Maṇimēkhalai

Book VIII
[The Buddha Seat]

While Sutamatī was in this state of sorrow, Maṇimēkhalai woke up from sleep on the sandy beach of Maṇipallavam. Looking round she found nothing that was familiar to her, and felt herself as strangely placed as a soul in a new birth. While she was hardly able to [132] think what she could do, the sun rose, and in the sunlight she began to wonder whether this was a part of the garden near the city, which she had never seen before, and called out for Sutamatī, her companion:–

‘Oh, Sutamatī, you have hidden yourself, you are causing me great sorrow; I do not understand whether I see things as they are, or as in a dream. My heart is quaking with fear, give me word in answer; the darkness of night has left; Mādhavī, my mother, would be in great anxiety. Oh, the finely bangled one, come on! Have you left the place? Is this a miracle brought about by that lady that appeared before me who seemed an expert in magic art? I hardly know what I can think or do; I am in great fear being alone. Do come quick.’

Crying out like this, she ran about here and there to bathing-ghats on one side and to the sand dunes on the other. All her search was in vain, and finding nobody that she knew, she began to weep aloud. Thinking of her father and his tragic end, and calling upon him:

‘Oh, my father, father, who had gone to another kingdom with your most delicately formed wife, and suffered death from the sword of authority.’

She wandered about till she came to what seemed a seat of the Buddha. The seat had been placed there by Indra, and had the miraculous power to let those who worshipped it know their previous life, as the Buddha himself had delivered a sermon sitting on it. This happened on the occasion when two neighbouring Nāga chiefs, related to each other, fought for possession of it. As the war proved destructive Buddha appeared before them and pacified the combatants by preaching the sermon.