed by good men; before I die, set me on the top of the mountain and hear the law of good men from me; and afterwards do what thou wilt"; and after having declared to him the law of good men I will let him take my life." So he uttered this stanza as he hung with his head downwards:

"Hold me up forthwith, O Kātiyāna, if thou needest my heart; 3 I will declare to thee this day all the laws of the good man."

Then Puṇṇaka reflected, "This law will never have been declared before to gods or men; I will forthwith hold him up and hear the law of good men"; so he lifted the Great Being up and set him on the summit of the mountain.

The Teacher has thus described it:

"Puṇṇaka, having quickly placed the best of the performers of good actions among the Kurus upon the mountain's summit, asked the Teacher of lofty wisdom, as he sat looking at a pipul tree, "I have brought thee up from the precipice, I have need of thy heart this day,—tell me then to-day all the laws of the good man."

The Great Being said:

"I am saved by thee from the precipice; if thou needest my heart, I will declare to thee this day all the laws of the good man."

p. 149

Then the Great Being said, "My body is dirty, I will bathe." The Yakkha consented, so he brought some water, and when he was bathing, he gave the Great Being some heavenly cloth and perfumes, &c., and after he was adorned and drest he gave him some heavenly food. When he had eaten, the Great Being caused the top of the Black Mountain to be covered with adornment, and prepared a richly decorated seat, and being seated thereon uttered a stanza, describing in it the duty of the good man with a Buddha's triumphant mastery:

"O youth, follow thou the path already traversed; put away from thee the soiled hand 1 1 3 be not ever treacherous to thy friends, nor fall into the power of unchaste women."

The Yakkha, being unable to comprehend these four rules expressed so concisely, asked in detail:

"How does one follow the path already traversed? How does one burn the wet hand? Who is the unchaste woman? Who is treacherous to his friend? Tell me the meaning at my request."

The Great Being replied:

"Let a man follow his actions, who invites him even to a seat, when he comes as a stranger and never seen before; him the wise call one who follows in the path already traversed.

In whosesoever house a man dwells even for one night, and receives there food and drink, let him not conceive an evil thought against him in his mind; he who is treacherous to his friend burns the innocent hand 2. Let not a man break a bough of that tree under whose shadow he sits or lies,—the wretch is treacherous to his friend. Let a man give this earth filled with riches to the woman whom he has chosen, yet she will despise him if she gets the opportunity; let him not fall into the power of unchaste women. Thus does a man follow the path already traversed; thus does he burn the wet hand; this is the unchaste woman; this is one that is treacherous to his friend; such a man is righteous, abandon thou unrighteousness."

[311] Thus did the Great Being declare to the Yakkha with a Buddha's triumphant mastery the four duties of a good man, and when he heard them Puṇṇaka reflected, "In these four propositions the sage is only asking his own life; for he verily welcomed me though I was before unknown; I dwelt in his house three days, receiving great honour from him; I, doing him this wrong, do it for a woman's sake; I am moreover in every way treacherous to my friends; if I shall do injury to the sage, I shall not follow the duty of a good man; what need have I of the Nāga maiden? I will carry him forthwith to Indapatta and gladden the weeping faces of its inhabitants and I will seat him in the convocation hall there." Then he spoke aloud:

p. 150

"I dwelt three days in thy house, I was served with food and drink, thou wast my friend, I will let thee go, O seer of excellent wisdom, thou shalt depart at thy will to thine own home. 1 2 3 Yea, let all that concerns the Nāga race perish, I have had enough of the Nāga maiden; by thine own well-spoken words thou art set free, O seer, from my threatened blow to-day."

The Great Being replied, "O youth, send me not away to my own home but carry me to the Nāga dwelling," and he uttered this stanza:

"Come, Yakkha, carry me to thy father-in-law, and act as is best towards me; I will shew to him a royal Nāga palace which he has never seen before.

Puṇṇaka said:

"The wise man should not look on that which is not for a man's wellbeing; why then, O seer of excellent wisdom, dost thou wish to go amongst thy enemies?"

The Great Being answered:

"Verily I know it all; the wise man ought not to look upon it; but I have never at any time committed evil, and therefore I fear not the coming of death."

[313] "Moreover by my discourse concerning the law such a cruel being as thyself was won over and softened, and now thou sayest, "I have had enough of the Nāga maiden, go thou to thine own home"; it is now my task to soften the Nāga king, carry me thither forthwith." When he heard this, Puṇṇaka consented, saying:

"Come, thou shalt see with me that world of unequalled glory where the Nāga king dwells amidst dance and song like King Vessavana 1 in Nalinī. Filled with troops of Nāga maidens, gladdened constantly with their sports day and night, abounding with garlands and covered with flowers, it shines like the lightning in the sky. Filled with food and with drink, with dance and song and instruments of music; filled with maidens richly attired, it shines with dresses and ornaments."

Then Puṇṇaka placed him, the best doer of good actions among the Kurus, on a seat behind him and carried the illustrious sage to the palace of the Nāga king. When he reached that place of unrivalled glory, the sage stood behind Puṇṇaka; and the Nāga king, beholding the concord between them, thus addressed his son-in-law as he had done before.

[314] "Thou didst go before to the world of men, seeking for the sage's heart; hast thou returned here with success, bringing the sage of unequalled wisdom?"

Puṇṇaka replied:

"He whom thou desirest is come, he is my guardian in duty, won by righteous means; behold him as he speaks before thee,—intercourse with the good brings happiness."

The Nāga king uttered a stanza as he saw the Great Being:

"This mortal, beholding me whom he had never seen before and pierced with the fear of death, does not speak to me in his terror; this is not like a wise man."

The Great Being thus addressed the Nāga king while he conceived this idea, even though he had not directly said that he would not pay him

p. 151

respect,—as the Great Being knew by his omniscience how best to deal with all creatures:

[315] "I am not terrified, O Nāga, nor am I pierced with the fear of death; the victim should not address his executioner, nor should the latter ask his victim to address him 1."

Then the Nāga king uttered a stanza in the Great Being's praise:

"It is as thou sayest, O sage,—thou speakest the truth; the victim should not address his executioner nor should the latter ask his victim to address him 1."

Then the Great Being spoke kindly to the Nāga king:

"This splendour and glory and this might and Nāga birth of thine, are subject to death and not immortal; I ask thee this question, O Nāga king, how didst thou obtain this palace? Was it gained without a cause or as the development of a previous condition? was it made by thyself or given by the gods? Explain to me this matter, O Nāga king, how thou didst win this palace 2."

[316] The Nāga king replied:

"It was not gained without a cause, nor was it the development of a previous condition; it was not made by myself nor given by the gods; this palace of mine was gained by my own virtuous deeds 3."

The Great Being answered:

"What holy vow was it, what practice of sanctity? Of what good action was this the fruit,—this splendour and glory and might and Nāga birth of thine and this great palace, O Nāga 4?"

The Nāga king replied':

"I and my wife in the world of men were both full of faith and bountiful; my house was made into a drinking-hall, and priests and Brahmins were cheered there. Garlands and perfumes and ointments, lamps and couches and resting-places, raiment and beds and food and drink, I virtuously gave away there as free gifts. That was my vow and practice of sanctity, this is the fruit of that good conduct, this splendour and glory and Nāga birth and this great palace, O seer."

[317] The Great Being said:

"If thou hast thus gained this palace, thou knowest about the fruit of holy actions and rebirth; therefore practise virtue with all diligence that thou mayest live again in a palace."

The Nāga king replied:

"There are no priests or Brahmins here to whom we may give food and drink, O holy one; tell me this thing I pray, how may I again live in a palace?"

The Great Being said:

"There are snakes who have been born here, sons and wives and dependents; commit no sin towards them in word or deed at any time. Thus follow thou, O Nāga, innocence in word and deed,—so shalt thou dwell here all thy life in a palace and then depart hence to the world of the gods."

p. 152

[318] The Nāga king, having heard the religious discourse of the Great Being, thought to himself, "The sage cannot stay long away from his home; I will shew him to Vimalā and let her hear his good words, and so calm her longing desire, and I will gratify King Dhanañjaya and then it will be right to send the sage home"; so he said:

"Verily that best of kings is mourning in thy absence, whose intimate minister thou art; having once regained thee, though now distressed and sick, a man will regain happiness."

The Great Being praised the Nāga:

"Thou dost indeed utter the holy words of the good, a peerless piece of right doctrine; in such crises of life as these the character of men like me is made known."

Then the Nāga king still more delighted uttered a stanza:

"Say, wast thou taken for nothing? Say, did he conquer thee in the game? He says that he won thee fairly—how didst thou come into his power?"

The Great Being replied:

Puṇṇaka conquered in the game with dice him who was my lord and king; 1 3 he being conquered gave me to the other; so I was won fairly and not by wrong."

The great Nāga, delighted and overjoyed, when he heard these noble words of the sage, seized the lord of lofty wisdom by the hand and thus went into the presence of his wife, "He for whom, O Vimalā, you grew pale and food lost its savour in your eyes, this sun, for the sake of whose heart this trouble came upon you,—listen well to his words, you will never see him again."

Vimalā, when she saw the lord of great wisdom, folded the ten fingers of her hands in reverence, and thus addressed the best of the Kurus with her whole soul full of delight:

"This mortal, beholding me whom he had never seen before and pierced with the fear of death, does not speak to me in his terror; this is not like a wise man."

"I am not terrified, O Nāgī, nor am I pierced with the fear of death; the victim should not address his executioner, nor should the latter ask his victim to address him 1"


[322] Thus the Nāga maiden asked the sage the same question which the Nāga Varuṇa had asked him before; and the sage by his answer satisfied her as he had before satisfied Varuṇa.

The sage, seeing that the Nāga king and the Nāga maiden were both pleased with his answers, undaunted in soul and with not one hair erect with fear, thus addressed Varuṇa: "Fear not, O Nāga, here I am; whatever use this body may be to thee, whatever it can do by its heart and its flesh, I myself will carry out according to thy will."

The Nāga king replied:

"The heart of sages is their wisdom,—we are delighted to-day with thy wisdom; let him whose name implies perfection 2 take his bride to-day and let him put thee in possession to-day of the Kurus."

p. 153

[323] Having thus spoken, Varuṇa gave Irandatī to Puṇṇaka and he in his joy poured out his heart to the Great Being.

The Great Being has thus described the matter:

"Puṇṇaka, delighted and overjoyed, having won the Nāga maiden Irandatī, with his whole soul full of joy, thus addressed him who was the best of the Kurus in action: "Thou hast made me possessed of a wife, I will do what is due to thee, O Vidhura; I give this pearl of jewels and I will put thee to-day in possession of the Kurus."

Then the Great Being praised him in another stanza:

"May thy friendship with thy loved wife be indissoluble, and do thou in thy joy with a happy heart give me the jewel and carry me to Indapatta." Then Puṇṇaka placed the best of the Kurus in action on a seat before him and carried him, the lord of supreme wisdom, to the city Indapatta. Swift as the mind of man may travel, his speed was even swifter still; and Puṇṇaka bore the best of the Kurus to the city Indapatta.

[324] Then he said to him: "Behold before thee the city Indapatta and its pleasant mango groves and districts; I am possessed of a wife, and thou hast obtained thine own home."

Now on that very day at morning-tide the king saw a dream, and this was what he saw. At the door of the king's palace there stood a great tree whose trunk was wisdom, and whose branches and boughs were like the virtues, and its fruits the five sacred products of the cow 1, and it was covered with elephants and horses richly caparisoned; and a great multitude with folded hands were worshipping it with all reverence. Then a black man, clothed with red cloth, and wearing earrings of red flowers, and bearing weapons in his hand, came up and cut the tree down by the roots in spite of the expostulations of the multitude, and dragged it off and went away, and then came back and planted it again in its old place and departed. Then the king as he comprehended the dream said to himself, "The sage Vidhura and no one else is like the great tree; that youth and no other, who carried off the sage, is like the man who cut the tree down by the roots in spite of the expostulations of the multitude; and verily he will come back and set him at the door of the Hall of Truth and depart. We shall behold the seer again to-day." So he joyfully ordered the whole city to be decorated and the Hall of Truth to be got ready and a pulpit in a pavilion adorned with jewels; and himself surrounded by a hundred kings, with their counsellors, and a multitude of citizens and country people, he consoled them all by saying, "Fear not, you will see the sage again to-day "; and he seated himself in the Hall of Truth, looking for the sage's return. Then Puṇṇaka brought the sage down and seated him in the middle of the assembly at the door of the Hall of Truth, and then departed with Irandatī to his own celestial city.

p. 154

[325] The Teacher has thus described it:

"Puṇṇaka of noble race, having set down him, the best of the Kurus in action, in the middle of the religious assembly, mounted his own noble steed and sped in the sky through the air. When the king beheld him, he, filled with delight, sprang up and embraced him with his arms, and without a moment's fear seated him on a throne before him in the midst of the congregation."

Then after exchanging friendly greeting with him he welcomed him affectionately and uttered a stanza:

"Thou guidest us like a ready-furnished chariot, the Kurus rejoice at seeing thee; answer me and tell me this,—how was it that that young man let thee go?"

The Great Being replied:

"He whom thou callest a young man, O great king, is no common man, O best of heroes; if thou hast ever heard of the Yakkha Puṇṇaka, it was he, the minister of King Kuvera. There is a Nāga king named Varuṇa, mighty, endowed with strength and a noble presence,—now Puṇṇaka loves his younger daughter, the Nāga maiden Irandatī. 2 3 6 He laid his plan for my death for the sake of that fair maiden whom he loved,—he thus obtained his wife, and I was allowed to depart and the jewel was won.

"The Nāga king, being pleased with my solution of his question as to the four ends of men, paid me the honour of giving me a jewel; and when he returned to the Nāga world, his queen Vimalā asked him where the jewel was. He described my skill in discoursing concerning the law, and she, being desirous of hearing such a discourse, feigned a longing for my heart. The Nāga king, not understanding her real wish, said to his daughter Irandatī, "Thy mother has a longing for Vidhura's heart, find out a noble who is able to bring it for her." As she was seeking one, she saw the Yakkha Puṇṇaka who was the son of Vessavana's 1 sister, and, as she knew that he was in love with her, she sent him to her father, who said to him, "If thou art able to bring me Vidhura's heart thou shalt obtain her." So he, having brought from the mountain Vepulla the gem which might well belong to a universal monarch, played dice with me and having won me by his play he remained three days in my house. Then he made me lay hold of his horse's tail, and dashed me against the trees and mountains in Himavat, but he could not kill me. Then he rushed forward on a whirlwind in the seventh sphere of the winds and he set me on the top of the Black Mountain sixty leagues high; there he assailed me as a lion and in other shapes, but he could not kill me. Then at last at his request I told him how I could be killed. Then I proceeded to tell him the duties of the good man, and when he heard them he was highly pleased and wished to bring me hither. Then I took him and went to the Nāga world and I told the law to the king and to Vimalā, and all the court was highly pleased; and after I had stayed

p. 155

there six days the king 2 3 gave Irandatī to Puṇṇaka. He was delighted when he gained her, and honoured me with many jewels as his present. Then at the king's command he mounted me on a magic horse created by his will, and seating himself in the middle seat and Irandatī behind, he brought me here and put me down in the middle of the court, and then went away with Irandatī to his own city. Thus, O king, for the sake of that fair maiden whom he loved he laid his plan for my death and thus through me he obtained his wife. When the king had heard my discourse on the law, he was pleased and let me depart and I received from Puṇṇaka this jewel which grants all desires and which is worthy of a universal emperor; accept it, O monarch," and so saying he gave the jewel to the king. Then the king, in the morning, being desirous to tell the citizens the dream which he had seen, related to them the history as follows:

"There grew a tree before my gates, its trunk was wisdom and its boughs the moral virtues; it ripened into all that was natural and developed, its fruits were the five products of the cow, and it was covered with elephants and cattle. But while it resounded with dance, song, and musical instruments a man came and cut it up from the roots and carried it away; it then came to this palace of ours,—pay your homage to this tree.

Let all who are joyful by my means shew it to-day by their actions; bring your presents in abundance, and pay your homage to this tree.

Whatever captives there may be in my realm, let them set them all loose from their captivity; as this tree has been delivered from its captivity, so let them release others from bondage.

[328] Let them spend this month in holiday, hanging up their ploughs; let them feast the Brahmins with flesh and rice; let them drink in private, and still seem total abstainers, with their full cups flowing over. Let them invite their friends on the highway, and keep a strict watch in the kingdom so that none may injure his neighbour,—pay your homage to this tree."

When he had thus spoken,

"The queens, the princes, the Vesiyas, and the Brahmins brought to the sage much food and drink.

"Riders on elephants, body-guards, riders in chariots, foot-soldiers, brought to the sage much food and drink. 2 3 The people of the country and the city gathered together in crowds brought to the sage much food and drink. The vast assembly were filled with joy, beholding the seer after he had come: when the sage had come a triumphant waving of cloths took place."

After a month the festival came to an end: the Great Being, as fulfilling a Buddha's duties, taught the great assembly the law, counselled the king and so fulfilled his span of life and so became destined for heaven. Abiding in his teaching, and following their king all the inhabitants of the Kura kingdom gave gifts and performed good works and at the end of their lives went to swell the hosts of heaven.


p. 156

The Master, having brought his lesson to an end, said, "Not now only but formerly also did the Buddha, having obtained complete wisdom, shew himself skilful in adapting means to ends. Then he identified the Birth: "At that time the sage's father and mother were the royal family, the eldest queen was Rāhula's mother, the eldest son was Rāhula, Varuṇa the Nāga king was Sāriputta, the garuḷa king was Moggallāna, Sakka was Anuruddha, the king Dhanañjaya was Ānanda, and the wise Vidhura was myself."


Footnotes

126:1 Sc. himself at that time.

127:1 Cf. Kathāsaritsāgara (Tawney's transl., Vol. I. p. 67).

128:1 Sc. the jātaka concerning the four vows for keeping the fast; cf. Vol. IV. Jāt. No. 441. The Birth is not there given, but only a reference to the Puṇṇaka Birth which has not been identified.

129:1 Prof. Cowell takes kaṁkhaṁ in line 26 as a participle—the verb occurs on p. 2298: but the schol. takes it as a noun with asyndeton. So 26114.

129:2 "Catuposatha-khaṇḍaṁ nitthitaṁ."

131:1 Kuvera.

132:1 Vaḷabhi may mean a tent or shed.

134:1 "Dohaḷa-khaṇḍaṁ."

135:1 Cf. Vol. V. p. 4062, trans., p. 215.

136:1 odhisuṁkaṁ?

136:2 "Maṇi-khaṇḍaṁ."

136:3 varapothakattharaṇam?

137:1 These terms are obscure. Cf. the scene of Darduraka in "The Toycart," Act II., and the Comm. on the Chāndogya-upanishad, IV.1. 4.

137:2 B d here adds six corrupt stanzas.

140:1 "Gharāvāsa-pañhaṁ."

140:2 varāvaram?

141:1 I read the line as ko na idha rañño abbhadhiko; the scholiast explains it as Ko nu.

141:2 "Lakkha- khaṇḍaṁ."

142:1 This line is obscure.

142:2 The bow must not be kept bent into too great a curve.

142:3 Or "let him not go contrary to other people."

143:1 katatto = kataṭṭo (kṛtārtha?).

143:2 So the scholiast seems to explain it.

143:3 Some line to this effect seems to have dropped from the text.

143:4 I would read aviraho.

143:5 "Rājavasati-khaṇḍaṁ."

144:1 This line is very obscure.

144:2 Cf. kaccāna, supra.

144:3 Or "the sacred text and its inner meaning."

145:1 Elsewhere Kātiyāna.

145:2 Is katte a vocative for katta?

146:1 Is this Kālagiri the same as the Kālapabbata, a peak of the Himālaya?

146:2 Here a verse paraphrase of the above has been omitted.

146:3 This Nāga is called Varuṇa afterwards.

147:1 So, the sky.

148:1 The wife of Kuvera.

149:1 This line seems corrupt and does not agree with the comm., which explains it "do not burn the wet hand." In the verses addo is translated here both "soiled" and "wet"; adubbha is the word used for "innocent."

149:2 Ie. the hand which had given him food?

150:1 Kuvera.

151:1 The same thought is repeated in different words after this passage.

151:2 See V. 1719—trans., p. 79.

151:3 See V. 17122 = trans., p. 79.

151:4  See V. 171 foll. = trans., p. 79, Sumaṅg.-Vil. I. 177.

152:1 The same dialogue is here repeated, with the gender altered to suit Vimalā.

152:2 anūnanāmo? in allusion to his name Puṇṇaka from pupa "full."

153:1 Milk, ghee, curds, buttermilk, and butter.

154:1 Kuvera.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 546.: The Mahā-Ummagga-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


No. 546.

THE MAHĀ-UMMAGGA-JĀTAKA 1.

"King Brahmadatta of Pañcāla," etc. The Teacher, while dwelling at Jetavana, told this about the perfection of knowledge. One day the Brethren sat in the Hall of Truth and described the Buddha's perfection of knowledge: "Brethren, the omniscient Buddha whose wisdom is vast, ready, swift, sharp, crushing heretical doctrines, after having converted, by the power of his own knowledge, the Brahmins Kūṭadanta and the rest, the ascetics Sabhiya and the rest, the thieves Aṅgulimāla &c., the yakkhas Āḷavaka &c., the gods Sakka and the rest, and the Brahmins Baka &c., made them humble, and ordained a vast multitude as ascetics and established them in the fruition of the paths of sanctification." The Teacher came up and asked what they were discoursing about, and when they told him, he replied, 3 "Not now only is the Buddha omniscient,—in past time also, before his knowledge was fully mature, he was full of all wisdom, as he went about for the sake of wisdom and knowledge," and then he told a story of the past.


In days gone by, a king named Vedeha ruled in Mithilā, and he had four sages who instructed him in the law, named Senaka, Pukkusa, Kāvinda, and Devinda. Now when the Bodhisatta was conceived in his mother's womb the king saw at dawn the following dream: four columns of fire blazed up in the four corners of the royal court as high as the great wall, and in the midst of them rose a flame of the size of a fire-fly, and at that moment it suddenly exceeded the four columns of fire and rose up as high as the Brahma world and illumined the whole world; even a grain of mustard-seed lying on the ground is distinctly seen. The world of men with the world of gods worshipped it with garlands and incense; a vast multitude passed through this flame but not even a hair of their skin was singed. The king when he saw this vision started up in terror and sat pondering what was going to happen, and waited for the dawn. The four wise men also when they came in the morning asked him whether he had

p. 157

slept well. "How could I sleep well," he replied, "when I have seen such a dream" Then Pandit Senaka replied, "Fear not, O king, it is an auspicious dream, thou wilt be prosperous," and when he was asked to explain, he went on, "O king, a fifth sage will be born who will surpass us four; we four are like the four columns of fire, but in the midst of us there will arise as it were a fifth column of fire, one who is unparalleled and fills a post which is unequalled in the world of gods or of men." "Where is he at this moment?" "O king, he will either assume a body or come out of his mother's womb"; thus did he by his science what he had seen by his divine eye and the king from that time forward remembered his words. Now at the four gates of Mithilā there were four market towns, called the East town, the South town, the West town, and the North town 1; 1 3 and in the East town there dwelt a certain rich man named Sirivaḍḍhaka, and his wife was named Sumanādevī. Now on that day when the king saw the vision, the Great Being went from the heaven of the Thirty-three and was conceived in her womb; and a thousand other sons of the gods went from that heaven and were conceived in the families of various wealthy merchants in that village, and at the end of the tenth month the lady Sumanā brought forth a child of the colour of gold. Now at that moment Sakka, as he looked over the world of mankind, beheld the Great Being's birth; and saying to himself that he ought to make known in the world of gods and men that this Buddha-shoot had sprung into being, he came up in a visible form as the child was being born and placed a piece of a medicinal herb in its hand, and then returned to his own dwelling. The Great Being seized it firmly in his closed hand; and as he came from his mother's womb she did not feel the slightest pain, but he passed out as easily as water from a sacred water-pot. When his mother saw the piece of the medicinal herb in his hand, she said to him, "My child, what is this which you have got?" He replied, "It is a medicinal plant, mother," and he placed it in her hand and told her to take it and give it to all who are afflicted with any sickness. Full of joy she told it to the merchant Sirivaḍḍhaka, who had suffered for seven years from a pain in his head. Full of joy he said to himself, "This child came out of his mother's womb holding a medicinal plant and as soon as he was born he talked with his mother; a medicine given by a being of such surpassing merit must possess great efficacy"; so he rubbed it on a grindstone and smeared a little of it on his forehead, and the pain in his head which had lasted seven years passed away at once like water from a lotus leaf. Transported with joy he exclaimed, "This is a medicine of marvellous efficacy "; the news spread on every side that the Great Being had been born with a medicine in his hand, and all who were sick crowded to the merchant's house and begged for the medicine. They gave a little to all who came, having

p. 158

rubbed some of it on a grindstone and mixed it with water, and as soon as the affected body was touched with the divine medicine all diseases were cured, and the delighted patients went away proclaiming the marvellous virtues of the medicine in the house of the merchant Sirivaḍḍhaka. 2 3 On the day of naming the child the merchant thought to himself, "My child need not be called after one of his ancestors; let him bear the name of the medicine," so he gave him the name Osadha Kumāra. Then he thought again, "My son possesses great merit, he will not be born alone, many other children will be born at the same time"; so hearing from his inquiries that thousands of other boys were born with him, he sent them all nurses and gave them clothes, and resolving that they should be his son's attendants he celebrated a festival for them with the Great Being and adorned the boys and brought them every day to wait upon him. The Great Being grew up playing with them, and when he was seven years old he was as beautiful as a golden statue. As he was playing with them in the village some elephants and other animals passed by and disturbed their games, and sometimes the children were distressed by the rain and the heat. Now one day as they played, an unseasonable rainstorm came on, and when the Great Being who was as strong as an elephant saw it, he ran into a house, and as the other children ran after him they fell over one another's feet and bruised their knees and other limbs. Then he thought to himself, "A hall for play ought to be built here, we will not play in this way," and he said to the boys, "Let us build a hall here where we can stand, sit, or lie in time of wind, hot sunshine, or rain,—let each one of you bring his piece of money." The thousand boys all did so and the Great Being sent for a master-carpenter and gave him the money, telling him to build a hall in that place. He took the money, and levelled the ground and cut posts and spread out the measuring line, but he did not grasp the Great Being's idea; so he told the carpenter how he was to stretch out his line so as to do it properly. He replied, "I have stretched it out according to my practical experience, I cannot do it in any other way." "If you do not know even so much as this how can you take our money and build a hall? Take the line, I will measure and shew you," so he made him take the line and himself drew out the plan, and it was done as if Vissakamma had done it. 3 Then he said to the carpenter, "Will you be able to draw out the plan in this way?" "I shall not be able, Sir." "Will you be able to do it by my instructions?" "I shall be able, Sir." Then the Great Being so arranged the hall that there was in one part a place for ordinary strangers, in another a lodging for the destitute, in another a place for the lying-in of destitute women, in another a lodging for stranger Buddhist priests and Brahmins, in another a lodging for other sorts of men, in another a place where foreign merchants should stow their goods, and all these apartments had doors opening

p. 159

outside. There also he had a public place erected for sports, and a court of justice, and a hall for religious assemblies. When the work was completed he summoned painters, and having himself examined them set them to work at painting beautiful pictures, so that the hall became like Sakka's heavenly palace Sudhammā. Still he thought that the palace was not yet complete, "I must have a tank constructed as well,"—so he ordered the ground to be dug for an architect and having discussed it with him and given him money he made him construct a tank with a thousand bends in the bank and a hundred bathing ghāts. The water was covered with the five kinds of lotuses and was as beautiful as the lake in the heavenly garden Nandana. On its bank he planted various trees and had a park made like Nandana. And near this hall he established a public distribution of alms to holy men whether Buddhists or Brahmins, and for strangers and for people from the neighbouring villages.

These actions of his were blazed abroad everywhere and crowds gathered to the place, and the Great Being used to sit in the hall and discuss the right and the wrong of the good or evil circumstances of all the petitioners who resorted there and gave his judgment on each, and it became like the happy time when a Buddha makes his appearance in the world.

Now at that time, when seven years had expired, King Vedeha remembered how the four sages had said that a fifth sage should be born who would surpass them in wisdom, and he said to himself, "Where is he now?" and he sent out his four councillors by the four gates of the city, bidding them to find out where he was. When they went out by the other three gates they saw no sign of the Great Being, but when they went out by the eastern gate they saw the hall and its various buildings and they felt sure at once that only a wise man could have built this palace or caused it to be built, 3 4 and they asked the people, "What architect built this hall?" They replied, "This palace was not built by any architect by his own power, but by the direction of Mahosadha Pandit, the son of the merchant Sirivaḍḍha." "How old is he?" "He has just completed his seventh year." The councillor reckoned up all the events from the day on which the king saw the dream and he said to himself, "This being fulfils the king's dream," and he sent a messenger with this message to the king: "Mahosadha, the son of the merchant Sirivaḍḍha in the East market town, who is now seven years old, has caused such a hall and tank and park to be made,—shall I bring him into thy presence or not?" When the king heard this he was highly delighted and sent for Senaka, and after relating the account he asked him whether he should send for this sage. But he, being envious of the title, replied, "O king, a man is not to be called a sage merely because he has caused halls and such things to be made; anyone can cause

p. 160

these things to be made, this is but a little matter." When the king heard his words he said to himself, "There must be some secret reason for all this," and was silent. Then he sent back the messenger with a command that the councillor should remain for a time in the place and carefully examine the sage. The councillor remained there and carefully investigated the sage's actions, and this is the series of the tests or cases of examination 1:

1. "The piece of meat 2." One day when the Great Being was going to the play-hall, a hawk carried off a piece of flesh from the slab of a slaughterhouse and flew up into the air; some lads, seeing it, determined to make him drop it and pursued him. The hawk flew in different directions, and they, looking up, followed behind and wearied themselves, flinging stones and other missiles and stumbling over one another. Then the sage said to them, "I will make him drop it," and they begged him to do so. He told them to look; and then himself with looking up he ran with the swiftness of the wind and trod upon the hawk's shadow and then clapping his hands uttered a loud shout. By his energy that shout seemed to pierce the bird's belly through and through and in its terror he dropped the flesh; and the Great Being, knowing by watching the shadow that it was dropped, 3 5 caught it in the air before it reached the ground. The people seeing the marvel, made a great noise, shouting and clapping their hands. The minister, hearing of it, sent an account to the king telling him how the sage had by this means made the bird drop the flesh. The king, when he heard of it, asked Senaka whether he should summon him to the court. Senaka reflected, "From the time of his coming I shall lose all my glory and the king will forget my existence,—I must not let him bring him here"; so in envy he said, "He is not a sage for such an action as this, this is only a small matter"; and the king being impartial, sent word that the minister should test him further where he was.

2. "The cattle 3."A certain man who dwelt in the village of Yavamajjhaka bought some cattle from another village and brought them home. The next day he took them to a field of grass to graze and rode on the back of one of the cattle. Being tired he got down and sat on the ground and fell asleep, and meanwhile a thief came and carried off the cattle. When he woke he saw not his cattle, but as he gazed on every side he beheld the thief running away. Jumping up he shouted, "Where are you taking my cattle?" "They are my cattle, and I am carrying them to the place which I wish." A great crowd collected as they heard the dispute. When the sage heard the noise as they passed by the door of the hall, he sent for them both. When he saw their behaviour

p. 161

he at once knew which was the thief and which the real owner. But though he felt sure, he asked them what they were quarrelling about. The owner said, "I bought these cattle from a certain person in such a village, and I brought them home and put them in a field of grass. This thief saw that I was not watching and came and carried them off. Looking in all directions I caught sight of him and pursued and caught him. The people of such a village know that I bought the cattle and took them." The thief replied, "This man speaks falsely, they were born in my house." The sage said, "I will decide your case fairly; will you abide by my decision?" and they promised so to abide. Then thinking to himself that he must win the hearts of the people he first asked the thief, "What have you fed these cattle with, and what have you given them to drink?" "They have drunk rice gruel and have been fed on sesame flour and kidney beans." Then he asked the real owner, who said, "My lord, how could a poor man like me get rice gruel and the rest? I fed them on grass." The pandit caused an assembly to be brought together and ordered panic seeds to be brought and ground in a mortar and moistened with water and given to the cattle, and they forthwith vomited only grass. He shewed this to the assembly, and then asked the thief, "Art thou the thief or not?" He confessed that he was the thief. He said to him, "Then do not commit such a sin henceforth." But the Bodhisatta's attendants carried the man away and cut off his hands and feet and made him helpless. Then the sage addressed him with words of good counsel, "This suffering has come upon thee only in this present life, but in the future life thou wilt suffer great torment in the different hells, therefore henceforth abandon such practices"; he taught him the five commandments. The minister sent an account of the incident to the king, who asked Senaka, but he advised him to wait, "It is only an affair about cattle and anybody could decide it." The king, being impartial, sent the same command. (This is to be understood in all the subsequent cases,—we shall give each in order according to the list.)

3. "The necklace of thread 1." A certain poor woman had tied together several threads of different colours and made them into a necklace, which she took off from her neck and placed on her clothes as she went down to bathe in a tank which the pandit had caused to be made. A young woman who saw this conceived a longing for it, took it up and said to her, "Mother, this is a very beautiful necklace, how much did it cost to make? 3 6 I will make such a one for myself. May I put it on my own neck and ascertain its size?" The other gave her leave, and she put it on her neck and ran off. The elder woman seeing it came quickly out of the water, and putting on her clothes ran after her and seized hold of her dress, crying, "You are running away with a; necklace which I made."

p. 162

[paragraph continues] The other replied, "I am not taking anything of yours, it is the necklace which I wear on my neck"; and a great crowd collected as they heard this. The sage, while he played with the boys, heard them quarrelling as they passed by the door of the hall and asked what the noise was about. When he heard the cause of the quarrel he sent for them both, and having known at once by her countenance which was the thief, he asked them whether they would abide by his decision. On their both agreeing to do so, he asked the thief, "What scent do you use for this necklace?" She replied, "I always use sabbasaṁhhāraka 1 to scent it with." Then he asked the other, who replied, "How shall a poor woman like me get sabbasaṁhāraka? I always scent it with perfume made of piyaṅgu flowers." Then the sage had a vessel of water brought and put the necklace in it. Then he sent for a perfume-seller and told him to smell the vessel and find out what it smelt of. He directly recognised the smell of the piyaṅgu flower, and quoted the stanza which has been already given in the first book 2:

"No omnigatherum it is; only the kaṅgu smells;
Yon wicked woman told a lie; the truth the gammer tells."

The Great Being told the bystanders all the circumstances and asked each of them respectively, "Art thou the thief? Art thou not the thief?" and made the guilty one confess, and from that time his wisdom became known to the people.

4. "The cotton thread." A certain woman who used to watch cotton fields was watching one day and she took some clean cotton and spun some fine thread and made it into a ball and placed it in her lap. As she went home she thought to herself, "I will bathe in the great sage's tank," so she placed the ball on her dress and went down into the tank to bathe. Another woman saw it, and conceiving a longing for it took it up, saying, "This is a beautiful ball of thread; pray did you make it yourself?" So she lightly snapped her fingers and put it in her lap as if to examine it more closely, and walked off with it. (This is to be told at full as before.) The sage asked the thief, "When you made the ball what did you put inside 3?" She replied, "A cotton seed." Then he asked the other, and she replied, "A timbaru seed." When the crowd had heard what each said, he untwisted the ball of cotton and found a timbaru seed inside and forced the thief to confess her guilt. The great multitude were highly pleased and shouted their applause at the way in which the case had been decided.

p. 163

5. "The son." A certain woman took her son and went down to the sage's tank to wash her face. After she had bathed her son she laid him in her dress and having washed her own face went to bathe. At that moment a female goblin saw the child and wished to eat it, so she took hold of the dress and said, "My friend, this is a fine child, is he your son?" Then she asked if she might give him suck, and on obtaining the mother's consent, she took him and played with him for a while and then tried to run off with him. The other ran after her and seized hold of her, shouting, "Whither are you carrying my child?" The goblin replied, "Why do you touch the child? he is mine." As they wrangled they passed by the door of the hall, and the sage, hearing the noise, sent for them and asked what was the matter. When he heard the story, 3 although he knew at once by her red unwinking eyes that one of them was a goblin, he asked them whether they would abide by his decision. On their promising to do so, he drew a line and laid the child in the middle of the line and bade the goblin seize the child by the hands and the mother by the feet. Then he said to them, "Lay hold of it and pull; the child is hers who can pull it over." They both pulled, and the child, being pained while it was pulled, uttered a loud cry. Then the mother, with a heart which seemed ready to burst, let the child go and stood weeping. The sage asked the multitude, "Is it the heart of the mother which is tender towards the child or the heart of her who is not the mother?" They answered, "The mother's heart." "Is she the mother who kept hold of the child or she who let it go?" They replied, "She who let it go." "Do you know who she is who stole the child?" "We do not know, O sage." "She is a goblin,—she seized it in order to eat it." When they asked how he knew that he replied, "I knew her by her unwinking and red eyes and by her casting no shadow and by her fearlessness and want of mercy." Then he asked her what she was, and she confessed that she was a goblin. "Why did you seize the child?" "To eat it." "You blind fool," he said, "you committed sin in old time and so were born as a goblin; and now you still go on committing sin, blind fool that you are." Then he exhorted her and established her in the five precepts and sent her away; and the mother blessed him, and saying, "May’st thou live long, my lord," took her son and went her way.

6. "The black ball." There was a certain man who was called Goḷakāḷa,—now he got the name gola "ball" from his dwarfish size, and kāḷa from his black colour. He worked in a certain house for seven years and obtained a wife, and she was named Dīghatālā. One day he said to her, "Wife, cook some sweetmeats and food, we will pay a visit to your parents." At first she opposed the plan, saying, "What have I to do with parents now?" but after the third time of asking he induced her to cook some cakes, and having taken some provisions and a present he

p. 164

set out on the journey with her. In the course of the journey he came to a stream which was not really deep, but they, being both afraid of water, dared not cross it and stood on the bank. Now a poor man named Dīghapiṭṭhi came to that place as he walked along the bank, and when they saw him they asked him whether the river was deep or shallow. Seeing that they were afraid of the water he told them that it was very deep and full of voracious fish. "How then will you go across it?" "I have struck up a friendship with the crocodiles and monsters that live here, and therefore they do not hurt me." "Do take us with you," they said. When he consented they gave him some meat and drink; and when he finished his meal he asked them which he should carry over first. "Take your sister first and then take me," said Goḷakaḷā. Then the man placed her on his shoulders and took the provisions and the present and went down into the stream. When he had gone a little way, he crouched down and walked along in a bent posture. Goḷakāḷa, as he stood on the bank, thought to himself, "This stream must indeed be very deep; if it is so difficult for even such a man as Dīghapiṭṭhi, it must be impassable for me." When the other had carried the woman to the middle of the stream, he said to her, "Lady, I will cherish you, and you shall live bravely arrayed with fine dresses and ornaments and men-servants and maidservants; what will this poor dwarf do for you? listen to what I tell you." She listened to his words and ceased to love her husband, and being at once infatuated with the stranger, she consented, saying, "If you will not abandon me, I will do as you say." So when they reached the opposite bank, they amused themselves and left Goḷakāḷa, bidding him stay where he was. While he stood there looking on, they ate up the meat and drink and departed. When he saw it, he exclaimed, "They have struck up a friendship and are running away, leaving me here." 3 As he ran backwards and forwards he went a little way into the water and then drew back again in fear, and then in his anger at their conduct, he made a desperate leap, saying, "Let me live or die," and when once fairly in, he discovered how shallow the water was. So he crossed it and pursued him and shouted, "You wicked thief, whither are you carrying my wife?" The other replied, "How is she your wife? she is mine"; and he seized him by the neck and whirled him round and threw him off. The other laid hold of Dīghatālā's hand and shouted, "Stop, where are you going? you are my wife whom I got after working for seven years in a house"; and as he thus disputed he came near the hall. A great crowd collected. The Great Being asked what the noise was about, and having sent for them and heard what each said he asked whether they would abide by his decision. On their both agreeing to do so, he sent for Dīghapiṭṭhi and asked him his name. Then he asked his wife's name, but he, not knowing what it was, mentioned some other name.

p. 165

[paragraph continues] Then he asked him the names of his parents and he told them, but when he asked him the names of his wife's parents he, not knowing, mentioned some other names. The Great Being put his story together and had him removed. Then he sent for the other and asked him the names of all in the same way. He, knowing the truth, gave them correctly. Then he had him removed and sent for Dīghatālā and asked her what her name was and she gave it. Then he asked her her husband's name and she, not knowing, gave a wrong name. Then he asked her her parents' names and she gave them correctly, but when he asked her the names of her husband's parents' names, she talked at random and gave wrong names. Then the sage sent for the other two and asked the multitude, "Does the woman's story agree with Dīghapiṭṭhi or Goḷakāḷa." They replied, "With Goḷakāḷa." Then he pronounced his sentence, "This man is her husband, the other is a thief"; and when he asked him he made him confess that he had acted as the thief.

7. "The chariot." A certain man, who was sitting in a chariot, alighted from it to wash his face. At that moment Sakka was considering and as he beheld the sage he resolved that he would make known the power and wisdom of Mahosadha the embryo Buddha. So he came down in the form of a man 1, and followed the chariot holding on behind. The man who sat in the chariot asked, "Why have you come?" He replied, "To serve you." The man agreed, and dismounting from the chariot went aside at a call of nature. Immediately Sakka mounted in the chariot and went off at speed. The owner of the chariot, his business done, returned; and when he saw Sakka hurrying away with the chariot, he ran quickly behind, crying, "Stop, stop, where are you taking my chariot?" Sakka replied, "Your chariot must be another, this is mine." Thus wrangling they came to the gate of the hall. The sage asked, "What is this?" and sent for him: as he came, by his fearlessness and his eyes which winked not, the sage knew that this was Sakka and the other was the owner. Nevertheless he enquired the cause of the quarrel, and asked them, "Will you abide by my decision?" They said, "Yes." He went on, "I will cause the chariot to be driven, and you must both hold on behind: the owner will not let go, the other will." Then he told a man to drive the chariot, and he did so, the others holding on behind. The owner 2 went a little way, then being unable to run further he let go, but Sakka went on running with the chariot. When he had recalled the chariot, the sage said to the people: "This man ran a little way 3 and let go; the other ran out with the chariot and came back with it, yet there is not a drop of sweat on his body, no panting, he is fearless, his eyes wink not—

p. 166

this is Sakka, king of the gods." Then he asked, "Are you king of the gods?" "Yes." "Why did you come here?" "To spread the fame of your wisdom, O sage!" "Then," said he, "don't do that kind of thing again." Now Sakka revealed his power by standing poised in the air, and praised the sage, saying, "A wise judgment this!" So he went to his own place. Then the minister unsummoned went to the king, and said, "O great king, thus was the Chariot Question resolved: and even Sakka was subdued by him; why do you not recognise superiority in men?" The king asked Senaka, "What say you, Senaka, shall we bring the sage here?" Senaka replied, "That is not all that makes a sage. Wait awhile: I will test him and find out."

8. "The pole." So one day, with a view of testing the sage, they fetcht an acacia pole, and cutting off about a span, they had it nicely smoothed by a turner, and sent it to the East Market-town, with this message: "The people of the Market-town have a name for wisdom. Let them find out then which end is the top and which the root of this stick. If they cannot, there is a fine of a thousand pieces." The people gathered together but could not find it out, and they said to their foreman, "Perhaps Mahosadha the sage would know; send and ask him." The foreman sent for the sage from his playground, and told him the matter, how they could not find it out but perhaps he could. The sage thought in himself, "The king can gain nothing from knowing which is the top and which is the root; no doubt it is sent to test me." He said, "Bring it here, my friends, I will find out." Holding it in his hand, he knew which was the top and which the root; yet to please the heart of the people, he sent for a pot of water, and tied a string round the middle of the stick, and holding it by the end of the string he let it down to the surface of the water. The root being heavier sank first. Then he asked the people, "Is the root of a tree heavier, or the top?" "The root, wise sir!" "See then, this part sinks first, and this is therefore the root." By this mark he distinguished the root from the top. The people sent it back to the king, distinguishing which was the root and which was the top. The king was pleased, and asked, who had found it out? They said, "The sage Mahosadha, son of foreman Sirivaddhi." "Senaka, shall we send for him?" he asked. "Wait, my lord," he replied, "let us try him in another way."

9. "The head." One day, two heads were brought, one a woman's and one a man's; these were sent to be distinguished, with a fine of a thousand pieces in case of failure. The villagers could not decide and asked the Great Being. He recognised them at sight, because, they say, the sutures in a man's head are straight, and in a woman's head they are crooked. By this mark he told which was which; and they sent back to the king. The rest is as before.

p. 167

10. "The snake." One day a male and a female snake were brought, and sent for the villagers to decide which was which. They asked the sage, and he knew at once when he saw them; for the tail of the male snake is thick, that of the female is thin; the male snake's head is thick, the female's is long; the eyes of the male are big, of the female small, the head 1 of the male is rounded, that of the female cut short. By these signs 3 4 he distinguished male from female. The rest is as before.

11. "The cock." One day a message was sent to the people of the East Market-town to this effect: "Send us a bull white all over, with horns on his legs, and a hump on the head, which utters his voice at three times 2 unfailingly; otherwise there is a fine of a thousand pieces." Not knowing one, they asked the sage. He said: "The king means you to send him a cock. This creature has horns on his feet, the spurs; a hump on his head, the crest; and crowing thrice utters his voice at three times unfailingly. Then send him a cock such as he describes." They sent one.

12. "The gem." The gem which Sakka gave to King Kusa was octagonal. Its thread was broken, and no one could remove the old thread and put in a new. One day they sent this gem, with directions to take out the old thread and to put in a new; the villagers could do neither the one nor the other, and in their difficulty they told the sage. He bade them fear nothing, and asked for a lump of honey. With this he smeared the two holes in the gem, and twisting a thread of wool, he smeared the end of this also with honey, he pushed it a little way into the hole, and put it in a place where ants were passing. The ants smelling the honey came out of their hole, and eating away the old thread bit hold of the end of the woollen thread and pulled it out at the other end. When he saw that it had passed through, he bade them present it to the king, who was pleased when he heard how the thread had been put in.

13. "The calving." The royal bull was fed up for some months, so that his belly swelled out, his horns were washed, he was anointed with oil, and bathed with turmeric, and then they sent him to the East Market-town, with this message: "You have a name for wisdom. Here is the king's royal bull, in calf; deliver him and send him back with the calf, or else there is a fine of a thousand pieces." The villagers, perplexed what to do, applied to the sage; who thought fit to meet one question with another, and asked, "Can you find a bold man able to speak to the king?" "That is no hard matter," they replied. So they summoned him, and the Great Being said—"Go, my good man, let your hair down loose over your shoulders, and go to the palace gate weeping and lamenting sore. Answer

p. 168

none but the king, only lament; and if the king sends for you to ask why you lament, say, This seven days my son is in labour and cannot bring forth; O help me! tell me how I may deliver him! Then the king will say, What madness! this is impossible; men do not bear children. Then you must say, If that be true, how can the people of the East Market-town deliver your royal bull of a calf?" As he was bidden, so he did. The king asked who thought of that counter-quip; and on hearing that it was the sage Mahosadha he was pleased.

14. "The boiled rice." Another day, to test the sage, this message was sent: "The people of the East Market-town must send us some boiled rice cooked under eight conditions, and these are—[341] without rice, without water, without a pot, without an oven, without fire, without firewood, without being sent along a road either by woman or man. If they cannot do it, there is a fine of a thousand pieces." The people perplext applied to the sage; who said, "Be not troubled, Take some broken rice 1, for that is not rice; snow, for that is not water; an earthen bowl, which is no pot; chop up some wood-blocks, which are no oven; kindle fire by rubbing, instead of a proper fire; take leaves instead of firewood; cook your sour rice, put it in a new vessel, press it well down, put it on the head of a eunuch, who is neither man nor woman, leave the main road and go along a footpath, and take it to the king." They did so; and the king was pleased when he heard by whom the question had been solved.

15. "The sand." Another day, to test the sage, they sent this message to the villagers: "The king wishes to amuse himself in a swing, and the old rope is broken; you are to make a rope of sand, or else pay a fine of a thousand pieces." They knew not what to do, and appealed to the sage, who saw that this was the place for a counter-question. He reassured the people; and sending for two or three clever speakers, he bade them go tell the king: "My lord, the villagers do not know whether the sand-rope is to be thick or thin; send them a bit of the old rope, a span long or four fingers; this they will look at and twist a rope of the same size." If the king replied, "Sand-rope there never was in my house," they were to reply, "If your majesty cannot make a sand-rope, how can the villagers do so?" They did so; and the king was pleased on hearing that the sage had thought of this counter-quip.

16. "The tank." Another day, the message was: "The king desires to disport him in the water; you must send me a new tank covered with water lilies of all five kinds, otherwise there is a fine of a thousand pieces." They told the sage, who saw that a counter-quip was wanted. He sent for several men clever at speaking, and said to them: "Go and play in the water till your eyes are red, go to the palace door with wet hair and wet

p. 169

garments and your bodies all over mud, holding in your hands ropes, staves, and clods; send word to the king of your coming, and when you are admitted say to him, Sire, inasmuch as your majesty has ordered the people of the East Market-town to send you a tank, we brought a great tank to suit your taste; but she being used to a life in the forest, no sooner saw the town with its walls, moats, and watch-towers, than she took fright and broke the ropes and off into the forest: we pelted her with clods and beat her with sticks but could not make her come back. Give us then the old tank which your majesty is said to have brought from the forest, and we will yoke them together and bring the other back. The king will say, I never had a tank brought in from the forest, 2 3 4 and never send a tank there to be yoked and bring in another! Then you must say, If that is so, how can the villagers send you a tank?" They did so; and the king was pleased to hear that the sage had thought of this.

17. "The park." Again on a day the king sent a message: "I wish to disport me in the park, and my park is old. The people of the East Market-town must send me a new park, filled with trees and flowers." The sage reassured them as before, and sent men to speak in the same manner as above.

18. Then the king was pleased, and said to Senaka: "Well, Senaka, shall we send for the sage?" But he, grudging the other's prosperity, said, "That is not all that makes a sage; wait." On hearing this the king thought, "The sage Mahosadha was wise even as a child, and took my fancy. In all these mysterious tests and counter-quips he has given answers like a Buddha. Yet such a wise man as this Senaka will not let me summon him to my side. What care I for Senaka? I will bring the man here." So with a great following he set out for the village, mounted upon his royal horse. But as he went the horse put his foot into a hole and broke his leg; so the king turned back from that place to the town. Then Senaka entered the presence and said: "Sire, did you go to the East Market-town to bring the sage back?" "Yes, sir," said the king. "Sire," said Senaka, "you make me as one of no account. I begged you to wait awhile; but off you went in a hurry, and at the outset your royal horse broke his leg." The king had nothing to say to this. Again on a day he asked Senaka, "Shall we send for the sage, Senaka?" "If so, your majesty, don't go yourself but send a messenger, saying, O sage! as I was on my way to fetch you my horse broke his leg: send us a better horse and a more excellent one 1. If he takes the first alternative he will come himself, if the second he will send his father. Then will be a problem to test him." The king sent a messenger with this message. The sage on hearing it recognised that the king wished to see himself and

p. 170

his father. So he went to his father, and said greeting him, "Father, the king wishes to see you and me. You go first with a thousand merchants in attendance; and when you go, go not empty-handed, but take a sandalwood casket filled with fresh ghee. The king will speak kindly to you, and offer you a householder's seat; take it and sit down. When you are seated, I will come; the king will speak kindly to me and offer me such another seat. Then I will look at you; take the cue and say, rising from your seat, Son Mahosadha the wise, take this seat. Then the question will be ripe for solution." He did so. On arriving at the palace door he caused his arrival to be made known to the king, and on the king's invitation, he entered, and greeted the king, and stood on one side. The king spoke to him kindly, and asked where was his son the wise Mahosadha. "Coming after me, my lord." The king was pleased to hear of his coming, and bade the father sit in a suitable place. He found a place and sat there. 3 4 Meanwhile the Great Being drest himself in all his splendour, and attended by the thousand youths he came seated in a magnificent chariot. As he entered the town he beheld an ass by the side of a ditch, and he directed some stout fellows to fasten up the mouth of the ass so that it should make no noise, to put him in a bag and carry him on their shoulders. They did so; the Bodhisat entered the city with his great company. The people could not praise him enough. "This," they cried, "is the wise Mahosadha, the merchant Sirivaḍḍhaka's son; this they say is he, who was born holding a herb of virtue in his hand; he it is who knew the answers to so many problems set to test him." On arriving before the palace he sent in word of his coming. The king was pleased to hear it and said, "Let my son the wise Mahosadha make haste to come in." So with his attendants he entered the palace and saluted the king and stood on one side. The king delighted to see him spoke to him very sweetly, and bade him find a fit seat and sit down. He looked at his father, and his father at this cue uprose from his seat and invited him to sit there, which he did. Thereupon the foolish men who were there, Senaka, Pukkusa, Kāvinda, Devinda, and others, seeing him sit there, clapt their hands and laughed loudly and cried, "This is the blind fool they call wise! He has made his father rise from his seat, and sits there himself! Wise he should not be called surely." The king also was crestfallen. Then the Great Being said, "Why, my lord! are you sad?" "Yes, wise sir, I am sad. I was glad to hear of you, but to see you I am not glad." "Why so?" "Because you have made your father rise from his seat, and sit there yourself." "What, my lord! do you think that in all cases the sire is better than the sons?" "Yes, sir." "Did you not send word to me to bring you the better horse or the more excellent horse?" So saying he rose up and looking towards the young fellows, said, "Bring in the ass you have brought." Placing this ass

p. 171

before the king he went on, "Sire, what is the price of this ass?" The king said, "If it be serviceable, it is worth eight rupees." "But if he get a mule colt out of a thorobred Sindh mare, what will the price of it be?" "It will be priceless." "Why do you say that, my lord? Have you not just said that in all cases the sire is better than the sons? By your own saying the ass is worth more than the mule colt. Now have not your wise men clapt their hands and laughed at me because they did not know that? What wisdom is this of your wise men! where did you get them?" And in contempt for all four of them he addrest the king in this stanza of the First Book 1:

"Thinkst thou that the sire is always better than the son, O excellent king?
Then is yon creature better than the mule; the ass is the mule's sire 2."

After this said, 3 4 he went on, "My lord, if the sire is better than the son, take my sire into your service; if the son is better than the sire, take me." The king was delighted; and all the company cried out applauding and praising a thousand times—"Well indeed has the wise man solved the question." There was cracking of fingers and waving of a thousand scarves: the four were crestfallen.

Now no one knows better than the Bodhisat the value of parents. If one ask then, why he did so: it was not to throw contempt on his father, but when the king sent the message, "send the better horse or the more excellent horse," he did thus in order to solve that problem, and to make his wisdom to be recognised, and to take the shine out of the four sages 3.

The king was pleased; and taking the golden vase filled with scented water, poured the water upon the merchant's hand, saying, "Enjoy the East Market-town as a gift from the king.—Let the other merchants," he went on, "be subordinate to this." This done he sent to the mother of the Bodhisat all kinds of ornaments. Delighted as he was at the Bodhisat's solution of the Ass Question, he wished to make the Bodhisat as his own son, and to the father said, "Good sir, give me the Great Being to be my son." He replied, "Sire, very young is he still; even yet his mouth smells of milk: but when he is old, he shall be with you." The king said however, "Good sir, henceforth you must give up your attachment to the boy; from this day he is my son. I can support my son, so go your ways." Then he sent him away. He did obeisance to the king, and embraced his son, and throwing his arms about him kissed him upon the head, and gave him good counsel. The boy also bade his father farewell, and begged him not to be anxious, and sent him away.

The king then asked the sage, whether he would take his meals inside the palace or without it. He thinking that with so large a retinue it

p. 172

were best to have his meals outside the palace, replied to that effect. Then the king gave him a suitable house, and providing for the maintenance of the thousand youths and all, gave him all that was needful. From that time the sage attended upon the king.

19. Now the king desired to test the sage. At that time there was a precious jewel in a crow's nest on a palm-tree which stood on the bank of a lake near the southern gate, and the image of this jewel was to be seen reflected upon the lake. They told the king that there was a jewel in the lake. He sent for Senaka, 3 4 5 saying, "They tell me there is a jewel in the lake; how are we to get it?" Senaka said, "The best way is to drain out the water." The king instructed him to do so; and he collected a number of men, and got out the water and mud, and dug up the soil at the bottom—but no jewel could he see. But when the lake was again full, there was the reflexion of the jewel to be seen once more. Again Senaka did the same thing, and found no jewel. Then the king sent for the sage, and said, "A jewel has been seen in the lake, and Senaka has taken out the water and mud and dug up the earth without finding it, but no sooner is the lake full than it appears again. Can you get hold of it?" He replied, "That is no hard task, sire, I will get it for you." The king was pleased at this promise, and with a great following he went to the lake, ready to see the might of the sage's knowledge. The Great Being stood on the bank, and looked. He perceived that the jewel was not in the lake, but must be in the tree, and he said aloud, "Sire, there is no jewel in the tank." "What! is it not visible in the water?" So he sent for a pail of water, and said, "Now my lord, see—is not this jewel visible both in the pail and the lake?" "Then where can the jewel be?" "Sire, it is the reflexion which is visible both in the lake and in the pail, but the jewel is in a crow's nest in this palm-tree: send up a man and have it brought down." The king did so: the man brought down the jewel, and the sage put it into the king's hand. All the people applauded the sage and mocked at Senaka—"Here's a precious jewel in a crow's nest up a tree, and Senaka makes strong men dig out the lake! Surely a wise man should be like Mahosadha 1." Thus they praised the Great Being; and the king being delighted with him, gave him a necklace of pearls from his own neck, and strings of pearls to the thousand boys, and to him and his retinue he granted the right to wait upon him without ceremony 2.

Again, on a day the king went with the sage into the park; 3 4 6 when a chameleon, which lived on the top of the arched gateway, saw the king approach and came down and lay flat upon the ground. The king seeing this asked, "What is he doing, wise sir?" "Paying respect to

p. 173

you, sire." "If so, let not his service be without reward; give him a largess." "Sire, a largess is of no use to him; all he wants is something to eat." "And what does he eat?" "Meat, sire." "How much ought he to have?" "A farthing's worth, sire." "A farthing's worth is no gift from a king," said the king, and he sent a man with orders to bring regularly and give to the chameleon a half-anna's worth of meat. This was done thereafter. But on a fast day, when there is no killing, the man could find no meat; so he bored a hole through the half-anna piece, and strung it upon a thread, and tied it upon the chameleon's neck. This made the creature proud. That day the king again went into the park; but the chameleon as he saw the king draw near, in pride of wealth made himself equal to the king, thinking within himself—"You may be very rich, Vedeha, but so am I." So he did not come down, but lay still on the archway, stroking his head. The king seeing this said, "Wise sir, this creature does not come down to-day as usual; what is the reason?" and he recited the first stanza:

    

"Yon chameleon used not to climb upon the archway: explain, Mahosadha,
why the chameleon has become stiff-necked."

The sage perceived that the man must have been unable to find meat on this fast day when there was no killing, and that the creature must have become proud because of the coin hung about his neck; so he recited this stanza:

    

"The chameleon has got what he never had before, a half-anna piece; hence
he despises Vedeha lord of Mithilā."

[347] The king sent for the man and questioned him, and he told him all about it truly. Then he was more than ever pleased with the sage, who (it seemed) knew the idea of the chameleon, without asking any questions, with a wisdom like the supreme wisdom of a Buddha; so he gave him the revenue taken at the four gates. Being angry with the chameleon, he thought of discontinuing the gift, but the sage told him that it was unfitting and dissuaded him 1.

Now a lad Piṅguttara living in Mithilā came to Takkasilā, and studied under a famous teacher, and soon completed his education; then after diligent study he proposed to take leave of his teacher and go. But in this teacher's family there was a custom, that if there should be a daughter ripe for marriage she should be given to the eldest pupil. This teacher had a daughter beautiful as a nymph divine, so he said, "My son, I will give you my daughter and you shall take her with you." Now this lad was unfortunate and unlucky, but the girl was very lucky. When he saw her he did not care for her; but though he said so, he agreed, not wishing to disregard his master's words, and the brahmin married the

p. 174

daughter to him. Night came, when he lay upon the prepared bed; no sooner had she got into the bed than up he got groaning and lay down upon the floor. She got out and lay beside him, then he got up and went to bed again; when she came into the bed again he got out—for ill luck cannot mate with good luck. So the girl stayed in bed and he stayed on the ground. Thus they spent seven days. Then he took leave of his teacher and departed taking her with him. On the road there was not so much as an exchange of talk between them. Both unhappy they came to Mithilā. Not far from the town, Piṅguttara saw a fig-tree covered with fruit, and being hungry he climbed up and ate some of the figs. The girl also being hungry came to the foot of the tree and called out—"Throw down some fruit for me too." "What!" says he, "have you no hands or feet? Climb up and get it yourself." She climbed up also and ate. No sooner did he see that she had climbed than he came down quickly, 3 4 and piled thorns around the tree, and made off saying to himself—"I have got rid of the miserable woman at last." She could not get down, but remained sitting where she was. Now the king, who had been amusing himself in the forest, was coming back to town on his elephant in the evening time when he saw her, and fell in love; so he sent to ask had she a husband or no. She replied, "Yes, I have a husband to whom my family gave me; but he has gone away and left me here alone." The courtier told this tale to the king, who said, "Treasure trove belongs to the Crown." She was brought down and placed on the elephant and conveyed to the palace, where she was sprinkled with the water of consecration as his queen consort. Dear and darling she was to him; and the name Udumbarā or Queen Fig was given to her because he first saw her upon a fig-tree.

One day after this, they who dwelt by the city gate had to clean the road for the king to go disporting into his park; and Piṅguttara, who had to earn his living, tucked up his clothes and set to work clearing the road with a hoe. Before the road was clean the king with Queen Udumbarā came along in a chariot; and the queen seeing the wretch clearing the road could not restrain her triumph, but smiled to see the wretch there. The king was angry to see her smile, and asked why she did so. "My lord," she said, "that road-cleaner fellow is my former husband, who made me climb up the fig-tree and then piled thorns about it and left me; when I saw him I could not help feeling triumphant at my good fortune, and smiled to see the wretch there." The king said, "You lie, you laughed at someone else, and I will kill you!" And he drew his sword. She was alarmed and said, "Sire, pray ask your wise men!" The king asked Senaka whether he believed her. "No, my lord, I do not," said Senaka, "for who would leave such a woman if he once possest her?" When she heard this she was more frightened than ever. But the king

p. 175

thought, "What does Senaka know about it? I will ask the sage"; and asked him reciting this stanza 1:

"Should a woman be virtuous and fair, and a man not desire her—do you believe it Mahosadha?"

[349] The sage replied:

"O king, I do believe it: the man would be an unlucky wretch; good luck and ill luck never can mate together."

These words allayed the king's anger, and his heart was calmed, and much pleased he said, "O wise man! if you had not been here, I should have trusted the words of that fool Senaka and lost this precious woman: you have saved me my queen." He recompensed the sage with a thousand pieces of money. Then the queen said to the king respectfully, "Sire, it is all through this wise man that my life has been saved; grant me the boon, that I may treat him as my youngest brother." "Yes, my queen, I consent, the boon is granted." "Then, my lord, from this day I will eat no dainties without my brother, from this day in season and out of season my door shall be open to send him sweet food—this boon I crave." "You may have this boon also, my lady," quoth the king. Here endeth the Question of Good and Bad Luck 2.

Another day, the king after breakfast was walking up and down in the long walk when he saw through a doorway a goat and a dog making friends. Now this goat was in the habit of eating the grass thrown to the elephants beside their stable before they touched it; the elephant-keepers beat it and drove it away; and as it ran away bleating, one man ran quickly after and struck it on the back with a stick. The goat with its back humped in pain went and lay down by the great wall of the palace, on a bench. Now there was a dog which had fed all its days upon the bones, skin, and refuse of the royal kitchen. That same day the cook had finished preparing the food, and had dished it up, and while he was wiping the sweat off his body the dog could no longer bear the smell of the meat and fish, and entered the kitchen, pushed off the cover 3 5 and began eating the meat. But the cook hearing the noise of the dishes ran in and saw the dog: he clapt to the door and beat it with sticks and stones. The dog dropt the meat from his mouth and ran off yelping; and the cook seeing him run, ran after and struck him full on the back with a stick. The dog humping his back and holding up one leg came to the place where the goat was lying. Then the goat said, "Friend, why do you hump your back? Are you suffering from colic?" The dog replied, "You are humping your back too, have you an attack of colic?" He told his tale. Then the goat added, "Well, can you ever go to the kitchen again?" "No, it is as

p. 176

much as my life's worth.—Can you go to the stable again?" "No more than you, ’tis as much as my life's worth." Well, they began to wonder how they could live. Then the goat said, "If we could manage to live together I have an idea." "Pray tell it." "Well, sir, you must go to the stable; the elephant-keepers will take no notice of you, for (think they) he eats no grass; and you must bring me my grass. I will go to the kitchen, and the cook will take no notice of me, thinking that I eat no meat, so I will bring you your meat." "That's a good plan," said the other, and they made a bargain of it: the dog went to the stable and brought a bundle of grass in his teeth and laid it beside the great wall; the other went to the kitchen and brought away a great lump of meat in his mouth to the sane place. The dog ate the meat and the goat ate the grass; and so by this device they lived together in harmony by the great wall. When the king saw their friendship he thought—"Never have I seen such a thing before. Here are two natural enemies living in friendship together. I will put this in the form of a question to my wise men; those who cannot understand it I will banish from the realm, and if anyone guesses it 1 3 5 I will declare him the sage incomparable and shew him all honour. There is no time to-day; but to-morrow when they come to wait upon me I will ask them the question. So next day when the wise men had come to wait upon him, he put his question in these words:

"Two natural enemies, who never before in the world could come within seven paces of each other, have become friends and go inseparable. What is the reason?"

After this he added another stanza:

"If this day before noon you cannot solve me this question, I will banish you all. I have no need of ignorant men."

Now Senaka was seated in the first seat, the sage in the last; and thought the sage to himself, "This king is too slow of wit to have thought out this question by himself, he must have seen something. If I can get one day's grace I will solve the riddle. Senaka is sure to find some means to postpone it for a day." And the other four wise men could see nothing, being like men in a dark room: Senaka looked at the Bodhisat to see what he would do, the Bodhisat looked at Senaka. By the way Mahosadha looked Senaka perceived his state of mind; he sees that even this wise man does not understand the question, he cannot answer it to-day but wants a day's grace; he would fulfil this wish. So he laughed loudly in a reassuring manner and said, "What, sire, you will banish us all if we cannot answer your question?" "Yes, sir." "Ah, you know that it is a knotty question, and we cannot solve it; do but wait a little. A knotty question cannot be solved in a crowd. We will think it over,

p. 177

and afterwards 2 3 5 explain it to you. So let us have a chance." So he said relying on the Great Being, and then recited these two stanzas:

"In a great crowd, where is a great din of people assembled, our minds are distracted, our thoughts cannot concentrate, and we cannot solve the question. But alone, calm in thought, apart they will go and ponder on the matter, in solitude grappling with it firmly, then they will solve it for thee, O lord of men."

The king, exasperated though he was at his speech, said, threatening them, "Very well, think it over and tell me; if you do not, I will banish you." The four wise men left the palace, and Senaka said to the others, "Friends, a delicate question this which the king has put; if we cannot solve it there is great fear for us. So take a good meal and reflect carefully." After this they went each to his own house. The sage on his part rose and sought out Queen Udumbarā, and to her he said, "O queen, where was the king most of to-day and yesterday?" "Walking up and down the long walk, good sir, and looking out of the window." "Ah," thought the Bodhisat, "he must have seen something there." So he went to the place and looked out and saw the doings of the goat and the dog. "The king's question is solved!" he concluded, and home he went. The three others found out nothing, and came to Senaka, who asked, "Have you found out the question?" "No, master." "If so, the king will banish you, and what will you do?" "But you have found it out?" "Indeed no, not I." "If you cannot find it out, how can we? We roared like lions before the king, and said, Let us think and we will solve it; and now if we cannot, he will be angry. What are we to do?" "This question is not for us to solve: 3 5 no doubt the sage has solved it in a hundred ways." "Then let us go to him." So they came all four to the Bodhisat's door, and sent to announce their coming, and entering spoke politely to him; then standing on one side they asked the Great Being, "Well, sir, have you thought out the question?" "If I have not, who will? Of course I have." "Then tell us too." He thought to himself, "If I do not tell them, the king will banish them, and will honour me with the seven precious things. But let not these fools perish—I will tell them." So he made them sit down on low seats, and to uplift their hands in salutation, and without telling them what the king had really seen, he composed four stanzas, and taught them one each in the Pāli language, to recite when the king should ask them, and sent them away. Next day they went to wait on the king, and sat where they were told to sit, and the king asked Senaka, "Have you solved the question, Senaka?" "Sire, if I do not know it who can?" "Tell me, then." "Listen, my lord," and he recited a stanza as he had been taught:

"Young beggars and young princes like and delight in ram's 1 flesh; dog's flesh they do not eat. Yet there might be friendship betwixt ram and dog."

p. 178

Although Senaka recited the stanza he did not know its meaning; but the king did because he had seen the thing. "Senaka has found it out," he thought; and then turned to Pukkusa and asked him. "What? am not I a wise man?" asked Pukkusa, and recited his stanza as he had been taught:

"They take off a goatskin to cover the horse's back withal, but a dogskin they do not use for covering: yet there might be friendship betwixt ram and dog."

[354] Neither did he understand the matter, but the king thought he did because he had seen the thing. Then he asked Kāvinda and he also recited his stanza:

"Twisted horns hath a ram, the dog hath none at all; one eateth grass, one flesh: yet there might be friendship betwixt ram and dog."

"He has found it out too," thought the king, and passed on to Devinda; who with the others recited his stanza as he had been taught:

"Grass and leaves Both the ram eat, the dog neither grass nor leaves; the dog would take a hare or a cat: yet there might be friendship betwixt ram and dog."

Next the king questioned the sage: "My son, do you understand this question?" "Sire, who else can understand it from Avīci to Bhavagga, from lowest hell to highest heaven?" "Tell me, then." "Listen, sire"; and he made clear his knowledge of the fact by reciting these two stanzas:

"The ram, with eight half-feet on his four feet, and eight hooves, unobserved, brings meat for the other, and he brings grass for him 1. The chief of Videha, the lord of men, on his terrace beheld with his own eyes the interchange of food given by each to the other, between bow-wow and full-mouth."

[355] The king, not knowing that the others had their knowledge through the Bodhisat, was delighted to think that all five had found out the riddle each by his own wisdom, and recited this stanza:

"No small gain is it that I have men so wise in my house. A matter profound and subtile they have penetrated with noble speech, the clever men!"

So he said to them, "One good turn deserves another," and made his return in the following stanza:

"To each I give a chariot and a she-mule, to each a rich village, very choice, these I give to all the wise men, delighted at their noble speech."

All this he gave. Here endeth the Question of the Goat in the Twelfth Book 2.

p. 179

But Queen Udumbarā knew that the others had got their knowledge of the question through the sage; and thought she, "The king has given the same reward to all five, like a man who makes no difference between peas and beans. Surely my brother should have had a special reward." So she went and asked the king, "Who discovered the riddle for you, sir?" "The five wise men, madam." "But my lord, through whom did the four get their knowledge?" "I do not know, madam." "Sire, what do those men know! It was the sage—who wished that these fools should not be ruined through him, and taught them the problem. 3 5 6 Then you give the same reward to them all. That is not right; you should make a distinction for the sage." The king was pleased that the sage had not revealed that they had their knowledge through him, and being desirous of giving him an exceeding great reward, he thought, "Never mind: I will ask my son another question, and when he replies, I will give him a great reward." Thinking of this he hit on the Question of Poor and Rich.

One day, when the five wise men had come to wait upon him, and when they were comfortably seated, the king said, "Senaka, I will ask a question." "Do, sire." Then he recited the first stanza in the Question of Poor and Rich:

"Endowed with wisdom and bereft of wealth, or wealthy and without wisdom—I ask you this question, Senaka: Which of these two do clever men call the better?"

Now this question had been handed down from generation to generation in Senaka's family, so he replied at once:

"Verily, O king, wise men and fools, men educated or uneducated, do service to the wealthy, although they be high-born and he be base-born. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, and the wealthy is better."

The king listened to this answer; then without asking the other three, he said to the sage Mahosadha who sat by:

"Thee also I ask, lofty in wisdom, Mahosadha, who knowest all the Law: A fool with wealth or a wise man with small store, which of the two do clever men call the better?"

[357] Then the Great Being replied, "Hear, O king:

"The fool commits sinful acts, thinking "In this world I am the better"; he looks at this world and not at the next, and gets the worst of it in both. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

This said, the king looked at Senaka: "Well, you see Mahosadha says the wise man is the best." Senaka said, "Your majesty, Mahosadha is a child; even now his mouth smells of milk. What can he know?" and he recited this stanza:

"Science does not give riches, nor does family or personal beauty. Look at that idiot Gorimanda greatly prospering, because Luck favours the wretch 1. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the wealthy is better."

p. 180

[358] Hearing this the king said, "What now, Mahosadha my son?" He answered, "My lord, what does Senaka know? He is like a crow where rice is scattered, like a dog trying to lap up milk: sees himself but sees not the stick which is ready to fall upon his head. Listen, my lord," and he recited this stanza:

"He that is small of wit, when he gets wealth, is intoxicated: struck by misfortune he becomes stupefied: struck by ill luck or good luck as chance may come, he writhes like a fish in the hot sun. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

"Now then, master!" said the king on hearing this. Senaka said, "My lord, what does he know? Not to speak of men, it is the fine tree full of fruit which the birds go after," and he recited this stanza:

"As in the forest, the birds gather from all quarters to the tree which has sweet fruit, so to the rich man who has treasure and wealth crowds flock together for their profit. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the wealthy is the better."

"Well, my son, what now?" the king asked. The sage answered, "What does that pot-belly know? Listen, my lord," and he recited this stanza:

"The powerful fool does not well to win treasure by violence; roar loud as he will, they 1 drag the simpleton off to hell. 3 5 Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

Again the king said, "Well, Senaka?" to which Senaka replied:

"Whatsoever streams pour themselves into the Ganges, all these lose name and kind. The Ganges falling into the sea, is no longer to be distinguished. So the world is devoted to wealth. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the rich is better."

Again the king said, "Well, sage?" and he answered, "Hear, O king!" with a couple of stanzas:

"This mighty ocean of which he spoke, whereinto always flow rivers innumerable, this sea beating incessantly on the shore can never pass over it, mighty ocean though it be. So it is with the chatterings of the fool: his prosperity cannot overpass the wise. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the prosperous fool."

[360] "Well, Senaka?" said the king. "Hear, O king!" said he, and recited this stanza:

"A wealthy man in high position may lack all self-control, but if he says anything to others, his word has weight in the midst of his kinsfolk; but wisdom has not that effect for the man without wealth. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the rich is better."

"Well, my son?" said the king again. "Listen, sire! what does that stupid Senaka know?" and he recited this stanza:

"For another's sake or his own the fool and small of wit speaks falsely; he is put to shame in the midst of company, and hereafter he goeth to misery. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

p. 181

Then Senaka recited a stanza:

"Even if one be of great wisdom, but without rice 1 or grain, and needy, should he say anything, his word has no weight in the midst of his kinsfolk, 1 3 6 and prosperity does not come to a man for his knowledge. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the rich is better."

Again the king said, "What say you to that, my son?" And the sage replied, "What does Senaka know? he looks at this world, not the next," and he recited this stanza:

"Not for his own sake nor another's does the man of great wisdom speak a lie; he is honoured in the midst of the assembly, and hereafter he goes; r happiness. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

Then Senaka recited a stanza:

"Elephants, kine, horses, jewelled earrings, women, are found in rich families; these all are for the enjoyment of the rich man without supernatural power. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the rich is better."

The sage said, "What does he know?" and continuing to explain the matter he recited this stanza:

"The fool, who does thoughtless acts and speaks foolish words, the unwise, is cast off by Fortune as a snake casts the old skin. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

[362] "What now?" asked the king then; and Senaka said, "My lord, what can this little boy know? Listen!" and he recited this stanza, thinking that he would silence the sage:

"We are five wise men, venerable sir, all waiting upon you with gestures of respect; and you are our lord and master, like Sakka, lord of all creatures, king of the gods. Beholding this I say: The wise is mean, the rich is better."

When the king heard this he thought, "That was neatly said of Senaka; I wonder whether my son will be able to refute it and to say something else." So he asked him, "Well, wise sir, what now?" But this argument of Senaka's there was none able to refute except the Bodhisat; so the Great Being refuted it by saying, "Sire, what does this fool know? He only looks at himself and knows not the excellence of wisdom. Listen, sire," and he recited this stanza:

"The wealthy fool is but the slave of a wise man, when questions of this kind arise; when the sage solves it cleverly, then the fool falls into confusion. Beholding this I say: The wise is better than the wealthy fool."

As if he drew forth golden sand from the foot of Sineru, as though he bought the full moon up in the sky, so did he set forth this argument, so did the Great Being shew his wisdom. Then the king said to Senaka, "Well, Senaka, cap that if you can!" But like one who had used up all the corn in his granary, he sat without answer, disturbed, 3 6 grieving.

p. 182

[paragraph continues] If he could have produced another argument, even a thousand stanzas would not 1 have finished this Birth. But when he remained without an answer, the Great Being went on with this stanza in praise of wisdom, as though he poured out a deep flood:

"Verily wisdom is esteemed of the good; wealth is beloved because men are devoted to enjoyment. The knowledge of the Buddhas is incomparable, and wealth never surpasses wisdom."

Hearing this the king was so pleased with the Great Being's solution of the question, that he rewarded him with riches in a great shower, and recited a stanza:

"Whatsoever I asked he has answered me, Mahosadha 2 the only preacher of the Law. A thousand kine, a bull and an elephant, and ten chariots drawn by thorobreds, and sixteen excellent villages, here I give thee, pleased with thy answer to the question 3."

Here endeth the Question of Rich and Poor (Book XX).

From that day the Bodhisat's glory was great, and Queen Udumbarā managed it all. When he was sixteen she thought: "My young brother has grown up, and great is his glory; we must find a wife for him." This she said to the king, and the king was well pleased. "Very good," said he, "tell him." 3 4 6 She told him, and he agreed, and she said, "Then let us find you a bride, my son." The Great Being thought, "I should never be satisfied if they choose me a wife; I will find one for myself." And he said, "Madam, do not tell the king for a few days, and I will go seek a wife to suit my taste, and then I will tell you." "Do so, my son," she replied. He took leave of the queen, and went to his house, and informed his companions. Then he got by some means the outfit of a tailor, and alone went out by the northern gate into North Town. Now in that place was an ancient and decayed merchant-family, and in this family was a daughter, the lady Amarā, a beautiful girl, wise, and with all the marks of good luck. That morning early, this girl had set out to the place where her father was plowing, to bring him rice-gruel which she had cooked, and it so happened that she went by the same road. When the Great Being saw her coming he thought, "A woman with all lucky marks! If she is unwed she must be my wife." She also when she beheld him thought, "If I could live in the house of such a man, I might restore my family." The Great Being thought, "Whether she be wed or not I do not know: I will ask her by hand-gesture, and if she be wise she will understand." So standing afar off he clenched his fist. She understood that he was asking whether she had a husband, and spread out her hand. Then he went up to her, and asked her name. She said, "My

p. 183

name is that which neither is, nor was, nor ever shall be." "Madam, there is nothing in the world immortal, and your name must be Amarā, the Immortal." "Even so, master." "For whom, madam, do you carry that gruel?" "For the god of old time." "Gods of old time are one's parents 1, and no doubt you mean your father." "So it must be, master." "What does your father do?" "He makes two out of one." Now the making two out of one is plowing. "He is plowing, madam." 3 5 6 "Even so, master." "And where is your father plowing?" "Where those who go come not again." "The place whence those who go come not again is the cemetery: he is plowing then near a cemetery." "Even so, master." "Will you 2 come again to-day, madam?" "If a come I will not come 3, if a come not I will come." "Your father, methinks, madam, is plowing by a riverside, and if the flood come you will not come, if it come not you will." After this interchange of talk, the lady Amarā offered him a drink of the gruel. The Great Being, thinking it ungracious to refuse, said he would like some. Then she put down the jar of gruel; and the Great Being thought, "If she offer it to me without first washing the pot and giving me water to wash my hands, I will leave her and go." But she took up water in the pot and offered him water for washing, placed the pot empty upon the ground not in his hands, stirred up the gruel in the jar, filled the pot with it. But there was not much rice in it, and the Great Being said, "Why, madam, there is very little rice here!" "We got no water, master." "You mean when your field was in growth, you got no water upon it." "Even so, master." So she kept some gruel for her father, and gave some to the Bodhisat. He drank, and gargled his mouth, and said, "Madam, I will go to your house; kindly shew me the way." She did so by reciting a stanza which is given in the First Book:

"By the way of the cakes and gruel, and the double-leaf tree in flower, by the hand wherewith I eat I bid thee go, not by that wherewith I eat not: that is the way to the market-town, that secret path you must find 4."

Here endeth the Question of the Secret Path.

[366] He reached the house by the way indicated; and Amarā's mother saw him and gave him a seat. "May I offer you some gruel, master?" she asked. "Thank you, mother—sister Amarā gave me a little." She at once recognized that he must have come on her daughter's account.

p. 184

[paragraph continues] The Great Being, when he saw their poverty, said, "Mother, I am a tailor: have you anything to mend?" "Yes, master, but nothing to pay." "There is no need to pay, mother; bring the things and I will mend them." She brought him some old clothes, and each as she brought it the Bodhisat mended. The wise man's business always goes well, you know. He said then, "Go tell the people in the street." She published it abroad in the village; and in one day by his tailoring the Great Being earned a thousand pieces of money. The old dame cooked him a midday meal, and in the evening asked how much she should cook. "Enough, mother, for all those who live in this house." She cooked a quantity of rice with some curry and condiments.

Now Amarā in the evening came back from the forest, bearing a faggot of wood upon her head and leaves on her hip. She threw down the wood before the front door and came in by the back door. Her father returned later. The Great Being ate of a tasteful meal; the girl served her parents before herself eating, washed their feet and the Bodhisat's feet. For several days he lived there watching her. Then one day to test her, he said, "My dear Amarā, take half a measure of rice and with it make me gruel, a cake, and boiled rice." She agreed at once; and husked the rice; with the big grains she made gruel, the middling grains she boiled, and made a cake with the little ones, adding the suitable condiments. She gave the gruel with its condiments to the Great Being; 3 6 he no sooner took a mouthful of it than he felt its choice flavour thrill through him: nevertheless to test her he said, "Madam, if you don't know how to cook why did you spoil my rice?" and spat it out on the ground. But she was not angry; only gave him the cake, saying, "If the gruel is not good eat the cake." He did the same with that, and again rejecting the boiled rice, said, "If you don't know how to cook why did you waste my property?" As though angry he mixed all three together and smeared them all over her body from the head downwards, and told her to sit at the door. "Very good, master," she said, not angry at all, and did so. Finding that there was no pride in her he said, "Come here, madam." At the first word she came.

When the Great Being came, he had brought with him a thousand rupees and a dress in his betel-nut-bag. Now he took out this dress and placed it in her hands, saying, "Madam, bathe with your companions and put on this dress and come to me." She did so. The sage gave her parents all the money he had brought or earned, and comforted them, and took her back to the town with him. There to test her he made her sit down in the gatekeeper's house, and telling the gatekeeper's wife of his plans, went to his own house. Then he sent for some of his men, and said, "I have left a woman in such and such a house; take a thousand pieces of money with you and test her." He gave them the money and sent them

p. 185

away. They did as they were bid. She refused, saying, "That is not worth the dust on my master's feet." The men came back and told the result. He sent them again, and a third time; and the fourth time he bade them drag her away by force. They did so, and when she saw the Great Being in all his glory she did not know him, but smiled and wept at the same time as she looked at him. He asked her why she did this. She replied, "Master, I smiled when I beheld your magnificence, and thought that this magnificence was not given you without cause, but for some good deed in a former life: see the fruit of goodness! I thought, and I smiled. But I wept to think that now you would sin against the property which another watched and tended, 3 6 and would go to hell: in pity for that I wept." After this test he knew her chastity, and sent her back to the same place. Putting on his tailor's disguise, he went back to her and there spent the night.

Next morning he repaired to the palace and told Queen Udumbarā all about it; she informed the king, and adorning Amarā with all kinds of ornaments, and seated her in a great chariot, and with great honour brought her to the Great Being's house, and made a gala day. The king sent the Bodhisat a gift worth a thousand pieces of money: all the people of the town sent gifts from the doorkeepers onwards. Lady Amarā divided the gifts sent by the king into halves, and sent one portion back to the king; in the same way she divided all the gifts sent to her by the citizens, and returned half, thus winning the hearts of the people. From that time the Great Being lived with her in happiness, and instructed the king in things temporal and spiritual.

One day Senaka said to the other three who had come to see him, "Friends, we are not enough for this common man's son Mahosadha; and now he has gotten him a wife cleverer than himself. Can we find a means to make a breach between him and the king?" "What do we know, sir teacher—you must decide." "Well, never mind, there is a way. I will steal the jewel from the royal crest; you, Pukkusa, take his golden necklace; you, Kāvinda, take his woollen robe; you, Devinda, his golden slipper." They all four found a way to do these things. Then Senaka said, "We must now get them into the fellow's house without his knowledge." So Senaka put the jewel in a pot of dates and sent it by a slave-girl, saying, "If anyone else wants to have this pot of dates, refuse, but give them pot and all to the people in Mahosadha's house." She took it and went to the sage's house, and walked up and down crying, "D’ye lack dates?" But the lady Amarā standing by the door saw this: she noticed that the girl went nowhere else, there must be something behind it; so making a sign for her servants to approach, she cried herself to the girl, "Come here, girl, I will take the dates." 3 6 When she came, the mistress called for her servants, but none answered, so she sent the girl to

p. 186

fetch them. While she was gone Amarā put her hand into the pot and found the jewel. When the girl returned Amarā asked her, "Whose servant are you, girl?" "Pandit Senaka's maid." Then she enquired her name and her mother's name and said, "Well, give me some dates." "If you want it, mother, take it pot and all—I want no payment." "You may go, then," said Amarā, and sent her away. Then she wrote down on a leaf, "On such a day of such a month the teacher Senaka sent a jewel from the king's crest for a present by the hand of such and such a girl." Pukkusa sent the golden necklet hidden in a casket of jasmine flowers; Kāvinda sent the robe in a basket of vegetables; Devinda sent the golden slipper in a bundle of straw. She received them all and put down names and all on a leaf, which she put away, telling the Great Being about it. Then those four men went to the palace, and said, "Why, my lord! won't you wear your jewelled crest?" "Yes, I will—fetch it," said the king. But they could not find the jewel or the other things. Then the four said, "My lord, your ornaments are in Mahosadha's house, and he uses them: that common man's son is your enemy!" So they slandered him. Then his well-wishers went and told Mahosadha; and he said, "I will go to the king and find out." He waited upon the king, who was angry and said, "I know him not! what does he want here?" He would not grant him an audience. When the sage learnt that the king was angry he returned home. The king sent to seize him; which the sage hearing from well-wishers indicated to Amarā that it was time he departed. So he escaped out of the city in disguise to South Town where he plied the trade of a potter in a potter's house. All the city was full of the news that he had run away. Senaka and the other three hearing that he was gone, each unknown to the rest sent a letter to the lady Amarā, to this effect: "Never mind: are we not wise men?" 3 She took all four letters, and answered to each that he should come at such a time. When they came, she had them clean shaven with razors, and threw them into the jakes, and tormented them sore, and wrapping them up in rolls of matting sent word to the king. Taking them and the four precious things together she went to the king's courtyard and there greeting him said: "My lord, the wise Mahosadha is no thief; here are the thieves. Senaka stole the jewel, Pukkusa stole the golden necklace, Devinda stole the golden slipper: on such a day of such a month by the hand of such and such a slave-girl these four were sent as presents. Look at this leaf. Take what is yours, and cast out the thieves." And thus heaping contumely on these four persons she returned home. But the king was perplext about this, and since the Bodhisat had gone and there were no other wise men he said nothing, but told them to bathe and go home.

Now the deity that dwelt in the royal parasol no longer hearing the voice of the Bodhisat's discourse wondered what might be the cause, and

p. 187

when she had found it out determined to bring the sage back. So at night she appeared through a hole in the circuit of the parasol, and asked the king four questions which are found in the Questions of the Goddess, Book IV 1, the verses beginning "He strikes with hands and feet." The king could not answer, and said so, but offered to ask his wise men, asking a day's delay. Next day he sent a message summoning them, but they replied, "We are ashamed to shew ourselves in the street, shaven as we are." So he sent them four skullcaps to wear on their heads. (That is the origin of these caps, so they say.) Then they came, and sat where they were invited to go, and the king said, "Senaka, last night the deity that dwells in my parasol asked me four questions, which I could not solve but said I would ask my wise men. Pray solve them for me." And then he recited the first stanza:

"He strikes with hands and feet, and beats on the face; yet, O king, he is dear, and grows dearer than a husband 2."

Senaka stammered out whatever came first, "Strikes how, strikes whom," 1 3 and could make neither head nor tail of it; the others were all dumb. The king was full of distress. When again at night the goddess asked whether he had found out the riddle, he said, "I asked my four wise men, and not even they could say." She replied, "What do they know? Save wise Mahosadha there is none can solve it. If you do not send for him and get him to solve these questions, I will cleave your head with this fiery blade." After thus frightening him she went on: "O king, when you want fire don't blow a firefly, and when you want milk don't milk a horn." Then she repeated the Firefly Question 3 of the Fifth Book:

"When light is extinguisht, who that goes in search of fire ever thinks a firefly to be fire, if he sees it at night? If he crumbles over it cow-dung and grass, it is a foolish idea; he cannot make it burn. So also a beast gets no benefit by wrong means, if it milks a cow by the horn where milk will not flow. By many means men obtain benefit, by punishment of enemies and kindness shown to friends. By winning over the chiefs of the army, and by the counsel of friends, the lords of the earth possess the earth and the fulness thereof."

[372] "They are not like you, blowing at a firefly in the belief that it is a fire: you are like one blowing at a firefly when fire is at hand, like one who throws down the balance and weighs with the hand, like one who wants milk and milks the horn, when you ask deep questions of Senaka and the like of him. What do they know? Like fireflies are they, like a great flaming fire is Mahosadha blazing with wisdom. If you do not find out this question, you are a dead man." Having thus terrified the king, she disappeared 4.

p. 188

Hereat the king, smitten with mortal fear, sent out the next day four of his courtiers, with orders to mount each in a chariot, and to go forth from the four gates of the city, and wheresoever they should find his son, the wise Mahosadha, to shew him all honour and speedily to bring him back. Three of these found not the sage; but the fourth who went out by south gate found the Great Being in the South Town, who, after fetching clay and turning his master's wheel, sat all clay-besmeared on a bundle of straw eating balls of rice dipt in a little soup. Now the reason why he did so was this: he thought that the king might suspect him of desiring to grasp the sovereign power, but if he heard that he was living by the craft of a potter this suspicion would be put away. When he perceived the courtier he knew that the man had come for himself; he understood that his prosperity would be restored, and he should eat all manner of choice food prepared by the lady Amarā: so he dropt the ball of rice which he held, stood up, and rinsed his mouth. At that moment up came the courtier: now this was one of Senaka's faction, so he addrest him rudely as follows: "Wise Teacher, what Senaka said was useful information. Your prosperity gone, all your wisdom was unavailing; and now there you sit all besmeared with clay on a truss of straw, eating food like that!" and he recited this stanza from the Bhūri-pañha or Question of Wisdom, Book X 1:

[373] "Is it true, as they say, that you are one of profound wisdom? So great prosperity, cleverness, and intelligence does not serve you, thus brought to insignificance, while you eat a little soup like that."

Then the Great Being said, "Blind fool! By power of my wisdom when I want to restore that prosperity I will do it "; and he recited a couple of stanzas.

"I make weal ripen by woe, I discriminate between seasonable and unseasonable times, hiding at my own will; I unlock the doors of profit; therefore I am content with boiled rice. When I perceive the time for an effort, maturing my profit by my designs, I will bear myself valiantly like a lion, and by that mighty power you shall see me again."

Then the courtier said: "Wise sir, the deity who lives in the parasol has put a question to the king, and the king asked the four wise men,—not a wise man of them could solve it! Therefore the king has sent me for you." 3 4 "In that case," said the Great Being, "do you not see the power of wisdom? At such a time prosperity is of no use, but only one who is wise." Thus he praised wisdom. Then the courtier handed over to the Great Being the thousand pieces of money and the suit of clothes provided by the king, that he might bathe him and dress at once. The potter was terrified to think that Mahosadha the sage had been his workman, but the Great Being consoled him, saying, "Fear not, my master,

p. 189

you have been of great help to me." Then he gave him a thousand pieces; and with the mud-stains yet upon him mounted in the chariot and went to town. The courtier told the king of his arrival. "Where did you find the sage, my son?" "My lord, he was earning his livelihood as a potter in the South Town; but as soon as he heard that you had sent for him, without bathing, the mud yet staining his body, he came." The king thought, "If he were my enemy he would have come with pomp and retinue; he is not my enemy." Then he gave orders to take him to his house, and bathe him, and adorn him, and to bid him come back with the pomp that should be provided. This was done. He returned, and entered, and gave the king greeting, and stood on one side. The king spoke kindly to him, then to test him said this stanza:

"Some do no sin because they are wealthy, but others do no sin for fear of the taint of blame. You are able, if your mind desired much wealth. Why do you not do me harm?"

The Bodhisat said:

"Wise men do not sinful deeds for the sake of the pleasure that wealth gives. 3 5 Good men, even though struck by misfortune and brought low, neither for friendship nor for enmity will renounce the right."

Again the king recited this stanza, the mysterious saying of a Khattiya 1:

"He who for any cause, small or great, should upraise himself from a low place, thereafter would walk in righteousness."

And the Great Being recited this stanza with an illustration of a tree:

"From off a tree beneath whose shade a man should sit and rest,
’Twere treachery to lop a branch. False friends we do detest 2."

Then he went on: "Sire, if it is treachery to lop a branch from a tree which one has used, what are we to say of one who kills a man? Your majesty has given my father great wealth, and has shewn me great favour: how could I be so treacherous as to injure you?" Thus having demonstrated altogether his loyalty he reproached the king for his fault:

"When any man has disclosed the right to any, or has cleared his doubts, the other becomes his protection and refuge; and a wise man will not destroy this friendship."

Now admonishing the king he said these two stanzas 3:

"The idle sensual layman I detest,
The false ascetic is a rogue confest.

A bad king will a case unheard decide;
Wrath in the sage can ne’er be justified.
3 6 The warrior prince takes careful thought, and well-weighed verdict gives,
When kings their judgment ponder well, their fame for ever lives 4."

p. 190

When he had thus said, the king caused the Great Being to sit on the royal throne under the white parasol outspread, and himself sitting on a low seat he said: "Wise sir, the deity who dwells in the white parasol asked me four questions. I consulted the four wise men and they could not find them out: solve me the questions, my son!" "Sire, be it the deity of the parasol, or be they the four great kings, or be they who they may; let who will ask a question and I will answer it." So the king put the question as the goddess had done, and said:

"He strikes with hands and feet, he beats the face; and he, O king, is dearer than a husband."

When the Great Being had heard the question, the meaning became as clear as though the moon had risen in the sky. "Listen, O king!" he said, "When a child on the mother's lap happy and playful beats his mother with hands and feet, pulls her hair, beats her face with his fist, she says, Little rogue, why do you beat me? And in love she presses him close to her breast unable to restrain her affection, and kisses him; and at such a time he is dearer to her than his father." Thus did he make clear this question, as though he made the sun rise in the sky; and hearing this the goddess shewed half her body from the aperture in the royal parasol, and said in a sweet voice, "The question is well solved!" Then she presented the Great Being with a precious casket full of divine perfumes and flowers, and disappeared. The king also 3 presented him with flowers and so forth, and asked him the second question, reciting the second stanza:

"She abuses him roundly, yet wishes him to be near: and he, O king, is dearer than a husband."

The Great Being said, "Sire, the child of seven years, who can now do his mother's bidding, when he is told to go to the field or to the bazaar, says, If you will give me this or that sweetmeat I will go; she says, Here my son, and gives them; then he eats them and says, Yes, you sit in the cool shade of the house and I am to go out on your business! He makes a grimace, or mocks her with gestures, and won't go. She is angry, picks up a stick and cries—You eat what I give you and then won't do anything for me in the field! She scares him, off he runs at full speed; she cannot follow and cries—Get out, may the thieves chop you up into little bits! So she abuses him roundly as much as she will; but what her mouth speaks she does not wish at all, and so she wishes him to be near. He plays about the livelong day, and at evening not daring to come home he goes to the house of some kinsman. The mother watches the road for his coming, and sees him not, and thinking that he durst not return has her heart full of pain; with tears streaming from her eyes she searches the houses of her kinsfolk, and when she sees her son she hugs and kisses

p. 191

him and squeezes him tight with both arms, and loves him more than ever, as she cries, Did you take my words in earnest? Thus, sire, a mother ever loves her son more in the hour of anger." Thus he explained the second question: the goddess made him the same offering as before and so did the king. Then the king asked him the third question in another stanza:

"She reviles him without cause, and without reason reproaches; yet he, O king, is dearer than a husband."

The Great Being said, "Sire, when a pair of lovers in secret 3 enjoy their love's delights, and one says to the other, You don't care for me, your heart is elsewhere I know! all false and without reason, chiding and reproaching each other, then they grow dearer to each other. That is the meaning of the question." The goddess made the same offering as before, and so did the king; who then asked him another question, reciting the fourth stanza:

"One takes food and drink, clothes and lodging,—verily the good men carry them off: yet they, O king, are dearer than a husband."

He replied, "Sire, this question has reference to righteous mendicant brahmins. Pious families that believe in this world and the next give to them and delight in giving: when they see such brahmins receiving what is given and eating it, and think, It is to us they came to beg, our own food which they eat—they increase affection towards them. Thus verily they take the things, and wearing on the shoulder what has been given, they become dear." When this question had been answered the goddess exprest her approval by the same offering as before, and laid before the Great Being's feet a precious casket full of the seven precious things, praying him to accept it; the king also delighted made him Commander in Chief. Henceforward great was the glory of the Great Being. Here endeth the Question of the Goddess 1.

Again these four said, "This common fellow is waxen greater: what are we to do?" Senaka said to them, "All right, I know a plan. Let us go to the fellow and ask him, To whom is it right to tell a secret? If he says, To no one, we will speak against him to the king and say that he is a traitor." So the four went to the wise man's house, and greeted him, and said, "Wise sir, we want to ask you a question." "Ask away," said he. Senaka said, "Wise sir, wherein should a man be firmly established?" "In the truth." "That done, 3 what is the next thing to do?" "He must make wealth." "What next after that?" "He must learn good counsel." "After that what next?" "He must tell no man his own secret." "Thank you, sir," they said, and went away happy, thinking, "This day we shall see the fellow's back!" Then they entered the king's presence and said to him, "Sire, the fellow is a traitor to you!"

p. 192

[paragraph continues] The king replied, "I do not believe you, he will never be traitor to me." "Believe it, sire, for it is true! but if you do not believe, then ask him to whom a secret ought to be told; if he is no traitor, he will say, To so and so; but if he is a traitor he will say, A secret should be told to no one; when your desire is fulfilled, then you may speak. Then believe us, and be suspicious no longer." Accordingly one day when all were seated together he recited the first stanza of the Wise Man's Question, Book XX 1:

"The five wise men are now together, and a question occurs to me: listen. To whom should a secret be revealed, whether good or bad?"

This said, Senaka, thinking to bring the king over to their side, repeated this stanza:

"Do thou declare thy mind, O lord of the earth! thou art our supporter and bearest our burdens. The five clever men will understand thy wish and pleasure, and will then speak, O master of men!"

Then the king in his human infirmity recited this stanza:

"If a woman be virtuous, and faithful, subservient to her husband's wish and will, affectionate, 3 a secret should be told whether good or bad to the wife."

"Now the king is on my side!" thought Senaka, and pleased he repeated a stanza, explaining his own course of conduct:

"He who protects a sick man in distress and who is his refuge and support, may reveal to his friend a secret whether good or bad."

Then the king asked Pukkusa: "How does it seem to you, Pukkusa? to whom should a secret be told? " and Pukkusa recited this stanza:

"Old or young or betwixt, if a brother be virtuous and trusty, to such a brother a secret may be told whether good or bad."

Next the king asked Kāvinda, and he recited this stanza:

"When a son is obedient to his father's heart, a true son, of lofty wisdom, to that son a secret may be revealed whether good or bad."

And then the king asked Devinda, who recited this stanza:

"O lord of men! if a mother cherishes her son with loving fondness, to his mother he may reveal a secret whether good or bad."

[381] After asking them the king asked, "How do you look upon it, wise sir?" and he recited this stanza:

"Good is the secrecy of a secret, the revealing of a secret is not to be praised. The clever man should keep it to himself whilst it is not accomplished; but after it is done he may speak when he will."

When the sage had said this the king was displeased: then the king looked at Senaka and Senaka looked at the king. This the Bodhisat saw, and recognized the fact, that these four had once before slandered him to

p. 193

the king, and that this question must have been put to test him. Now whilst they were talking the sun had set, and lamps had been lit. "Hard are the ways of kings," thought he, "what will happen no one can tell; I must depart with speed." So he rose from his seat, and greeted the king, and went away thinking, "Of these four, one said it should be told to a friend, one to a brother, one to a son, one to a mother: they must have done or seen something; or I think, they have heard others tell what they have seen. Well, well, I shall find out to-day." Such was his thought. Now on other days, these four on coming out of the palace used to sit on a trough at the palace door, and talk of their plans before going home: so the sage thought that if he should hide beneath that trough he might learn their secrets. Lifting the trough accordingly, he caused a rug to be spread beneath it and crept in, giving directions to his men to fetch him when the four wise men had gone away after their talk. The men promised and departed. Meanwhile Senaka was saying to the king, "Sire, you do not believe us, 2 3 now what do you think?" The king accepted the word of these breedbates without investigation, and asked in terror, "What are we to do now, wise Senaka?" "Sire, without delay, without a word to anyone, he must be killed." "O Senaka, no one cares for my interests but you. Take your friends with you and wait at the door, and in the morning when the fellow comes to wait upon me, cleave his head with a sword." So saying he gave them his own precious sword. "Very good, my lord, fear nothing, we will kill him." They went out saying, "We have seen the back of our enemy!" and sat down on the trough. Then Senaka said, "Friends, who shall strike the fellow?" The others said, "You, our teacher," laying the task on him. Then Senaka said, "You said, friends, that a secret ought to be told to such and such a person: was it something you had done, or seen, or heard?" "Never mind that, teacher: when you said that a secret might be told to a friend, was that something which you had done?" "What does that matter to you?" he asked. "Pray tell us, teacher," they repeated. He said, "If the king come to know this secret, my life would be forfeit." "Do not fear, teacher, there's no one here to betray your secret, tell us, teacher." Then, tapping upon the trough, Senaka said, "What if that clodhopper is under this!" "O teacher! the fellow in all his glory would not creep into such a place as this! He must be intoxicated with his prosperity. Come, tell us." Senaka told his secret and said, "Do you know such and such a harlot in this city?" "Yes, teacher." "Is she now to be seen?" "No, teacher." "In the sāl-grove I lay with her, and afterwards killed her to get her ornaments, which I tied up in a bundle and took to my house and hung up on an elephant's tusk in such a room of such a storey: but use them 3 I cannot until it has blown over. This

p. 194

crime I have disclosed to a friend, and he has not told a soul; and that is why I said a secret may be told to a friend." The sage heard this secret of Senaka's and bore it in mind. Then Pukkusa told his secret. "On my thigh is a spot of leprosy. In the morning my young brother washes it, puts a salve on it and a bandage, and never tells a soul. When the king's heart is soft he cries, Come here, Pukkusa, and he often lays his head on my thigh. But if he knew he would kill me. No one knows this except my young brother; and that is why I said, A secret may be told to a brother." Kāvinda told his secret. "As for me, in the dark fortnight on the fast-day a goblin named Naradeva takes possession of me, and I bark like a mad dog. I told my son of this; and he, when he sees me to be possest, fastens me up indoors, and then he leaves me shutting the door, and to hide my noises he gathers a party of people. That is why I said that a secret might be told to a son." Then they all three asked Devinda, and he told his secret. "I am inspector of the king's jewels; and I stole a wonderful lucky gem, the gift of Sakka to King Kusa, and gave it to my mother. When I go to Court she hands it to me, without a word to anyone; and by reason of that gem I am pervaded with the spirit of good fortune when I enter the palace. The king speaks to me first before any of you, and gives me each day to spend eight rupees, or sixteen, or thirty-two, or sixty-four. If the king knew of my having that gem concealed I'm a dead man! That is why I said that a secret might be told to a mother."

The Great Being took careful note of all their secrets; 3 4 but they, after disclosing their secrets as if they had ript up their bellies and let the entrails out, rose up from the seat and departed, saying, "Be sure to come early and we will kill the churl."

When they were gone the sage's men came and turned up the trough and took the Great Being home. He washed and drest and ate; and knowing that his sister Queen Udumbarī would that day send him a message from the palace, he placed a trusty man on the look-out, bidding him send in at once anyone coming from the palace. Then he lay down on his bed.

At that time the king also was lying upon his bed and remembering the virtue of the sage. "The sage Mahosadha has served me since he was seven years old, and never done me wrong. When the goddess asked me her questions but for the sage I had been a dead man. To accept the words of revengeful enemies, to give them a sword and bid them slay a peerless sage, this I ought never to have done. After to-morrow I shall see him no more!" He grieved, sweat poured from his body, possest with grief his heart had no peace. Queen Udumbarī, who was with him on his couch, seeing him in this frame, asked, "Have I done any offence

p. 195

against you? or has any other thing caused grief to my lord?" and she repeated this stanza:

"Why art thou perplext, O king? we hear not the voice of the lord of men! What dost thou ponder thus downcast? there is no offence from me, my lord."

Then the king repeated a stanza:

"They said, "the wise Mahosadha must be slain"; and condemned by me to death is the most wise one. As I think on this I am downcast. There is no fault in thee, my queen."

[385] When she heard this, grief crushed her like a rock for the Great Being; and she thought, "I know a plan to console the king: when he goes to sleep I will send a message to my brother." Then she said to him, "Sire, it is your doing that the churl's son was raised to great power; you made him commander-in-chief. Now they say he has become your enemy. No enemy is insignificant; killed he must be, so do not grieve." Thus she consoled the king; his grief waned and he fell asleep. Then up rose the queen and went to her chamber, and wrote a letter to this effect. "Mahosadha, the four wise men have slandered you; the king is angry, and to-morrow has commanded that you be slain in the gate. Do not come to the palace to-morrow morning; or if you do come, come with power to hold the city in your hand." She put the letter within a sweetmeat, and tied it up with a thread, and put it in a new jar, perfumed it, sealed it up, and gave it to a handmaid, saying, "Take this sweetmeat and give it to my brother." She did so. You must not wonder how she got out in the night; for the king had erewhiles given this boon to the queen, and therefore no one hindered her. The Bodhisat received the present and dismissed the woman, who returned and reported that she had delivered it. Then the queen went and lay down by the king. The Bodhisat opened the sweetmeat, and read the letter, and understood it, and after deliberating what should be done went to rest.

Early in the morning, the other four wise men sword in hand stood by the gate, but not seeing the sage they became downcast, and went in to the king. "Well," said he, "is the clodhopper killed?" They replied, "We have not seen him, sire." And the Great Being at sunrise got the whole city into his power, set guards here and there, and in a chariot with a great host of men and great magnificence came to the palace gates. The king stood looking out of an open window. Then the Great Being got down from his chariot and saluted him; and the king thought, "If he were my enemy, 3 6 he would not salute me." Then the king sent for him, and sat upon his throne. The Great Being came in and sat on one side: the four wise men also sat down there. Then the king made as if he knew nothing and said, "My son, yesterday you left us and now you come

p. 196

again; why do you treat me thus negligently?" and he repeated this stanza:

"At evening you went, now you come. What have you heard? what doth your mind fear? Who commanded you, O most wise? Come, we are listening for the word: tell me."

The Great Being replied, "Sire, you listened to the four wisemen and commanded my death, that is why I did not come," and reproaching him repeated this stanza:

"The wise Mahosadha must be slain": if you told this last night secretly to your wife, your secret was disclosed and I heard it."

When the king heard this he looked angrily at his wife thinking that she must have sent word of it on the instant. Observing this the Great Being said, "Why are you angry with the queen, my lord? I know all the past, present, and future. Suppose the queen did tell your secret: who told me the secrets of master Senaka, and Pukkusa, and the rest of them? But I know all their secrets "; and he told Senaka's secret in this stanza:

"The sinful and wicked deed which Senaka did in the sāl-grove 3 he told to a friend in secret, that secret has been disclosed and I have heard it."

Looking at Senaka, the king asked, "Is it true?" "Sire, it is true," he replied, and the king ordered him to be cast into prison. Then the sage told Pukkusa's secret in this stanza:

"In the man Pukkusa, O king of men, there is a disease unfit for a king's touching: he told it in secret to his brother. That secret has been disclosed and I have heard it."

The king looking upon him asked, "Is it true?" "Yes, my lord," said he; and the king sent him also to prison. Then the sage told Kāvinda's secret in this stanza:

"Diseased is yon man, of evil nature, possest of Naradeva. He told it in secret to his son: this secret has been disclosed and I have heard it."

[388] "Is it true, Kāvinda?" the king asked; and he answered, "It is true." Then the king sent him also to prison. The sage now told Devinda's secret in this stanza:

"The noble and precious gem of eight facets, which Sakka gave to your grandfather, that is now in Devinda's hands, and he told it to his mother in secret. That secret has been disclosed and I have heard it."

"Is it true, Devinda?" the king asked; and he answered, "It is true." So he sent him also to prison. Thus they who had plotted to slay the Bodhisat were all in bonds together. And the Bodhisat said, "This is why I say, a man should tell his secret to no one; those who

p. 197

said that a secret ought to be told, have all come to utter ruin." And he recited these stanzas, proclaiming a higher doctrine:

"The secrecy of a secret is always good, nor is it well to divulge a secret. When a thing is not accomplished the wise man should keep it to himself: when he has accomplished his aim let him speak an he will. One should not disclose a secret thing, but should guard it like a treasure; for a secret thing is not well revealed by the prudent. Not to a woman would the wise man tell a secret, not to a foe, nor to one who can be enticed by self-interest, nor for affection's sake. He who discloses a secret thing unknown, through fear of broken confidence must endure to be the other's slave. As many as are those who know a man's secret, so many are his anxieties: therefore one should not disclose a secret. Go apart to tell a secret by day; by night in a soft whisper: 3 for listeners hear the words, therefore the words soon come out 1."

When the king heard the Great Being speak he was angry, and thought he, "These men, traitors themselves to their king, make out that the wise man is traitor to me!" Then he said, "Go drive them out of the town, and impale them or cleave their heads!" So they bound their hands behind them, at every street corner gave them a hundred blows. But as they were dragged along, the sage said, "My lord, these are your ancient ministers, pardon them their fault!" The king consented, and gave them to be his slaves. He set them free at once. Then the king said, "Well, they shall not live in my dominion," and ordered that they should be banished. But the sage begged him to pardon their blind folly, and appeased him, and persuaded him to restore their positions. The king was much pleased with the sage: if this were his tender mercy towards his foes, what must it be to others! Thenceforward the four wise men, like snakes with their teeth drawn and their poison gone, could not find a word to say, we are told.

Here endeth the Question of the Five Wise Men, and likewise the Story of Calumny 2.

After this time he used to instruct the king in things temporal and spiritual: and he thought, "I am indeed the king's white parasol; it is I manage the kingdom: 3 vigilant I must therefore be." He caused a great rampart to be built for the city. Along the rampart were watchtowers at the gates, and between the watch-towers he dug three moats—a water-moat, a mud-moat, and a dry-moat. Within the city he caused all the old houses to be restored: large banks were dug and made reservoirs for water; all the storehouses were filled with corn. All the confidential priests had to bring down from Himavat mud and edible lily-seeds. The water conduits were cleaned out, and the old houses outside were also restored. This was done as a defence against future dangers. Merchants who came from one place or another were asked whence they came; and on their replying, they were asked what their king liked; when this was

p. 198

told, they were kindly treated before they went away. Then he sent for a hundred and one soldiers and said to them, "My men, take these gifts to the hundred and one royal cities, and give them to their several kings to please them: live there in their service, listen to their actions and plans, and send me word. I will care for your wives and children." And he sent with them earrings for some, and golden slippers for others, and golden necklets for others, with letters engraved upon them, which he appointed to reveal themselves when it should suit his purpose. The men went this way and that, and gave these gifts to the kings, saying that they were come to live in their service. When asked whence they came, they told the names of other places than that from which they had really come. Their offer accepted, they remained there in attendance, and made themselves to be trusted.

Now in the kingdom of Ekabala was a king named Saṁkhapāla, who was collecting arms and assembling an army. The man who had come to him sent a message to the sage, saying, "This is the news here, but what he intends I know not; send and find out the truth of the matter." Then the Great Being called a parrot and said, "Friend, go and find out what King Saṁkhapāla is doing in Ekabala, 1 3 then travel over all India and bring me the news." He fed it with honey and grain, and gave it sweet water to drink, anointed the joints of the wings with oil a hundred and a thousand times refined, stood by the eastern window, and let it go. The parrot went to the man aforesaid and found out the truth. As he passed back through India he came to Uttarapañcāla city in the kingdom of Kampilla. There was reigning a king named Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, who had for spiritual and temporal adviser a brahmin Kevaṭṭa, wise and learned. The brahmin one morning awoke at dawn, and looking by the light of the lamp upon his magnificent chamber, as he regarded its splendour, thought, "To whom does this splendour belong? To no one but to Cūḷani-Brahmadatta. A king who gives splendour like this ought to be the chief king in all India, and I will be his chaplain-in-chief." And so early in the morning he went to the king, and when he had enquired whether he had slept well, he said, "My lord, there is something I wish to say." "Say on, teacher." "My lord, a secret cannot be told in the town, let us go into the park." "Very well, teacher." The king went to the park with him, and left the retinue without, and set a guard, and entered the park with the brahmin, and sat down upon the royal seat. The parrot, seeing this, thought that there must be something afoot; "To-day I shall hear something which must be sent to my wise master." So he flew into the park, and perched amid the leaves of the royal sāl-tree. The king said, "Speak on, teacher." He said, "Sire, bend your ear this way; this is a plan for four ears only. If, sire, you will do what I advise, I will make you chief king in all India." The king heard him greedily, and answered

p. 199

well pleased, "Tell me, my teacher, and I will do it." "My lord, let us raise an army, and first besiege a small city. Then I will enter the city by a postern gate, and will say to the king, Sire, there is no use in your fighting: just be our man; your kingdom you may keep, but if you fight with our mighty force, 2 3 you will be utterly conquered. If he does 1 what I advise, we will receive him; if not, we will fight and kill him, and with two armies go and take another city, and then another, and in this way we shall gain dominion over all India and drink the cup of victory. Then we will bring the hundred and one kings to our city, and make a drinking booth in the park, and seat them there, and provide them with poisoned liquor, and so kill them all and cast them into the Ganges. Thus we will get the hundred and one royal capitals into our hands, and you will become chief king of all India." "Very well, my teacher," said he, "I will do so." "Sire, this plan is for four ears only, no one else must know of it. Make no delay but set forth at once." The king was pleased with this advice and resolved to do so. The parrot which had overheard all their conversation let fall on Kevaṭṭa's head a lump of dung as though it dropt from a twig. "What's that?" cried he, looking upwards with mouth gaping wide: whereupon the bird dropt another into his mouth and flew off crying out, "Cree cree! O Kevaṭṭa, you think your plan is for four ears only, but now it is for six; by and by it will be for eight ears and for hundreds of them!" "Catch him, catch him!" they cried; but swift as the wind he flew to Mithilā and entered the wise man's house. Now the parrot's custom was this: If news from any place was for the sage's ears alone, he would perch on his shoulder; if Queen Amarā was also to hear it, he perched on his lap; if the company might hear it, upon the ground. This time he perched on the shoulder, and at that sign the company retired, knowing it to be secret. The sage took him up to the top storey and asked him, "Well, my dear, what have you seen, what have you heard?" He said, "My lord, in no other king of all India have I seen any danger; but only Kevaṭṭa, chaplain to Cūḷani-Brahmadatta in the city of Uttarapañcāla, took his king into the park and told him a plan for their four ears: I was sitting amidst the branches and dropt a ball of dung in his mouth, and here I am!" Then he told the sage all he had seen and heard. 3 "Did the king agree to it?" asked he. "Yes, he did," said the parrot. So the sage tended the bird as was fitting, and put him in his golden cage strewn with soft rugs. He thought to himself, "Kevaṭṭa methinks does not know that I am the wise Mahosadha. I will not allow him to accomplish his plan." Then he removed outside all the poor people who lived in the city, and he brought from all the kingdom, the country side, and the suburb villages, and settled within

p. 200

the city the rich families of the powerful, and he gathered great quantities of corn.

And Cūḷani-Brahmadatta did as Kevaṭṭa had proposed: he went with his army and laid siege to a city. Kevaṭṭa, as he had suggested, went into the city and explained matters to the king and won him over. Then joining the two armies Cūḷani-Brahmadatta followed Kevaṭṭa's advice and went on to another kingdom, until he had brought all the kings of India under his power except King Vedeha. The men provided by the Bodhisat kept on sending messages to say, "Brahmadatta has taken such and such towns, be on your guard": to which he replied, "I am on my guard here, be watchful yourselves without remissness." In seven years and seven months and seven days Brahmadatta gained possession of all India, excepting Vedeha. Then he said to Kevaṭṭa: "Teacher, let us seize the empire of Vedeha at Mithilā!" "Sire," he said, "we shall never be able to get possession of the city where wise Mahosadha lives: he is full of this sort of skill, very clever in device." Then he expatiated on the virtue of the Great Being, as though he drew it on the disk of the moon. Now he was himself very skilful in device, so he said, "The kingdom of Mithilā is very small, and the dominion of all India is enough for us." Thus he consoled the king; but the other princes said, "No, we will take the kingdom of Mithilā and drink the cup of victory!" Kevaṭṭa would have stayed them, saying, "What good will it be to take Vedeha's kingdom? That king is our man already. Come back." Such was his counsel: they listened to him and turned back. The Great Being's men sent him word that Brahmadatta with a hundred and one kings on his way to Mithilā turned back 3 4 and went to his own city. He sent word in answer, that they were to observe what he did.

Now Brahmadatta deliberated with Kevaṭṭa what was next to do. Hoping to drink the cup of victory, they adorned the park, and told the servants to set out wine in thousands of jars, to prepare fish and flesh of all sorts. This news also the sage's men sent to him. Now they did not know of the plan to poison the kings, but the Great Being knew it from what the parrot had told him; he sent a message to them accordingly, that they should inform him of the day fixt for this festival, and they did so. Then he thought, "It is not right that so many kings should be killed while a wise man like myself lives. I will help them." He sent for ten thousand warriors, his birth-fellows, and said, "Friends, on such a day Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, they tell me, wishes to adorn his park and to drink wine with the hundred and one kings. Go ye thither, and before anyone sits on the seats provided for the kings, take possession of the seat of honour next to Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, saying, This is for our king. When they ask whose men you are, tell them King Vedeha's. They will make a great outcry and say, What! for seven years and seven months

p. 201

and seven days we have been conquering kingdoms, and not once did we see your king Vedeha! What king is he? Go find him a seat at the end! You must then squabble and say, Except Brahmadatta, no king is above our king! If we cannot get even a seat for our king we will not let you eat or drink now! So shouting and jumping about, terrify them with the noise, break all the pots with your great clubs, scatter the food, and make it unfit to eat, rush amongst the crowd at the top of your speed, and make a din like titans invading the city of the gods, calling aloud, We are the wise Mahosadha's men of Mithilā city: catch us if you can! Thus shew them that you are there, and then return to me." They promised to obey, 3 5 and took their leave; and, armed with the five weapons, set off. They entered the decorated park like Nandana Grove, and beheld all its magnificent array, the seats placed for the hundred and one kings, the white parasols outspread, and all the rest. They did all as directed by the Great Being, and after causing confusion amongst the crowd they returned to Mithilā.

The king's men told him what had happened: Brahmadatta was angry, that such a fine plan to poison the princes had failed; whilst the princes were angry, because they had been deprived of the cup of victory; and the soldiers were angry, because they had lost the chance of free drink. So Brahmadatta said to the princes, "Come, friends, let us go to Mithilā, and cut off King Vedeha's head with the sword, and trample it underfoot, and then come back and drink the cup of victory! Go tell your armies to get them ready." Then going apart with Kevaṭṭa, he told him about it, saying, "See, we shall capture the enemy who has threatened this fine plan. With the hundred and one princes and the eighteen complete armies we shall assail that town. Come, my teacher!" But the brahmin was wise enough to know that they could never capture the sage Mahosadha, but all they would get would be disgrace; the king must be dissuaded. So he said: "Sire! this king of Vedeha has no strength; the management is in the hands of the sage Mahosadha, and he is very powerful. Guarded by him, as a lion guards his den, Mithilā can be taken by none. We shall only be disgraced: do not think of going." But the king, mad with soldier's pride and the intoxication of empire, cried out, "What will he do!" and departed, with the hundred and one princes and the eighteen complete armies 1. Kevaṭṭa, unable to persuade him to take his advice, and thinking that it was of no use to thwart him, went with him.

But those warriors came to Mithilā, in one night, and told the sage all that had passed. And the men whom he had before sent into service sent him word, that Cūḷani-Brahmadatta was on his way with the hundred and one kings to take King Vedeha; he must be vigilant. The messages

p. 202

came one after another: "To-day he is in such a place, 3 6 to-day in such a place, to-day he will reach the city." On hearing this the Great Being redoubled his care. And King Vedeha heard it noised about on all sides that Brahmadatta was on his way to take the city. Now Brahmadatta in the early evening surrounded the city by the light of a hundred thousand torches. He girdled it with fences of elephants and of chariots and of horses, and at regular intervals placed a mass of soldiers: there stood the men, shouting, snapping their fingers, roaring, dancing, crying aloud. With the light of the torches and the sheen of the armour the whole city of Mithilā in its seven leagues was one blaze of light, the noise of elephants and horses, of chariots, and men made the very earth to crack. The four wise men, hearing the waves of sound and not knowing what it should be, went to the king and said, "Sire, there is a great din, and we know not what it is: will the king enquire?" Hereat the king thought, "No doubt Brahmadatta is come"; and he opened a window, and looked out. When he saw that he was indeed come, the king was dismayed, and said to them, "We are dead men! to-morrow he will kill us all doubtless!" So they sat talking together. But when the Great Being saw that he had come, fearless as a lion he set guards in all the city, and then went up into the palace to encourage the king. Greeting him, he stood on one side. The king was encouraged to see him, and thought, "There is no one can save me from this trouble except the wise Mahosadha!" and he addressed him as follows:

"Brahmadatta of Pañcāla has come with all his host; this army of Pañcāla is infinite, O Mahosadha! Men with burdens on their backs 1, foot-soldiers, men skilful in fight, men ready to destroy, a great din, the noise of drums and conchs, here is all skill in the use of steel weapons, here are banners and knights in mail, accomplished warriors and heroes! Ten sages are here, profound in wisdom, secret in stratagem, and eleventh, the mother of the king 2 encouraging

p. 203

the host of Pañcāla. 3 Here are a hundred and one warrior-princes in attendance, their kingdoms reft from them, terror-stricken and overcome by the men of Pañcāla. What they profess that they do for the king;—will they nill they speak fair they must; with Pañcāla they go perforce, being in his power. Mithilā the royal city is surrounded by this host arrayed with three intervals 1, digging about it on all sides. It is surrounded as it were by stars on all sides. Think, Mahosadha! How shall deliverance come?"

[398] When the Great Being heard this, he thought, "This king is terribly in fear of his life. The sick man's refuge is the physician, 3 the hungry man's is food, and drink the thirsty man's, but I and I alone am his refuge. I will console him." Then, like a lion roaring upon the Vermilion uplands 2, he cried, "Fear not, sire, but enjoy your royal power. As I would scare a crow with a clod, or a monkey with a bow, I will scatter that mighty host, and leave them not so much as a waistcloth of their own." And he recited this stanza:

"Stretch out your feet, eat and be merry: Brahmadatta shall leave the host of Pañcāla and flee away."

After encouraging the king, the wise man came out and caused the drums of festival to beat about the city, with a proclamation—"Oyez! Have no fear. Procure garlands, scents, and perfumes, food and drink, and keep seven days' holiday. Let the people stay where they will, drink deep, sing and dance and make merry, shout and cheer and snap their fingers: all be at my cost. I am the wise Mahosadha: behold my power!" Thus he encouraged the townsfolk. They did so: and those without heard the sound of singing and musick. Men came in by the postern gate. Now it was not their way to arrest strangers at sight, except a foe; so the access was not closed. These men therefore saw the people taken up with merrymaking. And Cūḷani-Brahmadatta heard the noise in the town, and said to his courtiers: "Look ye, we have encompassed this city with eighteen great hosts, and the people shew neither

p. 204

fear nor anxiety: but full of delight and happiness they snap fingers, they make merry, they leap and sing. What is the meaning of this?" Then the men sent aforetime to foreign service spoke falsely as follows: "My lord, we entered the city by the postern on some business, and seeing the people all taken up in merrymaking we asked, 4 Why are you so careless when all the kings of India are here besieging your city? And they replied, When our king was a boy he had a wish to hold festival when all the kings of India should have besieged the city; and now that wish is fulfilled: therefore he sent round a proclamation, and himself keeps festival in the palace." This made the king angry; and he sent out a division of his army with these orders: "Disperse all about the city, fill up the trenches, break down the walls, raze the gate-towers, enter the city, use the people's heads like pumpkins cast on a cart, and bring me here the head of King Vedeha." Then the mighty warriors, armed with all manner of weapons, marched up to the gate, assisted by the sage's men with red-hot missiles 1, showers of mud, and stones thrown upon them. When they were in the ditch attempting to destroy the wall, the men in the gate-towers dealt havock with arrows, javelins, and spears. The sage's men mocked and jeered at the men of Brahmadatta, with gestures and signs of the hands, and crying, "If you can't take us, have a bite or a sup, do!" and holding out bowls of toddy and skewers with meat or fish, which they ate and drank themselves, and promenaded the walls. The others quite unsuccessful returned to Cūḷani-Brahmadatta, and said, "My lord, no one but a magician could get in." The king waited four or five days, not seeing how to take what he wanted to take. Then he asked Kevaṭṭa: "Teacher, take the city we cannot, not a man can get near it! What's to be done?" "Never mind, your majesty. The city gets water from outside, we will cut off the water and so take it. They will be worn out for want of water, and will open the gates." "That is the plan," said the king. After that, they hindered the people from getting near the water. The wise man's spies wrote on a leaf, and fastened it on an arrow, and so sent word to him. Now he had already given orders, that whosoever sees a leaf fastened upon an arrow 1 4 was to bring it to him. A man saw this, and took it to the sage, who read the message. "He knows not that I am the sage Mahosadha," he thought. Procuring bamboo poles sixty cubits long, he had them split in two, the knots removed, and then joined again, covered over with leather, and smeared with mud. He then sent for the soil and lily-seed brought from Himavat by the hermits, he planted the seed in the mud by the edge of the tank, and placed the bamboo over it, and filled it with water. In one night it grew up and flowered, rising a fathom above the top of the

p. 205

bamboo. Then he pulled it up and gave it to his men with orders to take it to Brahmadatta. They rolled up the stalk, and threw it over the wall, crying out, "Ho servants of Brahmadatta! don't starve for want of food. Here you are, wear the flower and fill your bellies with the stalk!" One of the wise man's spies picked it up, and brought it to the king, and said, "See, your majesty, the stalk of this lily: never was so long a stalk seen before!" "Measure it," said the king. They measured it and made it out to be eighty fathoms instead of sixty. The king asked, "Where did that grow?" One replied with a made-up tale: "One day, my lord, being thirsty for a little toddy, I went into the city by the postern, and I saw the great tanks made for the people to play in. There was a number of people in a boat plucking flowers. That was where this grew by the edge of the tank; but those which grew in the deep water would be a hundred cubits high." Hearing this the king said to Kevaṭṭa, "Teacher, we cannot take them by cutting off the water; make an end of that attempt." "Well," said he, "then we will take them by cutting off their food; the city gets its food from outside." "Very good, teacher." The sage learnt this as before, and thought, "He does not know that I am the sage Mahosadha!" Along the rampart he laid mud and there planted rice. Now the wishes of the Bodhisats always do succeed: in one night the rice sprang up and shewed over the top of the rampart. 2 4 This Brahmadatta saw, and asked, "Friend, what is that which shews green above the rampart?" A scout of the sage's replied, as though catching the words from the king's lips, "My lord, Mahosadha the farmer's son, foreseeing danger to come, collected from all the realm grain with which he filled his granaries, throwing out the residue upon the ramparts. No doubt this rice, warmed with the heat and soaked in the rain, grew up there into plants. I myself one day went in by the postern on some business, and picked up a handful of this rice from a heap on the rampart, and dropt it in the street; whereupon the people laughed at me, and cried, "You're hungry, it seems! tie up some of it in the corner of your robe, take it home, and cook it and eat it." Hearing this, the king said to Kevaṭṭa, "Teacher, by cutting off the grain we shall not take this place; that is not the way." "Then, my lord, we will take it by cutting off the supply of wood, which the city gets from without." "So be it, teacher." The Bodhisat as before got to know of it; and he built a heap of firewood which shewed beyond the rice. The people laughed at the Brahmadatta's men, and said, "If you are hungry, here is something to cook your food with," throwing down great logs of wood as they said it. The king asked, "What is this firewood shewing above the rampart?" The scouts said, "The farmer's son, foreseeing danger to come, collected firewood, and stored it in the sheds behind the houses; what was over he stacked by the rampart side." Then the king said to Kevaṭṭa, "Teacher, we cannot take

p. 206

the place by cutting off the wood; enough of that plan." "Never mind, sire, I have another plan." "What is that plan, teacher? I see no end to your plans. Videha we cannot take; let us go back to our city."My lord, if it is said that Cūḷani-Brahmadatta with a hundred and one princes could not take Videha, we shall be disgraced. Mahosadha is not the only wise man, for I am another: I will use a stratagem." "What stratagem, teacher?" "We will have a Battle of the Law." 3 4 "What do you mean by that?" "Sire, no army shall fight. The two sages of the two kings shall appear in one place, and of these whichever shall salute the other shall be conquered. Mahosadha does not know this idea. I am older and he is younger, and when he sees me he will salute me. Thus we shall conquer Vedeha, and this done we will return home. So we shall not be disgraced. That is what is meant by a Battle of the Law." But the Bodhisat learnt this secret as before. "If I let Kevaṭṭa conquer me thus," he thought, "I am no sage." Brahmadatta said, "A capital plan": and he wrote a letter and sent it to Vedeha by the postern, to this effect: "To-morrow there shall be a Battle of the Law between the two sages; and he who shall refuse to fight shall be accounted vanquished." On receipt of this Vedeha sent for the sage and told him. He answered, "Good, my lord: send word to prepare a place for the Battle of the Law by the western gate, and there to assemble. So he gave a letter to the messenger, and next day they prepared the place for the Battle of the Law to see the defeat of Kevaṭṭa. But the hundred and one princes, not knowing what might befall, surrounded Kevaṭṭa to protect him. These princes went to the place prepared, and stood looking towards the east, and there also was the sage Kevaṭṭa. But early in the morning, the Bodhisat bathed in sweet-scented water, and clothed himself in a Kāsi robe worth a hundred thousand pieces, and adorned himself fully, and after a dainty breakfast went with a great following to the palace-gate. Bidden to enter, he did so, and greeted the king, and sat down on one side. "Well, sage Mahosadha?" said the king. "I am going to the place of the Battle." "And what am I to do?" "My lord, I wish to conquer Kevaṭṭa with a gem; I must have the eight-sided gem." "Take it, my son." He took it, and took his leave, and surrounded by the thousand warriors, his birthmates, 4 he entered the noble chariot drawn by a team of white thorobreds, worth ninety thousand pieces of money, and at the time of the mid-day meal he came to the gate.

Kevaṭṭa stood watching for his arrival, and saying, "Now he comes, now he comes," craning his neck till it seemed to be lengthened, and sweating in the heat of the sun. The Great Being, with his retinue, like an inundating sea, like a roused lion, fearless and unruffled, caused the gate to be opened and came forth from the city; descending from his

p. 207

chariot like a lion aroused, he went forward. The hundred and one princes beholding his majesty, acclaimed him with thousands of cries, "Here is the sage Mahosadha, son of Sirivaddha, who hath no peer for wisdom in all India!" And he like Sakka surrounded with his troop of gods, in glory and grandeur unparalleled, holding in his hand the precious gem, stood before Kevaṭṭa. And Kevaṭṭa at first sight of him had not force to stand still, but advanced to meet him, and said, "Sage Mahosadha, we are sages both, and although I have been dwelling near you all this time, you have never yet sent me so much as a gift. Why is this?" The Great Being said, "Wise sir, I was looking for a gift which should be not unworthy of you, and to-day I have found this gem. Pray take it; there is not its like in the world." The other seeing the gem ablaze in his hand, thought that he must be desiring to offer it, and said, "Give it me then," holding out his hand. "Take it," said the Great Being, and dropt it upon the tips of the fingers of his outstretched hand. But the brahmin could not support the weight of the gem in his fingers, and it slipt down and rolled to the Bodhisat's feet; the brahmin in his greed to get it, stooped down to the other's feet. Then the Great Being would not let him rise, but with one hand held his shoulderblades and with the other his loins, as he cried, "Rise teacher, rise, I am younger than you, young enough to be your grandson; do no obeisance to me." As he said this again and again, he rubbed his face and forehead against the ground, till it was all bloody, then with the words "Blind fool, did you think to have an obeisance from me?" 4 5 he caught him by the throat and threw him away from himself. He fell twenty fathoms away; then got up and ran off. Then the Great Being's men picked up the gem, but the echo of the Bodhisat's words, "Rise up, rise, do no obeisance to me!" rose above the din of the crowd. All the people shouted aloud with one voice, "Brahmin Kevaṭṭa did obeisance to the sage's feet!" And the kings, Brahmadatta and all, saw Kevaṭṭa bowed before the feet of the Great Being. "Our sage," they thought, "has done obeisance to the Great Being; now we are conquered! he will make an end of us all"; and each mounting his horse they began to flee away to Uttarapañcāla. The Bodhisat's men seeing them flee, again made a clamour, crying, "Cūlaṇī-Brahmadatta is in flight with his hundred and one princes!" Hearing this, the princes terrified more and more, ran on and scattered the great host; while the Bodhisat's men, shouting and yelling, made a yet louder din. The Great Being with his retinue returned to the city; while Brahmadatta's army ran in rout for three leagues. Kevaṭṭa mounted upon a horse came up with the army wiping off the blood from his forehead, and cried, "Ho there, do not run! I did not bow to the churl! Stop, stop!" But the army would not stop, and made mock of Kevaṭṭa, reviling him, "Man of sin! villain brahmin! You would make a Battle of the Law, and then

p. 208

bow before a stripling young enough to be your grandson! Is not this a thing most unmeet for you!" They would not listen to him, but went on. He dashed on into the army, and cried, "Ho you, you must believe me, I did not bow to him, he tricked me with a gem!" So by one means or another, he convinced the princes and made them believe him, and rallied the broken army.

Now so great was this host, that if each man of them had taken a clod or a handful of earth and thrown it into the moat, they could have filled the moat and made a heap as high as the rampart. But we know that the intentions of the Bodhisats are fulfilled; and there was not one who threw a clod or a handful of earth towards the city. They all returned back to their position. 4 6 Then the king asked Kevaṭṭa, "What are we to do, teacher?" "My lord, let no one come out from the postern, and cut off all access. The people unable to come out will be discouraged and will open the gate. Thus we shall capture our enemies." The sage was informed as before of the matter, and thought: "If they stay here long we shall have no peace; a way must be found to get rid of them. I will devise a stratagem to make them go." So he searched for a man clever in such things, and found one named Anukevaṭṭa. To him he said, "Teacher, I have a thing which I want you to carry out." "What am I to do, wise sir? Tell me." "Stand on the rampart, and when you see our men incautious, immediately let down cakes, fish, meat, and other food to Brahmadatta's men, and say, Here, eat this and this, don't be downhearted; try to stay here a few days longer; before long the people will be like hens in a coop and will open the gate of themselves, and then you will be able to capture Vedeha and that villain of a farmer's son. Our men when they hear this, with harsh upbraiding, will bind you hand and foot in the sight of Brahmadatta's army, and will pretend to beat you with bamboos, and pull you down, and tying your hair in five knots 1 will daub you with brickdust, put a garland of kanavera 2 upon you, belabour you soundly until weals rise on your back, take you up on the rampart, tie you up, and let you down by a rope to Brahmadatta's men, crying out, Go, traitor! Then you will be taken before Brahmadatta, and he will ask your offence; you must say to him, Great king, once I was held in great honour, but the farmer's son denounced me to my king for a traitor and robbed me of all. I wished to make the man shorter by a head who had ruined me, and in pity for the despondency of your men 4 I gave them food and drink. For that, with the old grudge in his heart, he brought this destruction upon me. Your own men, O king, know all about it. Thus by one means or another you must win the king's confidence, and then say to him: Sire, now you have me, trouble

p. 209

no more. Now Vedeha and the farmer's son are dead men! I know the strong places and the weak places of the ramparts in this city. I know where crocodiles are in the moat and where they are not; before long I will bring the city into your hands. The king will believe you and do you honour, and will place the army in your charge. Then you must bring down the army into the places infested by snakes and crocodiles; the army in fear of the crocodiles will refuse to go down. You must then say to the king, Your army, my lord, has been corrupted by the farmer's son; there is not a man of them, not even teacher Kevaṭṭa and the princes, who has not been bribed. They just walk about guarding you, they are all the creatures of the farmer's son, and I alone am your man. If you do not believe me, order the kings to come before you in full dress; then examine their dresses, their ornaments, their swords, all given them by the farmer's son and inscribed with his name, and assure yourself. He will do so, and make sure, and in fear will dismiss the princes. Then he will ask you what is to be done? and you must reply, My lord, the farmer's son is full of resource, and if you stay here a few days he will gain over all the army and capture yourself. Make no delay, but this very night in the middle watch let us take horse and depart, that we die not in the enemy's hands. He will follow your advice; and while he flees away you must return and tell my people." Thereupon Anukevaṭṭa replied, "Good, wise sir, I will do your bidding." "Well then, you must put up with a few blows." 4 "Wise sir, do what you will with my body, only spare my life and my limbs."

Then after shewing all respect to Anukevaṭṭa's family, he caused him to be roughly handled in this manner and handed him over to Brahmadatta's men. The king tested him, and trusted him, honoured him and gave him charge of the army; he brought the army down to the places which were infested by snakes and crocodiles; and the men terrified by the crocodiles, and wounded by arrows, spears, and lances cast by soldiers who stood upon the battlements, thus perished, after which none were so brave as to approach. Then Anukevaṭṭa approached the king, and said to him, "O great king, there is not a man to fight for you: all have been bribed. If you do not believe me, send for the princes, and see the inscriptions upon their garments and accoutrements." This the king did; and seeing inscriptions upon all their garments and accoutrements, he felt sure that indeed these had taken bribes. "Teacher," he said, "what's to be done now?" "My lord, there's nothing to be done; if you delay, the farmer's son will capture you. Sire, if the teacher Kevaṭṭa does walk about with a sore on his forehead, yet he also has taken his bribe; he accepted that precious gem, and made you run in rout for three leagues, and then won your confidence again and made you return. He is a traitor! I would not obey him a single night; this very night in the

p. 210

middle watch you should escape. You have not a friend but me." "Then, teacher, get my horse and chariot ready yourself." Finding that the king was assuredly bent on escape, he encouraged him and bade him fear nothing; then he went out and told the scouts that the king was to escape that night, let them not think of sleep. He next prepared the king's horse, arranging the reins so that the more he pulled the faster the horse would go; and at midnight he said, "My lord, your horse is ready; see, it is time." The king mounted the horse and fled. Anukevaṭṭa also got on horseback, as though to go with him, but after going a little way he turned back; and the king's horse, by the arrangement of its reins, 4 pull as the king would, went on. Then Anukevaṭṭa came amongst the army, and shouted with a loud voice, "Cūlaṇī-Brahmadatta has fled!" The scouts and their attendants cried out too. The other princes, hearing the noise, thought in their terror, "Sage Mahosadha must have opened the gate and come out; we shall all be dead men!" Giving but a look at all the materials of their use and enjoyment 1, away they ran. The men shouted the louder, "The princes are in rout!" Hearing the noise, all the others who stood at the gate and on the towers shouted and clapt their hands. Then the whole city within and without was one great roar, as though the earth cleft asunder, or the great deep were broken up, whilst the innumerable myriads of that mighty host in mortal terror, without refuge or defence, cried aloud, "Brahmadatta is taken by Mahosadha with the hundred and one kings!" Away they ran in rout, throwing down even their waistclothes. The camp was empty. Cūlaṇī-Brahmadatta entered his own city with the hundred and one chiefs.

Next morning, the soldiers opened the city gates and went forth, and seeing the great booty, reported it to the Great Being, asking what they were to do. He said, "The goods which they have left are ours. Give to our king that which belonged to the princes, and bring to me that which belonged to Kevaṭṭa and the other private persons; all the rest let the citizens take." It took half a month to remove the jewels of price and valuable goods, four months for the rest. The Great Being gave great honour to Anukevaṭṭa. From that day the citizens of Mithilā had plenty of gold.

Now Brahmadatta and those kings had been a year in the city of Uttarapañcālā; when one day, Kevaṭṭa, looking upon his face in a mirror, saw the scar on his forehead and thought, "That is the doing of the farmer's son: he made me a laughingstock before all those kings!" Anger arose in him. "How can I manage to see his back?" he thought. "Ah, here is a plan. Our king's daughter, Pañcālacaṇḍī 1 4 is peerless in beauty, like a divine nymph; I will shew her to King Vedeha. He

p. 211

will be caught by desire like a fish that has swallowed the hook: I will land him and Mahosadha with him, and kill them both, and drink the cup of victory!" With this resolve, he approached the king. "My lord," said he, "I have an idea." "Yes, teacher, your idea left me once without a rag to cover me. What will you do now? Hold your peace." "Sire, there never was a plan equal to this." "Speak on, then." "Sire, we two must be alone." "So be it." The brahmin took him into an upper storey, and said, "Great king! I will attract King Vedeha by desire, to bring him here, and kill him." "A good plan, teacher, but how are we to arouse his desire?" "Sire, your daughter Pañcālacaṇḍī is peerless in beauty; we will have her charms and accomplishments celebrated in verse by poets, and have those poems sung in Mithilā. When we find that he is saying to himself, If the mighty monarch Vedeha cannot get this pearl of maidens, what is his kingdom to him? and that he is caught in the attraction of the idea, I will go and fix a day; on the day fixt by me he will come, like a fish that has swallowed the hook, and the farmer's son with him; then we will kill them." This pleased the king, and he agreed: "A fine plan that, my teacher! so we will do."

But a maynah bird, that watched the king's bed, took note of it.

And so the king sent for clever poets, and paid them richly, and shewed them his daughter, bidding them make a poem on her beauty; and they made songs of exceeding great sweetness, and recited them to the king. He rewarded them richly. Musicians learnt these songs from the poets, and sang them in public, and thus they were spread abroad. When they had been spread abroad, the king sent for the singers, and said, "My children, climb into the trees by night with some birds, sit there and sing, and, in the morning, 1 4 tie bells about their necks, let them fly, and come down." This he did that the world might say, the very gods sing the beauty of the King of Pañcāla's daughter. Again the king sent for these poets, and said to them, "My children, make poems to this effect, that such a princess is not for any king in all India save Vedeha King of Mithilā, praising the king's majesty and the girl's beauty." They did so, and reported it; the king paid them well, and told them to go to Mithilā and sing in the same way. They went to Mithilā, singing these songs on the way, and there sang them in public. Crowds of people heard the songs, and amidst loud applause paid them well. At night they would climb into the trees and sing, and, in the morning, tied bells about the birds' necks before they came down. People heard the sound of the bells in the air, and all the city rang with the news, that the very gods were singing the beauty of the king's daughter. The king hearing of it sent for the poets, and made an audience in his palace. He was to think that they wanted to give him the peerless daughter of King Cūlani. So he paid them well, and they came back and

p. 212

told Brahmadatta. Then Kevaṭṭa said to him, "Now, sire, ’tis time for me to go and settle the day." "Very good, teacher, what must you take with you?" "A little present." He gave it. The other went with it, accompanied by a large following, to Vedeha's kingdom. On his arrival being made known, all the city was in an uproar: "King Mani and Vedeha, they say, will strike a friendship; Cūlani will give his daughter to our king, and Kevaṭṭa, they say, is coming to fix a day." King Vedeha also heard this; and the Great Being heard it, and thought, "I like not his coming; I must find out about it exactly." So he sent word to spies that lived with Cūlani. They replied, "We do not quite understand this business. The king and Kevaṭṭa were sitting and talking in the royal bedchamber; but the maynah which watches the bedchamber will know about it." On hearing this, the Great Being thought: 1 2 4 "That our enemies may not have an advantage, I will parcel out the whole city and decorate it, and not allow Kevaṭṭa to see it." So from the city gate to the palace, and from the palace to his own house, on both sides of the road he erected lattice-work, and covered all over with mats, covered all with pictures, scattered flowers upon the ground, set jars full of water in place, hung flags and banners. Kevaṭṭa as he entered the city could not see its arrangements; he thought the king had decorated it for his sake, and did not understand that it had been done that he might not see. When he came before the king, he offered his gift, and with a courteous greeting sat down on one side. Then after an honourable reception, he recited two stanzas, to announce the reason of his arrival:

"A king who wishes for thy friendship sends thee these precious things: now let worthy sweet-spoken ambassadors come from that place; let them utter gentle words which shall give pleasure, and let the people of Pañcāla and Videha be one."

"Sire," he went on, "he would have sent another in place of me, but me he sent, feeling sure that no other could tell the tale so pleasantly as I should do. Go, teacher, quoth he, win over the king to look favourably upon it, and bring him back with you. Now, sire, go, and you shall receive an excellent and beautiful princess, and there shall be friendship established between our king and you." The king was pleased at this proposal; he was attracted by the idea that he should receive a princess of peerless beauty, and replied, "Teacher, there was a quarrel between you and the wise Mahosadha at the Battle of the Law. Now go and see my son; 1 3 4 you two wise men must make up your differences; and after a talk together, come back." Kevaṭṭa promised to go and see the sage, and he went.

Now the Great Being that day, determined to avoid talking with this man of sin, in the morning drank a little ghee; they smeared the floor

p. 213

with wet cow-dung, and smeared the pillars with oil; all chairs and seats they removed except one narrow couch on which he lay. To his servants he gave orders as follows: "When the brahmin begins to talk, say, Brahmin, do not talk with the sage; he has taken a dose of ghee to-day. And when I make as though to talk with him, stop me, saying, My lord, you have taken a dose of ghee—do not talk." After these instructions the Great Being covered himself with a red robe, and lay down on his couch, after posting men at the seven gate-towers 1. Kevaṭṭa, reaching the first gate, asked where the wise man was? Then the servants answered, "Brahmin, do not make much noise; if you wish to go in, go silently. To-day the sage has taken ghee, and he cannot stand a noise." At the other gates they told him the same thing. When he came to the seventh gate, he entered the presence of the sage, and the sage made as though to speak: but they said, "My lord, do not talk; you have taken a strong dose of ghee—why should you talk with this wretched brahmin?" So they stayed him. The other came in, but could not find where to sit, nor a place to stand by the bed. He passed over the wet cow-dung and stood. Then one looked at him and rubbed his eyes, one lifted his eyebrow, one scratched his elbow. When he saw this, he was annoyed, and said, "Wise sir, I am going." Another said, "Ha, wretched brahmin, don't make a noise! If you do, I'll break your bones for you!" Terrified he looked back, when another struck him on the back with a bamboo stick, another caught him by the throat and pushed him, another slapt him on the back, until he departed in fear, like a fawn from the panther's mouth, and returned to the palace.

Now the king thought: 1 4 "To-day my son will be pleased to hear the news. What a talking there will be between the two wise men about the Law! To-day they will be reconciled together, and I shall be the gainer." So when he saw Kevaṭṭa, he recited a stanza, asking about their conversation together:

"How did your meeting with Mahosadha come off, Kevaṭṭa? Pray tell me that. Was Mahosadha reconciled, was he pleased?"

To this Kevaṭṭa replied, "Sire, you think that is a wise man, but there is not another man less good," and he recited a stanza:

"He is a man ignoble of nature, lord of men! disagreeable, obstinate, wicked in disposition, like one dumb or deaf: he said not a word."

This displeased the king, but he found no fault. He provided Kevaṭṭa and his attendants with all that they needed and a house to live in, and bade him go and rest. After he had sent him away the king thought

p. 214

to himself, "My son is wise, and knows well how to be courteous; yet he would not speak courteously to this man and did not want to see him. Surely he must have seen cause for some apprehension in the future!" and he composed a stanza of his own:

"Verily this resolution is very hard to understand; a clear issue has been foreseen by this strong man. Therefore my body is shaken: who shall lose his own and fall into the hands of his foe?"

[415] "No doubt my son saw some mischief in the brahmin's visit. He will have come here for no friendly purpose. He must have wished to attract me by desire, and make me go to his city, and there capture me. The sage must have foreseen some danger to come." As he was turning over these thoughts in his mind, with alarm, the four wise men came in. The king said to Senaka, "Well, Senaka, do you think I ought to go to the city of Uttarapañcāla and marry King Cūḷanī's daughter?" He replied, "O sire, what is this you say! When luck comes your way, who would drive it off with blows? If you go there and marry her, you will have no equal save Cūḷanī-Brahmadatta in all India, because you will have married the daughter of the chief king. The king knows that the other princes are his men, and Vedeha alone is his peer, and so desires to give you his peerless daughter. Do as he says and we also shall receive dresses and ornaments." When the king asked the others, they all said the same. And as they were thus conversing, Brahmin Kevaṭṭa came from his lodging to take his leave of the king, and go; and he said, "Sire, I cannot linger here, I would go, prince of men!" The king shewed him respect, and let him go.

When the Great Being heard of his departure, he bathed and dressed and went to wait on the king, and saluting him sat on one side. Thought the king: "Wise Mahosadha my son is great and full of resource, he knows past, present and future; he will know whether I ought to go or not"; yet befooled by passion he did not keep to his first resolve, but asked his question in a stanza:

"All six have one opinion, and they are sages supreme in wisdom. To go or not to go, to abide here—Mahosadha, tell me your opinion also."

[416] At this the sage thought, "This king is exceedingly greedy in desire: blind and foolish he listens to the words of these four. I will tell him the mischief of going and dissuade him." So he repeated four stanzas:

"Do you know, great king: mighty and strong is King Cūḷanī-Brahmadatta, and he wants you to kill, as a hunter catches the deer by decoy. As a fish greedy for food does not recognize the hook hidden in the bait, or a mortal his death, so you O king, greedy in desire, do not recognize Cūḷanī's daughter, you, mortal, your own death. Go to Pañcāla, and in a little time you will destroy yourself, as a deer caught on the road comes into great danger."

p. 215

[417] At this heavy rebuke 1, the king was angry. "The man thinks I am his slave," he thought, "he forgets I am a king. He knows that the chief king has sent to offer me his daughter, and says not a word of good wishes, but foretells that I shall be caught and killed like a silly deer or a fish that swallows the hook or a deer caught on the road!" and immediately he recited a stanza:

"I was foolish, I was deaf and dumb, to consult you on high matters. How can you understand things like other men, when you grew up hanging on to the plow-tail?"

With these opprobrious wordy, he said, "This clodhopper is hindering my good luck! away with him!" and to get rid of him he uttered this stanza:

"Take this fellow by the neck and rid my kingdom of him, who speaks to hinder my getting a jewel."

But he, seeing the king's anger, thought, "If any one at the bidding of this king seize me by hand or by neck, or touch me, I shall be disgraced to my dying day; therefore I will go of myself." 1 4 So he saluted the king and went to his house. Now the king had merely spoken in anger: but out of respect for the Bodhisat he did not command any one to carry out his words. Then the Great Being thought, "This king is a fool, he knows not his own profit or unprofit. He is in love; and determined to get that princess, he does not perceive the danger to come; he will go to his ruin. I ought not to let his words lie in my mind. He is my great benefactor, and has done me much honour. I must have confidence in him. But first I will send the parrot and find out the facts, then I will go myself." So he sent the parrot.

To explain this the Master said:

"Then he went out of Vedeha's presence, and spake to his messenger, Māṭhara [sic] the clever parrot: "Come, my green parrot, do a service for me. The king of Pañcāla has a maynah that watches his bed: ask him in full, for he knows all, knows all the secret of the king and Kosiya." Māṭhara (sic) the clever parrot listened, and went—the green parrot—to the maynah bird. Then this clever parrot Māṭhara spake to the sweet-voiced maynah in her fine cage: "Is all well with you in your fine cage? is all happy, O Vessā 2? Do they give you parched honey-corn in your fine cage?" "All is well with me, sir, indeed, all is happy, they do give me parched honey-corn, O clever parrot. Why have you come, sir, and why were you sent? I never saw you or heard of you before."

[419] On hearing this, he thought: "If I say, I am come from Mithilā, for her life she will never trust me. On my way I noticed the town Ariṭṭhapura in this kingdom of Sivi; so I will make up a false tale, how the king of Sivi has sent me hither," and he said—

"I was King Sivi's chamberlain in his palace, and from thence that righteous king set the prisoners free from bondage."

p. 216

[420] Then the maynah gave him the honey-corn and honey-water which stood ready for her in a golden dish, and said, "Sir, you have come a long way: what has brought you?" He made up a tale, desirous to learn the secret, and said,

"I once had to wife a sweet-voiced maynah, and a hawk killed her before my eyes."

Then she asked, "But how did the hawk kill your wife?" He told her this story. "Listen, madam. One day our king invited me to join him at a water-party. My wife and I went with him, and amused ourselves. In the evening we returned with him to the palace. To dry our feathers, my wife and I flew out of a window and sat on the top of a pinnacle. At that moment a hawk swooped down to catch us as we were leaving the pinnacle. In fear of my life I flew swiftly off; but she was heavy then, and could not fly fast; hence before my eyes he killed her and carried her off. The king saw me weeping for her loss, and asked me the reason. On hearing what had occurred, he said, "Enough, friend, do not weep, but look for another wife." I replied, "What need I, my lord, to wed another, wicked and vicious? Better to live alone." He said, "Friend, I know a bird virtuous like your wife; King Cūḷani's chamberlain is a maynah like her. Go and ask her will, and let her reply, and if she likes you come and tell me; then I or my queen will go with great pomp and bring her back." With these words he sent me, and that is why I am come." And he said:

"Full of love for her I am come to you: if you give me leave we might dwell together."

[421] These words pleased her exceedingly; but without shewing her feelings she said, as though unwilling:

"Parrot should love parrot, and maynah maynah: how can there be union between parrot and maynah?"

The other hearing this thought, "She does not reject me; she is only making much of herself. Indeed she loves me doubtless. I will find some parables to make her trust me." So he said—

"Whomsoever the lover loves, be it a low Caṇḍālī, all are alike: in love there is no unlikeness."

This said, he went on, to shew the measure of the differences in the birth of men,

"The mother of the king of Sivi is named Jambāvatī, and she was the beloved queen consort of Vāsudeva the Kaṇha."

Now the king of Sivi's mother, Jambāvatī, was of the Caṇḍāla caste, and she was the beloved queen consort of Vāsudeva, one of the Kaṇhāgana clan, the eldest of ten brothers. The story goes, that he one day went out from Dvāravatī into the park; and on his way he espied a very beautiful

p. 217

girl, standing by the way, as she journeyed on some business from her Caṇḍāla village to town. He fell in love, and asked her birth; and on hearing that she was a Caṇḍālī, he was distressed. Finding that she was unmarried, he turned back at once, and took her home, surrounded her with precious things, and made her his chief queen. She brought forth a son Sivi, who ruled in Dvāravatī at his father's death.

[422] After giving this example, he went on: "Thus even a prince such as he mated with a Caṇḍāla woman; and what of us, who are but of the animal kingdom? If we like to mate together, there is no more to be said." And he gave another example as follows:

"Rathavatī, a fairy, also loved Vaccha, and the man loved the animal. In love there is no unlikeness.

"Vaccha was a hermit of that name, and the way she loved him was this. In times gone by, a brahmin, who had seen the evil of the passions, left great wealth to follow the ascetic life, and lived in Himavat in a hut of leaves which he made him. Not far from this hut in a cave lived a number of fairies, and in the same place lived a spider. This spider used to spin his web, and crack the heads of these creatures, and drink their blood. Now the fairies were weak and timid, the spider was mighty and very poisonous: they could do nothing against him, so they came to the hermit, and saluted him, and told him how a spider was destroying them and they could see no help; wherefore they begged him to kill the spider and save them. But the ascetic drove them away, crying, "Men like me take no life!" A female of these creatures, named Rahavatī, was unmarried; and they brought her all finely arrayed to the hermit, and said, "Let her be your handmaiden, and do you slay our enemy." When the hermit saw her he fell in love, and kept her with him, and lay in wait for the spider at the cave's mouth, and as he came out for food killed him with a club. So he lived with the fairy and begat sons and daughters on her, and then died. Thus she loved him."

The parrot, having described this example, said, "Vaccha the hermit, although a man, lived with a fairy, who belonged to the animal world; why should not we do the same, who both are birds?"

When she heard him she said, "My lord, the heart is not always the same: I fear separation from my beloved." But he, being wise and versed in the wiles of women, further tested her with this stanza:

"Verily I shall go away, O sweet-voiced maynah. This is a refusal; no doubt you despise me."

[423] Hearing this she felt as though her heart would break; but before him she made as though she was burning with newly awakened love, and recited a stanza and a half:

"No luck for the hasty, O wise parrot Māṭhara. Stay here until you shall see the king, and hear the sound of tabours and see the splendour of our king."

p. 218

So when evening came they took their pleasure together; and they lived in friendship and pleasure and delight. Then the parrot thought, "Now she will not hide the secret from me; now I must ask it of her and go.—Maynah," quoth he. "What is it, my lord?" "I want to ask you something; shall I say it?" "Say on, my lord." "Never mind, to-day is a festival; another day I will see about it." "If it be suitable to a festival, say it, if not, my lord, say nothing." "Indeed, this is a thing fit for a festival day." "Then speak." "If you will listen, I will speak." Then he asked the secret in a stanza and a half:

"This sound so loud heard over the countryside—the daughter of the king of Pañcāla, bright as a star—he will give her to the Videhas, and this will be their wedding!"

[424] When she heard this she said, "My lord! on a day of festival you have said a thing most unlucky!" "I say it is lucky, you say it is unlucky: what can this mean?" "I cannot tell you, my lord." "Madam, from the time when you refuse to tell me a secret which you know, our happy union ends." Importuned by him she replied, "Then, my lord, listen:—

"Let not even your enemies have such a wedding, Māṭhara, as there shall be betwixt the kings of Pañcāla and Videha."

Then he asked, "Why do you ask such a thing, madam?" She replied, "Listen now, and I will tell you the mischief of it," and she repeated another stanza:

"The mighty king of Pañcāla will attract Videha, and then he will kill him; his friend she will not be."

So she told the whole secret to the wise parrot; and the wise parrot, hearing it, extolled Kevaṭṭa: "This teacher is fertile in resource; ’tis a wonderful plan to kill the king. But what is so unlucky a thing to us? silence is best." Thus he attained the fruit of his journey. And after passing the night with her, he said, "Lady, I would go to the Sivi country, and tell the king how I have got a loving wife"; and he took leave in the following words:

[425] "Now give me leave for just seven nights, that I may tell the mighty king of Sivi, how I have found a dwelling-place with a maynah."

The maynah hereat, although unwilling to part with him, yet unable to refuse, recited the next stanza:

"Now I give you leave for seven nights; if after seven nights you do not return to me, I see myself gone down into the grave; I shall be dead when you return 1."

p. 219

The other said: "Lady, what is this you say! if I see you not after seven days, how can I live?" So he spake with his lips, but thought in his heart, "Live or die 1, what care I for you?" He rose up, and after flying for a short distance towards the Sivi country, he turned off and went to Mithilā. Then descending upon the wise man's shoulder, when the Great Being had taken him to the upper storey, and asked his news, he told him all. The other did him all honour as before.

This the Master explained as follows:

"And then Māṭhara, the wise parrot, said to Mahosadha: "This is the story of the maynah."

On hearing it the Great Being thought: "The king will go, will I nill I, and if he go, he will be utterly destroyed. 2 4 6 And if by bearing a grudge against such a king who gave me such wealth, I refrain from doing well to him, I shall be disgraced. When there is found one so wise as I, why should he perish? I will set out before the king, and see Cūḷani; and I will arrange all well, and I will build a city for King Vedeha to dwell in, and a smaller passage a mile long, and a great tunnel of half a league; and I will consecrate King Cūḷani's daughter and make her our king's handmaiden; and even when our city is surrounded by the hundred and one kings with their army of eighteen myriads, I will save our king, as the moon is saved from the jaws of Rāhu, and bring him home. His return is in my hands." As he thought thus, joy pervaded his body, and by force of this joy he uttered this aspiration:

"A man should always work for his interest in whose house he is fed."

Thus bathed and anointed he went in great pomp to the palace, and saluting the king, stood on one side. "My lord," he asked, "are you going to the city of Uttarapañcāla?" "Yes, my son; if I cannot gain Pañcālacaṇḍī, what is my kingdom to me? Leave me not, but come with me. By going thither, two benefits will be mine: I shall gain the most precious of women, and make friendship with the king." Then the wise man said, "Well, my lord, I will go on ahead, and build dwellings for you; do you come when I send word." Saying this, he repeated two stanzas:

"Truly I will go first, lord of men, to the lovely city of Pañcāla's king, to build dwellings for the glorious Vedeha. When I have built dwellings for the glorious Vedeha, come, mighty warrior, when I send word."

[427] The king on hearing this was pleased that he should not desert him, and said, "My son, if you go on ahead, what do you want?" "An army, sire." "Take as many as you wish, my son." The other went on, "My lord, have the four prisons opened, and break the chains that bind the

p. 220

robbers therein, and send these also with me." "Do as you will, my son," he replied. The Great Being caused the prisons to be opened, and brought forth mighty heroes who were able to do their duty wherever they should be sent, and bade them serve him; he shewed great favour to these, and took with him eighteen companies of men, masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, painters, men skilled in all arts and crafts, with their razor-adzes, spades, hoes, and many other tools. So with a great company he went out of the city.

The Master explained it by this stanza:

"The Mahosadha went on ahead, to the goodly town of the king of Pañcāla, to build dwellings for Vedeha the glorious."

On his way, the Great Being built a village at every league's end, and left a courtier in charge of each village, with these directions: "Against the king's return with Pañcāla-caṇḍī you are to prepare elephants, horses, and chariots, to keep off his enemies, and to convey him speedily to Mithilā." Arrived at the Ganges' bank, he called Ānandakumāra, and said to him, "Ānanda, take three hundred wrights, go to Upper Ganges, procure choice timber, build three hundred ships, make them cut stores of wood for the town, fill the ships with light wood, and come back soon." Himself in a ship he crossed over the Ganges, and from his landing-place he paced out the distances, thinking—"This is half a league, here shall be the great tunnel: in this place shall be the town for our king to dwell in; from this place to the palace, a mile long, 2 4 shall be the small passage." So he marked out the place; and then entered the city.

When King Cūlaṇi heard of the Bodhisat's coming, he was exceedingly well pleased; for thought he, "Now the desire of my heart shall be fulfilled; now that he is come, Vedeha will not be long in coming: then will I kill them both and make one kingdom in all India." All the city was in a ferment: "This, they say, is the wise Mahosadha, who put to flight the hundred and one kings as a crow is scared by a clod!" The Great Being proceeded to the palace gates whilst the citizens gazed at his beauty; then dismounting from the car, he sent word to the king. "Let him come," the king said; and he entered, and greeted the king, and sat down on one side. Then the king spoke politely to him, and asked, "My son, when will the king come?" "When I send for him, my lord." "But why are you come, then?" "To build for our king a place to dwell in, my lord." "Good, my son." He gave an allowance for the escort, and shewed great honour to the Great Being, and allotted him a house, and said: "My son, until your king shall come, live here, and do not be idle, but do what should be done." But as he entered the palace, he stood at the foot of the stairs, thinking, "Here must be the door of the little tunnel"; and again this came into his mind, "The king

p. 221

told me to do for him anything that had to be done; I must take care that this stairway does not fall in while we are digging the tunnel." So he said to the king, "My lord, as I entered, standing by the stair-foot, and looking at the new work, I saw a fault in the great staircase. If it please you, give me word and I will make it all right." "Good, my son, do so." He examined the place carefully, and determined where the exit of the tunnel should be 1; then he removed the stair, and to keep the earth from falling into this place, he arranged a platform of wood, and thus fixed the stair firmly so that it should not collapse. The king all unwitting thought this to be done from goodwill to himself. The other spent that day 2 4 in superintending the repairs, and on the next day he said to the king, "My lord, if I could know where our king is to dwell, I could make it all right and take care of it." "Very good, wise sir: choose a place for his dwelling where you will in the city, except my palace." "Sire, we are strangers, you have many favourites: if we take their houses, your soldiers will quarrel with us. What are we to do?" "Wise sir, do not listen to them, but choose the place which may please you." "My lord, they will come to you over and over again with complaints, and that will not be pleasant for you; but if you will, let our men be on guard until we take possession of the houses, and they will not be able to get past the door, but will go away. Thus both you and we shall be content." The king agreed. The Great Being placed his own guards at the foot and head of the stairway, at the great gate, everywhere, giving orders that no one was to pass by. Then he ordered his men to go to the queen-mother's house, and to make as though they would pull it down. When they began to pull down bricks and mud from the gates and walls, the queen-mother heard the news and asked, "You fellows, why do you break down my house?" "Mahosadha the sage wishes to pull it down and to build a palace for his king." "If that be so, you may live in this place." "Our king's retinue is very large; this place will not do, and we will make a large house for him." "You do not know me: I am the queen-mother, and now I will go to my son and see about it." "We are acting by the king's orders; stop us if you can! " She grew angry, and said, "Now I will see what is to be done with you," and proceeded to the palace gate; but they would not let her go in. "Fellows, I am the king's mother!" "Oh, we know you; but the king has ordered us to let no one come in. Go away!" She was unable to get into the palace, and stood looking at her house. Then one of the men said, 3 4 "What are you doing here? Away with you!" He seized her by the throat and threw her upon the ground. She thought, "Verily it must be the king's command, otherwise they would not be able to do this: I will visit the sage." She asked him, "Son Mahosadha,

p. 222

why do you pull down my house?" but he would not speak to her. But a bystander said, "What did you say, madam?" "My son, why does the sage pull down my house?" "To build a dwelling for King Vedeha." "Why, my son! in all this great city can he find no other place to live in? take this bribe, a hundred thousand pieces of money, and let him build elsewhere." "Very good, madam, we will leave your house alone; but do not tell any one that you have given this bribe, that no others may wish to bribe us to spare their houses." "My son! if it were said that the queen-mother had need to bribe, the shame would be mine! I shall tell no one." The man consented, and took the hundred thousand pieces, and left that house. Then he went to Kevaṭṭa's house; who went to the palace gate, and had the skin of his back torn by bamboo sticks, but being unable to get an entrance, he also gave a hundred thousand pieces. In this way, by seizing houses in all parts of the city, and procuring bribes, they got nine crores of gold pieces.

After this the Great Being traversed the whole city, and returned to the palace. The king asked him whether he had found a place. "Sire," he said, "they are all willing to give; but as soon as we take possession they are stricken with grief. We do not wish to be the cause of unpleasantness. Outside the city, about a mile hence, between the city and the Ganges, there is a place where we could build a palace for our king." When the king heard this, he was pleased; for, thought he, "to fight with men inside the city is dangerous, it is impossible to distinguish friend from foe; but without the city it is easy to fight, therefore without the city 1 3 4 I will smite them and kill them." Then he said, "Good, my son, build in the place that you have seen." "We will, sire. But your people must not come to the place where we build, in search of firewood or herbs or such like things; if they do, there is sure to be a quarrel, and this will be pleasant for neither of us." "Very good, my son, forbid all access on that side." "My lord, our elephants like to disport them in the water; if the water becomes muddy, and the people complain that since Mahosadha came we have had no clean water to drink, you must put up with it." The king replied, "Let your elephants play." Then he proclaimed by beat of drum: "Whosoever shall go hence to the place where the sage Mahosadha is building, he shall be fined a thousand pieces."

Then the Great Being took leave of the king, and with his attendants went out of the city, and began to build a city on the spot that had been set apart. On the other side of the Ganges he built a village called Gaggali: there he stationed his elephants, horses and chariots, his kine and oxen. He busied himself with the making of the city, and assigned to each their task. Having distributed all the work, he set about making the great tunnel; the mouth of which was upon the Ganges' bank. Sixty

p. 223

thousand warriors were digging the great tunnel: the earth they removed in leather sacks and dropt in the river, and whenever the earth was dropt in the elephants trampled it underfoot, and the Ganges ran muddy. The citizens complained that, since Mahosadha had come, they could get no clean water to drink; the river ran muddy, and what was to be done? Then the wise man's spies told them that Mahosadha's elephants were playing about in the water, and stirring up the mud, and that was why it ran muddy. Now the intentions of the Bodhisats are always fulfilled; therefore in the tunnel all roots and stones sank into the earth. The entrance to the lesser tunnel was in that city; seven hundred men were digging at the lesser tunnel; 2 3 4 the earth they brought out in leather sacks and dropt in the city, and as they dropt each load, they mixt it with water, and built a wall, and used it for other works. The entrance into the greater tunnel was in the city: it was provided with a door, eighteen hands high, fitted with machinery, so that one peg being pressed all were closed up 1. On either side, the tunnel was built up with bricks and worked with stucco; it was roofed over with planks and smeared with cement 2, and whitened. In all there were eighty great doors and sixty-four small doors, which all by the pressure of one peg closed, and by the pressure of one peg opened. On either side there were some hundreds of lamp-cells, also fitted with machinery, so that when one was opened all opened, and when one was shut all were shut. On either side were a hundred and one chambers for a hundred and one warriors: in each one was laid a bed of various colours, in each was a great couch shaded by a white sunshade, each had a throne near the great couch, each had a statue of a woman, very beautiful—without touching them no one could tell they were not human. Moreover, in the tunnel on either side, clever painters made all manner of paintings: the splendour of Sakka, the zones of Mount Sineru, the sea and the ocean, the four continents, Himavat, Lake Anotatta, the Vermilion Mountain, Sun and Moon, the heaven of the four great kings with the six heavens of sense and their divisions—all were to be seen in the tunnel. The floor was strewn with sand white as a silver plate, and on the roof full-blown lotus flowers. On both sides were booths of all sorts; here and there hung festoons of flowers and scented blooms. Thus they adorned the tunnel until it was like the divine hall of Sudhamma.

Now those three hundred wrights, having built three hundred ships, freighted them with loads of articles all ready prepared, and brought them down, and told the sage. He used them in the city, and made them put up the ships in a secret place to bring them out when he should give

p. 224

the word. In the city, the water-moat, the wall, 3 4 gate and tower, dwellings for prince and people, elephant-stables, tanks, all were finished. So great tunnel and little tunnel, and all the city, were finished in four months. And at the end of the four months, the Great Being sent a messenger to the king, to bid him come.

When the king heard this message, he was pleased, and set out with a large company.

The Master said:

"Then the king set out with an army in four divisions, to visit the prosperous city of Kampilliyā, with its innumerable chariots."

In due time he arrived at the Ganges. Then the Great Being went out to meet him, and conducted him to the city which he had built. The king entered the palace, and ate a rich meal, and after resting a little, in the evening sent a messenger to King Cūḷanī to say that he had come.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"Then he on arriving sent word to Brahmadatta: "Mighty king, I am come to salute thy feet. Now give me to wife that woman most beauteous, full of grace, attended by her handmaidens."

[434] Cūḷanī was very glad at the message, and thought, "Where will my enemy go now? I shall cleave both their heads, and drink the cup of victory!" But he shewed only joy to the messenger, and did him respect, and recited the following stanza:

"Welcome art thou, Vedeha, a good coming is thine! Enquire now for a lucky hour, and I will give thee my daughter, full of grace, attended by her handmaidens."

The messenger now went back to Vedeha, and said, "My lord, the king says: "Enquire for an hour suited to this auspicious event, and I will give you my daughter." He sent the man back, saying, "This very day is a lucky hour!"

The Master explained it thus:

"Then King Vedeha enquired for a lucky hour; which done, he sent word to Brahmadatta: "Give me now to wife that woman most beauteous, full of grace, attended by her handmaidens." And King Cūḷanī said: "I give thee now to wife that woman most beauteous, full of grace, attended by her handmaidens."

But in saying "I will send her now, even now," he lied: and he gave the word to the hundred and one kings: "Make ready for battle with your eighteen mighty hosts, and come forth: we will cleave the heads of our two enemies, and drink the cup of victory!" And he placed in the palace his mother Queen Talatā, and his consort Queen Nandā, and his son Pañcālacaṇḍa, and his daughter Pañcālacaṇḍī, with the women, and came forth himself.

The Bodhisat treated very hospitably the great army which came with King Vedeha: 3 4 5 some were drinking spirits, some eating fish and

p. 225

flesh, some lay wearied with their long march; but King Vedeha, with Senaka and the other wise men, sat on a goodly dais amidst his courtiers. But King Cūḷanī surrounded the city in four lines with three intervals, and kindled several hundreds of thousands of torches, and there they stood, ready to take it when the sun should rise. On learning this, the Great Being gave commission to three hundred of his own warriors: "Go by the little tunnel, and bring in by that tunnel the king's mother and consort, his son and daughter; take them through the great tunnel, but do not let them out by the door of the great tunnel; keep them safe in the tunnel until we come, but when we come, bring then out of the tunnel, and place them in the Great Court." When they had received these commands, they went along the lesser tunnel, and pushed up the platform beneath the staircase; they seized the guards at the top and bottom of the staircase and on the terrace, the humpbacks, and all the others that were there, bound them hand and foot, gagged them, and hid them away here and there; ate some of the food prepared for the king, destroyed the rest, and went up to the terrace. Now Queen Talatā on that day, uncertain what might befall, had made Queen Nandā and the son and daughter lie with her in one bed. These warriors, standing at the door of the chamber, called to them. She came out and said, "What is it, my children?" They said, "Madam, our king has killed Vedeha and Mahosadha, and has made one kingdom in all India, and surrounded by the hundred and one princes in great glory he is drinking deep: he has sent us to bring you four to him also." They came down to the foot of the staircase. When the men took them into the tunnel, they said: "All this time we have lived here, and never have entered this street before!" The men replied, "Men do not go into this street every day; this is a street of rejoicing, and because this is a day of rejoicing, the king 3 4 6 told us to fetch you by this way." And they believed it. Then some of the men conducted the four, others returned to the palace, broke open the treasury, and carried off all the precious things they wanted. The four went on by the greater tunnel, and seeing it to be like the glorious hall of the gods, thought that it had been made for the king. Then they were brought to a place not far from the river, and placed in a fine chamber within the tunnel: some kept watch over them, others went and told the Bodhisat of their arrival.

"Now," thought the Bodhisat, "my heart's desire shall he fulfilled." Highly pleased, he went into the king's presence and stood on one side. The king, uneasy with desire, was thinking, "Now he will send his daughter, now, now": and getting up he looked out of the window. There was the city all one blaze of light with those thousands of torches, and surrounded by a great host! In fear and suspicion he cried, "What is this?" and recited a stanza to his wise men:

p. 226

"Elephants, horses, chariots, footmen, a host in armour stands there, torches blaze with light; what do they mean, wise sirs?"

To this Senaka replied: "Do not trouble, sire: large numbers of torches are blazing; I suppose the king is bringing his daughter to you." And Pukkusa said, "No doubt he wishes to shew honour at your visit, and therefore has come with a guard." They told him whatever they liked. But the king heard the words of command—"Put a detachment here, set a guard there, be vigilant!" and he saw the soldiers under arms; so that he was frightened to death, and longing to hear some word from the Great Being, he recited another stanza:

"Elephants, horses, chariots, footmen, a host in armour stands there, torches ablaze with light: what will they do, wise sir?"

[437] Then the Great Being thought, "I will first terrify this blind fool for a little, then I will shew my power and console him." So he said,

"Sire, the mighty Cūḷanīya is watching you, Brahmadatta is a traitor: in the morning he will slay you."

On hearing this all were frightened to death: the king's throat was parched, the spittle ceased, his body burnt; frightened to death and whimpering he recited two stanzas:

"My heart throbs, my mouth is parched, I cannot rest, I am like one burnt in the fire and then put in the sun. As the smith's fire burns inwardly and is not seen outside, so my heart burns within me and is not seen outside."

When the Great Being heard this lament, he thought, "This blind fool would not do my bidding at other times; I will punish him still more," and he said:

"Warrior, you are careless, neglectful of advice, unwise: now let your clever advisers save you. A king who will not do the bidding of a wise and faithful counsellor, being bent on his own pleasure, is like a deer caught in a trap. As a fish, greedy for the bait, does not notice the hook hidden in the meat which is wrapped round it, does not recognise its own death: so you, O king, greedy with lust, like the fish, do not recognise Cūḷaneyya's daughter as your own death. If you go to Pañcāla, (I said,) you will speedily lose your happiness, as a deer caught on the highway will fall into great danger. A bad man, my lord, would bite like a snake in your lap; no wise man should make friends with him; unhappy must be the association with an evil man. 3 4 Whatsoever man, my lord; one should recognise for virtuous and instructed, he is the man for the wise to make his friend: happy would be the association with a good man."

Then to drive home the reproach, that a man should not be so treated, he recalled the words which the king had once said before, and went on—

"Foolish thou art, O king, deaf and dumb, that didst upbraid the best advice in me, asking how I could know what was good like another, when I had grown up at the plow-tail? Take yon fellow by the neck, you said, and cast him out of my kingdom, who tries by his talk to keep me from getting a precious thing 1!"

p. 227

Having recited these two stanzas, he said, "Sire, how could I, a clodhopper, know what is good as Senaka does and the other wise men? That is not my calling. I know only the clodhopper's trade, but this matter is known to Senaka and his like; they are wise gentlemen, and now to-day 3 4 let them deliver you from the eighteen mighty hosts that compass you round about; and bid them take me by the throat and cast me forth. Why do you ask me now?" Thus he rebuked him mercilessly. When the king heard it, he thought, "The sage is reciting the wrongs that I have done. Long ago he knew the danger to come, that is why he so bitterly reproaches me. But he cannot have spent all this time idly; surely he must have arranged for my safety." So to reproach the other, he recited two stanzas:

"Mahosadha, the wise do not throw up the past in one's teeth; why do you goad me like a horse tied fast? If you see deliverance or safety, comfort me: why throw up the past against me?"

Then the Great Being thought, "This king is very blind and foolish, and knows not the differences amongst men: a while I will torment him, then I will save him"; and he said—

"’Tis too late for men to act, too hard and difficult: I cannot deliver you, and you must decide for yourself. There are elephants which can fly through the air, magical, glorious: they that possess such as these can go away with them. Horses there are which can fly through the air, magical, glorious: they that possess such as these can go away with them. Birds also there are, and goblins, which do the like. But it is too late for men to act, too hard and difficult: I cannot save you, and you must decide for yourself."

[440] The king, hearing this, sat still without a word; but Senaka thought, "There is no help but the sage for the king or for us; but the king is too much afraid to be able to answer him. Then I will ask him." And he asked him in two stanzas:

"A man who cannot see the shore in the mighty ocean, when he finds a footing is full of joy. So to us and the king thou, Mahosadha, art firm ground to stand on; thou art our best of counsellors; deliver us from woe."

The Great Being reproached him in this stanza:

"’Tis too late for men to act, too hard and difficult: I cannot deliver you, and you must decide for yourself, Senaka."

The king, unable to find an opening, and terrified out of his life, could not say a word to the Great Being; but thinking that perhaps Senaka might have a plan, he asked him in this stanza:

"Hear this word of mine: you see this great danger, and now Senaka, I ask you—what do you think ought to be done here?"

[441] Senaka thinking, "The king asks a plan: good or bad, I will tell him one," recited a stanza:

"Let us set fire to the door, let us take a sword, let us wound one another, and soon we shall cease to live: let not Brahmadatta kill us by a lingering death."

p. 228

The king fell in a passion to hear this; "That will do for your funeral pyre and your children's," he thought; and he then asked Pukkusa and the rest, who also spoke foolishly each after his own kind; here is the tradition:

"Hear this word: you see this great danger. Now I ask Pukkusa—what do you think ought to be done here?" "Let us take poison and die, and we shall soon cease to live: let not Brahmadatta kill us by a lingering death."; "Now I ask Kāvinda." "Let us fasten a noose and die, let us cast ourselves from a height, let not Brahmadatta kill us by a lingering death." "Now I ask Devinda." "Let us set fire to the door, let us take a sword, let us wound one another, and soon we shall cease to live: I cannot save us, but Mahosadha can do so easily."

Devinda thought, "What is the king doing? Here is fire, and he blows at a firefly! Except Mahosadha, there is none other can save us: 1 2 4 yet he leaves him and asks us! What do we know about it?" Thus thinking, and seeing no other plan, he repeated the plan proposed by Senaka, and praised the Great Being in two stanzas:

"This is my meaning, sire: Let us all ask the wise man; and if for all our asking Mahosadha cannot easily save us, then let us follow Senaka's advice."

On hearing this, the king remembered his ill-treatment of the Bodhisat, and being unable to speak to him, he lamented in his hearing thus:

"As one that searches for sap in the plantain tree or the silk-cotton tree, finds none; so we searching for an answer to this problem have found none. Our dwelling is in a bad place, like elephants in a place where no water is, with worthless men and fools that know nothing. My heart throbs, my mouth is parched, I cannot rest, I am like one burnt in the fire and then put in the sun. As the smith's fire burns inwardly and is not seen outside, so my heart burns within and is not seen outside."

Then the sage thought, "The king is exceedingly troubled: If I do not console him, he will break his heart and die." So he consoled him.

[443] This the Master explained by saying:

"Then this wise sage Mahosadha, discerning of the good, when he beheld Vedeha sorrowful thus spake to him. "Fear not, O king, fear not, lord of chariots; I will set thee free, like the moon when it is caught by Rāhu, like the sun when it is caught by Rāhu, like an elephant sunk in the mud, like a snake shut up in a basket, like fish in the net; I will set thee free with thy chariots and thy army; I will scare away Pañcāla, as a crow is scared by a clod. Of what use indeed is the wisdom or the counsellor of such a kind as cannot set thee free from trouble when thou art in difficulties?"

When he heard this, he was comforted: "Now my life is safe!" he thought: all were delighted when the Bodhisat spoke out like a lion. Then Senaka asked, "Wise sir, how will you get away with us all?" "By a decorated tunnel," he said, "make ready." So saying, he gave the word to his men to open the tunnel:

[444] "Come, men, up and open the mouth of the entrance: Vedeha with his court is to go through the tunnel."

p. 229

Up rose they and opened the door of the tunnel, and all the tunnel shone in a blaze of light like the decorated hall of the gods. The Master explained it by saying:

"Hearing the wise man's voice, his followers opened the tunnel door and the mechanical bolts."

The door opened, they told the Great Being, and he gave the word to the king: "Time, my lord! come down from the terrace." The king came down, Senaka took off his headdress, unloosed his gown. The Great Being asked him what he did; he replied, "Wise sir, when a man goes through a tunnel, he must take off his turban and wrap his clothes tight around him." The other replied, "Senaka, do not suppose that you must crawl through the tunnel upon your knees. If you wish to go on an elephant, mount your elephant: lofty is our tunnel, eighteen hands high, with a wide door; dress yourself as fine as you will, and go in front of the king." Then the Bodhisat made Senaka go first, and went himself last, with the king in the middle, and this was the reason: in the tunnel was a world of eatables and drinkables, and the men ate and drank as they gazed at the tunnel, saying, "Do not go quickly, but gaze at the decorated tunnel"; but the Great Being went behind urging the king to go on, while the king went on gazing at the tunnel adorned like the hall of the gods.

[445] The Master explained it, saying,

"In front went Senaka, behind went Mahosadha, and in the midst King Vedeha with the men of his court."

Now when the king's coming was known, the men brought out of the tunnel the other king's mother and wife, son and daughter, and set them in the great courtyard; the king also with the Bodhisat came out of the tunnel. When these four saw the king and the sage, they were frightened to death, and shrieked in their fear—"Without doubt we are in the hands of our enemies! it must have been the wise man's soldiers who came for us! " And King Cūḷanī, in fear lest Vedeha should escape—now he was about a mile from the Ganges—hearing their outcry in the quiet night, wished to say, "It is like the voice of Queen Nandā!" but he feared that he might be laughed at for thinking such a thing, and said nothing. At that moment, the Great Being placed Princess Pañcālacaṇḍi upon a heap of treasure, and administered the ceremonial sprinkling, as he said, "Sire, here is she for whose sake you came; let her be your queen!" They brought out the three hundred ships; the king came from the wide courtyard and boarded a ship richly decorated, and these four went on board with him. The Master thus explained it:

"Vedeha coming forth from the tunnel went aboard ship, and when he was aboard, Mahosadha thus encouraged him: "This is now your father-in-law 1, my

p. 230

lord, this is your mother-in-law, O master of men: as you would treat your mother, so treat your mother-in-law. As a brother by the same father and mother, so protect Pañcālacaṇḍa, O lord of chariots. Pañcālacaṇḍī is a royal princess, much wooed 1; love her, she is your wife, O lord of chariots."

[446] The king consented. But why did the Great Being say nothing about the queen-mother? Because she was an old woman. Now all this the Bodhisat said as he stood upon the bank. Then the king, delivered from great trouble, wishing to proceed in the ship, said, "My son, you speak standing upon the shore": and recited a stanza—

"Come aboard with speed: why do you stand on the bank? From danger and trouble we have been delivered; now, Mahosadha, let us go."

The Great Being replied, "My lord, it is not meet that I go with you," and he said,

"This is not right, sire, that I, the leader of an army, should desert my army and come myself. All this army, left behind in the town, I will bring away with the consent of Brahmadatta.

"Amongst these men, some are sleeping for weariness after their long journey, some eating and drinking, and know not of our departure, some are sick, after having worked with me four months, and there are many assistants of mine. I cannot go if I leave one man behind me; no, I will return, and all that army I will bring off with Brahmadatta's consent, without a blow. You, sire, should go with all speed, not tarrying anywhere; I have stationed relays of elephants and conveyances on the road, so that you may leave behind those that are weary, and with others ever fresh may quickly return to Mithilā." Then the king recited a stanza:

"A small army against a great, how will you prevail? The weak will be destroyed by the strong, wise sir!"

[447] Then the Bodhisat recited a stanza:

"A small army with counsel conquers a large army that has none, one king conquers many, the rising sun conquers the darkness."

With these words, the Great Being saluted the king, and sent him away. The king remembering how he had been delivered from the hands of enemies, and by winning the princess had attained his heart's desire, reflecting on the Bodhisat's virtues, in joy and delight described to Senaka the wise man's virtues in this stanza:

"Happiness truly comes, O Senaka, by living with the wise. As birds from a closed cage, as fish from a net, so Mahosadha set us free when we were in the hands of my enemies."

To this Senaka replied with another, praising the sage:

"Even so, sire, there is happiness amongst the wise. As birds from a closed cage, as fish from a net, so Mahosadha set us free when we were in the hands of our enemies."

p. 231

Then Vedeha crossed over the river, and at a league's distance he found the village which the Bodhisat had prepared; there the men posted by the Bodhisat supplied elephants and other transport and gave them food and drink. He sent back elephants or horses and transport when they were exhausted, and took others, and proceeded to the next village; and in this way he traversed the journey of a hundred leagues, and next morning he was in Mithilā.

[448] But the Bodhisat went to the gate of the tunnel; and drawing his sword, which was slung over his shoulder, he buried it in the sand, at the gate of the tunnel; then he entered the tunnel, and went into the town, and bathed him in scented water, and ate a choice meal, and retired to his goodly couch, glad to think that the desire of his heart had been fulfilled. When the night was ended, King Cūḷanī gave his orders to the army, and came up to the city. The Master thus explained it:

"The mighty Cūḷanīya watched all night, and at sunrise approached Upakārī. Mounting his noble elephant, strong, sixty years old, Cūlanīya, mighty king of Pañcāla, addressed his army; fully armed with jewelled harness, an arrow 1 in his hand, he addressed his men collected in great numbers."

Then to describe them in kind—

"Men mounted on elephants, lifeguardsmen, charioteers, footmen, men skilful in archery, bowmen, all gathered together."

Now the king commanded them to take Vedeha alive:

"Send the tusked elephants, mighty, sixty years old, let them trample down the city which Vedeha has nobly built. Let the arrows 2 fly this way and that way, sped by the bow, arrows like the teeth of calves 3, sharp-pointed, piercing the very bones. Let heroes come forth in armour clad, with weapons finely decorated, bold and heroic, ready to face an elephant. Spears bathed in oil, their points glittering like fire, stand gleaming like the constellation of a hundred stars. 4 At the onset of such heroes, with mighty weapons, clad in mail and armour, who never run away, how shall Vedeha escape, even if he fly like a bird? My thirty and nine thousand 4 warriors, all picked men, whose like I never saw, all my mighty host.

"See the mighty tusked elephants, caparisoned, of sixty years, on whose backs are the brilliant and goodly princes; brilliant are they on their backs, as the gods in Nandana, with glorious ornaments, glorious dress and robes: swords of the colour of the sheat-fish 5, well oiled, glittering, held fast by mighty men, well-finished, very sharp, shining, spotless, made of tempered steel 6, strong,

p. 232

held by mighty men who strike and strike again. In golden trappings and bloodred girths they gleam as they turn like lightning in a thick cloud. Mailed heroes with banners waving, skilled in the use of sword and shield, grasping the hilt, accomplished soldiers, mighty fighters on elephant-hack,—encompassed by such as these thou hast no escape; I see no power by which thou canst come to Mithilā."

[450] Thus he threatened Vedeha, thinking to capture him then and there; and goading his elephant, bidding the army seize and strike and kill, King Cūḷanī came like a flood to the city of Upakārī.

Then the Great Being's spies thought, "Who knows what will happen?" and with their attendants surrounded him. Just then the Bodhisat rose from his bed, and attended to his bodily needs, and after breakfast adorned and dressed himself, putting on his kāsi robe worth a hundred thousand pieces of money, and with his red robe over one shoulder, and holding his presentation staff inlaid with the seven precious jewels, golden sandals upon his feet, and being fanned with a yakstail fan like some divine nymph richly arrayed, came up on the terrace, and opening a window showed himself to King Cūḷanī, as he walked to and fro with the grace of the king of the gods. And King Cūḷanī, seeing his beauty, could not find peace of mind, 1 4 5 but quickly drove up his elephant, thinking that he should take him now. The sage thought, "He has hastened hither expecting that Vedeha is caught; he knows not that his own children are taken, and that our king is gone. I will show my face like a golden mirror, and speak to him." So standing at the window, he uttered these words in a voice sweet as honey:

"Why have you driven up your elephant thus in haste? You come with a glad look; you think that you have got what you want. Throw down that bow, put away that arrow, put off that shining armour set with jewels and coral."

When he heard the man's voice, he thought, "The clodhopper is making fun of me; to-day I will see what is to be done with him "; then threatened him, saying,

"Your countenance looks pleased, you speak with a smile. It is in the hour of death that such beauty is seen."

As they thus talked together, the soldiers noticed the Great Being's beauty; "our king," they said, "is talking with wise Mahosadha; what can it be about? Let us listen to their talk." So they drew near the king. But the sage, when the king had finished speaking, replied, "You do not know that I am the wise Mahosadha. I will not suffer you to kill me. Your plan 2 4 5 is thwarted; what was thought in the heart

p. 233

of you and Kevaṭṭa has not come to pass, but that has come to pass which you said with your lips." And he explained this by saying,

"Your thunders are in vain, O king! your plan is thwarted, man of war!. The king is as hard for you to catch as a thorobred for a hack. Our king crossed the Ganges yesterday, with his courtiers and attendants. You will be like a crow trying to chase the royal goose."

Again, like a maned lion without fear, he gave an illustration in these words:

"Jackals, in the night time, seeing the Judas tree in flower, think the flowers to be lumps of meat 1, and gather in troops, these vilest of beasts. When the watches of the night are past, and the sun has risen, they see the Judas tree in flower, and lose their wish, those vilest of beasts. Even so you, O king, for all that you have surrounded Vedeha, shall lose your wish and go, as the jackals went from the Judas tree."

When the king heard his fearless words, he thought, "The clodhopper is bold enough in his speech: no doubt Vedeha must have escaped." He was very angry. "Long ago," he thought, 3 4 5 "through this clodhopper I had not so much as a rag to cover me; now by his doing my enemy who was in my hands has escaped. In truth he has done me much evil, and I will be revenged on him for both." Then he gave orders as follows:

"Cut off his hands and feet, ears and nose, for he delivered Vedeha my enemy from my hands; cut off his flesh and cook it on skewers, for he delivered Vedeha my enemy out of my hands. As a bull's hide is spread out on the ground, or a lion's or tiger's fastened flat with pegs, so I will peg him out and pierce him with spikes, for he delivered Vedeha my enemy out of my hand."

The Great Being smiled when he heard this, and thought, "This king does not know that his queen and family have been conveyed by me to Mithilā, and so he is giving all these orders about me. But in his anger he might transfix me with an arrow, or do something else that might please him; I will therefore overwhelm him with pain and sorrow, and will make him faint on his elephant's back, while I tell him about it." So he said:

"If you cut off my hands and feet, my ears and nose, so will Vedeha deal with Pañcālacaṇḍa, so with Pañcālacaṇḍī, so with Queen Nandā, your wife and children. 4 5 If you cut off my flesh and cook it on skewers, so will Vedeha cook that of Pañcālacaṇḍa, of Pañcālacaṇḍī, of Queen Nandā, your wife and children. If you peg me out and pierce me with spikes, so will Vedeha deal with Pañcālacaṇḍa, with Pañcālacaṇḍi, with Queen Nandā, your wife and children. So it has been secretly arranged between Vedeha and me. Like as a leather shield of a hundred layers, carefully wrought by the leather-workers, is a defence to keep off arrows; so I bring happiness and avert trouble from glorious Vedeha, and I keep off your devices as a shield keeps off an arrow."

[455] Hearing this, the king thought, "What is this clodhopper talking of? As I do to him, quotha, so King Vedeha will do to my

p. 234

family? He does not know that I have set a careful guard over my family, but he is only threatening me in fear of instant death. I don't believe what he says."

The Great Being divined that he thought him to be speaking in fear, and resolved to explain. So he said

"Come, sire, see your inner apartments are empty: wife, children, mother, O warrior, were carried through a tunnel and put in charge of Vedeha."

Then the king thought, "The sage speaks with much assurance. I did hear in the night beside the Ganges the voice of Queen Nandā; very wise is the sage, perhaps he speaks the truth!" Great grief came upon him, but he gathered all his courage, and dissembling his grief, sent a courtier to enquire, and recited this stanza:

"Come, enter my inner apartments and enquire whether the man's words be truth or lies."

The messenger with his attendants went, and opened the door, and entered; there with hands and feet bound, and gags in their mouths, hanging to pegs, he discovered the sentries of the inner apartments, the dwarfs and hunchbacks, and so forth: broken vessels were scattered about, with food and drink, the doors of the treasury were broken open, and the treasure plundered, the bedroom with open doors, and a tribe of crows which had come in by the open windows; 4 5 6 it was like a deserted village, or a place of corpses. In this inglorious state he beheld the palace; and he told the news to the king, saying,

"Even so, sire, as Mahosadha said: empty is your inner palace, like a waterside village inhabited by crows."

The king trembling with grief at the loss of his four dear ones, said, "This sorrow has come on me through the clodhopper!" and like a snake struck with a stick, he was exceedingly wroth with the Bodhisat. When the Great Being saw his appearance, he thought, "This king has great glory; if he should ever in anger say, "What do I want with so and so?" in a warrior's pride he might hurt me. Suppose I should describe the beauty of Queen Nandā to him, making as if he had never seen her; he would then remember her, and would understand that he would never recover this precious woman if he killed me. Then out of love to his spouse, he would do me no harm." So standing for safety in the upper storey, he removed his golden-coloured hand from beneath his red robe, and pointing the way by which she went, he described her beauties thus:

"This way, sire, went the woman beauteous in every limb, her lips like plates of gold, her voice like the music of the wild goose. This way was she taken, sire, the woman beauteous in every limb, clad in silken raiment, dark, with fair girdle of gold. Her feet reddened, fair to see, with girdles of gold and jewels, with eyes like a pigeon, slender, with lips like bimba fruit, and slender

p. 235

waist, well-born, slender-waisted like a creeper or a place of sacrifice 1, her hair long, black, and a little curled at the end, well-born, like a fawn, like a flame of fire in winter time. Like a river hidden in the clefts of a mountain under the low reeds, 4 5 beauteous in nose or thigh, peerless, with breasts like the tindook fruit,—not too long, not too short, not hairless and not too hairy."

As the Great Being thus praised her grace, it seemed to the king as if he had never seen her before: great longing arose in him, and the Great Being who perceived this recited a stanza:

"And so you are pleased at Nandā's death, glorious king: now Nandā and I will go before Yama."

[458] In all this the Great Being praised Nandā and no one else, and this was his reason: people never love others as they do a beloved wife; and he praised her only, because he thought that if the king remembered her he would remember his children also. When the wise Great Being praised her in this voice of honey, Queen Nandā seemed to stand in person before the king. Then the king thought: "No other save Mahosadha can bring back my wife and give her to me": as he remembered, sorrow came over him. Thereupon the Great Being said, "Be not troubled, sire: queen and son and mother shall all come back; my return is the only condition. Be comforted, majesty!" So he comforted the king; and the king said, "I watched and guarded my own city so carefully, I have surrounded this city of Upakārī with so great a host, yet this wise man has taken out of my guarded city queen and son and mother, and has handed them over to Vedeha! whilst we were besieging the city, without a single one's knowing, he sent Vedeha away with his army and transport! Can it be that he knows magic, or how to delude the eyes?" And he questioned him thus:

"Do you study magical art, or have you bewitched my eyes, that you have delivered Vedeha my enemy out of my hand?"

On hearing this, the Great Being said: "Sire, I do know magic, for wise men who have learnt magic, when danger comes, deliver both themselves and others:

"Wise men, sire, learn magic in this world; they deliver themselves, wise men, full of counsel. I have young men who are clever at breaking barriers; by the way which they made me Vedeha has gone to Mithilā."

[459] This suggested that he had gone by the decorated tunnel; so the king said, "What is this underground way?" and wished to see it. The Great Being understood from his look that this was what he wanted, and offered to shew it to him:

"Come see, O king, a tunnel well made, big enough for elephants or horses, chariots or foot soldiers, brightly illuminated, a tunnel well built."

p. 236

Then he went on, "Sire, behold the tunnel which was made by my knowledge: bright as though sun and moon rose within it, decorated, with eighty great doors and sixty-four small doors, with a hundred and one bedchambers, and many hundreds of lamp-niches; come with me in joy and delight, and with your guard enter the city of Upakārī." With these words he caused the city gate to be thrown open; and the king with the hundred and one princes came in. The Great Being descended from the upper storey, and saluted the king, and led him with his retinue into the tunnel. When the king saw this tunnel like a decorated city of the gods, he spoke the praise of the Bodhisat:

"No small gain is it to that Vedeha, who has in his house or kingdom men so wise as you are, Mahosadha 1!"

[460] Then the Great Being shewed him the hundred and one bedchambers: the door of one being opened, all opened, and one shut, all shut. The king went first, gazing at the tunnel, and the wise man went after; all the soldiers also entered the tunnel. But when the sage knew that the king had emerged from the tunnel, he kept the rest from coming out by going up to a handle and shutting the tunnel door: then the eighty great doors and the sixty-four small doors, and the doors of the hundred and one bedchambers, and the doors of the hundreds of lamp-niches all shut together; and the whole tunnel became dark as hell. All the great company were terrified.

Now the Great Being took the sword, which he had hidden yesterday 2 as he entered the tunnel: eighteen cubits from the ground he leapt into the air, descended, and catching the king's arm, brandished the sword, and frightened him, crying—"Sire, whose are all the kingdoms of India?" "Yours, wise sir! spare me!" He replied, "Fear not, sire. I did not take up my sword from any wish to kill you, but in order to shew my wisdom." Then he handed his sword to the king, and when he had taken it, the other said, "If you wish to kill me, sire, kill me now with that sword; if you wish to spare me, spare me." "Wise sir," he replied, "I promise you safety, fear not." So as he held the sword, they both struck up a friendship in all sincerity. Then the king said to the Bodhisat, "Wise sir, with such wisdom as yours, why not seize the kingdom?" "Sire, if I wished it, this day I could take all the kingdoms of India and slay all the kings; but it is not the wise man's part to gain glory by slaying others." "Wise sir, a great multitude is in distress, being unable to get out; open the tunnel door and spare their lives:" He opened the door: all the tunnel became a blaze of light, the people were comforted, all the kings with their retinue came out and approached the sage, who

p. 237

stood in the wide courtyard with the king. 1 4 6 Then those kings said: "Wise sir, you have given us our lives; if the door had remained shut for a little while longer, all would have died there." "My lords, this is not the first time your lives have been saved by me." "When, wise sir?" "Do you remember when all the kingdoms of India had been conquered except our city, and when you went to the park of Uttarapañcāla ready to drink the cup of victory?" "Yes, wise sir." "Then this king, with Kevaṭṭa, by evil device had poisoned the drink and food, and intended to murder you; but I did not wish you to die a foul death before me; so I sent in my men, and broke all the vessels, and thwarted their plan, and gave you your lives." They all in fear asked Cūḷanī, "Is this true, sire?" "Indeed what I did was by Kevaṭṭa's advice; the sage speaks truth." Then they all embraced the Great Being, and said, "Wise sir, you have been the salvation of us all, you have saved our lives." They all bestowed ornaments upon him in respect. The sage said to the king, "Fear not, sire; the fault lay in association with a wicked friend. Ask pardon of the kings." The king said, "I did the thing because of a bad man: it was my fault; pardon me, never will I do such a thing again." He received their pardon; they confessed their faults to each other, and became friends. Then the king sent for plenty of all sorts of food, perfumes and garlands, and for seven days they all took their pleasure in the tunnel, and entered the city, and did great honour to the Great Being; and the king surrounded by the hundred and one princes sat on a great throne, and desiring to keep the sage in his court, he said,

"Support, and honour, double allowance of food and wages, and other great boons I give; eat and enjoy at will: but do not return to Vedeha; what can he do for you?"

[462] But the sage declined in these words:

"When one deserts a patron, sire, for the sake of gain, it is a disgrace to both oneself and the other. While Vedeha lives I could not be another's man; while Vedeha remains, I could not live in another's kingdom."

Then the king said to him, "Well, sir, when your king attains to godhead, promise me to come hither." "If I live, I will come, sire." So the king did him great honour for seven days, and after that as he took his leave, he recited a stanza, promising to give him this and that:

"I give you a thousand nikkhas of gold, eighty villages in Kāsi, four hundred female slaves, and a hundred wives. Take all your army, and go in peace, Mahosadha."

And he replied: "Sire, do not trouble about your family. When my king went back to his country, I told him to treat Queen Nandā as his own mother, and Pañcālacaṇḍa as his younger brother, and I married your daughter to him with the ceremonial sprinkling. I will soon send

p. 238

back your mother, wife, and son." "Good!" said the king, and gave him a dowry for his daughter, men slaves and women slaves, dress and ornaments, gold and precious metal, decorated elephants and horses and chariots. He then gave orders for the army to execute: [463]

"Let them give even double quantity to the elephants and horses, let them content charioteers and footmen with food and drink."

This said, he dismissed the sage with these words:

"Go; wise sir, taking elephants, horses, chariots, and footmen; let King Vedeha see you back in Mithilā."

Thus he dismissed the sage with great honour. And the hundred and one kings did honour to the Great Being, and gave him rich gifts. And the spies who had been on service with them surrounded the sage. With a great company he set out; and on the way, he sent men to receive the revenues of those villages which King Cūḷanī had given him. Then he arrived at the kingdom of Vedeha.

Now Senaka had placed a man in the way, to watch and see whether King Cūḷanī came or not, and to tell him of the coming of anyone. He saw the Great Being at three leagues off, and returning told how the sage was returning with a great company. With this news he went to the palace. The king also looking out by a window in the upper storey saw the great host, and was frightened. "The Great Being's company is small, this is very large: can it be Cūḷanī come himself?" He put this question as follows:

"Elephants, horses, chariots, footmen, a great army is visible, with four divisions, terrible in aspect; what does it mean, wise sirs?"

Senaka replied:

"The greatest joy is what you see, sire: Mahosadha is safe, with all his host."

The king said to this, "Senaka, the wise man's army is small, this 4 6 is very great." "Sire, King Cūḷanī must have been pleased with him, and therefore must have given this host to him." The king proclaimed through the city by beat of drum:

"Let the city be decorated to welcome the return of the wise man."

The townspeople obeyed. The wise man entered the city and came to the king's palace; then the king rose, and embraced him, and returning to his throne spoke pleasantly to him:

"As four men leave a corpse in the cemetery, so we left you in the kingdom of Kampilliya and returned. But you—by what colour, or what means, or what device did you save yourself?"

The Great Being replied:

"By one purpose, Vedeha, I overmastered another, by plan I outdid plan, O warrior, and I encompassed the king as the ocean encompasses India."

p. 239

This pleased the king. Then the other told him of the gift which King Cūḷanī had made:

"A thousand nikkhas of gold were given to me, and eighty villages in Kāsi, four hundred slave women, and a hundred wives, and with all the army I have returned safe home."

Then the king, exceedingly pleased and overjoyed, uttered this pious hymn in praise of the Great Being's merit:

[465] "Happiness truly comes by living with the wise. As birds from a closed cage, as fish from a net, so Mahosadha set us free when we were in the hands of our enemies."

Senaka answered him thus:

"Even so, sire, there is happiness with a wise man. As birds from a closed cage, as fish from the net, so Mahosadha set us free when we were in the hands of our enemies."

Then the king set the drum of festival beating around the city: "Let there be a festival for seven days, and let all who have goodwill to me do honour and service to the wise man." The Master thus explained it:

"Let them sound all manner of lutes, drums and tabors, let conchs of Magadha boom, merrily roll the kettledrums."

Townsfolk and countryfolk in general, eager to do honour to the sage, on hearing the proclamation made merry with a will. The Master explained it thus:

"Women and maids, vesiya and brahmin wives, brought plenty of food and drink to the sage. Elephant drivers, lifeguardsmen, charioteers, footmen, all did the like; and so did all the people from country and villages assembled. The multitude were glad to see the sage returned, and at his reception shawls were waved in the air."

[466] At the end of the festival, the Great Being went to the palace and said, "Sire, King Cūḷanī's mother and wife and son should be sent back at once." "Very good, my son, send them back." So he shewed all respect to those three, and entertained also the host that had come with him; thus he sent the three back well attended, with his own men, and the hundred wives and the four hundred slave women whom the king had given him, he sent with Queen Nandā, and the company that came with him he also sent. When this great company reached the city of Uttarapañcāla, the king asked his mother, "Did King Vedeha treat you well, my mother?" "My son, what are you saying? he treated me with the same honour as if I had been a goddess." Then she told how Queen Nandā had been treated as a mother, and Pañcālacaṇḍa as a younger brother. This pleased the king very much, and he sent a rich gift; and from that time forward both lived in friendship and amity 1.

p. 240

Now Pañcālacaṇḍī was very dear and precious to the king; and in the second year she bore him a son. In his tenth year, King Vedeha died. The Bodhisat raised the royal parasol for him, and asked leave to go to his grandfather, King Cūḷanī. The boy said, "Wise sir, do not leave me in my childhood; I will honour you as a father." And Pañcālacaṇḍī said, "Wise sir, there is none to protect us if you go; do not go." But he replied, "My promise has been given; I cannot but go." So amidst the lamentations of the multitude, he departed with his servants, and came to Uttarapañcāla city. The king hearing of his arrival came to meet him, and led him into the city with great pomp, and gave him a great house, and besides the eighty villages given at first, 4 6 gave him another present; and he served that king. At that time a religious woman, named Bherī, used to take her meals constantly in the palace; she was wise and learned, and she had never seen the Great Being before; she heard the report that the wise Mahosadha was serving the king. He also had never seen her before, but he heard that a religious woman named Bherī had her meals in the palace. Now Queen Nandā was ill pleased with the Bodhisat, because he had separated her from her husband's love, and caused her annoyance; so she sent for five women whom she trusted, and said, "Watch for a fault in the wise man, and let us try to make him fall out with the king." So they went about looking for an occasion against him. And one day it so happened that this religious woman after her meal was going forth, and caught sight of the Bodhisat in the courtyard on his way to wait on the king. He saluted her, and stood still. She thought, "This they say is a wise man: I will see whether he be wise or no." So she asked him a question by a gesture of the hand: looking towards the Bodhisat, she opened her hand. Her idea was to enquire whether the king took good care or not of this wise man whom he had brought from another country. When the Bodhisat saw that she was asking him a question by gesture, he answered it by clenching his fist: what he meant was, "Your reverence 1, the king brought me here in fulfilment of a promise, and now he keeps his fist tight closed and gives me nothing." She understood; and stretching out her hand she rubbed her head, as much as to say, "Wise sir, if you are displeased, why do you not become an ascetic like me?" At this the Great Being stroked his stomach, as who should say, "Your reverence 1, there are many that I have to support, and that is why I do not become an ascetic." After this dumb questioning she returned to her dwelling, and the Great Being saluted her and went in to the king. Now the queen's confidantes saw all this from a window; and coming before the king, they said, "My lord, Mahosadha has made a plot with Bherī

p. 241

the ascetic to seize your kingdom, and he is your enemy." So they slandered him. "What have you heard or seen?" the king asked. 4 6 They said, "Sire, as the ascetic was going out after her meal, seeing the Great Being, she opened her hand; as who should say, "Cannot you crush the king flat like the palm of the hand or a threshing-floor, and seize the kingdom for yourself? And Mahosadha clenched his fist, making as though he held a sword, as who should say, "In a few days I will cut off his head and get him into my power." She signalled, "Cut off his head," by rubbing her own head with her hand; the Great Being signalled, "I will cut him in half," by rubbing his belly. Be vigilant, sire! Mahosadha ought to be put to death." The king, hearing this, thought, "I cannot hurt this wise man; I will question the ascetic." Next day accordingly, at the time of her meal, he came up and asked, "Madam, have you seen wise Mahosadha?" "Yes, sire, yesterday, as I was going out after my meal." "Did you have any conversation together?" "Conversation? no; but I had heard of his wisdom, and in order to try it I asked him, by dumb signs, shutting my hand, whether the king was openhanded to him or closefisted, did he treat him with kindness or not. He closed his fist, implying that his master had made him come hither in fulfilment of a promise, and now gave him nothing. Then I rubbed my head, to enquire why he did not become an ascetic if he were not satisfied; he stroked his belly, meaning that there were many for him to feed, many bellies to fill, and therefore he did not become an ascetic." "And is Mahosadha a wise man?" "Yes, indeed, sire: in all the earth there is not his like for wisdom." After hearing her account, the king dismissed her. After she had gone, the sage came to wait upon the king; and the king asked him, "Have you seen, sir, the ascetic Bherī?" "Yes, sire, I saw her yesterday on her way out, and she asked me a question by dumb signs, and I answered her at once." And he told the story as she had done. The king in his pleasure that day gave him the post of commander-in-chief, and put him in sole charge. Great was his glory, second only to the king's. He thought: "The king all at once 4 6 has given me exceeding great renown; this is what kings do even when they wish to slay. Suppose I try the king to see whether he has goodwill towards me or not. No one else will be able to find this out; but the ascetic Bherī is full of wisdom, and she will find a way." So taking a quantity of flowers and scents, he went to the ascetic and, after saluting her, said, "Madam, since you told the king of my merits, the king has overwhelmed me with splendid gifts; but whether he does it in sincerity or not I do not know. It would be well if you could find out for me the king's mind." She promised to do so; and next day, as she was going to the palace, the Question of Dakarakkhasa the Water-Demon came into her mind. Then this

p. 242

occurred to her: "I must not be like a spy, but I must find an opportunity to ask the question, and discover whether the king has goodwill to the wise man." So she went. And after her meal, she sat still, and the king saluting her sat down on one side. Then she thought, "If the king bears illwill to the sage, and when he is asked the question if he declares his illwill in the presence of a number of people, that will not do; I will ask him apart." She said, "Sire, I wish to speak to you in private." The king sent his attendants away. She said, "I want to ask your majesty a question." "Ask, madam, and if I know it I will reply." Then she recited the first stanza in the Question of Dakarakkhasa 1:

"If there were seven of you voyaging on the ocean, and a demon seeking for a human sacrifice should seize the ship, in what order would you give them up and save yourself from the water-demon?"

[470] The king answered by another stanza, in all sincerity:

"First I would give my mother, next my wife, next my brother, fourth my friend, fifth my brahmin, sixth myself, but I would not give up Mahosadha."

Thus the ascetic discovered the goodwill of the king towards the Great Being; but his merit was not published thereby, so she thought of something else: "In a large company I will praise the merits of these others, and the king will praise the wise man's merit instead; thus the wise man's merit will be made as clear as the moon shining in the sky." So she collected all the denizens of the inner palace, and in their presence asked the same question and received the same answer; then she said, "Sire, you say that you would give first your mother: but a mother is of great merit, and your mother is not as other mothers, she is very useful." And she recited her merits in a couple of stanzas:

"She reared you and she brought you forth, and for a long time was kind to you, when Chambhī offended against you she was wise and saw what was for your good, and by putting a counterfeit in your place she saved you from harm. Such a mother, who gave you life, your own mother who bore you in her womb, for what fault could you give her to the water-demon 2?"

p. 243

[472] To this the king replied, "Many are my mother's virtues, and I acknowledge her claims upon me, but mine are still more numerous 1," and then he described her faults in a couple of stanzas:

"Like a young girl she wears ornaments which she ought not to use, she mocks unseasonably at doorkeepers and guards, unbidden she sends messages to rival kings; and for these faults I would give her to the water-demon."

p. 244

[473] "So be it, sire; yet your wife has much merit," and she declared her merit thus:

"She is chief amongst womankind, she is exceeding gracious of speech, devoted, virtuous, who cleaves to you like your shadow, not given to anger, prudent, wise, who sees your good: for what fault would you give your wife to the water-demon?"

He described her faults:

"By her sensual attractions she has made me subject to evil influence, and asks what she should not for her sons. In my passion I give her many and many a gift; I relinquish what is very hard to give, and afterwards I bitterly repent: for that fault I would give my wife to the water-demon."

The ascetic said, "Be it so: but your younger brother Prince Tikhiṇamantī is useful to you; for what fault would you give him?

[474] "He who gave prosperity to the people, and when you were living in foreign parts brought you back home, he whom great wealth could not influence, peerless bowman and hero, Tikhiṇamantī: for what fault would you give your brother to the water-demon 1?"

The king described his fault:

"He thinks, "I gave prosperity to the people, I brought him back home when he was living in foreign parts, great wealth could not influence me, I am a peerless bowman and hero, and sharp in counsel, by me he was made king." He does not come to wait on me, madam, as he used to do; that is the fault for which I would give my brother to the water-demon."

[475] The ascetic said, "So much for your brother's fault: but Prince Dhanusekha is devoted in his love for you, and very useful"; and she described his merit:

"In one night both you and Dhanusekhavā were born here, both called Pañcāla, friends and companions: through all your life he has followed you, your joy and pain were his, zealous and careful by night and day in all service: for what fault would you give your friend to the water-demon?"

p. 245

Then the king described his fault:

"Madam, through all my life he used to make merry with me, and to-day also he makes free excessively for the same reason. If I talk in secret with my wife, in he comes unbidden and unannounced. Give him a chance and an opening, he acts shamelessly and disrespectfully. That is the fault for which I would give my friend to the water-demon."

The ascetic said, "So much for his fault; but the chaplain is very useful to you," and she described his merit:

"He is clever, knows all omens and sounds, skilled in signs and dreams, goings out and comings in, 4 6 understands all the tokens in earth and air and stars: for what fault would you give the brahmin to the water-demon?"

The king explained his fault:

"Even in company he stares at me with open eyes; therefore I would give this rascal with his puckered brows to the water-demon."

Then the ascetic said: "Sire, you say you would give to the water-demon all these five, beginning with your mother, and that you would give your own life for the wise Mahosadha, not taking into account your great glory: what merit do you see in him?" and she recited these stanzas:

"Sire, you dwell amidst your courtiers in a great continent surrounded by the sea, with the ocean in place of an encircling wall: lord of the earth, with a mighty empire, victorious, sole emperor, your glory has become great. You have sixteen thousand women drest in jewels and ornaments, women of all nations, resplendent like maidens divine. Thus provided for every need, every desire fulfilled, you have lived long in happiness and bliss. Then by what reason or what cause do you sacrifice your precious life to protect the sage?"

[477] On hearing this, he recited the following stanzas in praise of the wise man's merit:

"Since Mahosadha, madam, came to me, I have not seen the stedfast man do the most trifling wrong. If I should die before him at any time, he would bring happiness to my sons and grandsons. He knows all things, past or future. This man without sin I would not give to the water-demon."

Thus this Birth came to its appropriate end. Then the ascetic thought: "This is not enough to shew forth the wise man's merits; I will make them known to all people in the city, like one that spreads scented oil over the surface of the sea." So taking the king with her, she came down from the palace, and prepared a seat in the palace courtyard, and made him sit there; then gathering the people together, she asked the king that Question of the Water-Demon over again from the beginning; and when he had answered it as described above, she addressed the people thus:

"Hear this, men of Pañcāla, which Cūḷanī has said. To protect the wise man he sacrifices his own precious life. 4 His mother's life, his wife's and his brother's, his friend's life and his own, Pañcāla is ready to sacrifice. So marvellous is the power of wisdom, so clever and so intelligent, for good in this world and for happiness in the next."

p. 246

So like one that places the topmost pinnacle upon a heap of treasure, she put the pinnacle on her demonstration of the Great Being's merit.

Here endeth the Question of the Water-Demon 1, and here endeth also the whole tale of the Great Tunnel.

This is the identification of the Birth:

"Uppalavaṇṇī was Bherī, Suddhodana was the wise man's father, Mahāmāyā his mother, the beautiful Bimbā was Amarā, Ānanda was the parrot, Sāriputta was Cūḷanī, Mahosadha was the lord of the world: thus understand the Birth. Devadutta was Kevaṭṭa, Cullanandikā was Talatā, Sundarī was Pañcālacaṇḍī, Yasassikā was the queen, Ambaṭṭha was Kāvinda, Poṭṭhapāda was Pukkusa, Pilotika was Devinda, Saccaka was Senaka, Diṭṭhamangalikā was Queen Udumbarā, Kuṇḍalī was the maynah bird, and Lāḷudāyī was Vedeha."


Footnotes

156:1 There is an English translation of the Sinhalese version of this story: Ummagga-Jātaka (The Story of the Tunnel), translated from the Sinhalese by T. B. Yatawara; Luzac, 1898.

157:1 In the Pali, Pācīnayavamajjhaka, Dakkhiṇayavamajjhaka, &c.

160:1 Three verses are here given containing a list of the Tests for committing to memory.

160:2 "Mainsain."

160:3 "Goṇo."

161:1 "Gaṇṭhi."

162:1 A perfume compounded of many different scents.

162:2 No. 110, Vol. I. p. 424 (trans., p. 254). The verse is not there given, but only alluded to. Prof. Cowell does not translate it.

162:3 To roll it round.

165:1 Here Prof. Cowell's MS. comes to an end, and the mark remains in his copy of the text.

165:2 Read °sāmiko.

167:1 savatthiko? I follow the Burmese version.

167:2 The Burmese version has "three notes":—"when it crows it gives forth clearly three notes—one short, one middling, and one long."

168:1 kaṇike.

169:1 assataran no pesetu seṭṭhatarañ ca. There is a play on the words; assatara may mean a mule, or a calf.

171:1 Vol. I. p. 474 (trans., p. 254); cf. I. p. 53. See also Milinda, 205.

171:2 The metre shows corruption; I do not understand haṁsi.

171:3 "Gadrabha-pañho niṭṭhito."

172:1 There is no need to add na, as the editor suggests.

172:2 "Ekūnavīsati-pañho niṭṭhito"; end of the Nineteen Problems.

173:1 "Kakantaka-pañho niṭṭhito." Here endeth the Chameleon Question

175:1 See Vol. II. p. 115.

175:2 "Sirikāḷakaṇṇi-pañho niṭṭhito."

177:1 The words meṇḍo and urabbho mean "ram," and I have translated them literally in the following stanzas, reserving "goat" for eḷaka.

178:1 I have transposed the two last lines, to suit the obvious sense; the grammar is incorrect as they stand. One might almost suppose that Senaka was reciting his verse learnt by rote.

178:2 Meṇḍaka-pañho: see IV. 186 (trans., p. 115).

179:1 Read sirī hīnaṁ as two words.

180:1 I.e. "nirayapālā," the guardians of hell.

181:1 anālayo. Following the Burmese version I derive this from nāli, a measure (of rice, &c.).

182:1 na seems to be wanted before niṭṭhapeyya.

182:2 I translate as though Mahosadho; I cannot understand the syntax of the text.

182:3 Sirimanda-pañho niṭṭhito.

183:1 pubbadevatā nāma mātāpitaro.

183:2 Reading with Bd essasīti, or Cks essathā ti.

183:3 essati in the original, having no subject, might refer to the father, "if he come." This increases the subtlety of the riddle.

183:4 The scholiast explains thus: "Entering the village you will see a cake-shop and then a gruel-shop, further on an ebony tree in flower (koviḷāro, Bauhinia Variegate): take a path to the right (south)."—Channapatha-pañho niṭṭhito.

187:1 Vol. III. p. 152 alludes to this.

187:2 Reading kantena.

187:3 Khajjopanaka-pañho: III. 197.

187:4 Khajjopanaka-pañho niṭṭhito. Here endeth the Firefly Question.

188:1 Vol. IV. p. 72.

189:1 khattiyamāyā: cf. Dhp. p. 155.

189:2 Vol. V. p. 240 = trans., p. 123.

189:3 See III. 105, 154 = trans., pp. 70, 103, IV. 451 = trans., p. 279.

189:4 Bhūripañho niṭṭhito.

191:1 Devātāpucchita-pañho niṭṭhito.

192:1 Vol. IV. p. 473, trans., p. 293.

197:1 See V. 81 (trans., p. 45).

197:2 Pañcapaṇḍita-pañho: Pārībhindana-kathā.

199:1 Reading karissati.

201:1 "Eighteen akkhohinī's," each being 10,000,0006.

202:1 piṭṭhimatī (fem.): explained by schol. as containing a force of carpenters laden with all necessary materials.

202:2 To explain this, the scholiast tells the following story.—Amongst those wise men the king's mother, they say, was still more wise. One day a man set out to cross over a river, holding a bundle of husked rice, a meal of boiled rice wrapt in a leaf, and a thousand rupees. When he came to the mid-river he could get no further, and so he called out to the men on the bank—"See, I have in my hand a bundle of husked rice, a leaf of boiled rice, and a thousand rupees; I will give whichever of these I like if anyone will take me across." Then a strong man girt up his loins and dived in, caught the man by the hands and pulled him across. "Now," quoth he, "give me my due." "You may have the husked rice or the boiled rice," said the man. 3 "What!" said he, "I saved you without thinking of my own life! That is not what I want—give me the money." "I told you that I would give you what I liked, and now what I like I give you. Take it if you will." The other told a bystander, and he also said, "The man gives you what he likes; then take it." "Not I!" said the other, and complained before the judges of court. They all said the same. The man discontented with this sentence complained to the king, who sentp. 203 for the judges and heard both sides, and knowing no better decision gave it against the man who had risked his life. At this moment the king's mother, Queen Talatā, who sat near, hearing the king's mistaken award, asked him if he had carefully considered his sentence. He replied, "Mother, that is the best I can do; decide it better if you can." "And so I will," said she. Then she said to the man: "Friend, put down on the ground the three things which you held in your hand; put them in order. And tell me, when you were in the water what did you say?" He told her. "Now then," said she, "take which you like." He took up the money. As he began to go away she asked him, "So you like the money?" "Yes." "And did you, or did you not say to the man, that you would give him which you liked?" "Yes, I did say so." "Then you must give him the money." He gave it weeping and wailing. Then king and courtiers applauded in great delight; and after this her wisdom became noised abroad everywhere.

203:1 One between each of the encircling bands and the wall.

203:2 Manosilātalaṁ, in the Himalaya.

204:1 I do not understand māḷa, and the variety of readings suggests a corruption here. Some sort of missile is wanted, sand perhaps, or red-hot metal. Pakka is red-hot.

208:1 See V. 2464, trans., V. p. 125, note 2.

208:2 Perhaps Sanscr. karavīra. See IV. 119, note 1 (trans.).

210:1 upabhogaparibhoga-: this compound occurs in Jāt. II. 43125, and in Buddhist Sanskrit: Çiksāsamuccaya 648, 6821, 8912.

213:1 sattamesu means seventh; there seems to be a confusion of two versions, one of which is represented by the Burmese story, "He lay down in the innermost of the seven closets on the ground floor." So Cks.

215:1 Reading, as Fausbøll suggests, atiniggaṇhante for -to.

215:2 sāḷikā kira sakuṇese vessajātikā nānma. Schol.

218:1 Reading āgamissasi with Comm. and the Burmese version; all three MSS. have -ti.

219:1 The text is not intelligible; but the variants suggest that the Burmese version, which I follow, gives the right sense.

221:1 Omitting with Bd; I can think of no correction.

223:1 Perhaps there has been an omission (see just below); one barrier is mentioned, yet the verb is plural.

223:2 ulloka-?

226:1 See p. 215 above.

229:1 The brother takes the place of the absent father-in-law, according to the scholiast.

230:1 abhijjhitā = .

231:1 The text gharam ādāya pāṇinaṁ makes no sense; the Burmese paraphrase, "with the device of an arrow on his finger-nail," suggests that we should read saram and take pāṇinaṁ as locative. Singhalese = gh, = s; Burmese = gh, = s.

231:2 senā = arrows, as fitted with hawk's feathers.

231:3 I.e. white or shining.

231:4 So the scholiast and the Burmese version both interpret tiṁsā…nāvutyo.

231:5 Silurus Boalis.

231:6 sikāyasamayā: "sattavāre koñcasakuṇe khādāpetvā gahitena sikāyasena katā." The Burmese version explains it as follows: "Steel was obtained by burning the excrement of Koslihiṇiyas, which had been fed on flesh mixt with steel dust got fromp. 232 the filings of Jāti steel. The steel obtained from the excrement was again filed and mixt with flesh as before and given to the birds. And so the process was seven times repeated. From the steel obtained from the seventh burning the swords were made."

233:1 See II. 265 (trans. p. 185).

235:1 velli = , the ground being raised and narrow in the middle.

236:1 Cp. p. 178 above.

236:2 Reading hiyyo for bhiyyo (so Burmese version).

239:1 Mahāummagga-khaṇḍam niṭṭhitam.

240:1 ayyo in both cases; the n. s. masc. has apparently become stereotyped. The Burmese version has a male ascetic in this story.

242:1 Mentioned in V. 75 (p. 42 of translation).

242:2 Cūḷani's father was named Mahācūḷanī; and when the child was young, the mother committed adultery with the chaplain Chambhī, then poisoned her husband and made the brahmin king in his place, and became his queen. One day 1 4 the boy said he was hungry, and she gave him molasses to eat: but flies swarmed about it, so the boy, to get rid of the flies, dropt some upon the ground and drove away those that were near him. The flies flew away and settled on the molasses that was on the ground. So he ate his sweetmeat, washed his hands, rinsed his mouth, and went away. But the brahmin, seeing this, thought: "If he has found out this way of getting rid of the flies, when he grows up he will take the kingdom from me; so I will kill him now." He told Queen Talatā, and she said, "Very good, my lord; I killed my husband for love of you, and what is the boy to me? But let us kill him secretly." So she deceived the brahmin. But being clever and skilful she hit on a plan. Sendingp. 243 for the cook, she said to him, "Friend, my son prince Cūḷani and your son young Dhanusekha were born on one day, they have grown up together in friendship. The brahmin Chambhī wants to kill my son; prithee save his life!" He was willing, and asked how. "Let my son," she said, "be often in your house; you and he must both sleep in the great kitchen for several days to avoid suspicion. When all is safe, put a heap of sheep's bones in the place where you lie, and at the time when men go to sleep, set fire to the kitchen, and without a word to anyone take my son and yours, go out by the house door, and go to another country, and protect my son's life without letting anyone know that he is a prince." He promised, and she gave him a quantity of treasure. He did as she bade, and went with the boy to the city of Sāgala in the Madda kingdom, where he served the king: he dismissed his former cook and took this in his place. The two boys used to go to the palace with him. The king asked whose sons they were; the cook said they were his. "Surely they are not alike!" said the king. "They had different mothers," he said. As time went on they played about in the palace with the king's daughter. Then Cūḷanī and the princess, from seeing each other constantly, fell in love. In the playroom, the prince used to make the princess fetch his ball or dice; if she would not, he hit her on the head and made her cry; the king hearing her cry asked who had done it, and the nurses would come to enquire; but the princess thought, "If I say he did it, my father will play the king over him," and for love of him she would not tell, but said no one had struck her. But one day the king saw him do it; and he thought, "This lad is not like the cook, he is handsome and attractive and very fearless; he cannot be his son." So after that he showed favour to the lad. The nurses used to bring food for the princess in the playroom, and she gave some to the other children; they used to go down on their knees to take it, but prince Cūḷani without stopping his play put out his hand for it as he stood. The king saw this. One day, Cūḷani's ball ran under the king's little couch. The lad went to get it, but in pride of his own majesty 2 4 pulled it out with a stick, that he might not bend under the bed of a foreign king. When the king saw this, he felt sure that the lad was no cook's son; so he sent for the cook, and asked him whose son he was. "Mine, my lord," he said. "I know who is your son and who is not; tell me the truth—if you do not, you are a dead man," and he drew his sword. The cook, terrified out of his wits, said, "My lord, I will tell you, but I ask you for secrecy." The king granted his request, and promised immunity. Then he told the truth. Then the king adorned his daughter, and gave her to the lad for his handmaiden.—Now on the day when these ran away, there was a great outcry throughout the city, "The cook and his son and prince Cūlani are burnt up in the kitchen!" Queen Talatā, hearing it, told the brahmin that his wish had been fulfilled, and they were all three burnt up in the kitchen. He was highly pleased, and Queen Talatā, shewing him the goat's bones as prince Cūḷani's, had them burnt.

243:1 The text can hardly be right. agunā is wanted, as the context shews, and mam’ is not wanted. The Burmese version has "her faults are more than the virtues." Read pan’ ev’ agunā?

244:1 He was born while his mother lived with the brahmin. When he grew up, the brahmin put a sword in his hand, told him to take it and stand by him. He, thinking that the brahmin was his father, did so. But one of the courtiers told him that he was not that man's son. "When you were in your mother's womb," said he, "Queen Talatā murdered the king and made this man king instead; you are the son of King Mahācūḷanī." He was angry, and determined to find a way to kill the brahmin. He entered the palace, and gave the sword to one servant, and then said to another, "Make a brawl at the palace gate, and declare that this sword is yours." Then he went in, and they began brawling. The prince sent a messenger to enquire what the noise was. He returned and said it was a quarrel about the sword. The brahmin hearing it asked, what sword? The prince said, "Is the sword which you gave me another's property?" "What have you said, my son!" "Well, shall I send for it? will you recognize it?" He sent for it, and, drawing it from the scabbard, said, "Look at it"; on pretence of shewing it to the brahmin he went up to him, and with one blow cut off his head, which dropt at his feet. Then he cleansed the palace, and decorated the city, and was proclaimed king. Then his mother told him how prince Cūḷanī was living in Madda; whereupon the prince went thither with an army and brought back his brother and made him king.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: No. 547.: Vessantara-Jātaka.



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


No. 547.

VESSANTARA-JĀTAKA.

[479] "Ten boons," etc. This story the Master told while dwelling near Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Grove, about a shower of rain.

When the Master turning the precious Wheel of the Law came in due course to Rājagaha, where he spent the winter, with Elder Udāyi leading the way, and attended by twenty thousand saints, he entered Kapilavatthu: whereupon the Sakya princes gathered together to see the chief of their clan. They inspected the Blessed One's abode, saying, "A delightful place this Banyan Grove, worthy of Sakka." Then they made all due provision for guarding it; and making ready to meet him with fragrant posies in their hands, they sent first all the youngest boys and girls of the township drest in their best, next the princes and princesses, and amongst these themselves did honour to the Master with fragrant flowers and powders, escorting the Blessed One as far as the Banyan Park; where the Blessed One took his seat, surrounded by twenty thousand saints upon the Buddha's goodly seat, which was appointed for him. Now the Sākiyas are a proud and stiff-necked race; and they, thinking within themselves, "Siddhattha's boy is younger than we; he is our younger brother, our nephew, our grandson," said to the younger princes: "You do him obeisance; we will sit behind you." As they sat there without doing obeisance to him, the Blessed One, perceiving their intent, thought to himself: "My kinsfolk do me no obeisance; well, I will make them do so." So he caused to arise in him that ecstasy which is based on transcendent faculty, rose up into the air, and as though shaking off the dust of his feet upon their heads, performed a miracle like the twofold miracle at the foot of the knot-mango tree 2. The king, seeing this wonder, said, "Sir, on the day of your birth, when I saw your feet placed upon the head of Brahmin Kāladevala who had come to do you obeisance, I did obeisance to you, and that was the first time. On the day of the Plowing Festival 3, when you sate on the royal seat under the shade of a rose-apple tree,

p. 247

when I saw that the shadow of the tree moved not, I did obeisance to your feet; and that was the second time. And now again, I see a miracle which never I saw before, and do obeisance to your feet: this is the third time." But when the king had thus done obeisance, not one Sākiya could sit still and refrain, they did obeisance one and all.

The Blessed One, having thus made his kinsfolk do him obeisance, came down from the air and sat upon the appointed seat; when the Blessed One was there seated, his kinsfolk were made wise, and sat with peace in their hearts. Then a great cloud arose, and burst in a shower of rain: down came the rain red and with a loud noise, and those who desired to be wet were wetted, 4 but he who did not, had not even a drop fallen upon his body. All who saw it were astonished at the miracle, and cried one to another—"Lo a marvel! to a miracle! to the power of the Buddhas, on whose kinsfolk such a shower of rain is falling!" On hearing this, the Buddha said: "This is not the first time, Brethren, that a great shower of rain has fallen upon my kinsfolk"; and then, at their request, he told a story of the past.


Once upon a time, a king named Sivi, reigning in the city of Jetuttara in the kingdom of Sivi, had a son named Sañjaya. When the lad came of age, the king brought him a princess named Phusatī, daughter of king Madda, and handed over the kingdom to him, making Phusatī his queen consort. Her former connexion with the world was as follows. In the ninety-first age from this, a Teacher arose in the world named Vipassī. Whilst he was dwelling in the deer-park of Khema, near the city of Bandhumatī, a certain king sent to King Bandhuma a golden wreath worth a hundred thousand pieces of money, with precious sandal wood. Now the king had two daughters; and being desirous to give this present to them, he gave the sandal wood to the elder and the golden wreath to the younger. But both declined to use these gifts for themselves; and with the intent to offer them in respect to the Master, they said to the king: "Father, we will offer to the Dasabala this sandal wood and this golden wreath." To this the king gave his consent. So the elder princess powdered the sandal wood, and filled with the powder a golden box; and the younger sister caused the golden wreath to be made into a golden necklet, and laid it in a golden box. Then they both proceeded to the hermitage in the deer-park; and the elder sister, reverently sprinkling the Dasabala's golden body with the sandal wood powder, scattered the rest in his cell, and said this prayer: "Sir, in time to come, may I be the mother of a Buddha like you." The younger reverently placed upon the Dasabala's golden body the gold-lace necklet which had been made out of the golden wreath, and prayed, "Sir, until I attain sainthood, may this ornament never part from my body." And the Master granted their prayers.

[481] Both these, after their life was past, came into being in the world of gods. The elder sister, passing from the world of gods to the

p. 248

world of men and back again, at the end of the ninety-first age became Queen Māyā mother of the Buddha. The younger sister passing to and fro in like manner, in the time of the Dasabala Kassapa became the daughter of King Kiki; and being born with the semblance of a necklet upon her neck and shoulders, beautiful as though drawn by a painter, she was named Uracchadā. When she was a girl of sixteen years, she heard a pious utterance of the Master, and attained to the fruit of the First Path, and so the very same day she attained sainthood, and then entered the Order, and entered Nirvana.

Now King Kiki had seven other daughters, whose names were:

"Samaṇī, Samaṇā, the holy Sister Guttā,
Bhikkhudāsikā, and Dhammā and Sudhammā,
And of the sisters the seventh Saṁghadāsī."

In this manifestation of the Buddha, these sisters were—

"Khemā, Uppalavaṇṇā, the third was Paṭācārā,
Gotamā, Dhammadinnā, and sixthly Mahāmāyā,
And of this band of sisters the seventh was Visākhā."

Now of these Phusatī became Sudhammā; who did good deeds and gave alms, and by fruit of the offering of sandal wood done to Buddha Vipassī, had her body as it were sprinkled with choice sandal wood. Then passing to and fro between the worlds of men and of gods, eventually she became chief queen of Sakka king of the gods. After her days there were done 1, and the five customary signs were to be seen, Sakka king of the gods, realizing that her time was exhausted, escorted her with great glory to the pleasaunce in Nandana grove; then as she reclined on a richly adorned seat, he, sitting beside it, said to her: "Dear Phusatī, ten boons I grant you: choose." With these words, he uttered the first stanza in this Great Vessantara Birth with its thousand stanzas:

"Ten boons I give thee, Phusatī, O beauteous lady bright:
Choose thou whatever on the earth is precious in thy sight."

[482] Thus came she to be established in the world of gods by the preaching in the Great Vessantara.

But she, not knowing the circumstances of her re-birth, felt faint, and said the second stanza:

"Glory to thee, O king of gods! what sin is done by me,
To send me from this lovely place as winds blow down a tree?"

And Sakka perceiving her despondency uttered two stanzas:

"Dear art thou still as thou hast been, and sin thou hast not done:
I speak because thy merit now is all used up and gone.

Now thy departure is at hand, the hour of death draws nigh:
Ten boons I offer thee to choose; then choose, before thou die."

p. 249

Hearing these words of Sakka, and convinced that she must die, she said, choosing the boons 1:

"King Sakka, lord of beings all, a boon hath granted me:
I bless him: craving that my life in Sivi's realm may be.

Black eyes, black pupils like a fawn, black eyebrows may I have,
And Phusatī my name: this boon, O bounteous one, I crave.

A son be mine, revered by kings, famed, glorious, debonair,
Bounteous, ungrudging, one to lend a ready ear to prayer.

And while the babe is in my womb let not my figure go,
Let it be slim and graceful like a finely fashioned bow.

[483] Still, Sakka, may my breasts be firm, nor white-haired may I be 2;
My body all unblemished, may I set the death-doomed free 3.

Mid herons' cries, and peacocks' calls, with waiting women fair,
Poets and bards to sing our praise, shawls waving in the air 4,

When rattling on the painted door the menial calls aloud,
"God bless King Sivi! come to meat!" be I his queen avowed."

Sakka said:

"Know that these boons, my lady bright, which I have granted thee,
In Sivi kingdom, beauteous one, all ten fulfilled shall be."

[484]"So spake the monarch of the gods, the great Sujampati,
Called Vāsava, well pleased to grant a boon to Phusatī."

When she had thus chosen her boons, she left that world, and was conceived in the womb of King Madda's queen 5; and when she was born, because her body was as it were sprinkled with the perfume of sandal wood, on her name-day they called her by the name Phusatī. She grew up amidst a great company of attendants until in her sixteenth year she surpassed all other in beauty. At that time Prince Sañjaya, son of the King of Sivi, was to be invested with the White Umbrella; the princess was sent for to be his bride, and she was made Queen Consort at the head of sixteen thousand women; wherefore it is said—

"Next born a princess, Phusatī was to the city led
Jetuttara, and there anon to Sañjaya was wed."

p. 250

Sañjaya loved her lief and dearly. Now Sakka pondering remembered how that nine of his ten boons given to Phusatī were fulfilled. "But one is left unfulfilled," he thought, "a goodly son; this I will fulfil for her." At that time the Great Being was in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three, and his time was done; perceiving which Sakka approached him, and said, "Venerable Sir, you must enter the world of men; without delay you must be conceived in the womb of Phusatī, Queen Consort of the King of Sivi."

With these words, asking the consent of the Great Being and the sixty thousand sons of the gods who were destined to re-birth, he went to his own place. The Great Being came down and was re-born there, and the sixty thousand gods were born in the families of sixty thousand courtiers. Phusatī, when the Great Being was conceived in her womb, finding herself with child, desired six alms-halls to be built, one at each of the four gates, one in the middle of the city, and one at her own door; that each day she might distribute six hundred thousand pieces. The king, learning how it was with her, consulted the fortune-tellers, who said, "Great King, in thy wife's womb is conceived a being devoted to almsgiving, who will never be satisfied with giving." Hearing this he was pleased, and made a practice of giving as before said.

[485] From the time of the Bodhisat's conception, there was no end one might say to the king's revenue; by the influence of the king's goodness, the kings of all India sent him presents.

Now the queen while with child remained with her large company of attendants, until ten months were fulfilled, and then she wished to visit the city. She informed the king, who caused the city to be decorated like to a city of the gods: he set his queen in a noble chariot, and made procession about the city rightwise. When they had reached the midst of the Vessa 1 quarter, the pains of travail 2 seized upon her. They told the king, and then and there he caused a lying-in chamber to be made and made her go there; and then she brought forth a son; wherefore it is said—

"Ten months she bore me in her womb; procession then they made;
And Phusatī in Vessa Street of me was brought to bed."

The Great Being came from his mother's womb free from impurity, open-eyed, and on the instant holding out his hand to his mother, he said, "Mother, I wish to make some gift; is there anything?" She replied, "Yes, my son, give as you will," and dropped a purse of a thousand pieces into the outstretched hand. Three times the Great Being spoke as soon as born: in the Ummagga Birth, in this Birth, and in his last Birth. On

p. 251

his name-day, because he was born in the Vessa Street, they gave him the name Vessantara; wherefore it is said:

"My name not from the mother's side nor from the father's came;
As I was born in Vessa Street, Vessantara's my name."

On his very birthday, a female flying elephant brought a young one, esteemed to be of lucky omen, white all over, and left it in the royal stables. Because this creature came to supply a need of the Great Being, they named it Paccaya. The king appointed four times sixty 1 nurses for the Great Being, neither too tall nor too short, and free from all other fault, with sweet milk; he appointed also nurses for the sixty thousand children born with him, and so he grew up surrounded by this great company of sixty thousand children. The king caused to be made a prince's necklace with a hundred thousand pieces of money, and gave it to his son; but he, being of four or five years of age, 4 6 gave it away to his nurses, nor would he take it back when they wished to give it. They told this to the king, who said, "What my son has given is well given; be it a Brahmin's gift," and had another necklace made. But the prince still in his childhood gave this also to his nurses, and so nine times over.

When he was eight years old, as he reclined on his couch, the boy thought to himself: "All that I give comes from without, and this does not satisfy me; I wish to give something of my very own. If one should ask my heart, I would cut open my breast, and tear it out, and give it; if one ask my eyes, I would pluck out my eyes and give them; if one should ask my flesh, I would cut off all the flesh of my body and give it." And thus he pondered with all his being and the depths of his heart; this earth, forty thousand quadrillions of leagues 2 in extent, and two hundred thousands of leagues in depth, quaked thundering like a great mad elephant; Sineru chief of mountains bowed like a sapling in hot steam, and seemed to dance, and stood leaning towards the city of Jetuttara; at the earth's rumbling the sky thundered with lightning and rain; forked lightning flashed; the ocean was stirred up: Sakka king of the gods clapt his arms, Mahābrahmā gave a sign of approval, high as Brahma's World all was in uproar; wherefore it is said also:

"When I was yet a little boy, but of the age of eight,
Upon my terrace, charity and gifts I meditate.

If any man should ask of me blood, body, heart, or eye,
Or blood or body, eye or heart I'd give him, was my cry.

And as with all my being I pondered with thoughts like these
The unshaken earth did shake and quake with mountains, woods and trees."

p. 252

By the age of sixteen, the Bodhisatta had attained a mastery of all sciences. Then his father, desiring to make him king, consulted with his mother; from the family of King Madda they brought his first cousin, named Maddī, with sixteen thousand attendant women, and made her his Queen Consort, and sprinkled him with the water of coronation. From the time of his receiving the kingdom he distributed much alms, giving each day six hundred thousand pieces of money.

By and by Queen Maddī 4 brought forth a son, and they laid him in a golden hammock, for which reason they gave him the name of Prince Jāli. By the time he could go on foot the queen bore a daughter, and they laid her in a black skin, for which reason they gave her the name of Kaṇhājinā. Each month the Great Being would visit his six alms-halls six times, mounted upon his magnificent elephant.

Now at that time there was drought in the kingdom of Kāliṅga: the corn grew not, there was a great famine, and men being unable to live used robbery. Tormented by want, the people gathered in the king's courtyard and upbraided him. Hearing this the king said, "What is it, my children?" They told him. He replied, "Good, my children, I will bring the rain," and dismissed them. He pledged himself to virtue, and kept the holy-day vow, but he could not make the rain come; so he summoned the citizens together, and said to them, "I pledged myself to virtue, and seven days I kept the holy-day vow, yet I could not make the rain come: what is to be done now?" They replied, "If you cannot bring the rain, my lord, Vessantara in the city of Jetuttara, King Sañjaya's son, is devoted to charity; he has a glorious elephant all white, and wherever he goes the rain falls; send brahmins, and ask for that elephant, and bring him hither." The king agreed; and assembling the brahmins he chose out eight of them, gave them provisions for their journey, and said to them, "Go and fetch Vessantara's elephant." On this mission, the brahmins proceeded in due course to Jetuttara city; in the alms-hall they received entertainment; sprinkled their bodies with dust and smeared them with mud; and on the day of the full moon, to ask for the king's elephant, they went to the eastern gate at the time the king came to the alms-hall. Early in the morning, the king, intending a visit to the alms-hall, washed himself with sixteen pitchers of perfumed water, and broke his fast, and mounted upon the back of his noble elephant richly adorned proceeded to the eastern gate. The brahmins found no opportunity there, and went to the southern gate, standing upon a mound and watched the king giving alms at the eastern gate. When he came to the southern gate, stretching out their hands they cried, "Victory to the noble Vessantara!" The Great Being, as he saw the brahmins, drove the elephant to the place whereon they stood, and seated upon its back uttered the first stanza: [488]

p. 253

"With hairy armpits, hairy heads, stained teeth, and dust on poll,
O brahmins, stretching forth your hands, what is it that you crave?"

To this the brahmins replied:

"We crave a precious thing, O prince that dost thy people save:
That choice and saving 1 elephant with tusks like any pole."

When the Great Being heard this, he thought, "I am willing to give anything that is my own, from my head onwards, and what they ask is something without me; I will fulfil their wish"; and from the elephant's back, he replied:

"I give, and never shrink from it, that which the brahmins want,
This noble beast, for riding fit, fierce tuskèd elephant";

and thus consenting:

"The king, the saviour of his folk, dismounted from its back,
And glad in sacrificing, gave the brahmins what they lack."

The ornaments on the elephant's four feet were worth four hundred thousand, those on his two sides were worth two hundred thousand, the blanket under his belly a hundred thousand, on his back were nets of pearls, of gold, and of jewels, three nets worth three hundred thousand, in the two ears two hundred thousand, on his back a rug worth a hundred thousand, the ornament on the frontal globes worth a hundred thousand, three wrappings 2 three hundred thousand, the small ear-ornaments two hundred thousand, those on the two tusks two hundred thousand, the ornament for luck on his trunk a hundred thousand, that on his tail a hundred thousand, not to mention the priceless ornaments on his body two and twenty hundred thousand, a ladder to mount, by one hundred thousand, the food-vessel a hundred thousand, 4 which comes to as much as four and twenty hundred thousand: moreover the jewels great and small upon the canopy, the jewels in his necklace of pearls, the jewels in the goad, the jewels in the pearl necklace about his neck, the jewels on his frontal globes, all these without price, the elephant also without price, making with the elephant seven priceless things—all these he gave to the brahmins; besides five hundred attendants with the grooms and stablemen: and with that gift the earthquake came to pass, and the other portents as related above.

To explain this, the Master spoke:

"Then was a mighty terror felt, then bristling of the hair;
When the great elephant was given the earth did quake for fear.

Then was a mighty terror felt, then bristling of the hair;
When the great elephant was given, trembled the town for fear.

With a resounding mighty roar the city all did ring
When the great elephant was given by Sivi's foster-king."

p. 254

The city of Jetuttara all did tremble. The brahmins, we are told, at the southern gate received the elephant, mounted upon his back, and amidst a thronging multitude passed through the midst of the city. The crowd, beholding them, cried out, "O brahmins, mounted upon our elephant, why are ye taking our elephant?" The brahmins replied, "The great king Vessantara has given the elephant to us: who are you?" and so with contumelious gestures to the crowd, through the city they passed and out by the northern gate by aid of the deities 1. The people of the city, angry with the Bodhisat, uttered loud reproaches.

To explain this, the Master said:

"Upon that loud and mighty sound, so terrible to hear,
When the great elephant was given the earth did quake for fear.

Upon that loud and mighty sound, so terrible to hear,
When the great elephant was given trembled the town to hear.

So loud and mighty was the sound all terrible did ring,
When the great elephant was given by Sivi's foster-king."

[490] The citizens, trembling at heart for this gift, addressed themselves to the king. Therefore it is said:

"Then prince and brahmin, Vesiya and Ugga 2, great and small,
Mahouts and footmen, charioteers and soldiers, one and all,

The country landowners, and all the Sivi folk come by.
Seeing the elephant depart, thus to the king did cry:

"Thy realm is ruined, sire: why should Vessantara thy son
Thus give away our elephant revered by every one?

Why give our saviour elephant, pole-tuskèd, goodly, white 3,
Which ever knew the vantage-ground to choose in every fight?

With jewels and his yak-tail fan; which trampled down all foes;
Long-tuskèd, furious, white as Mount Kelāsa with his snows;

With trappings and white parasol, fit riding for a king,
With leech and driver, he has given away this precious thing."

After saying this, they said again:

"Whoso bestoweth food and drink, with raiment, fire and fleet,
That is a right and proper gift, for brahmins that is meet.

O Sañjaya, thy people's friend, say why this thing was done
By him, a prince of our own line, Vessantara, thy son?

The bidding of the Sivi folk if ye refuse to do,
The people then will act, methinks, against your son and you."

[491] Hearing this, the king suspected that they wished to slay Vessantara; and he said:

"Yea, let my country be no more, my kingdom no more be,
Banish I will not from his realm a prince from fault quite free,
Nor will obey the people's voice: my true-born son is he.

p. 255

Yea, let my country be no more, my kingdom no more be,
Banish I will not from his realm a prince from fault quite free,
Nor will obey the people's voice: my very son is he.

No, I will work no harm on him; all noble is he still;
And it would be a shame for me, and it would cause much ill.
Vessantara, my very son, with sword how could I kill?"

The people of Sivi replied:

"Not chastisement doth he deserve, nor sword, nor prison cell,
But from the kingdom banish him, on Vaṁka's mount to dwell."

The king said:

"Behold the people's will! and I that will do not gainsay.
But let him bide one happy night before he go away.

After the space of this one night, when dawns the coming day,
Together let the people come and banish him away."

They agreed to the king's proposal for just the one night. Then he let them go away, and thinking to send a message to his son, he commissioned an agent, who accordingly went to Vessantara's house and told him what had befallen.

[492] To make this clear, the following stanzas were said:

"Rise, fellow, hie away post-haste, and tell the prince my word.
"The people all, and citizens, in wrath, with one accord,

Uggas and princes, Vesiyas and brahmins too, my son,
Mahouts and lifeguards, charioteers, and footmen, every one,
All citizens, all country folk, together here have run,—

After the space of this one night, when dawns the coming day,
They will assemble one and all and banish thee away."

This fellow sent by Sivi's king swift on his errand pressed,
Upon an armed elephant, perfumed, and finely drest,

Head bathed in water, jewelled rings in ears,—and on he rode
Till to that lovely town he came, Vessantara's abode.

Then he beheld the happy prince abiding in his land,
Like Vāsava the king of gods; round him the courtiers stand.

Thither in haste the fellow went, and to the prince said he—
"I bear ill tidings, royal sir: O be not wroth with me!"

With due obeisance, weeping sore, he said unto the king:
"Thou art my master, sire, and thou dost give me every thing:
Bad news I have to tell thee now: do thou some comfort bring.

The people all and citizens, in wrath, with one consent,
Uggas and princes, Vesiyas and brahmins, all are bent,

Mahouts and lifeguards, charioteers, the footmen every one,
All citizens and country folk together now have run,

After the space of this one night, when dawns the coming day,
Determined all to come in crowds and banish thee away."

The Great Being said:

"Why are the people wroth with me? for no offence I see.
Tell me, good fellow, wherefore pray they wish to banish me?"

p. 256

[493] The agent said:

"Uggas and Vesiyas, charioteers, and brahmins every one,
Mahouts and lifeguards, charioteers and footmen, thither run,
All angry at thy giving gifts, and therefore banish thee."

Hearing this, the Great Being, in all content, said:

"My very eye and heart I'd give: why not what is not mine,
Or gold or treasure, precious stones, or pearls, or jewels fine?

Comes any one to ask of me, I’d give my hand, my right 1,
Nor for a moment hesitate: in gifts is my delight.

Now let the people banish me, now let the people kill,
Or cut me sevenfold, for cease from gifts I never will."

On hearing this, the agent again spoke, no message of the king's or of the people's, but another command out of his own mind:

"This is the Sivi people's will; they bade me tell you so:
Where Kontimārā by the hill Ārañjara doth flow,
Thither depart, where banished men, good sir, are wont to go."

This he said, we are told, by inspiration of a deity.

Hearing this, the Bodhisatta replied: "Very well, I shall go by the road that those go who have offended; but me the citizens do not banish for any offence, they banish me for the gift of the elephant. In this case I wish to give the great gift of the seven hundreds, and I pray the citizens to grant me one day's delay for that. To-morrow I will make my gift, the next day I will go":

[494] "So I by that same road shall go as they who do offend:
But first to make a gift, one night and day I pray them lend."

"Very good," said the agent, "I will report this to the citizens," and away he went.

The man gone, the Great Being summoning one of his captains said to him, "To-morrow I am to make the gift called the gift of the seven hundreds. You must get ready seven hundred elephants, with the same number of horses, chariots, girls, cows, men slaves and women slaves, and provide every kind of food and drink, even the strong liquor, everything which is fit to give." So having arranged for the great gift of the seven hundreds, he dismissed his courtiers, and alone departed to the dwelling of Maddī; where seating himself on the royal couch, he began to address her.

The Master thus described it:

"Thus did the king to Maddī speak, that lady passing fair:
"All that I ever gave to thee, or goods or grain, beware,

Or gold or treasure, precious stones, and plenty more beside,
Thy father's dower, find a place this treasure all to hide."

Then out spake Maddī to the king, that princess passing fair:
"Where shall I find a place, my lord, to hide it? tell me where?"

p. 257

Vessantara said:

"In due proportion on the good thy wealth in gifts bestow,
No other place than this is safe to keep it, well I know."

[495] She consented, and withal he exhorted her in this wise:

"Be kind, O Maddī, to thy sons, thy husband's parents both,
To him who will thy husband be do service, nothing loth.

And if no man should wish to be thy husband, when I'm gone,
Go seek a husband for thyself, but do not pine alone."

Then Maddī thought, "Why I wonder does Vessantara say such a thing to me?" And she asked him, "My lord, why do you say to me what you ought not to say?" The Great Being replied, "Lady, the people of Sivi, angry with me for the gift of the elephant, are banishing me from the realm: to-morrow I am to make the gift of the seven hundreds, and next day I depart from the city." And he said:

"To-morrow to a forest drear, beset with beasts of prey,
I go: and whether I can live within it, who can say?'

Then spake the princess Maddī, spake the lady passing fair:
"It is not so! a wicked word! to say it do not dare!

It is not meet and right, my king, that thou alone shouldst fare:
Whatever journey thou shalt go, I also will be there.

Give me the choice to die with thee, or live from thee apart,
Death is my choice, unless I can live with thee where thou art.

Kindle a blazing fiery flame the fiercest that can be,—
There I would rather die the death than live apart from thee.

[496] As close behind an elephant his mate is often found
Moving through mountain pass or wood, o’er rough or level ground,

So with my boys I'll follow thee, wherever thou mayst lead,
Nor shalt thou find me burdensome or difficult to feed 1."

With these words she began to praise the region of Himalaya as if she had seen it:

"When you shall see your pretty boys, and hear their prattle ring
Under the greenwood, you'll forget that ever you were king.

To see your pretty boys at play, and hear their prattle ring
Under the greenwood, you'll forget that ever you were king.

When you shall see your pretty boys, and hear their prattle ring
In our fair home, you will forget that ever you were king.

To see your pretty boys at play, and hear their prattle ring
In our fair home, you will forget that ever you were king.

To see your boys all gay-bedeckt, the flowers to watch them bring
In our fair home, you will forget that ever you were king.

To see your boys at play all gay, the flowers to watch them bring
In our fair home, you will forget that ever you were king.

When you behold your dancing boys their wreaths of flowers bring
In our fair home, you will forget that ever you were king.

p. 258

When you behold them dance and play, and wreaths of flowers bring
In our fair home, you will forget that ever you were king.

The elephant of sixty years, all lonely wandering
The woodland, will make you forget that ever you were king.

The elephant of sixty years, at even wandering
And early, will make you forget that ever you were king.

[497] When you behold the elephant his herd of subjects bring,
The elephant of sixty years, and hear his trumpeting,
To hear the sound you will forget that ever you were king.

The woodland glades, the roaring beasts, and every wished-for thing
When you behold, you will forget that ever you were king.

The deer that come at eventide, the varied flowers that spring,
The dancing frogs—you will forget that ever you were king.

When you shall hear the rivers roar, the fairy creatures sing,
Believe me, you will clean forget that ever you were king.

When you shall hear the screech-owl's note in mountain cave dwelling,
Believe me, you will clean forget that ever you were king.

Rhinoceros and buffalo, that make the woodland ring,
Lion and tiger—you'll forget that ever you were king.

When on the mountain top you see the peacock dance and spring
Before the peahens, you'll forget that ever you were king.

To see the egg-born peacock dance and spread his gorgeous wing
Before the peahens, you'll forget that ever you were king.

The peacock with his purple neck, to see him dance and spring
Before the peahens—you'll forget that ever you were king.

When in the winter you behold the trees all flowering
Waft their sweet odours, you'll forget that ever you were king.

When in the winter you behold the plants all flowering,
The bimbajāla, kuṭaja, and lotus 1, scattering
Abroad their odours, you'll forget that ever you were king.

When in the winter you behold the forest flowering
And blooming lotus, you'll forget that ever you were king."

[498] Thus did Maddī sing the praises of Himavat in these stanzas, as though she were dwelling therein. Here endeth the Praise of Himavat 2.

Now Queen Phusatī thought: "A harsh command has been laid upon my son: what will he do? I will go and find out." In a covered carriage she went, and taking up her position at the door of their chamber, she overheard their converse and uttered a bitter lamentation.

Describing this, the Master said:

"She heard the princess and her son, the talk that passed between,
Then bitterly she did lament, that great and glorious queen.

"Better drink poison, better leap from off a cliff, say I,
Or better bind a strangling noose about my neck and die:
Why banish they Vessantara my unoffending son?

p. 259

So studious and free from greed, giving to all who came,
Respected by his rival kings, of great and glorious fame,
Why banish they Vessantara, my unoffending son?

His parents' prop, who did respect his elders every one,
Why banish they Vessantara, my unoffending son?

Belovèd by the king and queen, by all his kith and kin,
Belovèd by his friends, the realm and all that are therein,
Why banish they Vessantara, my unoffending son?"

[499] After this bitter lament, she consoled her son and his wife, and went before the king and said:

"Like mangoes fallen to the ground, like money waste and spent,
So falls thy kingdom, if they will banish the innocent.

Like a wild goose with crippled wing, when all the water's gone,
Deserted by thy courtiers, thou wilt live in pain alone.

I tell thee true, O mighty king: let not thy good go by,
Nor banish him, the innocent, because the people cry."

Hearing which, the king answered:

"Thy son, the people's banner, if I send to exile drear,
My royal duty I obey, than life itself more dear."

On hearing this, the queen said, lamenting:

"Once hosts of men escorted him, with goodly banners flown,
Like forests full of flowering trees: to-day he goes alone 1.

[500] Bright yellow robes, Gandhāra make, once round about him shone,
Or glowing scarlet, as he went: to-day he goes alone.

With chariot, litter, elephant he went in former days:
To-day the King Vessantara afoot must tramp the ways.

He once by sandal-scent perfumed, awaked by dance and song,
How wear rough skins, how axe and pot and pingo bear along?

Why will they not bring yellow robes, why not the garb of skin,
And dress of bark, the mighty woods that he may enter in?

How can a banisht king put on the robe of bark to wear,
To dress in bark and grass how will the princess Maddī bear?

Maddī, who once Benares cloth and linen used to wear,
And fine kodumbara, how bark and grasses will she bear?

She who in litter or in car was carried to and fro,
The lovely princess, now to-day on foot how can she go?

With tender hands and tender feet in happiness she stood:
How can the lovely princess go trembling into the wood?

With tender hands and tender feet she lived in happy state:
The finest slippers she could wear would hurt her feet of late;
To-day how can the lovely one afoot now go her gait?

Once she would go begarlanded amidst a thousand maids:
How can the beauteous one alone now walk the forest glades?

Once if she heard the jackal howl she would be all dismayed:
How can the timid beauteous one now walk the forest glade?

p. 260

She who of Indra's royal race would ever shrink afraid,
Trembling like one possest, to hear the hoot some owl had made,
How can the timid beauteous one now walk the forest glade?

Like as a bird beholds the nest empty, the brood all slain,
So when I see the empty place long shall I burn in pain.

[501] Like to a bird that sees the nest empty, the brood all slain,
Thin, yellow I shall grow to see my dear son ne’er again.

Like to a bird that sees the nest empty, the brood all slain,
I'll run distracted, if I see my dear son ne’er again.

As when an eagle sees its nest empty, its young brood slain,
So when I see the empty place long shall I live in pain.

As when an eagle sees its nest empty, its young brood slain,
Thin, yellow I shall grow to see my dear son ne’er again.

As when an eagle sees its nest empty, its young brood slain,
I'll run distracted, if I see my dear son ne’er again.

Like ruddy geese beside a pond from which the water's gone,
Long shall I live in pain, to see no more my dearest son.

Like ruddy geese beside a pond from which the water's gone,
Thin, yellow I shall grow to see no more my dearest son.

Like ruddy geese beside a pond from which the water's gone,
I'll fly distracted, if I see no more my dearest son.

And if you banish from the realm my unoffending son,
In spite of this my sore complaint, methinks my life is done."

[502] Explaining this matter, the Master said:

"Hearing the queen bewailing sore, straight all together went
The palace dames, their arms outstretcht, to join in her lament.

And in the palace of the prince, prone lying all around
Women and children lay like trees blown down upon the ground.

And when the night was at an end, and the sun rose next day,
Then King Vessantara began his gifts to give away.

"Food to the hungry give, strong drink to those who drink require 1,
Give clothes to those who wish for clothes, each after his desire."

"Let not one suitor hither come go disappointed back,
Shew all respect, and food or drink to taste let no man lack."

And so they gathered thick and fast with joy and merry play,
As Sivi's great and fostering king prepared to go away.

They did cut down a mighty tree that full of fruit did stand,
When the innocent Vessantara they banished from the land.

They did cut down a wishing-tree, with every boon at hand,
When the innocent Vessantara they banished from the land.

They did cut down a wishing-tree, with choicest boons at hand,
When the innocent Vessantara they banished from the land.

Both old and young, and all between, did weep and wail that day,
Stretching their arms out, when the king prepared to go away,
Who fostered Sivi's realm.

p. 261

Wise women 1, eunuchs, the king's wives, did weep and wail that day,
Stretching their arms out, when the king prepared to go away,
Who fostered Sivi's realm.

And all the women in the town did weep and wail that day,
When Sivi's great and fostering king prepared to go away.

The brahmans and ascetics too, and all who begged for need,
Stretching their arms out, cried aloud, "It is a wicked deed!"

To all the city while the king his bounty did present,
And by the people's sentence, fared forth into banishment.

[503] Seven hundred elephants he gave, with splendour all bedight 2,
With girths of gold, capārīsoned with trappings golden bright,

Each ridden by his own mahout, with spikèd hook in hand:
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

Seven hundred horses too he gave, bedeckt in bright array,
Horses of Sindh, and thorobreds, all fleet of foot are they,

Each ridden by a henchman bold, with sword and bow in hand:
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

Seven hundred chariots all yoked, with banners flying free,
With tiger skin and panther hide, a gorgeous sight to see,

Each driven by mailèd charioteers, all armed with bow in hand:
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

Seven hundred women too he gave, each standing in a car,—
With golden chains and ornaments bedeckt these women are,

With lovely dress and ornaments, with slender waist and small,
Curved brows, a merry smile and bright, and shapely hips withal:
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

Seven hundred kine he also gave, with silver milkpails all:
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

Seven hundred female slaves he gave, as many men at call:
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

Cars, horses, women, elephants he gave, yet after all,
Lo now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land!

That was a thing most terrible, that made the hair to stand,
When now the King Vessantara goes banished from the land 3!"

[505] Now a deity told the news to the kings of all India: how Vessantara was giving great gifts of high-born maidens and the like. Therefore the Khattiyas by the divine power came in a chariot, and returned with the high-born maidens and so forth that they had received. Thus did Khattiyas, brahmans, Vessas, and Suddas, all receive gifts at his hands before they departed. He was still distributing his gifts when evening fell; so he returned to his dwelling, to greet his parents and that

p. 262

night to depart. In gorgeous chariot he proceeded to the place where his parents dwelt, and with him Maddī went, in order to take leave of his parents with him. The Great Being greeted his father and announced their coming.

To explain this, the Master said:

"Give greeting to King Sañjaya the righteous: bid him know
That since he now doth banish me, to Vaṁka hill I go.

Whatever beings, mighty king, the future time shall know,
With their desires unsatisfied to Yama's house shall go.

For wrong 1 I did my people, giving bounty from my hand,
By all the people's sentence I go banished from the land.

That sin I now would expiate i’ the panther-haunted wood:
If you will wallow in the slough 2, yet I will still do good."

These four stanzas the Great Being addressed to his father: and then he turned to his mother, asking her permission to leave the world with these words:

"Mother, I take my leave of you: a banished man I stand.
For wrong I did my people, giving bounty from my hand,
By all the people's sentence I go banished from the land.

[506] That sin I now would expiate i’ the panther-haunted wood:
If you will wallow in the slough, yet I will still do good."

In reply, Phusatī said:

"I give you leave to go, my son, and take my blessing too:
Leave Maddī and the boys behind, for she will never do;
Fair rounded limbs and slender waist, why need she go with you?"

Vessantara said:

"Even a slave against her will I would not take away:
But if she wishes, let her come; if not, then let her stay."

On hearing what his son said, the king proceeded to entreat her.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"And then unto his daughter-in-law the king began to say:
"Let not your sandal-scented limbs bear dust and dirt, I pray,

Wear not bark-fibre wraps instead of fine Benares stuff;
Blest princess, go not! forest life indeed is hard enough."

Then princess Maddī, bright and fair, her father-in-law addrest:
"To be without Vessantara I care not to be blest."

Then Sivi's mighty fostering king thus spake to her again:
"Come, Maddī, listen while the woes of forests I explain.

The swarms of insects and of gnats, of beetles and of bees
Would sting you in that forest life, unto your great disease.

[507] For dwellers on the river banks hear other plagues that wait:
The boa-constrictor (poisonless ’tis true, but strong and great),

If any man or any beast come near, will take firm hold,
And drag them to his lurking-place enwrapt in many a fold.

p. 263

Then there are other dangerous beasts with black and matted hair;
They can climb trees to catch a man: this beast is called a bear.

Along the stream Sotumbarā there dwells the buffalo;
Which with his great sharp-pointed horns can give a mighty blow.

Seeing these herds of mighty kine wander the forest through,
Like some poor cow that seeks her calf say what will Maddī do?

When crowds of monkeys in the trees gather, they will affright
You, Maddī, in your ignorance with their uncomely sight.

Once on a time the jackal's howl would bring great fear to you:
Now dwelling on the Vaṁka hill, Maddī, what will you do?

Why would you go to such a place? Even at high midday,
When all the birds are stilled to rest, the forest roars away."

Then beauteous Maddī to the king spake up and answered so:
"As for these things so terrible, which you have tried to shew,
I willingly accept them all; I am resolved to go.

[508] Through all the hill and forest grass, through clumps of bulrush reed,
With my own breast I'll push my way, nor will complain indeed.

She that would keep a husband well must all her duties do;
Ready to roll up balls of dung 1, ready for fasting too,

She carefully must tend the fire, must mop up water still,
But terrible is widowhood: great monarch, go I will.

The meanest harries her about; she eats of leavings still:
For terrible is widowhood—great monarch, go I will.

Knocked down and smothered in the dust, haled roughly by the hair—
A man may do them any hurt, all simply stand and stare.
O terrible is widowhood! great monarch, go I will.

Men pull about the widow's sons with cruel blows and foul,
Though fair and proud of winning charm, as crows would peck an owl.
O terrible is widowhood! great monarch, go I will.

Even in a prosperous household, bright with silver without end,
Unkindly speeches never cease from brother or from friend.
O terrible is widowhood! great monarch, go I will.

Naked are rivers waterless, a kingdom without king,
A widow may have brothers ten, yet is a naked thing.
O terrible is widowhood! great monarch, go I will.

A banner is the chariot's mark, a fire by smoke is known,
Kingdoms by kings, a wedded wife by husband of her own.
O terrible is widowhood! great monarch, go I will.

The wife who shares her husband's lot, be it rich or be it poor,
Her fame the very gods do praise, in trouble she is sure.

My husband I will follow still, the yellow robe to wear,
To be the queen 2 of all the earth without, I would not care.
O terrible is widowhood! great monarch, go I will.

Those women have no heart at all, they're hard and cannot feel,
Who when their husbands are in woe, desire to be in weal.

When the great lord of Sivi land goes forth to banishment,
I will go with him; for he gives all joy and all content."

p. 264

[509] Then up and spake the mighty king to Maddī bright and fair:
"But leave your two young sons behind: for what can they do there,
Auspicious lady? we will keep and give them every care."

Then Maddī answered to the king, that princess bright and fair:
"My Jāli and Kaṇhājinā are dearest to my heart:
They'll in the forest dwell with me, and they will ease my smart."

[510] Thus answer made the monarch great, thus Sivi's foster-king:
"Fine rice has been their food and well-cooked viands hitherto:
If they must feed on wild-tree fruit, what will the children do?

From silver dishes well adorned or golden hitherto,
They ate: but with bare leaves instead what will the children do?

Benares cloth has been their dress, or linen hitherto:
If they must dress in grass or bark, what will the children do?

In carriages or palanquins they've ridden hitherto
When they must run about on foot, what will the children do?

In gabled chambers they would sleep safe-bolted hitherto:
Beneath the roots of trees to lie, what will the children do?

On cushions, rugs or broidered beds they rested hitherto:
Reclining on a bed of grass, what will the children do?

They have been sprinkled with sweet scents and perfumes hitherto:
When covered all with dust and dirt, what will the children do?

When peacock's feathers, yak's tail fans have fanned them hitherto,
Bitten by insects and by flies, what will the children do?"

As they conversed thus together, the dawn came, and after the dawn up rose the sun. They brought round for the Great Being a gorgeous carriage with a team of four Sindh horses, and stayed it at the door. Maddī did obeisance to her husband's parents, and, bidding farewell to the other women, took leave, and with her two sons went before Vessantara and took her place in the carriage.

Explaining this matter, the Master said:

"Then Maddī answered to the king, that lady bright and fair:
"Do not lament for us, my lord, nor be perplexèd so:
The children both will go with us wherever we shall go."

With these words Maddī went away, that lady bright and fair:
Along the highroad, and the two children her path did share.

[511] Then King Vessantara himself, his vow performed as bound,
Does reverence to his parents both, and passes rightwise round.

Then, mounting in the chariot swift, drawn by its team of four,
With wife and children off he sped where Vaṁka's peak did soar.

Then drove the King Vessantara where most the crowd did swell,
And cried—"We go! a blessing on my kinsfolk—fare ye well!"

Addressing these words to the crowd, the Great Being admonished them to be careful, to give alms and do good deeds. As he went, the Bodhisat's mother, saying, "If my son desires to give, let him give," sent to him two carts, one on each side, filled with ornaments, laden with the seven precious things. In eighteen gifts he distributed to beggars he met on the road all he had, including even the mass of ornaments which he wore on his own body. When he had got away from the city, he turned

p. 265

round and desired to look upon it; then according to his wish the earth cleft asunder to the measure of the chariot, and turning round, brought the chariot to face the city, and he beheld the place where his parents dwelt. So then followed earthquakes and other wonders; wherefore it is said:

"When from the city he came forth, he turned again to look:
And, therefore, like a banyan tree great Mount Sineru shook."

And as he looked, he uttered a stanza to induce Maddī to look also:

"See, Maddī, see the lovely place from which we now have come—
The king of Sivi s dwelling-house and our ancestral home!"

[512] Then the Great Being looking towards the sixty thousand courtiers, who were born when he was, and the rest of the people, made them turn back; and as he drove on with the carriage, he said to Maddī: "Lady, look out and see if any suitors are walking behind." She sat watching. Now four brahmins, who had been unable to be present at the gift of the Seven Hundreds, had come to the city; and finding that the distribution was over, ascertained that the prince had gone. "Did he take anything with him?" they asked. "Yes: a chariot." So they resolved to ask for the horses. These men Maddī saw approaching. "Beggars, my lord!" said she; the Great Being stayed the chariot. Up they came and asked for the horses: the Great Being gave them.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"Then did four brahmins catch him up, and for the horses plead:
He gave the horses on the spot—each beggar had one steed."

The horses disposed of, the yoke of the chariot remained suspended in the air; but no sooner were the brahmins gone than four gods in the guise of red deer came and caught it. The Great Being who knew them to be gods uttered this stanza:

"See, Maddī, what a wondrous thing—a marvel, Maddī, see!
These clever horses, in the shape of red deer, drawing me!"

But then as he went up came another brahmin and asked for the chariot. The Great Being dismounted his wife and children, and gave him the chariot; and when he gave the chariot, the gods disappeared.

To explain the gift of the chariot, the Master said:

"A fifth came thereupon, and asked the chariot of the king:
He gave this also, and his heart to keep it did not cling.

Then made the King Vessantara his people to dismount,
And gave the chariot to the man who came on that account."

[513] After this, they all went on afoot. Then the Great Being said to Maddī:

"Maddī, you take Kaṇhājinā, for she is light and young,
But Jāli is a heavy boy, so I'll bring him along."

p. 266

Then they took up the two children, and carried them on their hips.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"He carrying his boy, and she her daughter, on they went,
Talking together on the road in joy and all content 1."

When they met anyone coming to meet them along the road, they asked the way to Vaṁka hill, and learnt that it was afar off. Thus it is said:

"Whenever they met travellers coming along the way,
They asked directions for their road, and where Mount Vaṁka lay.

The travellers all wept full sore to see them on the way,
And told them of their heavy task: "The road is long," they say."

The children cried to see fruit of all kinds on the trees which grew on both sides of the road. Then by the Great Being's power, the trees bowed down their fruit so that their hands could reach it, and they picked out the ripest and gave it to the little ones. Then Maddī cried out, "A marvel!" Thus it is said:

"Whene’er the children did behold trees growing on the steep
Laden with fruit, the children for the fruit began to weep.

But when they saw the children weep, the tall trees sorrowful
Bowed down their branches to their hands, that they the fruit might pull.

Then Maddī cried aloud in joy, that lady fair and bright,
To see the marvel, fit to make one's hair to stand upright.

One's hair might stand upright to see the marvel here is shewn:
By power of King Vessantara the trees themselves bend down!"

[514] From the city of Jetuttara, the mountain named Suvaṇṇagiritāla is five leagues distant; from thence the river Kontimārā is five leagues away, and five leagues more to Mount Arañjaragiri, five leagues again to the brahman village of Dunniviṭṭha, thence ten leagues to his uncle's city: thus from Jetuttara the journey was thirty leagues. The gods shortened the journey, so that in one day they came to his uncle's city. Thus it is said:

"The Yakkhas made the journey short, pitying the children's plight,
And so to Ceta kingdom they arrived before the night."

Now they left Jetuttara at breakfast time, and in the evening they came to the kingdom of Ceta and to his uncle's city.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"Away to Ceta they proceed, a journey great and long,
A kingdom rich in food and drink, and prosperous, and strong."

Now in his uncle's city dwelt sixty thousand Khattiyas. The Great Being entered not into the city, but sat in a hall at the city gate. Maddī brushed off the dust on the Great Being's feet, and rubbed them; then with a view to announce the coming of Vessantara, she went forth from

p. 267

the hall, and stood within sight. So the women who came in and out of the city saw her and came round.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"Seeing the auspicious lady there the women round her throng.
"The tender lady! now afoot she needs must walk along.

In palanquin or chariot once the noble lady rode:
Now Maddī needs must go afoot; the woods are her abode."

[515] All the people then, seeing Maddī and Vessantara and the children arrived in this unbecoming fashion, went and informed the king; and sixty thousand princes came to him weeping and lamenting.

To explain this, the Master said:

"Seeing him, the Ceta princes came, with wailing and lament.
"Greet thee, my lord: we trust that you are prosperous and well 1,
That of your father and his realm you have good news to tell.

Where is your army, mighty king? and where your royal car?
With not a chariot, not a horse, you now have journeyed far:
Were you defeated by your foes that here alone you are?"

Then the Great Being told the princes the cause of his coming:

"I thank you, sirs; be sure that I am prosperous and well;
And of my father and his realm I have good news to tell.

I gave the saviour elephant, pole-tuskèd, goodly white 2,
Which ever knew the vantage-ground to choose in every fight;

His jewels, and his yak's tail fan; which trampled down the foes,
Long-tuskèd, furious, white as Mount Kelāsa with his snows;

With trappings and white parasol, fit riding for a king,
With leech and driver: yes, I gave away this precious thing.

Therefore the people were in wrath, my father took it ill:
Therefore he banished me, and I now go to Vaṁka hill.
I pray you, tell me of a place to be my dwelling still."

The princes answered:

[516] "Now welcome, welcome, mighty king, and with no doubtful voice:
Be lord of all that here is found, and use it at your choice.

Take herbs, roots, honey, meat, and rice, the whitest and the best:
Enjoy it at your will, O king, and you shall be our guest."

Vessantara said:

"Your proffered gifts I here accept, with thanks for your goodwill.
But now the king has banished me; I go to Vaṁka hill.
I pray you, tell me of a place to be my dwelling still."

The princes said:

"Stay here in Ceta, mighty king, until a message go
To tell the king of Sivi land what we have come to know."

Then they behind him in a throng escorting him did go,
All full of joy and confidence: this I would have thee know."

p. 268

The Great Being said:

"I would not have you send and tell the king that I am here:
He is not king in this affair: he has no power, I fear.

The palace folk and townsfolk all in wrath came gathering,
All eager that because of me they might destroy the king."

[517] The princes said:

"If in that kingdom came to pass so terrible a thing,
Surrounded by the Ceta folk stay here, and be our king.

The realm is prosperous and rich, the people strong and great:
Be minded, sir, to stay with us and govern this our state."

Vessantara said:

"Hear me, O sons of Ceta land! I have no mind to stay,
As I go forth a banished man, nor here hold royal sway.

The Sivi people one and all would be ill pleased to know
That you had sprinkled me for king, as banished forth I go.

If you should do it, that would be a most unpleasant thing,
To quarrel with the Sivi folk: I like not quarrelling.

Your proffered gifts I here accept, with thanks for your goodwill.
But now the king has banished me: I go to Vaṁka hill.
I pray you, tell me of a place to be my dwelling still."

Thus the Great Being, in spite of so many requests, declined the kingdom. And the princes paid him great honour; but he would not enter within the city; so they adorned that hall where he was, and surrounded it with a screen, and preparing a great bed, they kept careful watch round about. One day and one night he abode in the hall well-guarded; and next day, early in the morning, after a meal of all manner of fine-flavoured food, attended by the princes, he left the hall, and sixty thousand Khattiyas went with him for fifteen leagues, 1 5 then standing at the entering in of the wood, they told of the fifteen leagues which yet remained of his journey.

"Yes, we will tell you how a king who leaves the world may be
Good, peaceful by his sacred fire, and all tranquillity.

That rocky mountain, mighty king, is Gandhamādana,
Where with your children and your wife together you may stay.

The Ceta folk, with faces all bewept and streaming eyes,
Advise you to go northward straight where high its peaks uprise.

There you shall see Mount Vipula (and blessing with thee go),
Pleasant with many a growing tree that casts cool shade below.

When you shall reach it, you shall see (a blessing with thee still)
Ketumatī, a river deep and springing from the hill.

Full of all fish, a safe resort, its deep flood flows away:
There you shall drink, and there shall bathe, and with your children play.

And there, upon a pleasant hill, cool-shaded, you will see,
Laden with fruit as honey sweet, a noble banyan tree.

Then you will see Mount Nālika, and that is haunted ground:
For there the birds in concert sing and woodland sprites abound.

p. 269

There further still towards the north is Mucalinda Lake,
On which the lilies blue and white a covering do make.

Then a thick forest, like a cloud, with grassy sward to tread,
Trees full of flowers and of fruit, all shady overhead,
Enter: a lion seeking prey wherewith he may be fed.

There when the forest is in flower, a shower of song is heard,
The twitter here and twitter there of many a bright-winged bird.

And if those mountain cataracts you follow to their spring,
You'll find a lily-covered lake with blossoms 1 flowering,

Full of all fish, a safe resort, deep water without end,
Foursquare and peaceful, scented sweet, no odour to offend:

There build yourself a leafy cell, a little to the north,
And from the cell which you shall make in search of food go forth."

[519] Thus did the princes tell him of his fifteen-league journey, and let him go. But to prevent any fear of danger in Vessantara, and with a view to leave no hold for any adversary, they gave directions to a certain man of their country, wise and skilful, to keep an eye upon his goings and comings; whom they left at the entering in of the forest, and returned to their own city.

And Vessantara with his wife and children proceeded to Gandhamādana; that day he abode there, then setting his face northwards he passed by the foot of Mount Vipula, and rested on the bank of the river Ketumatī, to eat a goodly repast provided by the forester, and there they bathed and drank, presenting their guide with a golden hairpin. With mind full of calmness he crossed the stream, and resting awhile under the banyan which stood on a flat space on the mountain, after eating its fruit, he rose up and went on to the hill called Nālika. Still moving onwards, he passed along the banks of Lake Mucalinda to its northeastern corner: whence by a narrow footpath he penetrated 2 into the thick forest, and passing through, he followed the course of the stream which rose out of the mountain until he came to the foursquare lake.

At this moment, Sakka king of the gods looked down and beheld that which had happened. "The Great Being," he thought, "has entered Himavat, and he must have a place to dwell in." 2 5 So he gave orders to Vissakamma: "Go, pray, and in the dells of Mount Vaṁka, build a hermitage on a pleasant spot." Vissakamma went and made two hermitages with two covered walks, rooms for the night and rooms for the day; alongside of the walks he plants rows of flowering trees and clumps of banana, and makes ready all things necessary for hermits. Then he writes an inscription, "Whoso wishes to be a hermit, these are for him," and driving away all unhuman creatures and all harsh-voiced beasts and birds, he went to his own place.

p. 270

The Great Being, when he beheld a path, felt sure that it must lead to some hermits' settlement. He left Maddī and the two children at the entrance of the hermitage, and went in; when seeing the inscription, he recognized that Sakka's eye was upon him. He opened the door and entered, and putting off his bow and sword, with the garments which he wore, he donned the garb of a hermit, took up the staff, and coming forth entered the covered walk and paced up and down, and with the quietude of a Pacceka Buddha approached his wife and children. Maddī fell at his feet in tears; then with him entering the hermitage, she went to her own cell and donned the ascetic dress. After this they made their children to do the like. Thus the four noble hermits dwelt in the recesses of Mount Vaṁka.

Then Maddī asked a boon of the Great Being. "My lord, do you stay here with the children, instead of going out in search of wild fruits; and let me go instead." Thenceforward she used to fetch the wild fruits from the forest and feed them all three. The Bodhisatta also asked her for a boon. "Maddī, we are now hermits; and woman is the canker of chastity. Henceforward then, do not approach me unseasonably." She consented.

By the power of the Great Being's compassion, even the wild animals, all that were within three leagues of their borders, had compassion one of another. Daily at dawn, Maddī arises, provides water for their drinking and food to eat, brings water and tooth-brush for cleansing the mouth, sweeps out the hermitage, leaves the two children with their father, basket, spade, and hook in hand 1 2 5 hies to the forest for wild roots and fruits, with which she fills her basket: at evening she returns, lays the wild fruits in the cell, washes the children; then the four of them sit at the door of the cell and eat their fruits. Then Maddī takes her two 1 children, and retires to her own cell. Thus they lived in the recesses of the mountain for seven months 2.

At that time, in the kingdom of Kāliṅga, and in a Brahmin village named Dunniviṭṭha, lived a brahmin Jūjaka. He by quest of alms having obtained a hundred rupees deposited them with a certain brahmin family, and went out to get more wealth. As he was long away, the family spent that money; the other came back and upbraided them, but they could not return the money, and so they gave him their daughter named Amittatāpanā. He took the maiden with him to Dunniviṭṭha, in Kāliṅga, and there dwelt. Amittatāpanā tended the brahmin well. Some other brahmins, young men, seeing her dutifulness, reproached their own wives with it: "See how carefully she tends an old man, whilst you are careless of your young husbands!" This made the wives resolve to drive her out

p. 271

of the village. So they would gather in crowds at the river side and everywhere else, reviling her.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"Once in Kāliṅga, Jūjaka a brahmin spent his life,
Who had Amittatāpanā, quite a young girl, to wife.

The women who with waterpots down to the river came
Cried shame upon her, crowding up, and roundly cursed her name.

"A "foe" indeed your mother was, a "foe" your father too 1,
To let an old decrepit man wed a young wife like you.

Your people brewed a secret plot, a bad, mean, cruel plan,
To let a fine young girl be wed to an old decrepit man.

[522] A hateful thing your life must be, as youthful as you are,
With an old husband to be wed; nay, death were better far.

It surely seems, my pretty one, your parents were unkind
If for a fine young girl they could no other husband find.

Your fire-oblation, and your ninth 2 were offered all for naught
If by an old decrepit man so young a wife was caught.

Some brahmin or ascetic once no doubt you have reviled,
Some virtuous or learned man, some hermit undefiled,
If by an old decrepit man so young a wife was caught.

Painful a spear-thrust, full of pain the serpent's fiery bite:
But a decrepit husband is more painful to the sight.

With an old husband there can be no joy and no delight,
No pleasant talk: his very laugh is ugly to the sight.

When men and maidens, youth with youth, hold intercourse apart
They make an end of all the woes that harbour in the heart.

You are a girl whom men desire, you're young and you are fair:
How can an old man give you joy? Go home and tarry there!"

When she heard their mockery, she went home with her waterpot, weeping. "Why are you weeping?" the husband asked; and she replied in this stanza:

[523] "I cannot fetch the water home, the women mock me so:
Because my husband is so old they mock me when I go."

Jūjaka said:

"You need not fetch the water home, you need not serve me so:
Do not be angry, lady mine: for I myself will go."

The woman said:

"You fetch the water? no, indeed! that's not our usual way.
I tell you plainly, if you do, with you I will not stay.

Unless you buy a slave or maid this kind of work to do,
I tell you plainly I will go and will not live with you."

Jūjaka said:

"How can I buy a slave? I have no craft, no corn, no pelf:
Come, be not angry, lady mine: I'll do your work myself."

p. 272

The woman said:

"Come now, and let me tell to you what I have heard them say.
Out yonder in the Vaṁka hill lives King Vessantara:

Go, husband, to Vessantara and ask him for a slave;
The prince will certainly consent to give you what you crave."

Jūjaka said:

"I am an old decrepit man; the road is rough and long;
But do not worry, do not weep—and I am far from strong:
But be not angry, lady mine: I'll do the work myself."

[524] The woman said:

"You're like a soldier who gives in before the fight: but why?
And do you own that you are beat before you go 1 and try?

Unless you buy a slave or maid this kind of work to do,
I tell you plainly, I will go, I will not live with you.
That will be a most unpleasant thing, a painful thing for you.

When happy in another's arms you shall behold me soon,
Drest gaily at the season's change, or changes of the moon.

And as in your declining years my absence you deplore,
Your wrinkles and your hoary hairs will double more and more."

Explaining this, the Master said:

"And now the brahmin full of fears to his wife's will gives way;
So then tormented by his love, you might have heard him say:

"Get me provision for the road: make me some honey-cake,
Prepare some bannocks too, and set the barley-bread to bake.

And then an equal 2 pair of slaves with me I'll bring away,
Who without wearying shall wait upon you night and day."

Quickly she prepared the provision, and informed him that it was done. Meanwhile he repairs the weak places about his cottage, secures the door, brings in wood from the forest, draws water in the pitcher, fills all the pots and pans, and donning the garb of the ascetic he leaves her with the words, "Be sure not to go out at improper times, and be careful until I return." Then putting on his shoes, he puts his bag of provisions over his shoulder, walks round his wife rightwise, and departs with streaming eyes.

[525] Explaining this, the Master said:

"This done, the brahmin dons his shoes; then rising presently,
And walking round her towards the right he bids his wife good-bye.

So went he, dressed in holiness, tears standing in his eyes:
To the rich Sivi capital to find a slave he hies."

When he came to that city, he asked the assembled people where Vessantara was.

p. 273

Explaining this, the Master said:

"When further he had come, he asked the people gathered round—
"Say, where is King Vessantara? where can the prince be found?"
To him replied the multitude who were assembled round:

"By such as you he's ruined; for by giving, giving still,
He's banisht out of all the realm and dwells in Vaṁka hill.

By such as you he's ruined; for by giving, giving still,
He took his wife and children and now dwells in Vaṁka hill."

"So you have destroyed our king, and now come here again! Stand still, will you," and with sticks and clods, kicks and fisticuffs, they chased him away. But he was guided by the gods into the right road for Vaṁka hill.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"So he, upbraided by his wife, in greedy passion's sway,
Paid for his error in the wood where beasts and panthers prey.

Taking his staff and begging-bowl and sacrificial spoon,
He sought the forest where abode the giver of every boon.

Once in the forest, came the wolves thronging around his way:
He leapt aside, and went confused far from the path astray 1.

This brahmin of unbridled greed, finding himself astray,
The way to Vaṁka now quite lost, began these lines to say.

[526] "Who'll tell me of Vessantara, the prince all conquering,
Giver of peace in time of fear, the great and mighty king?

Refuge of suitors, as the earth to all that living be,
Who'll tell me of Vessantara, the great and mighty king?

All who seek favours go to him as rivers to the sea:
Who'll tell me of Vessantara, the great and mighty king?

Like to a safe and pleasant lake, with water fresh and cool,
With lilies spread, whose filaments cover the quiet pool:
Who’ll tell me of Vessantara, the great and mighty king?

Like a great fig-tree on the road, which growing there has made
A rest for weary wayfarers who hasten to its shade:
Who'll tell me of Vessantara, the great and mighty king?

Like banyan, sāl, or mango-tree, which on the road has made
A rest for weary wayfarers that hasten to its shade:
Who'll tell me of Vessantara, the great and mighty king?

Who will give ear to my complaint, the forest all around?
Glad I should be, could anyone tell where he may be found!

Who will give ear to my complaint, the forest all around?
Great blessing it would be, if one could tell where he may be found."

[527] Now the man who had been set to watch, who was ranging the woods as a forester, heard this lamentable outcry; and thought he—

p. 274

[paragraph continues] "Here is a brahmin crying out about Vessantara's dwelling-place; he cannot be here for any good purpose. He will ask for Maddī or the children, no doubt. Well, I will kill him." So he approached the man, and as he drew his bow, threatened him with the words—"Brahmin, I will not spare your life!"

Explaining this, the Master said:

"The hunter ranging in the wood heard this lament, and said:
"By such as you he's ruined; for by giving, giving still,
He's banisht out of all the realm and dwells in Vaṁka hill.

By such as you he's ruined; for by giving, giving still,
He took his wife and children and now dwells in Vaṁka hill.

A good-for-nothing fool you are, if leaving home you wish
To seek the prince in forests, like a crane that seeks a fish.

Therefore, my worthy man, I will not spare your life; and so
My arrow now shall drink your blood when shot from out my bow.

I'll split your head, tear out your heart and liver in a trice,
Like birds to spirits of the road I'll make you sacrifice.

I'll take your flesh, I'll take your fat, I'll take your heart and head,
And you shall be a sacrifice 1 as soon as you are dead.

You'll be a welcome sacrifice, a goodly offering;
And then you'll not destroy the wife and children of the king."

[528] The man, on hearing these words, was frightened to death, and made a false reply.

"The ambassador's inviolate, and no man may him kill:
This is a very ancient rule; so listen, if you will.

The people have repented them, his father misses him,
His mother pines away for grief—her eyes are waxing dim.

I come as their ambassador, Vessantara to bring:
Hear me, and tell me if you know where I may find the king."

Then the man was pleased to hear that he was come to fetch Vessantara; he fastened up his dogs, and called the brahmin down, and seating him upon a pile of twigs he recited this stanza:

"I love the envoy and the prince: and here I give to you
A gift of welcome—leg of deer and pot of honey too;
Our benefactor how to find I'll tell you what to do."

So saying, the man gave the brahmin food, with a gourd of honey and a roast leg of deer, and set him on his way, raising his right hand to point out the place where the Great Being lived: and he said—

"Sir brahmin, yonder rocky mount is Gandhamādan hill
Where lives the King Vessantara with wife and children still.

With brahmin's dress, with hook 2 and spoon, the ascetic's matted hair,
Skinclad he lies upon the ground and tends the fire with care.

p. 275

See yonder, trees with many fruits, green on the mountain side,
While the dark mountain-peaks uplift till in the clouds they hide.

There shrubs, and creepers, horsear, sāl, and many another tree 1
Sway in the wind like drunken men for anyone to see.

High up above the rows of trees the birds in concert sing,
Najjuha 2, cuckoo, flocks of them, from tree to tree flitting.

[529] Thronging among the leafy twigs they bid the stranger come,
Welcome the guest, delighting all who make the woods their home,
Where with his children now abides Vessantara the king.

With brahmin's dress, with hook and spoon, the ascetic's matted hair,
Skinclad he lies upon the ground, and tends the fire with care."

Moreover he said, in praise of the hermitage:

"Mango, rose-apple, jackfruit, sāl, all kinds of myrobolan,
Bo, golden tindook, many more, including the banyan 3;

Plenty of figs, all growing low, all ripe, as sweet as sweet,
Dates, luscious grapes, and honeycomb, as much as you can eat.

The mango-trees are some in flower, some with the fruit just set,
Some ripe and green as any frog, while some are unripe yet.

A man may stand beneath the trees and pluck them as they grow:
The choicest flavour, colour, taste, both ripe and unripe shew.

It makes me cry aloud to see that great and wondrous sight,
Like heaven where the gods abide, the garden of delight.

Palmyra, date-palm, coconut grow in that forest high,
Festoons of flowers garlanded as when the banners fly,
Blossoms of every hue and tint like stars that dot the sky.

[530] Ebony, aloe, trumpet-flower, and many another tree 4,
Acacias, berries, nuts, and all as thick as thick can be.

Hard by there is a lake bespread with lilies blue and white,
As in the garden of the gods, the Garden of Delight.

And there the cuckoos make the hills re-echo as they sing,
Intoxicated with the flowers which in their season spring.

See on the lilies drop by drop the honey-nectar fall,
And feel the breezes blowing free from out the south and west,
Until the pollen of the flowers is waften over all.

p. 276

Plenty of rice and berries 1 ripe about the lake do fall,
Which fish and crabs 2 and tortoises dart seeking with a zest,
And honey drips like milk or ghee from the flowers one and all.

A frequent breeze blows through the trees where every scent is found,
And seems to intoxicate with flowers the forest all around.

The bees about the scented flowers fly thronging with their hum,
There fly the many-coloured birds together, all and some,
Cooing and chirping in delight, each with his mate they come.

"O pretty chicky, happy chap!" they twitter and they tweet—
O lovey dovey, deary dear, my pretty little sweet 3!"

Festoons of flowers garlanded as when the banners fly,
Blossoms of every hue and tint, sweet odours wafted by,
Where with his children now abides Vessantara the king.
With brahmin's dress, with hook and spoon, the ascetic's matted hair,
Skinclad he lies upon the ground and tends the fire with care."

[531] Thus did the countryman describe the place where Vessantara lived; and Jūjaka delighted saluted him in this stanza:

"Accept this piece of barley-bread all soaked with honey sweet,
And lumps of well-cookt honey-cake: I give it you to eat."

To this the countryman answered:

"I thank you, but I have no need: keep your provision still;
And take of my provision; then go, brahmin, where you will.

[532] Straight onward to a hermitage the pathway there will lead,
Where Accata a hermit dwells, black-tooth'd, with dirty head,
With brahmin dress, with hook and spoon, the ascetic's matted hair,
Skinclad he lies upon the ground and tends the fire with care:
Go thither, ask the way of him, and he will give you speed."

When this he heard, the brahmin walked round Ceta towards the right,
And went in search of Accata, his heart in high delight.

Then Bhāradvāja 4 went along until he came anigh
Unto the hermit's place, to whom he spake thus courteously:

"O holy man, I trust that you are prosperous and well 5,
With grain to glean and roots and fruit abundant where you dwell.

Have you been much by flies and gnats and creeping things annoyed,
Or from wild beasts of prey have you immunity enjoyed?"

The ascetic said:

"I thank you, brahmin—yes, I am both prosperous and well,
With grain to eat and roots and fruit abundant where I dwell.

p. 277

From flies and gnats and creeping things I suffer not annoy,
And from wild beasts of prey I here immunity enjoy.

In all the innumerable years I've lived upon this ground,
No harmful sickness that I know has ever here been found.

Welcome, O brahmin! bless the chance directed you this way,
Come enter with a blessing, come, and wash your feet I pray.

The tindook and the piyal leaves, and kāsumārī sweet,
And fruits like honey, brahmin, take the best I have, and eat,

And this cool water from a cave high hidden on a hill,
O noble brahmin, take of it, drink if it be your will."

Jūjaka said:

[533] "Accepted is your offering, and your oblation, sir.
I seek the son of Sañjaya, once banisht far away
By Sivi's people: if you know where he abides, please say."

The ascetic said:

"You seek the King of Sivi, sir, not with a good intent:
Methinks your honour's real desire upon his wife is bent:

Kaṇhājinā for handmaiden, Jāli for serving-man,
Or you would fetch the mother with her children, if you can,
The prince has no enjoyments here, no wealth or food, my man."

On hearing this, Jūjaka said:

"I wish no ill to any man, no boon I come to pray:
But sweet it is to see the good, pleasant with them to stay.

I never saw this monarch, whom his people sent away:
I came to see him: if you know where he abides, please say."

The other believed him. "Good, I will tell you; only stay with me here to-day." So he entertained him with wild fruits and roots; and next day, stretching out his hand, he shewed him the road. (He then recites the verses given above, p. 274, "Sir brahmin—with care," and adds:)

[534] "The foliage of the pepper-tree in that fair spot is seen,
No dust is ever blown aloft, the grass is ever green.

The grasses like a peacock's neck, soft-cotton to the touch,
Grow never more than inches four, but always just so much.

Kapittha, mango, rose-apple, and ripe figs dangling low,
All trees whose fruit is good to eat in that fine forest grow.

There sweet and clean and fragrant streams as blue as beryl flow,
Through which disporting up and down the shoals of fishes go.

A lake lies in a lovely spot, with lilies blue and, white,
Hard by, like that which is in heaven i’ the Garden of Delight.

Three kinds of lilies in that lake present them to the sight,
With varied colours: some are blue, some blood-red, others white."

Thus he praised the foursquare lake of lilies, and went on to praise Lake Mucalinda:

"As soft as linen are the flowers, those lilies blue and white,
And other herbs grow there: the lake is Mucalinda hight.

And there in number infinite the full-blown flowers you see,
In summer and in winter both as high as to the knee.

p. 278

Always the many-coloured flowers blow fragrant on the breeze,
And you may hear drawn by the scent the buzzing of the bees.

[535] All round about the water's edge are standing in a row
The ebony, the trumpet-flower, and tall kadamba-trees.

Six-petals and many another tree 1 with flowers all a-blow,
And leafy bowers all standing round about the lake one sees.

There trees of every shape and size, there flowers of every hue,
All shrubs and bushes, high and low are spread before the view:

The breezes sweetly waft the scent from flowers white, blue, and red,
That grow about the hermitage wherein the fire is fed.

[536] Close round about the water's edge grow many plants and trees,
Which tremble as they echo to the murmurs of the bees.

The scent of all the lovely blooms that grow about that shore
Will last you if you keep them for a week, or two, or more.

Three kinds of gourds, all distinct, grow in this lake, and some
Have fruit as big as waterpots, others big as a drum.

Mustard, green garlic, lilies blue to pick, and flowers full-blown,
Jasmine, sweet sandal, creepers huge about the trees are grown.

[537] Sweet jasmine, cotton, indigo, and plants of many a name,
Cress, trumpet-flower, grow all around like tongues of golden flame.

Yea, every kind of flower that grows in water or on land,
In and about this lovely lake lo and behold they stand.

There crocodiles and water-beasts abide of every sort,
Red deer and other animals for water do resort.

Turmeric, camphor, panick-seed, the liquorice-plant, and all
Most fragrant seeds and grasses grow with stalks exceeding tall.

There lions, tigers, elephants a seeking for a mate,
Deer red and dappled, jackals, dogs, and fawns so swift of gait,

[538] Yaks, antelopes, and flying fox, and monkeys great and small,
Bears, bulls, and other mighty beasts come flocking one and all:

Rhinoceros, mungoose, squirrel, boar, dog, jackal, buffalo,
Loris, hare, speckled panther, wolf and lizard, there they go:

Spiders and snakes and hairy things, and every kind of bird,
Which as they chirp and twitter round all make their voices heard:

Hawk, woodcock, heron, piper, owl, the cuckoo with his flute,
Partridge, geese, ospreys, pheasants, cranes, and redbacks, follow suit.

[539] There sweetly singing to their mates the gorgeous-coloured things,
White-tufted, blue-neckt, peacock-hued flutter their pretty wings.

Why should I try their thousand names in detail to rehearse?
Imagine every kind of bird, and add them to my verse.

There a melodious company their thousand songs they make
And fill the air with pleasant noise round Mucalinda Lake.

The wood is full of elephants, of antelopes and deer,
Where hanging down from all the trees great creepers do appear.

There mustard grows, and sugar-cane, and many kinds of rice,
And beans and other plants and herbs, all comers to suffice.

Yonder the footpath leads you straight unto his settling-ground
Where never hunger, never thirst, and no distaste is found,
Where with his children now abides Vessantara the king:

p. 279

With brahmin's dress, with hook and spoon, the ascetic's matted hair,
Skinclad he lies upon the ground, and tends the fire with care."

[540] When this he heard, the brahmin walked around him towards the right,
And went to seek Vessantara, his heart in high delight.

Jūjaka went on by the road pointed out to him by Accata the Hermit, and arrived at the foursquare lake. "It is now late evening," he thought: "Maddī will by now be returned from the forest, and women are always in the way. To-morrow, when she has gone into the forest, I will go to Vessantara, and ask him for the children, and before she comes back I will be away." So he climbed a flat-topt hill not far off, and lay down in a pleasant spot. Now at dawn of the next morning, Maddī had a dream, and her dream was after this fashion: A black man clothed in two yellow robes, with red flowers in his two ears, came and entered the hut of leaves, clutched Maddī by the hair of her head and dragged her out, threw her down on the ground backwards, and amidst her shrieks tore out her two eyes, cut off two arms, cut open her breast, and tearing out the heart dripping with blood carried it away. She awoke in affright, thinking—"An evil dream have I seen; I have no one here but Vessantara to interpret my dream, so I will ask him about it." 1 4 5 Then going to the hut of the Great Being, she knocked at the door. "Who's there?" "I, my lord, Maddī." "Lady, why have you come here unseasonably, and broken our compact?" "My lord, it is not from desire that I come; but I have had an evil dream." "Tell it to me then, Maddī." She told it as it had appeared: the Great Being understood what the dream meant. "The perfection of my giving," he thought, "is to be fulfilled: this day comes a suitor to ask for my children. I will console Maddī and let her go." So he said, "Your mind must have been disturbed by uneasy sleep or by indigestion; fear nothing." With this deceit he consoled her, and let her go. And when the night grew light, she did all that had to be done, embraced and kissed the children, and said, "Last night I had a bad dream; be careful, my dears!" Then she gave them in charge of the Great Being, begging him to take care of them, took her basket and tools, wiped her tears, and away to the woods for fruits and roots.

But Jūjaka, thinking that she would now be gone, came down from the hill and went up the footpath towards the hermitage. And the Great Being came out of his hut, and seated himself upon a slab of stone like a golden image. "Now the suitor will come!" he thought, like a drunkard, thirsting for a draught, and sat watching the road by which he would come, his children playing about his feet. And as he looked down the road, he saw the brahmin coming; taking up as it were the burden of his giving, for seven months laid down, he cried in joy—"Brahmin, pray draw near!" and to the boy Jāli he addressed this stanza:

"Jāli, arise and stand: behold a brahmin in my sight!
’Tis the old time come back again, and fills me with delight!"

p. 280

Hearing this, the boy says:

[542] "Yes, yes, my father, I behold the brahmin whom you see;
He comes as though a boon to ask; our guest he needs must be."

And with these words, to shew him honour, the boy rose up from his seat, and went to meet the brahmin, offering to relieve him of his baggage. The brahmin looked at him, and thought, "This must be Jāli, the son of Vessantara: from the very first I will speak harshly to him." So he snapt his fingers at him, crying—"Go away, go away!" The boy thought, "A harsh man this, to be sure!" and looking at his body, he perceived in him the eighteen blemishes of a man. But the brahmin came up to the Bodhisatta, and politely greeting him, said

"O holy man, we trust that you are prosperous and well,
With grain to glean and roots and fruit abundant where you dwell.

Have you been much by flies and gnats and creeping things annoyed,
Or from wild beasts of prey have you immunity enjoyed?"

The Bodhisatta answered politely

"I thank you, brahmin, and reply: we prosper and are well
With grain to glean and roots and fruit abundant where we dwell.

From flies and gnats and creeping things we suffer no annoy,
And from wild beasts of prey we here immunity enjoy 1.

Seven months we have lived happy in this forest, and have not
Once seen a brahmin, as we now see you, godlike, I wot,
With vilva-staff and tinder-box, and with the waterpot.

Welcome, O brahmin! blest the chance directed you this way;
Come, enter with a blessing, come and wash your feet, I pray.

The tindook and the piyal leaves, the kāsumāri sweet,
And fruits like honey, brahmin, take the best I have, and eat.

And this cool water from a cave high hidden on a hill,
O noble brahmin, take of it, drink if it be your will 2."

After these words, the Great Being thought: "Not without cause is this brahmin come to this great forest; I will ask him the reason without delay "; and he recited this stanza:

[543] "Now tell me what may be the cause, what can the reason be,
That brings you to this mighty wood? I pray you tell it me."

Jūjaka said:

"As a great water-flood is full, and fails not any day,
So you, from whom I come to beg—give me your children, pray!"

On hearing this, the Great Being was delighted in heart; and said, like one who sets in the outstretched hand a purse of a thousand pieces of money 3:

"I give, and shrink not: you shall be their master. But my queen
Went out this morning for our food; at evening she'll be seen.

p. 281

Stay here this night: the morning light shall see you on your way.
She'll wash them and perfume them both 1, and garland them with flowers.

Stay here this night: the morning light shall see you on your way.
Deckt out with flowers they both shall be, with scents and perfumes sweet;
Take them away, and plenty take of fruits and roots to eat."

Jūjaka said:

[544] "No, mighty monarch, I would go; I do not wish to stay:
I'll go, lest some impediment should thwart me in the way.

Women no generous givers are, to thwart they always try,
They know all sorts of cunning spells, and always go awry.

Let him who gives a gift in faith not see his mother's face,
Or she will find impediments: O king, I'd go apace.

Give me your children; let them not behold their mother's face:
For he that gives a gift in faith, his merit grows apace.

Give me your children; let them not behold their mother's face:
He who gives wealth to such as I, to heaven he goes apace."

Vessantara said:

"If you wish not to see my wife,—a faithful wife is she!
Let Jāli and Kaṇhājinā their grandsire go and see.

When these fair children, sweet of speech, shall come within his sight,
He'll give you wealth in plenty, full of joy and high delight."

Jūjaka said:

"I fear the spoiling of my goods: O prince, I prithee hear!
The king may deal me punishment, may slay, or sell, I fear;
Sans wealth and servants, how my wife would mock at me, and jeer!"

[545] Vessantara said:

When these fair children, sweet of speech, shall come within his sight,
The foster-king of Sivi folk, who always does the right,
Will give you wealth in plenty, filled with pleasure and delight."

Jūjaka said:

"No, no, I will not do this thing which you would recommend:
I'll take the children, on my wife as servants to attend."

The children, hearing these harsh words, slunk behind the hut, and away they ran from behind the hut, and hid close to a clump of bushes. Even there they seemed to see themselves caught by Jūjaka: trembling, they could not keep still anywhere, but ran hither and thither, until they came to the bank of the square lake; where, wrapping the bark garments tightly about them, they plunged into the water and stood there concealed, their heads hidden under the lily leaves.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"So Jāli and Kaṇhājinā hither and thither ran,
In deep distress to hear the voice of the pursuing man."

And Jūjaka, when he saw nothing of the children, upbraided the Bodhisatta: "Ho Vessantara! when you gave me the children just now,

p. 282

as soon as I told you that I would not go to the city of Jetuttara, but would make the children my wife's attendants, you made them some sign, and caused them to run away, sitting there like innocence itself! Such a liar there is not in the world, I'm thinking." The Great Being was moved. "They have run away, no doubt," he thought, and said aloud, "Do not trouble about it, sir, I'll fetch them." So he arose and went behind the hut; perceiving that they must have fled to the woods, 4 5 6 he followed their footprints to the lakeside, and then seeing a footprint where they went down into the water, he perceived that they must have gone into the water: so he called, "Jāli, my boy!" reciting these two stanzas:

"Come hither, my beloved son, my perfect state fulfil;
Come now and consecrate my heart, and follow out my will.

Be thou my ship to ferry me safe o’er existence’ sea,
Beyond the worlds of birth and gods I'll cross and I'll be free."

"Come, Jāli, my boy!" cried he; and the lad hearing his voice thought thus:—"Let the brahmin do with me what he will, I, will not quarrel with my father!" He raised his head, parted the lily-leaves, and came out of the water, throwing himself upon the Great Being's right foot; embracing the ankle he wept. Then the Great Being said: "My boy, where is your sister?" He answered, "Father, all creatures take care of themselves in time of danger." The Great Being recognized that the children must have made a bargain together, and he cried out, "Here, Kaṇhā!" reciting two stanzas:

"Come hither, my beloved girl, my perfect state fulfil,
Come now and consecrate my heart, and follow out my will.

Be thou my ship to ferry me safe o’er existence’ sea,
Beyond the worlds of men and gods I'll cross and lift 1 me free!"

She also thought, "I will not quarrel with my father "; and in a moment out she came, and falling on her father's left foot clasped his ankle and wept. Their tears fell upon the Great Being's feet, coloured like a lily-leaf; and his tears fell on their backs, which had the colour of golden slabs. Then the Great Being raised up his children and comforted them, saying, "My son Jāli, don't you know that I have gladly given you away? So do that my desire may attain fulfilment." And then and there he put a price on the children, as one puts a price on cattle. To his son he said: "Son Jāli, if you wish to become free, you must pay the brahmin 4 5 a thousand pieces of gold 2. But your sister is very beautiful; if any person of low birth should give the brahmin so and so much to make her free, he would break her birthright. None but a king

p. 283

can give all things by the hundred; therefore if your sister would be free let her pay the brahmin a hundred male and a hundred female slaves, with elephants, horses, bulls, and gold pieces, all a hundred each." Thus did he price the children, and comforted them, and took them back to the hermitage. Then he took water in his waterpot, and calling the brahmin to come near, he poured out the water, praying that he might attain omniscience. "Dearer than my son a hundredfold, a thousandfold, a hundred thousandfold is omniscience!" he cried, making the earth resound, and to the brahmin he gave this precious gift of his children.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"The foster-king of Sivi land then took his children both,
And gave this gift most precious to the brahmin, nothing loth.

Then was there terror and affright, and the great earth did quake,
What time the king with folded hands bestowed the children both;
Then was there terror and affright, and the great earth did shake,
When Sivi's king his children gave the brahmin, nothing loth."

[548] When the Great Being had made the gift, he was joyful, thinking how good a gift he had made, as he stood looking upon the children. And Jūjaka went into the jungle, and bit off a creeper, and with it he bound the boy's right hand to the girl's left, and drove them away beating them with the ends of the creeper.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"The cruel brahmin bit a length of creeper off; which done,
He with the creeper bound their hands, and dragged the children on 1.

And then the brahmin, staff in hand, holding the creeper tight,
Beat them and drove them on and on before their father's sight."

Where he struck them, the skin was cut, the blood ran, when struck they staggered against each other back to back. But in a rugged place the man stumbled and fell: with their tender hands the children slipt off the light bond, and ran away weeping to the Great Being.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"The children thus at liberty then from the brahmin fly;
The boy looks on his father's face, the tears are in his eye.

Then like a fig-leaf in the wind the little boy did quake,
Embracing threw his arms around his father's feet, and spake

"Father, will you dispose of us while mother is away?
O do not give us till she come! till she return, O stay!

And will you then dispose of us while mother is away?
O wait until she shall return, then give us if you will!
Then let the brahmin sell us both, then let the brahmin kill!

His foot is huge, his nails are torn, his flesh hangs sagging down,
Long underlip and broken nose, all trembling, tawny-brown,

Pot-bellied, broken-backed, with eyes that chew an ugly squint 2,
All spots and wrinkles, yellow-haired, with beard of bloody tint,

p. 284

Yellow, loose-jointed, cruel, huge, in skins of goats bedight,
A crooked and inhuman thing, a most terrific sight;

[549] A man, or monstrous cannibal? and canst thou tamely see
This goblin come into the wood to ask this boon of thee?

And is thy heart a piece of stone fast bound about with steel,
To care not when this greedy man, who can no pity feel,
Binds us, and drives us off like kine? At least I would appeal

That sister Kaṇha, who as yet no trouble knows, may stay,
Now crying like a sucking fawn lost from the herd away."

[550] To this the Great Being answered not one word. Then the boy said, lamenting on account of his parents 1:

"I care not for the pain of death, that is the lot of all:
Ne’er more to see my mother's face, ’tis this that doth appal.

I care not for the pain of death, that is the lot of all:
Ne’er more to see my father's face, ’tis this that doth appal.

Long will my parents mourn and weep, long will they nurse their woe,
At midnight and at dawn their tears will like a river flow,
No more to see Kaṇhājinā, whom they had cherished so.

Those clusters of rose-apple trees which droop around the lake,
And all the fruitage of the woods this day we do forsake.

Fig-tree and jack-fruit, banyan broad and every tree that grows,
Yea! all the fruitage of the woods this day we do forsake.

There stand they like a pleasant park, there cool the river flows,
The place where once we used to play, this day we do forsake.

The fruit that once we used to eat, the flowers we used to wear,
That yonder grow upon the hill, this day we do forsake.

And all the pretty little toys that once we played with there,
The horses, oxen, elephants, this day we do forsake."

[551] In despite of these lamentations, Jūjaka came and drove him away with his sister.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"The children to their father said as they were led away:
"O father! wish our mother well, and happy be your day!

These oxen, horses, elephants wherewith we used to play,
Give them to mother, and they will somewhat her grief allay.

These oxen, horses, elephants wherewith we used to play,
When she looks on them, will anon somewhat her grief allay."

Now great pain arose in the Great Being because of his children, and his heart grew hot within him: he trembled violently, like an elephant seized by a maned lion, like the moon swallowed in Rāhu's jaws. Not strong enough to endure it, he went into the hut, tears streaming from his eyes, and wept pitifully.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"The warrior prince Vessantara thus gave his gift, and went,
And there within his leafy bower he sadly did lament."

p. 285

What follow are the verses of the Great Being's lamentation.

"O when at morning or at eve for food my children cry,
Opprest by hunger or by thirst, who will their want supply?

[552] How will their little trembling feet along the roadway go,
Unshod? who'll take them by the hand and lead them gently so?

How could the brahmin feel no shame, while I was standing by,
To strike my harmless innocents? a shameless man say I!

No man with any sense of shame would treat another so,
Were it a servant of my slave, and I brought very low.

I cannot see him, but he scolds and beats my children dear,
While like a fish caught in a trap I'm standing helpless here."

These thoughts came into the Great Being's mind, through his affection for the children; he could not away with the pain to think how the brahmin cruelly beat his children, and he resolved to go in chase of the man, and kill him, and to bring the children back. But no, he thought: that was a mistake; to give a gift, then to repent because the children's trouble would be very great, that was not the way of the righteous. And the two following stanzas contain the reflexions which throw light on that matter.

"He bound his sword upon his left, he armed him with his bow;
I'll bring my children back again; to lose them is great woe.

But even if my children die ’tis wicked to feel pain 1:
Who knows the customs of the good, yet asks a gift again?"

[553] Meanwhile Jūjaka beat the children as he led them along. Then the boy said lamenting:

"How true that saying seems to be which men are wont to tell:
Who has no mother of his own is fatherless as well 2.

Life's nothing to us: let us die; we are his chattels now,
This cruel greedy violent man, who drives us like his cow.

These clusters of rose-apple trees, which droop around the lake,
And all the verdure of the woods, O Kaṇhā, we forsake.

Fig-tree and jack-fruit, banyan tree, and every tree that grows,
Yea all the many kinds of fruit, O Kaṇhā, we forsake.

There stand they like a pleasant park, there cool the river flows;
The place where once we used to play, O Kaṇhā, we forsake.

The fruit that once we used to eat, the flowers we used to wear,
That yonder grow upon the hill, O Kaṇhā, we forsake.

And all the little pretty toys that once we played with there,
The horses, oxen, elephants, O Kaṇhā, we forsake."

p. 286

Again the brahmin fell down in a rough place: the cord fell from his hand, and the children, trembling like wounded fowls, ran away without stopping back to their father.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"Now Jāli and Kaṇhājinā, thus by the brahmin led,
Somehow got free, and then away and on and on they fled."

[554] But Jūjaka quickly got up, and followed them, cord and stick in hand, spitting like the fire at the world's end; "Very clever you are indeed," said he, "at running away"; and he tied their hands and brought them back.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"And so the brahmin took his cord, and so his staff he took,
And brought them back with beating, while the king was forced to look."

As they were led away, Kaṇhājinā turned back, and lamented to her father. Explaining this, the Master said:

"Then spake Kaṇhājinā and said: "My father, prithee see—
As though I were a home-born slave this brahmin thrashes me!

Brahmins are men of upright life: no brahmin he can be.
A goblin sure in brahmin-shape, that leads us off to eat.
And can you stay and see us led to be a goblin's meat?"

As his young daughter lamented, trembling as she went, dire grief arose in the Great Being: his heart grew hot within him; his nose was not large enough, so from his mouth he sent forth hot pantings; tears like drops of blood fell from his eyes. Then he thought: "All this pain comes from affection, and no other cause; I must quiet this affection, and be calm." Thus by power of his knowledge he did away with that keen pang of sorrow, and sat still as usual.

Ere they had yet reached the entering in of the mountains, the girl went on lamenting:

"Sore are these little feet of mine, hard in the way we go,
The brahmin drives us on and on, the sun is sinking low.

[555] On hills and forests, and on those that dwell in them, we call,
We reverently bow to greet the spirits, one and all

That haunt this lake; its plants and roots and creepers, and we pray
To wish our mother health: but us the brahmin drives away.
If she would follow after us, let her make no delay.

Straight leads unto the hermitage this path by which we go;
And if she will but follow this, she soon will find us so.

Thou gatherer of wild fruits and roots, thou of the knotted hair,
To see the empty hermitage will cause thee great despair.

Long stayed our mother on her quest, great store she must have found,
Who knows not that a cruel man and greedy hath us bound,
A very cruel man, who now like cattle drives us round.

Ah, had our mother come at eve, and had they chanced to meet,
Had she given him a meal of fruit with honey mixt, to eat,—

p. 287

He would not drive us cruelly, when he his meal had hent:
Cruel he drove us, and our feet loud echoed as we went!"
So for their mother longing sore the children did lament 1.

[556] Now whereas the king gave his dearly beloved children to the brahmin, the earth did resound with a great uproar that reached even to Brahma's heaven and pierced the hearts of the deities which dwelt in Himavat: who, hearing the children's lamentation as the man drove them along, thought with themselves, "If Maddī come betimes to the hermitage, not seeing her children she will ask Vessantara about it; great will be her longing when she hears that they have been given away; she will run after them, and will get into great trouble: so they instructed three 2 of the gods to take upon them the shape of a lion and a tiger and a pard, and to obstruct 3 her way, not to let her go back for all her asking until the setting of the sun, that she might only get back by moonlight, guarding her safe from the attacks of lions and other wild beasts.

Explaining this, the Master said:

"A Lion, Tiger, and a Pard, three creatures of the brake,
Which heard this lamentation loud, thus each to other spake:

"Let not the princess back return at eve from seeking food,
Lest the wild beasts should slay her in our kingdom of the wood.

If lion, pard, or tiger should the auspicious mother slay,
O where would then Prince Jāli be, O where Kaṇhājinā
The parent and the children both do you preserve this day."

They agreed, and obeyed the words of the gods. Becoming a lion, a tiger, and a pard, they lay down near the road by which she must go Now Maddī was thinking to herself, 5 "Last night I saw a bad dream; I will collect my fruits and roots and get me betimes to the hermitage." Trembling she searched for the roots and fruits: the spade fell from her hand, the basket fell from her shoulder, her right eye went a-throbbing, fruit-trees appeared as barren and barren trees as fruitful, she could not tell whether she were on head or heels 4. "What can be the meaning," she thought, "of this strangeness to-day!" and she said—

"Down falls my spade, a throbbing now in my right eye I feel,
The fruitful trees unfruitful seem, all round me seems to reel!"

And when she turned at evening time to go, the day's work done,
Wild beasts beset her homeward path at setting of the sun.

"The hermitage is far, methinks, the sun is sinking low
And all the food they have to eat is what I bring, I know.
And there my prince sits all alone within the leafy hut,
The hungry children comforting: and I returning not.

p. 288

It is the time of evening meal, O woe is me! ’tis late:
Thirsting for water or for milk my children me await;

They come to meet me, standing like calves looking for their dam;
Like wild-goose chicks above the lake—O wretched that I am!

This is the sole and only path, with ponds and pits around:
And I can see no other road now I am homeward bound.

O mighty monarchs of the woods, O royal beasts, I cry,
Be brothers now in righteousness 1, and let me safe go by!

I am a banisht prince's wife, a prince of glory fair;
As Sītā did for Rāma, so I for my husband care.

When you go home at evening time, your children you can see:
So Jāli and Kaṇhājinā be given once more to me!

Here are abundant roots and fruits, much food I have to chew:
The half I offer now to you: O let me safely go!

[558] A king my father, and a queen my mother—hear my cry!
Be brothers now in righteousness, and let me safe go by!"

Then the gods, observing the time, saw that it was time to let her go; and they rose up and departed. The Master explained it thus:

"The beasts that heard her thus lament with great exceeding woe,
In voice of sweet and gentle sound, went off and let her go."

When the beasts had departed, she returned to the hermitage. Now it was the night of the full moon; and when she came to the end of the covered walk, where she had been used to see her children, and saw them not, she cried out:

[559] "The children, dusty, close to home, are wont to meet me here
Like calves that seek the mother-cow, like birds above the mere.

Like little deer, with prickt-up ear, they meet me on the way:
With joy and happiness they skip and frolick in their play:
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day.

As goat and lioness may leave their young, a bird her cage,
To seek for food, so have I done their hunger to assuage:
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day.

Here are their traces, close by home, like snakes upon the hill,
The little heaps of earth they made all round, remaining still:
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day.

All covered up with dust to me my children used to run,
Sprinkled with mud, but now indeed I can see neither one.

Like kids to welcome back their dam they ran from home away
As from the forest I returned; I see them not to-day.

Here they were playing, here this yellow vilva fruit let fall:
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day.

These breasts of mine are full of milk, my heart will break withal:
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day.

They used to cling about my hips, one hanging from my breast:
How they would meet me, dust-begrimed, at time of evening rest!
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day.

p. 289

Once on a time this hermitage became our meeting-ground:
But now I see no children here, the whole place spins around.

[560] My children must be dead! the place so silent has become—
The very ravens do not caw, the very birds are dumb."

Lamenting in this fashion, she came up to the Great Being, and set down the basket of fruit. Seeing him sitting in silence, and no children with him, she said:

"Why art thou silent? how that dream comes to my thought again:
The birds and ravens make no sound, my children must be slain!

O sir, have they been carried off by some wild beast of prey?
Or in the deep deserted wood have they been led astray?

[561] O do the pretty prattlers sleep? on errands do they fare?
O have they wandered out afar in frolic or in play?

I cannot see their hands and feet, I cannot see their hair:
Was it a bird that swooped? or who has carried them away?"

To this the Great Being made no reply. Then she asked, "My lord, why do you not speak to me? what is my fault?" and said:

"’Tis like the wound of arrow-shot, and still more bitter smart
(But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day!)

This is a second wound that thou hast struck me to the heart,
That I my children cannot see, that thou hast nought to say.

And so, O royal prince! this night since thou wilt not reply,
I think my days are done indeed, and thou wilt see me die."

The Great Being thought that he would assuage his pain for the children by harsh speech, and recited this stanza:

[562] "O Maddī, royal princess born, whose glory is so great,
Thou wentst for food in early morn: why comest thou so late?"

She replied:

"Did you not hear the lion and the tiger loudly roar
When by the lake their thirst to slake they stood upon the shore?

As in the woods I walked, there came the sign I knew so well:
My spade fell from my hand, and from my arm the basket fell.

Then hurt, alarmed, I worshipt all the quarters, one by one,
Praying that good might come of this, my hands outstretcht in prayer:

And that no lion and no pard, hyena, wolf or bear,
Might tear or harry or destroy my daughter or my son.

A lion, tiger, and a pard, three ravening beasts, laid wait
And kept me from my homeward path: so that is why I'm late."

This was all that the Great Being said to her until sunrise: after which Maddī uttered a long lament:

[563] "My husband and my children I have tended day and night,
As pupil tends a teacher, when he tries to do the right.

In goatskins clothed, wild roots and fruits I from the forest brought,
And every day and every night for your convenience sought.

I brought you yellow vilva fruit, my little girl and boy,
And many a ripe woodland fruit, to play and make you joy.

p. 290

This lotus root and lotus stalk, of golden yellow hue,
Join with your little ones, O prince, and eat your portion too.

Give the white lily to your girl, to Jāli give the blue,
And see them dance in garlands deckt: O call them, Sivi, do!

O mighty monarch! lend an ear while with delightful sound
Kaṇhājinā sings sweetly, and enters our settling-ground.

Since we were banisht, joy and woe in common shared has been:
O answer! my Kaṇhājinā and Jāli hast thou seen?

How many holy brahmins I must have offended sore,
Of holy life, and virtuous, and full of sacred lore,
That Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day!"

[564] To this lament the Great Being answered not one word. As he said nothing, trembling she sought her children by the light of the moon; and wheresoever they used to play, under the rose-apple trees or where not, she sought them, weeping the while, and saying:

"These clusters of rose-apple trees, that droop around the mere,
And all the fruitage of the woods—my children are not here!

Fig-tree and jack-fruit, banyan broad, and every tree that grows,
Yea, all the fruitage of the woods—my children are not here!

There stand they like a pleasant park, there cool the river flows,
The place where once they used to play—but now they are not here.

The fruit that once they used to eat, the flowers they used to wear
That yonder grow upon the hill—the children are not there!

And all the little toys that once they played with, there are those,
The oxen, horses, elephants—the children are not there!

Here are the many hares and owls, the dark and dappled deer,
With which the children used to play, but they themselves not here!

The peacocks with their gorgeous wings, the herons and the geese,
With which the children used to play, but they themselves not here!"

Not finding her darling children in the hermitage, she entered a clump of flowering plants and looked here and there for them, saying:

"The woodland thickets, full of flowers that every season blow,
Where once the children used to play, but they themselves not here!

The lovely lakes that listen, when the ruddy geese give call,
When lotus white and lotus blue and trees like coral grow 1,
Where once the children played, but now no children are at all."

[565] But nowhere could she see the children. Then returning to the Great Being, whom she beheld with his face cast down, she said to him:

"The kindling wood you have not split, the fire you have not lit,
Nor brought the water as before: why do you idly sit?

When I return unto my den my toil is done away,
But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I cannot see to-day!"

Still the Great Being sat silent; and she distrest at his silence,

p. 291

trembling like a wounded fowl, went again round the places which she had searched before, and returning said:

"O husband mine, I cannot see by whom their death has come:
The very ravens do not caw, the very birds are dumb."

Still the Great Being said no word. And she, in her longing for the little ones, a third time searched the same places quick as the wind: in one night the space which she traversed in seeking them was fifteen leagues. Then the night gave place to dawn, and at sunrise she came again to the Great Being, and stood before him lamenting. The Master explained it thus:

"When she had traversed in the search each forest and each hill,
Back to her husband she returned, and stood lamenting still.

[566] "In hills, woods, caves I cannot see by whom their death has come:
The very ravens do not caw, the very birds are dumb."

Then Maddī, dame of high renown, princess of royal birth,
Lamenting with her arms outstretcht fell down upon the earth."

"She's dead!" thought the Great Being, and trembled. "Ah, this is no place for Maddī to die! Had she died in Jetuttara city, great pomp there would have been, two kingdoms would have quaked. But I am alone in the forest, and what can I do?" Great trouble came upon him; then recovering himself somewhat, he determined to do what he could. Rising up he laid a hand on her heart, and felt it to be still warm: he brought water in a pitcher, and although for seven months past he had not touched her body, in his distress he could no longer keep to the ascetic's part, but with tears in his eyes he raised her head and laid it upon his lap, sprinkling it with water, and chafing her face and bosom as he sat. Then Maddī after a little while regains her senses, and, rising up in confusion, does obeisance to the Great Being, and asks, "My lord Vessantara, where are the children gone?" "I have given them," says he, "to a brahmin." The Master thus explained it:

"He sprinkled her with water as she fell down faint as dead,
And when she had come back again to consciousness, he said":—

[567] She asked him, "My dear, if you had given the children to a brahmin, why did you let me go weeping about all night, without saying a word?" The Great Being replied:

"I did not speak at once, because I shrank to cause you pain.
A poor old brahmin came to beg, and so, of giving fain,
I gave the children: do not fear, O Maddī! breathe again.

O Maddī, do not grieve too sore, but set your eyes on me:
We'll get them back alive once more, and happy shall we be.

Good men should ever give when asked, sons, cattle, wealth, and grain.
Maddī, rejoice! a greater gift than children cannot be."

p. 292

Maddī replied:

"I do rejoice! a greater gift than children cannot be.
By giving set your mind at rest; pray do the like again:

For you, the mighty fostering king of all the Sivi land,
Amidst a world of selfish men gave gifts with lavish hand."

To this the Great Being answered: "Why do you say this, Maddī? If I had not been able to set my mind at peace by giving my children, these miracles would not have happened to me"; and then he told her all the earth-rumblings and what else had happened. 5 6 Then Maddī rejoicing described the miracles in these words:

"The earth did rumble, and the sound the highest heaven fills,
The lightning flared, the thunder woke the echoes of the hills!

Then Nārada and Pabbata both greatly did rejoice,
Yea, all the Three and Thirty Gods with Indra, at that voice 1.

Thus Maddī, dame of royal birth, princess of high degree,
Rejoiced with him: a greater gift than children none can be."

Thus the Great Being described his own gift; and thus did Maddī repeat the tale, affirming that he had given a noble gift, and there she sat rejoicing in the same gift: on which occasion the Master repeated the stanza, "Thus Maddī," etc. 2

As they were thus talking together, Sakka thought: "Yesterday Vessantara gave his children to Jūjaka, and the earth did resound. Now suppose a vile creature should come and ask him for Maddī herself, the incomparable, the virtuous, and should take her away with him leaving the king alone: he will be left helpless and destitute. Well, then, I will take the form of a brahmin, and beg for Maddī. Thus I will enable him to attain the supreme height of perfection; I shall make it impossible that she should be given to anyone else and then I will give her back." So at dawn, to him goes Sakka. The Master explained it thus:

"And so when night was at an end, about the peep of day,
Sakka in brahmin's form to them first early made his way.

[569] "O holy man, I trust that you are prosperous and well,
With grain to glean, and roots and fruit abundant where you dwell 3.

Have you been much by flies and gnats and creeping things annoyed,
Or from wild beasts of prey have you immunity enjoyed?"

The Great Being replied:

"Thank you, brahmin—yes, I am both prosperous and well,
With grain to glean, and fruits and roots abundant where I dwell.

From flies and gnats and creeping things I suffer no annoy,
And from wild beasts of prey I here immunity enjoy.

p. 293

I've lived here seven sad months, and you the second brahmin found,
Holding a goat-staff in his hand, to reach this forest-ground.

Welcome, O brahmin! blest the chance directed you this way 1;
Come enter with a blessing, come, and wash your feet, I pray.

The tindook and the piyal leaves, and kāsumārī sweet,
And fruits like honey, brahmin, take the best I have, and eat.

And this cool water from a cave high hidden on a hill,
O noble brahmin! take of it, drink if it be your will 2."

As thus they talked pleasantly together he asked of his coming:

"And now what reason or what cause directed you this way?
Why have you sought the mighty woods? resolve me this, I pray."

Then Sakka replied: "O king, I am old, but I have come here to beg your wife Maddī; pray give her to me," and he repeated this stanza:

"As a great water-flood is full and fails not any day,
So you, from whom I come to beg—give me your wife, I pray."

To this the Great Being did not reply—"Yesterday I gave away my children to a brahmin, how can I give Maddī to you and be left alone in the forest!" No, he was as though putting a purse of a thousand pieces in his hand: indifferent, unattached, with no clinging of mind, he made the mountain re-echo with this stanza:

[570] "Weary am I, nor hide I that: yet in my own despite,
I give, and shrink not: for in gifts my heart doth take delight."

This said, quickly he drew water in a pitcher, and poured it upon his hand 3, and made over Maddī to the brahmin. At that moment, all the portents which had occurred before were again seen and heard. The Master thus explained it:

"Then he took up a water-jar, the king of Sivi land,
And taking Maddī, gave her straight into the brahmin's hand.

Then was there terror and affright, then the great earth did quake,
What time he rendered Maddī for his visitor to take.

The face of Maddī did not frown 4, she did not chafe or cry,
But looked on silent, thinking, He knows best the reason why.

"Both Jāli and Kaṇhājinā I let another take,
And Maddī my devoted wife, and all for wisdom's sake.

Not hateful is my faithful wife, nor yet my children are,
But perfect knowledge, to my mind, is something dearer far."

Then the Great Being looked upon Maddī's face to see how she took it; and she, asking him why he looked upon her, cried aloud with a lion's voice in these words:

"From maidenhood I was his wife, he is my master still:
Let him to whomso he desire or give, or sell, or kill."

p. 294

[571] Then Sakka, seeing her excellent resolution, gave her praise; and the Master explained it thus:

"Thereat spake Sakka, seeing how her wishes did incline:
"Conquered is every obstacle, both human and divine.

The earth did rumble, and the sound the highest heaven fills,
The lightning flares, the thunder wakes the echoes of the hills.

Now Nārada and Pabbata to hear this mighty voice,
Yea, all the Three and Thirty Gods at this hard feat rejoice.

’Tis hard to do as good men do, to give as they can give,
Bad men can hardly imitate the life that good men live.

And so, when good and evil go to pass away from earth,
The bad are born in hell below, in heaven the good have birth 1.

This is the Noble Vehicle 2: both wife and child were given,
Therefore let him descend 3 no more, but this bear fruit in heaven."

When thus Sakka had expressed his approval, he thought, "Now I must make no more delay here, but give her back and go"; and he said:

[572] "Sir, now I give you Maddī back, your fair and lovely wife,
A pair well-matched, and fitted for a most harmonious life.

Like the inevitable bond ’twixt water and a shell,
So you with Maddī; mind and heart are both according well.

Of equal birth and family on either parents' side
Here in a forest hermitage together you abide,
That ye may go on doing good where in the woods you dwell."

This said, he went on, offering a boon:

"Sakka the King of Gods am I, here come thy place to see:
Choose thou a boon, O royal sage, eight boons I give to thee."

As he spoke, he rose into the air ablaze like the morning sun. Then the Bodhisatta said, choosing his boons:

"Sakka, the lord of all the earth, has given me a boon.

Prithee my father reconcile, let him recall me soon
And set me in my royal seat: this the first boon I crave.

May I condemn no man to death, not though he guilty be:
Condemned, may I release from death: this second boon I crave.

May all the people for their help look only unto me,
The young, the old, the middle-aged: this the third boon I crave.

May I not seek my neighbour's wife, contented with my own,
Nor subject to a woman's will: this the fourth boon I crave.

p. 295

I prithee, Sakka, grant long life to my beloved son,
Conquering the world in righteousness: this the fifth boon I crave.

Then at the end of every night, at dawning of the day,
May food celestial be revealed: this the sixth boon I crave.

May means of giving never fail, and may I give alway
With hearty gladness and content: this the seventh boon I crave.

[573] Hence freed, may I be straight advanced to heaven, then that I may
No more be born upon the earth: this the eighth boon I crave."

When Sakka, King of Gods, had heard his saying, thus said he:

"Ere long, the father whom you love, will wish his son to see."

With this address, Sakka went back to his own place. Explaining this, the Master said:

"The Mighty One, the King of Gods, this said, Sujampati,
After the giving of the boons straight back to heaven went he 1."

Now the Bodhisatta and Maddī lived happily together in the hermitage which Sakka had given them; but Jūjaka, with the children, went on a journey of sixty leagues. The deities watched over the children; Jūjaka when the sun went down used to tie up the children with osiers and leave them lying upon the ground, but himself in fear of cruel and wild beasts would climb up a tree and would sit in the fork of the boughs. Then a god would come to the children in the form of Vessantara, and a goddess in the form of Maddī; they would set free the children, and chafe their hands and feet, wash them and dress them, would give them food and put them to rest on a celestial couch: 4 5 then at dawn they would lay them down again in their bonds, and would disappear. Thus by help of the gods the children went on their way unhurt. Jūjaka also was guided by the gods, so that intending to go to the kingdom of Kalinga, in fifteen days he came to the city of Jetuttara. The same night, Sañjaya, king of Sivi, dreamt a dream, and his dream was on this fashion: As he was seated in high durbar, a man came and gave him two blossoms into his hand, and he hung them one on either ear; and the pollen fell from them upon his chest. When he awoke in the morning, he asked his brahmins what it meant. They said, "Some knights of yours, sire, who have been long absent, will return." So next morning, after feasting on many a dainty dish, he sat in his durbar, and the deities brought this brahmin and set him in the courtyard of the palace. In a moment the king saw the children, and said:

"Whose face is this that yellow shines, dry as though fire did scorch,
Like some gold bangle—one as though all shrivelled with a torch?

Both like in body, like in marks—who can these children be?
Like Jāli is the boy, and like Kaṇhājinā is she.

p. 296

They're like two little lion cubs that from their cave descend,
And like each other: and they seem all golden as they stand."

After thus praising them in three stanzas the king sent a courtier to them, with instructions to bring them to him. Quickly he brought them; and the king said to the brahmin:

"Good Bhāradvāja, tell me whence you have those children brought?"

Jūjaka said:

"A fortnight since one gave them me, well pleased with what he wrought."

[575] The king said:

"By what soft speech or word of truth did you make him believe?
From whom these children, chiefest of all gifts, did you receive?"

Jūjaka said:

"It was the King Vessantara, in forest lands who lives,
Gave them as slaves, who like the earth to all suitors freely gives.

’Twas King Vessantara who gave his own as slaves to me,
To whom all suitors go, as go all rivers to the sea."

Hearing this, the courtiers spake in dispraise of Vessantara:

"Were he at home, it were ill done by any king that's good:
How could he give his children then, when banisht in the wood?

O listen to me, gentles all, that here assembled stand,
How could the king his children give to serve another's hand?

Slaves male or female he might give, a horse, a mule, a car,
Or elephants: but how give those who his own children are?"

But the boy hearing this, could not stomach his father's blame; but as though raising with his arm Mount Sineru smitten by the windblast 1, he recited this stanza:

"How, grandsire, can he give, when none in his possession are,
Slaves male or female, elephants, a horse, a mule, a car?"

The king said:

[576] "Children, I praise your father's gift: no word of blame I say.
But then how was it with his heart when he gave you away?"

The lad replied:

"All full of trouble was his heart, and it burned hot as well,
His eyes were red like Rohinī, and down the teardrops fell."

Then spake Kaṇhājinā and said:

          "Father, this brahmin see—
With creepers, like his homeborn slave, my back he loves to beat.
This is no brahmin, father dear! for brahmins righteous be;
A goblin this in brahmin shape, who drives us off to eat.
How can you see us driven off with all this cruelty?"

p. 297

The king, seeing that the brahmin did not let them go, recited a stanza:

"You children of a king and queen, royal your parents are:
Once you would climb upon my hip; why do you stand afar?"

The lad replied:

"We're children of a king and queen, royal our parents are,
But now a brahmin's slaves are we, and so we stand afar."

The king said:

"My dearest children, speak not so; my heart is parcht with heat,
My body's like a blazing fire, uneasy is this seat.

My dearest children, speak not so; you make me sorrow sore.
Come, I will buy you with a price, ye shall be slaves no more.

[577] Come tell me truly as it is,—I will the brahmin pay—
What price your father set on you when he gave you away?"

The lad replied:

"A thousand pieces was my price: to set my sister free,
Of elephants and all the rest 1 a hundred each fixed he."

The king bade pay the price for the children.

"Up, bailiff, pay the brahmin quick, and let the price be told:
A hundred male and female slaves, and cattle from the fold,
A hundred elephants and bulls, a thousand pounds in gold.'

The bailiff paid the brahmin quick, at once the price was told:
A hundred male and female slaves, and cattle from the fold,
A hundred bulls and elephants, a thousand pounds in gold."

Thereto he gave him a seven-storeyed palace; great was the brahmin's pomp! He put away all his treasure, and went up into his palace, and lay down on his fine couch, eating choice meats.

The children were then washed and fed and drest; the grandfather took one on his hip, the grandmother took the other. To explain this, the Master said:

"The children bought, well washt and drest, richly adorned, and fed,
5 And set on their grandparents' hips, the king then spake and said:

"Jāli, your parents are we trust both prosperous and well 2,
With grain to glean and roots and fruits abundant where they dwell.

Have they been much by flies and gnats and creeping things annoyed,
And have they from wild beasts of prey immunity enjoyed?"

The lad replied:

"I thank thee, king, and answer thus: my parents both are well,
With grain to glean and roots and fruits abundant where they dwell.

From flies and gnats and creeping things they suffer not annoy,
And from wild beasts of prey they there immunity enjoy.

Wild bulbs and radishes she digs, catmint and herbs seeks she,
With jujubes, nuts, and vilva fruit she finds us food alway.

p. 298

And when she brings wild fruits and roots, whatever they may be,
We all together come and eat by night and eke by day.

Our mother's thin and yellow grown by seeking for our food,
Exposed to heat, exposed to wind in the beast-haunted wood.

Like to a tender lotus flower held in the hand which fades:
Her hair is thin 1 with wandering amid the forest glades.

Beneath her armpits clotted dirt, her hair in topknot bound,
She tends the fire, and clothed in skins she sleeps upon the ground."

Thus having described his mother's hardships, he reproached his grandfather in these words:

"It is the custom in the world that each man loves his son;
But this in one case it would seem your honour has not done."

[579] The king acknowledged his fault:

"It was ill done of me indeed to ruin the innocent,
When by the people's voice I drove my son to banishment.

Then all the wealth which I possess, all that I have in hand,
Be his; and let Vessantara come and rule in Sivi land."

The lad replied:

"Not for my word will he return, the chief of Sivi land:
Then go thyself and fill thy son with blessings from thy hand."

Then to his general-in-chief King Sañjaya thus said:

"My horses, chariots, elephants, and soldiers go prepare,
And let the people come around, the chaplains all be there.

The sixty thousand warrior lords armed and adorned so fair,
Drest up in blue or brown or white, with bloodred crests, be there.

Like as the spirit-haunted hills, where trees a plenty grow,
Are bright and sweet with plants divine, so here the breezes blow.

Bring fourteen thousand elephants, with trappings all of gold,
With drivers holding lance and hook: as many horse be told.

Sindh horses, all of noble breed, and very swift to go,
Each ridden by a henchman bold, and, holding sword and bow 2.

[580] Let fourteen thousand chariots be yoked and well arrayed,
Their wheels well wrought of iron bands, and all with gold inlaid.

Let them prepare the banners there, the shields and coats of mail,
And bows withal, those men of war that strike and do not fail."

Thus the king described the constitution of his army; and he gave orders to level the road from Jetuttara away to Mount Vaṁka to a width of eight rods 3, and thus and thus to decorate it. He said:

"Strow lāja flowers all about, and scented garlands strow,
Let there be pious offerings on the way that he shall go.

Each hamlet bring a hundred jars of wine for those who wish,
And set them down beside the road by which my son shall go.

p. 299

Let flesh and cakes be ready there, soup garnisht well with fish,
And set them down beside the road by which my son shall go.

Wine, oil, and ghee, milk, millet, rice, and curds in many a dish,
Let them be set beside the road by which my son shall go.

Cooks and confectioners be there, and men to sing or play,
Dancers and tumblers, tomtom men, to drive dull care away.

The lutes give voice, the harsh-mouth’d conch, and let the people thrum
On timbrels and on tabours and on every kind of drum."

[581] Thus the king described the preparation of the road.

But Jūjaka ate too much and could not digest it, so he died on the spot. The king arranged for his funeral: proclamation was made through the city by beat of drum, but no relative could be found, and his goods fell to the king again.

On the seventh day, all the host assembled. The king in great ceremony set out with Jāli as his guide. This the Master explained as follows:

"Then did the mighty host set forth, the army of the land,
And went towards the Vaṁka hill, while Jāli led the band.

The elephant of sixty years gave forth a trumpet sound 1,
Loud trumpeted the mighty beast what time his girth they bound.

Then rattled loud the chariot wheels, then neighed the horses loud,
As the great army marched along the dust rose in a cloud.

For every need provided well the host marcht with a will,
And Jāli led the army on as guide to Vaṁka hill.

They entered in the forest wide, so full of birds and trees,
With every kind of flowering plant and any fruit you please.

There when the forest is in flower, a shower of song is heard,
The twitter here and twitter there of many a bright-winged bird.

A night and day they marcht, and came to the end of their long road,
And entered on the district where Vessantara abode 2"

[582] On the banks of Lake Mucalinda, Prince Jāli caused them to intrench a camp: the fourteen thousand chariots he set facing the road by which they came, and a guard here and there to keep off lions, tigers, rhinoceros, and other wild beasts. There was a great noise of elephants and so forth; this the Great Being heard, and scared to death thought he—"Have they killed my father and come hither after me!" Taking Maddī with him he climbed a hill and surveyed the army. Explaining this, the Master said:

"The noise of this approaching host Vessantara did hear;
He climbed a hill and looked upon the army, full of fear.

O listen, Maddī, how the woods are full of roaring sound,
The neighing of the horses hear, the banners see around.

p. 300

Can they be hunters, who with pits or hunting-nets or knives
Seek the wild creatures in the woods with shouts to take their lives?

So we, exiled though innocent, in this wild forest land,
Expect a cruel death, now fallen into an enemy's hand."

When she had heard these words, she looked at the army, and convinced that it was their own army, she recited this stanza to comfort him:

[583] "All will be well: thy enemies can do no hurt to thee,
No more than any flame of fire could overcome the sea."

So the Great Being was reassured, and with Maddī came down from the hill and sat before his hut. This the Master explained:

"Then King Vessantara hereat descended from the hill,
And sat before his leafy hut and bad his heart be still."

At that moment, Sañjaya sent for his queen, and said to her: "My dear Phusatī, if we all go together it will be a great shock, so I will first go alone. When you feel that they must be quiet and reassured, you may come with a company." After a little time he told Jāli and Kaṇhājinā to come. He turned his chariot to face the road by which he had come, and set a guard in this place and in that, mounted upon his caparisoned elephant, and went to seek his son. The Master explained it thus:

"He set his army in array, his car turned to the road,
And sought the forest where his son in loneliness abode.

Upon his elephant, his robe over one shoulder thrown,
Clasping his upraised hands, he went to give his son the throne.

Then he beheld the beauteous prince, fearless, composed in will,
Seated before his hut of leaves and meditating still.

[584] Vessantara and Maddī then their father went to greet,
As they beheld him drawing nigh, eager his son to see.
Then Maddī made obeisance, laid her head before his feet,
Then he embraced them; with his hand he stroked them pleasantly."

Then weeping and lamenting for sorrow, the king spoke kindly to them.

"I hope and trust, my son, that you are prosperous and well,
With grain to glean and fruits and roots abundant where you dwell.

Have you been much by flies and gnats and creeping things annoyed,
And have you from wild beasts of prey immunity enjoyed?"

The Great Being answered his father:

"My lord, the life we had to live a wretched life has been;
We had to live as best we could, to eat what we could glean.

Adversity breaks in a man, just as a charioteer
Breaks in a horse: adversity, O king, has tamed us here.

But ’tis our parents' absence which has made our bodies thin,
Banisht, O king, and with the woods and forests to live in."

After this he asked the fate of his children.

"But Jāli and Kaṇhājinā, your hapless heirs, whom now,
A brahmin cruel, merciless, drives on like any cow,

p. 301

[585] If you know anything of these the royal children, tell,
As a physician tries to make a man with snake-bite well."

The king said:

"Both Jāli and Kaṇhājinā, your children, now are bought:
I paid the brahmin: therefore be consoled, my son, fear nought."

The Great Being was consoled to hear this, and conversed pleasantly with his father.

"I hope, dear father, you are well, and trouble comes no more,
And that my mother does not weep until her eyes are sore."

The king replied:

"Thank you, my son, I am quite well, and trouble comes no more,
So too your mother does not weep until her eyes are sore."

The Great Being said:

"I hope the kingdom all is well, the countryside at peace,
The animals all strong to work, the rain clouds do not cease."

The king replied:

"O yes, the kingdom all is well, the countryside at peace,
The animals all strong to work, the rain clouds do not cease."

As they thus talked together, Queen Phusatī, feeling sure that they must be all relieved from anxiety, came to her son with a great company.

[586] The Master explained it thus:

"Now while they talked together thus, the mother there was seen
Approaching to the door afoot, barefooted though a queen.

Vessantara and Maddī then their mother went to greet,
And Maddī ran and laid her head before her mother's feet.

The children safe and sound afar then Maddī did espy,
Like little calves that see their dam loud greetings they did cry.

And Maddī saw them safe and sound: like one possest she sped,
Trembling, and felt all full of milk the breasts at which they fed."

At that moment the hills resounded, the earth quaked, the great ocean was troubled, Sineru, king of mountains, bent down: the six abodes of the gods were all one mighty sound. Sakka, king of the gods, perceived that six royal personages and their attendants lay senseless on the ground, and not one of them could arise and sprinkle the others with water; so he resolved to produce a shower of rain. This he did, so that those who wished to be wet were wet, and those who did not, not a drop of rain fell upon them, but the water ran off as it runs from a lotus-leaf. That rain was like rain that falls on a clump of lotus-lilies. 5 The six royal persons were restored to their senses, and all the people cried out at the marvel, how the rain fell on the group of kinsfolk, and the great earth did quake. This the Master explained as follows:

"When these of kindred blood were met, a mighty sound outspake,
That all the hills reechoed round, and the great earth did quake.

p. 302

God brought a mighty cloud wherefrom he sent a shower of rain,
When as the King Vessantara his kindred met again.

King, queen, and son, and daughter-in-law, and grandsons, all were there,
When they were met their flesh did creep with rising of the hair.
The people clapt their hands and loud made to the king a prayer:

They called upon Vessantara and Maddī, one and all:
"Be thou our lord, be king and queen, and listen to our call 1!"

Then the Great Being addressed his father:

"You and the people, countryfolk and townsfolk, banisht me,
When I upon my royal throne was ruling righteously."

The king replied, to allay his son's resentment:

"It was ill done of me indeed to ruin the innocent,
When by the people's voice I drove my son to banishment."

After reciting this verse, he added yet another, to ask for relief from his own sorrow:

"A father's or a mother's pain, or sister's, to relieve,
A man should never hesitate his very life to give."

[588] The Bodhisat, who had been desirous of resuming his royalty, but had refrained from saying so much in order to inspire respect, now agreed; whereupon the sixty thousand courtiers, his birthmates, cried out—

"’Tis time to wash, O mighty king—wash off the dust and dirt!"

But the Great Being replied, "Wait a little." Then he entered his hut, and took off his hermit's dress, and put it away. Next he came out of the hut, and said, "This is the place where I have spent nine months and a half in ascetic practices, where I attained the summit of perfection in giving, and where the earth did quake": thrice he went about the hut rightwise and made the five-fold prostration before it 2. Then they attended to his hair and beard, and poured over him the water of consecration, while he shone in all his magnificence like the king of the gods. So it is said,

"Then did the King Vessantara wash off the dust and dirt."

Great was his glory: every place quaked that he looked on, those skilled in auspicious words uttered them, they caught up all manner of musical instruments; over the mighty ocean there was a sound like the noise of thunder; the precious elephant they brought richly caparisoned, and girding himself with the sword of price he mounted the precious elephant, whilst the sixty thousand courtiers, his birthmates, compassed him around in gorgeous array.

p. 303

Maddī also they bathed and adorned and sprinkled with the water of consecration, and as they poured the water they cried aloud, "May Vessantara protect thee!" with other words of good omen. The Master explained it thus:

"With washen head and goodly robes and ornaments of state,
Girt with his awful sword he rode the elephant his mate 1.

And then the sixty thousand chiefs, so beauteous to view,
His birthmates, came about their lord and did obeisance due.

[589] The women then bathed Maddī, and all together pray—
"Vessantara and Sañjaya preserve you all alway!"

Thus reestablished, and their past trouble remembering,
There in the pleasant master's land they made a merry cheer.

Thus reestablished, and the past trouble remembering,
Happy and glad the lady went with her own children dear."

So in happiness she said to her children:

"I only ate one meal a day, I slept upon the ground,
That was my vow for love of you until you should be found.

But now my vow is brought to pass, and now again I pray,
What good so ever we have done preserve you both alway,
And may the great king Sañjaya preserve you both alway

What good so ever has been done by father or by me,
By that truth grow thou never old, immortal do thou be."

[590] Queen Phusatī said also, "Henceforth let my daughter-in-law be robed in these robes, and wear these ornaments!" These she sent her in boxes. This the Master explained thus:

"Garments of cotton and of silk, linen and cloth so fine
Her mother-in-law to Maddī sent which made her beauty shine.

Necklet and bracelet, frontlet-piece, foot-bangle, jewelled zone
Her mother-in-law to Maddī sent, wherewith her beauty shone.

And when the princess passing fair her jewellery surveyed,
She shone, as shines in Nandana the goddesses arrayed.

With washen head and ornaments and goodly robes to see,
She shone, like to some heavenly nymph before the Thirty-Three.

As when in Cittalatā Grove 2 the wind a plantain sways,
The princess of the beauteous lips looked lovely as that tree.

Like as a brilliant-feathered bird that flies the airy ways,
She with her pretty pouting lips and beauty did amaze.

[591] They brought a fine young elephant, a mighty and a strong,
Which neither spear nor battle din could fright, whose tusks were long.

She mounts upon the elephant, so mighty and so strong,
Which neither spear nor battle din could fright, whose tusks were long."

So they two in great pomp proceeded to the camp. King Sañjaya and his innumerable host  3 amused themselves in hill sports and woodland

p. 304

sports for a whole month. During that time, by the Great Being's glory, no hurt was done in all that great forest by wild beast or bird. The Master thus explained it:

"By glory of Vessantara, through all that mighty wood,
No beast or bird did any harm to the others, all did good.

And when he was to go away, they all with one consent,
Birds, beasts, and all the creatures of the wood, together went:
But silent were all pleasant sounds when he had left the wood."

[592] After the month's merry-making, Sañjaya summoned his captain-in-chief, and said, "We have stayed a long time in the forest; is the road ready for my son's return?" He replied, "Yes, my lord, it is time to go." He sent word to Vessantara, and with his army departed, following with all his host the road which had been prepared from the heart of Vaṁka hill to the city of Jetuttara. This the Master explained as follows:

"The royal road was newly made, with flowers and bunting fair arrayed
From where he lived in forest glade down to the town Jetuttara.

His sixty thousand mates around, and boys and women places found,
Brahmins and Vesiyas, homeward bound unto the town Jetuttara.

There many an elephant mahout, the charioteers and men afoot,
With all the royal guard to boot were going to Jetuttara.

Warriors that skulls 1 or pelties wore, of mailed men with swords good store,
To guard the prince went on before down to the town Jetuttara."

The king traversed this journey of sixty leagues in two months. He then entered Jetuttara, decorated to receive him, and went up to the palace. This the Master explained:

"Then the fair city entered they, with walls and arches high,
With songs and dances, food and drink in plentiful supply.

Delighted were the country folk and people of the town
To welcome back to Sivi land their prince of high renown.

All waved their kerchiefs in the air to see the giver come;
Now is a gaol-delivery proclaimed by beat of drum."

[593] So King Vessantara set free all creatures, down to the very cats; and on the day that he entered the city, in the evening, he thought: "When day dawns, the suitors who have heard of my return will come, and what shall I give them?" At that moment Sakka's throne grew hot: he considered, and saw the reason. He brought down a rain of the seven kinds of jewels like a thundershower, filling the back and front of the palace with them waist-high, and over all the city knee-deep. Next day, he allotted this or that place to various families and let them pick up the jewels; the rest he made to be collected and placed in his own dwelling with his treasure; and in his treasuries he had enough to distribute always in future. This the Master explained as follows:

p. 305

"When as Vessantara came back, Sivi's protector king,
The god a shower of precious gold upon the place did bring.

So when Vessantara the prince his generous gifts had given;
He died at last, and fully wise, he passed away to heaven."


When the Master had ended this discourse of Vessantara, with its thousand stanzas, he identified the Birth: "At that time, Devadatta was Jūjaka, the lady Cincā was Amittatāpanī, Channa was Cetaputta, Sāriputta was the ascetic Accuta, Anuruddha was Sakka, King Suddhodana was King Sañjaya, Mahāmāyā was Phusatī, Rāhula's mother was Queen Maddī, Rāhula was Prince Jāli, Uppalavaṇṇā was Kaṇhājinā, the followers of Buddha were the rest of the people, and King Vessantara was I myself 1."


Footnotes

246:1 Dakarākkhasa-pañho niṭṭhito.

246:2 See No. 483 (trans. IV. 167).

246:3 See Hardy, Manual, p. 150; and Vol. IV. p. 104 of this translation.

248:1 I.e. before she became the mother of Buddha.

249:1 The Ten Boons, according to the scholiast, are: (1) to be chief queen, (2) to have dark eyes, (3) to have dark eyebrows, (4) to be named Phusatī, (5) to have a son, (6) to keep her figure slim, (7) that her breasts be firm, (8) not to become grey-haired, (9) to have soft skin, (10) to save the condemned. This section is called Dasa-vara-gāthā.

249:2 Reading n’assan tu for nassantu. Cf. the Burmese version, p. 7: "grant that my hair may not whiten."

249:3 I.e. may I be fair enough to keep my influence over the king.

249:4 The compound khujjatecalākkhakākiṇṇe I cannot understand. It may contain khujja "humpback" and ceṭaka "slave"; but the second part may possibly represent some such word as celaṁ "cloth," or even celukkhepa "waving of cloths in token of joy." The next compound I translate as though it were sūtamāgadha°, as Fausbøll suggests in his note. Citraggalerughusite seems to contain aggala "a peg" and ugghosita "sounded," in some form; the scholiast uses the word "door."

249:5 Here the story proper begins; we have returned to the time referred to in the introduction, p. 247.

250:1 Vaiçya.

250:2 kammajavātā.

251:1 So the Burmese, p. 9: but catusaṭṭhi usually means 64. The idea was however that four should attend on him in each of the sixty divisions of the day and night.

251:2 Four nahutas (the nahuta is one followed by 28 ciphers).

253:1 urūḷhavo?

253:2 vaṭṁsakā?

254:1 devatāvattanena seems to be out of place; it should go with nikkhamiṁsu according to the Burmese, and common sense.

254:2 Ugga: a mixed caste, by a Kshatriya father from a Çūdra mother. The scholiast, however, explains the word by uggatā paññātā, as though from uggacchati.

254:3 See below, p. 267 (text, p. 515).

256:1 Reading dakkhiṇaṁ with Bd; adakkhiṇam violates the metre.

257:1 The last two stanzas are repeated, with a difference, from V. 25921-4, trans. V. p. 133.

258:1 The plants named are: kuṭaja (Wrightia Antidysenterica), bimbajāla (Momordica Monadelpha), lemapadmaka (hairy lotus).

258:2 Himavanta-vaṇṇanā.

259:1 Four stanzas, almost the same, are here condensed into one. The tree is kaṇikāra (Pterospermum Acerifolium).

260:1 The scholiast says: "He knew that the gift of spirits brings no fruit with it, but gave it nevertheless, that tipplers might have the "noble gift" and might not be able to say that they could not get what they wanted." This shews a tolerance not always seen in the pious.

261:1 atiyakkhā: "bhūtavijjā ikkhaṇikā," "women possest who have seen demons."

261:2 Compare above, p. 4722 (trans., p. 30), V. 258 28 (trans., p. 132), and the following lines.

261:3 The scholiast, in his comment paraphrasing the above, adds another stanza (p. 504):

"Then sounded forth a mighty sound, a terrible great roar;
"For giving gifts they banish thee—now hast thou given more!"

262:1 abhisasiṁ: "pīḷesiṁ," schol.

262:2 paṁkamhi: "kāmapaṁkamhi," schol.

263:1 gohanubbeṭhanena: gohanaṁ is cowdung (see V. 246). I take this to refer to the patties of cowdung used as fuel.

263:2 icche occurs for the first time here; it comes from , "to rule" (schol. "issarā hoti").

266:1 "Here endeth the Gift Section (Dāna-khaṇḍam)."

267:1 Compare 58411 below, 53214, and Mahābhārata (Calcutta) XII. 13, 727.

267:2 Above, p. 254 (text, p. 490).

269:1 karañja (Pongamia Glabra), kakudha (Terminalia Arjuna).

269:2 Read pavisitvā taṁ.

270:1 Read dva for deva.

270:2 "Here endeth the Entering into the Forest (Vanappavesana-khaṇḍaṁ)."

271:1 A pun on amitto, "foe."

271:2 A sacrifice nine days after birth?

272:1 Reading agantva.

272:2 "Equal in caste, quality, and position," schol.

273:1 The scholiast says: "When he entered the wood, not knowing the road to Vaṁka hill he became perplext and went astray: as he sat there, the dogs of a countryman of Ceta surrounded him to keep watch; then he climbed up a tree and cried with a loud voice" (kandi). I take it rather from , as in IV. 4711, i.e. he leapt aside, went astray. The scholiast anticipates what is soon to come.

274:1 Reading āhutiṁ = .

274:2 āsadañcamasañjaṭaṁ. The division of the words is doubtful. Schol. ākaḍḍhitvā phalānaṁ gaṇhanattham aṁkusañ ca aggidahanañ ca jaṭañ ca dhārento. I see nothingp. 274 to suggest a "hook," unless perhaps āsada, "food-giver" ( ): but the rest of the couplet describes the religious trappings of the ascetic. camasa should be "bowl" or "spoon," and āsada, perhaps "fire," as suggested by schol. Bd, aggijuhana-kaṭacchusank-hātimasañ ca. This couplet might have described the ascetic who comes in later.

275:1 dhara (Grislea Tomentosa), assakaṇṇa (Vatica Robusta), khadira (Acacia Catechu), phandana (Butea Frondosa).

275:2 najjuha: I cannot identify this bird.

275:3 Other trees mentioned are: kapittha (Feronia Elephantum), kapitthana = kapitana? (Thespesia Populneoides).

275:4 The names of the trees are given in full, and may be found in Childers. We may add the following: kuṭajī = kuṭajo?, kuṭṭha (Costus Speciosus )

uddhālaka (unknown), somarukkha = somavakka?, puttajiva (Putranjīva Roxburghii).

276:1 The words siṁghātakā, samsādiya, pasādiyā need explanation. They appear to be plants; the two latter are explained as a kind of rice. bhiṁsa is a flower = , Mahavastu III. 9212, etc.

276:2 upayanakā: "kakkaṭakā."

276:3 This couplet is made up of words which express joy and affection, and seems to contain names for the birds playfully made; jīvaputto means one who has living children. Perhaps it is not too fanciful to hear an echo of their melodious chirping. The scholiast says: tesam etān’ eva nāmāni ahesuṁ.

276:4 Jūjaka.

276:5 The following lines occur: V. 323 (trans., V. p. 170; see also IV. p. 270).

278:1 Again I omit many names in this description, for which I know no English equivalents.

280:1 See VI. 53214 (above, p. 276); V. 32316, 37721 (trans., pp. 171, 200); cp. IV. 42726 (trans., p. 207).

280:2 See p. 277 above.

280:3 Perhaps with an allusion to his mother's gift, p. 250 above. So the Burmese.

281:1 upaghāte: "sīsaṁhi upasiṁghite."

282:1 uddharissam: of coming out of the river on the other side. So Mahāvastu II. 2448, nadīto kacchapo uddharitvā.

282:2 nikkha: equal to five suvaṇṇas.

283:1 anumajjatha?

283:2 visamacakkhulo: or "of different colours," as the Burmese version has it.

284:1 See above, p. 80. The verses have been compressed in translation.

285:1 This line does not scan, and does not give the required sense, "it is nothing to me" (mama na kiñci hotu, sch.). Read with Bd aṭhāna me for aṭṭhānam (cp. line 25 of text), "this is wrong," and omit taṁ (or omit me).—Perhaps aṭṭhānam etaṁ is concealed here.

285:2 Reading: sakā mātā, pitā n’ atthi (Bd has pitā). So Burmese version.

287:1 "Here endeth the Children's Section (kumārapaṅhaṁ)." Schol.

287:2 te. So Burmese version. The versicle has tayo.

287:3 rumbhitvā?

287:4 dasa disā na paññāyiṁsu.

288:1 She appeals to them as a princess. Schol.

290:1 See IV. 3591 (p. 226 of the translation).

292:1 Four lines in another metre interrupt this couplet, which mention the names of Indra, Brahma, Prajāpati, with kings Soma, Varna, and Vessavana.

292:2 "Here endeth the Chapter of Maddī." Schol.

292:3 See above, p. 276.

293:1 See above, pp. 48, 277, 280.

293:2 See p. 280.

293:3 As a symbol of donation, water was poured upon the right hand (dakkhinodakaṁ).

293:4 bhakuṭī "a frown." Not in Childers.

294:1 See II. 86 (trans., p. 59), IV. 65 (trans., p. 42).

294:2 No trace has hitherto been found in the South of the Three Vehicles of Northern Buddhism (Çiksāsamuccaya 3288, cp. Lotus de la Bonne Loi 315); it is therefore worth while quoting the note on the word brahmayānaṁ: "seṭṭhayānaṁ, tividho hi sucaritadhammo evarūpo dānadhammo ariyamaggassa paccayo hotīti, brahmayānam ti vuccati."

294:3 anokkamma: "apāyabhūmim anokkamitvā" used absolutely. No example in Childers.

295:1 "Here endeth the Sakka Chapter." Schol. (Sakka-pabbaṁ).

296:1 The world is destroyed sometimes by fire or water, sometimes by wind. The construction is difficult; I take vātābhihatassa sineruno as gen. absol., and the object as understood.

297:1 Reading hatthinādisatena with Bd. This must be the sense, but the reading is uncertain.

297:2 See III. 37121 (trans., p. 234).

298:1"Torn out by the twigs of the trees." Schol.

298:2 Compare V. 2594 (trans., p. 132).

298:3 usabhaṁ = 20 yaṭṭhis.

299:1 "The people of Kāsi had returned him to Sañjaya, ruin having fallen in their country; he trumpeted with joy because he expected to see his mother again." Schol.

299:2 "Here endeth the Mahārājā Section (Mahārājā-pabbaṁ)." Schol.

302:1 "Here endeth the Section of the Six Princes (Chakhattiya-khaṇḍaṁ)." Schol.

302:2 Touching the earth with forehead, elbows, waist, feet, and knees.

303:1 paccayo: "born on the same day as himself." Schol.

303:2 One of Indra's gardens.

303:3 akkhohinī, the proverbial word for an army complete in all points and numbering 10,000,0006.

304:1 karotiyā: sīsakarotiko ti laddhanāmā sīse paṭimukkakaroṭino yodhā.

305:1 A number of verses follow, describing the contents of the Jātaka book. They are the work of some copyist.


The Jataka, Vol. VI: Index



The Jataka, Vol. VI, tr. by E. B. Cowell and W. H. D. Rouse, [1907], at sacred-texts.com


p. 306 p. 307

INDEX.

Ābhassara deity 32

abhijjhitā 230

abhisasim 269

Accata 276

Acceptable service 109

Accimukhī 101, 113

Accuta 305

Act of Truth 1, 51

Actors 102

adda 149

adubbha 149

Ajātasattu 68

Ajjuna 108

Akāsiyā 111

Akitti 55

Ālambāna 99

Alambāyam ff

Alāta, Alātaka 115

Aḷavaka 156

Aims-hall 54, 250, 251 252

Alms versus holiness 55 ff.

Amarā 182, 246

Ambaṭṭha 246

Amittatāpanī 305

anālayo 181

Ānanda 37, 52, 53, 68, 113, 126, 156, 246

Aṅga 108, 127, 132, 134

Aṅgati 114

Aṅgīrasa 55

Aṅgulimāla 156

Animals with magic properties 227

anokkamma 294

Anujjā 141

Anukevaṭṭa ff.

anumajjatha 283

anūnanāmo? 152

Anuruddha 52, 68, 156, 205

Anuttatāpanā 270

Ārañjara 256, 266

Architect's plan 158

Ariṭṭha 86

Ariṭṭhajanaka 19, 21 28

Ariṭṭhapura 215

Armour 231, 233, 304

āsada 275

Ascetic 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 19, 29, 30, 40, 115, 240, 275

Ass question 169

Assaka 55

Assakaṇṇa 66

Assatara 85, 169

Attainments 18, 37

Aṭṭhaka 55, 125

atthara 13

atiyakkhā 261

Avici hell 6, 178

bahula 137

Bahusodari 47

Baka 156

Balance 119

Bandhuma 247

Bandhumatī 247

Banyan Grove 246

Bark garments 13, 45

Bath 21

Battle of the Law 206

Benares 1, 18, 40, 43, 65, 69, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85, 88, 104

Benares cloth 259

Bhaddaji 126

Bhaddakāpilānī 52

Bhaddasena 71

Bhaddiya 72

bhadra 137

Bhaggari 18

Bhagīrasa 55

bhakuṭi 293

Bhāradvāja 276

Bhārata 55

Bhavagga 178

Bhavaseṭṭhi 117

Bheṇṇākaṭa 120

Bherī 240, 246

Bhikkhudāsikā 248

Bhogavati 132

bhuja 50

Bhūridatta 87, 113

Bhūri-pañho 188

Bījaka 117, 126

Bimbā 246

Bīraṇī 62

Birth ceremonies 2

Birth fellows 157

Birth fellows of a Buddha 2

Birth, miraculous 41

Black ball question 163

Black mountain 126, 131, 146

Blessed One 38, 69, 114, 246, 247

Bodhisatta 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, 34, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 49, 52, 70, 76, 79, 80, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 101, 108, 109, 113, 121, 126, 156, 171, 177, 181, 182, 185, 186, 196, 207, 208, 215, 225, 240, 250, 252, 254, 256, 264, 270, 280, 281

p. 308

Boiled rice question 168

Boons 294

Bow, mighty 25

Brahma 18, 110, 114, 121, 125, 126, 251, 287, 292

Brahma's world 37, 40, 52, 53, 54, 68, 125, 127, 156

Brahmadatta 80, 81

Brahman 11, 40, 44, 107, 108, 110, 112, 115, 155, 239, 261, 304

Breath of snakes 42

Buddha 39, 54, 65, 68, 70, 80, 113, 114, 116, 127, 130, 141, 155, 156, 169, 173, 182, 247, 248, 305

Buddha born with medicinal plant in hand 157

Building 158

Burnouf referred to 32

Butea shoot held in sacrifice 111

Cakkavāla 137

Calumny, story of 197

Calving question 167

Campā 20

Canda 69 ff., 80, 122, 130

Candādevī 1, 2, 4, 7, 12, 15, 17

Candaka 118

Caṇdāla 216

Candasena 80

Castes 11, 44, 56, 107, 110, 239, 250, 255, 261, 304

Cattle question 160

Catuposatha-khaṇḍaṁ 129

catusaṭṭh.i 251

Cetā 141, 266

Cetaputta 305

Ceylon 18

Chakhattiya-khaṇḍaṁ 302

Chambhī 242

Chameleon question 173

Chāndogya-upanishad Comm. referred to 137

Channa 305

channapatha- 183

Chariot, magic 25

Chariot question 165

Çikṣāsamuccaya referred to 57, 121, 210

Cincā 305

citraggalerughusiṭe 249

Cittakūḷa 83

Cittakūṭa 66

Cittalatā 136, 303

Clothes 259

Cock question 167

Comparative merits of mother, wife, brother, friend, brahmin, self, and wise man 242

Cotton thread question 162

Cow of plenty 11