Asoka and the Missions Home Page[More Missions]
[XII. Faith in Various Districts]
[Majjhantika in Kasmīra-Gandhāra]
10-32 ≠ Mhv 9-28
Tadā Kasmīra-Gandhāre, pakkaṁ sassaṁ mahiddhiko
Āravālo Mhv: Aravāl- here, and below.01 Nāgarājā, vassaṁ karakasaññitaṁ 
Then in Kasmīra-Gandhāra, the Nāga King Āravāla, the one of great power, (destroyed) the ripe crops, having made the rain known as hail
vassāpetvā samuddasmiṁ, sabbaṁ khipati dāruṇo.
fall into the lake, Samudda normally means ocean or sea, but Kasmīra-Gandhāra was a long way away from the ocean, and the word can cover any large body of water, which is what is meant here.02 and all was violently upset.
Tatra Majjhantikatthero, khippaṁ gantvā vihāyasā, 
The Elder Majjhantika, having gone quickly through the air,
Āravāladahe vāripiṭṭhe caṅkamanaṁ akā, Mhv: caṅkamanādike; walking up and down and so on.03
walked up and down on the top of the water on Āravāla's lake,
tiṭṭhati ca nisīditvā, seyyaṁ kappesi tāvade. 
he stopped and having sat down, he instantly lay down.
Nāgamāṇavikā disvā kuddhā Rañño nivedayuṁ:
Having seen that, the angry young Nāgas informed the (Nāga) King, saying:
“Deva! Muṇḍanako eko chinnapaṭadharo ahu,
“God-King! This solitary shaveling wearing his (patchwork) cloth, Cf. 14.11 below.04
vārimhi kāsuṁ letvāna, This would imply a verb leti, or possibly layati, neither of which is found in the Dictionaries. It is presumably connected with Sanskrit layana; clinging, adhering, resting, lying down.05 akā caṅkamanādike.” 
having lain on this lake Cf. SED: karṣū, Us f. (Uṇ. i, 82) a furrow, trench, incision ŚBr. KātyŚr. &c.; a river, canal...06 of water, is walking up and down and so on.”
Sutvāna tāsaṁ vacanaṁ Nāgarājā mahiddhiko,
Having heard their statement the Nāga King, of great power,
nikkhamma bhavanato 'yaṁ vividhā bhiṁsikākari: 
came out from his dwelling and did various fearful things:
vātā mahantā vāyanti, megho gajjati vassati,
great winds did blow, a cloud thundered and rained,
phalanti asaniyo, Mhv: phalantāsaniyo; which is better metrically.07 vijjū niccharanti tato tato, 
thunderbolts crashed, lightning struck here and there,
mahīruhā pabbatānaṁ kūṭāni papatanti ca,
trees and the tops of the mountains (all) fell down,
virūparūpā Nāgā ca bhiṁsāpenti samantato. 
and deformed Nāgas caused fright on all sides.
Sayaṁ dhūpati jalati akkosanto anekadhā,
He himself angrily fumed and burned in many ways,
“Etha, gaṇhatha hanatha,” Nāge sabbe apesayi. 
and he sent all the Nāgas, saying: “Go, seize and kill (them).”
Sabbaṁ taṁ iddhiyā Thero paṭibāhiya bhiṁsanaṁ
The Elder having repelled all those fearful things with his psychic power
avoca Nāgarājaṁ taṁ, dassento balam-uttamaṁ: 
said this to the Nāga King, showing his supreme strength:
“Sadevako pi ce Text: ca, which gives savipulā, which is normally avoided in the classical period. Mahāvaṁsa: ce, which also gives better sense.08 loko āgantvā tāsayeyya maṁ
“If the world together with its gods having come were to (try to) frighten me
na me paṭibalo assa yam-ettha Mhv: janetuṁ; to give birth to.09 bhayabheravaṁ. 
they would not be able to (give rise to) fear and fright in me here.
Sace pi tvaṁ mahiṁ sabbaṁ sasamuddaṁ sapabbataṁ,
ukkhipitvā Mahānāga, khipeyyāsi mamopari, 
Even if you, having taken up the whole earth with its oceans and mountains, Great Nāga, were to throw them at me from on high,
neva me sakkuṇeyyāsi janetuṁ bhayabheravaṁ.
there is no possibility to give rise to fear and fright in me.
Aññadatthu tavevassa vighāto Uragādhipa.” 
Assuredly, it is only for your own distress, Ruler of Snakes.”
Taṁ sutvā nimmadassassa, Thero Dhammaṁ adesayi,
Having heard that, he was crushed, and the Elder taught the Dhamma,
tatto Mhv: tato; and then.10 Saraṇasīlesu Nāgarājā patiṭṭhahi, 
and truly the Nāga King was established in the Refuges and Precepts,
tatheva caturāsīti sahassāni Bhujaṅgamā,
and right there and then eighty-four thousand Serpents, Another term for Nāgas.11
patiṭṭhahiṁsu Saraṇe Silesu ca lahuṁ lahuṁ. 
were also very quickly established in the Refuges and Precepts.
Himavante ca Gandhabbā Yakkhā Kumbhaṇḍakā bahū,
In the Himālaya many Gandhabbas, Yakkhas and Kumbhaṇḍakas,
patiṭṭhahitvā Saraṇe Silesu ca lahuṁ lahuṁ, 
had been very quickly established in the Refuges and Precepts,
Bhaṇḍako Mhv: Paṇḍako.12 nāma Yakkho tu, saddhiṁ Hāritayakkhiyā,
but the Yakkha named Bhaṇḍaka, together with the Yakkhinī Hāritā,
pañcasatehi puttehi Phalaṁ pāpuṇi ādikaṁ. 
and their five-hundred children attained (Path and) Fruit and so on.
Tato Majjhantiko Thero Nāge sabbe avoca so:
Then the Elder Majjhantika said this to all the Nāgas:
“Mā dāni kodhaṁ janayittha ito uddhaṁ yathā pure, 
“Now do not give rise to anger in the future as in the past,
sassaghātañ-ca mā kattha, sukhakāmā hi pāṇino.
do not destroy the crops, for breathing beings desire happiness.
Karotha mettaṁ sattesu, vasantu manujā sukhaṁ.”
Develop loving-kindness towards beings, let humans live happily.”
Iti tenānusiṭṭhā te tatheva paṭipajjisuṁ. 
Like this they were admonished and they followed the path in that place.
Tato ratanapallaṅke Theraṁ so Uragādhipo
nisīdāpiya, aṭṭhāsi vījamāno tad-antike. 
Then the Ruler of Snakes, having made the Elder sit down on a jewelled couch, stood near by fanning him.
Tadā Kasmīra-Gandhāre vāsino manujāgatā
Then the humans residing in Kasmīra-Gandhāra who had come
Nāgarājassa pūjatthaṁ, mantvā Theraṁ mahiddhikaṁ, 
in order to worship the Nāga King, after discussing the Elder of great power,
Theram-evābhivādetvā, ekam-antaṁ nisīdisuṁ.
and worshipping the Elder, sat down on one side.
Tesaṁ Dhammam-adesesi Thero Āsīvisūpamaṁ. 
The Elder taught them the Dhamma about the Simile of the Poisonous Snake. Probably SN 35. Sut. 238, although there are others that include a relevant simile. An appropriate simile for Nāgas to learn, there four poisonous snakes represent the four elements, which are subject to disintegration.13
Asītiyā sahassānaṁ Dhammābhisamayo ahu,
For eighty thousand (of them) there was a penetration I.e. they attained Path and Fruit. Abhisamaya is the noun regularly used in this connection. Cf. passim.14 of the Dhamma,
satasahassaṁ purisā pabbajuṁ Therasantike. 
and one-hundred thousand men went forth I.e. ordained as monks. Technically pabbajjā is the lower ordination, which is normally followed by upasampadā. But here and elsewhere in this text it appears to be used as a shorthand to indicate both. It appears from this again, that Majjhantika must have been the leader, and was probably accompanied by at least four other monks, to make up the number required to give the higher ordination.15 in the presence of the Elder.
Tato pabhuti Kasmīra-Gandhārā te idāni pi
Since that time until now those in Kasmīra-Gandhāra
āsuṁ kāsāvapajjotā, Mhv: kāsāya-.16 vatthuttayaparāyaṇā. 
are light up with the monastic robe, finding support in the three objects. The three objects of reverence, i.e. the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.17
Asoka and the Missions Home Page[More Missions]
last updated: August 2012