The Life of the Victorious Buddha

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The Birth [vv. 82-96]

At the end of ten months the Queen said to the King: “Your Majesty! I wish to go to my relatives' house.” She received permission from the King, and while going along a smooth road - like a heavenly road - under the protection of a great retinue of her own clan, she saw the Lumbini Grove, an extensive, delightful abode, having Sal groves decorated with bunches of fragrant flowers, with the sound of rapt bees humming.

She was summoned, as it were, by flocks of birds who led her on, and after delighting in her charming play in that place, which was like the play of a young immortal, she went to the root of an excellent blossoming Sal tree, and grasped a branch which bent itself down for her, and at that time she was shaken by the pangs of childbirth. The people threw a screen around the Queen and retreated from that place and stood around guarding her.

Standing there hanging on to the branch with her cotton-soft lotus-like hands, which had beautiful fingers with copper-coloured nails, which were adorned with charming golden bracelets, she gave birth to the Hero.

He descended from the unequalled womb of his mother, with his golden-skinned, beautiful body and delightful eyes, and with his delightful hands and feet stretched forth, like a golden goose from a lotus. The Supreme Divinities, after taking a priceless, golden net, approached and caught him as he was born, and stood in front of her, saying: “Rejoice, Your Majesty, an excellent son has been born to you.”

Other men are born with their limbs smeared with impurities, but this excellent Lord of Men was born pure, like a priceless jewel deposited on exceedingly soft, spotless silk. Then two streams of water fell from the sky, making his body and his Mother's body cool and pleasing on that auspicious occasion.

From the Supreme Divinities' delightful hands the Gods, having approached, took him on an antelope skin mat, and from their hands noblemen received that Champion Lion of a Man, with a pillow made of silk, and from their hands, like a delightful spotless moon, having placed his broad wheel-marked feet on the plains of the earth, he looked to the easterly direction with his long lotus-like eyes. Then countless hundreds of universes became clear to him, with their men and gods worshipping him with perfumes and so on, and to the Hero they said this: “Sage! There is not even one man here who is your equal, how to say greater?”

In this way the Protector of the World, looking in all directions, and not seeing one who was his equal, having taken seven steps in the northerly direction said this:

“I am the greatest in the world,
I am the elder in the world,
I am the best in the world.
This is my last birth,
There is no more rebirth for me”.

(from DN 14)