[from V. The Third Recital]

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[The Conversion of Asoka - 1]
1: 276-291 = Mhv. 33-48

The consecrated King Asoka also consecrated the prince called Tissa, who was his younger brother of the same Mother, to the vice-sovereignty. His Father Bindusāra had fed sixty thousand brāhmaṇas of the brāhmaṇa faction, and for three years he also fed them.

But having seen they were not quiet in his house Asoka said: “After investigating the donation I will give,” and gathered his ministers. The wise one had the various sectarians brought separately and investigated them on their seat, and after feeding them, sent them away.

One time, while stood at the window, he saw a peaceful striver, The word in Pāḷi is yati, a denomination still sometimes used in Sri Lanka for monks.01 the novice Nigrodha, going along the street, and his heart gained faith. The young man was the son of prince Sumana, the eldest brother of all of Bindusāra’s children.

Asoka had left the sovereignty of Ujjenī, given by his Father, and gone to the City of Flowers when Bindusāra was sick and took possession of the city. With the death of his Father he killed all his elder brothers and took sovereignty over the noble city.

Prince Sumana’s queen, of the same name, being pregnant, fled from there to outside the eastern gate and went to an outcastes' village. There a banyan-tree god called her by name and built a house and gave it to her.

On the same day the noble son was born, and to her son she gave the name Nigrodha, because of the assistance of the god.

When the elder outcaste saw her, he honoured her like his mistress, and attended on her well for seven years.

The Elder Mahāvaruṇa, having seen that the boy was endowed with the supporting conditions for Worthiness, Arahatta.02 asked his Mother to let him go forth, and in the shaving house I.e. as he was being prepared for ordination.03 he attained Worthiness.

While going from there to see his divine Mother, after entering the supreme city by the south gate, he went by the road along the highway through village after village.

The Lord of the World gained faith through seeing his peaceful posture, but love arose in him because of a previous life spent together.