The Mahavastu (great story)

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

This page describes first avalokita-sutra which is Chapter XXVIII 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 XXVIII - The first Avalokita-sūtra

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was staying at Rājagṛha on Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa[1] with a great company of five hundred monks. Once when the night was well advanced[2] the devas Nanda, Sunanda, Sumanas, Īśvara, Maheśvara[3] and many others of the Śuddhāvāsa devas, of surpassing beauty, irradiating the whole of Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa with their splendour, came to the Exalted One. They bowed their heads at his feet and then stood to one side, respectful and deferential,[4] with their robes arranged over one shoulder and joined hands outstretched, thus doing homage to the Exalted One.

To the deva Nanda, thus standing on one side, came this mental reflexion: “Well would it be if the Exalted One should now give his monks the discourse[5] called Avalokita, which was given of yore by former Tathāgatas, Arhans and perfect Buddhas. Having heard and received it from the lips of the Exalted One, they would hold it for truth. This would be for the benefit and welfare of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, for the benefit and welfare of devas and men.

The Exalted One in silence consented.[6] Then the devas Nanda, Sunanda, Sumanas, (258) Īśvara and Maheśvara, seeing the silent consent of the Exalted One, bowed their heads at his feet, went round him three times by the right, and disappeared.

Then when the night was past the Exalted One came to his company of monks and sat down on his own especial seat. And when he was seated he spoke to his monks, saying, “Last night, monks, the devas Nanda, Sunanda, Sumanas, Īśvara and Maheśvara, of surpassing beauty, came to the Tathāgata when the night was far spent, irradiating the whole of Mount Gṛdhrakūṭa with their splendour. They bowed their heads at his feet, stood to one side, respectful and deferential, with their robes arranged over one shoulder, thus doing homage to the Tathāgata. And, monks, while the deva Nanda thus stood on one side, this mental reflexion occurred to him, ‘This[7] discourse called Avalokita was given of yore by former Tathāgatas, Arhans and perfect Buddhas.’

“Then, monks, the deva Nanda said to the Tathāgata, ‘Lord, this discourse called Avalokita was given of yore by former Tathāgatas, Arhans and perfect Buddhas. Well would it be if the Exalted One also now gave it to the monks. For the monks, hearing it from the lips of the Exalted One, would hold it for truth. This would be for the benefit and welfare of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, and for the benefit and well-being of devas and men.’

“Out of pity, monks, the Tathāgata silently intimated his consent to the deva Nanda. Then, monks, when the devas Nanda, Sunanda, Sumanas, Īśvara and Maheśvara saw the Tathāgata silently consenting, they were thrilled, joyful, elated, delighted, glad and happy. (259). They bowed their heads at his feet, went round him three times by the right, and then disappeared.”

Thereupon the monks said to the Exalted One, “Well would it be if the Exalted One related this matter to the monks, who, hearing it and receiving it from his lips, would hold it for truth.”

When this had been said, the Exalted One spoke to his monks, saying, “Listen, monks, to the discourse which is called Avalokita. Listen well, be attentive, and I shall tell it.” “Very well,” said the monks, in obedience[8] to the Exalted One. Then the Exalted One said to his monks:—

Monks, when the Bodhisattva standing on this shore surveys[9] the shore beyond, the antecedent conditions of the survey being actually present,[10] devas who have great power[11] worship the Tathāgata with the highest worship and honour him with the highest honour. And the Śuddhāvāsa devas acquire the eighteen grounds for rejoicing.[12] What eighteen? The Śuddhāvāsa devas get a ground for rejoicing in that the Great Recluse has knowledge of his associations in his former lives.[13] They get grounds for rejoicing in that he has knowledge of his former births;[14] in that he attains excellence and pre-eminence in the world; in that he has the suitable birth,[15] the lovely birth, the foremost birth, the best birth, the highest birth, the birth consequent on his former vow;[16] in that he has reliance, a support and stay,[17] and the necessary conditions;[18] in that the Recluse will teach the changeless dharma, the dharma of the way out,[19] the transcendental dharma, the unique, the beneficiently glorious,[20] the profound[21] and clear dharma, the dharma that in all respects is perfect and pure. These are the grounds for rejoicing that the Śuddhāvāsa devas have.

When, monks, the Bodhisattva from this shore (260) surveys the shore beyond, the antecedent conditions of the survey being actually present, devas who have great power worship the Tathāgata with the highest worship and honour him with the highest honour, while the Śuddhāvāsa devas get these eighteen grounds for rejoicing. And the devas of Indra, of Brahmā and of Prajāpati[22] get a great ground for rejoicing.

Now, monks, as long as the Bodhisattvas are not yet endowed with perfect steadfastness of deed, speech and thought, as long as they are not endowed with all attributes, so long, monks, do Bodhisattvas fail to go to[23] or stand or sit in that spot of earth, where, when they have settled in it, they overthrow the great Yakṣa,[24] overcome his great host,[25] cross the great flood, and achieve incomparable control over tameable men;[26] incomparable supremacy in the world; incomparable blessing; incomparable worthiness to receive gifts;[27] unequalled consistency of words and deeds;[28] unequalled endurance;[29] unequalled good fortune; the idea[30] of the great castes; the idea of the castes of all creatures; the idea[31] of the origin of the great births;[32] the idea of the origin of the births of all creatures; relief from the burden of existence;[33] the discharge of duty; a state of heart like the earth,[34] (261) water, fire and air; a state of heart like catskin,[35] like the soft kācilinda;[36] a state of heart like Indra’s column; accomplishment of faculties, of strength, of endurance, of wealth, of rest,[37] of courage;[38] confidence in deed, speech and thought, and in affairs in general; the accomplishment of wisdom, and, finally, they achieve the perfect mastery of all good qualities.

And, monks, from the moment that Bodhisattvas become completely endowed with complete steadfastness of deed, speech and thought, they go to that spot of earth where they settle down and destroy the great Yakṣa, overthrow his great host, cross the great flood, attain incomparable control over tameable men; incomparable pre-eminence in the world; incomparable blessing in the world; incomparable worthiness to receive gifts; incomparable perfect enlightenment; consistency of words and deeds and of deeds and words; unequalled endurance; unequalled good fortune; the idea of the great castes; the idea of the castes of all creatures; the idea of the origin of the great births; a state of heart like the earth (262), water, fire and air; the idea of the origin of the births of all creatures;[39] relief from the burden of existence; discharge of their duty; a state of heart like catskin, like the soft kācilinda; a state of heart like Indra’s column; accomplishment of the faculties, of strength, of endurance, of wealth, of rest and of courage; confidence in deed, speech and thought and in affairs in general; the accomplishment of wisdom, and, finally, they achieve the perfect mastery[40] of all good qualities. That spot of earth, monks, where Bodhisattvas sit down and destroy the great Yakṣa, etc.[41], has sixteen characteristics. What sixteen? At the end of the world[42] that spot of earth is the first of all to be burnt. At the beginning of a new world[43] that spot of earth is the first of all to be established and stands there conspicuous in the centre. That spot of earth, monks, is not situated in outer barbarian provinces, but in central provinces inhabited by Āryans. (263) That spot of earth, monks, is even, with good, not bad conformation, and level like the palm of the hand. In its pools grow bright lotuses of various colours.[44] That spot of earth, monks, is renowned, remarkable, and resorted to by powerful people. It is impregnable and invincible. Again, monks, in that spot of earth there is no one like wicked Māra or any of his minions going about looking for a chance to tempt people. It is favoured by devas.[45] That spot of earth, monks, becomes spoken of as a throne in the circle of the earth. It is like a diamond. Grasses grow in that spot of earth which are four inches broad, are dark-blue and soft, like a peacock’s neck, pendulous[46] and curling. And, monks, all who are universal kings decide upon that place and no other for a monument.[47]

Thus then, monks, that spot of earth in which Bodhisattvas settle and destroy the great Yakṣa, etc., has sixteen characteristics.

Then, monks, when the Bodhisattva had done with practising austerities at Uruvilvā and had taken a drink of mead from Sujātā, the village overseer’s daughter, he came to the river Nairañjanā. On the banks of the river Nairañjanā he cooled his limbs and drank the mead given him by Sujātā, the village overseer’s daughter. (264) He let the copper vessel[48] be carried away by the river, and then he prepared there a place of rest by day, and began to reflect on his course of action.[49]

Then, monks, at night, towards daybreak,[50] the Bodhisattva went to the river Nairañjanā. Having cooled his limbs in the river Nairañjanā, he set out for the bodhi-tree. On his way between the river Nairañjanā and the bodhi-tree the Bodisattva, the Great Being, saw Svastika Yāvasika[51] carrying a bundle of straw as a gift.[52] The Bodhisattva, monks, approached Svastika Yāvasika and asked for the straw. And Svastika gave the straw to the Bodhisattva.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, carrying the bundle of straw, went on towards the bodhi-tree, and wicked Māra did not see him go. But immediately afterwards, monks, remembrance came to wicked Māra,[53] And when it did so, he saw the Bodhisattva pushing on[54] fearlessly valiant, nobly valiant, irresistibly valiant; with the valour of a Nāga, of a lion, of a bull, of a swan; valiant in his supreme, most excellent, best and fitting birth; valiant in virtue of the former birth in which he had made his vow; with the valour of one who is invincible, of a sterling man,[55] of a Great Man; pushing on to work without ceasing in the pursuit of the welfare of others, to triumph in the great fight, and to acquire unsurpassed immortality.

Then, monks, as the Bodhisattva pushed on, great and valiant, five hundred peacocks moved round him on his right as he went, and five hundred woodpeckers, five hundred herons, (265) five hundred pheasants, five hundred cranes, five hundred full water-jars, and five hundred maidens. And, monks, this thought occurred to the Bodhisattva: “By these portents[56] and omens[57] I am destined to attain the unimpeded, incomparable enlightenment.” The Nāga king, Kāla,[58] monks, saw the Bodhisattva pushing on fearlessly and valiantly, and seeing him said to him, “Go on, Great Recluse. Along the way thou goest did the Exalted One, the Great Recluse Krakucchanda go, and he awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. O Great Recluse, do thou also go this way and thou shalt to-day awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. The Exalted One, the Great Recluse Konākamuni also went this way, and he awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. O Great Recluse, do thou also go this way, and thou, too, shalt to-day awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. The Exalted One, the Great Recluse Kāśyapa also went this way, and he awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. O Great Recluse, do thou, too, go this way, and thou shalt to-day awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.”

When this had been said, monks, the Bodhisattva said to Kāla, the Nāga king, “Thus, O Kāla, thus O Nāga, will I to-day awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.” (266) Then, monks, Kāla, the Nāga king, addressed the Bodhisattva as he went, in appropriate and fitting[59] verses.

As Krakucchanda went, and Konākamuni and Kāśyapa, so goest thou, mighty hero; this day thou wilt become Buddha.

O Man Supreme, from the way thou raisest thy right foot, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

From the way the earth resounds like a beaten vessel of brass, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

From the way my world of jet-black night is filled with radiance, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

From the way my place of rest is filled with splendour, O wise one, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

From the way the winds blow and the trees sway and the birds warble, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

Such is the appearance of Buddhas, such are the bright circumstances of enlightenment;[60] without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

From the way the earth’s surface[61] is covered with flowers, O wise one, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha. As[62] five hundred peacocks greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred woodpeckers greeted thee from the right, (267) without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred pheasants greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred herons greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred swans greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred cranes greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred full jars of water greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As five hundred maidens greeted thee from the right, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

As the two-and-thirty marks of a Great Man are found on thy body, without a doubt, mighty hero, this day thou wilt become Buddha.

Thus, monks, the Bodhisattva pushed on fearlessly valiant, nobly valiant, sincerely[63] valiant, irresistibly valiant; with the valour of a lion, of an elephant, of a bull, of a swan; valiant in his supreme, most excellent, and best birth;[64] valiant in virtue of his former birth in which he had made his vow;[65] valiant in his fitting birth; pushing on to subdue his foes,[66] and to win invincibility; with the valour of a sterling man, of a Great Man, to work without ceasing in the pursuit of the welfare of others, (268) to conquer in the great fight[67] and to acquire unsurpassed immortality. Pushing on thus greatly valiant, he came to the bodhi-tree. He made his bed of straw neatly in front of the bodhi-tree. Then he went round the bodhi-tree three times by the right, in memory of the former Buddhas.[68] Afterwards he sat down with his legs crossed, holding his trunk erect and facing directly to the east, and set up mindfulness before his face.[69]

Again, monks, as soon as the Bodhisattva was seated he conceived five thoughts. What five? The thought of peace, of well-being, of purity and beneficence, and the thought that that day he would awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. As soon then, monks, as the Bodhisattva was seated he conceived these five thoughts.

Then, monks, wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him, went up to the bodhi-tree, and, standing before the Bodhisattva, at one time sang his loud song and at another[70] waved his garment.[71] The Bodhisattva paid no heed.

Then, monks, wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him, leapt[72] towards the Bodhisattva and laughed his ten-fold laugh of derision.[73] And how, monks, did wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him, laugh his ten-fold laugh of derision? By saying, “O Great Recluse, I have great magic and great power, thou wilt not, Recluse, escape from me.[74] (269) I have great majesty, Recluse, thou wilt not escape from me. I have great splendour, Recluse, thou wilt not escape from me. I am a mighty bull, Recluse, thou wilt not escape from me. I am a great conqueror, Recluse, thou wilt not escape from me. I have a great army, Recluse, thou wilt not escape from me. I have great strength, Recluse, thou wilt not escape from me. Thou art a human being, Recluse, while I am a deva; thou wilt not escape from me. A recluse’s body is born of a mother and father, is a heap of boiled rice and sour milk, is subject to rubbing, massaging, sleep, dissolution, disintegration and destruction;[75] while my body, Recluse, is made of mind. Thou wilt not, Recluse, escape from me.” In this way, monks, did wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him, laugh his ten-fold laugh of derision.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, without a tremor, roared at wicked Māra fourteen times. (270) And it was in this way that the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, without a tremor, roared at wicked Māra. “Now then, wicked Māra, I will strike thee down. As a strong wrestler a weak one, so will I strike thee down, wicked one. As a strong bull a weak one, so will I crush thee, wicked one. As an elephant a feeble antelope, so will I strike thee down, wicked one. As a strong wind a frail tree, so will I strike thee down, wicked one. As the rising sun overcomes all the fire-flies, so will I overcome thee, wicked one. As the rising moon overcomes all the stars, so will I overcome thee, wicked one. As Himalaya, monarch of mountains, towers for ever over all mountains, so will I tower over thee, wicked one. As the universal king Pṛthu[76] vanquished the regional kings, so will I vanquish thee, wicked one. As a fine thoroughbred horse terrifies a whole herd of horses, so will I terrify thee, wicked one. As a lion, king of beasts, rends all meaner animals, so will I rend thy snare of folly. As a strong man (breaks) a weak snare, so will I bum thy snare of folly, wicked one. As fire fuel, so will I reduce thee to cinders, wicked one. As I am bound to this issue,[77] so will I overcome thee, wicked one. As I am tied to this purpose, so will I triumph over thee, wicked one, bind, terrify, conquer and overcome thee. And then there will be no longer a sphere of life of life for thee, O wicked one.”

Thus, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, without a tremor, roar at wicked Māra fourteen times.

[note: The sequel to the first Avalokita-sūtra is continued here]

Then wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him made his sixteen great lamentations.[78] And how, monks, did wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him make his sixteen great lamentations? By saying, “Alas, that the Recluse should overcome[79] me[80] who have such great magic power. (277) Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great influence. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great majesty. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great splendour. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great courage. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great valour. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great fortitude. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me who have such great strength. Alas, that Gotama the Recluse who is a mere human should overcome me who am a deva. The body of Gotama the Recluse was born of a mother and a father, it depends on his belly, is a heap of boiled rice and sour milk (278) and is subject to rubbing, massaging, sleep, dissolution, disintegration and destruction, while my body is made of mind; alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me. All these brave and heroic perfect men do not know how to throw off their mortal coil;[81] alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me. Verily, just as I was thinking that to-day I should overcome Gotama the Recluse, he speedily made an end of all respect for me; alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me. My army collapses; alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me. My limbs fail me; alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me. Vain is my exertion, agitated is my endeavour; alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me. All the devas who were in my domain are now the intimate companions[82] of Gotama the Recluse; alas, that Gotama the Recluse should overcome me.”

Thus then, monks, did wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him, make his sixteen great lamentations.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror (279) conceived an Āryan pride for thirty-two reasons.[83] And how, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror conceive an Āryan pride for thirty-two reasons? (By being able to say)[84] “The Bodhisattva aspires after the great good, the perfect good, the sublime good, the pure good, the unchangeable good, the unprecedented good, the good that is a way of escape,[85] the transcendental[86] good, the unique good, the beneficent[87] good, the future good.” (By being able to say) “There is no ease which I have not sacrificed to acquire that good, there is no ease in the transcendental world[88] which I have not sacrificed to acquire that good; there is no suffering in the world which

I have not grasped at[89] to acquire that good; there is no pleasure in the world which I have not sacrificed to acquire that good; there is not a beautiful thing[90] in the world which I have not sacrificed to acquire that good; there is no sovereignty in the world which I have not sacrificed to acquire that good.” The Bodhisattva conceived an Āryan pride not because of a delight in sensual pleasures, but he did so, saying, “Rid of all the saṃskāras[91] I shall attain a state beyond all the saṃskāras.” The Bodhisattva conceived an Āryan pride because he was endowed with a knowledge of former births,[92] with the excellent birth, (280) with the birth in which he had made his vow;[93] because he was endowed with reliance,[94] behaviour,[95] support, and with the necessary conditions.[96] The Bodhisattva conceived an Āryan pride because he could say, “My resolution is firm, and now possessed of all good qualities I shall not break this resolution as I did of yore. I am stout and steady of heart, and I shall attain that state[97] which can be attained only by the stout and steady of heart. I am the Great Tree,[98] of infinite intelligence, and I shall attain that state which can be attained only by one who is the Great Tree, of infinite intelligence. Again, with the highest degree of energy I shall attain the highest state; for I have the highest degree of energy. I shall reach that state on reaching which I shall do good to the great multitude.”

Thus, then, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, conceive an Āryan pride for thirty-two reasons.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror displayed his five-fold Āryan smile. And how, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror display his five-fold Āryan smile? It was as follows, to wit, it was based on will, energy, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. Thus then, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror display his five-fold Āryan smile.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror made the four-fold (281) survey of an Āryan great lion. And how, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror make the four-fold survey of an Āryan great lion? As follows, to wit, he surveyed, without agitation, without terror, without fear, without fright. Thus then, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror make the four-fold survey of an Āryan great lion.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror yawned the four-fold yawn of an Āryan great lion. And how, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror yawn the four-fold yawn of an Āryan great lion? As follows, to wit, he yawned without fear, without agitation, without terror, but he did inspire terror in Māra and his host. Thus, then, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, yawn the four-fold yawn of an Āryan great lion.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, coughed the cough of a great lion. And how, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror cough the cough of an Āryan great lion? As follows, to wit, he coughed without fear, without agitation, without terror and without dismay. This then, monks, was the Bodhisattva’s cough of an Āryan great lion. All the people in the great system of three thousand worlds heard the noise of it. Thus then, monks, did the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, without fright and terror, cough his four-fold cough of an Āryan great lion.

Then, monks, wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him (282) armed his great four-fold army and advanced to the bodhi tree. Standing in front of the Bodhisattva he let out a great shout, a resounding cry.[99] “Seize him,” cried he, “take him away, slay him, ye hosts of Māra. May it go well with you.” Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, without fear and terror drew out his golden arm from beneath his robe, and with his webbed[100] and jewel-like right hand, which had copper-coloured nails and a bright streak, and which was the colour of lac, was soft like cotton to the touch, and endowed with the root of virtue acquired in several koṭis of kalpas, he thrice stroked his head; thrice he stroked his couch, and thrice he stroked the ground. And as he did so,[101] this great earth roared and echoed deeply and terribly. Just as, monks, when a great bowl of brass made in Magadha is struck with a slab of rock in a mountain cavern, a deep and terrible noise resounds and re-echoes, so, monks, did this great earth resound and re-echo deeply and terribly, when the Bodhisattva with his right hand stroked his head, his couch and the ground. And Māra’s hosts, magnificent and well-armed as they were, were frightened, terrified, shaken, and dismayed; shuddering with terror they scattered and dispersed. Their elephants, their horses, their chariots, their infantry[102] and their chariots collapsed. Some fell on their hands, (283) others on their heads,[103] others on their faces,[104] others on their backs, others on their left side, and others on their right side. And wicked Māra, wretched, discomfited, consumed by the sting within him, stood on one side deep in thought, and wrote on the ground with a cane: Gotama the Recluse will pass beyond my power.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, entered and abode in the first meditation,[105] which is aloof from sense desires and from sinful and evil ideas, is attended by applied and sustained thought, is born of solitude and is full of zest and ease. Suppressing applied and sustained thought, he entered and abode in the second meditation, which is born of concentration, is full of zest and ease, and is free from applied and sustained thought, through the mind becoming inwardly calm and one-pointed. Indifferent to the fervour of zest he abode mindful and self-possessed,[106] and entered and abode in the third meditation,[107] (and experienced)[108] that ease whereof the Āryans declare, “He that is indifferent and mindful dwells at ease.” By putting away ease,[109] by the passing away of all the happiness and misery he formerly felt, he entered and abode in the fourth meditation, which is utter purity of equanimity[110] and mindfulness and is free of ill and ease.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, in the first watch of the night turned and applied his mind to the consideration[111] of the insight and knowledge conferred by the deva eye.[112] By means of the deva eye, which excels the human in clearness, he saw beings passing away and reborn, beings fair and foul, beings passing to bournes of good and to bournes of ill, beings mean and noble, all reaching a state in accordance with their karma. “These beings, friends,” said he, “who are guilty of misconduct in deed, speech and thought, who are slanderers of Āryans and holders of wrong views, because they have contracted the karma of heresy, for that cause and that reason, on the dissolution of the body at death are reborn in the desolate ways, in bournes of ill, in ruin, in hells. On the other hand, friends, (284) those of good conduct in deed, speech and thought, who do not slander Āryans, who hold right views, because they have contracted the karma of right views, for that cause and that reason, on the dissolution of the body at death are reborn in heaven among the devas.”

Thus with his deva eye, excelling the human eye in clearness, he saw beings passing away and reborn, beings fair and foul, beings mean and noble, all reaching a state in accordance with their karma.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, in the middle watch of the night turned[113] and applied his mind to the memory and knowledge of his former lives. He recalled to mind many different former lives, to wit, one birth, two births, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand. He recalled to mind a kalpa of the world’s dissolution,[114] a kalpa of the world’s evolution, a kalpa of both dissolution and evolution, indeed several kalpas of dissolution, several kalpas of evolution, several kalpas of both dissolution and evolution. (He remembered thus:) “At such and such a time I was named so and so. I was of such and such an ancestry, belonging to such and such a family. I ate such and such food. I had such and such an end to my life, and I experienced such and such ease and ill.” Thus did he recount his different former existences in all their details and particulars.

Then, monks, the Bodhisattva, fearless, undismayed, free from fright and terror, in the last watch of the night,towards daybreak, in the flush of dawn[115] woke up to all that the “true man,”[116] the “Great Man,” the “real man,”[117] the “heroic man,” the “brave man,” the “elephant man,” the “lion-man,” the “red-and-white lotus man,” the “white-lotus man,”[118] the “noble steed of a man,” the “terrible man,” the “peerless driver of tameable men,” the “intrepid man,” the “courageous man,” the “valiant man,” the “beneficent man” (285), the “ardent man,” the “resolute man,”[119] the “secluded man,” the Sugata,[120] the “mindful man,” the “steady man,” the “intelligent man,” the “wise man,” has always and everywhere to know, attain, become aware of, become fully aware of; he awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment by insight gained in a momentary flash of thought. That is to say [he understood] that this is ill; this is the rise of ill; this is the cessation of ill; this is the way[121] that leads to the cessation of ill. [He understood] that these are the āśravas;[122] this is the uprising of the āśravas; this is the cessation of the āśravas; this is the way that leads to the cessation of the āśravas; here the āśravas are destroyed without remainder or residue; they are quelled, they fade away and vanish utterly. [He understood] that when this exists, that comes to be; when this does not exist, that does not come to be; from the arising of this, that arises; from the cessation of this, that ceases.[123] [He understood] that as the result[124] of ignorance the saṃskāras come to be; as the result of the saṃskāras, consciousness; as the result of consciousness, individuality;[125] as the result of individuality, the six functions[126] of sense; as the result of the six functions of sense, contact; as the result of contact, feeling; as the result of feeling, craving; as the result of craving, grasping;[127] as the result of grasping, coming-to-be; as the result of coming-to-be, birth; as the result of birth, old age, death, grief, lamentation, ill, despair and tribulation. In such a way comes to be the arising of this whole great mass of ill. [But he understood also] that from the cessation of ignorance comes the cessation of the saṃskāras; from the cessation of the saṃskāras that of consciousness; from the cessation of consciousness that of individuality; from the cessation of individuality that of the six functions of sense; from the cessation of the six functions of sense that of contact; from the cessation of contact that of feeling; from the cessation of feeling that of craving; from the cessation of craving that of grasping; from the cessation of grasping that of coming-to-be; from the cessation of coming-to-be that of birth; from the cessation of birth that of old age, death, grief, lamentation, ill, despair and tribulation. In this way there comes to be cessation of this whole great mass of ill. All the saṃskāras are impermanent, ill; all things[128] are without a self. This is the calm, the exalted, the true and the unchangeable state,[129] namely, the rejection of every basis of existence,[130] the quelling of all the saṃskāras, the dissolution of phenomena, the end of craving, and passionlessness, cessation, nirvana.

(286) Then, monks, on that occasion the Tathāgata breathed forth this solemn utterance:—

Fair is the reward of the righteous; his desire is fulfilled. Quickly does he pass to perfect peace, to nirvana.

Whatever assaults the deva hosts of Māra make against him[131] they can not put an obstacle[132] in the way of the virtuous.

The hindrances[133] that arise in the way of a man of deficient virtue do not arise in the way of the virtuous. The latter’s concentration becomes strong through his accumulation[134] of merits. Whatever the virtuous man aims at, whether in the world of devas or among saintly men, he succeeds in his aim. Or if he aims at nirvana, the immoveable griefless way where all ill is quelled, he wins it.

“With little difficulty”[135] (said the Bodhisattva), “I have attained[136] the uttermost enlightenment. By my knowledge and energy I have escaped ill; I have laid down my heavy burden and won omniscience. Māra is cast down, with all his host; he is reduced to cinder, come to his end;[137] while I stand under this incomparable bodhi tree.”

For seven days while he sat on his solitary seat thousands of koṭis of devas paid him honour. Over that seat they scattered powder of the sandal-wood tree and flowers of the coral tree. Above it celestial musical instruments struck up and played. Then devas from above scattered down powder of the celestial sandal-wood tree; of the celestial aloe-wood, of the celestial keśara,[138] of celestial tamāla.[139] They showered down flowers of the celestial coral tree, of the celestial great coral tree, of the karkārava,[140] of the great karkārava, of the rocamāna,[141] of the great rocamāna, of the bhīṣma,[142] of the samantagandha,[143] of the great samantagandha, of the mañjūṣaka,[144] of the great mañjūṣaka, celestial flowers of the pārijātaka,[145] flowers of gold,[146] (287), of silver, of all precious jewels. There appeared in the sky thirty thousand celestial and bejewelled sunshades[147] shading the Conqueror’s body, which was like a rock overlaid with precious stones, like a tope of gold, blessed with the root of virtue acquired in several koṭis of kalpas.

Then, monks, a large number of Śuddhāvāsa[148] devas approached the Bodhisattva, and, having bowed at his feet, stood to one side. Reverentially and deferentially[149] they arranged their robes over one shoulder and raised their joined hands, thus doing homage to the Tathāgata. And, monks, as they thus stood on one side the numerous Śuddhāvāsa devas roared at wicked Māra eighty times.[150] What eighty? (They roared at him saying) “O wicked one, didst thou not consider these things and say to thyself?[151] ‘Verily, I shall not see again anyone among devas or men renouncing Gotama the Recluse. Let me then go away in disgust[152] with Gotama the Recluse.[153] Here are all the devas of my domain become the intimate companions of Gotama the Recluse.

Beings like him have knowledge of former lives.[154]
Beings like him are near to nirvana.[155]
Beings like him are endowed with radiance.
Beings like him have faultless conduct.
Beings like him have experience of descent into the womb.[156] (288)
Beings like him have experience of standing in the womb.[157]
Beings like him have experience of birth.
Beings like him come to be born in a (noble) family.
Beings like him have the (thirty-two) marks (of a Great Man).
Beings like him have the (eighty) minor characteristics.
Beings like him have fulfilled their duties[158] and are endowed with dharma.
Beings like him are endowed with what is lovely.
Beings like him are endowed with beauty.
Beings like him receive worship and praise.[159]
Beings like him are endowed with good dispositions.
Beings like him are endowed with real being.[160]
Beings like him are endowed with complete splendour.
Beings like him are endowed with the right action in deed.
Beings like him are endowed with the right action in speech. (289)
Beings like him are endowed with the right action in thought.
Beings like him are endowed with the essence of being.
Beings like him are endowed with the choicest essence.[161]
Beings like him are endowed with unfailing dharma.
Beings like him have the ability to embark for the shore beyond.[162]
Beings like him are endowed with vitality.[163]
Beings like him are endowed with good behaviour.[164]
Beings like him are endowed with great compassion.
Beings like him are endowed with confidence.[165]
Beings like him are endowed with great authority.
Beings like him are endowed with the sovereignty of dharma.[166]
Beings like him are endowed with the great dharma.
Beings like him are masters of the world.[167] (290)
Beings like him are masters of investigation of the world.[168]
Beings like him are masters of thorough investigation[169] of the world.
Beings like him are endowed with magic power.
Beings like him are endowed with conditions accessory to enlightenment.[170]
Beings like him are endowed with exertion.[171]
Beings like him are endowed with energy.
Beings like him are endowed with mindfulness.[172]
Beings like him are endowed with concentration.
Beings like him are endowed with wisdom.
Beings like him are endowed with emancipation.
Beings like him are endowed with the knowledge and insight of emancipation.[173]
Beings like him are endowed with readiness of speech.[174]
Beings like him are endowed with (powers of) exposition. (291)
Beings like him are endowed with (the ability to) teach the dharma.
Beings like him are endowed with (the ability to) teach the faultless dharma.
Beings like him are endowed with knowledge and insight.
Beings like him are endowed with imperturbability.
Beings like him are endowed with (powers of) protection.
Beings like him have knowledge of a former birth.[175]
Beings like him have a suitable[176] birth.
Beings like him have a lovely birth.
Beings like him have an excellent birth.
Beings like him have a best birth.
Beings like him have a pre-eminent birth. (292)
Beings like him have a former birth in which they make a vow.[177]
Beings like him are endowed with reliance.[178]
Beings like him are endowed with an accumulation[179] (of merits).
Beings like him are endowed with support.[180]
Beings like him are endowed with the conditions of enlightenment.[181]
Beings like him are endowed with the Āryan five-fold concentration.[182]
Beings like him are endowed with the Āryan great five-fold concentration.
Beings like him are endowed with the Āryan five knowledges.[182]
Beings like him are endowed with the Āryan great five knowledges.
Beings like him are endowed with fixity of mind.[184]
Beings like him are endowed with quietude.[185]
Beings like him secure triumph over the armies of their foes. (293)
Beings like him are endowed with self-dependence.[186]
Beings like him are endowed with the law[187] of self-dependence.
Beings like him are endowed with the excellent perfect law.
Beings like him have the achievement of merit to their credit.[188]
Beings like him are endowed with the excellent and perfect accomplishment of beauty.[189]
Beings like him are endowed with beauty.

“O wicked one, these beings are not easy to overcome. Behold, O wicked one, how great this sin of thine is.”

Thus, monks, did the Śuddhāvāsa devas, standing on one side roar eighty times at wicked Māra.

The Exalted One related this when he was staying near Rājagṛha on Mount Gṛddhakūṭa.[190] And as the exposition was being given the hearts of the five hundred monks were quite freed of the āśravas, and elated they rejoiced at the words of the Exalted One.

Here ends the sūtra called Avalokita.

Notes on the first Avalokita-sūtra:

This sūtra is given in two parts, here and pp. 293 ff. (text). Senart suggests that they are interpolations in the text, for they obviously break the continuity of the subject-matter. Winteroitz: A History of Indian Literature, 2, p. 245 (footnote) agrees with Senart, and calls attention to the fact that the sūtra, under the title of Avalokana-Sūtra, is cited in Śāntideva’s Śikṣā-Samuccaya as an independent work. It is also found in Tibetan as an independent work. In short, its presence in our text is due to a late interpolation of Mahāyānist matter in the Mahāvastu.

Footnotes and references:

1.

See Vol. I, p. 29, n. 2. Here and on p. 203 (text) the name is spelt Gṛddhakūṭa.

2.

Senart prints atikrāntāye rātrīye, on the authority of the MSS., but in a note says that the right reading should be abhikrāntāye. This is borne out by Pali texts where the whole expression several times recurs, e.g. M. I. 142, abhikkantāya rattiyā abhikkantavaṇṇā, etc., an expression which illustrates two of the four senses which tradition gave to the word. (See P.E.D.)

3.

Only one of these names appears in the Pali texts, viz. Nanda at S. I. 62, but the occasion is not identical, and there is no reason to think that the same deva is referred to in the two passages. For Maheśvara, see Vol. I, pp. 178, 218, 220.

4.

Sapratīsa, see Vol. I, p. 137, n. 1.

5.

Vyākaraṇa, Pali veyyākaraṇa, “answer, explanation, exposition,” etc.

6.

Adhivāseti, Pali; BSk. adhivāsayati.

7.

Note ayam with neuter vyākaraṇa, and so below.

8.

Note pratyaśroṣīt with pl. subject.

9.

Abhiviloketi, hence, presumably, the name Avalokita for the discourse. See p. 274, n. 7.

10.

Abhivilokanāpūrvāṅgamehi dharmehi samudāgacchamānehi.

11.

Maheśākhyā devā, cf. mahesakkhā devatā, V. I.228, Ud. 88, D. 2. 87.

12.

Āṣṭādaśa āmodanīyāṃ dharmān. There is no mention elsewhere of these particular eighteen dharmas.

13.

Literally, “is gifted with a former association,” pūrvayogasampanna. Pūrvayoga properly means “association with someone or something in a former existence. Cf. Vol. I, p. 267 (p. 222 trans.), Tathāgatasya pūrvayoga. But it is also used for “former existence” simply, while Miln. 2 explains it as pubbakamma. Here, however, the context requires that it be given the meaning of “knowledge (or memory) of associations in former lives.”

14.

Pūrvotpādasampanna, literally “endowed with former births,” but the implication is that he has “knowledge” of them. Utpāda, “arising,” in these expressions, denotes “karmic” birth, of course, not birth simply.

15.

Reading, as Śenart suggests, yugya° = yogya-utpāda for yoga°.

16.

Praṇidhipūrvotpāda.

17.

Niśrayasampanna, upadhāna, upastambha. Whatever be their precise significance, these terms would seem to allude to the inward, individual and independent resources of the Buddha’s character.

18.

Sambhāra, i.e. the conditions for attaining enlightenment. Cf. J. 1. 1, bodhisambhāra.

19.

Nairyāṇika, i.e. “the way out from saṃsāra, ‘rebirth’.” Cf. p. 261, n. 5, and cf. S. 1. 220; 5. 380.

20.

Avyāvadhyayaśa. For avyāvadhya, see p. 261, n. 7.

21.

Gambhīra, cf. V. I. 4; S. I. 136; D. 2. 36; M. I.167, etc.

22.

Pali Pajāpati, one of the kings of the devas, apparently ranking second to Śakra (Indra).

23.

Niśrāya, postposition with acc. See Vol. I, p. 114, n. 1.

24.

I.e. Māra.

25.

Camu = camū, in its third meaning as given in BR. For another meaning, see p. 167, w. 2.

26.

Literally, “the drivership of tameable men,” puruṣadamyasārathitā, the abstract of puruṣadamyasārathin.

27.

Dakṣiṇeyatā, abstract of dakṣiṇīya (Pali dakkhiṇeyya). See Vol. I, p. 61, n. 3.

28.

Yathākāritatathāvādita, cf. yathāvādī Tathāgato tathākārī, etc., D. 3. 135; A. 2. 24; It. p. 121.

29.

Reading asamadhuratā for asamamadhuratā, “unequalled sweetness.” Cf. Pali asamadhura (P.E.D., s.v.).

30.

Or, “(object of) perception,” ārambana (ārambaṇa next page), Pali ārammaṇa. Senart decides in favour of this form, although in Vol. 1 (see p. 94, n. 5) he was content with indicating the influence of the Pali form by merely printing for n. The MSS. vary between āl- and ār-. (Miss I. B. Horner, in a note to the translator suggests that ārambana here is possibly synonymous with ālambana in the sense of some kind of yogic exercise, and that some sort of superconscious knowledge is implied, akin, perhaps, to deva sight.)

31.

This has obviously to be supplied in translation. In the repetition on p. 262 (text) ārambaṇa actually appears in the text, although it is not easily construed there.

32.

Possibly referring to the births described at V. 4. 6 as ukkaṭṭhājāti, khattiyājāti, brahmaṇājāti.

33.

Ohitabhāratā, “the laid-down burden,” cf. Pali ohitabhāro, of an Arhan. Cf. also bhāranikkhepana at 5. 3. 25 and pannabhāra at A. 3. 85.

34.

Pṛthivīsamacittatā, i.e. firm like the solid earth. Cf. M. 1. 127, paṭhavīsamena cetasā. The appropriate adjective in each of these similes, corresponding to “firm” here can be easily supplied in thought.

35.

Reading virāḍabhasta (bhasta Pali for bhastrā) or virāḍabhastrā, “a bag of catskin” for virāḍatrasta, “frightened by a cat”! To interpret the text reading Senart assumes that there is an allusion to some fable of a mouse and a cat, as e.g. the fourth fable in Hitopadeśa 2, and that the immobility of the recluse’s state of heart is compared to that of a mouse frightened by a cat. But it would be a strange simile which left out the crucial word “mouse.” For the softness of catkin in similes see Thag. 1138, taṃ karissāmi yathā bilārabhastam. Cf. M. 1. 128. In the repetition the text has viḷāratrastastambha, where stambha seems to support Senart’s interpretation, but there is no certainty that his reading of the MSS. is correct here.

36.

A certain soft substance or material.

37.

Literally, “bed,” śayyā.

38.

Ātmavṛṣabhitā, “bull-self ness.”

39.

The sequence of these expressions is not so logical as on the previous page.

40.

Vaśitāpa (sic) here for vaśibhāva in the same phrase above.

41.

Senart does not print the repetitions here and in the sequel.

42.

Saṃvartamāne loke. See Vol. I, p. 43, n. 3.

43.

Vivartamāne loke. See ibid.

44.

The text names them.

45.

The text has devānāṃ agrihīto, “not seized by devas.” Agṛhīto obviously does not make sense and requires emendation into anugṛhito or saṅgṛhīto.

46.

Abhilakṣaṇa of the text is inexplicable. The translation assumes that it is a mistake for some compound of lambana, e.g. abhi- or pralambana.

47.

Tam pṛthivīpradeśaṃ adhisthihanti nānyatra cetiyārtham. But Senart’s interpretation is different: “ne se reposent pas en ce lieu si ce n’est pour venir l’ adorer.”

48.

In J. I. 70 ff., the vessel was carried up-stream and this was interpreted by the Bodhisattva as a sign that he would attain enlightenment that day. The story goes on to say that the vessel sank into the palace of the Nāga king Mahākāla (see below), where it struck against the vessels which had been used by the three former Buddhas, thus announcing to the Nāga king that a new Buddha had arisen.

49.

Smṛtiṃ pratilabhate nītiye, for netiye of the text; so Senart. Literally “he got mindfulness of conduct,” but this is not the usual sense of nīti.

50.

Nāganandīkālasamaye. See p. 126, n. 8.

51.

See p. 126, n. 9.

52.

Lañcaka, see Vol. I, p. 90, n. 3.

53.

I.e., he remembered that the Bodhisattva was intending to go on to the bodhi tree.

54.

Vikramantam. Vikramati has the double sense of “advancing,” and of “making an effort.” Hence the adj. vikrānta, (Pali vikkanta) “heroic," “valiant,” with which it is coupled in this passage.

55.

Ājāneya. See Vol. I, p. 185, n. 4.

56.

Pūrvotpāda, “previous appearances,” and so in a different sense from pūrvotpāda, “former birth” elsewhere in this passage.

57.

Pūrvanimitta.

58.

Mahākāla in J. 1. 70, 72. See also Mhvs. xxxi. 83, and Divy. 392.

59.

Sārūpya BSk., Pali sāruppa.

60.

Literally, “adorned enlightenment,” bodhi alaṃkṛtā.

61.

Maṇḍa, printed with a question mark. The metre does not permit of maṇḍala, unless the ca is dropped.

62.

Yathā. In the preceding verses this has been rendered “from the way that,” because no previous allusion has been made to these particular portents.

63.

Alīna, cf. Pali alīnatā, “open-mindedness,” “prudence,” “sincerity.”

64.

Agrotpādāya, etc. It is difficult to explain this dative case. Probably the form is to be taken as a Pali-Prakrit oblique case used adverbially. Note that one MS. has the ablative °utpādā, “because of,” which may equally well be rendered “in.”

65.

Text here has pūrvotpādavikrānta only, “valiant in his former birth,” but praṇidhi has been assumed as omitted or as to be understood, as in the parallel passages above.

66.

Śatrudamanārthāya vikramanto, corresponding to śatrumathanavikrāntam vikramantam above. There is a similar variation in the next phrase.

67.

Mahāyagrāmavijasamāye (sic) for mahasaṃgrāma° as on p. 264 (text) and also in one MS. here.

68.

I.e. the three former ones of the kalpa, Krakucchanda, Konākamuni, and Kāśyapa.

69.

See p. 127, n. 2.

70.

Viya... viya, properly Pali = iva, can only have this force here, i.e. now... now.

71.

Literally, “held out a great waving of his garment,” mahācailākṣepaṃ prayacche. Cf. Pali cela-ukkhepa, “waving of garments” (as signs of applause). Senart, however, in his Introduction renders the phrase by “agite la grande écharpe.”

72.

Saṃkṣūyamāno. This form is too persistent in the MSS. to allow of any other reading being conjectured. Senart explains the kṣu as “une fausse restitution pour skū (or sku),” possibly influenced by the intensive coṣkūyate.

73.

This is the force of the prefix ū- (= ud or ava) in ūhase. Cf. Pali ūhasati.

74.

The text repeats after each statement, “wicked Māra... derision.”

75.

This is a stock description of the physical body, see e.g. D. 1. 76, M. 1. 500. Vidhvaṃsana, “destruction,” BSk. = Pali viddhaṃsana. Cf. vidhvaṃsita, Vol. I, p. 10, n. 3.

76.

Or Pṛthī. Vedic patronymic. First anointed sovereign of men, introduced arts of husbandry; enumerated among the Ṛṣis, and said to be the author of Rig-Veda x. 148.

77.

Niṣyandasaṃyukta. Cf. Pali nissanda.

78.

Literally, “lamented his great lamentation which was of sixteen kinds,” ṣoḍaśākārasamanvāgataṃ mahāparidevitaṃ parideve.

79.

Vata... mā... abhibhaviṣyati. The syntax is not clear. ordinarily expresses “prohibition” or a “negative wish,” sometimes, as here, with the future indicative (see p. 296, n. 7). As, however, the clause is meant to express a lamentation a translation like that given seems necessary to the context.

80.

Aham, nom. as acc. Senart cites Hemacandra 3. 107 for a parallel usage. The succeeding clauses have me. The text repeats after each clause “Wicked Māra... lamentations.”

81.

Literally, “do not know the throwing off of their humanity,” mānuṣyasya parinikṣepaṃ na pi jānanti, i.e. cannot become devas.

82.

Abhyantaro parivāro. For this sense of abhyantara Senart compares Divy., 254, 255.

83.

Literally “An Āryan pride of thirty-two kinds,” dvātriṃśatākārasamanvāgataṃ āryamānam.

84.

Supplied from iti understood in most of the clauses, but expressed in a few. After each clause the text repeats “the Bodhisattva... pride.”

85.

Nairyāṇikam artham. See p. 245, n. 8.

86.

Lokottara. See Vol. I, p. 3, n. 1, et al.

87.

avyāvadhya. Cf. Pali avyāpajjha “[either from a + * vyāpadya or more likely from a + * vyābādhya] free from oppression, not hurting, kind.” (P.E.D.) The Mhvu. form seems to support the latter alternative.

88.

Lokottaraloke.

89.

The MSS. have sukham... upādinnam, which gives a sense contrary to the context. If sukham is retained then upādinnam must be replaced by parityaktam. But it is more feasible, with Senart, to amend sukham into duḥkham, especially as sukham has already been the subject of a clause.

90.

? Citrikam = citrakam. Or should this not be emended into rucira? The latter, which would have the same meaning, is often found in conjunction with ramaṇīya and would follow well here after ramaṇīyatā of the preceding clause.

91.

Pali saṅkhārā, see Vol. I, p. 99, n. 1.

92.

Pūrvotpāda, see p. 245, n. 3.

93.

Praṇidhi, “vow,” simply, but see p. 245, n. 5.

94.

Reading niśraya for niḥśraya. See p. 245, n. 6.

96.

Samhhāra, see p. 245, n. 7.

97.

Bhūmi, not necessarily referring here to any particular bhūmi or stage in the careers of Bodhisattvas. See Vol. I, pp. 1, 39 ff., 53 ff.

98.

Mahādruma. There does not seem to be any other instance in Buddhist literature of the Buddha calling himself, or being called, the Great Tree. Yet in view of the integral part played by the bodhi tree in the account of the enlightenment, the Buddha’s symbolical identification with that tree is not wholly inexplicable. According to MW., mahādruma was actually used as an expression for ficus religiosa. The tree of wisdom which holds heaven and earth apart is often mentioned in Vedic and Brahmanical literature (See Griffiths on RV. 1. 164), while in Buddhist literature we read of “the tree of knowledge,” jñānadruma (Buddhacarita, xiii. 65). The translator owes these references to Miss I. B. Homer, who also remarks that in iconography the Buddha is often represented by a tree.

99.

Reading śabda for śanda (sic) of the text.

100.

This rendering of jālin hasta is preferable to “net-like” in Vol. I, p. 181, and the characteristic would seem to be reasonably explained by A. K. Coomaraswamy when he says (I.H.Q. viii (1931). P. 366) that the meaning is that the Buddha’s fingers were so perfectly straight, that, when they were pressed tightly together and held up to the light a rosy light could be seen through them as through a thin web. Possibly this also explains the “bright streak,” sucitrarājika.

101.

The text, of course, repeats all the statements.

102.

Padāta for the more usual padāti.

103.

Omuddhaka, i.e. ava + muddha(ka), Pali for mūrdhan.

104.

Apakubjaka, Pali avakujjaka.

105.

Dhyāna. See Vol. I, pp. 183 f., and notes. The text here is practically identical with that in Vol. 1. The few variations are noted as they occur.

106.

As in Vol. I, reading samprajāno for samprajānam.

107.

Tṛtīyaṃ dhyānam only, i.e. without nisprītikam, “free of zest," as in Vol. I.

108.

The verb pratisaṃvedayati of Vol. I is omitted.

109.

Duḥkhasya prahāṇāt, “putting away ill” is omitted.

110.

Instead of upekṣā as in Vol. I, the text here has upekṣya, which is apparently a verbal adjective governing aduḥkhāsukham, i.e. ‘overlooking’ or ‘indifferent to’ ill and ease. But as one MS. has upekṣā it cannot be safely assumed that there is a real difference at this point between the two accounts. Upekṣā, therefore, is restored in translation.

111.

Pratisaṅkhāya, Senart’s restoration for the impossible reading pratisaṃlāya. He equates it with Pali paṭisaṅkhā and considers it sufficiently close to the sākṣātkriyāyai of Lal. Vist. 439. At the same time it is worth noting that two MSS. have pratisaṃlāpa, which may be a corruption of an original pratisamlabhāya. Vol. I, p. 184 (text) has pratilābhāya, “to the acquirement of.”

112.

See Vol. I, pp. 125f., and for the whole of the following passage, pp. 184f.

113.

Abhinirharati, Pali abhinīharati. For a discussion of this verb see P.E.D., which, however, among the BSk. instances cited, does not refer to the Mhvu., where the verb also occurs at I. 228 (text).

114.

See Vol. I, p. 43, n. 3.

115.

Nandīmukhāyāṃ rajanyām. See Vol. I, p. 185, n. 1.

116.

These expressions are rendered as literally as possible. Many of them have occurred in the parallel passage in Vol. I, p. 185 (229, text) where see notes. But in accordance with the generally extravagant style of the Avalokita-Sūtra the list is much longer here and is elaborated to the point of being in some cases almost untranslatable.

117.

? puruṣadravyeṇa.

118.

The text has (puruṣa)kumudena and °puṇḍarīkena, but as both denote a white lotus, only one has been translated.

119.

Prahitātma, see p. 226, n. 1.

120.

Gatimant, see Vol. I, p. 185, n. 5.

121.

Pratipad BSk. = Pali paṭipadā.

122.

See Vol. I, p. 49, n. 2.

123.

This is a general statement of the working of cause and effect, the particular application of which to Buddhist ethics is called dhamma at M. 2. 32.

124.

The well-known paṭicca-samuppāda formula, see e.g., V. I.1. The BSk. term for the formula is pratītya-samutpāda, see e.g. Divy. 300, 547, and Mhvu. 2. 416, 417; 3. 314. Pratyayā, Pali paccayā, is rendered here by “the result,” in preference to such renderings as “conditioned by,” “by reason of” or “dependent on,” in an attempt to express the fact that the consequent was commensurate with the antecedent, that is, it was a case of one whole state or condition wholly passing into another. The accusative pratyayaṃ is used in some of the clauses here.

125.

Nāma-rūpa, “name and form.”

126.

Āyatana, a term which, as applied to perception, denotes the interrelation of sense-organ and sense-object. It is not easy to render the term by one word in English, but “function” may be regarded as approximately exact, inasmuch as that the sense-organ only functions in the presence of the corresponding sense-object. See P.E.D. for references to discussions of this term.

128.

Dharmā, here practically identified with saṃskārā. Cf. D. 3. 58, 77, 141, and Dh. 277-9.

129.

Cf. A. I, 133 and It. 44.

130.

Sarvopadhipratiniḥsarga, cf. Pali sabbūpadhipaṭinissagga. For upadhi see Vol. I, p. 199. 2, where the synonymous term upādi is used.

131.

Literally, “in front of him,” purato.

132.

Antarāya.

133.

Vighnā, for the more usual term nīvaraṇāni. See Vol. 1. p. 117.

134.

Sambhāra, another unusual expression. More usual in our text is sañcaya or some other compound of -caya. Pali uses abhisaṅkhāra. For another application of the word sambhāra see p. 245, n. 7.

135.

Alpakiśareṇa. See p. 206 n. 2.

136.

Sparśitā, cf. the Pali phassita in the same sense at J. 5. 252, where however, the P.E.D. doubts the correctness of the reading. Cf. also M. I.33, 475, 477; MA. I.162; and A. 5. 11.

137.

Antaka, also an epithet of Māra; see P.E.D. for references.

138.

See Vol. I, p. 32, n. 3. Here spelt keśala.

139.

See Vol. I, p. 168, n. 6.

140.

See Vol. I, p. 221, n. 1.

141.

See Vol. I, p. 186, n. 3.

142.

lb., n. 4.

143.

lb., n. 5.

144.

Name of a celestial tree.

145.

See Vol. I, p. 221, n. 2.

146.

Reading suvarṇa for suvana of the text.

147.

Reading °chatra° for °chata° (sic) of the text.

148.

See Vol. I, p. 28, n. 5.

149.

Sapratīsa. See Vol. I, p. 137, n. 1.

150.

Literally, “in eighty ways,” aśītihi ākārehi.

151.

The text repeats this question na... te... etadabhuṣi before each sentence, but the translation avoids the repetition by using the words “these things” for “this thing,” etad.

152.

Nirvidya from nirvid (-vindati), used here with the loc. case.

153.

This, too, is repeated each time, but is omitted in translation.

154.

Literally “are endowed with a former association,” pūrvayogasampannā. For pūrvayoga see p. 245, n. 2. The translation of sampanna, “endowed with” has to be varied occasionally in the following sentences to procure better readability in English.

155.

Nirvāṇasantika. Cf. Dh. 372; S. 1. 33; 4. 74.

156.

Literally, “are endowed with [the attribute of] descent into the womb,” garbhāvakrāntisampanna. Cf. Vol. I, p. 112, n. 1.

157.

Cf. Vol. I, p. 114.

158.

Kṛtādhikāra.

159.

Kāravarṇasampanna.

160.

Sattvasampanna.

161.

Sattvasāra. Cf. M. 3. 69.

162.

? Abhirūhasampanna. Abhirūha is BSk. The P.E.D. referring to this passage cites the form abhirūhana which is the v.l. of one MS. At Miln. 356. the only Pali reference in the P.E.D., the word has its literal sense of “climbing,” “mounting.” The translation, however, assumes that there is a connexion between the use of the word in our text and the expression at Thag. 766 (p. 75) where nāvāya abhirūhanam is synonymous with “entering on the way” (magga).

163.

Yāpanaka, so rendered by Senart, who remarks that the suffix -ka, as often in BSk., has an abstract force.

164.

Cāritra, Pali cāritta.

165.

Reading, with Senart, āśvāsa for āvāsa.

166.

Cf. A. 1. 109; 3. 149.

167.

? lokasampanna, “endowed with the world,” but it is not clear what exact sense is to be given to loka here, whether “universe,” “this world,” or “the sphere of materiality.”

168.

Lokavicayasampanna, “endowed with investigation of the world.”

169.

Pravicaya. With these two expressions, cf. Dhs. 16 (p. 11) vicayo, pavicayo dhammavicayo (search for the dharma).

170.

Bodhipakṣikadharma. Pakṣika is the Pali pakkhika or pakkhiya. These dharmas, which in Abhidamma, e.g. Vism. 678, are given as 37 in number, are identical with the bojjhaṅgas (bodhyaṅgas). They are referred to, but not enumerated in the older texts. (See Mrs. Rhys Davids in introduction to Vibhaṅga, xiv.) The term pakṣika has been taken to be a derivative of pakṣa, and has accordingly been rendered either “being on the side of” or “forming the wings of.” (See Har Dayal: The Bodhisattva doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature, pp. 80-81.) This interpretation seems to be borne out by the fact that in BSk. the forms bodhipakṣa and °pakṣya are more frequent than °pakṣika. At the same time, as the word pakkhika does definitely occur in the older Pali texts, it cannot be regarded as certain that the term as well as the complete formula originated among the Sanskritists or quasi-Sanskrists, as Har Dayal maintains (p. 81). There is every possibility that the Pali pakkhika is more original, and the etymology of this, viz. from pakkha, Sk. suffix °prakhya, “like,” “resembling” would seem to suit its application in this formula better than the derivation from pakṣa,“wing,” or “side.” For then bodhipakṣikadharma would mean a “bodhi-like quality or condition.” On this supposition all the BSk. forms are due to a wrong Sanskritisation of the Pali pakkha, pakkhika.

171.

Utthāna, Pali uṭṭhāna, often synonymous with vīrya (viriya).

172.

Miss I. B. Horner remarks that in Pali sīla, “morality” usually takes the place of sati (smṛti) in this series.

173.

Vimuktijñānadarśana, cf. Pali vimuttiñāṇa-dassana, S. 1. 139.

174.

Pratibhāna, Pali paṭibhāna. For a discussion of this term see Pts. of Controversy, p. 378.

175.

Pūrvotpāda, see p. 245, n. 3.

176.

Reading yugyotpāda for yugotpāda, see p. 245, n. 4.

177.

Praṇidhipūrvotpāda.

178.

Reading niśraya for niḥśreya, as in the two parallel lists pp. 259, 280 (text).

179.

Upacaya. It is not likely that this word has here the technical sense it has in the expression rūpassa upacaya, “integration of form” (see S. Z. Aung and Mrs. Rhys Davids)">Cpd. 253, Dhs. trsl. 195). The corresponding item in the list on p. 259 (text) is upadhāna and on p. 280, upacāra, and, perhaps, the word should be emended into one of these.

180.

Upastambhanakuśala. The parallel passages pp. 259, 280 (text) have upastambhasampanna. Kuśala, “skilled in,” can thus be taken here as practically synonymous with sampanna, “endowed with.”

181.

Sambhāra, see p. 245, n. 7.

182.

Pañcāṅgikasamādhi. While late Buddhist Sanskrit texts had a tendency to multiply the number of samādhis indefinitely (see Har Dayal, op. cit., p. 234), Pali texts speak of only three and four kinds (see P.E.D.). Possibly the allusion here is to the five constituents or conditions of samādhi.

183.

The text has jñāti, “relative,” but from the point of view of enlightenment jñati is a hindrance, and is included among the ten palibodha (Vism. 94). Senart’s suggestion that jñāti must be a formation of jñā and not of jan is therefore plausible, and has been adopted in the translation. Possibly the allusion is to the five super knowledges (abhijñā). Equally likely it may be to some unknown division of the objects of knowledge. Pali texts know of a division into four (see P.E.D.).

184.

Ekāgramana. Cf. Pali ekaggatā. (See S. Z. Aung and Mrs. Rhys Davids)">Cpd. 16, 178, n. 3, 237, 240).

185.

Araṇāsampanna. The usage of araṇa shows confusion between two etymologies. It can mean “remote,” “solitary,” from root , whence Vedic araṇya and Pali arañña, and has so been rendered in Vol. I, p. 130 (see n. 3). It can also be regarded as a compound of a and raṇa, “fight,” and so mean peace. Araṇa° or araṇāvihārin in Pali, although the ending may imply an ablative in function of ārakā, “far from” (see P.E.D.) can still be indifferently rendered as “one who lives in seclusion” or “a harmless, peaceful person.” The long final ā of the Mhvu. example may point to the former sense, but the rendering “quietude” seems adequate to cover both ideas.

186.

Svayambhū. See Vol. I, p. 29, n. 9.

187.

Dharmatā, Pali dhammatā.

188.

Kṛtapuṇyatā, Pali katapuññatā (D. 3. 276).

189.

Beauty, varṇa, does not seem to be elsewhere reckoned among the accomplishments (sampadās).

190.

See p. 242, n. 4.

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