ART. IX.--Temiya Jâtaka Vatthu. From the Burmese. By R. F. ST. ANDREW ST. JOHN, M.A., Wadh. Col. Oxon.
THIS Jâtaka stands No. 541 in the Ceylon list under the title of Mûgapakkha or "The dumb cripple." The Burmese, however, prefer to call it by the name of the Prince, he is the hero of the story. It is the first of the ten greater Jâtaka, and, unlike the Bhûridatta, contains little or no folk-lore, but illustrates the value of asceticism.
According to the Nidâna-kathâ, p. 57, of Professor Rhys Davids' "Birth Stories," this Jâtaka is said to be a state in which the Buddha acquired "The Perfection of Resolution," according to these words:--
|266.||Father and mother I hated not, reputation I hated not.|
But omniscience was dear to me, therefore was I firm in duty.
This is the eighth perfection or Pârami called "Adhi.t.t.hânam" or fixity of purpose.
The Mâhâ Janaka which I translated in the Indian Magazine, and which has also been translated by Mr. Taw Sein Ko, is on the same subject.
There is one point to which I would draw special attention. At page 53 of the "Birth Stories" it is stated in the Nidâna-kathâ:--
|252.|| So the men, perfect in every part and destined to Buddhahood,|
Traverse the long road through thousands of millions of ages.
|253.|| They are not born in Hell nor in the space between the worlds;|
They do not beoome ghosts torn by hunger and want.
And they do not become small animals even tho' born to sorrow.
|257.||Though they dwell in heaven they are not born to the unconscious state.|
Yet in this Jâtaka it is related that the Bodhisat had been 8000 years in the Ussada Hell.
There is also another point which requires explanation.
These last ten are always called the great Jâtaka, but they are not all longer than the others.
For instance, Kha.n.dahâla (545), or, as the Burmese call it, Canda Kumâra, is quite short, and the Sivi Râjâ (502?) is long.
The style of the Sivi, which is on the Pârami of Alms-giving, is also similar to some of those in the last ten.
These longer Jâtaka, and some of a similar character, should, I think, be classified separately from those which appear to be folk-lore tales of an earlier date, adapted to Buddhism by Gotama himself or the early teachers.
The drift of this Jâtaka also appears to be directed against the Brahminical idea that a man ought to be the father of a family and enjoy life prior to becoming an ascetic, and though the chief discourse is on the duties of friendship, the end of the story points out that the ascetic life can not be embraced too soon, and that now is the time, now is the day of salvation.
The Burmese version here translated was written in the year A.D. 1787, during the reign of Bo-Dawe, or Badun-min, the grandson of Aloung-pharâ, when he was engaged in building the huge unfinished pagoda at Mingun (vide Phayre's Hist. p. 218). It was printed in Rangoon, at the Hanthâwati Press, in A.D. 1888.
I have endeavoured to render the only Pali gâtâ given faithfully to the meaning, though the translation may be somewhat free and the metre different.
TEMI ZÂT-TAWE-GYEE, alias MÛGAPAKKHA JÂTAKA VATTHU.
On a certain occasion the Sangha of disciples and Rahans (Araham) were in the hall of assembly praising the Lord's (Gotama Buddha) "perfect abnegation of the world" p. 359 (nikkhama-pâramî). The Lord came forth from his cell (gandha ku.ti, perfumed chamber), and seating himself on his dais said: "My children, what were you conversing about just before I came out?" and his disciples answered: We were praising your 'Great Abnegation,' and unable to do so sufficiently."
On hearing this the most excellent Lord said: "My children and disciples ye do well in praising that great renunciation made by me who can now never incur a bad transmigration, and who have arrived at the summit of all things after being brought to a right frame of mind through beholding 'the four warnings' (nimitta); but much more ought ye to praise that most excellent virtue (pârami) which enabled me, in a former birth, when I was the son of a king, of whom the Brahmans had prognosticated that I should become a universal monarch, at a very early age, to renounce that kingdom, through being terrified by words spoken by my father to certain thieves."
On the request of his disciples he then related the following Jâtaka:--
Long ago in the city of Bârâ.nasi, in the kingdom of Kâsi, a prince reigned called the Râjâ of Kâsi. He was a giver of offerings, a man of strong religious feelings, ever open-handed and ready to assist, self-denying, not harsh to his relations and attendants, long-suffering, slow to anger, not oppressive, straightforward and tender, ever acting in accordance with the "ten laws" which ought to guide the conduct of kings. His concubines numbered sixteen thousand, and his chief Queen was Candâ, the daughter of Madda Râjâ of the city of Sâgala, in the country of Madda, one of the most lovely of women.
[1. Sâkala or Sangala in the Panjab.]
She did everything that her lord and master desired, and delighted in making religious offerings, never neglecting the fast days. However, notwithstanding all this, not one of the royal ladies from the Aggamahesi (chief queen) downwards was blest with an offspring, and the people of Bârâ.nasi murmured and said: "Our Râjâ has no heir to carry on his royal line, and we know not whether the person whose lot it may be to succeed to the throne of our protector may be well disposed: let us assemble in the plain in front of the palace and represent to the Râjâ that it is his duty to pray for a son." So they came together to the gate of the palace and cried, saying: "O most excellent and glorious Lord, who ever reignest in accordance with the 'ten laws,' the sun that rises and casts its beams over the eastern continent and with its light dispels the darkness, for twelve hours passes towards the northern continent; when night arrives the circle of the moon, when full, like a lesser sun, lightens us with its rays; so, too, in this city of Bârâ.nasi, we, who are enlightened by your majesty's glorious brightness, see no signs of a son who shall brighten us like the moon, and are filled with doubt and anxiety: we, therefore, beg that you will offer up prayer for a son."
The King hearing their cry asked his ministers the meaning thereof, and they told him, whereupon the King said: "My people, it is well; in accordance with your supplications I will cause my Queen to pray for a son; be not afraid, a son will be born." Having thus comforted and dismissed his subjects, he sent for Queen Candâ and all his ladies, and said: "Royal ladies, the people of the country demand an heir apparent and I have none to give them, go, therefore, and pray for a scion of royal race; let each one pray to her especial deity."
The 16,000 ladies, therefore, made supplications and offerings to their various deities, but no son or daughter was
[1. It is odd that it never occurred to any one that the fault was most probably the King's.]
p. 361 born to any one of them, and report was accordingly made to the King.
Then the King sent for Candâ Devi, and said: "O Lady, if the abode be not pure what glorious being will enter therein? If our actions be not excellent neither a Deva nor any other glorious being will attach himself: by the virtue of original merit, however, and by being thoroughly imbued with religious feeling, such as fasting and other good practices, your prayers will be fulfilled,"
Queen Candâ therefore, on the next day of the full moon, kept a most solemn fast, and at night, instead of lying on a couch, lay on the floor, meditating on the purity with which she had performed her religious duties. At break of day she made the following prayer:--
|"That I've kept my fast unbroken|
May a son born be the token."
Thereupon, through the power of the Queen's merit, Sakka's throne, the "Pu.n.dukambala" stone, became hard, and looking round to see the reason he perceived that it was on account of Candâ Devi's prayer.
He then considered whether there was in Tâvatismâ any Deva worthy to be her son, and saw the Bodhisat Deva.
Now the Bodhisat, before he became a Deva in Tâvatismâ, in his third state of existence, had reigned in Bârâ.nasi for twenty years, and owing to his merit being interfered with, had not acted strictly in accordance with the "ten laws," so, for eight thousand years after the reckoning of men, he had been boiled in the hell called Ussada, and from that hell went to Tâvatismâ. At this moment the Bodhisat had been in Tâvatismâ 16,000,000 years, which is the space of a Deva's lifetime, and on account of unexpended merit was about to transfer himself to the Yâma Deva region, which is still higher. Sakka therefore repaired to the palace of the Bodhisat, with the intention of asking him to become the son of Candâ Devi, and said: "O Deva,
[1. Sometimes the throne becomes hard and at others hot.
2. Childers offers no expanation of this word. It is one of the lesser Hells.]
p. 362 who art even equal to me in glory, if thou goest to the upper Deva regions, as it is now thy purpose, the advantage will not be great, but if thou wouldst go to the country of men thou wilt probably obtain immense merit and be a benefit to others. Just now, in the country of Kâsi, the Queen Candâ has prayed for a son endowed with the most excellent desire to perform good works." Sakka thus prevailed on him to take birth with Queen Candâ, and, at the same time, caused five hundred other Devas, who were near their time of change, to take birth as sons of the nobles of Kâsi, so as to be his companions.
The Bodhisat having consented, passed instantly from Tâvatismâ and took birth in the womb of Candâ Devi. At the same instant, like the flash of a "varajina," the Queen knew that she had conceived a son in answer to her prayer, and informed the King.
The King, overcome with joy, ordered that she should be guarded most carefully.
In the course of ten months (lunar) she brought forth a son, and on the day of his birth the whole of the country was overcast with clouds, and there was an abundant rain.
Now all the people were assembled together before the gate of the palace to express their congratulations, and the King, in his delight, cried out: "I have gotten a son; rejoice all of you," and the nobles and people, equally delighted, answered: "Mahâ râjâ, were we not all as tillers of the earth without seed, and were we not bowed to the ground with fear lest food should be wanting; now that we have been wetted by this auspicious shower, felt its cooling influences, and obtained a royal heir, destined to obtain great merit, who indeed will not rejoice?"
The King then sent for the Senapati (commander of the army) and said: "A son has been born unto me, and therefore, just as kings of the universe, when they obtain a very precious thing, guard it with innumerable attendants, so
[1 The "varajina " is a kind of celestial weapon that can penetrate through anything with its flash. I can find no mention of it in Childers. It is evidently a form of vajira, the thunderbolt of Indra.]
p. 363 my son must have a guard of companions to be brought up with him. If, after searching through all the houses of the nobility, you find any that have been born this day, let a list of them be made and set before me." So search was made, and a list of five hundred noble children was sent in. Suitable dress and ornaments were presented to each, and they were well looked after.
And for the youthful Bodhisat they searched out 240 young wetnurses with good breasts of milk, pleasant and sweet; four were appointed for each hour of the sixty hours of the day and night; one to hold the baby, one to wash it, one to dress it, and the other to fondle and play with it.
Now this is a list of women who are not faultless--
1. The tall woman. A child that is suckled by a tall woman, being at some distance from her breast when lying in her arms, lengthens its neck by stretching up.
2. The over-short woman. The flesh of her breast is constantly pressing on the child's face when it is sucking and its neck becomes short.
3. The thin woman. The flesh of the breasts being lean her bones hurt the child.
4. The fat woman. Her flesh is always in a state of quivering and the child's legs become weak and tremulous.
5. The long-breasted woman. Her breast is constantly pressing on the child's nose and it becomes flattened.
6. The black woman. Her milk is too cold.
7. The white woman. Her milk is too hot.
8. The woman who coughs. Her milk is acid and pungent.
9. The woman who has a difficulty in breathing. Her milk is bitter.
The King provided also an infinity of various articles for the child's use, and bestowed great gifts on Candâ Devi.
[1. This custom is often mentioned. Was it universal in India? Can it be connected with the slaughter of the innocents?
2. Nari, commonly used for an hour, is really the sixtieth part of twenty-four hours, and the same as Pali nâ.li, a measure for holding water, and used in measuring time. It contains four pâda, according to the Burmese. Childers is not decided on the point. That nâri should become nâ.li is natural, as the Burmese cannot pronounce the letter r, and substitute y or l for it. It is not easy to see how nâ.li became nâri.]
When the naming day arrived all the Brahmans who were skilled in omens were assembled and fed, and the King thus addressed them: "O Parohits, after examining my son's characteristic marks, tell me plainly whether he will be free from calamities; let nothing be concealed from me."
The Brahmans, after careful examination, answered: "O Râjâ, your son is undoubtedly possessed of the signs of future greatness. There is no cause of danger apparent. He ought to be a universal ruler." On hearing this the King was delighted, and, having overwhelmed them with gifts, said: "Sirs, I am about to give a name to my son; on the day of his birth there was an omen of great happiness to all creatures, for the whole country of Kâsi was overspread with clouds and a gentle rain fell upon it; from myself downwards all the nobles and people were wet by the rain; and since he was born, when the hearts of all my people were saturated with peace, he must not be called after a family name like others, let him be named Temiya (fr. temeti 'to moisten')."
About one month after this, the nurses, after washing and dressing the prince, carried him to the King, who took him in his arms and sat under the palace portico. Just then four thieves who had been arrested were brought before the King, and he, in order to terrify evil-doers, said: "As for you, thorns of the country, you villains, one of you shall receive a thousand stripes with rods covered with shark's teeth; one shall be sent to prison in irons; the third shall be done to death by gashing with spears; and the fourth shall be impaled."
The little prince, on hearing this order given in a terrible voice, thought thus: "This manner of deciding cases is not right. I have evidently not freed myself from the fringe of my third existence. If through enjoying my father's royal estate I again fall into Hell by doing some bad act, the burden will be too heavy for me."
On the third day after the passing of this decision Prince Temiya was put to sleep under the shade of a white p. 365 umbrella, and after a little woke up. Turning his eyes upwards he gazed at it and saw that it was a royal umbrella. Thereupon remembering that he had been obliged to undergo the pains of Hell through having been King, he was filled with dread, and, with the sound of the terrible decision still ringing in his ears, fearing that he would have to become king, he thought thus: "How is it that I have been born in the house of this cruel thief-slaughterer?" Then, by means of his accumulated knowledge of former existences, having looked back and cleared away the haze, he saw that he had come from Tâvatimsâ, and again, considering as to what existences he had passed through, he saw that he had been boiled in Hell, and remembered that it was for bad actions done when he was once King of Bârâ.nasi; fearing that he should constantly be born again amongst men, on account of those deeds which he would be obliged to perform when king, he thought, "I see that I am not free from the five dangers. On account of having enjoyed the pleasures of royalty for twenty years, I had to undergo that number multiplied by 4000, even 80,000 years in misery, and since in the unpeaceful state of kingship one has to put down robbers with a harsh and cruel hand, how can one be pure? How can one cleanse one's self from impurity? Born in this powerful thief-killer's house, which I have lighted upon, even I, at the tender age of hardly thirty days, have seen enough to crush my very heart's flesh, and have heard my father utter words not fit to be heard. If through a desire to inherit my father's estate I again become king, I shall a second time fall into the whirlpool and revolve like a stick of firewood."
Prince Temiya being thus troubled by his meditations whilst lying half comatose under the umbrella, the fairy who guarded it, with the affection of one who had been a mother in long past ages, seeing the Bodhisat in this pitiable condition took the form of his mother and said: "My little darling, by what thoughts are you disturbed? Do not be troubled by thinking about dreadful things; your mother is watching, and will not every wish be fulfined? Darling, if you p. 366 really desire to escape from this pomp and vanity do not disclose your abilities, but simulate feebleness. Though you are not weak, appear to be so; though not deaf, feign deafness; and though your mouth is perfect, pretend to be dumb. Keep up these appearances with determination."
On hearing the fairy's words Prince Temiya took courage and answered, "O Fairy, I will indeed follow your advice. In their wish to see me bloom into regal magnificence, my father and mother desire only their own welfare and follow not my desires; since they do not plant for their own advantage and pleasure, and do not clear away the obstacles which hinder my desires, and since you point out to me the path which leads to great and undiminished benefits to be sought for in countless existences, I see the way clear before me, a path, too, which is in accordance with my own wishes."
Having thus determined, he refused to take suck, and endured the pangs of hunger without wailing.
The nurses not being able to understand his extraordinary condition informed his mother, and when she saw the little prince not thirsting for milk, motionless, and with wide, staring eyes, endeavoured to amuse him; but he remained fixed and immovable, and she could not form any conjecture as to what was the matter with him, and caused the Brahmans to examine him.
Though the Parohits hunted through all their books they could see no reasons for his state, and informed the King that they thought he had fixed his mind on some particular object, which would pass off in time. The child, however, remained in the same condition, and his mother in great grief cried out: "My darling wants his milk. I will myself suckle him." However, only when milk was forced down his throat would he take it. He cried not out as other children, but lay motionless with unclosed eyes, noticing nothing, and steadily persevering in his determination.
The nurses consulted together and said: "Our prince remains immovable, like one who is impotent, dumb, and p. 367 deaf; but his feet and hands are not those of an impotent child, nor is his lower jaw like that of one who is born dumb; neither are the protuberances behind and in front of his ears like those of one who is deaf; some wise man ought to be able to discover what is the matter with him." They therefore addressed the King thus: "Your royal son is more than a month old, and it is not right that other means should be tried; let us try him with milk for a year, and if there be no difference we will use other tests." So they kept him for some days without milk, but the Bodhisat, though enduring terrible thirst, through fear of Hell, cried not for milk, but bore it patiently,
Then the Queen, in her agony, caused him to be fed with milk. Thus they again and again tested him for a whole year.
At the end of that time the nobles made report to the King, and he directed that other means should be resorted to.
2nd Test. Now it is the nature of children who are just one year old to bite everything that comes in their way, whether it be good or bad: so the prince was laid in the courtyard of the palace surrounded by his 500 foster-brothers, and all sorts of eatables were spread round them, so that each might take what he pleased; people were hidden round about to observe them. The 500 companions, as soon as they saw the sweetmeats, laid hands on them, and stuffed them into their mouths, but the Bodhisat thus chastened himself saying: "Child Temiya, from earliest existences, of which the beginning is not apparent, thou hast eaten, times and again things both pleasant and sweet; in future existences also thou shalt doubtless rejoice, but if in the period before thou art released from the whirlpool of ages thou desirest wealth and hell-fire, these enjoyments are the entrance to that path; if, however, thou desirest to escape Hell take not these cakes,"
So he remained motionless and took them not, nor did be even turn his eyes towards them.
His mother and the nurses did all they could to coax him to take them, but he remained as one who is impotent, deaf, p. 368 and dumb. Only when they chewed them and thrust them into his mouth did he swallow them. Thus they tempted him again and again for a whole year.
3rd Test. When he was over two years old the nobles again consulted and said: "When children are two years old, and their teeth are hard, they try to get all kinds of fruits, sweet or sour." So they tried him and the other children as before with fruit. But though the other children ate them and fought tor them, the Bodhisat remained in the same condition without wavering.
4th Test. Now when children have passed their third year they are accustomed, after their sex and station, to play with various toys, so, in accordance with his station, they placed a number of images of elephants, horses, bulls, goats, birds, etc., made of gold and silver, in the courtyard; but though the other children readily played with them and fought for them, the Bodhisat kept himself in subjection and took no notice.
5th Test. When children have turned four they begin to take pleasure in various dishes of tood, so all kinds of dishes were set before the children.
The Bodhisat, however, chastened his body, saying: "Temiya, in the past ages thou hast gone through, thou hast enjoyed foods like these without stint; in some existences they could not be obtained by reason of famine and poverty, and in some existences thou hast avoided them, and though it would be impossible to reckon the times thou hast enjoyed them or not enjoyed them, yet this once also remain firm to thy purpose, and, by avoiding these good things which are set before thee, attain the object of thy desire."
6th Test. A large shed was constructed, and the Bodhisat with his companions placed therein to play; all of a sudden, when they were not aware, fire was applied to the roof, and it blazed up. All the other children fled in terror, but the Bodhisat remained immovable, reflecting that it would be better to scorch in the present than to suffer the fire of Avici. At the last moment the nurses and attendants p. 369 rushed in and dragged him out. This was done again and again during that year.
7th Test. In the seventh year they determined to try and terrify him with elephants, trained for the purpose. The other children, seeing the elephants coming, fled away, screaming, but Prince Temiya remained undisturbed, thinking it better to die by the violence of the elephant, rather than undergo the punishment of Hell.
8th Test. The Bodhisat and children were placed in a shed, and all kinds of poisonous snakes let loose upon them, but still he remained unmoved.
9th Test. Having failed to terrify him, it was determined to have a grand performance of dancers, jugglers, wrestlers, etc., with all sorts of musical instruments, but Temiya took no apparent notice of it, saying to himself, "Temiya, when thou wast suffering in Hell did'st thou for one instant enjoy happiness? If thou dost not look at this entertainment thou wilt not be more miserable than when in Hell, why then be shaken in thy purpose?"
10th Test. At the end of the ninth year they tried to frighten him by a display of weapons. So a man was sent into his chamber with his loins girt and a drawn sword, which he brandished, saying: "No person who is unfit to be associated with can be allowed to remain in the palace of the King of Kâsi. They say there is such an one here amongst you. Where is he that I may at once cut off his head?" All the other children fled in terror, but the Bodhisat remained without flinching, even when the man aimed at him with his sword.
11th Test. This test was made by beating enormous drums, to see whether he was deaf.
12th Test. Persons were sent into his room at night with covered lanterns, which were suddenly uncovered.
13th Test. The Bodhisat was smeared from hand to foot with molasses, and exposed so that mosquitos and flies. could settle all over him, and sting him with their probosces; but he strengthened himself, saying, "When I was in the Ussada Hell the keepers pierced me with their spears, p. 370 the hell-dogs and birds pecked at me and bit me, but this torture from the flies and mosquitos is far better; I will bear it bravely."
14th Test. After he was fourteen years old no one was, allowed to bathe or cleanse him, but he was allowed to lie in his own ordure. However, he bore up against it patiently. The attendants urged him to get up and attend to himself, but he continued to endure it, saying, "Temiya, this stench is easy to bear, but the stench of Hell extends for a hundred yujanas."
After he had been left in this state for a long time the attendants again washed him.
15th Test. A fire was made under his couch, but, though his body was covered with blisters, he bore it bravely, saying, "This fire is easier to bear than that of Avici."
When his father and mother saw him in this terrible state they were exercised in their minds, and ordered the fire to be removed, and his mother, sitting near, said: "Dear son Temiya, I know well that thou art neither deaf nor dumb; thy ears and limbs are not like those of an impotent person, nor art thou a son born in the ordinary manner, but conceived after much fasting and prayer: great signs and prodigies were manifested at thy birth, and the Parohits declared that thou hadst all the characteristic marks of a universal monarch; if thou still continuest to pretend to be deaf and dumb we shall be put to great shame amongst the monarchs of Jambudipa; only give permission and we shall escape from their revilings; do not break our hearts, but whilst we three are alone together tell us in secret what it is that thou desirest." But though his father and mother besought him again and again with tears and caresses he remained unmoved.
16th Test. Now certain of the Parohits consulted together and said: "When the deaf and dumb get to this age and come in contact with an object of desire, they do not fail to long for it, and when they see that which is beautiful there are none who will not gaze on it. At the proper time flowers must open, and when youths arrive at maturity they are given p. 371 pleasure, and though by reason of wisdom they may train their desires, yet, when excited by maturity, they give way; it is probable that he will not be able to pass over that time, when the heart is with difficulty restrained; we will therefore tempt him with lovely women."
The King therefore gave orders that all the most lovely and enticing dancing girls should be sent for, and informed them that the one who could seduce him should be made chief queen. They then decorated the Prince's chamber with all kinds of voluptuous objects and scents, and having roused him and placed him on a couch, directed that all who were not required should withdraw. Though the girls danced gracefully and sang sweet songs provoative of love, the Bodhisat was not moved, but reflected: "From the day of my birth, for these sixteen years, I have seen the danger of Hell and desired not the royal estate, now that I am arriving at the desired haven, were I to unite myself to one of these lustful devils, it would be to my everlasting shame. All the miseries which I have endured to obtain advancement will be of no avail if I cannot overcome this lust which has come to interfere with my purpose; no one hereafter will be able to escape the law of transmigration (va.t.tam); but if I first overcome this devil-called lust all those who come after me will easily be able to follow in the path laid down for them." So, holding in his breath, he remained motionless as one dead. On seeing this the girls lost all their joyous demeanour and, without looking back, fled away.
Thus, from the time of his birth until he was seventeen years old, was he tested in various ways.
After this the King sent for the Parohits and said: "O teachers, when I sent for you at the birth of the Prince, to find out his character by the various signs, did not you tell me that there was no adverse circumstance to be guarded p. 372 against? But this thing, which you said was perfect answers not when it is questioned, nor moves a limb; it is like one who is utterly impotent and not what you foretold."
The Brahmans answered: "Most excellent King, those teachers who are skilled in the books of omens are able to read all signs at a person's birth, but this son of yours was not obtained in the ordinary way, but after much supplication; if we had foretold that which was bad, all the royal ladies would have been made miserable, and for this reason we prophesied good."
Then said the King, "What will it be best to do?" The Brahmans answered: "O King, if this unfortunate one be allowed to remain in the palace some terrible sickness or calamity will come upon yourself and the queen, or, maybe, to the whole country, let him therefore no longer remain in the palace, but let him be put into an imperfect horse chariot and taken out by the western gate, which is that of misfortune, and let him be buried secretly in the grave yard."
The King, on hearing this, allowed his fear to get the better of his love, and kept not his heart steadfast, acting erroneously, so he said: "O Brahmans, if it be true that there is fear of calamity and misery to the country and royal household, let it be as you have advised."
As soon as this was reported to Candâ Devi, she at once, without her attendants, went straight from the southern palace to the presence of the King, and prostrating herself before him, thus addressed him: "O King of righteousness, of the many presents which you gave me I took only such things as were suitable and returned the rest, now, therefore, grant me a boon in return. Your son is now of age, grant him the dignity of Yuvarâjâ, let us behold his glory whilst we two are yet alive." The King answered: "My Queen, in what way is your son fitted for this dignity? Do not thus address me when my heart is heavy." The Queen continued: "O my Lord, why are you so angry with me, and why does your wrath go out against your very heart's blood?" The King answered: "Lady, are p. 373 you still ignorant that your son is not worthy; that be is base, and imperfect in his members?" "My Lord, if that were so, I would not dare to supplicate you for his life, if it be only for seven years; let him not be accounted worthless, for he is my son." But the King through his fear refused.[l]
(The Queen continues to supplicate, till at last she got the King to allow him to be anointed yuvarâjâ for seven days.)
Having thus obtained her purpose, Candâ Devi ordered the Prince to be dressed in the royal robes and invested with all the insignia of royalty, and having placed him on the throne under the royal umbrella, the King and Queen, surrounded by all the nobles, thus addressed him: "Dear son, Prince Temiya, we have now handed over to you the sovereignty of these realms of Kâsi, and since you are now in full possession of the royal estate, and able to protect your country and people, may you enjoy your power in happiness unto your life's end."
Then the Brahmans poured out the water of consecration and uttered blessings. A proclamation was also issued throughout the city that the King had made over the sovereignty to the Prince.
When the city had been cleansed and decorated, the Prince was placed upon a splendidly caparisoned elephant and with a great company passed in procession through it. When they returned to the palace he was placed on a couch, and for the space of six sleepless nights they supplicated him, saying, "Dear son Temiya, canst thou not assuage our bitter grief? Ever since thou wast born, for sixteen long years, even until now thy mother knows not the day that she has ceased to weep: she is wearied and broken down, and at the point of death, and thou knowest that she is utterly heart-broken. Thy mother knows that thou art perfect
[1. No stanzas are given here, but the Burmese translator remarks: "This is an amplification of the Queen's "Tena hi Deva detha" and the Râjâ's "Na sakkâ Devi." The whole passage reads very like Abraham's Intercession for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.]
p. 374 in all thy limbs, beautiful to behold, and in no way defective. Out of pity tell thy mother thy wishes, for if she know them not how can she fulfil them? If thou hast any pity for her be her protector, for if such a noble son, as thou art, has no pity for his mother, how shall less noble sons know how to do that which is right to their parents? Those who strive for their lives when shipwrecked in the ocean, being unable to behold their mothers in danger, will swim with them on their backs, how then, my son, canst thou behold unmoved the misery of thy mother.
"The little unfledged vultures in their nest, when oppressed by hunger, live in the expectation that their mother will bring them their food, and in the same manner thy mother longingly waits in hope that thou wilt speak to her. How long thinkest thou that thy mother can endure? Now that thou hast arrived at a proper age, and hast the ability, tell her thy purpose and remove her despair."
Thus for five nights and six days she remained weeping and supplicating him, but though he was fiiled with compassion for her, yet in his desire to obtain perfect wisdom, and through fear of constant transmigrations, from which he desired to release himself and all other beings, he pretended to have no compassion for his mother, who was only one individual, and remained immovable and firm in his purpose.
On the sixth day, his father hearing that there was no change in his condition, sent for a noble named Sunandâ, who was superintendent of the chariots, and said: "I am well aware of the defective state of Prince Temiya, but, through the entreaties of his mother, have endowed him with the dignity of royalty; and now six days have passed, and it is no longer right that I should suffer him to remain; as soon as the morrow dawns place him in a defective chariot drawn by ill-omened horses, and taking him out by the west gate to the burial ground, dig there a pit, and having thrown him therein, split his skull with a mattock, and shovel in the earth. When he has thus become of some benefit to the earth, go down to the river bank, and, having bathed yourself, return to the city."
On the same evening Queen Candâ was utterly heartbroken at the news and said to her son, "Dearest Temiya, all thy mother's love is now in vain. Thy father has sent for his trusted servant Sunandâ, and, in his wrath, given orders that at dawn thou shalt be taken out by the west gate, slain, and buried. This is the last night in which thy mother shall behold her darling; if thou wilt but take pity on her say but one word, and my darling shall live and his mother be happy." But though the Bodhisat saw the terrible grief of his mother, and had great pity for her, he remained unmoved, thinking that as soon as he had been removed from the city he would become a good man, and then be able to show to his parents and family that he could be grateful to them.
So the morning dawned that was to bring great misery to the Queen but joy to the Bodhisat.
But Sunandâ, by the intervention of the Devas, took four auspicious horses, thinking that they were unlucky ones, and instead of an old broken chariot took that of the King, and having harnessed them, about four in the morning, drove in by the eastern gate to the door of the palace. He then went into the Prince's chamber, and, having taken up the Prince, made obeisance to the Queen, and said: "Your Majesty, be not angry, it is by order of the King." Then gently removing the Queen's hands, with which she still lovingly clasped him, he bore the Prince away like a bouquet of lotus flowers, and went out to the chariot. The Queen followed, sobbing and wailing to the palace door, where she fell down in a swoon.
At this the Bodhisat, no longer able to endure his grief, turned his eyes towards his mother, and said to himself, "Alas, I know not whether my mother will die of grief or not, but if so my heart will be heavy for the rest of my life." But just as he was on the point of speaking to her he remembered that if he did so the whole of his diligent perseverance which he had pursued would become of no avail, so he determined to endure his grief, comforting himself with the thought that by preserving silence he p. 376 would far greatly increase the benefit of both his parents and himself.
Sunandâ, having placed the Prince in the chariot, directed its course to the western gate, but, through the merit of the Bodhisat and the power of the Devas, the pole of the chariot was, without his knowing it, directed to the eastern gate, and the Bodhisat passed out by that which was auspicious. As the chariot passed through it the wheel struck against the side and gave forth a sound, on hearing which the Bodhisat rejoiced, saying, "My great purpose is accomplished."
Sunandâ drove out by the east gate, as he thought, to the burial ground, and, by the power of the Devas, came to a forest three yujanas to the east of Bârâ.nasi. Having chosen a suitable spot he drew up the chariot, and, having taken out the horses, let them graze. He then took off all the royal jewels and clothes which had been put upon the Bodhisat during the six days that he had been Yuvarâjâ, and, wrapping a small cloth round his (the Prince's) loins, commenced to dig the pit.
Whilst Sunandâ was thus engaged the Bodhisat reflected, "For sixteen years I have neglected to use my limbs, and know not whether I have any strength." Then raising himself upon his couch with one hand he stroked the other, and having tried his arms felt his thighs, etc.; finding them in proper condition he got out of the chariot, and, as he was doing so, the Devas caused the earth to swell up so as to reach the floor of the chariot. Having walked round it two or three times he thought, "I had no idea I had so much strength, I could go a hundred yujanas (1300 miles) in a day; verily, if Sunandâ tried to stop me, I wonder whether I should have strength to overcome him." So taking hold of the chariot by the hinder part, he lifted it up like a toy, and whirling it round and throwing it from him, said, "Let as many charioteers as like come on."
Then, seeing he had no clothes, he thought, "The charioteer has taken all my clothes, and I appear to be p. 377 merely an ordinary man, but as ornaments give character and distinction I ought to have some to put on."
The desire of the Bodhisat aroused Sakka, and he, seeing that Prince Temiya required clothes and ornaments wherewith to cause an impression on Sunandâ, ordered Visakrom to go and clothe the Prince with the raiment and ornaments of a Deva. Visakrom immediately went as directed. When Prince Temiya saw that he was clothed like Sakka himself, he knew that Sakka had done it.
He then proceeded to the spot where Sunandâ was digging, and, standing on the side of the pit, thus addressed him:
|"Why thus hastily thou diggest,|
Charioteer, I would be told;
Fearing lest another take it,
Hidest thou thy store of gold?"
Sunandâ being in a hurry to get the business over replied, without looking up, in the verses beginning: "Rañño mugo ca pakkhoca putta jâto acetaso" "A son has been born to our Râjâ who is deaf, dumb, and impotent, and lest on that account some terrible calamity may befall the country he has at length, after sixteen years trial, ordered me to put him out of the way as quickly as possible." On hearing that the Prince thought, "This charioteer is intent on digging the pit, and will not look up to see how glorious I am, I must say something to make him look up"; so he replied, "O charioteer, what is this that thou sayest? I, the son of Kâsi's Râjâ, am not like other deaf and dumb folk. Why do your wise ones say that I am? My ears are not deaf nor my mouth dumb; neither am I impotent in my limbs. Thou hast confessed that the Râjâ has employed thee. I am not as the Râjâ said, how then canst thou act in accordance with his orders? If thou actest without proper enquiry thou
[1. Visakrom is the Bunnese form of Vissakammo, the heavenly architect. The r in the word shows that the word came to the Burmese from the Sanscrit before they had Pâli.]
p. 378 wilt be a law-breaker. My father chose thee thinking that thou wast wise, look at my person and consider it may fare badly with thee if thou heedest not. From my feet to my forehead, look and see that in form I am perfect, like the stem of a golden banana. Behold my stalwart arms. Hast thou not heard my soft clear-sounding voice that is like oil falling on cotton wool?"
When the charioteer heard the Bodhisat thus praising himself, he thought, "Who on earth can this be, who is boasting so of his good qualities?" So, looking up, he saw the Bodhisat with all the glory of Sakka, and, not knowing whether it was a man or Deva, said: "Comely youth, from the moment of your arrival you have done nothing but praise yourself, and you have good reason to do so, for never before have I seen anyone so splendid. Who are you? Are you the Deva of this place? Or are you a Gandhappa from Himavanta? If not, perhaps you are Sakka himself, but I should be glad to know who you really are."
On hearing this the Bodhisat answered:
|"Why, Sunandâ, dost thou ask me,|
Have I not already told thee?
Neither Deva nor Gandhappa
Am I, but the Prince of Kâsi,
Well thou knowest though thou askest.
Yea, it is thy plain intention
In this pit to kill and hide me,
Me, the son of Kâsi's Râjâ:
Faithless to thy benefactor
Wilt thou slay me, O Sunandâ?"
As Sunandâ, however, gave no answer, not believing that it really was Prince Temiya, the Bodhisat said:
|"Should any one beneath a tree|
Take shelter from the sun or rain,
Then break its boughs or pluck its leaves
That man is base, his friendship vain.
|The Râjâ is a mighty tree,|
And I, his son, a branchlet fair,
The man who harbours 'neath our shade
Is even thou, O charioteer.
Foulsome the deed didst thou betray me,
And in this lonely forest slay me."
Seeing that Sunandâ was not convinced that he was the Prince, and that he was acting wrongly, the Bodhisat continued in the following stanzas:--
|That man hath all at his command,|
Both food and drink and raiment too,
E'en though he journey far from home,
Who ever to his friend is true.
|In town or hamlet should he roam,|
Although his worldly goods be few,
High is he held in men's esteem
If ever to his friend he's true.
|Nor thieves nor princes take his store,|
Nor robbers beat him black and blue,
He walks unharmed amongst them all,
If ever to his friend he's true.
|Peaceful he rests within his walls,|
Honoured by all in council too,
Chief of his clan, I ween, is he
Who ever to his friend is true.
|He is respected who respects,|
To him who honours honour's due,
Famed and renowned in every land
Is he who to his friend is true.
|He shines as bright as burning fire,|
Or like the Devs of brilliant hue,
Not wanting in magnificence
Is he who to his friend is true.
|In all his fields his seeds grow well,|
His flocks and cattle are not few,
Of that he sows he reaps the fruit,
If only to his friend he's true.
|By fall from lofty rock or tree|
Should he meet death, he reaps his due,
He finds a sure abiding place
Who ever to his friend is true.
|As by its roots so firmly held|
No storm the Peepul may subdue,
So by his foes unhurt stands firm
The man who to his friend is true.
The Bodhisat having recited the above stanzas in a clear sweet voice that made the echoes of the forest resound, did not altogether convince Sunandâ, who came out of the pit and went to look in the chariot. Seeing neither the Prince nor bundle of clothes in it he became convinced, and throwing himself at the Bodhisat's feet, besought him to return to the city, saying, "O Lord, I have greatly erred against thee, pray return. What advantage can there be in this forest? Return to the city, and be an ornament to the council chamber."
[1. Verses 7 and 8 are to be taken in a double sense, that is to say, "vattam" means both seed and actions. Pati.t.tham means a sure foothold in this world or hereafter. There are really 10 couplets, but 5 and 6 are almost the same.
2. The Peepul is the Nigrôdha or Banyan tree.]
But the Bodhisat replied: "Sunandâ, in this forest I am free. I fear that if I were king I might fall into hell. I have not been driven out, but have come of my own free will."
Sunandâ thereupon said: "O master, since thou hast a heart full of pity for the poor, if thou desirest not to enjoy the royal estate and wilt not return to the city, and I go alone, I shall receive condemnation when I inform thy royal parents of all that has occurred. The nobles, soldiers, and people, from the highest to the lowest, will on the other hand, shower blessings on my head if thou wilt return with me. I pray thee, therefore, to return with me to the city."
The Bodhisat replied: "Sunandâ, thou thinkest of thyself only, and hast no regard for me.
"My father and mother, not knowing my purpose, have made me an outcast, thinking me unworthy of the royal estate, and through your assistance I have come into this forest where I feel the delight of the Moon when it has escaped from the jaws of Rahu. Why should I return? I will remain here as a recluse, where all my desires shall be fulfilled. Sunandâ, if those who desire a benefit work diligently their purpose will be accomplished sooner or later. For the last sixteen years I have done this, and now, Sunandâ, with your help, I have obtained my desire."
Sunandâ replied: "Lord, your words are so pleasing to my ears that they cannot be satisfied, how is it that you could remain silent for sixteen years, when your father and mother, night and day, besought you to utter but one word. Was it right not to have compassion for their misery?"
Prince Temiya replied: "Sunandâ, my reasons for feigning dumbness, deafness, and impotence were these. About a month after my birth, when reclining," etc., etc.
I therefore preserved silence and endured all those miseries. knowing that I should receive the reward of Nirvâ.na.
|Death and old age e'er surround us,|
Everywhere decay is rife;
Why should man when born in this world
Be the slave of lust and strife?
On hearing these words Sunandâ thought, "The Prince by birth is of the highest of the three castes; in the matter of wealth he is lord of all, and in person as glorious as the rising sun; there is no Deva or man who can compare with him, and yet he casts aside all the magnificence of his father's kingdom and goes into the forest to become a recluse; of what advantage will it be to me to return to my former service; I had better remain with him and become a hermit."
So he said: "Lord and master, if you will but give permission, I, too, will become a hermit in this forest and not return to the city."
The Prince, however, thinking that his father and mother would suffer further trouble if Sunandâ were not to return, said: "Sunandâ, though, for your future welfare, I wish to grant your request, it is not right that you should become an ascetic just yet. You are not your own master, but have been sent on duty; if you were, to become a recluse now this chariot and these ornaments would be a debt recoverable from you, and no debtor can become an ascetic."
Sunandâ answered: "Lord and master, I will return to the city, but here, I pray thee, stay, lest, knowing not thy dwelling, when I return, I may not find thee."
The Prince answered: "I will do as thou sayest, for I, too, am desirous of seeing my father and mother; go without fear and inform them that I am well and that I wish I to ask their pardon. I will remain here with longing eyes, bending towards them like the stem of a banana, and await their coming with my feet in contact, my knees close together, and with my clasped hands enclosing a lotus bud raised respectfully to my forehead."
So Sunandâ made ready the chariot and returned to Bârâ.nasi.
[1. The correct way of making supplication.]
Now the Queen Candâ Devi, ever since her son had been taken away, had been unable to rest on account of her grief, and remained at the window watching for the return of the chariot. As soon as she saw Sunandâ approaching and driving up to the gate alone, she, wailing and beating her breasts, addressed him as follows: "O Sunandâ, was my son verily deaf and dumb when you slew him, did he not utter one word. Tell me truly, O charioteer; when you cast him into the pit, did he move neither hand nor foot?"
Sunandâ, leaving the chariot, came up into the palace, and, prostrating himself before the Queen, said: "Have pity, O Queen, I will tell thee all."
On the Queen replying "The King gave the order, thou hast nothing to fear," Sunandâ related to her all that had happened, and when he had made an end of his story the Queen, like one who has been saved from the water by a Garu.la, being full of great joy, was unable to realize the good news.
Sunandâ also informed the King of the Prince's desire that they should all go out to see him in the forest.
Now as soon as Sunandâ had gone, Prince Temiya determined that it would be better for them to find him in the garb of a recluse, and by the power of his merit Sakka gave orders to Vissakammo to go and build him a monastery, and provide all that was requisite. So Vissakammo did as he was ordered, and built a large monastery complete in every particular, with groves and water-tanks full of lotus plants. He also provided all that was necessary for the use of the monks.
When the Bodhisat saw this he said: "Wonderful is the power of merit." Then going into the monastery and reading the inscription, he knew that it had been built by Sakka's order. Having put on the monastic dress and taken his staff, he went out into the groves, where, walking up and down, he said: "Ah! pleasant! Ah! pleasant!" He then
p. 384 returned into the monastery and spent the whole of the day in meditating on the "Brahma Vihâra Kamma.t.thânam."
ln the cool of the evening he went out into the grove, and plucking leaves from the trees, regaled himself on them. His royal parents at Bârâ.nasi were so overcome with joy that the King said: "I will myself go forth and bring him back." So he sent for the Senapati, and ordered all the chariots, elephants, and men at arms to be prepared, with all kinds of music. He also directed that the 500 foster-brothers, and as many as liked besides, should go with him, even to the number of an "akkhobha.ni."
Sunandâ, having made ready the king's chariot, and harnessed thereto four horses of the breed of Sindo, went in and informed the King that all was ready, and he, being in haste to get to his son, said: "O Sunandâ, are the horses fit for the journey? Those that are too fat, though they be strong, are slow in their paces; those that are too thin, though swift, may not hold out."
Sunandâ replied: "O King, fear not that your journey shall be hindered, I have picked out those that can go."
Then the King of Kâsi said: "In that case inform the Queen, and let her women make ready, for I am going forth into the forest to relinquish my sovereignty to my son. Let the insignia of royalty, viz. the jewelled yak's tail fans, the armour, the sword, the shoes, and the white umbrella be
[1. The B. V. Kamma.t.thânam contains meditations on friendship, pity, joy in the prosperity of others, and resignation. The full text is translated by Prof. Rhys Davids, "Buddhist Sutras," pp. 272, 273.
2. Certain Pâli stanzas are here given to explain the meaning of the number "akkhobha.ni"
|In sixty bundles of bamboo,|
To each let sixty be,
Reduced to dust they make a force
That's called "akkhobha.ni."
Another runs thus:
|Take of elephants nine thousand,|
To each add a hundred horses,
To each horse a hundred chariots,
In each one a hundred virgins,
To each girl a hundred women,
That "akkhobha.ni" is called.
Childers gives "akkhohi.ni" 10,000,000; but this makes thirty-six hundred thousand millions.]
p. 385 placed in the chariot." When this had been done he mounted the chariot, and set forth with a mighty host, and going out by the east gate arrived quickly at the place where the Prince was.
The Queen followed in another chariot, accompanied by her 16,000 ladies, and when they got near the monastery they encamped and erected a temporary palace.
Prince Temiya having heard that his father was coming prepared a seat for him.
The King on leaving the camp got out of his chariot, and surrounded by his nobles, went on foot to the monastery, and when they entered the precincts they raised their hands in adoration, and went up into the monastery and bowed themselves before the Prince.
The Prince enquired after his father's health, and that of his mother, and all the household; on which the King replied: "O, my son, we are all well and in good health."
The Bodhisat then, having heard that his worldly affairs were well, desired to ask after his religious state, and said: "My father, how is it? Daily dost thou drink that non-intoxicant drink called 'Vigilance?' Dost thou eschew that drunkenness called 'Sensuality,' which causes forgetfulness of the law? Treading not the thorny path of wrath, dost thou travel on the good road of love, patience, and pity? Dost thou also delight in charity and open-handedness?" To which the Râjâ replied: "Dear son, I drink nought but the wine 'Vigilance,' and I cause others also to drink thereof. I eat not that which is false, but that which is true. I pursue not the path of bad actions, but travel on the road that is good. I delight also in alms-giving."
The Bodhisat then asked after the welfare of everyone and the state of the country, etc., in three stanzas, and then said: "My father, I trust that your coming to this monastery may not be without profit; in order that it may not be so I have prepared this seat, pray be seated." The King, however, refused to sit on it, whereupon the Bodhisat suggested that the nobles should prepare him a p. 386 seat of grass like that on which he was seated. Then, going into the monastery, he brought out his bowl full of leaves mixed with water and set it before his father, saying: "This is my food, and it is the excellent food of those who dwell in the forest. Even salt should not be put to it. For those who desire to be free from the lusts of the flesh it is most suitable. Eat of it, my father, as much as thou desirest, for I can obtain it in plenty." The Râjâ answered: "Dear son, I am not accustomed to a diet of leaves, but eat only of the best rice. Do you really eat this my son?" The Bodhisat replied: "Father, I eat these leaves every day, and it is the food most proper for ascetics."
When his mother arrived at the monastery, surrounded by all her ladies, and beheld her son, her heart was filled with delight and she swooned, but having recovered her senses she embraced his feet, and having wept, returned to her seat. The Râjâ then showed her the bowl of leaves, saying: "Lady, see what your son eats."
The King then said: "Dear son, I am filled with wonder that you should dwell in this forest alone, and eat of these leaves without even salt to flavour them, and yet have so handsome an appearance, even more beautiful than you were before."
To this the Bodhisat answered: "Father, that which is called beauty belongs to those who have peace of mind, the beauty of those who are discontented is destroyed; those who have cares for what has passed or is about to be, are like those who throw straws into the air. I, who sleep on this rough bed of grass, find it softer than a couch. I have no care or fear for these simple articles. I need no guards with swords and spears. Though I have lived as an ascetic for sixteen years, I am good-looking, and I have no dread on account of what I may have done. This day I have eaten, and have no thought for the morrow as to
[1. When it is said in Daniel that Nebuchadnezzar did eat grass like an ox may it not simply mean that he subsisted on herbs and leaves as the hermits and jogis?]
p. 387 what I shall eat or what I shall put on; I am content with what I have to-day and with what I may obtain hereafter."
The King, still hearing himself addressed as father, thought, "My son has not relinquished his love for his parents, I may still be able to get him to come back to the city," so he said: "Dear son, with a great company of elephants and chariots have I come to take you back to the inheritance of your ancestors, and now hand them over to you with 16,000 lovely virgins as your handmaids; suffer the ceremony of consecration to take place and return to the city as its ruler. Now that you are of age to enjoy life, do so, and when you are older become a hermit."
The Bodhisat answered: "Father, ascetics are to be praised a thousand times more than those who have done good deeds from their earliest youth. To avoid wealth that is offered is most excellent, I therefore reject all this wealth and will do that which is right. I desire not the royal estate. Young men and maidens before they are married and have children think that they wiil neither grow old nor die, and, therefore, embrace not the life of an ascetic, but it should not be so; all beings are born to perish, and in youth there is no room for delay, for since sickness, old age, and death, are ever oppressing us, how can one say that one's own body belongs to one's self or even to one's father or mother? It is the nature of life to ebb slowly away, and one is like the fish in the pool whose water dries up from day to day. Where, then, is the advantage of youth, which is but for a moment? O, my parents, the world is for ever oppressed; it is ever surrounded."
His parents, wishing to know more, said: "What is this enemy that is always oppressing the world? What is it that ever surrounds it? How may we act so as not to act in vain? To this the Bodhisat replied:
|"This world is by death afflicted,|
All are subject to decay;
Know, O Khattiya, each night too,
Ne'er in vain may pass away."
[1. The Khattiya is the warrior caste.]
This verse he explained more fully as follows: "Father, that which ever oppresses the world is death, and that which surrounds (accompanies) it is old age; that which passes not in vain is night. The explanation is this: The life of a being is like the thread in a loom, and the night is as the weaver that toils unceasingly. By constant weaving is the thread consumed, and the end of life is like the end of the night."
"Again, a being is like a tree on the bank of a river, death and old age are like the rushing water that wears away the bank, and the water in its course goes not by in vain. It is like the night that brings old age, diminishes the strength, and deforms men's beauty."
On hearing this his father said: "Dear son, since by your preaching I have obtained a right frame of mind, and have arrived at the time of life when one is discontented with the world, I will become a hermit; but you, who still are in the prime of life and able to enjoy it, and see the right path which enables one to escape from evil, may be able to reign in accordance with the ten laws, and, in your old age, may become an ascetic; suffer now your father to remain in the forest, whilst you return to the city and carry on the dynasty."
But the Bodhisat replied: "Since riches are destroyed by the five enemies, one ought not to be their owner, and, though they may increase, since the owner must die he must forsake them. If loss must be the end, why take up the royal estate? If women, too, like wealth, also come to an end, why does my father offer them to me? Since the beauty, which is to-day, cannot be relied upon, but is destroyed by old age, why does he praise the excellence of beauty? If I have escaped from the flood of lust, and stand on the firm bank, of what use to me are wealth, children, and beauty? I am ever reflecting on, and never can forget the fact, that destruction is the end. To me, who am ever meditating on death, what would be the
[1. The five enemies are Rulers, Thieves, Water, Fire, Foes.]
p. 389 possession of wealth or the delight of love? As the fruit that is ripe falls to the earth from its stalk, so all beings that are subject to rebirth are subject to decay of vital force. Every moment beings that we have seen in the morning we behold not in the evening, and those that we behold at eve have disappeared in the morning. We ought, therefore, to seek with all diligence for release from hell, the five enemies, decay and death, and strive to be full of that merit which is the result of charity properly directed. We ought not to procrastinate, saying, 'To-day it is well, and to-morrow it will be well also.' And why? Has anyone ever made friends with death, so that he may know the day and the hour of his dissolution? Even now or to-morrow death may lay his hand on us. We are ever surrounded by the great thief, and his ever-watchful host is ready to seize their oppartunity. O my royal father, how canst thou say to me, 'Now is the time for enjoyment, now is the time to be an ascetic?' I, who have avoided these dangers, and separated myself from them like the fruit that is loosed from its stalk, am not of myself able to rejoin the world. Do not ask it of me, but do thou, like me, if thou hast any regard for the law, without further delay, become an ascetic, and pass thy time in meditation."
On hearing this the King became urgently desirous of entering on the life of an ascetic, and said: "Dear son, I beg pardon, I no longer desire wealth as of greater value than grass or leaves. I put my trust only in thee; suffer me to become a Rahan."
Queen Candâ also said: "Dear son, make thy mother a Rahan; I desire not to return to the city." The whole of those who came with them also determined to embrace the ascetic life. The King, therefore, sent for the city magistrates and said: "Return to the city of Bârâ.nasi, and let it be proclaimed that the King of Kâsi, who has overcome all his enemies, makes known to all his subjects, within and without, that he, having overcome all his spiritual enemies at the feet of his son, Prince Temiya, counts all his wealth as but a bitter taste that he has spat from his mouth, p. 390 and that he now desires that all who wish to partake of that ambrosia, called the "life of a rahan," should renounce all their worldly goods and come out and do so."
So the magistrates did as they were ordered, and the people, with one accord, throwing open all their treasure houses and concealed treasures, left them, and came out into the forest. A few drunkards, however, remained behind. So the city was deserted, and when all the people came to the forest they became Rahans.
The Bodhisat caused all who were strong to remain outside, and the old and infirm were admitted to the monastery.
The women with children at breast, and the young women, were told off to separate places, and other monasteries built after the pattern of that built by Vissakammo.
Thus they dwelt, living on the fruits that fell from the trees and listening to the preaching of the law. They were called by the name of "Sayampatita phalâ hâra," or the "takers-of-self-fallen-fruit."
When the King of Sâmanta, which adjoined Kâsi, heard that the King of Kâsi and all his people had become Rahans, he went with a large army to take possession, and on entering into the city and seeing the beauty of its palaces and fortifications he was astonished, and said: "Surely the King of Kâsi could not have left all these simply to become an ascetic, some great calamity must have befallen him."
He ordered, therefore, the drunkards who were left behind to be brought before him, and said: "Sirs, what calamity has befallen your sovereign?" The drunkards answered: "O King, no calamity has befallen our sovereign. His son Temiya, who was his heir, was afraid of succeeding to the royal estate." They then related to him the whole story.
Hearing this the King of Sâmanta thought he had better do likewise, so, asking by what gate they had gone out, he followed with an his host and came to the Bodhisat's
[1. This is probably Samatata, in the delta of the Ganges.]
p. 391 monastery. When the Bodhisat saw them he ascended into the air and preached the law to them. So the King of Sâmanta and all his host were converted and became Rahans.
And so it befel the Kings of other countries.
The elephants and horses having no one to look after them became wild.
All these Rahans, when they changed their existence, went to the Brahma heavens, and the animals went to the Deva heavens.
The Buddha then summed up the story as follows:
The fairy is now Upalava.n.na, my chief female disciple; Sunandâ is Sariputta. The then Sakka is now my nephew Anuruddhâ; Vissakammo is now Ânandâ; Candâ Devi and the King of Kâsi are the present rulers of the Sâkya realm, who reign as the chiefs of the Sâkî race in Kappilavastu; and Prince Temiya is now myself, the Buddha.