Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “avadana of the sumptuous alms of velama” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Part 6 - Avadāna of the sumptuous alms of Velāma

The A p’o t’o na king (Avadānasūtra) tells the following: Once in Jambudvīpa, there was a king named P’o sa p’o (Vāsava); at the same time, there was a brahmin-bodhisattva named Wei lo ma (Velāma): he was the king’s teacher (śāstṛ) and he taught him to follow the rule of the noble chakravartin kings.

Velāma, who was immensely rich (dhana) and whose treasury was full, thought one day: “People call me noble, my wealth is immense; for the benefit of beings (sattvārthakriyā) now is the time to make great gifts. Wealth and nobility are pleasant things, but everything is impermanent (anitya). The common [victim] of the five classes (see Appendix 1) causes the human mind to be scattered, to run wild, without ever staying steady, like a monkey (markaṭa) that cannot be still in one place for an instant;[1] a person’s life passes and disappears like a flash of lightning; the human body is perishable (anitya); it is the reservoir of all the sufferings. This is why it is necessary to practice generosity.”

Having thought thus, he opened his hands and proclaimed everywhere, to all the brahmins and all the monks (pravrajita) in Jambudvīpa: “I would like all of you to condescend to come to my house; I would like to spread out fine gifts.” For twelve years, he distributed floods of cream (dadhi), mountains of grain (yava) and waves of oil (taila); garments (vastra), food (āhāra), seats (śayanāsana) and medicines (bhaisajya), all of which were excellent. At the end of twelve years, he set out to make great gifts: 84,000 white elephants (pāṇdarahastin) with [142c] armor of rhinoceros skin (gaṇḍavarman) and golden ornaments (suvarṇālaṃkāra), with great golden banners (suvarṇadvaja) covered with jewels and a necklace made of the four jewels (ratnacatuṣkālamkāra); 84,000 horses (aśva), also with armor of rhinoceros skin, golden ornaments and a necklace made of the four jewels; 84,000 chariots (ratha) adorned with gold (suvarṇa), silver (rūpya), beryl (vaidūrya) and crystal (sphuṭika), covered with lion skins, tiger skins and leopard skins (siṃhavyāghradvīpicarmaparivāra), provided with magnificent hangings (parivāra) of white linen (pāṇḍukambala) and other varied ornaments; 84,000 palanquins (paryaṅka) with ribbons of various colors (miśravarṇajāla) and all kinds of rugs (āṣtaraṇa), soft and fine, as ornaments; cushions of red silk (lohitapadhāna) were placed at both ends of the palanquins, cloths and precious garments were also piled there; 84,000 golden vases filled with silver (suvarṇapātrarūpyapūrṇa); 84,000 silver vases filled with gold (rūpyapātra suvarṇapūrṇa); 84,000 vases of beryl filled with crystal (vaidūryapātra sphaṭikapūrṇa); 84,000 crystal vases filled with beryl (sphaṭikapātra vaidūryapūrṇa); 84,000 cows (dhenu) giving a bucketful of milk at one milking (kāṃsyopadohana), their horns and hooves adorned with gold and dressed in white cotton; 84,000 young maidens (kanyā), beautiful and virtuous, their bodies decorated with rings set with pearls and precious stones (āmuktamaṇiratnakuṇḍala).[2] This is a summary of [the great gifts made by Velāma]; the details could not be described. Simultaneously, king Vāsava (read P’o sa p’o) and the 84,000 minor kings, together with the ministers (amātya), the people, soldiers and merchants, each offered a hundred thousand gold pieces.

When Velāma had made the usual offering (dharmayajñā)[3] and prepared these gifts, Che t’i p’o na min (Śakra devānām indra), spoke this stanza to the bodhisattva Velāma:

The wealth of the universe, so difficult to acquire,
Can make the whole world rejoice.
Today, all that you have acquired,
You have given to attain buddhahood.

At the same time, the gods of the pure abodes (śuddhāvāsadeva), appearing in corporeal form, praised him and spoke this stanza:

You have opened the gate to the great gifts.
That which you have done
Is out of compassion (anukampā) for beings,
And in view of attaining buddhahood.

Then the gods had this thought: “We will block up his golden vase (suvarṇabhṛṅgāra) in such a way that the water cannot flow out of it. Why? Although there is a donor (dāyaka) here [namely, Velāma], there is no field of merit (puṇyakṣetra) [i.e., an individual worthy of receiving his gifts].”[4]

Then king Mo (Māra) said to the Śuddhavāsika gods: “But all the brahmins [invited here by Velāma to receive his gifts] have all gone forth from home (pravrajita), observe the pure precepts (śīlaśuddhi) and have entered the Path (marga). How can you say that they are not a field of merit?” The Śuddhavasika gods said: “The bodhisattva [Velāma] is giving gifts with the view of obtaining buddhahood, whereas all these men are [blinded] by wrong views (mithyadṛṣṭi). This is why we say that there is no field of merit.” King Māra replied: “How do you know that Velāma is making these gifts in view of obtaining buddhahood?”

Then the Śuddhavasika gods created, by metamorphosis (nirmāṇa), a brahmin carrying a golden vase (suvarṇabhṛṅgāra) and holding a golden rod (suvarṇadaṇḍa) who approached the bodhisattva Velāma and said: “What benefits do you hope to obtain by means of these great gifts, by renouncing [143a] things that are difficult to give up? Do you want to become a noble cakravartin king, possessing seven jewels, a thousand sons and ruling the four continents (cāturdvīpaka)?” The bodhisattva answered that he was not seeking that. – “Are you seeking to become Che t’i p’o na min (Śakra devānām indra), the husband of eight thousand nayuta of goddesses (devī)?” Velāma answered no. – “Do you want to become king of the six classes of gods of the desire realm (kāmadhātudeva)?”[5] – Velāma replied no. –”Do you want to become Brahmādevarāja who rules the trisāhasramahāsāhasralokadhātu and who is the grandfather of beings (sattvapitāmaha)?” Velāma again answered no. – “Then what do you want to become?” Then the bodhisattva spoke this stanza:

I seek the place free of desire,
Escaping from birth, old age, sickness and death.
I want to save all beings;           
Therefore I seek buddhahood.

The fictive brahmin (nirmitabhrāmana) answered: “Master of generosity (dānapati), buddhahood is difficult (durlabha) to attain and demands great hardships (ārta). Your mind is soft (mṛduka), accustomed to pleasure, and is certainly not capable pf aspiring to that state. As I said before, the states of noble cakravartin king, of Śakradevānām indra, of king of the six classes of Kāmadhātudeva and of Brahmādevarāja are easy to obtain. It’s not necessary to seek buddhahood.” The bodhisattva answered: “Listen then to my fully considered oath (ekacittapraṇidhi):

Even if a wheel of burning iron (uṣṇāyaścakra)[6]
Was spinning on top of my head,
I would seek buddhahood resolutely (ekacittena)
With no regret.

Even if I had to undergo immense sufferings
In the three bad destinies (durgati) or among men,
I would resolutely seek buddhahood
And never depart from this resolve.

Then the fictive brahmin said: “Master of generosity [patron] (dānapati), it is good (sādhu), it is very good; then seek to become Buddha.” And he added this stanza of praise:

The power of your exertion (virya) is great,
Your have compassion for all beings.
Your wisdom (prajñā) is free of hindrances (āvaraṇa)
You will become Buddha before long.

Then the gods rained down flowers to worship the bodhisattva. As for the Śuddhāvāsika gods who had blocked up Velāma’s vase so that the water did not flow out, they had hidden themselves and disappeared.

Then the bodhisattva went to the brahmin who was the oldest (brāhmaṇasthavira) [of all those who had been invited] and, with his golden vase (suvarṇabhṛṅgāra), wanted to pour the water over him [meaning to transfer full ownership over all the benefits that he was distributing to the brahmin by means of this libation,];[7] but the water was blocked and did not flow out. The crowd was astonished: “All kinds of great gifts have been prepared and the virtues of the patron (dānapati) are also great. Then why does not the water flow out?” The bodhisattva said: “It is not their fault. Was not my mind impure (aviśuddha)? Have I not kept something back that I should have given? Why is this happening to me?” He consulted the treatises on sacrifice (yajñasūtra) and the sixteen volumes [and he saw] that his purity (viśuddhi) was faultless. Then the gods said to the bodhisattva: “Don’t worry: there is nothing that you have [143b] not planned for. The fault is with these bad impure brahmins [whom you wished to gratify].” Then the gods spoke this stanza:

In men, the net of wrong views (mithyādṛṣṭijāla)
And passions (kleśa) have destroyed right knowledge (samyagjñāna).
Having wandered away from pure morality
These wretches will fall into various [bad] destinies.

“This is why,” they added, “the water [that you wanted to pour over their hands] is blocked and does not flow.” Having said this, they suddenly disappeared.

At that moment, the six classes of gods of the realm of desire (kāmadhātudeva) shone rays of light (raśmi) of all kinds and lit up the assembly; addressing themselves to the bodhisattva, they spoke this stanza:

Wandering in the ocean of evil
They are not following your straight path.
Of those who receive your gifts
There is no one like you.

Having said this, they suddenly disappeared.

Hearing this stanza, the bodhisattva had this thought: “In this assembly is there really nobody who is my equal, and is that why the water is blocked and does not flow?” And he spoke this stanza:

In the universes of the ten directions,
If there are marvelous pure beings,
I take refuge (śaraṇa) in them and I bow down to them
Holding the vase in my right hand,
I pour the water into my left hand
And I take the vow (praṇidhi) to be the only man
Who is worthy to receive such great gifts.

At once the water in the vase rose up into space (ākāśa) and, falling from above, poured into the bodhisattva’s left hand.[8]

Seeing this wonder, king Vāsava felt great respect (arcanā, satkāra) and spoke this stanza:

Great master of brahmins
Water the color of pure beryl (vaiḍūrya)
Flowing down from above
Has fallen into your hand!

Filled with respect and joining their hands as a sign of homage, the great assembly took refuge (śaraṇa) in the bodhisattva.

Then the bodhisattva spoke this stanza:

The gifts that I make today
Do not have as their goal the merits of the threefold world (traidhātukapuṇya);
They are for [the benefit] of all beings
And in order to seek for Buddhahood.

When he had said this, the great earth (mahāpṛthivī), the mountains (parvata), the rivers (nadī) and the trees (vṛkṣa) trembled in six different ways (ṣāḍvikāram akaṃpanta).[9]

At the beginning, Velāma had given alms to the assembly [of brahmins] with the idea that they were worthy of receiving his homage (pūjā); afterwards, when he had understood that this assembly were unworthy, it was out of compassion [and no longer from respect], that he gave them gifts that they had already received.[10]

Notes on this Jātaka:

The sumptuous alms of Velāma to which the Mppś will return later (k. 33, p. 304c22–24) are described in the Velāmasutta of the Aṅguttara, IV, p. 392–396 (tr. Hare, Gradual Sayings, IV, p. 262–265), of which there are five Chinese versions: two of these versions have been incorporated into the collections of the Tchong a han, T 26, no. 155, k. 39, p. 677a–678a, and the Tseng yi a han, T 125, k. 19, p. 644b–645a respectively; the other three have been the object of separate translations, entitled San kouei wonkiai ts’eu sin yen ti king (T 72), Siu ta king

(T 73) and Tchang tchö che pao king (T 74) respectively. – The same sūtra, scarcely modified, has been incorporated into the Lieou tou tsi king, T 152, no. 17, k. 3, p. 12a–b (tr. Chavannes, Contes, I, p. 65–68).

– The story of Velāma is told in detail in the Manoratha, IV, p. 180–183: son of a chaplain (purohita) of Benares, he accompanied the crown prince to the university of Takṣaśilā, where he pursued the course of a famous master. Having in turn become teacher, he had 84,000 crown princes among his students. Having returned to Benares, he became the king’s chaplain. Each year, the 84,000 princes went to Benares to greet the king. The people grumbled about their expensive visits and, at the king’s request, Velāma assigned a province to each of the 84,000 princes, who then lived each off their own domain. The Manoratha does not mention the name of the king of whom Velāma was the chaplain; according to the Mppś, he was called Vāsava, a name well known in early legends (cf. Divyāvadāna, p. 62 seq.; T 152, k. 8, p. 48a; T 184, k. 1, p. 461; T 190, k. 3, p. 664a; T 1428, k. 31, p. 782a; T 1448, k. 6, p. 25b).

– References to Velāma or to the Velāmasūtra occur in the texts: Jātaka, I, p. 228; Saumaṅgala, I, p. 234; Papañca, I, p. 135; Manoratha, I, p. 56; Khuddhakapāta Comm., p. 222; Vibhaṅga Comm. p. 414; Karmavibhaṅga Comm., ed. Lévi, p. 163; P’i p’o cha, T 1545, k. 32, p. 165a4; k. 130, p. 678a23. Finally, there are also the Vailamikadānas in the inscriptions of Nagarunikoṇḍa: cf. J. Ph. Vogel, Prakrit Inscriptions from a Buddhist site at Nagajunikoṇḍa, EI, XX, 1, p. 33.

The Velāmasutta is easy to interpret: In one of his earlier existences, Śākyamuni was the brahmin Velāma (ahaṃ tena samayena Velāma brāhmaṇa ahosiṃ): he made sumptuous gifts; but when he gave alms, there was nobody worthy of receiving this gift; there was nobody to sanctify this gift (tasmiṃ na koci dakkhiṇeyyo ahosi, na taṃ koci dakkhiṇaṃ visodheti). Now the magnitude of the merit inherent in the gift depends not only on the qualities of the donor or the importance of the object given but also on the excellence of the “field of merit”, i.e., the recipient (cf. Kośa, IV, p. 234). The alms of Velāma were not very fruitful because there was nobody worthy to receive them. And the Buddha himself, in the Velāmasutta, established the conditions which would have made Velāma’s alms fruitful: “If Velāma had fed a single person endowed with right view, his generosity would have been fruitful”, etc.; the best gift would have been to nourish a tathāgata-arhat-samyaksaṃbuddha and to take refuge in him.

We must interpret the story of Velāma, such as it is told by the Mppś, differently. The bodhisattva Velāma, who was one day to become the Buddha Śākyamuni, in order to accomplish generosity truly worthy of a bodhisattva, would have to fulfill two conditions: i) he would have to give for the benefit of beings and from compassion for them; ii) he would have to give in view of attaining buddhahood one day. From the start, he fulfilled the second condition for, as he will explain to a brahmin magically created by the Śuddhāvasika gods, it is not in order to become a cakrakravartin king, an Indra or a Brahmā that he made gifts, but in order to attain buddhahood some day. As for the first condition, Velāma did not fulfill it immediately: when he had prepared his gifts, he wanted to distribute them to an assembly of brahmins because, he thought, “they were worthy of receiving his respects.” Now, only a Buddha or a future Buddha was worthy to receive them. Velāma understood when he tried to transfer the ownership of all his goods to the brahmins by a symbolic act customary in India which consists of emptying water from a golden basin (suvarṇabhṛṅgāra) held in the right hand of the donor onto the hands of the recipient. Velāma was unable to do it; first, the water held back by the Śuddhavāsika gods refused to flow; then, when Velāma had thrown it up in the air, instead of falling down onto the hands of the brahmins, it poured down into Velāma’s own left hand, thus proving he alone was worthy of receiving such sumptuous gifts and thereby announcing that he would one day become Buddha. The water having thus given him a sort of prediction (vyākaraṇa), Velāma understood that the brahmin assembly “was incapable of receiving his gifts.” Thus it was no longer out of esteem for this assembly but “out of compassion that he made the gifts that he had prepared.” Velāma thus fulfilled the first condition of the generosity of the bodhisattva, namely, giving out of compassion, with the view of the welfare of beings.

Footnotes and references:


The distractions of the mind are often compared to the gamboling of a monkey; cf. Treatise, I, p. 489F.


Part of this description is directly taken from the Velāmasutta of the Aṅguttara, IV, p. 393–394: So evarūpaṃ dānaṃ adāsi mahādānaṃ: caturāsīti suvaṇṇapātisahassāni adāsi rūpiyapūrāni, caturāsīti rūpiyapātisahassāni adāsi suvaṇṇpūrāni, caturāsīti kaṃsapātisahassāni adāsihirañnnpūrāni, caturāsīti hatthisahassāni adāsi sovaṇṇālaṃkārāni sovaṇṇadhajāni hemajālasañchannāni, caturāsīti rathasahassāni adāsi sīhacammaparivārāni vyagghacammaparivārāni dīpicammaparivārāni paṇḍukambalaparivārāni sovannālaṃkārāni sovaṇṇadhajāni hemajālasañchannāni, caturāsīti dhenusahassāni adāsi dukūlasathanāni kaṃsūpadhmaraṇāni (to be corrected to kaṃsupadohanāni, according to all the Chinese versions), caturāsīti kaññāsahassāni adāsi āmuttamaṇikuṇḍalāyo, caturāsīti pallaṅkasahassāni adāsi gonakatthatāni paṭikatthatāni paṭalikatthatāni kadalimigapavarapaccattharaṇāni sa-uttaracchadāni ubhatolohitakūpadhānāni, caturāsīti vatthakoṭisahassāni adāsi khomasukhumānaṃ koseyyasukhumānaṃ kambalasukhumānaṃ kappāsikasukhumānaṃ; ko pana cādo annassa pānassa khajjassa leyyassa peyyassa najjo maññe vissandati.

“He made the following great gifts: 84,000 golden vases filled with silver, 84,000 silver vases filled with gold; 84,000 bronze vases filled with precious metal; 84,000 elephants with golden ornaments, golden banners and covered with golden ribbons; 84,000 chariots with coverings of lion, tiger and leopard skins, with coverings of white wool, with golden ornaments, golden banners and hangings of gold thread; 84,000 cows with tethers (?) of jute fiber, giving a full bronze bucket of milk; 84,000 young maidens adorned with rings of precious pearls; 84,000 palanquins laden with long fleecy covers of white wool embroidered with flowers, with carpets and magnificent antelope skins, screened at the top and with red cushions at each end of the palanquin; 84,000 measures of fine linen, fine silk, fine wool and fine cotton, to say nothing of the food and drink, snacks and candies, solid and liquid, which flowed like rivers!”

[Note: In the translation of the epithet kaṃsūpadhāreṇa, applied to the milk-cows, I [Lamotte] have departed from Buddhaghosa’s interpretation: rajatamayakhīrapaṭicchaka “having milk-buckets made of silver” and the translations proposed by T. W. Rhys-Davids (Dialogues, II, p. 221): “with horns tipped with bronze”, Nyanatiloka (Reden des Buddha, V, p. 201: “mit Bronzeglocken behängt”, and E. M. Hare (Gradual Sayings, IV, p. 263): “with milkpails of silver”. The correct interpretation of kaṃsūpadohana “giving a full bucket of milk at one time”, proposed by H. Kern, Toevoegselenop ‘t Woordeboek van Childers, Amsterdam, 1916, p. 142, should be adopted. Chinese versions of the Velāmasutta have understood the text. – As for this description of Velāma’s fabled generosity, it is made up of borrowed pieces and fragments that may be found throughout the texts; cf. Dīgha, II, p. 187–188; Saṃyutta, III, p. 144–145; Aṅguttara, IV, p. 94. The description of the palanquins occurs even in the Sanskrit Sukhāvatīvyūha, § 41, but in a very corrupted form.]


Velāma’s alms are often designated by the name ‘the great sacrifice of Velāma’ (Velāmamahāyañña).


The brahmins to whom Velāma’s generosity was addressed were a bad field of merit because they did not practice the eightfold Path of nirvāṇa. Cf. Aṅguttara, IV, p. 237: Idha bhikkhave samaṇabrāhmaṇā micchādiutṭhikā honti micchāsaṅkappā micchāvācā micchākammantā micchāvMayāmā micchāsatino micchāsamādhino. Evaṃ aṭṭhaṅgasamannāgatesu bhikkhave samaṇabrāhmaṇesu dānaṃ na mahāphalaṃ hoti na mahānisaṃsaṃ na mahājutikaṃ na mahāvipphāraṃ.


Māra is king of the Paranirmitavaśavartins and consequently the head of the six classes of gods of the desire realm; cf. above, Treatise, I, p. 340F, 695F.


A well-known punishment which Maitrakanyaka (Maitrayajña) once saw in front of him, himself becoming the victim of it; cf. DīvyāvadÌa, p. 604; Avadānaśataka, I, p. 202; Karmavibhaṅga, p. 53. Here is the description of the punishment in the Avadānaśataka, l. c.; puruṣaṃ mahāpramāṇaṃ mūrdhni cāsyāyomayam cakraṃ bhramaty ādīptaṃ pradīptaṃ saṃprajvalitam ekajvālībhūtaṃ, tasyaśiraso yat pūyaśoṇitaṃ pragharati so ’syāhāraḥ: “Maitrakanyaka saw a tall man on whose head a red-hot iron wheel, all aflame, was spinning; the pus and blood flowing onto this man’s head constituted his food.” – See also Chavannes, Contes, I, p. 135; III, p. 11. The punishment is represented on the frescos of Chinese Turkestan (cf. Waldschmidt, Gandhara …, pl. 32b, 33b.


In order to make the transfer irrevocable, the donor pours a little water over the hands of the receiver (cf. Jolly, Recht und Sitte, p. 112). See, e.g., the gift of the Jetavana in Nidānakathā, p. 93: Anāthapiṇḍiko… suvaṇṇabhiṃkāraṃ ādāya Dasabalassa hatthe udakaṃ pātetvā “imaṃ Jetavanavihāram āgatānāgatassa cātuddisassa buddhapramukhassa saṃghassa dammīti” adāsi; – the gift of the Veṇuvana in Vinaya, I, p. 39: Atha kho rājā Māgado Seniyo Bimbisāro sovaṇṇamayaṃ bhiṇkāraṃ gahetvā bhagavato onojesi “etāhaṃ bhante Veḷuvanaṃ uyyānaṃ buddhapamukhassa bhikkhusaṃghassa dammīti”; – the gift of his wife by Ugra in Aṅguttara, IV, p. 210: Atha khvāhaṃ taṃ purisaṃ pakkosātevā vāmena hattena pajāpatiṃ gahetvā dakkhiṇena hatthena bhiṅgāraṃ gahetvā tassa purissassa oṇojesiṃ. – Lacking the golden vase, Viśvaṃtara used a gourd to give his two children to a brahmin; cf. Jātakamālā, p. 62: Bodhisattvo… ‘bhiprasārite brāhmaṇasya pāṇau kamaṇḍalum āvarjjayām āsa, tasya yatnānurodhena papātāmbu kamaṇḍaloḥ. – The vase that serves to accomplish the ritual of aspersion is often represented on Buddhist monuments; cf. Foucher, Art Gréco-bouddhique, I, p. 474, 475, 487, 491.


In the Manoratha, IV, p. 183, there is no fictive brahmin and things happen in a more simple way: Velāmo sabbālaṃkārabhūsito dānavīmaṃsanatthāya phalikavaṇṇassa udakassa suvaṇṇabhiṅgāraṃ pūretvā “imasmiṃ loke sace imaṃ paṭiggahetuṃ yuttarūpā dakkhiṇeyyā puggalā atthi, idaṃ udakaṃ nikkhamitvā paṭhaviṃ gaṇhātu; sace n’ atthi, evam eva tiṭṭhatū” ‘ti saccakiriyaṃ katvā bhiṅgāraṃ adhomukham akāsi. Udakaṃ dhammakarakena gahitaṃ viya ahosi. Bodhisatto “suñño vata bho Jambudīpo, ekapuggalo pi dakkhiṇaṃ paṭiggahetuṃ yuttarūpo n’atthī” ‘ti vippaṭisāraṃ akatvā “sace dāyakassa vsenāyaṃ dakkhiṇā visujjhissati, udakaṃ nikkhamitvā paṭhaviṃ gaṇhātu” ‘ti contesi. Phalikavaṭṭisadisaṃ udakaṃ nikkhamitvā paṭhaviṃ gaṇhi. Idāni dānaṃ dassāmī ti… divase divase dānaṃ dīyati… Dāne dīyamāne yeva sattavassāni sattamāsā atikantā.

Tr.: “Velāma, clothed in all his adornments, wished to test his generosity: having filled a golden vase with water the color of crystal, he made the following vow: “In this world, if there is a person worthy of homage, able to receive this gift, may the water coming from this vase spread over the earth; if there is no-one, may the water remain in the vase.” At once he turned the vase upside down; the water was retained as if by a filter. The Bodhisattva then said: “So Jambudvīpa is then empty; there is not even a single person capable of receiving my offering.” Nevertheless, without regret he added: “If my offering is purified by the action of the donor, may the water coming out of the vase spread over the earth.” At once, the water, flowing out of the vase like crystal, spread out over the earth. He resolved then to fulfill his alms and distributed his gifts. The distribution lasted for seven years and seven months.”


On this sixfold trembling of the earth, see above, Traité, I, p, 473–474F.


See the interpretation proposed above, p. 679F, note.