The Mahavastu (great story)

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

This page describes story of malini which is Chapter XXX 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 XXX - The story of Mālinī

Whenever Buddhas appear in the world, Pratyekabuddhas[1] also appear, who, splendid in their silence and of great power, live in loneliness like a rhinoceros,[2] train each his own self, and finally pass away.

Now a certain Pratyekabuddha of the land of Kāśi one morning entered a village to beg for alms. He was courteous of manners, both in approaching and in taking his leave, in looking forwards and backwards, in extending and withdrawing his hand, and in carrying his cloak, bowl and robe. He was like a Nāga. He had accomplished his task; his faculties were turned inwards; his mind was not turned outwards. He was unwavering as one who had achieved harmony with dharma. He did not look before him farther than the length of a plough.

The village overseer, who was an amiable man and at peace with devas and men, happened to be hurrying out of the village to inspect the work in the fields. Meanwhile, the Pratyekabuddha, although he had scoured all the streets systematically[3] in quest of alms, had to hurry away from the village with his bowl just as it was after being washed.[4] “It is meal-time,”[5] said he, “yet no one has given me alms.”

When the village overseer had attended to his business and was returning to the village, he saw the Pratyekabuddha hurrying away. He thought to himself “It is meal-time. I’ll just see what alms this mendicant has received.” So he went up to the Pratyekabuddha and asked him, “My friend, have you obtained any alms?” The Pratyekabuddha, splendid in his silence, replied by showing the village overseer his empty bowl.

When he saw the Pratyekabuddha’s empty bowl, the overseer said to himself, “How uncharitable people must be, since this man, who is so worthy of offerings, is allowed to depart from such a wealthy village with his alms-bowl as it was when washed! Can it be that these people want to deprive themselves of the joy of giving alms to this illustrious man?”[6] Aloud he said, “My friend, come with me, I will give you food.” And taking the Pratyekabuddha with him he entered the village. In the square he stopped, and shouted avidha! avidha![7]

The whole village, men and women, hearing the village overseer as he stood there crying avidha! avidha! ran to the spot. They came up to him (302) and asked him, “What is the matter?[8] Why do you shout avidha! avidha!” The village overseer replied, “I cry because you do not delight in generosity, because you have not the virtue of charity. For, see, this one monk leaves such a rich village with his alms-bowl as it was when washed.” The elders of the village, after hearing the overseer, were of opinion that honour should be paid to the Pratyekabuddha.

The village overseer took the Pratyekabuddha to his home, honoured him with food, and invited him to be his guest as long as he lived. “I shall,” said he, “keep this worthy man in every comfort and ease as long as he lives.” And he gave instructions to his daughter, saying, “See to it that you serve this worthy man with food every day.” The young girl was pleased and glad. “It will mean” said she, “that I’ll have done a shining and lovely deed.” And so, serene and devoted to devas and men, she served the Pratyekabuddha with food every day.

The Pratyekabuddha, eating with the right view of food,[9] and ridding himself of all impurity, had great good fortune. And as the village overseer’s daughter saw the Pratyekabuddha’s various deportments there grew up in her a sublime trust. And other people, too, believed in him.

Now the Pratyekabuddha, through the kindness of the village overseer, won his final release[10] in a field near the village. The overseer cremated him, and erected a tope for him, neither very low nor very high, plastered with durable cement. At that tope the overseer’s daughter made daily offerings of food in a bronze bowl, of perfumes, wreaths and incense. One day, her wreath of various flowers was snatched away from the tope by the wind. She thereupon, with her servants’ help, made a fresh wreath in place of the one carried away, a long wreath like a chain consisting of various flowers. With this wreath she encircled the whole of the Pratyekabuddha’s tope. Her heart became filled with exceeding great joy when she saw that this wreath of hers outshone in beauty and brilliance all other wreaths, and kept its beauty fresh even after she had lived the life-time of a deva among the devas. Then with devotion in her heart (303) she made a vow, saying, “Wherever I am reborn, may I have a chaplet on my head like this wreath that glitters here on the tope.”

After doing this fair deed she died, and was reborn among the devas having a chaplet of jewels on her head, and was waited on by a thousand Apsarases. Passing away thence she came to a new existence in the womb of the chief wife of King Kṛkī[11] of Benares. After nine or ten months there was born to the queen a handsome and beautiful daughter whose head was crowned by a chaplet of jewels. Hence they gave her the name of Mālinī. She was dear to and beloved of not only the king but all his court, and the whole capital was unanimous in judging her a virtuous maiden.

A Pratyekabuddha[12] went to a village to beg for alms, but came away with his bowl just as it was when washed. A village overseer saw this Buddha[13] and said, “I wonder what this healthy, exalted man has received by way of alms.”

Then the exalted man held out his alms-bowl to the overseer, who, when he saw it contained no alms, was sorely distressed.

“The world is blind,” said he, “and always afflicted with wrong belief. Men do not duly honour such a man who is so worthy of offerings.”

Coming to the village he stood in the square and shouted avidha! avidha! so that people collected in crowds.

When a great crowd, both men and women, had come together, they approached the village overseer and asked him, “What is the matter? What means this cry of avidha! avidha!

(304) The overseer replied:—

“You are indeed a fine crowd,[14] but without any sense of generosity. For here is this solitary mendicant treated scurvily in your village

When they heard the overseer’s words, the whole village including the women, treated the Buddha with repeated acts of kindness.[15]

The overseer himself, with his wife and children, said, “I shall invite the Tathāgata to live with me in ease and comfort.”

And the overseer’s own daughter, well-clothed in neat garments, and virtuous in her conduct, ministered to the Tathāgata.

Through the overseer’s kindness, the devout Buddha, a seer exempt from further existence, won final release in that village.

And when he had thus passed away, the overseer cremated him, erected a tope, and honoured the great seer with dance and music and song.

One day, his daughter finding white flowers blown about by the wind, gathered them, put them together and wove them into a long wreath.

“May I,” said she, “wherever I be reborn, have a chaplet round my head like this bright wreath placed here by my hands. May this vow of mine be fulfilled.”

After doing this lovely deed in the Buddha’s honour she passed away, and was reborn as an Apsaras among the devas of Trāyastriṃśa.

A hundred-thousand Apsarases attended to do her honour, but of them all she was the fairest and best, a maiden of consummate beauty.

(305) Then when she, the glorious deva maiden, passed away hence, she appeared in the womb of King Kṛkī’s wife.

When the twelfth month had run its course, the king’s wife gave birth to a girl, beautiful throughout, Mālinī by name.

. . .[16] Exceeding fair and lovely was she, the best of royal maidens, daughter of Kāśi’s king.

Virtuous, well-clothed in neat garments, she came and stood before King Kṛkī, raising her joined hands in greeting.

And as she stood thus in respectful salutation, the king spoke to her and said, “Good daughter, I bid you feed the brāhmans without wearying.”

Obeying her father’s command, Mālinī ministered to all the needs of twenty-thousand brāhmans.

Now when the brāhmans saw Mālinī, who was so like an Apsaras, passion assailed their hearts, and they strove again and again to caress her.

When Mālinī saw how frivolous, insolent, wanton and crude of sense they were, she decided that they were not worthy of offerings.

Going up to the terrace she looked out all around, and espied a pupil of the Exalted One, the glorious Buddha.

She, King Kṛkī’s daughter, her body anointed with ointment of Kāśi sandal-wood, came to the terrace and looked out in all directions.

And she saw approaching with a stately gait disciples of the Buddha, who had put away all sin, and were in their last existence.

(306) She sent out a female servant and bade her to greet these seers, and when she had greeted them to say to them, “Enter, sirs, and sit down

And the servant approached, and bowed at the feet of these men whose selves were well-developed.[17] Raising her joined hands she said, “Enter, sirs, and sit down.”

The disciples of the Buddha, who had overcome passion, who were confident, and the wisest in the world, who had put away sin, and were in their last existence,

Entered the chamber of the king’s charming daughter, a white chamber, well-wrought, with fine portals, and guarded by sword and spear.

Here there was a special couch covered with a rug of Benares cloth, fringed with sparkling gems and strewn with bright flowers.

They, with hearts untarnished like a fair lotus that grows in water and is yet unspotted by it, sat there, rid of all folly.

To please these noble men Mālinī with her own hands served them gruel of rice made without admixture of black grain, and seasoned with various condiments.

Then the monks said, “Our Master is the wisest in all the world, and therefore the great and valiant one must eat first

Hearing the sound of the word “Buddha” unheard before amid the world’s tumult, Mālinī rejoiced exceedingly to hear that he was even more distinguished than these men.

Mālinī then said, “Eat, and afterwards take food to your Master (307) and invite the world’s Saviour in my name.”

The Exalted One consented to eat on the morrow, along with his monks, in the chamber of the king’s charming daughter.

Then the two chief disciples of the exalted Kāśyapa, namely Tiṣya[18] and Bhāradvāja, having partaken of Mālinī’s food, hastened to Ṛṣivadana, taking some food with them for the exalted Kāśyapa. When they had proferred the bowl to the exalted Kāśyapa, they reverently greeted him in Mālinī’s name. “Lord,” said they, “the daughter of Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, sends her greeting to the Exalted One and his company of disciples and invites him and them to a meed on the morrow in the palace of King Kṛkī. Therefore, let the Exalted One out of his compassion consent.”

The exalted Kāśyapa accepted the invitation for the sake of men ready to be trained.[19] And the men who had come with the great disciples, having thus secured the exalted Kāśyapa’s consent, returned and informed Mālinī.” The exalted Kāśyapa,” said they, “along with his company of monks, has accepted the invitation to eat with you to-morrow.”

When Mālinī heard these men she stayed awake that night preparing plentiful food, both solid and soft, as it had been announced to her what time the exalted Kāśyapa would eat. For the Exalted One pays due regard to time, occasion, circumstance, individuals, and the difference between individuals.[20] Having dressed early the Exalted One took his alms-bowl and robe. And when evening, the time for desisting from the alms-round, was come, having taken his breakfast at Magadha,[21] he entered the city of Benares with twenty-thousand monks.

Buddhas make their entry into a city in the same formation as that of a flight of swans. On the right was the great disciple Tiṣya, on the left the great disciple Bhāradvāja. Behind them came four great disciples; behind these four came eight; behind the eight came sixteen; behind the sixteen came thirty-two, and behind the thirty-two came sixty-four.

And so the Exalted One, attended by twenty-thousand monks, (308) entered the palace of King Kṛkī. As he came into the city, the depressions in the ground rose up so that the whole surface was on the same level. All unsightly rocks, gravel, and pebbles disappeared into the earth, leaving it covered with masses of flowers. Flowering trees blossomed; fruit-bearing trees bore fruit. The ponds in which lotuses had been sown, pools full of cool water on the right and on the left of the roadway, became covered with fragrant blue, white, and red lotuses. Water streamed from the mouths of wells. Horses neighed, bulls bellowed and elephants roared. At the same time Indra’s column left its pedestal, and the whole city quaked. The blind saw; the deaf heard. The insane recovered their reason; the sick were healed, and women with child were safely delivered. The naked appeared clad, and the fetters of those in bondage were loosened. Jewels rattled in their caskets, and earthenware vessels clattered. All the seven-stringed lutes in the city, all the Indian lutes, all the mandolins, flutes, tabours, drums and cymbals, without any cause,[22] without being touched, gave forth music. Parrots, śārikas,[23] crows, swans, and peacocks all uttered their notes.

The Buddha walked without touching the ground for even as much as the width of four fingers, and yet the impress of the wheel-marks on his feet, complete with a thousand spokes, hub, and every part, was visible on the ground. In the sky devas played on thousands of celestial musical instruments and rained down celestial flowers.

The exalted Kāśyapa, with his company of disciples, in this manner and with all this splendour, effulgence, pomp and power, and honoured by devas and men, entered the palace of King Kṛkī. There, in the inner square room, the Exalted One was reverently served by Mālinī with plentiful and choice food, both solid and soft, of correct, (309) excellent, lasting, and most exquisite flavour.

When the Exalted One, with his company of disciples, had eaten, washed his hands, and put away his bowl, he instructed, roused, inspired and thrilled Mālinī with a talk on dharma. Then he rose up from his seat and departed.

All the twenty-thousand brāhmans who were the permanent guests of Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, were incensed when the Exalted One, with his company of disciples, was waited upon by Mālinī in the king’s court with such great honour and respect. They called together the whole multitude of brāhmans, several thousands of them. At that time and on that occasion the whole land was over-ridden with brāhmans.

When they assembled the brāhmans were eager to put Mālinī to death. “For,” said they, “she is a thorn in the side of the brāhmans in the king’s court. King Kṛkī was devoted to the brāhmans, and twenty-thousand of them ate daily at his court, while Mālinī had been charged by her father to minister to the brāhmans in these words, ‘Serve the brāhmans daily with food.’ But she, disdaining the brāhmans, has introduced recluses into the king’s court and has treated them with all this veneration and honour. She has served and honoured the recluses with the means of subsistence which was due to the brāhmans at the king’s court.”

The brāhmans, therefore, resolved to put Mālinī to death. Now it happened that at that time Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, had gone on a tour of inspection in the provinces. So the brāhmans sent a messenger to him to say: “Mālinī has developed a great contempt for the brāhmans. She has introduced Kāśyapa and his company of disciples into the king’s court, and showed them all reverence and honour, but pays no regard to the brāhmans. She does not do as she was bidden by your majesty. The permanent sustenance which the twenty-thousand brāhmans had at the king’s court is no longer forthcoming. Mālinī pays no regard to the brāhmans.”

As soon as the king heard this he left the provinces, (310) and returned to Benares, where he saw several thousands of brāhmans assembled. He went to them, and they rose up to meet the king, greeting him with cries of “Victory to the king!” Then they told him all about Mālinī’s conduct. “Your majesty,” said they, “Mālinī here has become a thorn in the side of the brāhmans, and they will not be able to receive the king’s hospitality until Mālinī is done away with. This is the unanimous resolve of the brāhman assembly. Your majesty is devoted to the brāhmans, and you must give your consideration to this resolve of the brāhman assembly. If you are still attached to the brāhmans, then you will give up Mālinī. But if you do not give up Mālinī, then you are no longer attached to the brāhmans.”

As the king was pondering this resolution of the brāhman assembly, he thought: “This land is full of brāhmans, overridden by them. If I do not give up Mālinī there will be a riot, and then neither Mālinī nor I will survive.”

One should be ready to sacrifice one individual for the sake of a family, a family for the sake of a village, a village for the sake of a country, and a whole country for the sake of self.

Thus it was that the king of Kāśi delivered up Mālinī, saying, “Let it be as the assembly of brāhmans wishes.” The brāhmans replied, “Since Mālinī is to be given up, let his majesty give instructions accordingly.”

Then the king, as he stood with the brāhmans outside the city, sent a messenger to go and fetch Mālinī. And the messenger reached the court with the king’s orders. “Come, Mālinī,” said he, “your father has given you up to the brāhmans, and they will put you to death.”

Mālinī ran to her mother, while a cry rang through the whole palace. And the people of the city at the sound of that cry became distressed and bewildered. Great was the lamentation.

(311) Mālinī was taken by the messenger from Benares to the presence of her father. And when she had thus been taken by the messenger, she clung to her father and said, “Here, sire, is Mālinī.” The king, sobbing and weeping, handed over Mālinī, thus sacrificed by a father, to the large concourse of brāhmans.

When Mālinī had been given up by her father to the will of the brāhmans, raising her joined hands she prostrated herself before the assembly of the brāhmans, and said, “I have one request to make, if the assembled brāhmans will grant it.” The brāhmans replied, “Speak, what is your request?”

“I,” replied she, “have been given up to you by my father, and am now in your power. And it is the brāhmans’ resolve that Mālinī die. Now this is the request that I make of the assembly of brāhmans, namely, that I be allowed to live for seven days in order to give largesse and thus perform a deed of merit. After all, I duly ministered to the brāhmans and tended them at my father’s bidding. Then at the end of seven days put me to death, or do whatsoever is your pleasure.”

The oldest among the brāhmans reflected: “Yes, this is as Mālinī says. For a long time she served and fed the brāhmans by her father’s orders. But, afterwards, it was a wicked thought that arose in her when she turned away from the brāhmans and became devoted to the recluses. Now, when she is at liberty again, she will not deign to give more alms to the recluses, but for seven days will give them to the brāhmans instead. Therefore let her request be granted. Let her be set free for seven nights. On the seventh day she will be put to death.”

Thus the cause which led the brāhmans to resolve to kill her turned out to be the cause of a renewed term of life for her. Her request was thus granted by the brāhmans. Mālinī said to herself, “Having gained a week’s respite from the large mob of brāhmans, I must not be remiss and waste[24] the seven nights.”

Free once more, and attended by a great crowd, she entered her father’s court and appealed to him, saying, “I desire to spend these seven days in giving gifts and performing deeds of merit (312) wherever I wish.” The king replied, “So be it, child. Do good wherever you wish.” “I would invite to the court for seven days,” said Mālinī, “the exalted Buddha Kāśyapa and his company of disciples.” “As you please,” answered the king.

Thus the exalted Kāśyapa with his company of disciples was invited to the king’s court for seven days. Out of compassion the exalted Kāśyapa complied for the sake of men ready to be trained,[25] saying, “The great multitude will be converted.”

The brāhmans were greatly enraged and designed to kill her in spite of the reprieve they had given her.[26] But Mālinī, raising her joined hands, beseeched them, saying, “Forbear for the seven days that I may give alms. A giver, O brāhmans, is but doing as you desire.”

On the first of these seven days the Master with his company was entertained in the palace in the presence of Mālinī’s mother and father. And the Master preached an edifying discourse to the king, who, as well as his court, won a clear[27] comprehension of dharma. On the second day Kāśyapa converted the king’s five hundred sons, and on the third day their attendants. On the fourth day the Buddha converted the king’s ministers. On the fifth day the Master established the army in the realisation of the first stage of the Way.[28] On the sixth day the Buddha converted the king’s priest, and on the seventh day he led the townspeople to the “realisation of stream-winning.”[29]

The king, delighted to see the Buddha and his company, invited the exalted Kāśyapa to partake of an excellent repast. And then, on the seventh day, when she saw that the exalted Kāśyapa had finished his meal and put away his bowl, Mālinī made a vow. “May I,” said she, “reach the end of ill here and now. May I have a son like the exalted Kāśyapa who lives for the welfare of devas and men. Thus let my son, too, awake to the incomparable perfect enlightenment and live for the welfare of devas and men.”

Mālinī (313) had a young brother named Aniyavanta.[30] He too made a vow, saying, “May I have a father like this exalted Kāśyapa here. May I make an end of ill here and now.”

Thus the exalted Kāśyapa converted to the noble dharma Kṛkī, king of Kāśi, his court, his five hundred young sons, his ministers, his soldiers, and all the townspeople as well. And these thought to themselves: “Mālinī has been a good friend to us. Thanks[31] to her we have had a clear insight into dharma in all things. Her do the brāhmans intend to put to death. No, we shall sacrifice ourselves rather than give up Mālinī.”

They communicated this resolve to the brāhmans. “Let us go,” said they, “along with Mālinī. She has been a good friend to us, and while we live you may not put her to death. But when none of us is left then you may kill her.”

So in a great crowd including soldiers, and with Mālinī at their head, they left Benares and proceeded to the place where those thousands of brāhmans were. And when they saw the endless army coming with Mālinī, the brāhmans were sore afraid and terrified. They sent a messenger to the king, saying, “Let Mālinī this day go free. Let her whose punishment had been fixed[32] be reprieved and set free to go to her father’s sight. It is not Mālinī who has offended us. It is Kāśyapa with his crowd who has offended us, and on him will we wreak our vengeance.”

And the brāhmans sent ten armed conspirators with a thousand wiles at their command to Ṛṣivadana, with instructions to kill Kāśyapa the recluse and his company of disciples. But the exalted Kāśyapa inspired them with friendliness and established them in the truths of the noble dharma. Then the brāhmans sent another twenty armed conspirators to kill Kāśyapa the recluse. These men came to Ṛṣivadana with arms and weapons, but they, too, were inspired with friendliness by the Exalted One and established in the truths of the noble dharma.

In the same way (314) thirty, forty, and fifty men were sent, but all were inspired with friendliness by the exalted Kāśyapa and established in the truths of the noble dharma. Such is the Buddha’s power of attraction. Through the Exalted One’s power of attracting those amenable to conversion, all those who were amenable to the Buddha among those thousands of brāhmans and were sent to him, were established in the truths of the noble dharma by the Exalted One. And there remained but a few thousands who were still sunk in error.

Then those who had been converted to dharma thought: “These brāhmans do not know the Buddha’s magnanimity. If they were to go to the exalted Kāśyapa they would derive great profit.” So they sent a messenger to the brāhmans, saying, “The exalted Kāśyapa, the Buddha, is magnanimous, full of great compassion, and bent on doing good in the world. Friends, do not be guilty of this crime of violence against Kāśyapa or even[33] against his community of monks. But, leaving conceit and pride behind you, come all of you to bow at the feet of the exalted Kāśyapa. Great will be the good you will derive therefrom.”

The Buddha’s kindly speech[34] is sincere, untinged with malice, beneficial,[35] pure, sweet to others, and apt.

The Buddha’s kindly speech gives delight. It is not blustering,[36] but destroys the fires of evil. It is faultless and pleasant.

The Buddha’s kindly speech is without impediment and defect. It is not untruthful, nor false, but truthful and apposite.

The speech of him who is infinitely wise is replete with the knowledge of what is to be known. It has no beginning nor end. It is inimitable. It has power over man, and is well-ordered.

He speaks the truth without malice. Ever is he kindly of heart to others.[37] (315) Rich in the highest good that brings blessing to men—such is this perfect eloquence.

Penetrating and gushing[38] is his speech, in the high, the low and the middle tone, correct in measure and in sound, and pure—such is this perfect eloquence.

Wedded to perfect compassion and joy, wedded to the ten fruitions[39] is the speech that he utters. It has the eight qualities and[40] the four modes of the Buddha’s voice—such is this perfect eloquence.

The speech that he utters has the five good qualities. Full of conviction is it, and dispelling doubt. No evil at all does it work. Such is the nature of the supreme of men.

A nature endowed with excellent qualities, which rules the great host of light. Renouncing the fair treasure of kith and kin it goes forth to larger joy.

When she saw the complete transfiguration of him who was preparing to win the source of immortality, the best of trees of incomparable fragrance, Nanda’s daughter[41] boiled him gruel of rice.

(316) Thus do these men of inferior understanding revile Kāśyapa the seer, the eloquent preacher, the irreproachable, the sterling[42] man who does not transgress.

Him, the sinless, do these men revile, him who is tranquil, who has abandoned sin, who rejoices in the falling off of the fetters of existence, who is calm and well-controlled in mind.

We, monks and faithful laymen, who have great joy in Kāśyapa’s teaching, gather here to adore him, the burning, fiery flame.

He, the supreme of two-footed creatures, is a giver of insight; he is a guide. Putting off pride and conceit we gather here to adore Kāśyapa.

The brāhmans, however, were in the class of those who are fixed in wrongfulness,[43] and even if a thousand Buddhas were to preach dharma to them, they would be incapable of understanding it and of believing in the Buddha, the dharma and the Saṅgha.

Armed with sticks and cudgels they rushed on the exalted Kāśyapa. The Exalted One called up the goddess of earth,[44] and she, by her own power, appeared and stood as tall as a palm-tree in front of Kāśyapa. He spoke to her, saying, “Who are these brāhmans here?” “These,” she replied, “are mine, the earth-bound[45] slaves of the goddess of earth.” The Exalted One said to her, “Deal with them, therefore, as slaves are wont to be dealt with.”

Then the goddess, plucking up the trunk of a big palm-tree (317) by its roots, advanced against the brāhmans and brought it heavily to the ground. Thus the terrified brāhmans were utterly destroyed.

Here ends the story of Mālinī in the Mahāvastu-Avadāna.

Footnotes and references:


See p. 40.


Khaḍgaviṣāṇakalpa, literally, “like the horn of the Indian rhinoceros” (Rhinoceros unicornis). This was a stock description of Pratyekabuddhas, cf. Mahāvastu I. 357, 327; Divy. 294, 582, and, in Pah, Vism. 234. It is the title of a sutta in Sn. (35 ff.) a version of which is given below, p. 358. Translators do not seem to be agreed as to whether khaḍgaviṣāṇa denotes the animal itself or its horn. The Commentary on J. 5. 406 gives khagga (= khaḍga) as the equivalent of palāsāda, “rhinoceros,” so that khaḍgaviṣānakalpa must thus mean “like the horn of a rhinoceros” and is so translateḍ, e.g. by P. Maung Tin in Path of Purity (= Vism. 234). Others, however, like Fausböll (S.B.E. X, pt. II, p. 6) and E. M. Hare in Woven Cadences, p. 6 (S.B.B. XV) render “like a rhinoceros.” The latter rendering is possible if khaḍga in its primary sense of “sword” and viṣāṇa, “horn” be taken together as a bahuvrihi compound name for a one-horned animal.


Literally “part by part,” sāvadānam (from sa-ava-dā), Pali sapadānam. According to Senart the Pali form is due to a wrong assumption that the root of the word is pada. (Cf. the etymologies cited in Pali Dictionary.) He is of the opinion that the Mahāvastu form is the correct one, and seems to be supported in this by Beal’s rendering of the Chinese version by “divide the streets.” The confusion of apa and ava is a commonplace of Pali etymology.


Yathādhauta, i.e. not soiled by food.


Prāyonnakālo, an admittedly doubtful conjecture of Senart’s. If the MSS. did not seem to be agreed here and immediately below that the word begins with priya (which Senart emends into prā) it would be tempting to read pānānnakālo, “time for drink and food.”


The text is so corrupt here as almost to make it advisable to omit the sentence and leave a lacuna. Not the least objectionable feature is the reference to a Pratyekbuddha as a “light” dīpa, if, that is, Senart’s conjecture of taddīpam for the MS. uddīpayam and taddīpayam, together with the insertion of na, is correct.


Senart compares the Prakrit interjection avida.


The text has kiṃ kṣemaṃ, which Senart attributes to a scribal error, by way of khemaṃ, for kiṃ kḥimaṃ—kiṃ khalvidaṃ (kiṃ khalu idaṃ).


Parijñātabhojana, cf. Pali pariññātabhojanā, Dh. 92, where it is translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids as “who understand the body’s need,” and by Max Müller, “who live on recognised food.” The Commentary (DhA. 2. 172) explains the term with reference to the three pariññās or “understandings,” viz. ñātapariññā, “understanding through experience (of cooked food),” tīraṇapariññā, “ understanding through judgment (of what is unwholesome),” and pahānapariññā, “ understanding (what food to leave).”


Literally” passed away without attachment or clinging (to rebirth)” anupādāya parinirvṛta.


Pali Kikī, king of Benares in the time of the Buddha Kāśyapa. The Pali texts mention eight daughters of his, of whom seven have already been referred to (see p. 248n), but Mālinī is not mentioned among them.


A verse redaction.


It is worth remarking that the terms usually denoting a Buddha are in this passage applied to a Pratyekabuddha.


Koṭi—if the reading is correct—here used as an indefinite number and, perhaps, in a depreciatory sense, like the Horatian nos numerus sumus.


Sārāyaṇīyaṃ karensu. Sārāyaṇīya is the Pali sārāṇīya, which, however, is used only with kathā in the sense of “polite, courteous, kindly speech,” or with dhammā, “states of conciliation.” Other Buddhist Sanskrit texts have saṃrañjanī and saṃrañjanīya (AvŚ. 1.229 and Divy. 404), which seem to confirm its etymology as being from saṃ + raj, “to gladden.” The use of the word as a substantive, as here, is unusual. Cf. Mahāvastu, 3. 47, 60, 206, etc.




Literally “whose selves were made-to-become” bhāvitātmanān.


Pali Tissa. He was the Buddha’s brother. He and Bhāradvāja are the two chief disciples of Kāśyapa (Kassapa) in the Pali texts also.


Vaineyavaśena. See note p. 42.


Pudgalaparāparajña. See note p. 4.


Māgadhe prātarāśe vartamāne, literally, “the morning-meal being Magadhian”—a strange expression, and suspect for several reasons. In spite of the present tense of the participle, it has to be translated as though it were past. Besides, the Buddha is said to be at Ṛṣipatana, near Benares. Perhaps, there is an implication of his magic power of rapid motion, i.e. that he went from Ṛṣipatana to Magadha, breakfasted there, and was back again at Ṛṣipatana in the evening.


Asaṅkhatāni, the plural, if correct, of Pali asaṅkhata (Sanskrit asaṃskrita). which, however, is used in the very special sense of “not put together, not proceeding from a cause,” e.g. as epithet of nibbāna. Perhaps we should, therefore, read in our text śaṅkhāni, “trumpets,” a word often included in lists of musical instruments, e.g. in a practically identical passage on p. 235 of text above, where, however, it is masculine.


See note p. 226.


Vilupe, from vilumpati, literally, “to tear away, rob, etc.,” a unique use of this verb in the sense for which our text generally uses kṣepayati, a hybrid causative to be referred to the two roots kṣip, “to throw” and kṣi, “to destroy.”


Vaineyavaśena. See note p. 42.


Literally “to kill her alive,” hanitum jīvantīm.


Literally “without hindrance or obstacle,” vinīvaraṇa.


Prathamaphala, “the first fruition.”


Śrotāpattiphala, “the fruit of entering upon the stream,” See pp. 82, 138.


Not in the Pali texts, where the only son of King Kṛkī to be named is Paṭhavindhara or Puthuvindhara. (D.P.N.)


Āgamya. See note p. 198.


Reading, on Senart’s suggestion, avadhṛtadaṇḍā, “fixed punishment,” for the first of the two uddhṛtadaṇḍā’s (“lifted punishment”) in this sentence. The second has been rendered “reprieved.”


Reading °antaśo for °antike. So Senart. Antaśa: is Buddhist Sanskrit for Sanskrit * antamaśah, Pali antamaso, in same sense. The second and third forms are adverbial formations from the superlative antama, while the first is from the positive anta.


For a similar description of the Buddha’s voice see above p. 134.


Literally, “is it not beneficial?” naṃ ca arthavatī, naṃ ca being interpreted, with Senart, as a form of nanu ca.


Nirvaṃhaṇī, connected by Senart with Pali vaṃha (for vambha), “bragging, boasting, despising.” See Pali Dictionary.


Reading paramaitracitta for punar maitra of the text. So Senart.


Restoring galita of MSS. for gadita of text, as Senart decides to do in his notes.


This set of ten fruitions (sc. of the Path) do not seem to be referred to elsewhere, unless the reference is to the ten balāni of a Tathāgata. Miss I. B. Horner, in a communicated note, suggests that the ten fruitions may be the eight factors in the Ariyan way with the addition of sammāñāṇa and sammāvimutti, as at A. 5. 240 ff., and D. 2. 217.


These eight qualities of the Buddha’s voice, to which Senart could find no reference, are described at D. 2. 211, as follows: (saro hoti) vissaṭṭho ca viññeyyo ca mañju ca saranīyo ca bindu ca avisārī ca gambhīro ca ninnādi, “fluent, intelligible, sweet, audible, continuous, distinct, deep, and resonant.” For other references see Pali Dictionary (s.v. aṭṭhaṅga). But there does not seem to be any reference elsewhere to the four modes (prakārās) of the Buddha’s voice nor to the set of five qualities referred to below, unless the latter are the five first ones in the pairs of vacanapatha at M. 1. 126.


Senart refers this passage to the episode of Nanda’s daughter feeding the Buddha in the forest. The following stanzas then relate to the vituperation of the Buddha or bodhisattva on that occasion by the five monks, who were incensed at his abandoning the practice of austerities. (Lal. Vist. 331.) But it must be remembered that in Bu A. 263 his wife Sunandā is said to have given Kāśyapa rice-gruel just before his enlightenment, and the allusion to Kāśyapa’s transfiguration in our text would seem to imply that the reference is to that incident and that Nandajātā (Nanda’s daughter) and Sunandā are identical. In either case the verses are an interpolation as far as the story of Mālinī is concerned.


Puruṣājānīya, “a noble steed of a man.” See p. 185.


Reading mithyātvaniyatarāśī for niyatva°, so as to make the word identical with the name of one of the three rāśīs, two of which are referred to above p. 138, and all the three at 3. 318 (text).


Another interesting sidelight on the relations between Buddhism and primitive belief. With this may be compared the incident of a yakṣa (yakkha vajirapāṇin = Śakra = Indra) appearing from below the ground to confirm the Buddha’s words to Saccaka the Jain. M. 1. 231. (The translator is indebted for this reference to Miss I. B. Horner.)


Reading, with Senart and as the context seems to require, °niśritā for °nisritā.

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