The Life of the Victorious Buddha

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The 32 Wonders [vv. 97-117]

At this supreme, rare and extraordinary sound the Supreme Divinities and other Gods worshipped the Lord of Men, and a great number of people, taking the Lord of Men, went to the beautiful city called Kapilavatthu. Although strong enough to bear the great weight of the forests, the King of mountains Meru, and all the waters of the ocean, the Earth, as though unable to bear the weight of the virtues of that most excellent being, at the moment of his birth trembled. And at that time 32 wonders arose:

Dogs sported with deer, crows with owls, snakes with birds, and gangs of cats sported with rats. Just as parents associate with their children, so animals associated with lions, which are known as the Lords of Animals.

Just as the teacher Sarabhaá¹…ga's arrow returned to him, so ships which had gone to foreign lands returned to their home lands; the great ocean was decorated with variously coloured lotuses; the foaming waves became peaceful, and its waters became exceedingly sweet. The sky became crowded with hanging lotuses in full bloom; the birds abandoned their flight through the air; the rivers stood still, and did not flow.

As a bride becomes supremely beautiful through loving intercourse, so the Earth became supremely beautiful through a meeting with an out-of-season cloud, and it was adorned with countless flowers which rained down as if sent by the Gods. Lordly trees were surrounded by creepers and slender women bearing delightful blooming flowers. The clearings in all directions were resplendent, and the sky was filled with fragrant blossoms; the whole sky, being scented with fragrant perfumes, was most delightful.

The Gods and Demons clad in festive clothes went about joined together in song. All people spoke kindly, and it became clear in all directions. Elephants trumpeted, lions roared, and there was the neighing of horses. Flutes, lutes, and the drums of the Gods in the sky each let loose their charming sounds. The various world-elements with their lordly mountains were pervaded by delightful and great rays of light. A pleasing, fragrant, soft, cool breeze blew pleasantly over all the people.

People oppressed in their limbs with countless diseases and so on were freed therefrom and became happy. The worlds were aroused and became delightful with an immeasurable covering of light, and the waters having broken free from the earth flowed along. The limbs of cripples were straightened out, the blind saw the lame dancing and sporting, and the deaf heard the delightful songs of the dumb.

Even as far as the fires of hell all became cool, and those born in water rejoiced, and the creatures of the earth made merry. For Hungry Ghosts who were overwhelmed with hunger and thirst there was food. In the unbroken darkness of space there was light, and in the sky the multitude of stars, the moon, and the sun shone surpassingly bright, as also the treasures hidden in the earth.

Large blossoming lotuses, having the five variegated colours, after breaking through the surface of the earth, sprang up one on top of the other. Without being played upon or struck, kettle-drums, ornaments and so on let loose an endlessly sweet sound on earth. Men bound with chains and so forth were loosened therefrom. The doors and windows in the various abodes in the world opened by themselves, and because of that the rejoicing hosts of Gods in the Heavens went around sporting, throwing up their clothes and so forth.