The Mahavastu (great story)

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

This page describes conversion of shariputra and maudgalyayana which is Chapter VIII 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 VIII - The conversion of Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana

Note: Cf. the account in V. 1.39ff.

Half a yojana from Rājagṛha there was a village named Nālandagrāmaka,[1] which was flourishing, rich and prosperous. In it there dwelt a brahman, who was the owner of great halls and was opulent, rich and wealthy, possessing an abundance of varied property, money, treasuries, granaries, gold, silver, means of luxury, elephants, horses, bulls, cows and goats, female and male slaves, and servants. This brahman had a brahman wife, named Śārī,[2] who was gracious and beautiful. The brāhmaṇī Śārī had seven sons, named Dharma, [Sudharma],[3] Upadharma, Śatadharma, Sahasradharma, Tiṣya, and Upatiṣya.[4] Six of them were established. The seventh and youngest, Upatiṣya, was as yet unestablished[5] and was a student of the Vedic mantras at the house of a guru.

Half a yojana from Rājagṛha was a village named Kolita-grāmaka, which was flourishing, rich and prosperous. In it there dwelt a brāhman, who was the owner of great halls and was opulent, rich and wealthy, possessing an abundance of money, treasuries and granaries, gold, silver, means of luxury, elephants, horses, bulls, cows and goats, female and male slaves, and servants. He was of the clan of Maudgalyāyana. He had a son named Kolita,[6] who was gracious, comely, clever, skilful and intelligent. He, too, was studying the Vedic mantras at the house of the guru where Upatiṣya and some five hundred other brāhman youths were studying.

(57) Kolita and Upatiṣya were ahead of all the others in mastering the Vedic mantras. They gave attention and obedience to their teacher, paid him his fees, and provided him with a sunshade, shoes, a staff, a water-pot[7] and a hempen cloak. These two were friends, being fond of and devoted to each other. Upatiṣya used to go from Nālanda to Kolitagrāmaka to visit Kolita, and Kolita would go from Kolita to Nālandagrāmaka to visit Upatiṣya.

Now at Rājagṛha there was annually[8] held a festival called the Mountain-top Assembly,[9] at which there were five hundred religious observances. For these five hundred religious observances there were five hundred parks, and all the five hundred parks were crowded with several thousands of people. There were hundreds of shows, hundreds of choruses, several hundreds of dancers, actors, athletes, wrestlers and minstrels, ḍimbaras,[10] valañjakas, and drummers.

Then the two rich brāhmans’ sons, Upatiṣya and Kolita, in chariots drawn by four horses yoked together by the neck, and attended by thousands of servants went to see the Mountain-top Assembly. The two were men who had merit and the root of goodness; who had excellent safeguard[11] in the service they had rendered to former perfect Buddhas, to Pratyekabuddhas[12] and to great disciples; who had scattered the seed of true service[13]; who had broken the bonds that tied them to rebirth, and who, through their attainment of Āryan states, were for that cause and reason living in their last existence. While the two were looking on at the Mountain-top Assembly, the basic condition of things was revealed to them in virtue of their long-standing root of goodness. For when Śāriputra saw that great crowd of people there arose in him the awareness of the impermanence of things. “In a hundred years,” thought he, “all this crowd will have ceased to exist because of their impermanence.” In Maud-galyāyana, too, when he saw that crowd laughing uproariously and throwing about their wreaths of ivory, (58) there arose the idea of the skeleton.[14]

Then Maudgalyāyana, seeing Śāriputra’s downcast countenance said,

Entrancing strains of lyre and notes of song issue from the crystalline bathing pool.[15] Enchanting and sweet sounds are heard. So be in love with life; why be downcast of countenance?

This is a time for gladness, not for sorrow. It is a time for delight; so do not breed discontent.[16] Hark to the chorus that is like to a chorus of the Apsarases, and be glad with this rejoicing throng of men.

But the young Śāriputra replied to the young Maudgalyāyana,

These are the ways of passion and wantonness. In life and its affairs what satisfaction is there either for the foolish or the wise?

Ere long all these poor devotees[17] who indulge in sensual pleasures will have to leave their bodies unsatisfied, and die. And their end will be ashes.

So it is, Maudgalyāyana, that the awareness of these things delights me not, and I have no joy therein. It is profound reflection exercised in my mind that gives me joy.[18]

It is time to live by dharma. For men and Kinnaras, Suras and A suras, will, though they live, if they have coveted the joys of the senses, go to destruction unsatisfied.

The dev as envy him who joyfully resorts to physical seclusion in the forest even at the time of his life when he could indulge in sensual excess.[19] (59) For the hard life he has taken up is that which is lived by the gods.[20]

The man who is equable in joys and sorrows, in prosperity and adversity, the man whom soothsayers speak well of, such a man would I, the son of Śārī, become.

Then the young Śāriputra said to the young Maudgalyāyana, “The religious life appeals to me, and I shall embrace it.” Maudgalyāyana replied, “What you desire that do I, too, desire. I also shall take to the religious life,” and he added,

The way desired by you seems good[21] to me also. It would be better to die with you than to live without you.

Now at that time in the city of Rājagṛha, in the Wanderers’ Retreat, there dwelt a Wanderer[22] named Sañjayin Vairaṭīputra,[23]with a company of fifty Wanderers. So the young Sāriputra and Maudgalyāyana went to the Wanderers’ Retreat and embraced the religious life in the company of the Wanderer Sañjayin Vairaṭīputra. Śāriputra mastered all the rules of the Wanderers after being a Wanderer for a week, and Maudgalyāyana did so in a fortnight. But then they said, “This is not the dharma of the way out which, for him who practises it, conduces to the cessation of ill. So let us go separate ways and let us seek the well-preached discipline of the dharma that conduces to the cessation of ill. That one of us[24] who first (hears[25]) the well-preached discipline of the dharma is to preach it to the other. Then we shall together take up the religious life in the discipline of the Āryan dharma.” Then, having recited the rules of the Wanderers, they entered Rājagṛha, Śāriputra by one road and Maudgalyāyana by another.

(60) Now at that time the Exalted One having stayed as long as he wanted to in the park Yaṣṭīvana,[26] which was on the Antarāgiri[27] hill, went to the Bamboo Grove[28] and stayed there in the Squirrels’ Feeding-place[29] with a great company of thirteen and a half hundred monks. Then the venerable Upasena[30] dressed himself betimes, and taking his bowl and robe went on his alms-round in the city of Rājagṛha. And Śāriputra from a distance saw the venerable Upasena coming, courteous in his manner of approaching and taking his leave, of looking forward and around, of extending and withdrawing his hand, and of carrying his cloak, bowl and robe.[31] 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 the dharma. He did not look before him farther than a plough’s length. And Śāriputra, “seeing him”, kept his mind exceeding calm. “Lovely,” said he, “is the deportment of this religious man. What if I were now to approach him?”

Then the Wanderer Śāriputra went up to the venerable Upasena, and having exchanged cordial and courteous greetings with him stood to one side. And as the Wanderer Śāriputra thus stood to one side, he said to the venerable Upasena, “Sir, are you a Master or a disciple?” The venerable Upasena replied to the Wanderer Śāriputra, “Venerable sir, I am a disciple.” The venerable Wanderer Śāriputra asked the venerable Upasena, “What, sir, is your master’s doctrine? What does he preach? How does he teach dharma to his disciples? What kind of exhortation and instruction does he generally employ among his disciples?” The venerable Upasena replied to the Wanderer Śāriputra, “I have but little learning, venerable sir. I can only formulate the general sense of his teaching.”[32] But the Wanderer Śāriputra said to the venerable Upasena,

I am concerned with the sense, what matters the letter? For he who teaches: the sense knows the sense, and seeks to do good thereby.

(61) We, too, for many a day have borne such a profitless burden of words and text,[33] and ere this have been many a time deceived.[34]

The venerable Upasena said to the Wanderer Śāriputra, “The Master enjoins renunciation by illustrating[35] the arising of things from a cause.” And thereupon as he stood on that spot of earth, the Wanderer Śāriputra attained the faultless, flawless, pure dharma-insight into things.

Then Śāriputra, the Wanderer, having attained the dharma, given up false belief, overcome doubt, rid himself of perplexity, upright, gentle and supple of heart, prone and inclined to nirvana,[36] asked the venerable Upasena, “Where is the Master staying?” The venerable Upasena answered the Wanderer Śāriputra and said, “The Master is in the Squirrels’ Feeding-place in the Bamboo Grove.” And when he had thus spoken the venerable Upasena went on his alms-round in the city of Rājagṛha.

The Wanderer Śāriputra went to the Wanderer Maudgalyā-yana. And Maudgalyāyana saw Śāriputra when he was still some way off, with a countenance like the lotus and his senses serene. And seeing him thus he said to the Wanderer Śāriputra, “Friend Śāriputra, your countenance is pure and clear, and your senses serene. Have you, O venerable Śāriputra, found the immortal and the Way that leads to the immortal? Your countenance is that of a religious man,[37] clear like the blossoming lotus. Serene and calm are your senses. Where did you obtain the immortal whereby there has been shed over you this two-fold shining and bright blaze of radiance?”

(62) When this had been said, the Wanderer Śāriputra said to Maudgalyāyana, “Yes, O venerable Maudgalyāyana, I have found the immortal and the Way that leads to the immortal.”

A Light of the World is arisen, one of the glorious Buddhas of whom we are taught that they appear as rarely as the flower of the glomerous fig-tree.[38]

The Wanderer Maudgalyāyana asked the Wanderer Śāriputra, “O venerable Śāriputra, what does the Master teach and what does he preach?” The Wanderer Śāriputra answered and said,

The Tathāgata has proclaimed the cause and also the cessation of all the things that proceed from a cause. This is the Great Recluse’s doctrine.[39]

Thereupon the Wanderer Maudgalyāyana, as he stood on that spot of earth, attained the faultless, flawless, pure dharma-insight into things. Having attained the dharma, he gave up false beliefs, overcame doubt, rid himself of perplexity, became exultant in mind and heart, gentle and supple of heart, immersed in thoughts of nirvana, prone and inclined to nirvana.

Then the Wanderer Maudgalyāyana asked the Wanderer Śāriputra, “Where, O venerable Śāriputra, is the Master staying?” Śāriputra replied, “Venerable friend, the Master is staying in the Squirrels’ Feeding-place in the Bamboo Grove, with a large company of thirteen and a half hundred monks. Let us go and tell our master Sañjayin that we are going to live the religious life under the Exalted One in the Bamboo Grove.” Then the Wanderer Maudgalyāyana (63) said to the Wanderer Śāriputra, “Do you go, venerable Śāriputra, to the Bamboo Grove. What have we[40] to do with Sañjayin and his corrupt belief?” But Śāriputra said, “Not so, O venerable Maudgalyāyana, Sañjayin has done us a great service since it is through him[41] that we gave up the life of householders.”

So they went to the Wanderers’ Retreat and said to Sañjayin, “We are going to live the religious life under the exalted Great Recluse.” The Wanderer Sañjayin replied to the Wanderers Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana, saying, “Do not, my friends, go and live the religious life under Gotama. Here I have five hundred monks, so do you share with me the superintendence of them.”[42] They replied, “No, for we are going to live the religious life under the exalted Great Recluse. The discipline of the dharma has been well preached by the Exalted One, revealed[43] and stripped of its swathings.[44] We have had enough of disbelief in the Beneficent One.”[45]

When they had thus informed Sañjayin, they left the Wanderers’ Retreat and made for the Bamboo Grove. And the five hundred Wanderers went along with the Wanderers Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana. Sañjayin said to Śāriputra, “Upatiṣya[46] leaves me, and takes with him not one only of these, nor two, nor three nor even four, but the whole five hundred.”

At the Bamboo Grove the Exalted One gave instructions to his monks, saying, “Make seats ready. Here are the Wanderers Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana coming, with a company of five hundred Wanderers, to live the religious life under the Tathāgata. They will be my chief pair of disciples, a goodly pair, the one eminent for his wisdom and the other for his magic power.”

The Wanderer Śāriputra, when he was still some way off, saw the Exalted One (64) in the Bamboo Grove moving about, honoured and attended by a great crowd, teaching the dharma which is lovely at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end, good in sense and expression, absolutely perfect, pure, clean, holy and illuminating. He was endowed with the thirty-two marks of excellence and his person was radiant with the eighty minor characteristics. He was endowed with the eighteen special attributes[47] of a Buddha, strong with the ten powers of a Tathāgata, and assured on the four grounds of assurance. His faculties and mind were controlled, and he had attained the perfection of supreme self-control and calm. He was like a Nāga. He had accomplished his task. His faculties were turned inwards; his mind was not turned outwards, being well-established, in conformity with the dharma, and upright. He looked before him no farther than a plough’s length. He was like a Nāga with his faculties guarded and subdued. He was like a pool of water, clear, pure and serene. He stood like a bejewelled sacrificial post; like the shining golden bimba[48]; like a flame of fire, ablaze with glory; like another rising sun, unclouded[49] and invincible. Released by insight, he was surrounded by those who were released[50]; self-controlled, he was surrounded by those who were self-controlled; having crossed, he was surrounded by those who had crossed; having reached the shore beyond, he was surrounded by those who had reached the shore beyond; having gained firm ground, he was surrounded by those who had gained firm ground; having won peace, he was surrounded by those who had won peace; a recluse, he was surrounded by recluses; being beyond evil, he was surrounded by those who were beyond evil; a brahman, he was surrounded by brahmans; a learned man,[51] he was surrounded by learned men; having bathed, he was surrounded by those who had bathed; being beyond the states of sin, he was surrounded by those who were beyond the states of sin.

Then the Wanderers Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana, accompanied by the five hundred, approached the Exalted One, and having bowed their heads at his feet stood to one side. And as he thus stood to one side the Wanderer Śāriputra said to the Exalted One,

These have dwelt in the water of the ocean, in mountain cave, in glade and wood. A long time have they surely dwelt among false sectarians, through lack of sight of thee, O Sage.

But now have they turned from the wrong ways and have crossed over in faith to thy way, O great Caravan-leader. They have traversed the thicket of rebirth, and now, strong and wise and passionless, they are no longer moved by lust.

The Wanderers Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana said to the Exalted One, “Let the Exalted One admit us as recluses.[52] (65) Let the Sugata ordain us.” Then the Exalted One, with the formula of “Come, monks,” ordained[53] the Wanderers Śāri-putra and Maudgalyāyana and the five hundred other Wanderers. “Come, monks,” said he, “live the religious life under the Tathāgata.” And when the formula of “Come, monks” had been pronounced over them, every mark of a Wanderer, every badge,[54] every emblem, and every sign disappeared from all of them. They were seen to have the three robes, sumbhaka[55] bowls, their hair in its natural state, and their deportment established, all just like those of monks who had been ordained a hundred years. Such was the admission and ordination of the venerable Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana and the five hundred Wanderers accompanying them.

Then the venerable Śāriputra asked the Exalted One, “When we say that a thing manifests itself, what is it that is manifested?[56] When we say a thing endures, what is it that endures?[57] When we say a thing is broken up, what is that which is broken up? When we say a thing is reconstituted, what is it that is reconstituted?”[58]

The Exalted One replied to the venerable Śāriputra, “It is the four elements,[59] Śāriputra. When we say that things are manifested, we mean that the four elements are manifested.[60] When we say that things endure,[61] we mean that the four elements endure. When we say that things are broken up, we mean that the four elements are broken up. When we say that things are reconstituted, we mean that the four elements are reconstituted.”[62]

Next the venerable Śāriputra asked the Exalted One, “Lord, from what cause[63] is a thing born?[64] From what cause does a thing endure? From what cause is it broken up? From what cause is it reconstituted?” The Exalted One replied to the venerable Śāriputra, “From what cause, Śāriputra, is a thing born? It is because of ignorance, craving and karma; that is why, Śāriputra, a thing is born. Why does it endure? It endures because of the karma of life[65] and of the sustenance it gets.[66] Why, Śāriputra, is it broken up? It is broken up because of the decay of life, of karma and because of the deprivation of sustenance. Why, Śāriputra, is it reconstituted? It is reconstituted through the nonelimination of ignorance and because of subjection to craving, and so it has a maturing karma.[67] (66) That is why, Śāriputra, a thing is reconstituted. From what cause, Śāriputra, is a thing not reconstituted? It is because of the elimination of ignorance, because of the ending of craving; there is here no karma and no maturing of it. It is from this cause, Śāriputra, that there is no reconstitution.

“When the eye, an inward āyatana,[68] is unimpaired, then form, an outward āyatana, becomes clear to the eye.[69] As a result of this there is produced an accession of what is pleasing and delicious,[70] joy, ease and satisfaction, and the faculties are gratified. But, Śāriputra, the states which causally produce the joy, ease and satisfaction and gratify the faculties, being causally begotten, developed, perfected and experienced, and causally arisen, are not the self nor belonging to the self; but are void of self and of anything belonging to the self. And so, somewhere or other, there arises karma and the maturing of karma, and cause and the states that are produced from a cause. It is the same with regard to hearing, smell taste, body and mind, Śāriputra. When the inward āyatana is unimpaired, the objects which are the outward āyatanas become clear to the mind. As a result of this there is produced an accession of what is pleasing and delicious, joy, ease and satisfaction, and the faculties are gratified. But, Śāriputra, the states which causally produce this joy, ease and satisfaction and gratify the faculties, being causally begotten, developed, perfected and experienced, and causally arisen, are not the self nor belonging to the self; they are void of self and of anything belonging to the self. And thus, somewhere or other, there arises karma, the maturing of karma, cause, and the states that are produced from a cause.”

Thus spoke the Exalted One. And while this exposition was being given, (67) the hearts of Śāriputra, Maudgalyāyana and the hundreds of monks with them were completely rid of the āśravas. Seven days after being ordained the venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana attained power and control over magic and realised the four branches of logical analysis,[71] while a fortnight after he had been a monk and ordained the venerable Śāriputra attained control over the superknowledges[72] and realised the four branches of logical analysis. And the venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana had not been a monk and ordained for long before he realised the three knowledges: [73] the deva eye,[74] recollection of former lives, and the decay of the āśravas. Such is the tradition.

Here is to be supplied[75] the Sūtra[76] of the Wanderer Dīrghanakha.

Footnotes and references:

1.

“The commentators say that Upatissa was the name of his (Śāriputra’s)” village and that he was the eldest son of the chief family in the village,m but other accounts give his village as Nālaka.” (D.P.N.)

2.

In DhA. 2. 84, 188, we are told that Vaṅgata was Śāriputra’s father and Rūpasārī his mother.

3.

Omitted from text. Senart supplies this name from Beal: Romantic Legend, p. 324.

4.

DhA. 2. 188, gives Śāriputra three younger brothers, Cunda, Upasena, and Revata (afterwards called Khadiravanīya), and three sisters, Cālā, Upacālā and Sisūpacālā. See D.P.N.

5.

Aniviṣṭaka. Sc. in brāhmanism.

6.

I.e., after the village.

7.

aṇḍalūkha, BSk. (?). Pali and Sk. kamaṇḍalu.

8.

Samasamam. Cf. DhA. 1. 89, where the festival is described as being anusamvaccharam. It is also said to be held “from time to time”, kālānukālam, see D.P.N.

9.

Giriyagrasamāja, Pali Giraggasamajja. At AvŚ. 2. 24, the Sanskrit form of the name is Girivaggusamāgama. For references to this festival see Dial. 1.7; VT. 3.71; I. B. Horner: Bk of Disc., 2. 333; D.P.N., and P.E.D. The Mhvu. is alone in defining the festival as consisting “of five hundred religious observances” (pañcānāṃ tapośatānām). There does not seem to be much doubt about the reading, but the exact sense of this definition is obscure. Senart leaves it unexplained. The same phrase occurs in the next sentence in the instrumental case, pañcahi tapośatehi, which can only be interpreted as an instrumental (for locative) absolute “during these 500 religious observances.” Such an adverbial expression of time however, does not fit in well in a substantival sentence like “there were parks”, so that this second occurrence of the phrase does not help at all in clearing up the obscurity. At the same time, it must be borne in mind that, however much the festival had been secularised at the time of our texts, and become practically a pleasure fair, there can be no doubt that its original nature was religious. While the orthodox Buddhist monks were prohibited from attending it (V. 2.107, 4.267), recalcitrants like the Chabbaggiyas and the Sattarasavaggiyas were clearly active participants (D.P.N.) This, too, may explain why on p. 58 (text) Śāriputra dubs the participants munisā (see note there.) Edgerton (B.H.S.D. s.v. Tapoda) makes the very interesting suggestion that for tapo- we should read tapoda-, and understand the allusion to be to the hot-water lake called Tapoda (Pali Tapodā) just outside Rājagṛha below the Vebhāra mountain (see D.P.N.) This would make pañcahi tapodaśatehi give what is perhaps a reasonable sense, “At these five hundred warm springs there were five hundred parks.” But the genitive expression pañcānāṃ tapodaśatānām remains as difficult of explanation as the original one in Senart’s text. The only translation possible, “The festival called Mountain-top Gathering, of five hundred warm springs,” (so Edgerton) is far from intelligible. Besides we nowhere hear of five hundred springs here, but only of one lake.

10.

Some kind of entertainer (B.H.S.D.), and so, presumably is valañjaka, but this latter word, which seems to occur only here, is not given in any dictionary. Possibly the compoun ḍimbaravalañjaka should be analysed differently.

11.

Reading varaparīttāgra for parīttagṛhā. As Senart says, parītta is the equivalent of Pali paritta (pari-trā) “protection”, “safeguard”, “protective charm”, etc. For the sentiment cf. J. 1.396, paccekabuddhehi parittaṃ karāpeti, “makes them find a safeguard through the Paccekabuddhas”. See also B.H.S.D.

12.

See vol. 1. p. 40, n. 3. In the Mhvu. the indirect object is here expressed by the locative.

13.

?Uptasatyādhikārā, upta being from vap, “to sow”.

14.

Asthīsaṃjñā, cf. Pali aṭṭhisaññā, Thag. 18, and aṭṭhikasaññā, S. 5. 129; A. 2. 17; Dhs. 264 See B.H.S.D. for BSk. references, which, however, do not include the present one.

15.

Tripuṣkarasphoṭikasāryamānā. Sphoṭika is difficult. It has been assumed here that it is for sphāṭika, “made of crystal”, with reference either to the material of certain parts of the pool, e.g., the stairs, or to the “crystal-clear” water. Edgerton (B.H.S.D.), however, s.v. tripuṣkara, gives the whole compound a different interpretation. He takes tripuṣkara in its meaning of drum (with triple drum-skin, cf. 2. 201, text), but leaves sphoṭika unexplained, only querying whether it means “rattle” or is the name of some unknown musical instrument. The compound, however, is clearly an adjective qualifying tantrīsvaragītaghosā, “strains of lute and sounds of song” and it is hardly proper to speak of these as emanating from or being emitted by any kind of drum.

16.

The text aratiṃ janāhi requires the insertion of a negative, or the omission of the negative prefix a in aratim.

17.

Munisā, if the text is correct, can only be for muniśā, pl. of the adj. muniśa (from munis), here used as a substantive probably with a pejorative force, hence “poor”.

18.

The text is obscure here. It reads, vipulā pratimā caiva bhāvitā matiyā. The translation above assumes, possibly without warrant, a figurative use of pratimā. “a (material) image or reflection”, in the sense of “a mental reflection”. Senart sees in it an allusion to the upamās or “similitudes” e.g., vol. 2. pp. 117ff., and he translates:” Mais la grande comparaison (que m’inspire ce spectacle) méditée en esprit, c’est là ce qui me charme.”

19.

Literally, “having come to the time for intoxication”, madahālopagata.

20.

Marucīrṇa.

21.

Rocati, Pali only (?) in this sense. Sk. rocate; BSk. rucyati, ruccati.

22.

Parivrājaka, Pali, paribbājaka.

23.

V. 1.39 and DhA. 1.89, call him simply Sañjaya. Elsewhere in Pali texts he is called Sañjaya-Belaṭṭhiputta, being, as Buddhaghosa (DA. 1. 144) says, the son of Belaṭṭha. Divy. 143, 145 calls him Sañjayin Vairaṭṭīputra. He was “one of the six famous heretical teachers of the Buddha’s day. He was a great sceptic, his teaching being the evasion of problems and the suspension of judgment.” (D.P.N.)

24.

Mam, gen. pl.! Only in the Mhvu. See Edgerton (Gram. §20. 58), who, however, doubts the correctness of Senart’s restoration of the text in some of the passages which show this form.

25.

Lacuna; the translation is supplied from the context.

26.

Called Laṭṭhivana and Laṭṭhivanuyyāna in Pali. It is called Yaṣṭīvana, as here, in Chinese. See Beal, p. 145. (D.P.N.)

27.

Or Antagiri, near Rājagṛha. Neither form in Pali (B.H.S.D.)

28.

Veṇuvana. See vol. 1. p. 210, n. 4.

29.

Kalandakanivāpa. Ibid. n. 3.

30.

In the Piṭakas Śāriputra was converted by Assaji, not by Upasena. See D.P.N.

31.

In vol. 1, p. 250 this and the rest is the description of the demeanour of a Pratyekabuddha. It is, in fact, the stock description of the calm demeanour of a self-controlled and self-possessed ascetic or monk. Cf. e.g. V. 1.39 and D. 1.70.

32.

Arthamātraṇi kalpeyam. Cf. V. i. 40, saṃkhit?ena atthaṃ vakkhāmi.

33.

Grantha, Pali gantha, only late in the sense of book.

34.

Vañcitā pūrvaṃ vañcitā.

35.

Upādāya, “with reference to.”

36.

Nirvāṇapravaṇa nirvāṇaprāgbhāra.

37.

Reading pravrājitasya, “of one who has gone forth”, for the prāvṛtasya of the text, a reading which naturally forces Senart to wonder what the point is of mentioning that Śāriputra was “clothed”. The emendation cannot, however, be regarded as certain. A MS. variant is vṛttajya.

38.

The construction here is difficult: Yo so ... buddhā utpadyanti ... utpanno lokapradyoto, where singular and plural are in apposition. For this comparison of the rarity of Buddhas to the rarity of the blossoming of this fig-tree, see vol. 1, p. 190, n. 1.

39.

Identical with couplet at V. 1.40.

40.

Literally, “what is there to us (of us = mam gen. pl.) in the sight of (or in seeing) Sañjayin,” kiṃ, maṃ Saṃjayinā... dṛṣṭena.

41.

Yam āgamya, Pali āgamma. See Vol. 1, p. 198, n. 2.

42.

Literally, “be half the superintendents of”, ardhaparihārā. Parihāra is the substantive corresponding to pariharati in the Pali and BSk. sense of “to take care of”, etc. Cf. V. x. 42, sabbevatayo imaṃ gaṇaṃ pariharissāma. See B.H.S.D. for BSk. references.

43.

The text has vivṛtodaya, that is, vivṛta-udaya, where udaya is inexplicable and probably a mistake, unless we are to understand that the dharma is said to be “arising revealed”. The corresponding stock passage in Pali, however, has vivaṭa only.

44.

Reading chinnapilotiko for chinnā pilotikā of the text. Cf. chinnapilotiko dhammo, M. 1. 141 and 5. 2. 28. The translation of the expression is that given by Mrs. Rhys Davids at the latter place (= KS. 2. 24.). For pilotika see p. 49 n. 10.

45.

Alamarthikasya aprasādena. Arthika is an epithet of the Buddha at Vol. 2 p. 284 text (see Vol. 2, p. 267, trans.) Edgerton (B.H.S.D.), after pointing out that this usage seems to be unknown in Pali, says that the word perhaps means “in possession of,” “having attained his aim.” But it may equally well mean “one who brings what is good or profitable,” hence “beneficent.”

46.

I.e., Śāriputra, see p. 57.

47.

Āveṇikā buddhadharmā. See vol. 1, p. 33, n. 4.

48.

The red fruit of Momordica monadelpha, a species of amaranth.

49.

Literally, “unmixed,” asecanaka from a and sic “to pour.” At Vol. 1. p. 194 the MSS. vary between āsecanaka and asecanaka. See M.W. on both forms. The latter is the Pali and BSk. form.

50.

Muktaparivāra. With this passage compare D. 3.54; M. 1. 235, 280.

51.

Śrotriya, cf. Pali sottiya and sotthiya.

52.

Pravrājetu mām.

53.

Literally “addressed them with the (formula of) “come, monks,” ehibhikṣukāye ābhāśe.

54.

?Gupta, cf. gṛhigupti, Vol. 2. p. 234 (p. 221, n. 4 of trans., where the rendering “safeguard” is perhaps too vague). Gupti is the better reading. “Sign” is also offered as a better (though still very doubtful) rendering of kalpa, instead of “usage” as in Vol. 2.

55.

In this stereotyped passage sumbhaka appears as an adjective qualifying patra, and once (Vol. 3, p. 459) even as a substantive synonymous with it. Though its etymology and exact meaning are unknown, the persistence with which it occurs in this formula shows that it cannot be regarded as a mistake for kumbhaka, as was done in Vol. 2 of this translation. Yet it is strange that it is not found outside the Mhvu. See Edgerton’s discussion in B.H.S.D.

56.

Literally, “What making itself known is made known?” Kim... prajñapentam (so reading for-to) prajñapeti? The causal verb prajñapeti (Pali paññāpeti) and its participle are here used in a neuter or middle sense. The “being manifested,” of course, is only another aspect of “being known.” Cf. the definition of paññati at S. Z. Aung and Mrs. Rhys Davids)">Cpd. 4, where it is said that it is “either (1) that which makes known (paññāpeti) or (2) that which is made known.” “Being manifested” further implies “being designated.”

See, e.g., 5. 3. 101, where the four great elements are said to be the cause of the designation of the body-group in just the same way as they are in this passage said to be the cause of the “being manifested.”

(Ko no khu bhante hetu ko paccayo rūpakkhandhassa paññāpanāya... cattāro kho bhikkhu mahābhūtā hetu cattāro mahābhūtā paccayo rūpakkhandhassa paññāpanāya.)

Senart, however, prefers to see in prajñapeti here a figurative use of its application in the phrase āsanam prajñapeti, “to set out a seat,” and he translates, “‘qu’est ce qui a de l’étendue?” But the Buddhists expressed the idea of extension by a totally different word, pṛthivī, paṭhavī, see, e.g., S. Z. Aung and Mrs. Rhys Davids)">Cpd. 155. See B.H.S.D. for BSk references.

57.

Literally, “what standing, stands?” kiṃ tiṣṭhamānaṃ tiṣṭhati.

58.

Paṭisandhentaṃ paṭisandheti, causal in neuter or middle sense. Also pratisaṃdadhāti, Pali paṭisaṃdahati, “connects (with a new body)” B.H.S.D.

59.

Catvāro dhātavas. Here dhātavas corresponds to the mahābhūtā of the passage cited in n. 4. p. 67. The latter seems to be the Pali term mostly used in this connection, but at M. 1.185 we have an interchange of the two expressions in the same passage. Cf. Dhs. trsl. p. 198, n.

60.

The text is more concise here, catvāro Śāriputra dhātavas prajñapentā prajñapenti, “the four elements, Śāriputra, are made manifest when they are manifested.” And so for the other replies.

61.

Or, “are standing” tiṣṭhamānāvo. With apparently this sole exception Senart emends all the MSS. forms having nom. -acc. in -āvo into āyo, a better authenticated BSk. inflexion, until he comes to p. 149 of this volume, when he expresses regret at having done so. For the form see Edgerton, Gram. §9.93.

62.

This exposition is referred to as the Dhātukammaṭṭhāna at DhA. 1.96.

63.

Kimpratyayā, abl. for -āt.

64.

Jāyati. This question is omitted in the text, obviously by an oversight, for Senart comments on it in his notes, using this form of the verb. In the repetition, he prints jāyati “is born”, “is produced It is to be noted that, if Senart’s text is correct, a departure has been made from the run of the argument. The first of the questions at issue was as to the nature or cause of “manifestation” or “being known.” There is much to be said, therefore, for reading jñāyati “is known” instead of jāyati, and rendering “from what cause is a thing known,” i.e. “manifested,” with the implication that the “production” of a thing is synonymous with the “manifestation” of it.

65.

Āyuḥkarma.

66.

Āhārapratyayā. Cf. S. 3. 59, āhārasamudayā rūpasamudayo “from the arising of food, is the arising of body.”

67.

Karmaṃ cāsya bhavati pakvam.

68.

Cakṣus... ādhyātmikamāyatanam, where the two expressions are in apposition, just as bāhiram āyatanam is in apposition to rūpa in the next clause. Āyatana is usually rendered “sphere” (of perception), but no English word fully exhausts its connotation. See Mrs. Rhys Davids’ remarks at S. Z. Aung and Mrs. Rhys Davids)">Cpd. 183, 256. As is suggested by the present passage, the word denotes at one and the same time the activity or function of both the percipient and the perceived in a single act of perception. Miss I. B. Horner calls the translator’s attention to the remarks of Nyanatiloka in his Buddhist Dictionary (1950), p. 23, where he says “the visible object (rūpāyatana) is in Vbh. (p. 70 ff.) described as ‘that phenomenon which is built up of the four elements (mahābhūta) and appears as colour, etc.’ That, namely, which is seen by the visual perception, i.e. by the so-called eye-consciousness (cakkhu-viññāṇa), are colours and differences of light, but no tri-dimensional bodily things.” Cf. Dhs. §617.

69.

Cakṣuṣaḥ ābhāsamāgatam bhavati, “becomes what has come to (be) a light (appearance) of (for) the eye.”

70.

Manāpāsecanasamutthānakaṃ tasya tato nidānaṃ utpadyati.

71.

Pratisaṃvida also -vid, -vidā, BSk., Pali paṭisambhidā. According to P.E.D. “the BSk. form is a new formation resting on a confusion between bhid and vid, favoured by the use and meaning of the latter root in Pali paṭisaṃvidita.” The term is discussed at Kvu. trsl., 377-382.

72.

Abhijñā. See Vol. I, p. 84, n. 3; p. 201, n. 2.

73.

Vidyā. See p. 55 n. 3.

74.

See Vol. I, p. 53; p. 125, n. 1.

75.

Or, “inserted”. kartavyam.

76.

The sūtra is not given here, however. A version of it is given in M. 1.497ff. According to D.P.N. Dīrghanakha was a nephew of Śāriputra, but Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) points out that no source for this statement is given, and he goes on to say that according to Av. 2.186 and M.S.V. 4.22. Dīrghanakha was an uncle of Śāriputra.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: