The Mahavastu (great story)

by J. J. Jones | 1949 | 502,133 words | ISBN-10: 086013041X

This page describes tenth bhumi which is Chapter XVII of the English translation of the Mahavastu (“great story”), dating to the 2nd-century BC. This work belongs to the Mahasanghika school of early Buddhism and contains narrative stories of the Buddha’s former lives, such as Apadanas, Jatakas and more..

Chapter XVII - The tenth Bhūmi

(142) When this had been said, the venerable Mahā-Kāśyapa asked the venerable Mahā-Kātyāyana, “O son of the Conqueror, with regard to those Bodhisattvas who have amassed the roots of virtue, who have accomplished their tasks, who have passed through the ninth bhūmi, and encompassed the tenth, and who, having won to the realm of Tuṣita, yearn for human existence and descend to a mother’s womb with the resolve that it will be their last existence, tell me the wonderful and marvellous attributes of these supreme men, which are not shared by Pratyekabuddhas, etc., nor by saints, etc., nor by disciples, etc., nor by average men, etc”.

Mahā-Kātyāyana replied to the venerable Mahā-Kāśyapa, “Buddhas know what it is to be conceived, to take up a position in the womb, to be born, to have parents, to take up the religious life and to be energetic and attain wisdom.”[1]

“How, my pious friend, do Buddhas become conceived?”

When the illustrious hero, already in possession of the roots of virtue, passes away from Tuṣita, he majestically[2] surveys the regions of the world at the moment of his passing away.

The Beneficent One, the Great Man, surrounded by immortals, venerated by devas, takes thought for the welfare of men and devas, and reflects:—

“Now, at this moment, is it time for me to depart hence. For men are sunk in gross darkness, are blinded, and of dimmed vision. Attaining me, they will be delivered.

(143) “What woman is there who rejoices in moral restraint and in calm, who is of noble birth, of gentle speech, who is generous, radiant, and tender?

“What woman is there who is dignified, who has overcome ignorance, passion and malice, who is endowed with consummate beauty and is not base of conduct, and who possesses abundant merit?

“Who can bear me for ten months? Who has merit to win such honour? Who, now, shall be my mother? Whose womb shall I now enter?”

And as he looked down he saw in the court of King Śuddhodana Māyā his queen, a woman like the consort of an immortal, with beauty that dazzled like the lightning.

Seeing in her his mother he addressed the immortals, saying, “I am passing hence to enter her womb for my last existence, for the sake of the well-being of Suras and men.”

And the jewel-bearing throng of devas, raising their joined hands in reverence, replied, “O supreme of men, whose merit of virtue is sublime, may thy aspiration prosper.

“We, too, O benefactor of the world, shall renounce the sweet delight of the pleasures of sense, and live in the world to the honour of the Blameless One.

“For we do not wish to be separated from thee, who art revered of all created beings. Moreover, O lotus-eyed, thou wilt become a Way for devas and men.”

(144) “It is in this way, my pious friend, that Buddhas become conceived.”

“And how do Buddhas take up their position in the womb?”

“Bodhisattvas, having entered their mothers’ bodies, stand in[3] the womb, or in the back, or in the belly, or in the side. But just as a fine thread on which has been strung beads of coral or beryl is not visible in any part because it is hidden,[4] although it really exists in its whole length,[5] so Bodhisattvas have and have not a position in their mothers’ bodies.

“Again, my pious friend, when the Bodhisattva has entered his mother’s womb, the host of devas joyfully approach, bowing and with their hands joined before them, and enquire the happy moment and day of his birth. The Bodhisattvas greet the enquiring devas by raising their right hand, but they do not hurt their mothers. Nor, indeed, do Bodhisattvas, when they are in their mothers’ bodies, hurt them either when they sit or when they lie on their side or when they stand up in any position whatsoever. Again, they do not hurt their mothers when they sit cross-legged.

“Further, my pious friend, when they are yet in their mothers’ bodies, by the power of the root of goodness that is in them they relate the story of their existences.[6] Celestial musical instruments play without ceasing day or night in honour of the Bodhisattva who has entered his mother’s womb. Again, in honour of the Bodhisattva (145) who has entered his mother’s womb a hundred thousand Apsarases cause to appear never-failing showers of celestial blossoms and aromatic powders. From the time they are Bodhisattvas in their mothers’ womb until as Daśabalas they pass finally away, the celestial incense of aloe-wood does not cease.

“Verily, my pious friend, Bodhisattvas are not born of the

intercourse of a father and a mother, but by their own merit independently of parents. {GL_NOTE:119786:

“On this matter it is said”:—

Then dusky Māyā, with eyes like lotus-leaves, attended by many Gandharvas, earnestly[8] and sweetly spoke to Śuddhodana:

“Henceforth I will refrain from doing harm to living things, and will live a chaste life. I will abstain from theft, intoxication, and frivolous speech.

“I will, my lord, refrain from harsh speech and from slander, and from falsehood. This is my resolve.

“I will not nurse envy of the pleasures of others, nor do them harm, but I will be full of amity towards all, and I will give up false views.

“I will, O king, live in the practice of the eleven moralities.[9] All night long this resolve has been stirring in me.

“Do not then, O king, desire me with thoughts of sensual delight. See to it that you be guiltless of offence against me, for I would observe chastity.”

The king replied to his wife, “I shall comply with all your wishes. (146) Be at ease. You have taken up a noble life, and I and my whole realm will obey you.”

Māyā then took her thousand beloved principal maidens, went up to the fair mansion, and sat down surrounded by her entirely gracious attendants.

On her couch that was the colour of the snow-white lotus, she whiled away her time in silence, contentedly calm and self-controlled.

Moved by excitement, a throng of deva-maidens, wearing bright garlands, came, eager to see the Conqueror’s mother, and alighted on the beautiful terrace.

And when they had come and seen Māyā on her bed in beauty that dazzled like the lightning, they felt great joy and happiness, and showered on her flowers from heaven.

When they had stood awhile contemplating such a comely and wondrous, albeit human, form, they said to themselves,[10] “There can be none like her even among the consorts of devas.

“Ah! dear friends, observe the loveliness of this woman. How befitting (a Conqueror’s mother). As she lies on her bed, she is radiant and alluring, and gleams like a stream of gold.

“And she will bear a Great Man who delights exceedingly in charity, self-restraint and virtue, (147) who has made an end of all the āśravas, and who is rid of passion. What more can you want, O queen?

“In you, whose belly, with its fair streak of downy hair, curves like the palm of the hand, and whose renown is bright, the Exalted One has taken up his abode, the Gracious One who is untainted by impurity.

“You are a worthy woman, supreme of mothers, as he, your son, is pre-eminent, he who ends existences, and is blessed. What more can you want, O queen?”

“In that conception, my pious friend, in which the mothers of Bodhisattvas conceive a Bodhisattva for his last existence, those best of women live a pure, completely perfect and chaste life. For in the hearts of these peerless women no passion for any man arises, not even for their husbands. And when a Bodhisattva has entered his mother’s womb, her body becomes clothed in celestial raiment and adorned with celestial jewels, while troops of Apsarases attend to the bathing, rubbing, massaging and anointing of her body.

“When a Bodhisattva has entered his mother’s womb, his mother, in company with a hundred thousand deva-maidens,

laughs. And while she sleeps, deva-maidens in the prime of youth fan her with flower-festooned fans of the coral-tree. When a Bodhisattva comes down into the womb of a preeminent woman, his mother experiences no pain, as other women do.

“From the time of their sojourn in Tuṣita onwards all Bodhisattvas have surmounted the five hindrances,[11] (148) although they have not yet won the sovereignty of dharma. And when the ten months are fulfilled, all Bodhisattvas emerge from their mother’s womb on the right side, yet without piercing that side. There is no delay; a Bodhisattva is born in as short a time as it takes to tell.

“On this matter it is said”:—

Then when the tenth month had run its course, the mother of the Virtuous One went to Śuddhodana and said to him, “My course is clear to me.

“I have had a notion to go out into the park, O King, quickly get ready for me a fitting carriage and an escort.”

When he had heard these words, King Śuddhodana, the guardian of earth, graciously and out of tender feeling for his queen, thus addressed his suite:—

“Quickly get ready an army of troops with elephants and horses, and a large host of foot-soldiers, bristling with darts and arrows and swords, and report to me.

“Then harness ten-hundred thousand of the best four-horsed chariots, with bells of gold merrily tinkling.

“Quickly deliver to me exceeding well-equipped tens of thousands of huge black elephants, armoured and most richly[12] caparisoned.

“See that the warriors be equipped, fitted out with armour, and irresistible. Let twenty thousand of them be speedily got ready.

(149) “Let women in garlanded raiment take to the queen a splendid horse-chariot fitted with many a tinkling bell and coated in net-work of gold.

“Quickly make the Lumbinī grove like a celestial abode for the queen, clean and pleasant, with the grass, mire, leaves and litter swept away.

“Deck out each fair tree with streamers of fine cloth, jute, wool and silk, that it be like the kalpavṛkṣa[13] trees of the lord of dev as in heaven.”

“So be it,” said they in obedience to the scion of kings, and soon they reported to him that everything had been done as he had commanded.

She, the mother of the vanquisher of Māra’s might, speaking affectionate and loving words the while, with her escort mounted the lovely chariots.

The king’s host, adorned with jewels, was resplendent as it set out in brave array, many on foot and many in chariots.

Entering the fair forest, Māyā, the Conqueror’s mother, attended by her friends, roamed about in her dazzling chariot, like the consort of an immortal, knowing the rule of true delight.

Playfully she went up to a wavy-leafed fig-tree and hung with her arms to the branches, and gracefully stretched herself[14] at the moment of giving birth to the Glorious One.

Then twenty thousand peerless Apsarases, holding out their joined hands, greeted and addressed Māyā:—

(150)“To-day, O queen, you are giving birth to him who crushes old age and rebirth, a tender youth of immortal stock, honoured in heaven and on earth, friend and benefactor of men and devas.

“Do not give way to anxiety, for we shall render assistance to you. Only tell us what is to be done, and lo! it is done. Be not anxious.”

From Māyā’s right side, without hurting his mother, the charming babe was born, the thoughtful sage, the preacher of the highest truth.

Then at the birth of the Lord of men, cities and towns,[15] several thousands of them, gleamed bright and clear like heaps of divers precious stones.

“But, my pious friend, no being in animate creation other than the Śuddhāvāsa devas can proclaim a Bodhisattva when he is born into his last existence.

“On this matter it is said”:—

With their persons arrayed in fine cloth, eight thousand of these great lords,[16] disguised as brahmans, went to the city of Kapilavastu.

In their splendid raiment and jewels these noble beings arrived at the door of the king’s palace, and joyfully addressed the door-keeper, saying,

“Go in to Śuddhodana and tell him, ‘Here are eight thousand men expert in the science of the significance of signs, and they crave admission, if it is your pleasure’.”

When he had heard these words, the door-keeper went (151) in to the king, bowed and, holding out his joined hands, said,

“O king, peerless in strength, illustrious smiter of your foes, may you wield long and blessed sway. There are men like the immortals standing at your gates and craving admission.

“Because of their full clear eyes, their soft voices, their tread like that of elephant in rut, doubt arises in me whether these be men and not devas.[17]

“As they walk, the dust of the ground does not soil their feet; nor at any time is there heard any accompanying noise as they move along.

“With their stately gentle gestures, their noble bearing and their control of their range of vision,[18] they give great joy to all who behold them.

“Without a doubt these imposing men are come to see your son, to greet and salute the deva of devas and of men, the lion among men.”

When he had heard these words the king said to his door-keeper, “I have given the order. Let them enter the palace.”

Then the select band of immortals, lustrous as the sky, and pure of deed, went in to the palace of the high-born king.

And King Śuddhodana, seeing the great lords when they were still some way off, (152) with his court rose up from his throne to meet them with dignified reverence.

The king bade them all a gracious welcome. “For,” said he, “your appearance, your calm and self-control and power give us joy.

“Here are fine seats beautifully fashioned. Sit down at once, sirs, to give pleasure to us.”

Then they who rejoiced in their freedom from conceit and pride, sat down in comfort on those fine seats, the feet of which were bright and gleaming with silver and gold.

As soon as they were seated one of them addressed the king saying, “Let his majesty hear what the cause of our coming hither is.

“A son is born to you who is of a wholly faultless body, and bears the marks of excellence to perfection...[19]

“For we, skilled in the science of signs can distinguish the defects from the excellencies by their marks. If it is not inconvenient for you we would see your son who bears the form of a Great Man

The king replied, “Come, see my son whose fame is secure,[20] who is renowned and glorious among devas and men, and bears the marks of excellence to perfection.”

Then the king brought in the Sugata, the adored of devas and men, lying like unto a piece of gold in soft swaddling clothes of gaily coloured wool.

When the great lords saw from a distance the lovely feet of the Best of Men,( 153) they bowed their heads crowned with glittering[21] diadems to the ground; they bowed down their milk-white glossy heads to the ground, and stood in greeting to the Daśabala whose coming had been so long expected.

“When Bodhisattvas are born, my pious friend, they are able even without teachers to practise all the arts of mankind. From the time of their sojourn in Tuṣita they no longer indulge in the pleasures of sense.”

“O son of the Conqueror, what is the reason, what is the cause, that Bodhisattvas, although they are not yet rid of the lusts, still do not indulge in the pleasures of sense? And how was Rāhula[22] born?”

The venerable Mahā-Kātyāyana replied to the venerable Mahā-Kāśyapa, “Bodhisattvas do not indulge in the pleasures of sense because of their accumulation of virtue, and because of their predilection for what is lovely, ideal, and excellent; because they abhor lust; because knowledge is their banner; because they are not unduly attached to any particular person or thing; because they are not disposed to envy; because of their nobility, their high-mindedness, and their cultivation of goodness; because, finally, of the esteem in which the world holds the perfect man, saying of him, ‘He will become a Buddha.’

“Now Rāhula, passing away from Tuṣita, came down into the womb of his mother, the Kṣatriyan maiden, Yaśodharā—this, my pious friend, is the tradition.

“The universal kings were born spontaneously,[23] for example, Kusumacūḍa, Hemavarṇa, Gāndharva, Sumāla, Ratnadaṇḍa, Suvimāna, (154) Ārjava, Māndhātar, Sunaya, Suvastra, Bahupakṣa, Toragrīva, Maṇiviraja, Pavana, Marudeva, Supriya, Tyāgavat, Śuddhavaṃśa, Durāroha,[24] and all the rest of the host of universal kings were born spontaneously. But not so was Prince Rāhula born.”

“How, my pious friend, do Bodhisattvas achieve retirement from the world?”

“Once upon a time, O son of the Conqueror, the Bodhisattva was on the point of withdrawing from the world. He went to the king’s palace and spoke to Chandaka[25] in verse:—

“Quick, Chandaka, bring me my steed Kaṇṭhaka. Do not tarry long. To-day I am going to win a hard-fought fight. So be glad.”

But Chandaka, his face bathed in tears, sighed deeply. He gave vent to his tears and his cries of grief to wake up the sleeping palace folk.

“How,” cried he, “can the women, brilliantly[26] garbed in raiment of precious silk,[27] stretched out amid waves of perfume,[28] give themselves up now to the joys of love, when it is the time for grief and lamentation, and to sleep when it is the place and time for wakeful watching?

“Can it be that Māyā the queen, beautiful as Saudāmanī,[29] although, it is true, she has kept vigil a long time, is now lying down in carefree joy like a Sura’s wife in a fair city of the Suras, at the moment when he who is the boon[30] of men is leaving home?

(155) She, the queen, the mother of the Lord of men, she whose eyes are kind, large, and full of tenderness, in spite of the imminence[31] of this cruel separation, hears not my cries, for she is sunk in sleep.

“Where now is that brave array of warriors with their elephants and horses, and brightly armed with arrows, darts and spears? What boots it now? For it does not heed the departure of the champion of the Śākyans.

“Whom shall I arouse? Who will be my ally? What can I do now that it is no longer day? Alas, the king and his folk, bereft of him whose splendour is golden, will perish.”

A throng of devas spoke to him in sweet tones, “Why do you lament, Chandaka, why are you troubled at this? Trained warriors could not bar his going forth. How then can you?

“If one were to create an uproar in Kapilavastu with kettle-drums, tabours, and a thousand trumpets, in order to arouse it, this fair and prosperous city would not wake up, for it is lulled to sleep by the immortals and their lord.

“See the devas of heaven, with diadems of gems and jewels, (156) how, obedient to the Worshipful One, they bow low with their hands joined before them, and, bending their heads, adore him with the words, “Thou art our kinsman, thou art our refuge.”

“Therefore, cheerfully bring up Kaṇṭhaka, the Leader’s steed, caparisoned in silver and gold, which was born the same moment as its master.[32] For there is not in heaven or earth anyone who could put an obstacle in the way of him who is the boon of men.[33] Lead up the noble steed.”

Chandaka, incited by the words of the virtuous deva, obediently, yet weeping the while, led up the horse whose colour was shining white like the water-lily and the jasmine, which was beautiful as the moon when it is full, and which had been born the same time as its master.

“Here, Saviour,” said he, “is thy steed, comely of limb, and ready, fleet of foot as the lightning streak, and friskily rearing. O beautiful broad-chested steed, may what you are now intent on doing turn out successful.

“O sturdy steed, may your adversary be quickly overcome, like a feeble and broken awn of barley, vanquished by your matchless might. May your hope be fulfilled, O boon of men,[33] and enriched as with mountains of gold.

“Let those who would impede you be gone. (157) Let those who bring support win abundant strength. May you whose stride is stately like that of elephant in rut fully achieve the end you aim at.”

The floor of the king’s courtyard, inlaid with precious stones, rumbled to the beat of Kaṇṭhaka’s hoofs, and the wondrous sound echoed softly through the night.

But the four guardians of the world,[34] in their brilliant diadems and flowing garlands, put their hands that were as the red lotus under the hoofs of Kaṇṭhaka.

In front, his hair clasped with a jewel, Indra, the wielder of the thunderbolt, the teacher of the Three-and-Thirty[35] devas, the thousand-eyed, went before the Best of Men.

One might think that it was the horse Kaṇṭhaka that bore him, but in reality it was the devas who carried in their noble hands the tiger of eloquence, him who sheds wondrous rays around him.

When he had withdrawn from the fair city, the lion-hearted man looked down on the goodly citadel, and said, “I shall not enter it again before I have passed beyond the power of old age and death.”

“Thus, my pious friend, do perfect Buddhas achieve retirement from the world. But I cannot define exactly the kalpa that elapsed from the conception of the Bodhisattva up to his leaving home, nor the rest of the kalpa”.

Footnotes and references:

1.

Literally “they are endowed with [the attribute of] descent into the womb,” etc., garbhāvakrāntisampannās, etc.

2.

Atiśayena is Senart’s emendation to restore the metre. But neither this nor the original atiśaya gives satisfactory sense. The context requires something like “carefully” or “attentively.” The translation offered above comes near enough, perhaps, to the root meaning of atiśaya, viz. “eminent.”

3.

Niśrāya, Pali nissāya literally “leaning on,” is here practically a postposition, with the preceding noun in the accusative. N.B., the P.T.S. Dictionary does not give this form as Buddhist Sanskrit but only as a hypothetical Sanskrit word; the Buddhist Sanskrit form given by it is niśritya.

4.

? “because of the obstacle” [i.e. of the beads], viṣṭambhitayā. Senart’s note is “viṣṭambhitā se rapporte à la ‘mobilité’ des pierres enfilées, qui empêche de saisir nettement le fil en aucun endroit.”

5.

Literally “although its place is everywhere,” pradeśastu asti sarvaśas. The whole simile is far from clear.

6.

Bhavavādikathām, Senart’s confessedly unsatisfactory reading. Should we not read bhavābhavakathām, “the tale of their various existences”?

7.

Upapāduka. On p. 153 below the form is aupapāduka, which, according to the P.T.S. Dictionary, is “a curious distortion of the Pali opapātika,” from upapatti.

8.

Literally “morality in its eleven modes,” ekādaśaprakāraṃ śīlaṃ. In the Pali texts the śllāni, or rules of moral conduct, are ten in number. See note p. 168.

9.

Literally “to the point,” sahitam. The force of this word here is to be explained from its use in Pali in the sense of “consistent,” " sensible,” “to the point.” Senart cites Childers, who equates it with samagga, and says that the word as used here denotes “un laṅgage conciliant, doux, aimable.” Max Müller in his translation of Dhammapada, 19 and 20 (S.B.E., x. 19) takes it as equal to saṃhitaṃ or saṃhitā, but admits, “I cannot find another passage where the Tipiṭaka or any portion of it is called Sahita.” Mrs. Rhys Davids in her translation of the same passage interprets it as “what’s proper.” In Dial. 1. 4, sahitamme is translated “I am speaking to the point.” In the Mahāvastu this word is a cliché in the account of the queen’s address to her husband at this particular juncture, e.g. 1. 201; 2, 5.

10.

The idea of “contemplating” and “speaking to themselves” is taken to be imphcit in the adverb antarato, “inwardly.”

11.

Nīvaraṇāni, usually enumerated in Pali texts as kāmacchanda, (abhijjha-) vyāpāda, thīna-middha, uddhacca-kukkucca, vicikicchā, i.e. sensuality, ill-will, torpor of mind or body, worry, wavering (P.T.S. Dictionary, where the references are given).

12.

Adhimātrā, “beyond measure.”

13.

One of the trees in Indra’s heaven. The corresponding Pali, kapparukkha, also denotes a “wishing” or “magical” tree.

14.

Pratijṛmbhitā, so interpreted by Senart on the analogy of vijṛmbhamāṇā in Lal. Vist., 94, 22, and Beal’s translation of the Chinese version of this episode, where Māyā at this moment is compared to a rainbow “stretching athwart heaven.” (Romantic Legend of Sākya Buddha, p. 43.)

15.

Adopting Senart’s suggestion that the right reading here is nagaranigamā instead of nagaranagarā of the text; the latter could only mean “cities upon cities.”

16.

Maheśvarās, see note p. 155.

17.

Here called by the name Marutas.

18.

Praśantadṛṣṭipathā, to be explained, apparently, by analogy with one of the attributes of the Pratyekabuddhas, namely, that “they did not look ahead farther than a plough’s length” (yugamātram, Pali yugamattam). See Mahāvastu 1. 273, and in Pali Sn. 63, etc., Miln. 398. Pathā, here translated “range,” is Senart’s emendation of yathā in the MSS. On the interpretation suggested it may be possible to retain yathā, and translate “like one (those) whose vision is controlled” i.e. “like a Pratyekabuddha.” Senart, however, renders, “ils répandent le calme, la paix dans tout ce qu’atteignent leurs regards.”

19.

Lacuna.

20.

Suvyapadeśakṣema. Cf. p. 180. Senart, in a note on p. 550, renders this by “qui porte un nom de bon augure,” which, however, does not seem to account for kṣema, “safe,” “secure.” In any case, the literal sense of vyapadeśa is out of place here, as the child had not yet been given his name. (See below p. 182.) Senart suggests the meaning “character,” “sign,” but, perhaps, the slightly metaphorical rendering given above more fitly suits the sense here.

21.

Vigalita. For this sense of the word Senart refers to his Légende du Buddha, 2nd ed. p. 256, and adds other instances from Lal. Vist. It occurs again in the Mahāvastu in this sense at 1. 157, 216, 226; 2. 19, 29.

22.

The son of Gotama.

23.

Aupapāduka, see note above p. 115.

24.

All these kings are otherwise unknown, with the exception of Māndhātar (Pali Mandhātā), who was the son of Upoṣadha (Uposatha), ultimately descending from Mahāsammata. (See p. 293.)

25.

Chandaka, Pali Channa, the charioteer and companion of Gotama.

26.

Āvigalita, cf. vigalita, p. 121.

27.

Accepting Senart’s suggestion of kośakārā or kośikārā for kośabhārā of the text.

28.

Again on Senart’s suggestion, reading vāsaugha for vāṣpaugha (i.e. bāṣp°) of the text.

29.

One of the Apsarases.

30.

Reading lañcaka for lambaka. See note p. 90.

31.

Literally “seeing” it, sampaśyamāna (for sampaśyamānā, “metri causa”), which, as the queen is asleep, cannot be literally true.

32.

To the reference to this legend given by Senart from Lal. Vist., 109. 4, add, after D.P.N., J. 1. 54; BudvA. (P.T.S. ed.), 131, 276, etc.

33.

Reading naralañcaka for °lambaka, See note p. 90.

34.

Only one, Indra, is referred to in the next stanza. In Hindu mythology there were usually eight lokapālas, but in Pali texts there are only four. These are identical with the four kings of the lowest deva-heaven which is called after them cāturmahārājakāyika (see p. 25), where they dwell as guardians of the four quarters, namely, Dhataraṭṭha of the east, Virūḷhaka of the south, Virūpakkha of the west, and Vessavaṇa of the north. This inclusion of Indra among the “four guardians” (who the others were regarded as being is not stated) is not the only indication we have that the redactors of the Mahāvastu were more conversant with Hindu mythology than with Buddhist, or, to be more exact, gave a larger place to it than was usual in Buddhist scriptures.

35.

Literally, “the thirty,” tridaśā, the devas who inhabited Tridaśa, a conventional name for Trāyastriṃśa, the home of the Three-and-Thirty devas. (See note p. 25,) Similarly Tāvatiṃsa in Pali is often called Tidasa.