II: Gautama, the Buddha

[50] Kalyāna was the son of King Sammata. Kalyāna begot Rava. Rava begot Uposadha whose son was King Māndhāta. King Māndhāta had many thousands of sons and grandsons. Later on, Sujāta became king of the Ikṣākus, in the city of Sāketa. The Ikṣāku king, Sujāta, had five sons, Opura, Nipura, Karakaṇḍaka, Ulkāmukha, and Hastikaśīrṣa, and he had five daughters, Suddhā, Vimalā, Vijitā, Jalā, Jalī; Sujāta had another son, Jenta by name, born of a concubine, named Jentī, who served the king with the devotion of a married wife. Sujāta became pleased with her and said to her, “Jentī, I will offer you a boon, whatever boon you pray for, I will grant it.” She said, “O, king! Let me first consult my parents before I pray for a boon to your Lordship.” She then asked her parents who told her to pray for a village. But a shrewd Buddhist nun counselled her thus, “Well, Jentī, you are a concubine. Your son will not inherit any property of his father, what to speak of a kingdom. The five legitimate sons of the king will inherit their paternal kingdom as well as other things. You are promised a boon by King Sujāta who is a man of word. So pray for the exile of the five princes and the appointment of your son, Jenta, as [51] successor to the throne. After the death of the king, your son will be king of the great city of Sāketa and everything will be yours.” Jentī acted up to the advice of the nun. King Sujāta became much agitated in mind owing to the affection for those princes. But afraid of the sin of the breach of promise he granted the boon. The gift of the boon that with the exile of the five princes, the prince Jenta, son of the concubine, was to be installed as heir-apparent, was heard by the people of towns and villages. Then the people appreciating the noble qualities of the five princes became alarmed and said, “Wherever the princes will go, we shall follow them.” King Sujāta came to know that many people of Sāketa were going to the place of exile along with the princes and he ordered that elephants, horses, chariots, carriages, palanquins, or, cars, or oxen or buff aloes or goats or sheep, etc., would be given to those who would follow the princes. Under royal orders the royal treasury was open to all the followers of the princes who got everything that they asked for. The five princes along with many thousands of citizens and thousands of chariots and carriages, went out of the city of Sāketa towards the north. They were cordially received by the king of Kāśī-Kośala. The princes were virtuous, well-reputed, peaceful, and good companions. All the people of Kāśī-Kośala were charmed with the qualities of their head and heart. The king of Kāśī-Kośala marked his peoples’ [52] attachment to the princes and thought that this might result in his own destruction and in the enthronement of the princes. Thereupon he became envious and drove out the princes from his kingdom. At the foot of the Himalayas, there lived a sage, Kapila, who was possessed of five kinds of supernatural knowledge and had attained the four kinds of meditation. He was strong and noble in mind. His hermitage was vast and charming. It had fruits and flowers and it was adorned with good many plants and with a dense forest known as Śākoṭavana. The princes went to this forest and settled there. Traders used to come here from Kāśī and Kośala. When asked by the people as to whence they had come, the traders replied that they had come from a certain part of the forest called Śākoṭavana. The people of Sāketa too used to visit the Śākoṭavana. Lest there should be adulteration of blood in their clan, they married girls of their own clan and even their own sisters. King Sujāta asked his ministers as to the whereabouts of the princes. The ministers told the king that the princes had settled in the Śākoṭavana at the foot of the Himalayas. Then the king asked the ministers, “Wherefrom did they bring their wives?” They replied, “It was heard that for the fear of a mixture of blood in them, they accepted their wives from among their own sisters by the same mother so that there might not be any contamination in their own race.” The purohitas and the learned [53] Brahmins were then asked by king Sujāta whether such a custom was permissible. They replied, “Yes, O king, that can be done, laws permit it.” Hearing this, the king being pleased named them as the Śākyas. Sometime after, the princes marked the increase in the population of Śākoṭavana and thought of building another town. They then came to the sage Kapila. Saluting him they said, “If your grace permit, we may build a city here to be called Kapilavastu after your name.” The sage replied, “I can permit it if you make this hermitage a royal residence and then build a city.” The princes promised to carry out his wishes. The hermitage was then given to them by the sage. The princes built a city after making the hermitage of the sage a royal residence. As the hermitage was given by Kapila the sage, it was known by the name of Kapilavastu which was prosperous, wealthy, peaceful, where alms were easily obtainable, where many people lived with their own families, being happy. The people of Kapilavastu were fond of trade and commerce. They were social and took part in festivities.

Of these five princes, Opura, Nipura, Karakaṇḍaka, Ulkāmukha, Hastikaśīrṣa, Opura was the eldest prince. He was elected king of Kapilavastu. Nipura was the son of king Opura and Karakaṇḍaka was the son of King Nipura. Ulkāmukha Cf. Dīpavaṁsa and Mahāvaṁsa. Please refer to Dulva, the Tibetan translation of the Vinaya of the Sarvāstivadins. [54] was the son of king Karakaṇḍaka. Hastikaśīrṣa was the son of Ulkāmukha. Sinhahanu was the son of Hastikaśīrṣa. King Sinhahanu had four sons: Śuddhodana, Dhautodana, Śuklodana, Amritodana, Cf. the Mahāvaṁsa account. and a daughter, named Amtā.

A daughter of a certain Śākya noble who was handsome and endowed with all good qualities, was attacked with leprosy. The physicians treated her in vain, the disease being incurable. They prescribed ointments and laxative medicines for her. Sores appeared all over the body. The people began to hate her. She was taken by all the brothers in a palanquin to a spot close to the Himalayas. They dug out a subterranean room and she was left there with abundance of food and water. They put planks to block the path leading to the interior of the cave and the doors were closed and they put a big heap of dust in front of the cave and then they returned to Kapilavastu. Living in that stuffy room in the heat of the cave, she was cured of leprosy. Her body became altogether soreless and she regained her former beauty. A tiger got human smell, came towards the cave, and began to throw off the heap of dust. Not far from the cave lived a royal sage, named Kola, who was possessed of five supernatural knowledges and had attained the four kinds of meditation. His hermitage was full of vegetables, [55] flowers, and fruits. It was very charming. The sage while wandering hither and thither in the vicinity of the hermitage, came to the cave where the Śākya girl lived. The tiger threw off the heap of dust with its legs, leaving only the plank. The tiger was seen by the sage who compelled it to leave that spot and go away. As the sage saw the tiger throwing off the dust, curiosity arose in his mind. Then the plank having been removed by the sage, the door of the cave was opened. The Śākya girl was seen in all her great beauty. The sage asked, “Well lady, who are you?” She replied, “I am the daughter of a certain Śākya noble of Kapilavastu. Having fallen a victim to leprosy, I have been left here to spend the rest of my life.” Seeing the exquisite beauty of the Śākya girl he became very much attached to her. Coming in contact with the Śākya girl, the sage lost the power of meditation and his supernatural knowledge. He then went to the hermitage along with the Śākya girl who lived in the hermitage with the sage Kola. Sixteen pairs of twin sons were born to them. Thirty-two sons of the sage, when they grew up, were sent to Kapilavastu by their mother who said to them thus, “Sons, go to the city of Kapilavastu where live my father and your maternal grandfather. There the sons of such and such persons are your maternal uncles and they are Śākya nobles and your relations. They will [56] provide you with means to maintain yourselves.” She trained them thus in the manners of the Śākyas, “You will approach a Śākya gentleman in this way. This is the proper way to salute. In this way you should sit down.” Having trained them in the manners of the Śākyas, they were allowed to go. They saluted their parents, went round them, and then went away. In course of time they reached Kapilavastu. They entered Kapilavastu and impressed all with their beautiful appearance. The vast crowd seeing the sons of the sage received them and said, “These sons of the sage are beautiful and have plaited hairs.” They went to the Mote­Hall of the Śākyas surrounded by a vast crowd. Five hundred Śākyas assembled in the Mote-Hall for some business. They approached the Śākya assembly in the way they were taught by their mother. The Śākya assembly became astonished to see the Śākya manners in them. The Śākya assembly asked the sons of the sage thus, “Wherefrom do you come?” As instructed they answered thus, “We are sons of Kola, the royal sage who has his hermitage somewhere at the foot of the Himalayas. Our mother is the daughter of a certain Śākya noble.” Hearing them, the Śākyas became pleased. Their maternal grandfather who was one of the leading Śākyas and whose lineage was noble, was still alive. The royal sage Kola gave his eldest son the kingdom of Benares and he went out of [57] the kingdom for ordination. The Śākyas were then very glad to learn that they were born of the royal sage and not of persons of inferior rank. They said, “They must also be Śākyas. They belong to the same caste to which we belong. Let them be given Śākya brides, cultivable lands, and villages.” As the princes were born of the sage Kola, they were known as Koliyas.

The Śākyas had a country named Devadaha where a chief of the Śākyas named Subhuti married a Koliya girl who brought forth seven daughters, namely, Māyā, Cf. Spence Hardy’s Manual of Buddhism, p. 125 foll. Mahāmāyā, Atimāyā, Anantamāyā, Cūliyā, Kolīsovā, and Mahāprajāpatī. We have already told that the Śākya king, Sinhahanu, had four sons among whom Śuddhodana was one. On the death of King Sinhahanu, Śuddhodana ascended the throne and he expressed his desire to his ministers to marry a beautiful girl. The ministers sent some Brahmins conversant with the study of signs on the person of human being, in quest of a beautiful girl. The Brahmins came to Devadaha and selected Māyā, one of the daughters of Subhuti. King Śuddhodana sent a message to Subhuti to give his daughter Māyā in marriage to him. Subhuti replied that he had six other daughters who were older in age than Māyā and after giving them in marriage he would be able to offer his seventh daughter to him, and Śuddhodana [58] asked for the hands of the seven maids. In compliance with his request Subhuti offered his seven daughters who were brought to Kapilavastu from Devadaha by Śuddhodana. Among the seven daughters, Māyā and Mahāprajāpatī were kept in Śuddhodana’s harem and the remaining five were given to his five brothers. The Buddha Gautama was the son of Queen Māyā.

Gautama’s early life

While descending from the Tuṣita heaven, the Bodhisattva took into consideration the proper time, country, continent, and family to be born in. The Bodhisattva is generally born either in a brahmin family when the Brahmins are supreme or in a Kṣatriya family when the Kṣatriyas attain superiority. The family, which the Bodhisattva would be born in, should have sixty well-known attributes. A thousand gods brought four great kings to the Tuṣita heaven during the Bodhisattva’ s descent, and said to one of them, viz., Bimbisāra, “Be born in Rajagha. If you follow righteousness, then others will do so.” Thus Abhaya, Sārthavāha, and other great Brahmins and householders were born. The gods said to another king (Udayana, king of the Vatsas), “Be born in Kauśāmbī. If you follow rules of discipline or humility then great men will do so.” The householder, Ghośila, and other great Kṣatriyas and householders observed rules of discipline. Thousands of devaputras (sons of gods) were born in different families of Brahmans, Kṣatriyas, and householders in the sixteen great [59] countries (mahājanapadas) to be the companions of the Lord. The Bodhisattva cogitated about the persons fit to be his parents. He thought of Śuddhodana as a worthy father. He then thought of the mother who should bear him. He resolved to be born in the womb of a mother who is cheerful, kulin (of good family), of pure body, and of short life, i.e., the span of her life should be ten months and seven days only. The mother who conceives Bodhisattva dies generally within seven days from the date of delivery. Thinking of such a mother, Bodhisattva saw that the chief queen of Śuddhodana was endowed with the requisite qualities. He then considered her worthy to be his mother. The Bodhisattva informed the Devasaṁgha of his intention. The Devasaṁgha It means an assembly of gods. approved this heartily and promised to descend to earth for the benefit of mankind. The Assembly of gods began to sing hymns. While such discussions were going on in Tuṣita heaven, King Śuddhodana at the request of his chief queen Māyā, brought her to the well­decorated palace named Dhtarāṣṭra. The queen lay on her right side. Gods saw her sleeping and came down to the top of the palace. They did obeisance to her with folded hands. Daughters of gods with holy garlands came there to see the Jina’s mother and from heaven they began to shower flowers. All sides of the firmament were [60] protected by monsters, serpents, Yakṣas, and gandharvas. Desired by gods, the Lord came down to earth. At this time, Māyā dreamt that an elephant, with good looks, a red head, and six tusks and of slow movement entered into her womb. The Bodhisattvas are generally conceived on the full-moon night with the predominating star, Puṣyā. The Bodhisattva created such a light as lit up the whole Buddha world. The Bodhisattva descended and the earth quaked, but not a being was injured. Indra and the other gods began to guard the Lord in the mother’s womb. The next morning Māyādevī told her husband everything about her dream. The king asked the fortune-tellers about the significance of this dream. They said, “O Lord! A son of great goddess will be born with thirty-two signs. If this child be a householder, he will be a rājcakravartī, if the child enter into a monastic order he will be the leader of the world.” Conceiving a Bodhisattva, the mother feels happiness in every work. She does not feel any pain resembling that of being pierced with a weapon. Poison, fire, and thunder cannot injure her. Daughters of gods serve the mother. She gets heavenly cloth, ornament, perfumes, garlands, and pastes and is respected by the members of the family. The Bodhisattva while in mother’s womb is not smeared with bile, phlegm, and blood. His body is clean and washed. The Bodhisattva in mother’s womb can see the mother who also can see the child like a golden [61] idol. Gods come twice a day to hear of the happy day and the happy night. The Bodhisattva too cheers them up by raising his right arm. Thousands and thousands of nymphs dance and sing songs before the mother of the Bodhisattva. Thousands of heavenly daughters talk with her and fan her while asleep with a cluster of coral trees (mandāra). On the completion of ten months the mother bearing Bodhisattva is delivered.

The Śākya Subhuti sent word to the king that the chief queen should go to her parent’s residence for delivery. The king consented to the queen’s departure. On the way, the royal party arrived at the Lumbini garden which was full of sweet­smelling flowers. The air was scented by the leaves of the Tamāla tree, and filled with the perfume of aguru and incense.

Gods and their daughters repaired to the Lumbini garden with scented garlands.

Māyādevī with her friends came to the garden in a chariot. Thousands of country-girls and villagers stood there with folded hands to wait upon her. The mother bearing a Bodhisattva did not lie down or sit to give birth to child. She stood and gave birth to the child. She felt no pain during delivery. The Bodhisattva appeared on the right side. While born, he took seven steps and with a smiling face he looked around. Heavenly flowers were showered upon him from the sky. First the gods, then human beings took him on their lap. [62]

The world became bright. There were two showers of water hot and cold for Bodhisattva’s bath. Sons of gods held in the sky umbrella bedecked with precious jewels.

By the influence of Sugata, It is an epithet of the Buddha Gautama. It means Blessed One. the mother remained uninjured. Her womb acquired its original form. Thousand sons of gods and nymphs came there to worship the Bodhisattva. With the birth of Bodhisattva there were born in Śākya family five hundred male children foremost of whom was the beautiful Nanda, five hundred female children foremost of whom was Yaśodharā, the same number of servants, the first of whom was Chandaka, the same number of horses, Kaṇṭhaka heading the list, the same number of elephants the foremost was Candana, and the like number of divine treasures. King Śuddhodana ordered his men to bring Māyādevī to Kapilavastu. Viśvakarma built a palanquin set with jewels. Four great kings came there to carry the palanquin. The Bodhisattva with Māyā got into the palanquin. Mahābrahmā, the lord, drove away the crowd. King Śuddhodana sent the child to gods to show respects to Abhayādevī. Abhayādevī herself bowed down to the prince. With the birth of the prince, King Śuddhodana was successful in everything, hence the prince was called ‘Sarvārthasiddha’. The prince entered the palace. King asked his priest to find out Brahmins who were [63] skilful in studying signs. The eight hundred sons of gods came to the palace as brahmans skilful in reading signs. The king paid due respects to them. They declared, “The prince has thirty-two signs.”

In the Vindhya hills, there lived with five hundred disciples a sage named Asita versed in the Vedas. He noticed an earthquake, flower­rain, and other miracles of the like, sat in meditation and learnt that the Bodhisattva had been born. He came to Kapilavastu to see the Buddha and was given a respectful ovation. Sage Asita shed tears to see the prince. Questioned by the king, the sage said, “I hear this prince will be Rājcakravartī, but he would not be so, I think. He will be a Buddha. I am an old man. I shall not live so long. I shed tears in sorrow as I shall not have the opportunity of hearing Buddha’s religious counsels.”

Once the king went to the garden with the prince and other members of the family. The prince noticed ploughing. A snake and a frog were dug out by the plough. The prince threw away the snake that was ready to devour the frog. This caused him to feel pain of body and life. He at once began to brood over the question of the renunciation of the world. He sat under the shade of a Jambu tree. The shade did not move with the movement of the Sun. The king searched for the prince at meal time. All quarters were searched and the prince was found under the shade of the Jambu tree. The king was informed [64] of it. He came there, found him in this plight and bowed down to him. The king thought if the prince be meditative as he was at the time, then the words of the sage Asita would turn out to be true; he got a large harem built for the prince to keep him in his house. He had various aśokabhāṇḍa built and made a declaration throughout his kingdom that the prince would distribute ornaments amongst girls. Let every girl come to the royal garden. Thousands of girls came to the royal garden and received ornaments. Yaśodharā, daughter of a Śākya named Mahānāma, came there well-decorated. Yaśodharā did not come close to the prince through bashfulness.

On his attainment of Buddha-hood, the lord was asked by the bhikkhus the reason for this. The Lord said that it was not merely at this birth but in previous births as well that she did so.

Buddha’s renunciation and religious life

While at Śrāvastī, the Lord Buddha once said to the bhikkhus, “I was a very beautiful boy. My father, Śuddhodana, had three palaces built for me, where I was to reside during cold season (hemanta), the summer, and the rains for my sport, dalliance, and walk. In these palaces, there were gabled halls (kuṭāgāras) with a covered porch and scented with incense, covered with silk and satin cloth and strewn with flowers. In the halls, there were various bedsteads of gold, and silver set with precious stones, many pillows smelling sweet scent like agurucandana; various fine cloths, garlands [65] of campaka flowers; there was provision for dancing and singing, musical instruments, trumpets; beautiful ladies. Horses, elephants, and various other vehicles and saddle made of lion skin, various umbrellas and all other articles of luxury were collected. There were gardens on all sides, and round the gardens, lotus lakes, and other lakes were dug out. High and big palaces were built. These were provided for my pleasure. But living in a house seemed to me to be confinement. I thought that salvation lay in becoming a religions mendicant. It was not possible to practise Brahmacaryā at home. So I became a religions mendicant. I caused my parents to weep, renounced the imperial throne, accepted the life of a mendicant, and proceeded towards Vaiśālī.

In Vaiśālī there was a brahmin named Ārāḍa Kālāma who instructed his three hundred disciples on Dharma. He used to say to Śrāvakas It means disciples. In Pali it is sāvakas. and Brāhmaṇas, ‘See and Sacrifice’ (paśyatha, paśyatha, prajahatha, prajahatha). The disciples too used to say, ‘we are seeing and sacrificing’. I became a disciple of Ārāḍa-Kālāma. In a very short time, I found out that the dharma taught by Ārāḍa Kālāma could not bring out an end to all suffering. Then with a view to acquire something higher, I proceeded towards Rājagha. On arriving there, I heard of Udrakārāmaputra who used to instruct seven hundred disciples on dharma. [66] I became his disciple. By dint of perseverance, I learnt dharma in a very short time and realised that his dharma too was incapable of putting an end to misery. Then I went to Gayā.

While roaming on the Gayāśīrṣa mountain three unheard of analogies crossed my mind.

The first simile:- As a man desirous of getting light cannot produce fire by rubbing one wet wood against another wet wood inside water, so a person with passionate thoughts does not become respectful to one who is with passionate mind and body. He suffers misery only. He cannot acquire knowledge.

Second simile:- As a man desirous of getting light cannot produce fire by rubbing one wet wood against another wet wood on the ground, so a person with a passionate mind does not become respectful to one who is free from passion. He suffers only and cannot acquire knowledge.

Third simile:- As a man desirous of getting light can produce fire by rubbing one dry wood against another dry wood on the ground, so a passionate man becomes modest to one who endures severe physical pain and whose mind and body are free from passion. He can acquire knowledge.

I thought I too should go on with mind free from desire and body free from passion. The passionate would be humble to me. I should endure severe physical pain. I should be able to acquire the best knowledge for a man.

Thus resolved I proceeded towards Uruvilvā. [67] There I saw nicely-looking roots, pleasing lakes, plain grounds, and the sanctifying water of the Nairañjanā river. I was delighted. There I began to practise austerity. I suppressed my body by mind in such a way that perspiration came out of my face and forehead and fell on the ground. Sweat streamed down the outskirts of my cloth.

I began to practise Āsphānaka meditation. I stopped breath through mouth and nose. I heard inside my ears a great sound like a blacksmith’s pitcher. I confined the air in the holes of my ear. This air struck my brain like the sharp instrument of the butcher striking the head of an ox.

I ate only one plum. My body became so lean that ribs could be counted, the spinal cord could be seen, eyes sank to their sockets, the head became dry, the colour of the body became black. Somebody became accomplished by living on rice only. I too began to eat rice. Body became lean as before. Depending on Sesamum only, my body became lean as before. I stopped that for ever and my body became more lean. Then it struck me that this was the utmost limit to be reached by penance; nothing further than this could be attained. Perfect knowledge was not to be acquired through this path. I thought that the delightful first penance which I acquired underneath the cold shadow of Jambu tree from sin and desire just before the retirement of the world, is the best road to the acquisition of knowledge. [68] Such a penance was not possible for a weak man in starvation. Then I began to take juice of pulse. Mug, Kulattha, and Harenuka

My appetite increased. I got strength. I took honey and rice boiled in milk, (i.e., pāyasa) and came to the banks of the Nairañjanā river. My body became cold after a bath in Nairañjanā. I took some grass from a grass cutter, prepared a cushion before the Bodhi tree which I circumambulated and I took my seat there. I attained the first stage of meditation and roamed about with a mind free from passion and sin. On the cessation of Sabitarkavicāra (determination of truth after discussion), mind got delighted. The second stage of meditation was reached. Then embracing renunciation, I neglected delight (pīti) and attained the third stage. Pleasure and pain came to an end. Affection and affliction disappeared. The fourth stage, viz., that of sukha, upekkhā, and smiti, was reached. Then I could see everything with spiritual eyes. I found certain people going to hell in consequence of their evil deeds and others to heaven by virtue of good deeds. Then I remembered the events of my past life. Events of hundreds of my previous births were vivid. At the end of the night, at sunrise, all that were worthy to be known, got and understood, came to my knowledge. I acquired Perfect Enlightenment (Samyaksambodhi). [69]

Śuddhodana saw in a dream an elephant bedecked with gems, standing on the road in the midst of the city. Seeing this, he laughed and wept in his dream; his body trembled and suffered a scorching pain. The lokapālas asked the King not to be afraid and explained to him the significance of this dream. “In order to impart knowledge to many people”, they said, “a son has been born to you, endowed with various qualities. He will give up the kingdom. Worldly miseries will then disappear. This is the meaning of your laugh in the dream. The effect of your crying in the dream will be that your son will attain jinahood, he will obtain eternal bliss, and conquer all the enemies.”

The Buddha’s mother’s sister, too, saw in a dream a white coloured bullock running in the city of Kapilavastu making a pleasing sound. The king of the gods came and told her that the chief of men, Sarvārthasiddha, will leave this world and will obtain Nirvāṇa.

Yaśodharā saw in a dream a heavy shower of rain in the royal family and as the result of that shower, everybody was refreshed. Brahmā came and told her that the Buddha would give happiness to all people by his instruction and he would preach the incomparable Dharma.

The Bodhisattva dreamt five great dreams. In the first dream, he saw that this world was his bed, the mount Sumeru was his pillow, and his left hand was on the eastern ocean while his [70] right hand was on the western ocean, and his feet were on the southern ocean. In consequence of this great dream, he attained perfect enlightenment. In the second dream, he saw that a grass named Khīrikā originated from his belly which spread all over the sky.

The Buddha after having acquired the supreme knowledge turned the Wheel of Law at ṣipatana Mgadāva in Benares. That is to say, he preached the four noble truths, suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering, and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. Not a śramaṇa, brāhmaṇa, or deva, or māra, or any other person did turn the wheel of such a dharma. This dharma was preached for the good of humanity at large. The devas, the four mahārājikas, and the gods of the Tāvatiṁsa, Yāma, and Tuṣita heaven began to praise the Buddha. This was the consequence of the Buddha’s second dream. In the third dream he saw many red-coloured creatures with black heads covering him up to the knee. This dream was interpreted in this way that many people followed the religious path shown by him and went to heaven after death.

In the fourth dream he saw four birds of various colours came from the four directions through the sky and became white after touching his feet. It was interpreted thus. The Brahmins, the Kṣatriyas, the Vaiśyas, and the Śūdras became liberated after having accepted his dharma. In the fifth dream he saw that he was roaming about [71] on the Mīḷa mountain of great height. The effect of this dream was that he was honoured everywhere and everybody embraced his doctrine.

The Bodhisattva thought that it was difficult to practise celibacy while leading a household life. He determined to renounce the world. He informed the king of his determination. Śuddhodana tried his utmost to induce him to give up his determination. He also told the prince that he would be cut up with grief and his mother would die if the prince would renounce the world. He then asked his son to practise dharma at home. He sent for five hundred kings who came and asked the prince not to renounce the world. The Bodhisattva told the kings that he would not leave the world if his father could stand as a surety against four things. The kings said this to King Śuddhodana who wanted to know the four things. The Bodhisattva prayed to his father (1) for everlasting youth so that old age might not seize him; (2) for perpetual freedom from disease; (3) for immortality so that death might not carry him away; and (4) for eternally living in riches so that misfortune might not afflict him. Gods heard of this and were greatly delighted. King Śuddhodana said to the prince with an aggrieved heart and tears in his eyes that it was not unknown to the prince that worldly creatures were not free from old age, disease, death, and distress. Then the prince assured the king that he would not leave the world if the king could [72] stand as a surety against three things, viz., my passion (kāmaguṇa) might be celestial, always pleasant and beneficial. The king said that in this world kāma (sensual pleasure) was not pleasant and beneficial. Then the prince asked the king to be a surety against two things, viz., pride and appropriation from which he desired to be free forever. The king said with tears in his eyes that he had never heard of this and he expressed his inability to be a surety. The prince then requested the king to guarantee at least one thing, viz., that during his residence there in that great palace his unrestrained mind might remain under his control. King Śuddhodana, unable to comply with his request, began to shed tears. Bodhisattva said thus,– “There is no doubt that I shall be free from old age and death, from the fear of affliction and that I shall acquire perpetual happiness. Please drive away your grief and be patient.”

Thereafter, the Bodhisattva began his meditation under the shadow of a Jambu tree. King Śuddhodana noticed this and thought that the words of the sage, Asita, would be fulfilled if the prince were devoted to peaceful meditation. He made up his mind to build a spacious harem with beautiful gardens where the prince would be immersed in sensual pleasures and would never think of renunciation. The king carried out his resolve. He brought a large number of women and built many pavilions which were decorated [73] with flowers and gems. The king asked the women to engage the prince with dancing and music so that he might not think of renunciation. The prince did not find delight in dancing and music. He became disgusted with the world. His mind was greatly agitated. He did not find delight in beautiful women. The king entered the harem and enquired about the health of the prince as there was no music going on there. The king was informed by the goddess of the Lumbinivana from the heaven that the prince was not attached to the world, he would soon cut off the tie and repair to a forest where penances were practised. Even surrounded by women in the palace he was thinking of the impermanence of the body. The king became sad and went to the prince and enquired of him whether he was keeping well and why he was sitting there with a pale face, full of sorrow. The prince said, “I find disease in body; disease attacks recovery (ārogya), death attacks life. All saṁkhāras Saṁkhāra constitutes rūpa, vedanā, saññā, saṁkhāra, and viññāna. (confections) are subject to decay. Life is decaying, season after season, year after year; death becomes imminent. This is the perturbed state of health. I also find the impermanence of wealth; wealth is something like illusion; it deceives people and brings about quarrels. There is no permanent stability of wealth.” The king said, “Son! Don’t think of this. You are now young. Engage yourself [74] in kingly duties, find delight in the spacious harem, do not think of renunciation.” The prince replied, “Father, if you can grant me the eight boons, I shall never think of this.” After the king had promised to grant the boons, the prince enumerated them thus, “Old age should not attack my youthful days; let not disease attack me who am now free from disease, let not death attack me who am now alive; never should there be a separation between yourself and myself; let not all our relatives share suffering in this world; let all persons be free from suffering, let me not be subject to birth, old age, and death. The king replied, “I have no such power, my ancestors, King Dḍadhanu, Niśāntāyu, Yugandhara, and others, too, had no such power.” The king then told the prince to renounce the world after his (king’s) death. But the prince said, “Father, you will find me perfectly enlightened, free from desire, suffering, and sorrow during your life­time.” The king failed to win the prince over to his side with the help of women who were dancers and musicians. Even the palace, like the abode of gods, could not please the prince. The prince took the world to be a stage. He said to his father thus, “If there were no old age, disease, or death in this world, if there had been eternal happiness in this world, if there had been no eternal fear in this world, then and then only he would have been attached to this world, otherwise not.” The king could not change the mind of [75] the prince in any way. He determined to bring all the girls of Kapilavastu before the prince to captivate his mind. The prince expressed his desire to see the girls. By the king’s order the path leading to the garden was decorated, well­scented, and royal officers were stationed at different places and arrangements were made to prevent old, diseased, blind, and other disabled persons from coming in front of the prince. The prince started towards the garden in a carriage decorated with seven kinds of gems. The subjects welcomed him with folded hands and various kinds of scents and powders were showered upon him. The Śuddhāvāsadevaputras and other devaputras placed a worn-out person on the way. The Bodhisattva seeing this old man with grey hairs, bent down and walking with the help of a stick asked the charioteer thus, “Who is that person?” The charioteer replied, “That person is old and has acquired this state due to old age.” The prince said to the charioteer, “We shall be subject to such old age. We cannot do away with it. If old age comes, then what is the use of enjoyment in the garden? Turn back the chariot, I shall not go to the garden.” The prince returned and the king was informed of the cause of the prince’ s returning home. The king made especial arrangements for dancing and music in the palace. But the prince did not find delight in them. He began to think of that old person. On another day, the prince [76] again wanted to go to the garden. The king arranged that there should be no horrible sight in the path leading to the garden. The Śuddhāvāsadevaputras and other gods created in that path a diseased person whose hands and feet were thin, face pale, belly inflated, and water streaming down the belly. The Bodhisattva seeing him asked the charioteer “What is this?” The charioteer replied, “This person is diseased. What is the good of knowing him. Let us go to the garden.” The prince replied, “What is the use of staying in this world where there are old age and disease? I shall not go to the garden. He returned home and began to think of the old and diseased persons. The king tried his best by music and dancing to attract his mind but in vain. Again he wished to go to the garden. The devaputras this time created a dead person in the way. The dead body was being carried and placed on a bedstead. The relatives were carrying it and crying. Some were seen striking their breast, some were seen uprooting the hair of their heads, and others were lamenting. Seeing this sight the prince became moved. On enquiry, he learnt from his charioteer that the deceased could no more see his parents, brothers, and others, nor would he be able to see the Jambudvīpa. The prince began to think thus, “Death is no friend of or enemy to anybody. As seasons change regularly so does death approach. All are equal in the eye of death. It levels equally the rich and the poor. [77] Where is happiness in this world where there are old age, disease, and death?” The prince did not proceed further but he returned home.

Once more he desired to go to the garden. This time he saw on the way a yellow-robed monk with senses controlled. The prince asked him about the cause of his renouncing worldly life. He (the monk) replied, “He has renounced the worldly life to control his own self and to attain parinirvāṇa.” The prince became pleased with him. At this time, Ānanda’s mother named Mgī, a Śākya girl, came to the prince and told him, “Your parents are happy (nirvta) Nibbuto (in Pāli) – one who is calmed. It means Nirvāṇa. and the girl whose husband you would become is also happy (nirvta).” The prince heard the word “Nibbuta” and took it in the sense of Nirvāṇa. He began to think of Nirvāṇa only and could not see Mgī nor could he hear her word. King Śuddhodana built a big door named Ṣadvālaka for the palace. Five hundred persons were needed to open the door. The opening of the door produced a sound that travelled to a distance of a yojana. Five hundred kings surrounded the city so that the prince might not go out of the palace. King Śuddhodana began to make arrangements for anointing the prince on the day when the star named Puṣyā would predominate. The prince, too, thought of renouncing the world at the same time. Sons of the gods came to him and reminded him of renunciation. Unless he set out he would be a [78] religious sovereign of the four islands. The four great islands, viz., Jambudvīpa, East Vedeha, Aparagodānika, and Uttarakuru would be under his rule.

Rāhula entered the womb of Yaśodharā in the middle watch of the night, having fallen from the Tuṣita heaven. The Bodhisattva awoke and saw all sleeping in the harem. Some were seen sleeping with lute on their lap, some embracing the musical instrument, some placing the musical instrument on the head, and some embracing one another. Some were sleeping with saliva coming out of their mouth. The harem appeared to him to be a cemetery. He rose up from his bedstead. He took a fine Kāśī Cādar (cover) and asked Chandaka to bring the horse, Kaṇṭhaka. Chandaka tried his best to induce the prince to reconsider the matter. The prince refused to take his advice. Chandaka brought Kaṇṭhaka shouting at the top of his voice with the object of causing the king to awake. But through the influence of the gods none awoke. Kaṇṭhaka, too, made a loud noise. The Bodhisattva rode on the horse Kaṇṭhaka and marched on. Showers of flowers poured forth from the sky and the heavenly nymphs began to sing songs. The Yakkha, named Supratiṣṭhita, with a retinue of five hundred, opened the door, named Ṣadvālaka, without any sound. The Bodhisattva renounced the world, while young and not old, keeping sound health and not suffering from ailment, in the enjoyment of riches and not in poverty, having many relations and not bereft of [79] kinsmen. At the time of his departure from the palace all the mountains trembled, the ocean became agitated, and gods poured forth sandal-powders. The whole earth was lighted. Darkness was dispelled and all beings were filled with joy. Only the abode of Māra Māra is the Buddhist Satan. remained gloomy and his heart appeared to have been struck with an arrow. The sun, the moon, the stars, and the heavenly abodes became purified. All people began to worship the Bodhisattva. Both gods and men welcomed him. The Bodhisattva came out of Kapilavastu and said, “I shall go to hell and take poison, yet I shall not return without overcoming old age and death.”

The Bodhisattva was brought to Anomiya, a city near the hermitage of Vaśiṣṭha in the Malla-kingdom Vide my “Some Ksatriya Tribes of Ancient India” – Mallas. to the south of Kapilavastu at a distance of twelve yojanas. Here the Bodhisattva made over to Chandaka his garment, the horse Kaṇṭhaka, and the umbrella, and asked him to convey his good news to Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī, father Śuddhodana, and his relatives, and to inform them that he would come back to them after having been successful in establishing the best religion.

The Bodhisattva cut off his hair with his sword. The hair was brought by Indra and worshipped in the Tāvatiṁsa Heaven. Kaṇṭhaka began to lick his feet. The Bodhisattva did not wait but he went on. The Bodhisattva sent good news to all except [80] Yaśodharā. The Blessed One was asked by the bhikkhus why he did not care for Yaśodharā. The Blessed One replied that not only in that life but also in previous births, he did not care for her. As requested by the bhikkhus, the Buddha narrated the Śyāma and the Campakanāgarāja Jātakas.

The Bodhisattva having renounced the world, Chandaka and Kaṇṭhaka returned to Kapilavastu from Anomiya. King Śuddhodana, Yaśodharā, and others wept in the palace. Chandaka related everything to them. Kaṇṭhaka being cut up with grief, died and was reborn as the son of god Śikhaṇḍi and enjoyed celestial bliss. (Cf. Kaṇṭhaka Jātaka.)

The Śuddhāvāsa devaputras (gods dwelling in the Śuddhāvāsa heaven) created a yellow robed hunter in that forest. The Bodhisattva went to the hunter and gave to him his Kāśī cloth in exchange for his yellow robe. Then the Bodhisattva entered Vaśiṣṭha’s dharmāraṇya and the hermitage of Vaśiṣṭha became illuminated. Vaśiṣṭha seeing him became astounded. The disciples of the sage gave him various fruits to eat. Questioned by Vaśiṣṭha, the Bodhisattva spoke out his identity and told him the object of his becoming a religions mendicant. Vaśiṣṭha blessed him. The Bodhisattva then went to Vaiśālī and accepted Ārāḍa Kālāma as his guru. He considered the dharma instructed by Kālāma to be unfavourable for the attainment of salvation. So he went to Rājagha where the king of Magadha saw him on his round for alms. The king was [81] charmed by his handsome appearance and after enquiry came to know that the Bodhisattva was dwelling at the Pāṇḍava Hill. The king of Magadha with his officers approached the Bodhisattva, sat at his feet, and asked him who he was. The Bodhisattva spoke out his identity and told him the object of his renouncing worldly life. The king requested him thus, “After acquiring perfect knowledge, please come and give me instructions in the dhamma.” The Bodhisattva promised to do so. Then Bodhisattva accepted Udraka, son of Rāma, as his guru, but he left him considering his instructions in the dhamma to be of little aid in obtaining Nirvāṇa. He came to Gayā where at the Gayāśīrṣa mountain three similes crossed his mind. He then went to the village of Uruvilvā from Gayāśīrṣa. Purāṇa Kāśyapa, too, came to the same village for alms. The Bodhisattva went to the house of a village headman for alms. Sujāta, the daughter of the village headman, together with her husband stood in front of the Buddha with eyes full of tears. Sujāta offered the Buddha honeyed rice-gruel. The Buddha asked her the object of her offering. Sujāta said that Śuddhodana’s son, Gautama, had renounced the world for six years. She had made this offering wishing the fulfilment of his mission. At this very moment a celestial voice said, “Sujāta! This is the same Gautama.” With folded hands and trembling body, Sujāta said, “For six years I did not sleep thinking of your austerity. To-day [82] my mind is satisfied.” The Buddha said, “You were my mother in 500 previous births.” The Bodhisattva went out of Uruvilvā with a pot full of cakes. But Purāṇa Kāśyapa’s pot always remained empty. He was asked by the Bodhisattva as to how much alms he had received. Kāśyapa said that he had not received any alms in the sinful villages, namely, Praskandaka, Vatakalpa, Ujjaṁgala, and Jaṁgala. The Bodhisattva, however, said that he had received plenty of alms in these gentle villages.

On Bodhisattva’s renunciation of the world, King Śuddhodana daily used to get news about him wherever he happened to be. Once the Bodhisattva stopped inhalation and exhalation, the messenger thought that he had breathed his last. The king was informed accordingly, and he believed that the prince could not die as he was showing wonderful signs since his birth. The king thought that most probably he had become absorbed in meditation and the messengers had taken him to be dead. The king asked the messengers to enquire once again. They again came to Uruvilvā and were astounded to see the prince in good health.

The bhikkhus asked the Buddha why King Śuddhodana did not believe that he (the prince) had died. The Buddha replied that formerly King Śuddhodana did not believe that (Cf. Śyāmaka Jātaka).

The Bodhisattva, white at Uruvilvā, practised severe austerities. For eighteen months he used [83] to take one plum daily, for a further period of 18 months, he used to take one sesamum seed daily; for 18 months more he used to take one grain of rice every day and for 18 months he did not take anything. He became lean and thin. His body became so weak that death seemed to be imminent. Devas, asuras, and men became amazed to see his severe austerities. King Śuddhodana, Mahāprajāpatī Gautamī, Yaśodharā, and the Śākyans became very much anxious to hear of the severe austerities from messengers. Yaśodharā gave up food, put on ordinary clothes, and spent her days lying on bed of grass. When the Buddha was engaged in giving religious instructions at Rājagha, King Śuddhodana sent there Chandaka and Kālodāyī as messengers. They went there and requested the Buddha to be compassionate to his relatives. The Blessed one asked them to accept ordination. They assured him that they would comply with his request by the permission of the king. Then at the will of the Buddha, the householder’s mark on them vanished and there appeared monks’ robes and alms-bowls. Chandaka and Kālodāyī then accepted ordination.

Udāyī informed the Buddha about the severe vow of Yaśodharā. The bhikkhus asked the Buddha why Yaśodharā was so much attached to him. The Buddha then related the Mgarāja Jātaka and intimated them that in previous births she was also attached to him.

The Bodhisattva was engaged in severe austerities [84] near the bank of the Nairañjanā river in a forest at Uruvilvā. At that time Māra came and told him thus, “What is the good of renunciation? Be a householder, you will be a supreme ruler and by performing the Aśvamedha sacrifice and such other sacrifices you will accumulate much merit. Renunciation is very difficult.” The Bodhisattva replied, “I don’t want merit, I am not immortal, I am subject to death. I shall attain salvation by leading the life of a Brahmacārī. A river may be dried up by wind yet my blood cannot be dried up; let my body be dried up, my mind will still be pleased. Recollection, vivacity, and meditation must exist. If I attain the excellent path, I shall surely attain purity of Sattva (soul). My desire, strength, and wisdom have not decreased. If I do not attain the way to Nirvāṇa at the foot of the Bodhi tree, Māra’s army will not be destroyed. Victory is attained by the strong only. I shall destroy Māra’s army by my wisdom. Boy or unwise person commits mistakes.” Listening to the words of the Bodhisattva, Māra disappeared. For six years the Bodhisattva was engaged in severe austerity. During this period, Māra made several attempts to ruin the Bodhisattva but in vain. It is to be noted that in former births the Bodhisattva performed severe austerity to attain salvation. (Cf. Śakuntajātakakathā, the Kacchapa Jātaka, Markaṭa Jātaka, the Śakuntaka and the Surupamgarāja Jātakas). [85]

Once upon a time, the Blessed one was roaming about with 500 monks in the Gdhrakūṭa mountain at Rājagha. Nanda, Sunanda, Sumana, Iśvara, Maheśvara and other Śuddhāvāsa gods beautified the Gdhrakūṭa mountain by their person just at the time night passed over and they came to the Blessed one, touched his feet with their heads and saluted him with folded hands. Devaputra Nanda told the Tathāgata thus, “The Perfectly Enlightened Tathāgatas of previous ages explained the Avalokita Sūtra. It would be beneficial to humanity at large if the bhikkhus could listen to your explanation.” Devaputras saying thus disappeared and the Blessed one explained the Avalokita Sūtra to the bhikkhus. While the Bodhisattva was beholding from one side of the river to the other, the Mahāśākya devas versed in previous religions worshipped him. Indra, Śuddhāvāsa devas, and other gods acquired the pleasant religion. The Bodhisattvas were endowed with various kinds of strength in body, mind, and speech. They used to live in that world where they killed the powerful Yakṣa, defeated the great army, crossed the vast ocean, became the chief of men, obtained sincerity and perfect enlightenment and did what they said, said what they did, treated the five elements equally, won success and acquired proficiency in body, mind, and speech. That part of the world where the Bodhisattva killed the Yakkhas was divided into sixteen parts. After performing severe austerities [86] in Uruvilvā, the Bodhisattva with rice-gruel offered by Sujāta, came to the banks of the river, Nairañjanā, took his bath, and partook of the rice-gruel. Leaving the white-copper (kaṁsa) pot he took rest for sometime and considered the conduct he had to lead. Thereafter, he started for the place where stood the Bodhi tree. On the way he begged grass from a grass-dealer named Svastika. When he reached the Bodhi tree he did not see Māra there. But Māra saw him. Five hundred peacocks, lotuses, curlews, cranes, pitchers full of water, and girls circumambulated the Bodhisattva who thought that this was the prognostication of the attainment of perfect enlightenment. Nāga king, named Kāla, told the Bodhisattva that he would surely obtain perfect enlightenment that day like Krakucchanda, Konākamuni, and Kāśyapa. The Bodhisattva then sat in meditation at the foot of the Bo-tree. Māra commenced to sing songs in front of the Bodhisattva but he was threatened by Bodhisattva by fourteen kinds of horrible sights. (Cf. Jyotiṣkaghapati Jātaka.)

Māra began to lament. Again he came to the foot of the Bodhi tree with his Caturaṅginī A complete army, consisting of four members, viz., elephants, chariots, horses, and foot soldiers. army (fourfold army) and made a loud sound. The Bodhisattva acquired the first Jhāna. Gradually he acquired the second, the third, and the fourth Jhānas. Then he arrived at a stage which [87] was beyond happiness and suffering and acquired purified recollection (Smtipariśuddha). In the first watch of the night, he gained celestial insight and by virtue thereof he discerned the people’s course of life born of virtue and vice. In the middle watch of the night, he recollected thousands and thousands of his former births. In the last watch of the night, he attained supreme enlightenment by means of acute concentration. He realised suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering, and the path leading to the cessation of suffering. He further realised that knowledge arises from ignorance, i.e., when ignorance is dispelled, knowledge is originated, from knowledge come Nāmarūpa (Name and Form); thus six senses, contact, sensation, desire, old age, disease, and death come into being. Knowledge springs up on the destruction of ignorance and causes the disappearance of misery. This is Nirvāṇa. Then he thought that happiness was the reward of virtue. Māra could not stand in the way of a virtuous man. A virtuous man would acquire what he would desire to have and could attain Nirvāṇa. The Buddha said that by virtue of wisdom he was liberated from misery and that Māra with his army had been defeated and reduced to ashes.

Many millions of Devas worshipped the Buddha seated on one seat for a week. Celestial flowers were showered on him. The Śuddhāvāsa and Kāyika devas approached and worshipped him. Māra was threatened by eighty kinds of sights. [88]

Once upon a time, the Buddha was dwelling in Āmrapāli’s mango grove at Vaiśālī with a large number of bhikkhus. At that time a bhikkhu named Viśuddhamati saluted the Buddha and requested him to relate for the welfare and happiness of the world what he had seen as a Bodhisattva while on the miraculous throne under the Bodhi tree (Bodhimaṇḍo). The Buddha praised Viśuddhamati for putting to him this question and said the following in compliance with his request. When the Bodhisattva entered into the womb of the queen, in the guise of a nāga elephant from the Tuṣita heaven, all the world trembled. Whetn the Bodhisattva was born, Indra himself held the cloth as bright as gold. Immediately after birth when the Bodhisattva advanced seven steps to destroy old age, disease, and death, the earth quaked, all sides were illuminated, a divine sound was heard from heaven, divine powders and flowers showered down. The Bodhisattva gave up the kingdom at the age of 29 and put on yellow robe. After becoming a religions mendicant, he engaged himself in severe austerity for 12 years. Then he entered into the kingdom of Magadha. He met and received welcome from Sujāta, the daughter of a villager. Sujāta said that King Bimbisāra had a great gain that day. In his kingdom, Bodhisattva had acquired incomparable enlightenment.

The Bodhisattva reached the bank of the river Nairañjanā. The earth quaked, the ocean became agitated, the Yakkhas, the Gandharvas, the Asuras, [89] the king of all birds, the Kinnaras, and others became delighted.

Then he crossed the river Nairañjanā. Eighty crores of gold umbrellas were held over the head of the Bodhisattva. The Nāga king, named Kāla, with his retinue came there and saluted him. For the achievement of the same end Bodhisattva came to the same spot, viz., the foot of that very Bodhi tree where Krakucchanda, Konākamuni, and Kāśyapamuni came to attain perfect enlightenment. The assembly of gods gladly showered flowers on the Bodhisattva. The Śuddhāvāsadevas decorated him with mandāra flowers and perfumed wind blew. The lustre of his person illuminated all sides. The nāga king, named Kāla, heard this incomparable sound and came there with his daughters, worshipped the Bodhisattva and said, “I notice in you the same marks as I found on the person of Krakucchanda, Konākamuni, and Kāśyapa. Gods have come here to worship you. To-day you will surely attain Buddhahood and the unique abstract contemplation of God (Samādhi).” On hearing the words of Kāla, Bodhisattva gladly came to the foot of the Bodhi tree. At this time the Bo-tree was variously decorated. Gods from heaven worshipped the Bodhisattva with flowers, incense, etc. The Bodhisattva thrice went round the Bodhi tree and sat on his own seat after recollecting the former Tathāgatas. His face became bright. He fully realised that he would not be able to attain perfect enlightenment [90] unless he could defeat Māra. Māra came there with his fourfold army. He could not tolerate the austerity of Bodhisattva.

Māra’s defeat by the Buddha

The Śākya prince who was Svayambhu (a self­created one) and of sacred personality came to the foot of the Bodhi tree and brightened all sides. Māra became frightened. Gods decorated the Bo-tree with various kinds of gems. The Bodhisattva was firm and sat motionless. Māra put on a coat-of-mail and came there. His heart trembled. He began to praise the Bodhisattva thus, “You are incomparable in beauty, your colour is unique. Like the moon free from cloud you have overwhelmed the devas, nāgas, and men; you have seven gems; your body is endowed with the thirty­two signs of a great man. Find delight in a woman and be a supreme ruler. You will be blessed with thousands of powerful sons who will conquer the earth. Girls of Māra are singing songs for your delight, some are throwing scented powders. O, prince, stay in the palace and enjoy life.” The Bodhisattva replied, “I shall be the lord of the world by attaining Buddhahood, I shall conquer earth by acquiring four miraculous powers. Kāma (lust) gives no pleasure rather it leads one to hell. I have no desire for kāma. It is abominable. I shall surely attain salvation. The Bodhisattva is not at all attached to women because they are the cause of various kinds of injury. To me don’t speak highly of kāma.” Māra’s [91] son, Sārthavāha, said to his father thus, “Please excuse my impertinence and listen to me. The earth quaked during his birth. The ten quarters were illuminated. Divine instruments were played upon from heaven. Divine umbrellas were held by gods. Flags were hoisted. Bodhisattva will be the eye of all. He will dispel ignorance and will be the saviour of the world. He will do good to the world, will defeat the army of Māra. He will overpower Brahmā, Sakra, Guhyaka (a demi-god and attendant of the god of wealth), nāga, asura, Manuja, and mahoraga. He cannot be moved in any way from this Bodhi tree.” Māra was sorry and told his son in reply, “O, boy, don’t frighten me. I shall put obstacles in the way of the Bodhisattva with the help of my army. You are my eldest son and yet you are a follower of Gautama! Why are you paralysing the activity of my army?” Sārthavāha further told his father, “One cannot live in this world by doing injury to the Bodhisattva. Who will move the Bodhisattva? Your army will be frightened at his sight. Your army will be destroyed by him. At the foot of this Bodhi tree, Krakucchanda, Konāka, Kāśyapa, and 4,000 Buddhas attained saṁbodhi and this Bodhisattva will also acquire enlightenment.” Sārthavāha then worshipped the Bodhisattva. Māra’s army attacked the Bodhisattva but the latter remained firm. Māra’s army got frightened and fled. Māra silently began to think. The Bodhisattva thought [92] of suffering, origin of suffering, and cessation of suffering. The Devaputras worshipped him. Sitting on one seat he meditated for a week and after having acquired Bodhi he did not get up from his seat. The devas showered flowers from the sky for seven nights continually. Māra was defeated. The world felt happy. Fire became pacified and creatures gave up envy. The Bodhi tree was decorated with banners, umbrellas, etc. Diseased and aggrieved people became free from illness and grief. The man born blind got back eyesight. The Tathāgata was pure in precept, in meditation, in wisdom, in emancipation, in the knowledge of emancipation, love, and compassion. Eternal bliss is obtained by the worshipping of such a pure Tathāgata.

The Bodhisattva acquired five saññā (consciousness). Māra himself approached the Bodhisattva and saluted him. When Māra asked the Bodhisattva to stay in the palace and to enjoy kingly enjoyments, the latter asked him why he had come there and told him that his object had already been frustrated. Māra again came to the sky and the Bodhisattva again asked him who he was. When Māra introduced himself to him and threatened him that he would attack him with his army, the Bodhisattva said that even koṭis of Māras would not be able to do him any injury. Māra made several vain attempts to frustrate the object of the Bodhisattva. ln the first watch of the night he fled. Gautama acquired [93] divine vision. In the second watch he remembered previous births; and on sunrise, he acquired perfect enlightenment. Gautama said, “Profound divine meditation known as ‘Lokavijita’ is attainable. The world is full of suffering, where there is birth there is suffering, it is better to lead the life of a Brahmacārī. Suffering originates from upadhi (attachment). Suffering is not engendered on the destruction of attachment. Creatures are ephemeral and are subject to suffering. On the destruction of the desire for existence (Bhavatṣṇā), fear disappears. Destruction of desire (tṣṇā) is Nirvāṇa. One who has attained Nirvāṇa is not born again. Māra gets overwhelmed; enemy is conquered; all sorts of fear are dispelled. A person who has obtained Nirvāna is not subject to rebirth. Māra is defeated by him. He is free from all fears” (cf. Kuśa Jātaka).

Gautama’s principal disciples

Once the Buddha’s disciple, Ānanda with five hundred bhikkhus, was staying at Veluvana in Rājagha in Magadha. Mahākāśyapa heard of the weakness, supineness, and laxity of thirty disciples of Ānanda and came there. After an exchange of friendly greetings Mahākāśyapa asked, ‘why has the Lord Buddha prohibited eating in an assemblage (gaṇa bhojana)? Why has he approved trikbhojana (dinner of three persons)?’ Ānanda failed to reply. Mahākāśyapa himself answered, “The Buddha has done so for the preservation of the householders and for the destruction of sin. O, [94] long-lived kumāra Ānanda, you are not proving your knowledge in all things (mātrajñatā) by begging alms with your disciples.” Ānanda was surprised at the use of the word ‘Kumāra’ and said, “My hairs have turned grey, yet you call me a kumāra.”

Mahākāśyapa thrice addressed him as kumāra. The bhikkhuṇī Sthulanandā heard of Mahākāśyapa calling Ānanda a kumāra and said, “Reverend Mahākāśyapa! Why do you address Ānanda, the favourite disciple of the Buddha, as kumāra”? Ānanda at once said, “Reverend Mahākāśyapa, please pardon these ignorant mothers.” Then Mahākāśyapa said to Ānanda, “On receiving ordination I did not take counsel from any person other than the Buddha. When I was sick of household life; when I had a strong desire for celibacy, I renounced vast wealth and started in search of the Lord Arahat. I found the Lord in the Bāhuputra Caitya at Rājagha, saluted him touching his feet, and became his disciple. The Lord himself gave me various instructions. Thus did Mahākāśyapa gladden and encourage the bhikkhus with religions discourses and then left his seat. Sthulanandā was not satisfied. So she went to hell.

The rich village of Nālandā was at a distance of half a yojana from Rājagha. There lived in that village a wealthy brahmin who had several sons named Dharma, Upadharma, Śatadharma, Tiṣya, and Upatiṣya by his wife called Śārī. His [95] youngest son, Upatiṣya, used to study the veda in his preceptor’s house. There was a wealthy and largely populated village named Kolita situated at a distance of half a yojana from Rājagha. In this village there lived a rich brahmin of the Maudgalyāyana gotra. He had a learned and intelligent son, named Kolita, who too studied the veda with a preceptor with whom five hundred disciples read. Kolita and Upatiṣya finished their study while in the preceptor’s house. They were fast friends. There was a festival known as Giriyagrasamāja in Rājagha. Thousands of people assembled in hundreds of gardens. Songs were sung, musical instruments were played, theatrical performances were held with great pomp. Kolita and Upatiṣya with horses, chariots, and servants came to Rājagha to see the festival. Sāriputta saw the huge crowd and the sense of transitoriness of the world crossed his mind. He thought that none of this crowd would survive after a hundred years. He noticed the teeth of the laughing crowd and everything worldly appeared to him to be made of bones. Owing to their past merits both Sāriputta and Maudgalyāyana felt a disgust for the world and mutually confiding each other of their desire to renounce the world, they accepted ordination.

At this time a mendicant, named Sañjayin Vairaṭiputra, lived in a parivrājakārāma in Rājagha. Sāriputta and Maudgalyāyana accepted ordination from this mendicant. The former learnt the [96] duties of a mendicant in one week while the latter did so in two weeks, but they recognised the inanity of the courtship of the good discipline. They separated themselves from each other and went out in quest of dharma. They came to an understanding that he who would learn the dharma first would teach the other. At this time the Lord Buddha was roaming with thirteen hundred bhikkhus in Veluvana. Bhikkhu Upasena went out on begging with plates and alms-bowl. Sāriputra met him, questioned him about his master and, at the first words of Upasena, light entered his mind.

Sāriputra came to Maudgalyāyana who, at his countenance only, guessed the good news. At the only enunciation of the formulæ “Ye dharmā hetuprabhavā, etc.,” both of them detached themselves from the false doctrines and were penetrated with the most favourable dispositions. Both Sāriputra and Maudgalyāyana came to Sañjayin and tried in vain to drag him to the Buddha. They came to the Buddha followed by the five hundred disciples of Sañjayin. The Buddha foreseeing the arrival of his two principal disciples, had had seats prepared. Sāriputra and Maudgalyāyana saw the Buddha, paid him homage, and were ordained along with their five hundred companions. In reply to a question from Sāriputra, Bhagavat explained to him the chain of causation (pratityasamutpāda). In seven days Maudgalyāyana acquired supernatural faculties. [97] Sāriputra, in a fortnight, received the complete science.

Conversion of Chandaka and Udāyī by Buddha

The Buddha was staying at Rājagha. The Śākyas of Kapilavastu requested their king Śuddhodana to bring the Buddha from Rājagha to Kapilavastu. Śuddhodana sent to the Buddha, Chandaka and Kālodāyī, who were Buddha’s friends from childhood. Chandaka and Udāyī came to the Buddha and told him about their mission but within a short time both of them accepted ordination. The Lord preached the Dharma for seven years; then at the request of the Śākyas he expressed his desire to come to Kapilavastu. He started with the Bhikkhusaṁgha. When the Lord reached Kośala, the Śākyas set out in various cars to meet him. When the bhikkhus entered Kapilavastu from Nyagrodhārāma for alms, the king saw their bald heads and alms-bowl, and in disgust stopped them from going further.

Śuddhodana and the Buddha

The Lord did not give his consent when Uruvilvākāśyapa, Nadīkāśyapa, Gayākāśyapa, and Upasena wanted to see king Śuddhodana to pacify him. Mahāmaudgalyāyana sent Kālodāyī to pacify Śuddhodana. Kālodāyī made an aerial journey from Nyagrodhārāma and reached Kapilavastu. He stayed in the air in front of the king. The king heard of the greatness of the Buddha and was highly satisfied. He started with his countrymen [98] to see The Enlightened One. The king and the royal family went on in a chariot as far as the road permitted the chariot to be driven, then they walked on. On reaching Nyagrodhārāma, he made respectful obeisance to the aerial Buddha. The Lord showed various miracles while staying in the air. When he took his seat, Mahāprajāpatī Gotamī, Yaśodharā, and all other royal personages bowed down to the Lord’s feet and sat on one side. The king put to the Buddha various questions and was much pleased to receive his answers.

Conversion of the Śākyas by the Buddha

The Buddha was then invited by his father, King Śuddhodana, who had the way from Kapilavastu to Nyagrodhārāma well decorated. When the Buddha and his disciples took their seats, they were treated to various edibles by the king. The Buddha, too, encouraged the king and his people with religious discourses. Thus one day Mahāprajāpatī, the second day, Yaśodharā, the third day, the women of the harem, then all the circle of the Śākyas received him with great hospitality. One day Yaśodharā invited the Buddha with his disciples and making over to Rāhula a cake which she had prepared, she told him to place it on the plate of the Buddha. Rāhula obeyed his mother and took his seat in such a place where the shadow of the Buddha fell on his body. Rāhula said to his mother that the shadow of the śramaṇas was very pleasant. Yaśodharā asked [99] his son to pray for paternal property. Rāhula did so. The Buddha asked him to take holy orders and assured him that he would give him ancestral property. The king and the Śākyas were quite happy to hear of the assurance. Yaśodharā with all her attire and ornaments on served the Lord with food to induce him to come into the world but in vain. After taking his meal the Lord pleased and encouraged everybody with various religious discourses and then went to Nyagrodhārāma.

King Śuddhodana consulted the Śākyas and ordered that a boy from every Kṣatriya household should take holy orders and follow the Buddha. But the only son of a family need not take holy orders. Śuddhodana had two sons, Buddhadeva and Sundarananda. Buddhadeva took holy orders, Sundarananda did not do so. Out of three sons of Śukrodana, Devadatta renounced the world; Ānanda desired to renounce the world but he did not receive his brother’s permission. He went to Videha and took the vow of silence. Nandan and Nandika, sons of Śukrodana, took holy orders. The other two sons stayed at home. Aniruddha, son of Amritodana, took holy orders. Thus five hundred Śākya lads took holy orders with splendour. All of them used various conveyances, such as elephant, horses, and carriages as far as roads permitted, then they walked on foot and reached Nyagrodhārāma. They saluted the Lord and took their seats. [100]

Conversion of the Asuras by the Buddha

While at Nyagrodhārāma the Lord converted many persons to the faith by his three miracles, the miracle of the supernatural power, the miracle of instruction, and the miracle of the precept of the law. Sixty nayutas of asuras who came to pay homage to the Buddha, were converted and in accordance with their desire (pranidhi) obtained the promise to become one day as many Buddhas. At that moment the Exalted One smiled and with this smile sprang out rays of all shades that illuminated the whole Buddhakṣetra.

The venerable Aśvakin requested the Buddha to explain to him the reason of his smile. The Buddha said that he had smiled to hear of the desire of the asuras to attain Bodhi.

We like to record here a few more incidents of conversion into Buddhism by Gautama, the Buddha.

Bhagavat (Blessed one) arrived on the banks of the Ganges, after leaving the ṣipatana, he recited some stanzas to the boatman who helped him across the great river. Bhagavat converted and ordained the boatman. On the boatman’s asking the Buddha as to what he should reply when the people would ask him what he was, the Buddha told him to declare that he (the boatman) was a śramaṇa, a brāhmaṇa versed in the vedas, and an expert pilot.

Śakra took the appearance of a young man and followed the Buddha with all the necessaries [101] of a hermit. When the people enquired about Śakra, the follower of the Buddha, Śakra said that he was the servant of Sugata. The Buddha sent him away.