The Life of the Victorious Buddha

[The Story of the Departure]


asso sāmi mayānīto kālaṁ jāna rathesabha
iti abravi channo so bhūpālassa yasassino [174]

“Sāmi, mayā asso nīto, Ratha-Esabha, Esabha is a by-form from usabha, lit.: bull.01 kālaṁ jāna,” iti so Channo Yasassino Bhū-Pālassa abravi.

“Sire, I have brought the horse, know the time, O Best of Charioteers,” so said Channa to the Famous Protector of the Earth.


mahīpati tadā sutvā channenodīritaṁ giraṁ
pāsādā otaritvāna gantvā kanthakasantikaṁ [175]

Tadā Mahī-Pati Channena-udīritaṁ giraṁ sutvā, pāsādā otaritvāna, Kanthaka-santikaṁ gantvā,

Then the Master of the Earth, after hearing the word spoken by Channa, descending from the palace, and going into the presence of Kanthaka,


tassidaṁ vacanaṁ bhāsi sabbasattahite rato
kanthakajjekarattiṁ maṁ tārehi sanarāmaraṁ [176]

lokam-uttārayissāmi buddho hutvā anuttaro
bhavasāgarato ghorajarādi-makarākaraṁ [177]

tassa-idaṁ vacanaṁ bhāsi: “Sabba-satta-hite rato, Kanthaka, ajja-eka-rattiṁ maṁ tārehi, anuttaro Buddho hutvā, sa-nara-amaraṁ makara-akaraṁ ghora-jarā-ādi lokaṁ bhava-sāgarato uttārayissāmi.”

said this word to him: “Delighting in the welfare of all beings, Kanthaka, carry me today for this one night, and having become an unsurpassed Buddha, I will carry the world, with its men and gods, across the ocean of existence, which is a great repository of terrors beginning with old-age and so forth.”


idaṁ vatvā tam-āruyha sindhavaṁ saṅkhasannibhaṁ
gāhāpetvāna channena sudaḷhaṁ tassa vāladhiṁ [178]

Idaṁ vatvā, taṁ saṅkha-sannibhaṁ sindhavaṁ āruyha, tassa vāladhiṁ Channena su-daḷhaṁ gāhāpetvāna,

Having said (this), and mounted the white Lit: conch-like horse.02 horse, with his tail firmly taken hold of by Channa,


patvāna so mahādvārasamīpaṁ samacintayi
bhaveyya vivaṭaṁ dvāraṁ yena kenaci no sace [179]

vāladhiṁ gahiteneva saddhiṁ channena kanthakaṁ
nippīḷayitvā satthīhi imam-accuggataṁ subhaṁ
ullaṅghitvāna pākāraṁ gacchāmī ti mahabbalo [180]

so Mahā-Balo mahā-dvāra-samīpaṁ patvāna, samacintayi: “Sace yena kenaci dvāraṁ no vivaṭaṁ bhaveyya, vāladhiṁ gahitena Channena saddhiṁ, Kanthakaṁ eva satthīhi nippīlayitvā, imaṁ accuggataṁ subhaṁ pākāraṁ ullaṅghitvāna, gacchāmī” ti.

the One of Great Strength, having come close to the main gate, thought (thus): “If the door is not opened by anyone, then together with Channa holding on to the tail, having gripped Kanthaka with my thighs, after jumping over this tall, beautiful wall, I will depart.” Gacchāmi is a present tense verb being used here to indicate the near future, see Perniola, Pali Grammer, p. 349, for more examples of this usage.03


tathā thāmabalūpeto channo pi turaguttamo
visuṁ visuṁ vicintesuṁ pākāraṁ samatikkamaṁ [181]

Tathā thāma-bala-upeto Channo, turaga-uttamo pi, pākāraṁ samatikkamaṁ visuṁ visuṁ vicintesuṁ.

Channa, who was endowed with firm strength, and (Kanthaka) the supreme horse, each individually thought of overcoming the wall in the same way.


tassa cittaṁ viditvāna moditā gamane subhe
vivariṁsu tadā dvāraṁ dvāredhiggahitā surā [182]

Tadā tassa cittaṁ viditvāna, subhe gamane moditā dvāre-adhiggahitā Surā dvāraṁ vivariṁsu.

Then, having understood (the Bodhisatta's) mind, the Suras who were in possession of the door, rejoicing in the auspicious departure, opened the door.


taṁ siddhattham-asiddhatthaṁ karissāmī ti cintiya
āgantvā tassidaṁ bhāsi antaḷikkhe ṭhitantiko [183]

Antiko cintiya: “Taṁ Siddhatthaṁ asiddhatthaṁ karissāmī” ti, antaḷikkhe āgantvā, ṭhito tassa-idaṁ bhāsi:

(Then Māra) the Murderer thought: “This Siddhattha (the one who has accomplished his aim), I will make one who has not accomplished his aim,” A play on the meaning of the Boddhisatta's personal name.04 and after going up into the firmament, while standing there, he said this to him:


mā nikkhamma mahāvīra ito te sattame dine
dibbaṁ tu cakkaratanaṁ addhā pātubhavissati [184]

“Mā nikkhamma, Mahā-Vīra, ito sattame dine te dibbaṁ Cakka-Ratanaṁ tu addhā pātu-bhavissati.”

“Do not renounce (the world), Great Champion, seven days from now the divine Wheel Treasure The Wheel Treasure is the symbol of soveriegnty. Māra is indicating that if he waits a little while he will become a Cakkavattī, a Universal Monarch. 05 will certainly appear to you.”


iccevaṁ vuccamāno so antakena mahāyaso
kosi tvam-iti taṁ bhāsi māro cattānam-ādisi [185]

Iti-evaṁ Antakena vuccamāno, so Mahā-Yaso: “Tvaṁ ko-āsi?” iti taṁ bhāsi, Māro ca-attānaṁ ādisi.

The Murderer speaking thus, the Greatly Famous One said this to him: “Who are you?” and Māra showed himself.


māra jānām-ahaṁ mayhaṁ dibbacakkassa sambhavaṁ
gaccha tvam-idha mā tiṭṭha namhi rajjena-m-atthiko [186]

“Māra ahaṁ mayhaṁ dibba-Cakkassa sambhavaṁ jānāmi! Tvaṁ gaccha! Idha mā tiṭṭha! Rajjena-m-atthiko na-amhi,

“Māra, I know my divine Wheel will appear! (But) you must go! Do not stand here! I have no need of Sovereignty,


sabbaṁ dasasahassam-pi lokadhātum-ahaṁ pana
unnādetvā bhavissāmi buddho lokekanāyako [187]

ahaṁ pana sabbaṁ pi dasa-sahassaṁ loka-dhātuṁ unnādetvā, Buddho Loka-Eka-Nāyako bhavissāmi.”

but, after making the whole of the ten-thousand world system resound, I will become a Buddha, the Sole Leader of the World.”


evaṁ vutte mahāsatte attano giram-uttariṁ
gāhāpetuṁ asakkonto tatthevantaradhāyi so [188]

Mahā-Satte evaṁ vutte, attano giraṁ uttariṁ gāhāpetuṁ asakkonto, so tattha-eva-antaradhāyi.

This being said by the Great Being, (Māra), being unable to accept this supreme utterance himself, vanished right there and then.


pāpimassa idaṁ vatvā cakkavattisirim-pi ca
pahāya kheḷapiṇḍaṁ va paccūsasamaye vasiṁ [189]

Pāpimassa idaṁ vatvā, Cakka-Vatti-siriṁ pi ca paccūsa-samaye kheḷa-piṇḍaṁ pahāya va vasiṁ.

Having said this to the Wicked One, he dwelt on having given up the glory of the Universal Monarchy, as though it were a lump of spit in the early morning.


gacchantam-abhipūjetuṁ samāgantvāna tāvade
ratanukkāsahassāni dhārayantā marū tahiṁ [190]

Marū abhipūjetuṁ gacchantaṁ, tāvade tahiṁ samāgantvāna, ratana-ukkā-sahassāni dhārayantā,

The Maruts going to pay worship, having gathered at once in that place, bearing a thousand jewelled torches,


pacchato purato tassa ubhopassesu gacchare
tatheva abhipūjentā supaṇṇā ca mahoragā [191]

tassa pacchato purato ubho-passesu gacchare, tatha-eva Supaṇṇā ca Mahā-Uragā abhipūjentā,

went before and behind him, and on both sides, the Supaṇṇas and the Great Snakes i.e. the Nāgas.06 worshipping right there,


suvipulasurasenā cārulīlābhirāmā
kusumasaliladhārā vassayantā nabhamhā
iha hi dasasahassī cakkavāḷāgatā tā
sukhumatanutametodaggudaggā caranti [192]

dasa-sahassī cakka-vāḷā iha hi āgatā tā cāru-līlā-abhirāmā su-vipula-Sura-senā nabhamhā kusuma-salila-dhārā vassayantā, sukhuma-tanu-tamā-etā-udagga-udaggā caranti.

while a truly great army of Suras, delighting in charming play, like a shower of flowers raining down from the sky, came here from the ten-thousand world-systems, having supremely subtle bodies and being greatly elated they roamed about.


yasmiṁ sugandhavarapupphasudhūpacuṇṇa
gacchaṁ mahājavavaraṅgaturaṅgarājā
gantuṁ na sakkhi javato kusumādilaggo [193]

Yasmiṁ su-gandha-vara-puppha-su-dhūpa-cuṇṇa hema-ddhaja-ppabhuti-bhāsura-cāru-magge gacchaṁ, mahā-java-vara-aṅga-turaṅga-rājā, kusuma-ādi-laggo, javato gantuṁ na sakkhi.

Going along that charming path, wherein there were fragrant and excellent flowers and sweet incense powder, and golden flags and so on blazing forth, the speedy noble-bodied kings of horses, impeded by the flowers and so on, were not able to go quickly.


itthaṁ tamhi pathe ramme vattamāne mahāmahe
gacchanto rattisesena tiṁsayojanam-añjase [194]

Itthaṁ tamhi ramme pathe mahā-mahe vattamāne, ratti-sesena añjase tiṁsa-yojanaṁ gacchanto,

While the great festival on the delightful path was continuing in this way, going thirty leagues along the road for the rest of the night,


patvānomānadītīraṁ piṭṭhito turagassa so
otaritvāna vimale sītale sikatātale [195]

Anomā-nadī-tīraṁ patvā, so turagassa piṭṭhito vimale sītale sikatā-tale otaritvāna,

after reaching the bank of the river Anomā, descending from the back of the horse onto the spotless, cool, sandy ground,


vissamitvā idaṁ vatvā gacchāhī ti sakaṁ puraṁ
āharaṇāni ādāya channemaṁ turagam-pi ca [196]

vissamitvā, “Channa, āharaṇāni imaṁ turagaṁ pi ca ādāya sakaṁ puraṁ gacchāhī” ti. Idaṁ vatvā,

and resting (he said): “Channa, take this horse and the things that were brought and go (back) to our city.” Having said this,


ṭhito tasmiṁ mahāvīro accantanisitāsinā
sugandhavāsitaṁ moliṁ chetvānukkhipi ambare [197]

tasmiṁ ṭhito Mahā-Vīro, accanta-nisita-asinā su-gandha-vāsitaṁ moliṁ chetvāna, ambare ukkhipi.

while standing in that place the Great Champion, with a very sharp sword having cut off his fragrantly perfumed top-knot, threw it into the sky.


cāruhemasumuggena kesadhātuṁ nabhuggataṁ
pūjanatthaṁ sahassakkho sirasā sampaṭicchiya [198]

Sahassa-Akkho, pūjanā-atthaṁ sirasā, nabha-uggataṁ, Kesa-Dhātuṁ cāru-hema-su-muggena sampaṭicchiya,

(Sakka) the Thousand-Eyed One, desiring to worship it with his head, having risen into the sky, received the Hair Relic in a charming, golden casket,


mayehi cūḷāmaṇicetiyaṁ so
ubbedhato yojanamattamaggaṁ [199]

so amala-Tāvatiṁse vilocana-ānanda-kara-indanīla-mayehi ubbedhato yojana-mattaṁ aggaṁ Cūḷā-Maṇi-Cetiyaṁ patiṭṭhapesā.

and installed it in the spotless Tāvatiṁsa (Heaven), in the top of the Crest-Jewel Shrine, which was about a league in height, made of sapphire, and was such as brings joy to the eyes.


uttamaṭṭhaparikkhāre dhāretvā brahmunābhataṁ
ambare va pavijjhittha varaṁ dussayugam-pi ca [200]

Uttama-aṭṭha-parikkhāre Brahmunā-ābhataṁ dhāretvā, ambare varaṁ dussa-yugaṁ pi ca va pavijjhittha.

Having taken the supreme eight requisites (of a monk) The three robes, a bowl, a razor, a needle (for darning), a belt, and a water strainer.07 which had been brought by the Brahmas, he also threw his excellent clothes into the sky.


tam-ādāya mahābrahmā brahmaloke manoramaṁ
dvādasayojanubbedhaṁ dussathūpaṁ akārayi [201]

Mahā-Brahmā taṁ ādāya, Brahma-loke mano-ramaṁ dvā-dasa-yojana-ubbedhaṁ Dussa-Thūpaṁ akārayi.

The Great Brahmā having caught it, made a delightful twelve league high Clothes Shrine in the Brahmā worlds.


nāmenānupiyaṁ nāma gantvā ambavanaṁ tahiṁ
sattāhaṁ vītināmetvā pabbajjāsukhato tato [202]

Nāmena-Anupiyaṁ nāma amba-vanaṁ gantvā, tahiṁ pabbajjā-sukhato satt-ahaṁ vītināmetvā, tato

After going to the mango grove by the name of Anupiya, and spending therein seven days in the bliss of having gone forth, from there


gantvānekadineneva tiṁsayojanamañjasaṁ
patvā rājagahaṁ dhīro piṇḍāya cari subbato [203]

eka-dinena-eva tiṁsa-yojanaṁ añjasaṁ gantvāna, Rāja-gahaṁ patvā, subbato Dhīro piṇḍāya cari.

having gone thirty leagues along the road in just one day, and reached Rājagaha, the well-conducted Hero roamed for alms.