The Life of the Victorious Buddha

right click to download mp3

The Bodhi Tree [vv. 220-241]

The Excellent One approached the grove, which was like the Lord of the Gods' Nandana Grove in Tāvatiṁsa Heaven, a grove shining with rows of full-blossoming Sal trees, which stole away the people's minds and eyes, and having spent the day in that place, in the evening-time, with the grace of a lion he went to the Bodhi Tree.

The Lord of Men set out along a wide road which had been prepared by the Divinities, Gods and semi-divine beings. The twice-born brahmin Sotthiya, a grass collector, having seen him, offered him a handful of grass to be used as a seat.

As the Supreme Man was going along, blue water-lilies, lotuses, and other flowers fell like showers of rain from the sky; the sky was filled with a great deal of charming fragrant incense made of sandalwood, glorious jewelled umbrellas, and charming golden flags. In the sky thousands of Gods sporting garments that they were waving about beat the Gods' musical drums, and countless chants were sung by Feminine Divinities; and delightful semi-divine beings with delightful limbs performed delightful dances and songs in countless delightful ways.

Then the Sole Leader of the Three Realms of Existence, the Famous One, as the great festival was continuing like a great torrent, took the grass and proceeded to the vicinity of the Lordly Bodhi Tree.

The Supreme Man, the Hero, after circumambulating the Bodhi tree, which was like the top of a silver mountain covered in coral and sapphire, while standing on firm ground on the Eastern side of the tree, threw a fistful of grass, and at once there was a fourteen-cubit seat. Then the One of Great Wisdom, having seen that wonder, thought: “Let my flesh, blood, bones, muscles and skin dry up, but I will surely never give up the effort to attain Awakening.” Then the Great Champion, the Supreme Man, sat in that place in cross-legged position facing the East.

At once Sakka the Lord of the Gods, having taken the Gods' conch, which was more than two thousand cubits in height, stood there sounding it. The Supreme Divinity Sahampati stood there like a second full-moon, holding aloft a three-league high white umbrella. Suyāma, the Ruler of the Gods, stood there slowly fanning a charming three league high chowrie. The God Pañcasikhā stood there playing many different melodies on a beluva-wood lute he had taken up. The King of the Demons Kāla stood at the head of the dancing-girls singing songs of praise, and thirty-two princesses stood there worshipping with a golden casket full of divine flowers they had taken hold of.