Maṇimēkhalai

Book IX
[Maṇimēkhalai recalls her Previous Life]

At sight of this Maṇimēkhalai forgot herself in wonder. Her hands automatically folded over her head; [133] from her eyes flowed tears of joy; she circumambulated the divine seat three times, and prostrated before it. Getting up she looked at the seat again, and began to recollect all that had taken place in her previous existence. She recounted to herself what had happened in the following terms:–

‘Oh, Holy One, one that knows the ultimate truth, I now understand clearly that all that you said on the banks of the river Kāyaṇkarai is turning true; in the great kingdom of Gāndhāra, in the eastern province of it, was the city Iḍavayam. (Riṣabaka?). The king that ruled from this city, as his capital, was Attipati. You Brahma Dharma, who art his brother-in-law, foretold in conversation with him, while teaching him Dharma: “In seven days’ time from now there will be an earthquake in Jambudvīpa. As a result of this, this capital city of yours and four hundred yojanas of territory in the great Nāganāḍu will get submerged. Therefore abandon this city and go away to another, sharp.” ’

The king announced this by beat of drum to all the citizens and vacated the city with them. As he was moving at the head of his people to the city of Avanti in the north he had to remain encamped on the banks of the river Kāyaṅkarai. Then, you Holy One! there was the earthquake, as you predicted, on the day, and at the time indicated, and the royal city of Iḍavayam was destroyed. The king and his court, their respect for you increased by this incident, surrounded you and you were delivering them a holy sermon.

At that time, I came with my husband Rāhuḷa to listen to the sermon. Seeing me you were pleased to say that my husband Rāhuḷa would die on the sixteenth day by a kind of cobra the sight of which was death (Dṣṭiviṣa); that I would enter the funeral pyre with him; that I would then be born in the city of Puhār, and that a great misfortune would befall me; [134] that the Goddess Maṇimēkhalā would then appear at dead of night, and carrying you away will settle you down in an islet of the sea south of Kāvēripaṭṭiṇam. You will then learn what had transpired in this birth, while engaged in worshipping the seat of Buddha. Then will come to you the recollection of all that I say to you today. I then requested of him that he might also enlighten me as to what next birth my husband would have. I received an answer from him that that matter would be explained to me by the Goddess, who carried me away from Kāvēripaṭṭiṇam. That Goddess has not yet appeared!’

Saying this to herself, she remained weeping as before.