Nidānakathā
Introduction

vv. 1-11. [1.1] {1.1} The Apaṇṇaka and other Jātaka Stories, which in times gone by were recounted on various occasions by the great illustrious Sage, and in which during a long period our Teacher and Leader, desiring the salvation of mankind, fulfilled the vast conditions of Buddhahood, Lit. perfected the vast constituents of Buddhahood, the Pāramitā are meant. were all collected together and added to the canon of Dhamma by those who made the recension, and rehearsed them under the name of the Jātaka. Having bowed at the feet of the Great Sage, the lord of the world, by whom in innumerable existences Lit. in thousands of koṭis of births; a koṭi is ten millions. boundless benefits were conferred upon mankind, and having paid reverence to the Dhamma, and ascribed honour to the Saṅgha, the receptacle of all honour; and having removed all dangers by the efficacy of that meritorious act of veneration and honour referring to the Three Jewels, I proceed to recite a Commentary upon this Jātaka, illustrating as it does the infinite efficacy of the actions of great men – a commentary based upon the method of exposition current among the inmates of the Great Monastery [Mahāvihāra [In Anurādhapura, Sri Lanka.]]. And I do so at the personal request of the elder Atthadassī, who lives apart from the world and [1.2] ever dwells with his fraternity, and who desires the perpetuation of this chronicle of Buddha; and likewise of Buddhamitta the tranquil and wise, sprung from the race of Mahiṁsāsaka, [It is interesting to note that the writer acknowledges a heterodox monastic, even while promoting his interpretation as orthodox.] skilled in the canons of interpretation; and moreover of the monk Buddhadeva of clear intellect. May all good men lend me their favourable attention while I speak! The above lines in the original are in verse. I have found it impossible to follow the arrangement of the verses, owing to the extreme involution of the style. {1.2}

Inasmuch as this comment on the Jātaka, if it be expounded after setting forth the three Epochs, the distant, the middle, and proximate, will be clearly understood by those who hear it by being understood from the beginning, therefore I will expound it after setting forth the three Epochs. Accordingly from the very outset it will be well to determine the limits of these Epochs. Now the narrative of the Bodhisatta’s existence, from the time that, at the feet of Buddha Dīpaṅkara, he formed a resolution to become a Buddha to his rebirth in the Tusita heaven after leaving the Vessantara existence, is called the Distant Epoch. From his leaving the Tusita heaven to his attainment of omniscience on the throne of Awakening, the narrative is called the Intermediate Epoch. And the Proximate Epoch is to be found in the various places in which he sojourned (during his ministry on earth).

The following is:

I The Distant Epoch

[The Story of Sumedha]

Tradition tells us that four asaṅkheyyas An asaṅkheyya is a period of vast duration, lit. an incalculable. and a hundred thousand cycles ago there was a city called Amaravatī. In this city there dwelt a brahmin named Sumedha, of good family on both sides, on the father’s and the [1.3] mother’s side, of pure conception for seven generations back, by birth unreproached and respected, a man comely, well-favoured and amiable, and endowed with remarkable beauty. He followed his brahminical studies without engaging in any other pursuit.

His parents died while he was still young. A minister of state, who acted as steward of his property, bringing forth the roll-book of his estate, threw open the stores filled with gold and silver, gems and pearls, and other valuables, and said: “So much, young man, belonged to your mother, so much to your father, so much to your grandparents and great-grandparents,” and pointing out to him the property inherited through seven generations, he bade him guard it carefully. The wise Sumedha thought to himself, “After amassing all this wealth my parents and ancestors when they went to another world took not a farthing with them, can it be right that I should make it an object to take my wealth with me when I go?” And informing the king of his intention, he caused proclamation to be made Lit. “caused the drums to be beat.” in the city, gave largess to the people, and embraced the ascetic life.

To make this matter clear the Story of Sumedha must here be related. This story, though given in full in the Buddhavaṁsa, from its being in a metrical form, is not very easy to understand. I will therefore relate it with sentences at intervals explaining the metrical construction.

Four asaṅkheyyas and a hundred thousand cycles ago there was a city called Amaravatī or Amara, resounding with the ten city cries, concerning which it is said in Buddhavaṁsa, {1.3}

12. “Four asaṅkheyyas and a hundred thousand cycles ago
There was a city called Amara, beautiful and pleasant,
Resounding with the ten cries, abounding in food and drink.” Here a gloss in the text enumerates the whole ten cries. [1.4]

Then follows a verse of Buddhavaṁsa, enumerating some of these cries,

13. “The trumpeting of elephants, the neighing of horses, (the sound of) drums, trumpets, and chariots,
And viands and drinks were cried, with the invitation: Eat and drink.”

It goes on to say,

14. “A city supplied with every requisite, engaged in every sort of industry,
Possessing the seven precious things, thronged with dwellers of many races.”

The abode of devout men, like the prosperous city of the Devas.

15. “In the city of Amaravatī dwelt a brahmin named Sumedha,
Whose hoard was many tens of millions, blest with much wealth and store;

16. Studious, knowing the Mantras, versed in the three Vedas,
Teacher of the science of divination and of the traditions and observances of his caste.”

Now one day the wise Sumedha, having retired to the splendid upper apartment of his house, seated himself cross-legged, and started thinking. “Oh! Wise man, The Bodhisatta is frequently called paṇḍita, e.g. sasapaṇḍito (Five Jāt. 52), Rāmapaṇḍito (Dasaratha Jāt. 1). grievous is rebirth in a new existence, and the dissolution of the body in each successive place where we are reborn. I am subject to birth, to decay, to disease, to death – it is right, being such, that I should strive to attain the great deathless Nibbāna, which is tranquil, and free from birth, and decay, and sickness, and grief and joy; surely there must be a road that leads to Nibbāna and releases man from existence.”

Accordingly it is said,

17. “Seated in seclusion, I then thought as follows:
Grievous is rebirth and the breaking up of the body.

18. I am subject to birth, to decay, to disease,
Therefore will I seek Nibbāna, free from decay and death, and secure.

19. Let me leave this perishable body, this pestilent congregation of vapours,
And depart without desires and without wants. {1.4}

20. There is, there must be a road, it cannot but be:
I will seek this road, that I may obtain release from existence.” [1.5]

Further he reasoned thus, “For as in this world there is pleasure as the correlative of pain, so where there is existence there must be its opposite the cessation of existence; and as where there is heat there is also cold which neutralizes it, so there must be a Nibbāna Lit. “Extinction.” that extinguishes (the fires of) lust and the other passions; and as in opposition to a bad and evil condition there is a good and blameless one, so where there is evil birth there must also be Nibbāna, called the birthless, because it puts an end to all rebirth.”

Therefore it is said,

21. “As where there is suffering there is also bliss,
So where there is existence we must look for non-existence.

22. And as where there is heat there is also cold,
So where there is the threefold fire of passion extinction must be sought.

23. And as coexistent with evil there is also good,
Even so where there is birth Mr. Fausböll points out to me that in tividhaggi and jāti we have Vedic abbreviations. the cessation of birth should be sought.”

Again he reasoned thus, “Just as a man who has fallen into a heap of filth, if he beholds afar off a great pond covered with lotuses of five colours, ought to seek that pond, saying, ‘By what way shall I arrive there?’ But if he does not seek it the fault is not that of the pond; even so where there is the lake of the great deathless Nibbāna for the washing of the defilement of sin, if it is not sought it is not the fault of the lake. And just as a man who is surrounded by robbers, if when there is a way of escape he does not fly it is not the fault of the way but of the man; even so when there is a blessed road loading to Nibbāna for the man who is encompassed and held fast by sin, its not being sought is not the fault of the road but of the person. And as a man who is oppressed with sickness, there being a physician who can heal his disease, if he does not get [1.6] cured by going to the physician that is no fault of the physician; even so if a man who is oppressed by the disease of sin seeks not a spiritual guide who is at hand and knows the road which puts an end to sin, the fault lies with him and not with the sin-destroying teacher.”

Therefore it is said,

24. “As a man fallen among filth, beholding a brimming lake,
If he seek not that lake, the fault is not in the lake;

25. So when there exists a lake of Nibbāna that washes the stains of sin,
If a man seek not that lake, the fault is not in the lake of Nibbāna. {1.5}

26. As a man beset with foes, there being a way of escape,
If he flee not away, the fault is not with the road;

27. So when there is a way of bliss, if a man beset with sin
Seek not that road, the fault is not in the way of bliss.

28. And as one who is diseased, there being a physician at hand,
If he bid him not heal the disease, the fault is not in the healer:

29. So if a man who is sick and oppressed with the disease of sin
Seek not the spiritual teacher, the fault is not in the teacher.”

And again he argued, “As a man fond of adornment, throwing off a corpse bound to his shoulders, goes away rejoicing, so must I, throwing off this perishable body, and freed from all desires, enter the city of Nibbāna. And as men and women depositing filth on a dungheap do not gather it in the fold or skirt of their garments, but loathing it, throw it away, feeling no desire for it; so shall I also cast off this perishable body without regret, and enter the deathless city of Nibbāna. And as seamen abandon without regret an unseaworthy ship and escape, so will I also, leaving this body, which distils corruption from its nine festering apertures, enter without regret the city of Nibbāna. And as a man carrying various sorts of jewels, and going on the same road with a band of robbers, out of fear of losing his jewels withdraws from them and gains a safe road; even so this impure body is like a jewel-plundering robber, if I set my affections thereon the precious spiritual jewel of the sublime path of holiness will be lost to me, therefore [1.7] ought I to enter the city of Nibbāna, forsaking this robber-like body.”

Therefore it is said,

30. “As a man might with loathing shake off a corpse bound upon his shoulders,
And depart secure, independent, master of himself;

31. Even so let me depart, regretting nothing, wanting nothing,
Leaving this perishable body, this collection of many foul vapours.

32. And as men and women deposit filth upon a dungheap,
And depart regretting nothing, wanting nothing,

33. So will I depart, leaving this body filled with foul vapours,
As one leaves a cesspool after depositing ordure there.

34. And as the owners forsake the rotten bark that is shattered and leaking,
And depart without regret or longing, {1.6}

35. So shall I go, leaving this body with its nine apertures ever running,
As its owners desert the broken ship.

36. And as a man carrying wares, walking with robbers,
Seeing danger of losing his wares, parts company with the robbers and gets him gone,

37. Even so is this body like a mighty robber –
Leaving it I will depart through fear of losing good.”

Having thus in nine similes pondered upon the advantages connected with retirement from the world, the wise Sumedha gave away at his own house, as aforesaid, an immense hoard of treasure to the indigent and wayfarers and sufferers, and kept open house. And renouncing all pleasures, both material and sensual, departing from the city of Amara, away from the world in the Himālayas he made himself a hermitage near the mountain called Dhammaka, and built a hut and a perambulation hall free from the five defects which are hindrances (to meditation). And with a view to obtain the power residing in the Super Knowledges, which are characterized by the eight causal qualities described in the words beginning, “With a mind thus tranquillised, [purified and cleansed, unblemished, free from impurities, malleable, workable, established and having gained imperturbability]” Evaṁ samāhite citte parisuddhe pariyodāte anaṅgaṇe vigatūpakkilese mudubhūte kammaniye ṭhite ānejjappatte ñāṇadassanāya cittaṁ abhinīharati (Sāmaññaphalasutta, [DN 2] see Lotus, p. 476, line 14). he embraced in that [1.8] hermitage the ascetic life of a Sage, casting off the cloak with its nine disadvantages, and wearing the garment of bark with its twelve advantages. And when he had thus given up the world, forsaking this hut, crowded with eight drawbacks, he repaired to the foot of a tree with its ten advantages, and rejecting all sorts of grain lived constantly upon wild fruits. And strenuously exerting himself both in sitting and in standing and in walking, within a week he became the possessor of the eight Attainments and the five Super Knowledges; and so, in accordance with his prayer, he attained the might of the Super Knowledges.

Therefore it is said,

38. “Having pondered thus I gave many thousand millions of wealth
To rich and poor, and made my way to the Himālayas.

39. Not far from the Himālayas is the mountain called Dhammaka,
Here I made an excellent hermitage, and built with care a leafy hut.

40. There I built a cloister, free from five defects,
Possessed of the eight good qualities, and attained the strength of the Super Knowledges.

41. Then I threw off the cloak possessed of the nine faults,
And put on the raiment of bark possessed of the twelve advantages.

42. I left the hut, crowded with the eight drawbacks,
And went to the foot of the tree, which is possessed of ten advantages. Mr. Fausböll writes to me that guṇe for guṇehi must be viewed as an old Pali form originating in the Sanskrit guṇaih.

43. Wholly did I reject the grain that is sown and planted,
And partook of the constant fruits of the earth, possessed of many advantages. {1.7}

44. Then I strenuously strove, in sitting, in standing, and in walking,
And within seven days attained the strength of the Super Knowledges.” Here follow four pages of later commentary or gloss, which I leave untranslated [in fact throughout the translation the gloss, amounting to perhaps 20-25% of the text, was left untranslated]. {1.10}

Now while the ascetic Sumedha, having thus attained the strength of the Super Knowledges, was living in the bliss of the (eight) Attainments, the teacher Dīpaṅkara appeared in the world. At the moment of his conception, of his birth, of his attainment of Buddhahood, of his preaching his first discourse, the whole universe [1.9] of ten thousand worlds {1.11} trembled, shook and quaked, and gave forth a mighty sound, and the thirty-two prognostics showed themselves. But the ascetic Sumedha, living in the bliss of the Attainments, neither heard that sound nor beheld those signs.

Therefore it is said,

45. “Thus when I had attained the consummation, while I was subject to the dispensation,
The Conqueror named Dīpaṅkara, chief of the universe, appeared.

46. At his conception, at his birth, at his Buddhahood, at his preaching,
I saw not the four signs, plunged as I was in the delight of Absorption.”

At that time Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, accompanied by a hundred thousand saints, wandering his way from place to place, reached the city of Ramma, and took up his residence in the great monastery of Sudassana. And the dwellers of the city of Ramma heard it said: “Dīpaṅkara, lord of ascetics, having become a supreme Buddha, and set on foot the wheel of the Dhamma, wandering his way from place to place, has come to the town of Ramma, and dwells at the great monastery of Sudassana.” And taking with them ghee and butter and other medicinal requisites and clothes and raiment, and bearing perfumes and garlands and other offerings in their hands, their minds bent towards the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, inclining towards them, hanging upon them, they approached the teacher and worshipped him, and presenting the perfumes and other offerings, sat down on one side. And having heard his preaching of the Dhamma, and invited him for the next day, they rose from their seats and departed. And on the next day, having prepared almsgiving for the poor, and having decked out the town, they repaired the road by which the One with Ten Powers was to come, throwing earth in the places that were worn away by water and thereby levelling the surface, and scattering sand that looked like strips of silver. And they sprinkled fragrant roots and flowers, and raised aloft flags and banners of many-coloured cloths, and set up banana [1.10] arches and rows of brimming jars.

Then the ascetic Sumedha, ascending from his hermitage, and proceeding through the air till he was above those men, and beholding the joyous multitude, exclaimed, “What can be the reason?” Alighting, he stood on one side and questioned the people, “Tell me, why are you adorning this road?”

Therefore it is said,

47. “In the region of the border districts, having invited the Tathāgata,
With joyful hearts they are clearing the road by which he should come.

48. And I at that time leaving my hermitage,
Rustling my barken tunic, departed through the air.

49. And seeing an excited multitude joyous and delighted,
Descending from the air I straightway asked the men, {1.12}

50. The people are excited, joyous and happy,
For whom is the road being cleared, the path, the way of his coming?”

And the men replied, “Lord Sumedha, do you not know? Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, having attained supreme Awakening, and set rolling the Dhamma wheel, travelling from place to place, has reached our town, and dwells at the great monastery Sudassana; we have invited the Fortunate One, and are making ready for the fortunate Buddha the road by which he is to come.” And the ascetic Sumedha thought: “The very sound of the word Buddha is rarely met with in the world, much more the actual appearance of One with Ten Powers; it behoves me to join those men in clearing the road.” He said therefore to the men, “If you are clearing this road for the Buddha, assign to me a piece of ground, I will clear the ground in company with you.” They consented, said: “It is well,” and perceiving the ascetic Sumedha to be possessed of Supernormal Power, they fixed upon a swampy piece of ground, and assigned it to him, saying: “Prepare this spot.” Sumedha, his heart filled with joy of which the Buddha was the cause, thought within himself, “I am able to prepare [1.11] this piece of ground by my Supernormal Power, but if so prepared it will give me no satisfaction; this day it behoves me to perform menial duties,” and fetching earth he threw it upon the spot.

But ere the ground could be cleared by him – with a train of a hundred thousand miracle-working saints endowed with the six Super Knowledges, while Devas offered celestial wreaths and perfumes, while celestial hymns rang forth, and men paid their homage with earthly perfumes and with flowers and other offerings, Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, with all a Buddha’s transcendant majesty, like a lion rousing himself to seek his prey on the Vermilion plain, came down into the road all decked and made ready for him.

Then the ascetic Sumedha – as the One with Ten Powers with unblenching eyes approached along the road prepared for him, beholding that form endowed with the perfection of beauty, adorned with the thirty-two characteristics of a great man, and marked with the eighty minor marks, attended by a halo of a fathom’s depth, and sending forth in streams the six-hued Buddha-rays, linked in pairs of different colours, and wreathed like the varied lightnings that flash in the gem-studded vault of heaven – exclaimed, “This day it behoves me to make sacrifice of my life for the One with Ten Powers: let not the Blessed one walk in the mire – nay, let him advance with his four hundred thousand saints trampling on my body as if walking upon a bridge of jewelled planks, this deed will long be for my good and my happiness.” So saying, he loosed his hair, and {1.13} spreading in the inky mire his ascetic’s skin mantle, roll of matted hair and garment of bark, he lay down in the mire like a bridge of jewelled planks.

Therefore it is said,

51. “Questioned by me they replied, ‘An incomparable Buddha is born into the world,
The Conqueror named Dīpaṅkara, lord of the universe,

For him the road is cleared, the way, the path of his coming.’ [1.12 ]

52. When I heard the name of Buddha joy sprang up forthwith within me,
Repeating, ‘a Buddha, a Buddha!’ I gave utterance to my joy.

53. Standing there I pondered, joyful and excited,
Here I will sow the seed, may the happy moment not pass away.

54. ‘If you clear a path for the Buddha, assign to me a place,
I also will clear the road, the way, the path of his coming.’

55. Then they gave me a piece of ground to clear the pathway;
Then repeating within me, ‘a Buddha, a Buddha!’ I cleared the road.

56. But ere my portion was cleared, Dīpaṅkara the great sage,
The Conqueror, entered the road with four hundred thousand saints like himself,
Possessed of the six Super Knowledges, pure from all taint of wrong.

57. On every side men rose to receive him, many drums sent forth their music,
Men and Devas were overjoyed, shouting forth their applause.

58. Devas look upon men, men upon Devas,
And both with clasped hands upraised approach the Tathāgata.

59. Devas with celestial music, men with earthly music,
Both sending forth their strains approach the Tathāgata.

60. Devas floating in the air sprinkle down in all directions
Celestial Erythrina flowers, lotuses and coral flowers.

61. Men standing on the ground throw upwards in all directions
Champac and Salaḷa flowers, Kadamba and fragrant Mesua, PunNāga, and Ketaka.

62. Then I loosed my hair, and spreading in the mire
Bark robe and mantle of skin, lay prone upon my face.

63. Let the Buddha advance with his disciples, treading upon me;
Let him not tread in the mire, it will be for my blessing.”

And as he lay in the mire, again beholding the Buddha-majesty of Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, with his unblenching gaze, he thought as follows, “Were I willing, I could enter the city of Ramma as a novice in the priesthood, after having destroyed all human passions; {1.14} but why should I disguise myself The following is what I take to be the meaning of this passage: “If I chose I could at once enter the Buddhist priesthood, and by the practice of ecstatic meditation (Jhāna) free myself from human passion, and become an Arahat or saint. I should then at death at once attain Nibbāna and cease to exist. But this would be a selfish course to pursue, for thus I should benefit myself only. Why should I thus slip unobserved and in the humble garb of a monk into Nibbāna? Nay, let me rather qualify myself to become a Buddha, and so save others as well as myself.” This is the great Act of Renunciation by which the Bodhisattva, when Nirvāṇa was within his grasp, preferred to endure ages of heroic trials in the exercise of the Pāramitā, that he might be enabled to become a Buddha, and so redeem mankind. See D’Alwis’s Introduction to Kacchāyana’s Grammar, p. vi. to attain Nibbāna after the destruction [1.13] of human passion? Let me rather, like Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, having risen to the supreme Awakening, enable mankind to enter the Ship of the Dhamma and so carry them across the Ocean of Existence, and when this is done afterwards attain Nibbāna; this indeed it is right that I should do.” Then having enumerated the eight conditions (necessary to the attainment of Buddhahood), and having made the resolution to become Buddha, he laid himself down.

Therefore it is said,

64. “As I lay upon the ground this was the thought of my heart,
‘If I wished it I might this day destroy within me all human passions.

65. But why should I in disguise arrive at the knowledge of the Dhamma?
I will attain omniscience and become a Buddha, and (save) men and Devas.

66. Why should I cross the ocean resolute but alone?
I will attain omniscience, and enable men and Devas to cross.

67. By this resolution of mine, I, a man of resolution,
Will attain omniscience, and save men and Devas,

68. Cutting off the stream of transmigration, annihilating the three forms of existence,
Embarking in the ship of the Dhamma, I will carry across with me men and Devas.” What follows from yasmā to nipajji belongs to a later commentary. I resume the translation with p. 15, line 11.

[Wherefore [This line and the following verse were omitted by Rhys Davids.] wishing for Buddhahood (he said):

69. “Conditioned by being a human being and male, meeting a teacher,
Going-forth, being endowed with virtue, aspiration and wholesome desire,
Resolve, with these eight things combined he will succeed.”] {1.15}

And the blessed Dīpaṅkara having reached the spot stood close by the ascetic Sumedha’s head. And opening his eyes possessed of the five kinds of grace as one opens a jewelled window, and beholding the ascetic Sumedha lying in the mire, thought to himself, “This ascetic who lies here has formed the resolution to be a Buddha; will his prayer be fulfilled or not?” And casting forward his prescient gaze into the future, and considering, he perceived that four asaṅkheyyas and a hundred thousand aeons from that time he would become a Buddha named Gotama. And standing there in the midst of the assembly he delivered this prophecy, “Do you see this austere ascetic lying in the mire?” “Yes, Lord,” they answered. [1.14] “This man lies here having made the resolution to become a Buddha, his prayer will be answered; at the end of four asaṅkheyyas and a hundred thousand cycles hence he will become a Buddha named Gotama, and in that birth the city Kapilavatthu will be his residence, queen Māyā will be his mother, king Suddhodana his father, his chief disciple will be thera Upatissa, his second disciple thera Kolita, the Buddha’s servitor will be Ānanda, his chief female disciple the nun Khemā, the second the nun Uppalavaṇṇā. When he attains to years of ripe knowledge, having retired from the world and made the great exertion, having received at the foot of a banyan tree a meal of rice milk, and partaken of it by the banks of the Nerañjarā, having ascended the throne of Awakening, he will, at the foot of an Assattha tree, attain Supreme Buddhahood.”

Therefore it is said,

70. “Dīpaṅkara, knower of all worlds, receiver of offerings,
Standing by that which pillowed my head, spoke these words:

71. ‘See ye this austere ascetic with his matted hair,
Countless ages hence he will be a Buddha in this world. {1.16}

72. Lo, the Tathāgata departing from pleasant Kapila,
Having fought the great fight, performed all manner of austerities.

73. Having sat at the foot of the Ajapāla tree, the Tathāgata there received milk rice,
Shall approach the Nerañjarā river.

74. Having received the milk rice on the banks of the Nerañjarā, the Conqueror
Shall come by a fair road prepared for him to the foot of the Bodhi tree.

75. Then, unrivalled and glorious, reverentially saluting the throne of Awakening,
At the foot of an Assattha tree he shall attain Buddhahood.

76. The mother that bears him shall be called Māyā,
His father will be Suddhodana, he himself will be Gotama.

77. His chief disciples will be Upatissa and Kolita,
Void of human passion, freed from desire, calm-minded and tranquil.

78. The servitor Ānanda will attend upon the Conqueror,
Khemā and Uppalavaṇṇā will be his chief female disciples,

79. Void of human passion, freed from desire, calm-minded and tranquil.
The sacred tree of this Buddha is called the Assattha.” [1.15]

The ascetic Sumedha, exclaiming, “My prayer, it seems, will be accomplished,” was filled with happiness. The multitudes, hearing the words of Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, were joyous and delighted, exclaiming, “The ascetic Sumedha, it seems, is a Buddha seed, a tender shoot that will grow up into a Buddha.” For thus they thought: “As a man fording a river, if he is unable to cross to the ford opposite him, crosses to a ford lower down the stream, even so we, if in the dispensation of Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, fail to attain the paths and their fruition, yet when you shall become Buddha we shall be enabled in thy presence to make the paths and their fruition our own,” – and so they recorded their prayer (for future assurance).

The Buddha Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, having praised the Bodhisatta, and made an offering to him of eight handfuls of flowers, reverentially saluted him and departed. And the Arahats, also, four hundred thousand in number, having made offerings to the Bodhisatta of perfumes and garlands, reverentially saluted him and departed. And the Devas and men having made the same offerings, and bowed down to him, went their way.

And the Bodhisatta, when all had retired, rising from his seat and exclaiming, “I will investigate the Perfections,” sat himself down cross-legged on a heap of flowers. And as the Bodhisatta sat thus, the Devas in all the ten thousand worlds assembling shouted applause. “Venerable ascetic Sumedha,” they said, “all the auguries which have manifested themselves when former Bodhisattas seated themselves cross-legged, saying, ‘We will investigate the Perfections,’ – all these this day have appeared: assuredly you shall become Buddha. {1.17} This we know, to whom these omens appear, he surely will become a Buddha; do you make a strenuous effort and exert thyself.” With these words they lauded the Bodhisatta with varied praises.

Therefore it is said, [1.16]

80. “Hearing these words of the incomparable Sage,
Devas and men delighted, exclaimed, ‘This is a seed of a Buddha.’

81. A great clamour arises, men and Devas in ten thousand worlds
Clap their hands, and laugh, and make obeisance with clasped hands.

82. ‘Should we fail,’ they say, ‘in this Buddha’s dispensation,
Yet in time to come we shall stand before him.

83. As men crossing a river, if they fail to reach the opposite ford,
Gaining the lower ford cross the great river,

84. Even so we all, if we lose this Buddha,
In time to come shall stand before him.’

85. The world-knowing Dīpaṅkara, the receiver of offerings,
Having celebrated my meritorious act, went his way. Lit. “raised his right foot (to depart).”

86. All the disciples of the Buddha that were present saluted me with reverence,
Men, Nāgas, and Gandhabbas bowed down to me and departed.

87. When the lord of the world with his following had passed beyond my sight,
Then glad, with gladsome heart, I rose up from my seat.

88. Joyful I am with a great joy, glad with a great gladness;
Flooded with rapture then I seated myself cross-legged.

89. And even as thus I sat I thought within myself,
‘I am subject to Absorption, I have mastered the Super Knowledges.

90. In a thousand worlds there are no sages that rival me,
Unrivalled in Supernormal Powers I have reached this bliss.’

91. When thus they beheld me sitting, Lit. “at my sitting cross-legged.” the dwellers of the ten thousand worlds
Raised a mighty shout, ‘Surely you will be a Buddha!

92. The omens Mr. Fausböll writes that yaṁ is a mistake of the copyist for = yāni. beheld in former ages when the Bodhisatta sat cross-legged,
The same are beheld this day.

93. Cold is dispelled and heat ceases,
This day these things are seen – verily you will be a Buddha.

94. A thousand worlds are stilled and silent,
So are they seen today – verily you will be a Buddha. {1.18}

95. The mighty winds blow not, the rivers cease to flow,
These things are seen today – verily you will be a Buddha.

96. All flowers blossom on land and sea,
This day they all have bloomed – verily you will be a Buddha.

97. All creepers and trees are laden with fruit,
This day they all bear fruit – verily you will be a Buddha.

98. Gems sparkle in earth and sky,
This day all gems do glitter – verily you will be a Buddha. [1.17]

99. Music earthly and celestial sounds,
Both these today send forth their strains – verily you will be a Buddha.

100. Flowers of every hue rain down from the sky,
This day they are seen – verily you will be a Buddha.

101. The mighty ocean bends itself, ten thousand worlds are shaken,
This day they both send up their roar – verily you will be a Buddha.

102. In hell the fires of ten thousand worlds die out,
This day these fires are quenched – verily you will be a Buddha.

103. Unclouded is the sun and all the stars are seen,
These things are seen today – verily you will be a Buddha.

104. Though no water fell in rain, vegetation burst forth from the earth,
This day vegetation springs from the earth – verily you will be a Buddha.

105. The constellations are all aglow, and the lunar mansions in the vault of heaven,
Visākhā is in conjunction with the moon – verily you will be a Buddha.

106. Those creatures that dwell in holes and caves depart each from his lair,
This day these lairs are forsaken – verily you will be a Buddha.

107. There is no discontent among mortals, but they are filled with contentment,
This day all are content – verily you will be a Buddha.

108. Then diseases are dispelled and hunger ceases,
This day these things are seen – verily you will be a Buddha.

109. Then desire wastes away, hate and ignorance perish,
This day all these are dispelled – verily you will be a Buddha.

110. No danger then comes near; this day this thing is seen,
By this sign we know it – verily you will become a Buddha.

111. No dust flies abroad; this day this thing is seen,
By this sign we know it – verily you will be a Buddha.

112. All noisome odours flee away, celestial fragrance breathes around,
Such fragrance breathes this day – verily you will be a Buddha. {1.19}

113. All the Devas are manifested, the formless only excepted,
This day they all are seen – verily you will be a Buddha.

114. All the hells become visible,
These all are seen this day – verily you will be a Buddha.

115. Then walls, and doors, and rocks are no impediment,
This day they have melted into air, Or, “have risen into the air”? – verily you will be a Buddha.

116. At that moment death and birth do not take place,
This day these things are seen – verily you will be a Buddha.

117. Do you make a strenuous effort, hold not back, go forward,
This thing we know – verily you will be a Buddha.’ ” [1.18]

And the Bodhisatta, having heard the words of Dīpaṅkara, the One with Ten Powers, and of the Devas in ten thousand worlds, filled with immeasurable resolution, thought thus within himself, “The Buddhas are beings whose word cannot fail; there is no deviation from truth in their speech. For as the fall of a clod thrown into the air, as the death of a mortal, as the sunrise at dawn, as a lion’s roaring when he leaves his lair, as the delivery of a woman with child, as these things are sure and certain – even so the word of the Buddhas is sure and cannot fail, verily I shall become a Buddha.”

Therefore it is said,

118. “Having heard the words of Buddha and of the Devas of ten thousand worlds,
Glad, joyous, delighted, I then thought thus within myself:

119. ‘The Buddhas speak not doubtful words, the Conquerors speak not vain words,
There is no falsehood in the Buddhas – verily I shall become a Buddha.

120. As a clod cast into the air does surely fall to the ground,
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting.

121. As the death of all mortals is sure and constant,
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting.

122. As the rising of the sun is certain when night has faded,
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting.

123. As the roaring of a lion who has left his den is certain,
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting.

124. As the delivery of women with child is certain,
So the word of the glorious Buddhas is sure and everlasting.’ ”

And having thus made the resolution, “I shall surely become Buddha,” with a view to investigating the conditions that constitute a Buddha, exclaiming, “Where are the conditions that make the Buddha, {1.20} are they found above or below, in the principal or the minor directions?” investigating successively the principles of all things, and beholding the first Perfection of Generosity [Dāna], practised and followed by former Bodhisattas, he thus admonished his own soul, “Wise Sumedha, from this time forth [1.19] you must fulfil the perfection of Generosity; for as a water-jar overturned discharges the water so that none remains, and cannot recover it, even so if you, indifferent to wealth and fame, and wife and child, and goods great and small, give away to all who come and ask everything that they require till nought remains, you will sit at the foot of the Bodhi tree and become a Buddha.” With these words he strenuously resolved to attain the first perfection of Generosity.

Therefore it is said,

125. “Come, I will search the Buddha-making conditions, this way and that,
Above and below, in all the ten directions, as far as the principles of things extend.

126. Then, as I made my search, I beheld the first Perfection of Generosity,
The high road followed by former sages.

127. ‘Do you strenuously taking it upon thyself advance
To this first Perfection of Generosity, if you will attain Buddhahood.

128. As a brimming water-jar, overturned by any one,
Discharges entirely all the water, and retains none within,

129. Even so, when you see any that ask, great, small, and middling,
Do you give away all in alms, as the water-jar overthrown.’ ”

But considering further, “There must be beside this other conditions that make a Buddha,” and beholding the second Perfection of Virtue [Sīla], he thought thus, “O wise Sumedha, from this day forth may you fulfil the perfection of Virtue; for as the Yak, regardless of his life, guards his bushy tail, even so you will become a Buddha, if from this day forward regardless of your life you keep the moral precepts.” And he strenuously resolved to attain the second perfection of Virtue.

Therefore it is said,

130. “For the conditions of a Buddha cannot be so few,
Let me investigate the other conditions that bring Buddhahood to maturity.

131. Then investigating I beheld the second Perfection of Virtue
Practised and followed by former sages. [1.20]

132. ‘This second one do you strenuously undertake,
And reach the Perfection of Virtue if you would attain Buddhahood.

133. And as the Yak cow, when her tail has got entangled in anything,
Then and there awaits death, and will not injure her tail, Viz., I suppose, by dragging it forcibly away. This metaphor, which to us appears wanting in dignity, is a favourite one with the Hindus. The tail of the Yak or Tibetan ox (Bos Grunniens) is a beautiful object, and one of the insignia of Hindu royalty. {1.21}

134. So also do you, having fulfilled the moral precepts in the four stages,
Ever guard Virtue as the Yak guards her tail.’ ”

But considering further, “These cannot be the only Buddha-making conditions,” and beholding the third Perfection of Renunciation [Nekkhamma], he thought thus, “O wise Sumedha, may you henceforth fulfil the perfection of Renunciation; for as a man long the denizen of a prison feels no love for it, but is discontented, and wishes to live there no more, even so do you, likening all births to a prison-house, discontented with all births, and anxious to get rid of them, set thy face toward renunciation, thus will you become Buddha.” And he strenuously made the resolution to attain the third perfection of Renunciation.

Therefore it is said,

135. “For the conditions that make a Buddha cannot be so few,
I will investigate others, the conditions that bring Buddhahood to maturity.

136. Investigating then I beheld the third Perfection of Renunciation
Practised and followed by former sages.

137. ‘This third one do you strenuously undertake,
And reach the Perfection of Renunciation, if you would attain Buddhahood.

138. As a man long a denizen of the house of bonds, oppressed with suffering,
Feels no pleasure therein, but rather longs for release,

139. Even so do you look upon all births as prison-houses,
Set thy face toward Renunciation, to obtain release from Existence.’ ”

But considering further, “These cannot be the only Buddha-making conditions,” and beholding the fourth Perfection of Wisdom [Paññā], he thought thus, “O wise Sumedha, [1.21] do you from this day forth fulfil the perfection of Wisdom, avoiding no subject of knowledge, great, small, or middling, Lit. “not avoiding anything among things great, small, and middling.” do you approach all wise men and ask them questions; for as the mendicant on his begging rounds, avoiding none of the families, great and small, that he frequents, After kiñci understand kulaṁ, as will be seen from v. 143. and wandering for alms from place to place, speedily gets food to support him, even so will you, approaching all wise men, and asking them questions, become a Buddha.” And he strenuously resolved to attain the fourth perfection of Wisdom.

Therefore it is said,

140. “For the conditions that make a Buddha cannot be so few,
I will investigate the other conditions that bring Buddhahood to maturity.

141. Investigating then I beheld the fourth Perfection of Wisdom
Practised and followed by former sages.

142. ‘This fourth do you strenuously undertake,
And reach the Perfection of Wisdom, if you would attain Buddhahood. {1.22}

143. And as a monk on his begging rounds avoids no families,
Either small, or great, or middling, and so obtains subsistence,

144. Even so you, constantly questioning wise men,
And reaching the Perfection of Wisdom, will attain supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

But considering further, “These cannot be the only Buddha-making conditions,” and seeing the fifth Perfection of Effort [Viriya], he thought thus, “O wise Sumedha, do you from this day forth fulfil the perfection of Exertion. As the lion, the king of beasts, in every action Lit. in all postures, walking, standing, etc. strenuously makes an effort himself, so if you in all existences and in all your acts are strenuous in effort, and not a laggard, you will become a Buddha.” And he made a firm resolve to attain the fifth perfection of Effort.

Therefore it is said, [1.22]

145. “For the conditions of a Buddha cannot be so few,
I will investigate the other conditions which bring Buddhahood to maturity.

146. Investigating then I beheld the fifth Perfection of Effort
Practised and followed by former sages.

147. ‘This fifth do you strenuously undertake,
And reach the Perfection of Effort, if you would attain Buddhahood.

148. As the lion, king of beasts, in lying, standing and walking,
Is no laggard, but ever of resolute heart,

149. Even so do you also in every existence strenuously exert thyself,
And reaching the Perfection of Effort, you will attain the supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

But considering further, “These cannot be the only Buddha-making conditions,” and beholding the sixth Perfection of Patience [Khanti], he thought to himself, “O wise Sumedha, do you from this time forth fulfil the perfection of forbearance; be you patient in praise and in reproach. And as when men throw things pure or foul upon the earth, the earth does not feel either desire or repulsion towards them, but suffers them, endures them and acquiesces in them, even so you also, if you are patient in praise and reproach, will become a Buddha.” And he strenuously resolved to attain the sixth perfection of Patience.

Therefore it is said,

150. “For the conditions of a Buddha cannot be so few,
I will seek other conditions also which bring about Buddhahood.

151. And seeking then I beheld the sixth Perfection of Patience
Practised and followed by former Buddhas.

152. ‘Having strenuously taken up this sixth Perfection,
Then with unwavering mind you will attain supreme Buddhahood. {1.23}

153. And as the earth endures all that is thrown upon it,
Whether things pure or impure, and feels neither anger nor pity,

154. Even so enduring the praises and reproaches of all men,
Going on to perfect Patience, you will attain supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

But further considering, “These cannot be the only conditions that make a Buddha,” and beholding the seventh Perfection of Truth [Sacca], he thought thus within [1.23] himself, “O wise Sumedha, from this time forth do you fulfil the perfection of Truth; though the thunderbolt descend upon your head, do you never under the influence of desire and other passions utter a conscious lie, for the sake of wealth or any other advantage. And as the planet Venus at all seasons pursues her own course, nor ever goes on another course forsaking her own, even so, if you forsake not truth and utter no lie, you will become a Buddha.” And he strenuously turned his mind to the seventh perfection of Truth.

Therefore it is said,

155. “For these are not all the conditions of a Buddha,
I will seek other conditions which bring about Buddhahood.

156. Seeking then I beheld the seventh Perfection of Truth
Practised and followed by former Buddhas.

157. ‘Having strenuously taken upon thyself this seventh Perfection,
Then free from duplicity of speech you will attain supreme Buddhahood.

158. And as the planet Venus, balanced in all her times and seasons,
In the world of men and Devas, departs not from her path,

159. Even so do you not depart from the course of truth, Lit. depart from your course in the matter of truthful things.
Advancing to the Perfection of Truth, you will attain supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

But further considering, “These cannot be the only conditions that make a Buddha,” and beholding the eighth Perfection of Determination [Adhiṭṭhāna], he thought thus within himself, “O wise Sumedha, do you from this time forth fulfil the perfection of Determination; whatsoever you resolve be you unshaken in that resolution. For as a mountain, the wind beating upon it in all directions, trembles not, moves not, but stands in its place, even so you, if unswerving in thy resolution, will become a Buddha.” And he strenuously resolved to attain the eighth perfection of Determination.

Therefore it is said,

160. “For these are not all the conditions of a Buddha,
I will seek out other conditions that bring about Buddhahood. [1.24] {1.24}

161. Seeking then I beheld the eighth Perfection of Determination
Practised and followed by former Buddhas.

162. ‘Do you resolutely take upon thyself this eighth Perfection,
Then you being immovable will attain supreme Buddhahood.

163. And as the rocky mountain, immovable, firmly based,
Is unshaken by many winds, and stands in its own place,

164. Even so do you also remain ever immovable in resolution,
Advancing to the Perfection of Resolution, you will attain supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

But further considering, “These cannot be the only conditions that make a Buddha,” and beholding the ninth Perfection of Loving-Kindness [Mettā], he thought thus within himself, “O wise Sumedha, do you from this time forth fulfil the perfection of Loving-Kindness, may you be of one mind towards friends and foes. And as water fills with its refreshing coolness good men and bad alike, Lit. having made its coldness exactly alike for bad people and good people, pervades them. even so, if you are of one mind in friendly feeling towards all mortals, you will become a Buddha.” And he strenuously resolved to attain the ninth perfection of Loving-Kindness.

Therefore it is said,

165. “For these are not all the conditions of a Buddha,
I will seek out other conditions that bring about Buddhahood.

166. Seeking I beheld the ninth Perfection of Loving-Kindness
Practised and followed by former Buddhas.

167. ‘Do you, taking resolutely upon thyself this ninth Perfection,
Become unrivalled in kindness, if you will become a Buddha.

168. And as water fills with its coolness
Good men and bad alike, and carries off all impurity,

169. Even so do you look with friendship alike on the evil and the good,
Advancing to the Perfection of Loving-Kindness, you will attain supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

But further considering, “These cannot be the only conditions that make a Buddha,” and beholding the tenth Perfection of Equanimity [Upekkhā], he thought thus within himself, “O wise Sumedha, from this time do you fulfil the [1.25] perfection of Equanimity, be you of equal mind in prosperity and adversity. And as the earth is indifferent when things pure or impure are cast upon it, even so, if you are indifferent in prosperity and adversity, you will become a Buddha.” And he strenuously resolved to attain the tenth perfection of Equanimity.

Therefore it is said, {1.25}

170. “For these cannot be all the conditions of a Buddha,
I will seek other conditions that bring about Buddhahood.

171. Seeking then I beheld the tenth Perfection of Equanimity
Practised and followed by former Buddhas.

172. ‘If you take resolutely upon thyself this tenth Perfection,
Becoming well-balanced and firm, you will attain supreme Buddhahood.

173. And as the earth is indifferent to pure and impure things cast upon her,
To both alike, and is free from anger and favour,

174. Even so do you ever be evenly-balanced in joy and grief,
Advancing to the Perfection of Equanimity, you will attain supreme Buddhahood.’ ”

Then he thought: “These are the only conditions in this world that, bringing Buddhahood to perfection and constituting a Buddha, have to be fulfilled by Bodhisattas; beside the Ten Perfections there are no others. And these Ten Perfections are neither in the heaven above nor in the earth below, nor are they to be found in the east or the other quarters, but reside in my heart of flesh.” Having thus realized that the Perfections were established in his heart, having strenuously resolved to keep them all, grasping them again and again, he mastered them forwards and backwards; i.e. alternately from the first to the tenth and from the tenth to the first. taking them at the end he went backward to the beginning, taking them at the beginning he placed them at the end, i.e. put the first last. taking them at the middle he carried them to the two ends, taking them at both ends he carried them to the middle. [1.26]

Repeating, “The Perfections are the sacrifice of limbs, the Lesser Perfections are the sacrifice of property, the Unlimited Perfections are the sacrifice of life,” he mastered them as the Perfections, the Lesser Perfections and the Unlimited Perfections – like one who converts two kindred oils into one, Vijesinha. or like one who, using Mount Meru for his churning-rod, churns the great Cakkavāla ocean. And as he grasped again and again the Ten Perfections, by the power of his piety this earth, four nahutas and eight hundred thousand leagues in breadth, like a bundle of reeds trodden by an elephant, or a sugar-mill in motion, uttering a mighty roar, trembled, shook and quaked, and spun round like a potter’s wheel or the wheel of an oil-mill.

Therefore it is said,

175. “These are all the conditions in the world that bring Buddhahood to perfection:
Beyond these are no others, therein do you stand fast.

176. While he grasped these conditions natural and intrinsic, Vijesinha writes to me, “Natural and intrinsic virtues. The Sinhalese gloss says: paramārthavū rasasahitavū lakṣaṇa-œti nohot svabhāvalakṣaṇa hā sarvadharmasādhāraṇalakṣaṇa-œti. In the latter case it would mean, having the quality of conformity with all laws.”
By the power of his piety the earth of ten thousand worlds quaked.

177. The earth swayed and thundered like a sugar-mill at work,
Like the wheel of an oil-mill so shakes the earth.” {1.26}

And while the earth was trembling the people of Ramma, unable to endure it, like great Sāl trees overthrown by the wind that blows at the end of a cycle, fell swooning here and there, while waterpots and other vessels, revolving like a jar on a potter’s wheel, struck against each other and were dashed and ground to pieces. The multitudes in fear and trembling approaching the Teacher said: “Tell us, Fortunate One, is this turmoil caused by dragons, or is it caused by either bhūtas, or Yakkhas, or by Devas? for this we know not, but truly this whole multitude is grievously afflicted. Does [1.27] this portend evil to the world or good? tell us the cause of it.” The Teacher hearing their words said: “Fear not, nor be troubled, there is no danger to you from this. The wise Sumedha, concerning whom I predicted this day, ‘Hereafter he will be a Buddha named Gotama,’ is now mastering the Perfections, and while he masters them and turns them about, by the power of his piety the whole ten thousand worlds with one accord quake and thunder,” Therefore it is said,

178. “All the multitude that was there in attendance on the Buddha,
Trembling, fell swooning there upon the ground.

179. Many thousands of waterpots and many hundred jars
Were crushed and pounded there and dashed against each other.

180. Excited, trembling, terrified, confused, their senses disordered,
The multitudes assembling, approached the Buddha,

181. Say, will it be good or evil to the world?
The whole world is afflicted, ward off this (danger), Omniscient One.

182. Then the Great Sage Dīpaṅkara enjoined upon them,
Be confident, be not afraid at this earthquaking:

183. He concerning whom I predicted this day, ‘He will be a Buddha in this world,’
The same is investigating the time-honoured Conditions followed by the Buddhas.

184. Therefore while he is investigating fully these Conditions, the groundwork of a Buddha,
The earth of ten thousand worlds is shaken in the world of men and of Devas.”

And the people hearing the Tathāgata’s words, joyful and delighted, taking with them garlands, perfumes and unguents, left the city of Ramma, and went to the Bodhisatta. And having offered their flowers and other presents, and bowing to him and respectfully saluting him, they returned to the city of Ramma. And the Bodhisatta, having made a strenuous exertion and resolve, rose from the seat on which he sat.

Therefore it is said, {1.27}

185. “Having heard the Buddha’s word, their minds were straightway calmed,
All of them approaching me again paid me their homage. [1.28]

186. Having taken upon me the Perfections of a Buddha, having made firm my resolve,
Having bowed to Dīpaṅkara, I rose from my seat.”

And as the Bodhisatta rose from his seat, the Devas in all the ten thousand worlds having assembled and offered him garlands and perfumes, uttered these and other words of praise and blessing, “Venerable ascetic Sumedha, this day you have made a mighty resolve at the feet of Dīpaṅkara Buddha, may you fulfil it without let or hindrance: fear not nor be dismayed, may not the slightest sickness visit your frame, quickly exercise the Perfections and attain supreme Buddhahood. As the flowering and fruit-bearing trees bring forth flowers and fruit in due season, so do you also, not letting the right season pass by, quickly reach the supreme knowledge of a Buddha.” And thus having spoken, they returned each one to his celestial home.

Then the Bodhisatta, having received the homage of the Devas, made a strenuous exertion and resolve, saying: “Having fulfilled the Ten Perfections, at the end of four asaṅkheyyas and a hundred thousand cycles I shall become a Buddha.” And rising into the air he returned to Himavanta.

Therefore it is said,

187. “As he rose from his seat both Devas and men
Sprinkle him with celestial and earthly flowers.

188. Both Devas and men pronounce their blessing,
A great prayer you have made, may you obtain it according to your wish.

189. May all dangers be averted, may every sickness vanish,
May you have no hindrance – quickly reach the supreme knowledge of a Buddha.

190. As when the season is come the flowering trees do blossom,
Even so do you, O mighty One, blossom with the wisdom of a Buddha.

191. As all the Buddhas have fulfilled the Ten Perfections,
Even so do you, O mighty One, fulfil the Ten Perfections.

192. As all the Buddhas are enlightened on the throne of knowledge,
Even so do you, O mighty One, receive Awakening in the wisdom of a Buddha. [1.29]

193. As all the Buddhas have established the supremacy of the Dhamma,
Even so do you, O mighty One, establish the supremacy of the Dhamma.

194. As the moon on the mid-day of the month shines in her purity,
Even so do you, with thy mind at the full, shine in ten thousand worlds. {1.28}

195. As the sun released by Rāhu glows fervently in his heat,
Even so, having redeemed mankind, do you shine in all thy majesty.

196. As all the rivers find their way to the great ocean,
Even so may the worlds of men and Devas take refuge in thee.

197. The Bodhisatta extolled with these praises, taking on himself the ten Conditions,
Commencing to fulfil these Conditions, entered the forest.

End of the Story of Sumedha

[Buddha Dīpaṅkara]

And the people of the city of Ramma, having returned to the city, kept open house to the monastics with the Buddha at their head. The Teacher having preached the Dhamma to them, and established them in the three Refuges and so on, departing from the city of Ramma, living thereafter his allotted span of life, having fulfilled all the duties of a Buddha, in due course attained Nibbāna in that element of annihilation in which no trace of existence remains. On this subject all that need be said can be learned from the narrative in the Buddhavaṁsa, for it is said in that work,

198. “Then they, having entertained the chief of the world with his monastics,
Took refuge in the Teacher Dīpaṅkara.

199. Some the Tathāgata established in the refuges,
Some in the five precepts, others in the ten precepts.

200. To some he gives the four glorious fruits of the ascetic life,
On some he bestows those peerless qualities the analytical knowledges.

201. To some the Lord of men grants the eight sublime Attainments,
On some he bestows the three knowledges and the six Super Knowledges.

202. In this order Vijesinha says, “In that order, viz. in the Saraṇāgamana first, then in the Pañcasīla, then in the Dasasīla, and so on.” the Great Sage exhorts the multitude.
Therewith the dispensation of the world’s Protector was spread wide abroad. [1.30]

203. He of the mighty jaw, of the broad shoulder, Dīpaṅkara by name,
Procured the salvation of many men, warded off from them future punishment.

204. Beholding persons ripe for salvation, reaching them in an instant,
Even at a distance of four hundred thousand leagues, the Great Sage awakened them (to the knowledge of the truth).

205. At the first conversion the Buddha converted a thousand millions.
At the second the Protector converted a hundred thousand.

206. When the Buddha preached the truth in the Deva world,
There took place a third conversion of nine hundred millions. {1.29}

207. The Teacher Dīpaṅkara had three assemblies,
The first was a meeting of a million millions.

208. Again when the Conqueror went into seclusion at Nārada peak,
A thousand million spotless Arahats met together.

209. When the Mighty One dwelt on the lofty rock Sudassana,
Then the Sage surrounded himself with nine hundred thousand millions.

210. At that time I was an ascetic wearing matted hair, a man of austere penances,
Moving through the air, accomplished in the five Super Knowledges.

211. The (simultaneous) conversion of tens of thousands, of twenties of thousands, took place,
Of ones and twos the conversions were beyond computation. Lit. “arithmetically innumerable.”

212. Then did the pure dispensation of Dīpaṅkara Buddha become widely spread,
Known to many men prosperous and flourishing.

213. Four hundred thousand saints, possessed of the six Super Knowledges, endowed with psychic powers,
Ever attend upon Dīpaṅkara, knower of the three worlds.

214. Blameworthy are all they who at that time leave the human existence,
Not having obtained final sanctity, still imperfect in knowledge.

215. The word of Buddha shines in the world of men and Devas, made to blossom by Arahats such as these,
Freed from human passion, void of all taint (of sin).

216. The city of Dīpaṅkara Buddha was called Rammavatī,
The khattiya Sumedha was his father, Sumedhā his mother.

217. Sumaṅgala and Tissa were his chief disciples,
And Sāgata was the servitor of Dīpaṅkara Buddha.

218. Nandā and Sunandā were his chief female disciples.
The Bodhi tree of this Buddha is called the Pipphali. [The Asvattha, or Indian Fig tree].

219. Eighty cubits in height the Great Sage Dīpaṅkara
Shone conspicuous as a Deodar pine, or as a noble Sāl tree in full bloom. [1.31]

220. A hundred thousand years was the age of this Great Sage,
And so long as he was living on earth he brought many men to salvation.

221. Having made the Dhamma to flourish, having saved great multitudes of men,
Having flamed like a mass of fire, he died together with his disciples.

222. And all these powers, this glory, these jewel-wheels on his feet,
All is wholly gone – are not all existing things vanity! {1.30}

223. After Dīpaṅkara was the leader named Koṇḍañña,
Of infinite powers, of boundless renown, immeasurable, unrivalled.”

[Buddha Koṇḍañña]

Next to the Dīpaṅkara Buddha, after the lapse of one asaṅkheyya, the Teacher Koṇḍañña appeared.

He also had three assemblies of saints,
at the first assembly there were a million millions,
at the second ten thousand millions,
at the third nine hundred millions.

At that time the Bodhisatta, having been born as a Universal Monarch named Vijitāvī, kept open house to the monastics with the Buddha at their head, in number a million of millions. The Teacher having predicted of the Bodhisatta, “He will become a Buddha,” preached the Dhamma. He having heard the Teacher’s preaching gave up his kingdom and became a Buddhist monk. Having mastered the Three Baskets, The three divisions of the Buddhist Scriptures [i.e. the Tipiṭaka]. having obtained the six Super Knowledges, and having practised without failure the Absorptions, he was reborn in the Brahmā Realms.

The city of Koṇḍañña Buddha was Rammavatī,
the khattiya Sunanda was his father,
his mother was queen Sujātā,
Bhadda and Subhadda were his two chief disciples,
Anuruddha was his servitor,
Tissā and Upatissā his chief female disciples,
his Bodhi tree was the beautiful Sāla,
his body was eighty-eight cubits high,
and the duration of his life was a hundred thousand years.

[Buddha Maṅgala]

After him, at the end of one asaṅkheyya, in one and the same cycle four Buddhas were born, Maṅgala, Sumana, Revata and Sobhita.

Maṅgala Buddha had three assemblies of saints,
of these at the first there were [1.32] a million million priests,
at the second ten thousand millions,
at the third nine hundred millions.

It is related that a step-brother of his, prince Ānanda, accompanied by an assembly of nine hundred millions, went to the Teacher to hear him preach the Dhamma. The Teacher gave a discourse dealing successively with his various doctrines, and Ānanda and his whole retinue attained Arahatship together with the analytical knowledges.

The Teacher looking back upon the meritorious works done by these men of family in former existences, and perceiving that they had enough merit to acquire the robe and bowl by Supernormal Powers, stretching forth his right hand exclaimed, “Come, priests.” The formula by which a Buddha admits a layman to the priesthood. Then straightaway all of them having become equipped with obtained robes and bowls by Supernormal Powers, and perfect in decorum, Vijesinha. as if they were elders of sixty years standing, paid homage to the Teacher and attended upon him. This was his third assembly of saints.

Whereas with other Buddhas a light shone from their bodies to the distance of eighty cubits on every side, it was not so with this Buddha, but the light from his body permanently filled ten thousand worlds, and trees, earth, mountains, seas and all other things, not excepting even pots and pans and such-like articles, became as it were overspread with a film of gold. The duration of his life was ninety thousand years, and during the whole of this period the sun, moon and other heavenly bodies could not shine by their own light, and there was no distinction between night and day. By day all living beings {1.31} went about in the light of the Buddha as if in the light of the sun, and men ascertained the limits of night and day only by the flowers that blossomed in the evening and by the birds and other animals that uttered their cries in the morning. If I am asked, “What, do not other Buddhas also possess this power?” I reply, “Certainly [1.33] they do,” for they might at will fill with their lustre ten thousand worlds or more. But in accordance with a prayer made by him in a former existence, the lustre of Maṅgala Buddha permanently filled ten thousand worlds, just as the lustre of the others permanently extended to the distance of a fathom. Lit. “like the fathom-light of the others, so the personal lustre of Maṅgala Buddha remained constantly pervading ten thousand worlds.”

The story is that when he was performing the duties of a Bodhisatta, i.e. the Pāramitā. being in an existence corresponding to the Vessantara existence, i.e. his last birth before attaining Buddhahood. he dwelt with his wife and children on a mountain like the Vaṅka mountain (of the Vessantarajātaka). One day a demon named Kharadāṭhika, This name means “sharp-fanged.” hearing of the Bodhisatta’s inclination to giving, approached him in the guise of a brahmin, and asked the Bodhisatta for his two children. The Bodhisatta, exclaiming, “I give my children to the brahmin,” cheerfully and joyfully gave up both the children, thereby causing the ocean-girt earth to quake. In approval of his act of faith. The demon, standing by the bench at the end of the cloistered walk, while the Bodhisatta looked on, devoured the children like a bunch of roots. Not a particle of sorrow Lit. “no grief as big as the tip of a hair.” arose in the Bodhisatta as he looked on the demon, and saw his mouth as soon as he opened it disgorging streams of blood like flames of fire, nay, a great joy and satisfaction welled within him as he thought: “My gift was well given.” And he put up the prayer, “By the merit of this deed may rays of light one day issue from me in this very way.” In consequence of this prayer of his it was that the rays emitted from his body when he became Buddha filled so vast a space.

There was also another deed done by him in a former existence. It is related that, when a Bodhisatta, having visited the relic shrine of a Buddha, he exclaimed, “I [1.34] ought to sacrifice my life for this Buddha,” and having wrapped round the whole of his body in the same way that torches are wrapped, and having filled with clarified butter a golden vessel with jewelled wick-holders, worth a hundred thousand pieces, he lit therein a thousand wicks, and having set fire to the whole of his body beginning with his head, he spent the whole night in circumambulating the shrine. And as he thus strove till dawn not the root of a hair of his head was even heated, ’twas as one enters the calyx of a lotus, for the Truth guards him who guards himself.

Therefore has the Fortunate One said,

224. “Dhamma verily protects him who walks according thereto,
Dhamma rightly followed brings happiness.
This blessing is then in rightly following the Dhamma,
The righteous man goes not to a state of punishment.” [Ed: Thag 303.] {1.32}

And through the merit of this work also the bodily lustre of this Buddha constantly extended through ten thousand worlds. At this time our Bodhisatta, Viz. Gotama Bodhisatta. having been born as the brahmin Suruci, approached the Teacher with the view of inviting him to his house, and having heard his sweet discourse, said: “Lord, take your meal with me tomorrow.” “Brahmin, how many monks do you wish for?” “Nay but how many monks have you in your escort?” At that time was the Teacher’s first assembly, and accordingly he replied, “A million millions.” “Lord, bring them all with you and come and take your meal at my house.” The Teacher consented.

The brahmin having invited them for the next day, on his way home thought to himself, “I am perfectly well able to supply [1.35] all these monks with broth and rice and clothes and such-like necessaries, but how can there be room for them to sit down?” This thought of his caused the marble throne of the King of the Devas, three hundred and thirty-six thousand leagues away, to become warm. When a good man is in difficulty, Sakka is apprised of it by his marble throne becoming warm. Sakka exclaiming, “Who wishes to bring me down from my abode?” and looking down with the divine eye beheld the Bodhisatta, and said: “The brahmin Suruci having invited the clergy with the Buddha at their head is perplexed for room to seat them, it behoves me also to go there and obtain a share of his merit.” And having miraculously assumed the form of a carpenter, axe in hand he appeared before the Bodhisatta and said: “Has any one got a job to be done for hire?” The Bodhisatta seeing him said: “What sort of work can you do?” “There’s no art that I do not know; any house or hall that anybody orders me to build, I’ll build it for him.” “Very well, I’ve got a job to be done.” “What is it, sir?” “I’ve invited a million million priests for tomorrow, will you build a hall to seat them all?” “I’ll build one with pleasure if you’ve the means of paying me.” “I have, my good man.” “Very well, I’ll build it.” And he went and began looking out for a site.

There was a spot some fifty leagues in extent Lit. twelve or thirteen yojanas; a yojana is four leagues. as level as a Meditation Object circle. Used in absorption, jhāna, meditation. Sakka fixed his eyes upon it, while he thought to himself, “Let a hall made of the seven precious stones rise up over such and such an extent of ground.” Immediately the edifice bursting through the ground rose up. The golden pillars of this hall had silver capitals, The Pali word for the capital of a column is ghaṭaka, “little pot.” the silver pillars had golden capitals, the gem pillars had coral capitals, the coral pillars had gem capitals, while those pillars which were made of all the [1.36] seven precious stones had capitals of the same. Next he said: “Let the hall have hanging wreaths of little bells at intervals,” and looked again. The instant he looked a fringe of bells hung down, whose musical tinkling, as they were stirred by a gentle breeze, was like a symphony of the five sorts of instruments, or as when the heavenly choirs are going on. He thought: “Let there be hanging garlands of perfumes and flowers,” and there the garlands hung. He thought: “Let seats and benches for a million million {1.33} monks rise up through the earth,” and straightaway they appeared. He thought: “Let water vessels rise up at each corner of the building,” and the water vessels arose. Having by his effected all this, he went to the brahmin and said: “Come, sir, look at your hall, and pay me my wages.”

The Bodhisatta went and looked at the hall, and as he looked his whole frame was thrilled in every part with fivefold joy. And as he gazed on the hall he thought thus within himself, “This hall was not wrought by mortal hands, but surely through my good intention, my good action, the palace of Sakka became hot, and hence this hall must have been built by the King of the Devas Sakka; it is not right that in such a hall as this I should give alms for a single day, I will give alms for a whole week.” For the gift of external goods, however great, cannot give satisfaction to the Bodhisattas, but the Bodhisattas feel joy at their self-renunciation when they sever the crowned head, put out the henna-anointed eyes, cut out the heart and give it away.

For when our Bodhisatta in the Sivijātaka [Ja 499] gave alms in the middle of his capital, at the four gates of the city, at a daily expenditure of five bushels of gold coins, this liberality failed to arouse within him a feeling of satisfaction at his renunciation. But on the other hand, when the King of the Devas Sakka came to him in the disguise of a brahmin, and asked for his eyes, then indeed, as he took them out and gave them away, laughter rose within him, [1.37] nor did his heart swerve a hair’s breadth from its purpose. And hence we see that as regards generosity the Bodhisattas can have no satiety.

Therefore this Bodhisatta also thinking: “I ought to give alms for seven days to a million million priests,” seated them in that hall, and for a week gave them the alms called gavapāna. According to the gloss printed in the text it is a compound of milk, rice, honey, sugar and clarified butter. Men alone were not able to wait upon them, but the Devas themselves, taking turns with men, waited upon them. A space of fifty leagues or more sufficed not to contain the monks, yet they seated themselves each by his own power. On the last day, having caused the bowls of all the monks to be washed, and filled them with butter clarified and unclarified, honey and molasses, for medicinal use, he gave them back to them, together with the three robes. The robes and cloaks received by novices and ordained priests were worth a hundred thousand.

The Teacher, when he returned thanks, considering, “This man has given such great alms, who can he be?” and perceiving that at the end of two asaṅkheyyas and four thousand cycles he would become a Buddha named Gotama, addressing the Bodhisatta, made this prediction, “After the lapse of such and such a period you will become a Buddha named Gotama.” The Bodhisatta, hearing the prediction, thought, {1.34} “It seems that I am to become a Buddha, what good can a householder’s life do me? I will give up the world,” and, treating all this prosperity like so much drivel, he received ordination at the hands of the Teacher. And having embraced the ascetic life and learned the word of Buddha, and having attained the Super Knowledges and the Attainments, at the end of his life he was reborn in the Brahmā Realms.

The city of Maṅgala Buddha was called Uttara,
his father was the khattiya Uttara;
his mother was Uttarā,
Sudeva and Dhammasena were his two chief [1.38] disciples,
Pālita was his servitor,
Sīvalī and Asokā his two chief female disciples.
The Nāga was his Bodhi tree,
his body was eighty-eight cubits high.

When his death took place, after he had lived ninety thousand years, at the same instant ten thousand worlds were involved in darkness, and in all worlds there was a great cry and lamentation of men.

225. “After Koṇḍañña the leader named Maṅgala,
Dispelling darkness in the world, held aloft the torch of truth.”

[Buddha Sumana]

And after the Buddha had died, shrouding in darkness ten thousand worlds, the Teacher named Sumana appeared.

He also had three great assemblies of saints,
at the first assembly the priests were a million millions,
at the second, on the Golden Mountain, ninety million of millions,
at the third eighty million of millions.

At this time the Bodhisatta was the Nāga king Atula, mighty and powerful. And he, hearing that a Buddha had appeared, left the Nāga world, accompanied by his assembled kinsmen, and, making offerings with celestial music to the Buddha, whose retinue was a million million of monastics, and having given great gifts, bestowing upon each two garments of fine cloth, he was established in the Three Refuges. And this Teacher also foretold of him, “One day he will be a Buddha.”

The city of this Buddha was named Khema,
Sudatta was his father,
Sirimā his mother,
Saraṇa and Bhāvitatta his chief disciples,
Udena his servitor,
Soṇā and Upasoṇā his chief female disciples.
The Nāga was his Bodhi tree,
his body was ninety cubits high,
and his age ninety thousand years.

226. “After Maṅgala came the leader named Sumana,
In all things unequalled, the best of all beings.” {1.35}

[Buddha Revata]

After him the Teacher Revata appeared.

He also had [1.39] three assemblies of saints.
At the first assembly the priests were innumerable,
at the second there were a million millions,
so also at the third.

At that time the Bodhisatta having been born as the brahmin Atideva, having heard the Teacher’s preaching, was established in the Three Refuges. And raising his clasped hands to his head, having praised the Teacher’s abandonment of human passion, presented him with a monk’s upper robe. And he also made the prediction, “You will become a Buddha.”

Now the city of this Buddha was called Sudhaññavatī,
his father was the khattiya Vipula,
his mother Vipulā,
Varuṇa and Brahmadeva his chief disciples,
Sambhava his servitor,
Bhaddā and Subhaddā his chief female disciples,
and the Nāga tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was eighty cubits high,
and his age sixty thousand years.

227. “After Sumana came the leader named Revata,
The Conqueror unequalled, incomparable, unmatched, supreme.”

[Buddha Sobhita]

After him appeared the Teacher Sobhita.

He also had three assemblies of saints;
at the first assembly a thousand million monks were present,
at the second nine hundred millions,
at the third eight hundred millions.

At that time the Bodhisatta having been born as the brahmin Ajita, and having heard the Teacher’s preaching, was established in the Three Refuges, and gave a great donation to the monastic Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head. To this man also he prophesied, saying: “Thou will become a Buddha.”

Sudhamma was the name of the city of this Fortunate One,
Sudhamma the king was his father,
Sudhammā his mother,
Asama and Sunetta his chief disciples,
Anoma his servitor,
Nakulā and Sujātā his chief female disciples,
and the Nāga tree his Bodhi tree;
his body was fifty-eight cubits high,
and his age ninety thousand years. [1.40]

228. “After Revata came the leader named Sobhita,
Subdued and mild, unequalled and unrivalled.”

[Buddha Anomadassī]

After him, when an asaṅkheyya had elapsed, three Buddhas were born in one kalpa – Anomadassī, Paduma, and Nārada.

Anomadassī had three assemblies of saints;
at the first eight hundred thousand monks were present,
at the second seven,
at the third six.

At that time the Bodhisatta was a Yakkha chief, mighty and powerful, the lord of many millions of {1.36} millions of Yakkhas. He, hearing that a Buddha had appeared, came and gave a great donation to the monastic Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head. And the Teacher prophesied to him too, saying: “Hereafter you will be a Buddha.”

The city of Anomadassī the Fortunate One was called Candavatī,
Yasava the king was his father,
Yasodharā his mother,
Nisabha and Anoma his chief disciples,
Varuṇa his servitor,
Sundarī and Sumanā his chief female disciples,
the Arjuna tree his Bodhi tree;
his body was fifty-eight cubits high,
his age a hundred thousand years.

229. “After Sobhita came the perfect Buddha – the best of men –
Anomadassī, of infinite fame, glorious, difficult to surpass.”

[Buddha Paduma]

After him appeared the Teacher named Paduma.

He too had three assemblies of saints;
at the first assembly a million million monks were present, {1.37}
at the second three hundred thousand,
at the third two hundred thousand of the monks who dwelt at a great grove in the uninhabited forest.

At that time, while the Tathāgata was living in that grove, the Bodhisatta having been born as a lion, saw the Teacher plunged in Absorption, and with trustful heart made obeisance to him, and walking round him with reverence, experienced great joy, and thrice uttered a [1.41] mighty roar. For seven days he laid not aside the bliss arising from the thought of the Buddha, but through joy and gladness, seeking not after prey, he kept in attendance there, offering up his life. When the Teacher, after seven days, aroused himself from his trance, he looked upon the lion and thought: “He will put trust in the monastic Saṅgha and make obeisance to them; let them draw near.” At that very moment the monks drew near, and the lion put faith in the Saṅgha. The Teacher, knowing his thoughts, prophesied, saying: “Hereafter he shall be a Buddha.”

Now the city of Paduma the Fortunate One was called Campaka,
his father was Paduma the king,
his mother Asamā,
Sāla and Upasāla were his chief disciples,
Varuṇa his servitor,
Rāmā and Uparāmā his chief female disciples,
the Trumpet Flower tree his Bodhi tree;
his body was fifty-eight cubits high,
and his age was a hundred thousand years.

230. “After Anomadassī came the perfect Buddha, the best of men,
Paduma by name, unequalled, and without a rival.”

[Buddha Nārada]

After him appeared the Teacher named Nārada.

He also had three assemblies of saints;
at the first assembly a million million monks were present,
at the second ninety million million,
at the third eighty million million.

At that time the Bodhisatta, having taken the vows as a sage, acquired the five Super Knowledges and the eight sublime Attainments, and gave a great donation to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head, making an offering of red sandal wood. And to him also he prophesied, “Hereafter you will be a Buddha.”

The city of this Fortunate One was called Dhaññavati,
his father was Sumedha the warrior,
his mother Anomā,
Bhaddasāla and Jetamitta his chief disciples,
Vāseṭṭha his servitor,
Uttarā and Pagguṇī his chief female disciples,
the great Trumpet Flower [1.42] tree was his Bodhi tree;
his body was eighty-eight cubits high,
and his age was ninety thousand years.

231. “After Paduma came the perfect Buddha, the best of men,
Nārada by name, unequalled, and without a rival.”

[Buddha Padumuttara]

After Nārada the Buddha, a hundred thousand world-cycles ago there appeared in one kalpa only one Buddha called Padumuttara.

He also had three assemblies of saints;
at the first a million million monks were present,
at the second, on the Vebhāra Mountain, nine hundred thousand million,
at the third eight hundred thousand million.

At that time the Bodhisatta, born as the Great Minister of the name of Jaṭila, gave an offering of robes to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head. And to him also he announced, “Hereafter you will be a Buddha.” And at the time of Padumuttara the Fortunate One there were no infidels, but all, men and Devas, took refuge in the Buddha.

His city was called Haṁsavatī,
his father was Ānanda the warrior,
his mother Sujātā,
Devala and Sujāta his chief disciples,
Sumana his servitor,
Amitā and Asamā his chief female disciples,
the Sāla tree his Bodhi tree;
his body was eighty-eight cubits high,
the light from his body extended twelve leagues,
and his age was a hundred thousand years.

232. “After Nārada came the perfect Buddha, the best of men,
Padumuttara by name, the Conqueror unshaken, like the sea.”

[Buddha Sumedha]

After him, when thirty thousand world-cycles had elapsed, two Buddhas, Sumedha and Sujāta, were born in one kalpa.

Sumedha also had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first assembly, in the city Sudassana, a thousand million sinless ones were present,
at the second [1.43] nine hundred,
at the third eight hundred.

At that time the Bodhisatta, born as the brahmin youth named Uttara, lavished {1.38} eight hundred millions of money he had saved in giving a great donation to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head. And he then listened to the Dhamma, and accepted the refuges, and abandoned his home, and took the vows. And to him also the Buddha prophesied, saying: “Hereafter you will be a Buddha.”

The city of Sumedha the Fortunate One was called Sudassana,
Sudatta the king was his father,
Sudattā his mother,
Saraṇa and Sabbakāma his two chief disciples,
Sāgara his servitor,
Rāmā and Surāmā his two chief female disciples,
the great Campaka tree his Bodhi tree;
his body was eighty-eight cubits high,
and his age was ninety thousand years.

233. “After Padumuttara came the leader named Sumedha,
The Sage hard to equal, brilliant in glory, supreme in all the world.”

[Buddha Sujāta]

After him appeared the Teacher Sujāta.

He also had three assemblies of his disciples;
at the first assembly sixty thousand monks were present,
at the second fifty,
at the third forty.

At that time the Bodhisatta was a Universal Monarch; and hearing that a Buddha was born he went to him and heard the Dhamma, and gave to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head, his kingdom of the four continents with its seven treasures, and took the vows under the Teacher. All the dwellers in the land, taking advantage of the birth of a Buddha in their midst, did duty as servants in the monasteries, and continually gave great donations to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head. And to him also the Teacher prophesied.

The city of this Fortunate One was called Sumaṅgala,
Uggata the king was his father,
Pabhāvatī his mother,
Sudassana and [1.44] Deva his chief disciples,
Nārada his servitor,
and Nāgā and Nāgasamālā his chief female disciples,
and the great Bamboo tree his Bodhi tree; this tree, they say, had smaller hollows and thicker wood than ordinary bamboos have, Compare Ja 20 below. and in its mighty upper branches it was as brilliant as a bunch of peacocks’ tails.
The body of this Fortunate One was fifty cubits high,
and his age was ninety thousand years.

234. “In that age, the Maṇḍakalpa, appeared the leader Sujāta,
Mighty jawed and grandly framed, whose measure none can take, and hard to equal.”

[Buddha Piyadassī]

After him, when eighteen hundred world-cycles had elapsed, three Buddhas, Piyadassī, Atthadassī, and Dhammadassī, were born in one kalpa.

Piyadassī also had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first a million million monks were present,
at the second nine hundred million,
at the third eight hundred million.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as a young brahmin called Kassapa, who had thoroughly learned the three Vedas, listened to the Teacher’s preaching of the Dhamma, and built a monastery at a cost of a million million, {1.39} and stood firm in the Refuges and the Precepts. And to him the Teacher prophesied, saying: “After the lapse of eighteen hundred kalpas you will become a Buddha.”

The city of this Fortunate One was called Anoma,
his father was Sudinna the king,
his mother Candā,
Pālita and Sabbadassī his chief disciples,
Sobhita his servitor,
Sujātā and Dhammadinnā his chief female disciples,
and the Priyaṅgu tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was eighty cubits high,
and his age ninety thousand years. [1.45]

235. “After Sujāta came Piyadassī, leader of the world,
Self-taught, hard to match, unequalled, of great glory.”

[Buddha Atthadassī]

After him appeared the Teacher called Atthadassī.

He too had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first nine million eight hundred thousand monks were present,
at the second eight million eight hundred thousand,
and the same number at the third.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as the mighty ascetic Susīma, brought from heaven the sunshade of Mandārava flowers, and offered it to the Teacher, who prophesied also to him.

The city of this Fortunate One was called Sobhita,
Sāgara the king was his father,
Sudassanā his mother,
Santa and Upasanta his chief disciples,
Abhaya his servitor,
Dhammā and Sudhammā his chief female disciples,
and the Campaka his Bodhi tree.
His body was eighty cubits high,
the glory from his body always extended over a league,
and his age was a hundred thousand years.

236. “In the same Maṇḍakalpa Atthadassī, best of men,
Dispelled the thick darkness, and attained supreme Awakening.”

[Buddha Dhammadassī]

After him appeared the Teacher named Dhammadassī.

He too had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first a thousand million monks were present,
at the second seven hundred millions,
at the third eight hundred millions.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as Sakka the King of the Devas, made an offering of sweet-smelling flowers from heaven, and heavenly music. And to him too the Teacher prophesied.

The city of this Fortunate One was called Saraṇa,
his father was Saraṇa the king,
his mother Sunandā,
Paduma and Phussadeva his chief disciples,
Sunetta his servitor,
Khemā and Sabbanāmā his chief female disciples,
and the red Kuravaka tree (called also [1.46] Bimbijāla) his Bodhi tree.
His body was eighty cubits high,
and his age a hundred thousand years.

237. “In the same Maṇḍakalpa the far-famed Dhammadassī
Dispelled the thick darkness, illumined earth and heaven.” {1.40}

[Buddha Siddhattha]

After him, ninety-four world-cycles ago, only one Buddha, by name Siddhattha, appeared in one kalpa.

Of his disciples too there were three assemblies;
at the first assembly a million million monks were present,
at the second nine hundred millions,
at the third eight hundred millions.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as the ascetic Maṅgala of great glory and gifted with the powers derived from the Higher Wisdom, brought a great jambu fruit and presented it to the Tathāgata. The Teacher, having eaten the fruit, prophesied to the Bodhisatta, saying: “Ninety-four kalpas hence you will become a Buddha.”

The city of this Fortunate One was called Vebhāra,
Jayasena the king was his father,
Suphassā his mother,
Sambala and Sumitta his chief disciples,
Revata his servitor,
Sīvalī and Surāmā his chief female disciples,
and the Kaṇikāra tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was sixty cubits high,
and his age a hundred thousand years.

238. “After Dhammadassī, the leader named Siddhattha
Rose like the sun, bringing all darkness to an end.”

[Buddha Tissa]

After him, ninety-two world-cycles ago, two Buddhas, Tissa and Phussa by name, were born in one kalpa.

Tissa the Fortunate One had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first a thousand millions of monks were present,
at the second nine hundred millions,
at the third eight hundred millions.

At that time the Bodhisatta was born as the wealthy and famous warrior-chief Sujāta. When he [1.47] had taken the vows and acquired the wonderful powers of a seer, he heard that a Buddha had been born; and taking a heaven-grown Mandārava lotus, and flowers of the Pāricchattaka tree (which grows in Sakka’s heaven), he offered them to the Tathāgata as he walked in the midst of his disciples, and he spread an awning of flowers in the sky. To him, too, the Teacher prophesied, saying: “Ninety-two kalpas hence you will become a Buddha.”

The city of this Fortunate One was called Khema,
Janasandha the warrior-chief was his father,
Padumā his mother,
the god Brahmā and Udaya his chief disciples,
Sambhava his servitor,
Phussā and Sudattā his chief female disciples,
and the Asana tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was sixty cubits high,
and his age a hundred thousand years.

239. “After Siddhattha, Tissa, the unequalled and unrivalled,
Of infinite virtue and glory, was the chief Guide of the world.”

[Buddha Phussa]

After him appeared the Teacher named Phussa.

He too had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first assembly six million monks were present,
at the second five,
at the third three million two hundred thousand.

At that time the Bodhisatta, born as the warrior-chief Vijitāvī, laid aside his kingdom, and, taking the vows under the Teacher, learned the three {1.41} Piṭakas, and preached the Dhamma to the people, and fulfilled the Perfection of Virtue. Comp. pp. 19-20, verses 130-134. And the Buddha prophesied to him in the same manner.

The city of this Fortunate One was called Kāsi (Benares),
Jayasena the king was his father,
Sirimā his mother,
Surakkhita and Dhammasena his chief disciples,
Sabhiya his servitor,
Cālā and Upacālā his chief female disciples, [1.48]
and the Āmalaka tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was fifty-eight cubits high,
and his age ninety thousand years.

240. “In the same Maṇḍakalpa Phussa was the Teacher supreme,
Unequalled, unrivalled, the chief Guide of the world.”

[Buddha Vipassī]

After him, ninety world-cycles ago, appeared the Fortunate One named Vipassī.

He too had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first assembly six million eight hundred thousand monks were present;
in the second one hundred thousand,
in the third eighty thousand.

At that time the Bodhisatta, born as the mighty and powerful snake king Atula, gave to the Fortunate One a golden chair, inlaid with the seven kinds of gems. To him also he prophesied, saying: “Ninety-one world-cycles hence you will become a Buddha.”

The city of this Fortunate One was called Bandhumatī,
Bandhumā the king was his father,
Bandhumatī his mother,
Khandha and Tissa his chief disciples,
Asoka his servitor,
Candā and Candamittā his chief female disciples,
and the Bignonia (or Pāṭali tree) his Bodhi tree.
His body was eighty cubits high,
the effulgence from his body always reached a hundred leagues,
and his age was a hundred thousand years.

241. “After Phussa, the Supreme Buddha, the best of men,
Vipassī by name, the far-seeing, appeared in the world.”

[Buddha Sikhī]

After him, thirty-one world-cycles ago, there were two Buddhas, called Sikhī and Vessabhū.

Sikhī too had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first assembly a hundred thousand monks were present,
at the second eighty thousand,
at the third seventy.

At that time the [1.49] Bodhisatta, born as king Arindama, gave a great donation of robes and other things to the Saṅgha with the Buddha at their head, and offered also a superb elephant, decked with the seven gems and provided with all things suitable. To him too he prophesied, saying: “Thirty-one world-cycles hence you will become a Buddha.”

The city of that Fortunate One was called Aruṇavatī,
Aruṇa the warrior-chief was his father,
Pabhāvatī his mother,
Abhibhū and Sambhava his chief disciples,
Khemaṅkura his servitor,
Makhelā and Padumā his chief female disciples,
and the Puṇḍarīka tree his Bodhi tree. {1.42}
His body was thirty-seven cubits high,
the effulgence from his body reached three leagues,
and his age was thirty-seven thousand years.

242. “After Vipassī came the Supreme Buddha, the best of men,
Sikhī by name, the Conqueror, unequalled and unrivalled.”

[Buddha Vessabhū]

After him appeared the Teacher named Vessabhū.

He also had three assemblies of his saints;
at the first eight million priests were present,
at the second seven,
at the third six.

At that time the Bodhisatta, born as the king Sudassana, gave a great donation of robes and other things to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head. And taking the vows at his hands, he became righteous in conduct, and found great joy in meditating on the Buddha. To him too the Fortunate One prophesied, saying: “Thirty-one world-cycles hence you will be a Buddha.”

The city of this Fortunate One was called Anopama,
Suppatīta the king was his father,
Yasavatī his mother,
Soṇa and Uttara his chief disciples,
Upasanta his servitor,
Dāmā and Sumālā his chief female disciples,
and the Sāl tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was sixty cubits high,
and his age sixty thousand years. [1.50]

243. “In the same Maṇḍakalpa, the Conqueror named Vessabhū,
Unequalled and unrivalled, appeared in the world.”

[Buddha Kakusandha]

After him, in this world-cycle, four Buddhas have appeared – Kakusandha, Koṇāgamana, Kassapa, and our [Gotama] Buddha.

Kakusandha the Fortunate One had one assembly,
at which forty thousand monks were present.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as Khema the king, gave a great donation, including robes and bowls, to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head, and having given also collyriums and drugs, he listened to the Dhamma preached by the Teacher, and took the vows. And to him also the Buddha prophesied.

The city of Kakusandha the Fortunate One was called Khema,
Aggidatta the brahmin was his father,
Visākhā the brahmin woman his mother,
Vidhura and Sañjīva his chief disciples,
Buddhija his servitor,
Sāmā and Campakā his chief female disciples,
and the great Sirīsa tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was forty cubits high,
and his age forty thousand years.

244. “After Vessabhū came the perfect Buddha, the best of men,
Kakusandha by name, infinite and hard to equal.” {1.43}

[Buddha Koṇāgamaṇa]

After him appeared the Teacher Koṇāgamaṇa.

Of his disciples too there was one assembly,
at which thirty thousand monks were present.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as Pabbata the king, went, surrounded by his ministers, to the Teacher, and listened to the preaching of the Dhamma. And having given an invitation to the Saṅgha, with the Buddha at their head, he kept up a great donation, giving cloths of silk, and of fine texture, and woven with gold. And he took the vows from the Teacher’s hands. And to him too the Buddha prophesied.

The city of this Fortunate One was called Sobhavatī,
Yaññadatta the brahmin was [1.51] his father,
Uttarā the brahmin woman his mother,
Bhiyyosa and Uttara his chief disciples,
Sotthija his servitor,
Samuddā and Uttarā his chief female disciples,
and the Udumbara tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was twenty cubits high,
and his age was thirty thousand years.

245. “After Kakusandha came the Perfect Buddha, the best of men,
Koṇāgamana by name, Conqueror, chief of the world, supreme among men.”

[Buddha Kassapa]

After him the Teacher named Kassapa appeared in the world.

Of his disciples too there was one assembly,
at which twenty thousand monks were present.

At that time the Bodhisatta, as the brahmin youth Jotipāla, accomplished in the three Vedas, was well known on earth and in heaven as the friend of the potter Ghaṭīkāra. Going with him to the Teacher and hearing the Dhamma, he took the vows; and zealously learning the three Piṭakas, he glorified, by faithfulness in duty and in works of supererogation, the dispensation of the Buddha. And to him too the Buddha prophesied.

The birthplace of the Fortunate One was called Benares,
Brahmadatta the brahmin was his father,
Dhanavatī of the brahmin caste his mother,
Tissa and Bhāradvāja his chief disciples,
Sabbamitta his servitor,
Anuḷā and Uruveḷā his chief female disciples,
and the Nigrodha tree his Bodhi tree.
His body was twenty cubits high,
and his age was twenty thousand years.

246. “After Koṇāgamana came the Perfect Buddha, best of men,
Kassapa by name, that Conqueror, king of Righteousness, and giver of Light.”

Again, in the kalpa in which Dīpaṅkara the Buddha [1.52] appeared, three other Buddhas appeared also. On their part no prophecy was made to the Bodhisatta, {1.44} they are therefore not mentioned here; but in the commentary, in order to mention all the Buddhas from this kalpa, it is said,

247. “Taṇhaṅkara and Medhaṅkara, and Saranaṅkara,
And the perfect Buddha Dīpaṅkara, and Koṇḍañña best of men,

248. And Maṅgala, and Sumana, and Revata, and Sobhita the sage,
Anomadassī, Paduma, Nārada, Padumuttara,

249. And Sumedha, and Sujāta, Piyadassī the famous one,
Atthadassī, Dhammadassī, Siddhattha guide of the world,

250. Tissa, and Phussa the perfect Buddha, Vipassī, Sikhī, Vessabhū,
Kakusandha, Koṇāgamana, and Kassapa too the Guide –

251. These were the perfect Buddhas, the sinless ones, the well-controlled;
Appearing like suns, dispelling the thick darkness;
They, and their disciples too, blazed up like flames of fire and went out.”

Thus our Bodhisatta has come down to us through four asaṅkheyyas plus one hundred thousand kalpas, making resolve in the presence of the twenty-four Buddhas, beginning with Dīpaṅkara. Now after Kassapa there is no other Buddha beside the present supreme Buddha. So the Bodhisatta received a prophecy from each of the twenty-four Buddhas, beginning at Dīpaṅkara.

And furthermore in accordance with the saying, [1.53]

“The resolve (to become a Buddha) only succeeds by the combination of eight qualifications: being a man, and of the male sex, and capable of attaining arahatship, association with the Teachers, renunciation of the world, perfection in virtue, acts of self-sacrifice, and earnest determination,”

he combined in himself these eight qualifications. And exerting himself according to the resolve he had made at the feet of Dīpaṅkara, in the words,

“Come, I will search for the Buddha-making conditions, this way and that;” See verse 125, above p. 19.

and beholding the Perfections of Generosity and the rest to be the qualities necessary for the making of a Buddha, according to the words,

“Then, as I made my search, I beheld the first Perfection of Generosity;” See verse 126, above p. 19.

he came down through many births, fulfilling these Perfections, even up to his last appearance as Vessantara. And the rewards which fell to him on his way, as they fall to all the Bodhisattas who have resolved to become Buddhas, are lauded thus:

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 become ghosts consumed by hunger, thirst, and want,
And they do not become small animals, even though born to sorrow. {1.45}

254. When born among men they are not blind by birth, [1.54]
They are not hard of hearing, they are not classed among the dumb.

255. They do not become women; among hermaphrodites and eunuchs
They are not found – these men destined to Buddhahood.

256. Free from the deadly sins, everywhere pure-living,
They follow not after vain philosophy, they perceive the workings of karma.

257. Though they dwell in heaven, they are not born into the Unconscious state,
Nor are they destined to rebirth among the Devas in the Pure Abodes. In the four highest of the thirty-one spheres of existence the Devas are unconscious, and the five worlds below these are called the Pure Abodes.

258. Bent upon renunciation, holy in the world and not of it,
They walk as acting for the world’s welfare, fulfilling all perfection.”

[Lives in which he Fulfilled the Perfections]

While he was thus fulfilling the Perfections, there was no limit to the existences in which he fulfilled the Perfection of Generosity. As, for instance, in the times of the brahmin Akitti [Ja 480], and the brahmin Saṅkha [Ja 442], and the king Dhanañjaya, [There are two births in which a king Dhanañjaya appears, 515 and 545, but it is Ānanda who is identified with this king both times, and neither of them are about generosity.] and Mahāsudassana [Ja 95], [This story does not illustrate generosity, but rather impermanence.] and Mahāgovinda [DN 19], and the king Nimi [Ja 541], [This story does not illustrate generosity, but rather impermanence.] and the prince Canda [Ja 542], [This story does not seem very apt here.] and the merchant Visayha [Ja 340], and the king Sivi [Ja 499], and Vessantara [Ja 547]. So, certainly, in the Jātaka as the Wise Hare [Ja 316], according to the words, All the following verses down to verse 269 are quotations from the Cariyāpiṭaka [this is not quite right, some are found only in the commentary to Cp and other commentaries. This first one is from Cp 1.10.23.]

259. “When I saw one coming for food, I offered my own self,
There is no one like me in giving, such is my Perfection of Generosity” [1.55]

he, offering up his own life, acquired the Supreme Perfection called the Perfection of Generosity.

In like manner there is no limit to the existences – as, for instance, in the times when he was the snake king Sīlava [Ja 72], and the snake king Campeyya [Ja 506], the snake king Bhūridatta [Ja 543], the elephant king Chaddanta [Ja 514], and the prince Alīnasattu [Ja 513], son of king Jayaddisa – in which he fulfilled the Perfection of Virtue. So, certainly, in the Saṅkhapālajātaka [Ja 524], according to the words, [Cp 2.10.7]

260. “Even when piercing me with stakes, and striking me with javelins,
I was not angry with the sons of Bhoja, such is my Perfection of Virtue,”

he, offering up himself, acquired the Supreme Perfection, called the Perfection of Virtue.

In like manner there is no limit to existences – as, for instance, in the times when he was the prince Somanassa [Ja 505], and the prince Hatthipāla [Ja 509], and the wise man Ayoghara [Ja 510] – in which, forsaking his kingdom, he fulfilled the Perfection of Renunciation. So, certainly, in the Cullasutasomajātaka [Ja 525], according to the words, [This verse is found only here and in other commentaries.] {1.46}

261. “The kingdom, which was in my power, like spittle I rejected it,
And, rejecting, cared not for it, such is my Perfection of Renunciation,”

he, renouncing the kingdom for freedom from the ties of attachment, The saṅgas, of which there are five – lust, hate, ignorance, pride, and false doctrine. acquired the Supreme Perfection, called the Perfection of Renunciation.

In like manner, there is no limit to the existences – as, [1.56] for instance, in the times when he was the wise man Vidhura [Ja 545], and the wise man Mahāgovinda [DN 19], and the wise man Kuddāla [Ja 70], and the wise man Araka [Ja 169], [This does not seem apt, as it illustrates loving-kindness, not wisdom.] and the ascetic Bodhi [Ja 528], and the wise man Mahosadha [Ja 546] – in which he fulfilled the Perfection of Wisdom. So, certainly, in the time when he was the wise man Senaka in the Sattubhastajātaka [Ja 402], according to the words, [Only found in the commentaries.]

262. “Searching the matter out by wisdom, I set the brahmin free from pain,
There is no one like me in wisdom; such is my Perfection of Wisdom,”

he, pointing out the snake which had got into the bellows, acquired the Supreme Perfection called the Perfection of Wisdom.

So, certainly, in the Mahājanakajātaka [Ja 539], according to the words, [Only found in the commentaries.]

263. “Out of sight of the shore, in the midst of the waters, all men are as if dead,
There is no other way of thinking; such is my Perfection of Effort,”

he, crossing the Great Ocean, acquired the Supreme Perfection called the Perfection of Effort.

And so in the Khantivādijātaka [Ja 313], according to the words, [Only found in the commentaries.]

264. “Even when he struck me with a sharp axe, as if I were a senseless thing,
I was not angry with the king of Kāsi; such is my Perfection of Patience,”

he, enduring great sorrow as if he were a senseless thing, acquired the Perfection of Patience. [1.57]

And so in the Mahāsutasomajātaka [Ja 537], according to the words, [Only found in the commentaries.]

265. “Guarding the word of Truth, and offering up my life,
I delivered the hundred warriors; such is my Perfection of Truth,”

he, offering up his life, and observing truth, obtained the Perfection of Truth.

And in the Mūgapakkhajātaka [Ja 538], according to the words, [Cp 3.1.6]

266. “Father and mother I hated not, reputation I hated not,
But Omniscience was dear to me, therefore was I resolute in duty,” {1.47}

offering up even his life, and being resolute in duty, he acquired the Perfection of Determination.

And so in the Ekarājajātaka [Ja 303], according to the words, [Cp 3.13.3.]

267. “No man terrifies me, nor am I in fear of any man;
Firm in the power of loving-kindness, in purity I take delight,”

regarding not even his life while attaining to kindness, he acquired the Perfection of Loving-Kindness.

So in the Lomahaṁsajātaka [Ja 94], according to the words, [Cp. 3.15.1]

268. “I lay me down in the cemetery, making a pillow of dead bones:
The village children mocked and praised: to all I was indifferent,”

he was unshaken in equanimity, even when the villagers tried to vex or please him by spitting or by offering [1.58] garlands and perfumes, and thus he acquired the Perfection of Equanimity.

This is a summary only, the account will be found at length in the Cariyāpiṭaka.

Having thus fulfilled the Perfections, in his birth as Vessantara [Ja 547], according to the words, [Cp. 1.9.58.]

269. “This earth, unconscious though she be and ignorant of joy or grief,
E’en she by my free-giving’s mighty power was shaken seven times,”

he performed such mighty acts of virtue as made the earth to shake. And when, in the fullness of time, he had passed away, he reassumed existence in the Tusita heaven.

Thus should be understood the period, called Dūrenidāna, from the Determination at the feet of Dīpaṅkara down to this birth in the City of Delight.