The Life of the Victorious Buddha

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The Signs [vv. 142-158]

While going along the path, he saw an old man, a sick man, and a dead man, and he lost his attachment to the three realms of existence. On the fourth occasion he saw the delightful form of a renunciant, and delighting in it the Famous One went to a beautiful and delightful garden, which, like the Nandana Wood in Tāvatiṁsa Heaven, was adorned with many blossoming trees, and the birdsong of a multitude of peacocks and so on.

There the Lord of Men, like the Lord of the Gods Sakka at play, delighted in the sensual pleasures of the delightful music, dance and song of the beautiful Feminine Divinities. While sitting on his radiant seat, after crossing his legs, he thought about how he would be able to adorn his body.

Then the Master of the Gods Sakka, having understood his thoughts, said this to Vissakamma: “Please go and adorn Siddhattha.” Hearing that command Vissakamma approached him and wrapped the Famous One's beautiful head with ten thousand cloths. He also beautified his body, which was glorious with rare and extraordinary signs, with many superb ornaments, and with the sweet perfume of flowers, sandalwood, and so forth. Adorned by Vissakamma, he sat there on a spotless flat slab of stone, surrounded by beautiful Feminine Divinities, and shone like Sakka, the Master of the Gods.

A message was sent by Suddhodana, the Lord of Men saying: “My son! A son has been born to you!” The Supreme Man, after hearing this and exclaiming: “Today Rāhula, a bond, has been born to me!” at once went to the beautiful city of Kapilavatthu, which was furnished with all sensual pleasures.

Then Kisāgotami, standing on the top floor of the palace, having seen the Prince shining like the sun, said this: “Those to whom this Hero is a son, she who is the wife of this one complete in virtue, all of them are truly satisfied forever.” He heard the pleasant utterance, and full of the joy that had arisen in his heart, he proceeded to his home, and after removing his delightful pearl necklace from his neck, he send it to her.

Then ascending his beautiful palace, which was like Sakka's palace Vejayanta, he sat down like Sakka the King of the Gods on his couch. Beautiful women like Feminine Divinities surrounded him and performed various songs and dances. But the Hero, greatly delighting in the thought of renunciation and being detached from the five strands of sense pleasure, did not delight in those songs and dances.