Jātakamālā or Garland of Birth Stories

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23. The Story of Mahābodhi (Kṣānti)
(Compare the Pāli Jātaka, No. 528, Fausböll V, 227-246)

The compassion of the virtuous for those who once were their benefactors, does not diminish even by injuries done to them. Such is their gratitude, and to this extent have they imbibed the virtue of forbearance. This will be taught as follows.

In the time when the Lord was a Bodhisattva, he was a wandering ascetic, it is said, named Mahābodhi. This name means '(possessing) great wisdom.’01 When still a householder, he had made a regular and thorough study of such branches of learning as are esteemed in the world, and being curious of fine arts, had also acquainted himself with them. Afterwards, having renounced the world, as he was exerting himself for the benefit of the world, he directed his mind more earnestly to the study of the law-books, and obtained the mastership in that science.

Thanks to his possession of a store of merit, the loftiness of his [201] wisdom, his knowledge of the world, and his superior skill in the art of conversing with men, it happened that to whatever country he went, his company was sought for, and his person cherished by the learned as well as by such princes as patronized the learned, by Brāhmans living in the world, as well as by other ascetics.

1. Virtues acquire splendour by their appearing on the ground of meritorious actions, Our author never forgets to point out the importance of the possession of much puṇya, cp. Story 14, p. 133, and Story 15, p. 136.02 but it is by the gracefulness of their practice, that they will gain the affection of men and partake of the most distinguished worship even from the side of one's enemies, obliged to do so by regard for their own reputation.

Now that Great-minded One, wandering about with the object of doing good to men, in villages, towns, markets, countries, kingdoms, royal residences, reached the realm of a king who, having heard of the splendour of his many virtues, was rejoiced at the report of his arrival.

Having been informed of it long before, he had a dwelling-place built for him in a lovely spot in his own pleasure-gardens. At his arrival, he made him enter his kingdom in the most honourable manner, going to meet him and showing him other tokens of esteem. He attended on him and listened to his teaching, as a pupil observes his spiritual teacher.

2. To a lover of virtues, the arrival of a virtuous guest, coming confidingly to his wealth-abounding home, is a kind of feast. Cp. Story 6, stanza 30.03

And the Bodhisattva for his part favoured him with daily discourses on religious subjects, delightful to both the ears and the heart, by which he gradually prepared him to walk on the road to salvation.

3. Those who love the Law desire to give religious instruction even to such people as have not shown them their attachment, they will do so out of compassion [202] for their neighbour. How should they not teach him who, like a pure vessel, is eager to accept their instruction and to manifest his love?

But the ministers of that king, though receiving the honour due to their learning, and his counsellors, though also treated with respect, could not bear the constantly increasing honour paid to the magnificence of the Bodhisattva's virtues. Jealousy had tainted their minds.

4. The glory and renown of a man who shows his ability to fascinate mankind by the superiority of his virtues, suffices to kindle the fire of envious feeling in those who are honoured only on account of their professional skill.

They were unable to vanquish him in open contest in disputes on topics of the law-books, and at the same time were sorry to see the king's constant attachment to the Law of Righteousness. Then, in order to rouse his disaffection towards the Bodhisattva, they proceeded almost in this manner. “Your Majesty,” so would they say, “should not put his confidence in that wandering monk Bodhi. It is evident that he must be a kind of spy of some rival king, who having learnt Your Majesty's love of virtues and inclination towards Righteousness, avails himself of this clever fellow with his soft, smooth, and deceitful tongue, to entice you into baleful habits and to be informed of your actions.

For this devotee of Righteousness as he pretends to be, instructing Your Majesty exclusively to practise compassionateness and to foster the miserable feeling of shame, induces you to take upon yourself such vows of a religious life as are incompatible with your royal, and military duties, prejudicial to the pro-motion of material interests (artha) and pleasures (kāma), and subject to the dangers attending a bad policy. Indeed, it is out of pure charity that, in the way of exhorting you, he suggests the line of conduct you should follow; nevertheless, he likes to converse with the messengers of other kings, and is far from being a stranger to the contents of the manuals of [203] political wisdom which treat of the duties of kings. Accordingly this matter fills our hearts with appre-hension.”

Such language spoken with the intention of causing estrangement, being often repeated and by many who feigned to have in view the good of the king, could not fail to have its effect. His attachment and veneration for the Bodhisattva shrunk under the influence of his distrust, and his disposition towards him became changed.

5. Whether a succession of loud-roaring tremendous thunderbolts or of those other thunderbolts, whose name is calumny pierce the ears of men, does there exist anybody who can remain unshaken by them, trustful and firm in the confidence of his own power?

Now, as the absence of trust lessened the king's affection and veneration for the Great Being, the king was no more, as before, careful to pay him due honour. But the Bodhisattva, owing to his pure-heartedness, did not mind it; “kings are distracted by many occu-pations,” so he thought. Still, when he perceived the coolness and lack of attention from the side of the courtiers, he understood that he had incurred the king's displeasure, and taking his triple staff, his waterpot and the other utensils of a wandering ascetic, made preparations for his departure. The king, hearing his resolution, as he was partly moved by a remnant of his old affection, partly would not neglect an act of politeness and civility, went up to him, and in order to show his trouble and pretended desire to retain him, said:

6. “For what reason are you determined to go away, leaving us all of a sudden? Have you perhaps to complain of some lack of attention on our part, which has roused your fears? If this is the case, you suspect us without reason, it must have been an omission.”

The Bodhisattva replied:

7. “My departure has a good reason. Not that so trifling a matter as ill-treatment has irritated me, but because you have ceased to be a vessel of [204] righteousness in consequence of your deceitful beha-viour, for this reason I set out from hence.”

At this moment the king's favourite dog came running to the Bodhisattva in a hostile manner and barked at him with wide-opened mouth. Pointing at this dog, he said again: “Why, let this animal bear witness to the case, Your Majesty.

8, 9. Formerly this dog was accustomed to fondle me; then he was imitating your example. But now he betrays your feelings by his barks, for he does not know how to feign. Surely, he must have heard from you harsh words on my account, as will happen when former affection has been destroyed; and now, forsooth, he is acting up to them, that he may please you; for such is the behaviour of servants who eat the bread of their lord.”

This reproof filled the king with shame, and made him cast down his eyes. The acuteness of mind of the Bodhisattva touched him and moved his heart. He thought it was not proper to continue his false protestations of love, and bowing reverentially to him, spoke:

10. “You were indeed the subject of such conversa-tion as you said. Audacious people used that language in my council, and I, absorbed in business, overlooked the matter. You must forgive me, then, and stay here. Pray, do not go.”

The Bodhisattva said: “Surely, it is not on account of ill-treatment that I want to go, Your Majesty, nor am I driven out by resentment. But considering it is now no proper time to stay here, Your Majesty, for this reason I go. Do but take this in view.

11. If, either by attachment or from apathy, I should not go of my own accord now, as I needs must, after the honourable hospitality shown to me has lost its beauty, having become an ordinary one, verily, would it not hereafter come to the point that I should be seized by the neck and turned out?

12. Not with a heart sore with hatred am I about to leave you, but considering this the proper course to [205] follow now. Former benefits are not effaced from the heart of the pious by the stroke of one affront.

13. But an ill-disposed man is not fit to be had for a patron, no more than a dried-up pond will serve him who is in want of water. If profit may be gained from the side of such a one, it requires much care to acquire it, and the result will be meagre and not unmixed.

14. He, however, who desires ease and dislikes trouble, must attend only on such a patron who has composed his mind and by his placidity resembles a great lake of pure water in autumn. So is the well-known line of conduct approved of men.

15. Further, he who is averse to one intent on showing his attachment; likewise he who, attending on somebody who dislikes him, afflicts himself; thirdly, he who is slow in remembering former benefits - such persons bear only the shape of a man and raise doubts as to their real nature.

16. Friendship is destroyed both by lack of inter-course and profusion of attentions, also by frequent requests. Therefore, desiring to protect this remnant of our affection from the dangers of my residing here, I now take my leave.”

The king said: “If Your Reverence has a strong determination to go, thinking your departure to be indispensable, pray, deign to favour us by coming back here again, will you? Friendship ought to be kept safe also from the fault of lack of intercourse, did you not say so?”

The Bodhisattva replied: “Your Majesty, sojourning in the world is something subject to many hindrances, for a great many adversaries in the shape of various calamities attend it. Thus considering, I cannot make the positive promise that I shall come again. I can only express my wish to see you another time, when there may be some indispensable reason for coming.”

Having in this way appeased the king, who dismissed him in the most honourable manner, he set off from his realm, and feeling his mind troubled by intercourse with people living in the world, took up his abode in some forest-place. Staying there, [206] he directed his mind to the exercise of meditation and before long came to the possession of the four ecstatic trances (dhyāna) and the five kinds of transcendent knowledge (abhijñā).

Now, while he was enjoying the exquisite happiness of tranquillity, the remembrance of the king, accom-panied by a feeling of compassion, appeared to his mind. And, as he was concerned about the present state of that prince, he directed his thoughts towards him, and saw Viz. as the effect of his divine eye (divyaṁ cakṣuḥ), one of the five abhijñās.04 that his ministers were each enticing him to the tenets of the (false) doctrine which he professed. One among them endeavoured to win him for the doctrine according to which there should be no causality, taking for examples such instances, where it is difficult to demonstrate causality.

17. “What,” said he, “is the cause of the shape, the colour, the arrangement the softness and so on of the stalks, the petals, the filaments and the pericarps of the lotuses? Who diversifies the feathers of the birds in this world? In just the same manner this whole universe is the product of the work of essential and inherent properties, to be sure.

Another, who held a Supreme Being (Īśvara) for the first cause, expounded him the tenets of his lore.

18. “It is not probable that this universe should exist without a cause. There is some being who rules it, Eternal and One. It is He who in consequence of the fixation of His mind on His transcendental volition, creates the world and again dissolves it.”

Another, on the contrary, deceived him by this doctrine: “This universe is the result of former actions, which are the cause of fortune, good and ill; personal energy has no effect at all to modify it.

19. How, indeed, may one being create at the same time the manifold and boundless variety of the different substances and properties? No, this universe is the product of former actions. For even he who [207] is skilled in striving for his happiness comes into mishap.”

Another again enticed him to be solely attached to the enjoyment of sensual pleasures, by means of such reasoning as is heard from the adherents of the doctrine of annihilation.

20. “Pieces of wood, differing in colour, properties, and shape, cannot be said to exist as the result of actions, and yet they exist, and once perished they do not grow up again. Something similar is to be said of this world. For this reason one must consider pleasures the main object of life.”

Another, pretending to instruct him in his royal duties, recommended to him such practices as are taught in the science of the Kṣatriyas, and which, following the winding paths of political wisdom (nīti), are soiled by cruelty and contrary to righteousness (dharma).

21. “You must avail yourself of men, as of shady trees, considering them fit objects to resort to. Ac-cordingly, endeavour to extend your glory by showing them gratitude, only as long, until your policy ceases to want their use. They are to be appointed to their task in the manner of victims destined for the sacrifice.”

So those ministers desired to lead the king astray, each on the path of his own false doctrines.

The Bodhisattva, then, perceiving that the king, owing to his intercourse with wicked people and his readiness to allow himself to be guided by others whom he trusted, was about to fall into the precipice of false doctrines, was affected with compassion and pondered on some means of rescuing him.

22. The pious, in consequence of their constant practice of virtues, retain in their mind the good done to them, whereas the evil they experienced drops from their mind, like water from a lotus-petal.

Having taken his resolution as to the proper thing to be done in the case, he created in his own hermitage, by dint of magic, a large monkey, whose skin he stripped off, making the rest of his body disappear. Wearing that skin, created by himself he presented himself at [208] the entrance-gate of the king's palace.

After being ushered in by the doorkeepers, he was admitted to the royal presence. He passed successively the guards who were posted outside, and the different courts filled with officers, Brāhmans, military men, mes-sengers, and notable townsmen, and entered the audience-hall, the doors of which were kept outside by doorkeepers with swords and staves; the king was sitting on his throne surrounded by his assembly of learned and wise men, magnificently dressed and orderly arranged. The monarch went to meet him, and showed him every honour and respect due to a guest. After the usual exchange of compliments and kind reception, when the Bodhisattva had taken the seat offered to him, the king, who was curious about that monkey-skin, asked him how he got it, saying:

“Who bestowed this monkey-skin on the Reverend, procuring by that deed a great favour to himself?”

The Bodhisattva answered: “I got it by myself, Your Majesty, I did not receive it from anybody else. While sitting or sleeping on the hard ground strewed only with thin straw, the body suffers, and the religious duties cannot be performed at ease. Now, I saw a large monkey in the hermitage and thought so within myself: ‘Oh! here is the right instrument I want to perform my religion, if I had but the skin of this monkey! sitting or sleeping on it, I shall be able to accomplish the rules of my religion, without caring even for royal couches spread with the most precious clothes.’ In consequence of this reflection, after subduing the animal I took his skin.”

On hearing that account, the king who was polite and well-educated replied nothing to the Bodhisattva, but feeling something like shame, cast down his eyes. His ministers, however, who before that already bore a grudge to the Great Being, seized this opportunity of declaring their opinion, and looking with beaming faces at the king and pointing at the Bodhisattva, exclaimed: “How entirely the Reverend is devoted to the love of his religion which is his only delight! [209] What a constancy is his! What ability to put into effect the best means for the realisation of his aims! It is a wonder that being alone and emaciated by penance, he was able to subdue so large a monkey, who had just entered his hermitage! At all events, may his penance be successful!” The last words are the usual complimentary blessing said to ascetics. When asking after their health, it is similarly said: ‘is your penance successful?’05

In reply to them, the Bodhisattva, without losing his placidity of mind, said: “Your honours, blaming me, should not disregard the fair tenets of your doctrines. This is not the way by which to make the glory of learning shine. Your honours must consider this.

23. He who despises his adversaries with such words as are destructive to his own doctrine, such a one, so to speak, wishes the dishonour of his enemy at the cost of his own life.”

After thus reproaching those ministers collectively, the Great Being, wishing to revile them once more individually, addressed that minister who denied causality in these terms:

24. “You profess that this universe is the product of essential and inherent properties. Now, if this be true, why do you blame me? What fault is mine, if this ape died in consequence of his nature? There-fore, I have rightly killed him.

25. If, however, I committed a sin by killing him, it is evident that his death is produced by an (external) cause. This being so, you must either renounce your doctrine of non-causality or use here such reason-ing as does not befit you.

26. Further, if the arrangement, colour and so on of the stalks, petals and so on of lotuses were not the effect of some cause, would they not be found always and everywhere? But this is not so, they are produced from seeds being in water and so on; where this condition is found, they appear, not where it is not found.

This, too, I would propound to Your Worship, to consider it well. [210]

27. He who denies the agency of cause by means of reasoning with arguments, does not such a one desert his own tenets? As far as using argument by means of reasoning implies adherence to causality. Moreover, the word hetu the Bodhisattva employs here means both ‘cause’ and ‘reason.’06 On the other hand, if he is averse to the use of argument, say, what will he do with his sole tenet (not supported by argument)?

28. And he who, not perceiving the cause in some particular case, proclaims for this very reason, that there does not exist causality at all, will not such a one, when he learns the manifest power of causality in that case, grow angry at it and oppose it with invectives?

29. And if somewhere the cause is latent, why do you say with assurance, it does not exist? Though it is, it is not perceived for some other cause, as for instance the white colour of the sun's disc is not seen at sunset.

Moreover, sir,

30. For the sake of happiness you pursue the objects you desire, and will not follow such things as are opposed to it. And it is for the same purpose that you attend on the king. And notwithstanding this, you dare deny causality!

31. And, if nevertheless you should persist in your doctrine of non-causality, then it follows that the death of the monkey is not to be ascribed to any cause. Why do you blame me?”

So with clear arguments the High-minded One confounded that advocate of the doctrine of non-causality.

Then addressing himself to the believer in a Supreme Being, he said: “You, too, never ought to blame me, noble sir. According to your doctrine, the Lord is the cause of everything. Look here.

32, 33. If the Lord does everything, He alone is the killer of that ape, is He not? How can you bear such unfriendliness in your heart as to throw blame on me on account of the fault of another?

If, however, you do not ascribe the murder of that valiant monkey to [211] Him because of His compassionateness, how is it that you loudly proclaim, the Lord is the cause of this Universe?

Moreover, friend, believing, as you do, that every-thing is done by the Lord, The Bodhisattva is much helped here by the double sense implied by the words sarvam īśvarakṛtam, meaning 'all is created by the Lord’ as well as 'everything is done by the Lord.’07

34. What hope have you of propitiating the Lord by praise, supplication, and the like? For the Self-born Being works those actions of yours himself.

35. If, however, you say, the sacrifice is performed by yourself, still you cannot disavow that He is the author of it. He who is self-acting out of the fullness of His power, is the author of a deed, no other.

36, 37. Again, if the Lord is the performer of all sins, however many there are committed, what virtue of His have you in view that you should foster devotion to Him?

On the other hand, if it is not He who commits them, since He abhors wickedness, it is not right to say that everything is created by the Lord.

38, 39. Further, the sovereignty of the Lord must rest either on the lawful order of things (Dharma) or on something else. If on the former, then the Lord cannot have existed before the Dharma.

If effected by some external cause, it should rather be called ‘bondage’ for if a state of dependency should not bear that name, what state may not be called ‘sovereignty?’

Nevertheless, if in spite of this reasoning, attached to the doctrine of Devotion The belief in a Supreme Being, Lord (īśvara), is in itself of course also a belief in the strong effectiveness of devotion (bhakti).08 and without having well reflected on its probability or improbability,

40. You persist in holding the Supreme Being and Lord for the sole cause of the whole universe, does it, then, become you to impute to me the murder of that chief of monkeys, which has been decided by the Supreme Being?” [212]

So reasoning with a well-connected series of con-clusive arguments, the High-minded One struck dumb, so to speak, the minister who was an adherent of the Lord (Īśvara)-supreme cause.

And turning to that minister who was a partisan of the doctrine of former actions, he addressed him in a very skilful manner, saying: “No more does it become you, too, to censure me. According to your opinion, everything is the consequence of former actions. For this reason, I tell you,

41. If everything ought to be imputed exclusively to the power of former actions, then this monkey has been rightly killed by me. He has been burnt by the wild fire of his former actions. What fault of mine is to be found here that you should blame me?

42. On the other hand, suppose I did a bad action in killing the ape, I must be the cause of his death, not his former actions. Further, if you state, that karma (always) produces (fresh) karma, nobody will reach final emancipation Final emancipation necessarily implies cessation of actions, for it is the same thing as total extinction.09 in your system.

43. Verily, if something like this should be seen: happiness enjoyed by him who lives in circumstances productive of suffering, or sufferings visiting such a one whose circumstances are instruments of happiness, then we should have the right to infer, it is beyond question, that good and evil fortune depend exclusively on former actions.

44. But, in fact, this rule as to the appearance of happiness and sufferings is nowhere seen. Con-sequently, former actions are not the sole and entire cause of them. Further, it is possible that there ceases to be new karma. And this lacking, whence should you get the “old karma” (indispensable for the maintenance of the Universe)?

45. If, nevertheless, you persist in your doctrine of the former actions, for what reason do you judge me to have caused the death of that ape?” [213]

In this manner the High-minded One, expounding irrefutable arguments, put him to silence so that it seemed as if he had made him take the vow of silence.

Next he said smilingly to that minister who was an adherent of the doctrine of annihilation: “How extremely eager your honour is to blame me, if at least you really are a partisan of the doctrine of annihilation.

46. If there does not exist anything like a future existence after death, why should we avoid evil actions, and what have we to do with the folly of holding good actions in esteem? He alone would be wise who behaves according to impulse, as he likes best. If this doctrine be true, it is right indeed, that I killed that ape.

47, 48. If, however, it is fear of public opinion which causes such a one to eschew bad actions by following the path of virtue, he will, nevertheless, not escape the criticism of public opinion, because of the contradiction between his words and his deeds: nor will he obtain the happiness presenting itself on the road of his destiny, owing to the same awe of public opinion.

Is, then, such a one, allowing himself to be misled by a fruitless and delusive doctrine, not the meanest of simpletons?

As to your statement, when you said:

49. ‘Pieces of wood, differing in colour, properties and shape, cannot be said to exist as the result of actions, and yet they exist, and once perished they do not grow up again. Something similar is to be said of this world,’ pray, tell me, what reason have you for believing so, after all?

50. If, notwithstanding this, you persist in your attachment to the doctrine of annihilation, what reason is it that you should censure the murderer of a monkey or a man?”

So the Great Being silenced that adherent of annihilation by means of a refutation of conspicuous elegance.

Then he addressed that minister who was so skilled in the science of princes. “For what reason,” [214] he said, “do you also censure me, if you really consider the line of conduct as taught in the love of political science to be the right one?

51. According to that doctrine, in truth, deeds good or evil are to be performed for the sake of material profit; having once risen, a man shall bestow his wealth, indeed, for his benefit on actions of righteousness (dharma). Cp. Story 5. stanzas 18-22.10

On this account I tell you.

52. If for the sake of personal interest honest proceedings may be neglected even with respect to affectionate relations, The Pāli recension expresses this by the drastic utterance: 'the would-be wise advocates of the khattavijjā say you may kill your father or mother or eldest brother, yea your children and wife, if such be your interest.11 what reason have you to censure me about that ape whom I killed for the sake of his skin, putting into effect the policy taught also in your books?

53. I follow the emendation of the editor mukhena, not the senseless reading of the MSS. sukhena.12 On the other hand, if such a deed is to be blamed for its cruelty, and is certain to have evil consequences, by what means do you resort to a lore which does not acknowledge this?

54. Now, if such is the manifestation of what is called ‘policy’ in your system, say, of what kind may be the error, called ‘want of policy’? Oh! the audacious who, despising mankind, propound injustice by the way of authoritative law-books!

55. Nevertheless, if you maintain that false doc-trine - is it not prescribed in the books of your sect in plain terms? - Well, it is not I who should be blamed on account of the death of that ape, since I followed the path of that policy which is taught in your books.”

In this manner, then, the High-minded One vanquished by a strong assault those ministers in spite of their influence on the bystanders, in spite also of their habitual boldness. And when he understood he [215] had won over the assembly with the king, wishing to expel from their hearts the grief he had caused them by killing the monkey, he addressed the king, saying: “In fact, Your Majesty, I never killed any living creature. Vānaraṁ is a gloss, I suppose.13 I did but put into effect my power of creation. This skin I stripped off a monkey whom I had created, with the object of using it as the topic of this very conversation. Do not therefore judge me falsely.” So speaking, he dissolved the illusion (of the ape-skin) he had produced by magic. Then, seeing that the king and his assembly were now in apt state of mind to be converted, he said:

56. “What person, who perceives that all things produced emanate from causes; who feels himself acting by his free will; who believes in another world after this; who maintains right tenets; who cherishes compassionateness - may kill any living being?

Do but consider this, great prince.

57. How should the believer in the true and rational doctrine commit a deed which, to be sure, neither the denier of causality, nor the believer in absolute dependence, nor the materialist, nor the follower of the lore of political wisdom would perform for the sake of a little glory?

58. A man's creed, O best of men, be it the true or a false one, is the motive which induces him to actions corresponding with it. For people show the tenets of their belief by their words and actions, since their purposes comply with the line of conduct, prescribed by their creed.

59. And for this reason the excellent lore is to be cherished, but a bad lore must be abandoned, for it is a source of calamity. One must take this course in this way: keeping with the virtuous, but keeping afar from wicked people.

6o. Indeed, there are such monks - goblins they should rather be called - who wander about in the dress of the self-restrained, but have not subdued their [216] senses. It is they who ruin simple people by their false views, not unlike such serpents as cause harm by the venom of their looks.

61. The discordant voices of the adherents of the doctrine of non-causality and the rest, disclose their special natures, in the same manner as jackals are betrayed by their howling. For this reason a wise man ought not to cherish such persons but should (rather) care for their good, if he have the power to do so.

62. But no one, however illustrious his glory may be in the world, should make friends with an unfit person, not even for interest's sake. Even the moon suffers loss of loveliness, when soiled by its conjunction with a gloomy winter-day.

63. Therefore, avoiding the company of those who are avoiders of virtues and frequenting those who know how to foster virtues, make your glory shine by rousing in your subjects the love of virtue and dissolving their attachment to vice.

64. Observing the Law of Righteousness, you might cause your subjects, for the greater part indeed, to be intent on good behaviour and to keep to the path which leads to Heaven. Now you have to pro-tect your people and you are willing to exert yourself with this object. Well, then, betake yourself to the Dharma; its rules of discipline (vinaya) make its road a lovely one.

65. Purify your moral conduct (śīla), earn the glory of a charitable giver, direct your mind to friend-liness towards strangers, just as if they were your relations, and may you rule your land for a long time with righteousness and an uninterrupted observance of your duties! In this way you will gain happiness, glory, and Heaven.

66. If he fail to protect the peasants, his tax-payers, both the husbandmen and the cattle-breeders, who are like trees abounding in flowers and fruits, a king gets into difficulties concerning such wealth as con-sists in fruits of the earth. [217]

67. If he fail to protect those who live by buying and selling different merchandises, traders, and towns-men, who gratify him by paying the customs, he raises difficulties for himself with respect to his treasury.

68. Likewise a prince who, having no reason to complain of his army, fails to honour it, and disregards his military men who have shown their valour on the battle-field and are renowned for their skill in the science of arms, surely such a king will be deserted by victory in battle.

69. In the very same way a king who stains his behaviour by disregard of the religious men, excellent by morals or learning or supernatural power (yoga) and illustrious by such virtues as attend on high-mindedness, will be destitute of the rejoicings of Heaven.

70. As one who plucks an unripe fruit kills the seed without finding juice, so a king raising unlawful tributes, ruins his country without obtaining profit from them.

71. On the other hand, as a tree abounding in excellent properties, grants the enjoyment of its fruits at the time of their ripeness, in the very same manner a country, well protected by its ruler, provides him with the triad of religious and material prosperity and enjoyment.

72. Keep attached to yourself faithful ministers, clever and wise in promoting your interests, likewise honest friends, and your family, attaching their hearts by words agreeable to them, and by gifts offered to them in a flattering manner.

73. For this reason, then, let Righteousness be always the guide of your actions, having your mind bent on securing the salvation of your subjects. May you, while saving your people by administering justice free from partiality and hatred, secure the worlds for yourself!” This term ‘worlds’ lokāḥ is a common appellation of the happy state or states after death.14 [218]

Thus the High-minded One led that king away from the wrong road of false doctrines and put him and his attendants on the Excellent Path. After which he directly mounted to the sky, worshipped by the assembly with heads reverentially bowed and hands folded, and returned to his residence in the forest.

In this manner, then, the compassion of the virtuous for those who were once their benefactors does not diminish even by injuries done to them; such is their gratitude, and to this extent have they imbibed the virtue of forbearance.

[Considering thus, one must not forget a former benefit because of such a trifle as an injury.

Also, when discoursing on the Buddha, it may be said: “In this manner the Lord, even before he reached Supreme Wisdom, defeated the doctrines of other teachers and taught the Truth.”

Further, when censuring erroneous doctrines or inversely when praising the true faith, this story is to be adduced, saying: “In this manner a false doctrine cannot bear strong arguments, because it has no support, and is to be avoided.”]