maidens playing in th The Going-Forth

The Life of the Victorious Buddha

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The Going-Forth [vv. 20-31]

Having seen that just as a lotus grove does not go to destruction by the falling of snowflakes so his treasures did not go to destruction through his supreme generosity, like a lordly elephant from a raging forest fire, he departed from his crying relatives and from his delightful home.

The Champion then went to the Great Himālayas, which are perfumed with yellow sandalwood, camphor, and aloe; adorned with blossoming Champa, Asoka, and trumpet-flower trees; and embellished with Areca Palms, Punnāga, and Ironwood trees. They are crowded with various animals, such as lions, tigers, hyenas, elephants, leopards, monkeys and horses, and filled with the sounds of mynahs, swans, geese, herons, parrots, doves, cuckoos and blue jays.

They are frequented by Divinities, Gods, and Angels, and by Adepts and Wizards. They shine with charming realgar and sapphire mountain ranges, and places having uncountable silver and gold deposits. They have innumerable lakes and tanks with golden and jewelled staircases and have hundreds of waterfalls covered with cool mist, with countless Goddesses playing in the clearings. They shimmer with delightful and colourful semi-divine birds and snakes, and have peacocks dancing in the groves. There are arbours of vine adorned with enclosures covered with white sand. It has countless stores of treasures, with gold, jewels, pearls, and so on - the Himālayas are an abode for people who are longing for merit, just as bees are longing for flowers-blossoms.