The Mahavastu (great story)

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

This page describes buddha’s visit to kapilavastu which is Chapter X 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 X - The Buddha’s Visit to Kapilavastu

Then the Wanderer Sañjayin Vairaṭiputra made an announcement in a square in the city of Rājagṛha, in the place for proclamations.[1]

Gotama the recluse has come to Girivraja[2] of the Māgadhans, leading all the followers of Sañjayin with him. Whom will he lead now, I wonder?

The monks reported this to the Exalted One and he replied,

It is by means of the true dharma that the great heroes, the Tathāgatas, lead people. Who that understands will carp at those who are led by the dharma ?[3]

When the Exalted One, perfectly enlightened, had realised the end he had set out to reach, he stayed in Rājagṛha, a Teacher of devas and men. And the Śākyan men and women of Kapilavastu heard that the Exalted One, having set rolling the excellent wheel of dharma, was staying in Rājagṛha and leading a life of service to devas and men. (91) The Śākyans of Kapilavastu approached King Śuddhodana and said to him, “Your majesty, the Exalted One, having awakened to the supreme perfect enlightenment and set rolling the excellent wheel of dharma, is staying in Rājagṛha and leading a life of service to devas and men. Well would it be, your majesty, to send a messenger to the Exalted One. He has shown compassion to devas and men. Well would it be if he showed compassion to his own people.” King Śuddhodana replied, “So be it. Let a message be sent to him.”

The Śākyans then reflected, “Who will be a fitting and proper messenger to send to the Exalted One?” And they said to Śuddhodana, “Your majesty, Chandaka here was the Exalted One’s attendant when he was a young prince, and his comrade when he left home. Udāyin, too, the priest’s son, was the young comrade of the Exalted One when he was a young prince, and played at making mud-pies with him.[4] Let these two be sent.”[5]

These two were then summoned. “Go, Chandaka and Kālodāyin,” they were told, “to Rājagṛha, into the presence of the Exalted One. Greet him and say to him, ‘The Exalted One has shown compassion to devas and men. Well would it be if the Exalted One showed compassion to his own people.’ And whatever the Exalted One tell you, that do.”

And they in obedience to King Śuddhodana left the city of Kapilavastu and in due course reached the Squirrels’ Feeding-place in the Bamboo Grove in Rājagṛha. They approached the Exalted One, bowed their heads at his feet and stood to one side. The Exalted One said to them, “Chandaka and Kālodāyin, why have you[6] come?” They replied and said, “We would conduct the Exalted One to Kapilavastu.”

And the Exalted One in that circumstance, on that occasion, at that opportunity and at that moment uttered these verses on dharma.[7]

Whose triumph does not wane,[8] whose triumph Māra[9] cannot overcome,[10] the Buddha whose range is infinite, who knows no wordly way,[11] along what way will you lead him?

(92) Who has destroyed the snare, craving, that it can no longer lead him anywhere, the Buddha of infinite range who knows no wordly way, along what way will you lead him?

The Exalted One then asked them, “Chandaka and Kālodāyin, will you take up the religious life?” And though they were not eager to do so, yet since they had been instructed by King Śuddhodana to do whatever the Exalted One told them, and although they did not see there any yellow robes or a barber to cut their hair and shave off their beards, they reverently and against their will said to the Exalted One, “We will take up the religious life.”

Then the Exalted One pronounced over them the formula of “Come, monks,” saying, “Monks Chandaka and Kālodāyin come, and live the brahma-life under the Tathāgata.” And when the formula of “Come, monks” had been pronounced over them every mark of a layman, every badge, every emblem and every sign disappeared from their persons. A suit of three robes appeared, and a sumbhaka[12] bowl; their hair assumed its natural state, and their deportment was established, all just like those of monks who had been ordained a hundred years. Such was the admission of the venerable Chandaka and Kālodāyin into the religious life, their ordination and their becoming monks.

From the time that he had left home, from the time that he had attained the supreme perfect enlightenment, a period of seven years, the Exalted One had not known his native place, had not sat down with his face turned towards it even[13] for as long as it takes a man to breathe in and out once. At the end of those seven years near relations of his among the Śākyans of Kapilavastu who had passed away from their human state and had, as a maturing of good karma, been reborn in the world of devas, implored the Exalted One, saying, “The Exalted One has taken compassion on devas and men. Well would it be if the Exalted One took compassion on his own people. It is time for the Exalted One to take compassion on his own people.” The Exalted One silently intimated his assent to those devas. And they, understanding the silent assent of the Exalted One, (93) in joy and elation bowed their heads at his feet, saluted him from the right and forthwith vanished.

The Exalted One then arranged his seat so that he faced his native place. And the venerable Udāyin, understanding the sign thus given by the Exalted One, thought, “Since the Exalted One has arranged his seat to face Kapilavastu, he is eager to take compassion on it.” Then he appealed to the Exalted One.[14]

Do ye now listen with rapt attention how, with bent knees and bowed head Kālodāyin implored the infinite One, the peerless Conqueror who needs no guide.

Now have the crimson trees, Lord, shed their mantle of old leaves to make ready for fruit.[15] They are radiant as though they were aflame. The season, great Hero, is rich with the promise of succulent fruit.[16]

The delightful groves are all in bloom and breathe sweet odours all around. Shedding their flowers the trees clothe themselves with fruit.[17] It is time, O Master, to go hence.

It is not too cold nor too hot; but it will be[18] seasonably pleasant for thee on thy way. Let the Koliyans and the Śākyans behold thy face as stars behold Rohiṇī.[19]

(94) Then the Exalted One described to the venerable Śāriputra the journey of the exalted Śikhin.[20]

It was a sublime sight, Śāriputra, long ago ere this to see the world-leader Śikhin going on his journey.[21]

To whatever village or town the Leader came, everywhere there would be found plenty of water[22] that was considered most excellent.

To whatever village or town the Leader came, everywhere in all directions a pleasant park would greet him.

To whatever village or town the Leader came, trees covered with flowers all over their branches and trunks[23] exhaled their fragrance in all directions.

Whatever tree the Leader stood beneath produced radiant blossoms—it was a tree beyond compare.

Whatever tree the Leader stood beneath produced ripe fruit in all its parts.

Trees and flowers and fruits that are of this world[24] were seen in the way of the journey of Śikhin, the Leader of the world.

Trees and flowers and fruits that are not of this world[25] were seen in the way of the journey of Śikhin, the Leader of the world.

Then did the earth with the sea and the mountains quake when Śikhin, the Leader of the world, went on his journey.

Devas scattered flowers of the coral-tree when Śikhin, the Leader of the world, went on his journey, and[26] flowers of the great coral-tree, of the karkārava,[27] (95) of the great karkārava, of the rocamāna,[28] of the great rocamāna, of the manjūṣaka,[29] of the great manjūṣaka, of the bhīṣma,[30] of the great bhīṣma, of the samantagandha,[31] of the great samantagandha, and of the parijāta[32]; flowers of gold, silver and (96) precious stones; powder of sandal-wood, of aloe-wood, of keśara,[33] of tamāla[34] leaves and of celestial gems.

Thousands of koṭis of musical instruments were played in the sky when Śikhin, the Leader of the world, went on his journey.

Unbeaten drums roared in the sky when Śikhin, the Leader of the world, went on his journey. Devas standing in the air waved their garments.[35] Nāga kings, Suparṇas and human beings approached; those numerous beautiful and glorious Yakṣas followed the journey of Śikhin, the Leader of the world. Eighty-six thousand laymen gathered together and followed the journey of Śikhin, the Leader of the world. (97) Neither hunger nor thirst nor want was spoken of when Śikhin, the Leader of the world, went on his journey, nor heat, nor cold, nor gadflies, nor gnats.

And when he had made his journey and instructed many men, he passed away, a perfect Buddha, a seer rid of rebirth.

Then the venerable Śāriputra rose up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, knelt with his right knee on the ground, and, holding out his joined hands, said to the Exalted One, “Lord, thou art the equal of the exalted Śikhin in morality, in wisdom, in the powers,[36] in the assurances,[37] and in the attributes of a Buddha.[38] Such too will be thy journey as was that of the exalted Śikhin. The Exalted One will go on his journey for the welfare and happiness of men, out of compassion for the world, for the good of the great multitude, for the welfare and happiness of devas and men.”

Then arranging his robe over one shoulder and holding out his joined hands, Śāriputra besought the Tathāgata to make his journey.

“It is time that the Exalted One, too, should now set out on his journey, a Master taking compassion on men.

“Those who have made the dharma grow and are in their last incarnation are supplicated to avail themselves of the opportunity to take compassion on men.”

[The Buddha replied] “After fasting half a month (98) I shall set out on my journey to bestow compassion on men.”

And so, having completed his fortnight’s fast, the Master set out on his journey to bestow compassion on men.

To whatever village or town Gotama came, everywhere men completely sound in health came to meet him from all directions.

To whatever village or town Gotama came, the trees of the place[39] blossomed forth and breathed their fragrance in all directions.

Whatever tree Gotama stood beneath put forth its flowers and bent under their weight[40], a tree beyond compare.

Whatever tree Gotama stood beneath put forth rife fruit in all its parts.

Trees and flowers and fruits that are of this world were seen as the Leader of the world went on his journey.[41]

Trees and flowers and fruits that are not of this world were seen as the Leader of the world went on his journey.

Then did the earth with the sea and the mountains quake when the Leader of the world had set out and was going on his journey.[42]

Devas scattered flowers of the coral-tree, of the great coral-tree, of the karkārava, (99) of the great karkārava, of the rocamāna, of the great rocamāna, of the manjūṣaka, of the great manjūṣa, of the bhīṣma, of the great bhīṣma, of the samantagandha, of the great samantagandha, and of the parijāta. They scattered flowers of gold, of silver, (100) and of precious stones. They scattered powder of sandal-wood, of aloe-wood, of keśara, of tamāla leaves, and of celestial gems. Thousands of koṭis of musical instruments played in the sky, and unbeaten drums roared in the air. Devas standing in the sky waved their garments. Nāga kings, Suparṇas and men approached; those numerous beautiful and glorious Yakṣas and those numerous, beautiful and glorious devas followed (101) as the Leader of the world went on his journey, and three thousand powerful, beautiful and glorious devas, eighty-six thousand brahmans who had gathered, and eighty-six thousand laymen.

Neither hunger nor thirst nor want was spoken of when the Leader of the world was going on his journey, nor heat nor cold nor gadflies nor gnats.

And when he had completed his journey and converted many people, the Saviour of the world came to Kapilavastu of the Śākyans.

There the Exalted One stayed in the Banyan Grove[43] with his company of eighteen hundred disciples. And King Śuddhodana heard that the Exalted One was touring among the Kośalas[44] with a company of eighteen hundred monks, and had come to the city of the Kośalas and was staying there in the Banyan Grove.

Then all the Śākyan men and women of Kapilavastu, eager to see the Exalted One, yoked their own carriages, saying, “We are going to see the Exalted One.” But King Śuddhodana heard that the Śākyan men and women were yoking their carriages and saying “We are going to the Banyan Grove (102) to see the Exalted One.” So he caused a proclamation to be made in Kapilavastu ordering, “No one is to go to the Exalted One before me. It is along with me that all of you must go to the Banyan Grove to see the Exalted One.”

King Śuddhodana, then, with all the women of his court, with Yaśodharā at their head, with the princes and counsellors, with his Śākyan attendants, his archers, charioteers and horsemen, and with the town councillors[45] led by their president, in great royal pomp and magnificence set out from the city of Kapilavastu to see the Exalted One. Now as King Śuddhodana was coming out of the city of Kapilavastu in a chariot drawn by four horses and attended by an escort of Śākyans on his way to the Banyan Grove to see the Exalted One, a company of monks entered to beg for alms. King Śuddhodana saw them, and he asked his counsellors, “Ho, counsellors, what manner of Wanderers are these?” The counsellors answered and said, “Sire, these are the attendants of the prince.” And, on seeing the monks who had left home to become seers, Uruvilvākāśyapa, Nadīkāśyapa, Gayākāśyapa,[46] Śāriputra and Maudgalyāyana with their company, that they were lean of body, mortified by austerities, shaven, and holding bowls in their hands, he became troubled of countenance. He said, “If my son had not left home he would have been a universal king over the four continents, triumphant, righteous, a king of dharma, possessing the seven royal treasures, with an escort of a thousand kings, and having the whole earth as his domain. Send this company away. I have no wish to see it.”

The counsellors, therefore, said to the monks, “The king does not wish to see you. Turn back.” So they turned back and came to the Banyan Grove. “Lord,” said they, “King Śuddhodana has no wish to see us. For when he caught sight of us he tumed us back.”[47] The Exalted One replied, “There will then be enough food here for the whole company of monks.”

But Uruvilvākāśyapa said (103) to the Exalted One, “Lord, I will go and make King Śuddhodana change his mind.”[48] But the Exalted One would not consent. In the same way Nadīkāśyapa, Gayākāśyapa, Upasena[49] and all the powerful[50] monks implored the Exalted One, saying, “Let us go, Lord, to placate King Śuddhodana so that he will come to the Exalted One.” But the Exalted One would not consent to their doing so.

Then the venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana considered within himself, “What monk is it that the Exalted One can be desirous should go and placate King Śuddhodana?” And by means of his deva-eye, which excelled the human eye in clearness, Mahā-Maudgalyāyana perceived that the Exalted One was thinking of the monk Kālodāym,[51] and that it was he who should go and placate King Śuddhodana. Perceiving this he went to the venerable Kālodāyin and said to him, “O Udāyin, good fortune is yours and well-gained, since it is you that the Exalted One desires should go and placate King Śuddhodana. There are other monks senior to you, who have asked to go, but without success. So do you go, venerable Udāyin, and placate King Śuddhodana.”

When this had been said, the venerable Udāyin replied to the venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, “Difficult is it, O venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, to approach kings, who are anointed nobles enjoying security in their empire.[52] Just as, O venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, it is difficult for a man to approach a great burning pile of fire, so is it difficult to approach kings who are anointed nobles enjoying security in their empire. Just as, O venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, it is difficult to approach a sixty-year old elephant, so is it difficult to approach kings who are anointed nobles enjoying security in their empire. Just as, O venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, it is difficult for a man to approach a lion, king of beasts, fanged, powerful and maned, a lord of animals (104), so is it difficult to approach kings who are anointed nobles enjoying security in their empire. Just as, O venerable Mahā-Maudgalyāyana, it is difficult for a man to approach a leopard taut of body[53] and menacing of mien,[54] so is it difficult to approach kings who are anointed nobles enjoying security in their empire and are leopards among men.”

Then the Exalted One addressed the venerable Kālodāyin in verse:

Listen to me, good Udāyin, you who are supreme among those who repose in the perfection of merit. You will easily placate the noble king, the joy of the Śākyan clan.

For no other monk is there who can win over the king’s heart. By no one else but you, Udāyin, who have shared the life of the Exalted One, can it be done.

Once upon a time, Udāyin, long ago, there was a lord of earth, named Satyavardhana, and renowned far and wide, a protector of the world.

He was righteous, a king of dharma, honoured by koṭis of nayutas of men. He ruled this sea-girt earth in righteousness.

This king had a son named Matisāra, who paid heed to the Buddhas of old, sustained[55] by and intent on a host of merits.

Perceiving the viciousness of sensual pleasures, caring for none of the joys of sense, and having planted[56] the root of virtue, he found no delight at home, but in solitude.

(105) To him Satyavardhana said, “My son, enjoy the exquisite quality of sensual pleasures here in your home that is like the abode of Vaiśravaṇa,[57] like the abode of the immortals.”

Matisāra holding out his joined hands replied, “O king, these are not the things that are good in the eyes of an intelligent man.

“They are what a foolish man is capable of, for they are known to be under the control of passion. . .[58]

“Why should a man who has eyes to see take the wrong path under the guidance of a blind man? Why should a man who has arrived to time envy him who is still abroad[59] without a shelter?

“Why should a man who has been set free take the road back to prison[60] at the bidding of one who is still in bondage? Why should a wise man hanker after the company of one who is on the wrong road?

“You seem to me, O king, to be a blind man carried away and long since lost. You are being carried away by the flood of sensual desires, while I abhor them.”

And so Matisāra, with the full knowledge of his powerful father, went forth from his home, a prince renouncing without regret his kingdom and his pleasures.

As a snake sheds its withered slough, as a man spews a gathering of phlegm, so did he cast aside his kingdom, the whole sea-girt earth. For he had perceived the viciousness of sensual delights.

Surmounting the sphere of sensual pleasures, Prince Matisāra indulged in divine meditation[61] that he might reach the state of Brahmā.[62]

When the prince had thus taken to the religious life, out of devotion to him the son of the household priest, named Somadatta, went forth from home after Matisāra.

(106) Now when the prince left home to take up the religious life, his father took it hard, but Somadatta’s going as well appeased the king.

Why should you think, Udāyin, that Matisāra at that time was somebody else? It was I who at that time cared nought for the pleasures of sense.

Why should you think, Udāyin, that Satyavardhana was somebody else? King Śuddhodana here at that time was he.

Why should you think, Udāyin, that the devoted Somadatta was somebody else? You were he who then appeased him who was named Satyamaha.[63]

Therefore do you now placate King Śuddhodana. Great profit[64] will there be when the lord of earth is placated.

There will be, young sir, an endless store of blessings for devas and men when the noble king is placated. So haste to reconcile him.

By this time the lord of the Śākyans is sorely stricken in mind and disturbed of thought. He stands dejected like an elephant which has fallen over a mountain cliff.

Like a strong man in the grip of a demon[65] that saps his strength,[66] he, supreme lord of the earth though he is, no longer knows either his own self nor his son.

Through thinking of loss of sovereignty and reflecting on sovereignty, he does that which displeases me. So quickly go and appease him.

King Śuddhodana turned back from the gates of Kapilavastu with all (107) his Śākyan retinue and came and stood in his reception-hall.[67] There King Śuddhodana addressed the Śākyan men and women, saying, “The prince has deprived himself of the lordship of this great domain and taken up the religious life. If the prince had not taken up the religious life, he would be a universal king over the four continents, triumphant, righteous, a king of dharma, possessing the seven treasures. For those seven treasures would be his, namely, the treasure of the wheel, of the elephant, of the horse, of the jewel, of the woman, of the householder and of the counsellor. He would have a full thousand sons, brave, courageous, handsome, vanquishers of their foes. He would reign and exercise his sway over these four great sea-girt continents without turmoil or trouble, without rod or weapon, without violence, but with justice. He would be attended by thousands of kings. This universal rule would mean power[68] for us here. But now that the prince has taken up the religious life we have been deprived of the lordship of this mighty realm.”

Then the venerable Udāyin flew up in the air from the Banyan Grove and came and stood in the air at the height of a palm-tree in front of Śuddhodana and his retinue of Śākyan escort. And King Śuddhodana saw the venerable Udāyin standing in the air at the height of a palm-tree, and, seeing him, he was thrilled, gladdened and pleased.

He rose up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, and stretching out his joined hands towards the venerable Udāyin he addressed him in verse:

“Whence do you come garbed in a robe of red? On what mission have you come hither? And what, Udāyin, do you desire here? Rare is the sight of those who have their vows fulfilled.”

[Udāyin replied:]

(108) “O monarch of this realm, good fortune and glory is yours, since your son is the Peerless One among men. With his splendour he irradiates the whole world as the rising thousand-rayed sun the earth.

Then the elder Udāyin, as he stood in the air at the height of a palm-tree, recounted the many noble qualities of the Buddha. And King Śuddhodana on hearing was pleased, and he spoke to the Śākyan men and women saying, “Just as, O sons and daughters of Vasiṣṭha,[69] we have in the flush of dawn a foregoing sign of the rising sun, so we have in Udāyin, the dispeller of doubt, the disciple of the Sugata.”

[Udāyin said:]

A new Buddha[70] with vision of the ultimate good has at last appeared in the clan of the Śākyans. As I placated Satyamaha so [may I now placate Śuddhodana.][71] In hope is the field tilled and the seed sown.[72] In hope merchants sail the sea in quest of wealth.[73] And now may that which I hope for as I stand here be realised.

Again and again men briskly sow the seed. Again and again the lord of devas sends the rain. Again and again the sown field ripens, and again and again the husbandmen reap their harvest.

(109) Again and again beggars approach; again and again true men give them charity. Again and again the true men who have given go to their place in heaven.

Rare is the Sterling Man[74]; he is not born everywhere. But wherever the Hero is born, his clan is happy and prosperous.

The Hero is clean[75] back through seven generations[76] in whatever family the vastly Wise One is born. A deva of devas he guides the Śākyans like a father; for from you is born the seer Satyanāma.[77]

Verily Śuddhodana is the Conqueror’s father, and likewise is Māyā the Buddha’s mother. She who bore the Bodhisattva in her womb, now, after the dissolution of her body, rejoices in heaven.

She, the Buddha’s mother, rejoices in the five strands of sensual pleasures,[78] in desirable delights, exceeding eager and attended by hosts of Apsarases.

The father is pleased[79] with his son, the Buddha, the invincible, the mighty[80] peerless scion of Aṅgīrasa,[81] and he exults. O Śākyan Gotama, rightly art thou nobly born.[82]

The king said:

“Does he with whom you live as a recluse, O monk, live the brahma-life in faith? (110) Is he not afraid? Does he not know what fear is, but is content in his solitude at the foot of the tree?”

Udāyin replied:

“O king, he with whom I live as a recluse lives the brahma-life in faith. He is not afraid nor knows what fear is, but is content in his solitude at the foot of the tree.

“How, O Śākyan, can you say that the Conqueror is afraid as he lives all alone, a diligent Seer, unmoved by censure or by praise, like a lion undisturbed by alarms, like the wind that can not be enmeshed in a net, a Leader himself not to be led by others?”

[The king said:]

“Since you know my son whose wisdom is unequalled, and whose father I say I am, and since you are a son to him, so are you a son to me. Eat then, O monk, and then take your alms-bowl.

“We, too, will go to see the Buddha, whose excellence is unsurpassed, who has passed beyond doubt. From what you say about my son, O monk, the Choicest of beings has appeared in the world.”

Having eaten the food as it was proper to do, pure, exquisite and sweetly-flavoured food, (111) the monk took his alms-bowl, and set out and came to where the Conqueror who knows no leader, was.

And when he had reached that place he held out the alms-bowl to the Conqueror. Bowing at his feet he said to the Tathāgata, “Thy people are coming to see thee.

“When the king heard of all thy virtues, he thrice called out, ‘Well won is my good fortune and infinite, since now that a Conqueror dwells in this universe of three-thousand worlds, I shall have intercourse with the Leader.

“The blossoming trees in their garb of flowers are the haunt of flocks of twittering birds. So, too, my heart is glad and blooming, since I have heard that my son is endowed with all good qualities.’”

Then King Śuddhodana spoke to one of his royal counsellors. “My counsellor,” said he, “Prince Sarvārthasiddha[83] has awakened to the supreme perfect enlightenment. He has set rolling the noble wheel of dharma, and has reached the wood near Kapilavastu. So we will go out to meet my son, Prince Sarvārthasiddha. Have a proclamation made, then, in the city of Kapilavastu, bidding all Śākyans, brahmans and laymen, all musicians,[84] all guildsmen and all craftsmen to come with me to meet Sarvārthasiddha.” “So be it, your majesty,” said he.

And the royal counsellor in obedience to Śuddhodana at once caused a proclamation to be made at the cross-roads and market places in the city of Kapilavastu in these words

(112) “Good people, Prince Sarvārthasiddha has awakened to the supreme perfect enlightenment and has come to the wood near Kapilavastu. Therefore you all must go with King Śuddhodana to meet the Exalted One.

There has come to the clan of the Śākyans he who will be its protection. He has attained his desire; his heart is rid of craving;[85] his āśravas[86] are decayed, and his passion gone. He is all-seeing. After twelve years we shall behold him in his infinite wisdom.

When he has heard the joyous sound of drums in the kingdom of the Śākyans, and the music played by the host of devas in Lumbinī,[87] he who declared ‘I will become a Buddha in the world,’ will come, making true his word and dispelling the darkness.

He who took seven strides here in Lumbinī, he by whom the seven jewels of the bodhyaṅgas[88] were understood, he who roared a lion’s roar, ‘I am foremost in the world,’ will come and break those who speak against him.

He who has done away with all rebirth, he in whom every source of becoming is dried up, he in whom the creepers of craving and the font of ill are dried up, will come and give release from bondage in the world.”

When the Śākyan men and women of Kapilavastu heard this proclamation, they quickly gathered at the palace gate (113), including princes, counsellors, army officers, brahmans with the household priest at their head,[89] and the community of tradesmen with their president at their head.[90] All the musicians[91] were there, namely, jugglers,[92] court bards,[93] actors,[94] dancers,[95] athletes,[96] wrestlers, tambourine-players,[97] clowns,[98] tumblers,[99] tam-tam players,[100] buffoons,[101] dvistvalas,[102] reciters,[103] pañcavaṭukas,[105] singers, dancers,[106] comedians,[107] performers on the drum, trumpet, tabour, kettle-drum, cymbal, flute, and the guitar and the lute—all gathered at the palace gate. All the guildsmen[108] of Kapilavastu were there; namely, goldsmiths, bankers,[109] cloak-sellers,[110] workers in shell and ivory, jewellers, workers in stone,[111] perfumers, kośāvikas,[104] oil-dealers, hawkers of jars of ghee,[112] sugar-factors,[113] vendors of water,[114] factors of cotton, curds, cakes,[115] dried treacle,[116] sweetmeats, kaṇḍu,[117] wheat-flour and barley-meal, hawkers of fruits, roots, perfumed oil from ground powder, āgrīvanīyas,[118] āviddhakas,[119] makers of confectionery from sugar and dried treacle, vendors of dried ginger,[120] distillers,[121] and factors of candied sugar—these and many other business people all gathered at the palace gate.

And all the craftsmen of Kapilavastu were there; namely, brass-founders, coppersmiths, goldsmiths, makers of wooden bowls,[122] pradhvopakas,[123] roṣiṇas,[124] tin-smiths, makers of lead sheets,[125] workers in grass,[126] garland-makers, vegetable-growers,[127] potters, tanners,[128] weavers of wool, makers of mail armour,[129] weavers of robes for idols,[130] laundrymen,[131] dyers, cleaners, spinners, painters,[132] carpenters,[133] carvers, [134] basket-makers,[135] modellers in clay,[136] plasterers,[137] barbers, hairdressers, wood-cutters,[137] decorators,[139] builders,[140] barn-makers,[141] miners,[142] hawkers of fragrant earth,[143] wood, grass, shrubs and twigs, sailors, boatmen,[144] washers of gold,[145] and tricksters.[146]

These and other people, of various classes,[147] lower, upper and (114) middle, all gathered together at the palace gate.

And so, with this crowd of people, with the women of his court, with the princes and counsellors around him, accompanied by his archers, charioteers and mahouts, himself riding in a chariot drawn by four horses, attended and honoured by the town councillors with their president at their head,[148] the community of tradesmen with the chief merchant at their head, the brāhmans with the household priest at their head, and the eighteen guilds, King Śuddhodana in great royal pomp and magnificence, to the loud shouts of bravo! from the people and the roar of drums, tabours and kettle-drums and the blaring of trumpets, left the city of Kapilavastu and set out for the Banyan Grove to see the Exalted One.

The Exalted One reflected: “The Śākyans are a proud people. If I welcome them sitting down on my seat, they will change their minds about me and say, ' How is it that the prince who has renounced his universal sovereignty, has taken up the life of a recluse, has awakened to the supreme perfect enlightenment and attained the dharma, who claims that he is the sovereign of dharma—how is it that he does not stand up to greet his father, who is old and venerable?’ And yet there is no being or group of beings whose heads would not be split into seven[149] were the Tathāgata to stand up to greet them. Let me now then rise up into the air to the height of a man and take a long walk.”

And so the Exalted One, knowing the excessive pride of his father, King Śuddhodana, and of his Śākyan entourage, and aware of his arrival, rose up in the air to the height of a man and took a long walk without touching the ground with his feet. King Śuddhodana from a distance saw the Exalted One in the Banyan Grove taking a walk through the air at the height of a man, his feet not touching the ground. He was thrilled with wonder at such a marvel, which showed that the prince had mastered the dharma and that he was the Supreme of bipeds in the whole world.

Then King Śuddhodana, the Śākyan, addressed the Śākyans, saying, “My friends, take notice. Whatever young man there be who is minded (115) to seek and see an omniscient one who has knowledge of all things, is successful in all things and is a lord of men, let him look at Siddhārtha, who has attained absolute success.”

He saw his son full-grown of stature, his body well adorned with the brilliant marks, like the moon at the month’s end surrounded by glittering stars.

He saw him lovely in body without compeer, his large eyes aflame with glory. . .[150]

King Śuddhodana rode on in his carriage as far as the ground allowed. Then he alighted, and with his women and his Śākyan escort proceeded on foot. He entered the Banyan Grove, approached the Exalted One, bowed his head at his feet and addressed him in verse:

Here for the third time, thou man of great wisdom, thou All-seeing One, I bow at thy feet. I did so when the soothsayers foretold of thee, and when the rose-apple tree’s shade[151] did not desert thee, and now again I do so.[152]

Then the Exalted One standing in the air at the height of a palm-tree performed various and divers miracles of double appearance.[153] The lower part of his body would be in flames, while from the upper part there streamed five-hundred jets of cold water. While the upper part of his body was in flames, five-hundred jets of cold water streamed from the lower part. Next, by his magic power, the Exalted One transformed himself into a bull (116) with a quivering hump. The bull vanished in the east and appeared in the west. It vanished in the west and appeared in the east. It vanished in the north and appeared in the south. It vanished in the south and appeared in the north. And in this way the great miracle is to be described in detail. Several thousand koṭis of beings, seeing this great miracle of magic, became glad, joyful and pleased, and uttered thousands of bravos! at witnessing the marvel.

When the Exalted One left home, Mahāprajāpatī Gotamī’s[154] eyes, as a result of her tears and grief,[155] had become covered as with scales, and she had become blind. So now, when the Exalted One was performing his various and divers miracles of double appearance, and there were thousands of shouts of bravo! Mahāprajāpatī Gotamī asked Yaśodharā, “What is the meaning of these thousands of shouts of bravo?” Yaśodharā replied, “Here is the Exalted One standing in the air and performing various and divers miracles of double appearance. But you cannot see them.” Yaśodharā then said, “Come, I shall contrive that you see them.” She cupped her two hands together and filled them from[156] the water which flowed in five-hundred jets from the body of the Exalted One as he performed his miracle of double appearance. She bathed the eyes of Mahāprajāpatī Gotamī, and the scales were pierced through the virtue[157] of the Buddha. Her sight became clear and faultless as before.

And after the Exalted One, standing in the air, had performed various and divers miracles of double appearance, he displayed magic wonders and established many thousands of beings in Āryan states. He then sat down as on an appointed seat.

Then King Śuddhodana and the Śākyans (117) bowed their heads at the feet of the Exalted One, greeted him sincerely and cordially and sat down to one side. Mahāprajāpatī Gotamī and Yaśodharā also, with the women, bowed their heads at his feet, greeted him and sat down to one side. And King Śuddhodana impulsively[158] asked the Exalted One whether it was well or ill with him.

With hands upraised the father approached his son whose beauty was celestial, whose form was graceful, as he walked in the park, as devas approach Indra or the Three and Thirty approach Śakra.[159]

And he said, “This is the third time, O thou of great wisdom, O All-seeing One, that I bow at thy feet. I did so when the soothsayers proclaimed of thee, and when the rose-apple tree’s shade did not desert thee, and now again I do so.”

These two, of celestial beauty, the Buddha and the Buddha’s father, the king, met together. And as the Buddha sat in the sāl-grove, he was all radiant like the moon emerging from the clouds.

Then the father of the Infinite One fell to thinking, as, after a long time, he beheld seated there his gracious son who was dear to him as life itself.[160] Impulsively he inquired whether it was well or ill with him.

“In times past,” said he, “thou hadst gaily-coloured woollen slippers and (118) thou didst walk upon a finely woven carpet, O Hero, while a white sunshade was held over thee.

“But now, with thy copper-coloured tender feet that are webbed[161] and marked with perfect thousand-rayed wheels, thou dost walk over coarse grass, thorns and pebbles. Are thy feet, O Hero, never torn?”

The Exalted One replied:

“I am the All-conquering One, the All-knowing One, untainted by aught in the world. I have renounced everything, and am released through the decay of craving. Such an one as I knows no feelings.”

The king said:

“Formerly bath attendants bathed thee early in the morning and rubbed thee with reddish unguent of sandalwood, coloured like the moon, and pleasantly fragrant and cool.

“But now in the cold and bitter nights thou dost roam and wander from forest to forest. Who, prithee, does now bathe thee with clean and cool and refreshing water when thou art weary?”

The Exalted One replied:

“Pure, O Gautama,[162] is the stream which has virtue for its bathing-strand.[163] Untainted is it and ever commended by good men. (119) Bathed and immersed by the deva hosts in its water I cross over to the shore beyond.

“Dharma, O Gautama, is the pool which has virtue for its bathing-strand. Untainted is it, and ever commended by good men. He who has been bathed in this pool by deva hosts cleanses the whole world, making it fragrant with his own merit.”

The king said:

“When thou wast garbed in Benares cloth and wast dressed in clean garments scented with lotus and camp aka,[164] thou wast radiant among the Śākyans as Śakra is radiant among the people of the universe.[165]

But now thou dost wear sackcloth and garments made of strips of red bark, and dost not abhor them.’Tis passing strange that this should be so, Sir.”

The Exalted One replied:

“Conquerors,[166] O king, are not concerned about robe or bed or food. Discerning Conquerors care not whether what they get is agreeable or disagreeable.”

The king said:

“Formerly noble,[167] glittering chariots were thine, gleaming with gold and bronze, and costly. (120) Always did men carry for thee, when thou didst go abroad, the white sunshade, the jewel, the sword and the fan.[168]

“Formerly Kaṇṭhaka, the best of steeds, was thine, fleet as the wind, spirited, swift and impetuous, a thoroughbred harnessed with trappings of gold. Always did he bear thee whithersoever thou didst wish.

“Though thou dost still own thy carriages, chariots, horses and elephants, yet dost thou tramp from kingdom to kingdom. Art thou not weary? This now tell me.”

The Exalted One replied:

Magic power[169] is my chariot. It is my own heart that bears me on. Steadfastness, wisdom and mindfulness are my charioteers. The four perfect strivings[170] are my horses. On my own, well-made, even feet do I walk abroad.”

The king said:

“Formerly thou didst eat from vessels of silver and bowls of gold. Men set before thee wholesome and exquisitely flavoured food as became thy kingly station.

(121) “But now thou dost eat without[171] loathing, whether the food is salted or not, coarse or not, without or with flavour.’Tis passing strange that thou shouldst do so, Sir.”

The Exalted One replied:

“Like[172] the Buddhas who lived in times past long ago, and those who will live in time to come, I, too, a Self-guiding One, do eat the fine and the coarse, the flavoured and the flavourless, seeking self-control for the sake of the world.

The king said:

“Formerly, among rugs of wool and cotton,[173] thou didst take thy joy on a high couch spread with antelope skin and soft cushions of silk, fitted with feet of gold, and strewn with garlands of flowers.

“But now thou dost make thy bed of grass and leaves on rough and stony ground, and dost enjoy it, thou, the Choicest of Beings. O Wise One, do not thy limbs ache?”[174]

The Exalted One replied:

“O Śākyan, men like me do not sleep badly. All grief and feverish sorrow have I left behind. Ever without grief and fever I keep vigil out of compassion for all beings.” (122)

The king said:

“Formerly, O Gotama, thou didst live at home in an apartment that was like a mansion of the devas, lit as by a swarm of fire-flies, in an upper room with well-fitting casements,

“Where serving women decked in bright garlands and jewels, adorned like the Apsarases, waited diligently on thee, watching thy mouth to see what their master spoke.”

The Exalted One replied:

“To-day, O Śākyan, even here in this sojourning-place of men there are Brahmā and Prabhāsvara[175] devas. Their hearts are all at my command, and I can go where’er I wish.”

The king said:

“Thou wert sung, to the sounds of drum and tabour, by those skilled in music and tale. Thou didst shine among the Śākyans like Śakra among the peoples of the universe.”[176]

The Exalted One replied:

“I am now sung in Discourse and Exposition.[177] And awake to that release which knowledge brings, (123) I shine among the monks like Brahmā among the peoples of the universe.”

The king said:

“Formerly, O Formidable One,[178] when at home in thy apartment that was like a mansion of the devas, men in armour kept watch over thee, champions rank on rank, doughty fighters with the sword.

“But now in a forest lodging all alone, amid the hooting owls and haying jackals, through the long nights when many beasts are prowling round, art thou not afraid? This now tell me.”

The Exalted One replied:

“Were all the hordes of Yakṣas to come together, and the wild elephants that roam the pathless hills, such creatures would not stir a hair of one like me. For I have abandoned fear and won through to fearlessness.

“Alone I fare along, a watchful sage unmoved by blame or praise, like a lion that is not frightened by noises, like the wind that can not be trapped in a net. How, O Śākyan, can you say that the Conqueror, a leader himself and not led by others, is afraid?”

(124) The king said:

“The whole earth should be thy domain; thou shouldst have a full thousand sons. But now thou hast renounced the seven treasures[179] and, O Valiant One, taken up a Wanderer’s life.”

The Exalted One replied:

“The whole earth is still my domain, and still have I a full thousand sons. And here I have eight[180] treasures to which no other treasure is like.”

With joined hands upraised the father approached his son whose passion was all gone, whose faculties were well composed, who had won perfect release, was flawless and rid of the āśravas. “Show me the Way,” said he, “for the sake of human kind.”

The Master inspired[181] his father Śuddhodana with knowledge, and said to him, “Always pay regard to the monks when you see them. Be not remiss.[182] Then dharma will be yours.”

Thus was the father of the Infinite One, the Mighty One,[183] enjoined to regard the monks. And immediately after the True Man gave him insight into the transcendent dharma and made it clear to him.

Such was the thrilling encounter of father and son. (125) Who, calling to mind such a Sugata, will not experience spiritual[184] gladness?

Here ends the Meeting of Father and Son.

Footnotes and references:


Śrāvaṇa (śravaṇā-) mukhesu, properly “entrances (to places) for proclamations” (= making people hear), but the Tibetan rendering of the expression ignores the word mukha. See Edgerton (B.H.S.D.).


Pali Giribbaja, name of the old capital on the hills, which was superseded by the new city Rājagṛha built by Bimbisāra at the foot of the hills. See D.P.N.


The Pali version of these two stanzas is found at V. 1.43.


Sahapāṃśukrīḍanaka “playing in the mud with.” Pali sahapaṃsukīlita and paṃsuvāgāraka, a common expression for “youthful playmate.”


This visit of Chandaka and Udāyin (or Kālodāyin) to the Exalted One has already been related in Vol. 2, p. 221 (trans.), where it was introduced to provide the nidāna or occasion of the Śiriprabha Jātaka. Udāyin was called Kālodāyin (Pali Kāludāyī), because of his slightly dark colour.


Vo = yūyam. See p. 82 n. 2.


The two stanzas following as given in the Pali Dhammapada (179-80). read,

Yassa jitaṃ nāvajīyati jitamassa na yāti koci loke taṃ Buddhaṃ anantagocaraṃ apadaṃ kena padena nessatha?

Yassa jālinī visattikā taṇhā n’atthi kuhiñci netave taṃ Buddhaṃ ananta-gocaraṃ apadaṃ kena padena nessatha?


Reading either jiyati, Pali pass, of ji “to conquer” for jīvati of the text, or jīryati “to grow old,” “decay”. The Pali jīyati can represent either. See also Edgerton, B.H.S.D.


Here called by one of his epithets, Antaka, see Vol. 2, p. 269, n. 7.


Jināti, BSk. and Pali for jayati. See Edgerton, Gram. p. 213.


Apada, see P.E.D. and B.H.S.D.


See p. 67 n. 3.


Antamasato. Cf. Pali antamaso, BSk. antaśaḥ, e.g. 1.104 (text). See also 1.7; 2. 15. See B.H.S.D. for BSk. examples.


The prose ends abruptly here, to let the story be carried on by a verse passage which, after the opening stanza of exhortation to listen, is practically identical with Thag. 527-9. Cf. for some parts J. 1.87. See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Psalms of the Brethren, and the notes there.


Literally “searching for fruit” phalesinas. After this word the text has a lacuna, but the line is restored as chadanam viprahāya, after Thag. 527.


Literally “partakes of sap or juice,” bhagī rasānām.


Phalam ādiyantī. The Mhvu. here differs considerably from Thag., which has phalam āsasāna, “yearning for fruit.”


Bhaveya. But Thag. 529 has a substantive, bhavante, here.


Rohiṇīmiva tārakāṇi. But Thag. has Rohiṇiyam tarantam, “crossing the Rohinī,” where instead of the constellation of that name we have the river Rohinī, which flowed through the land of the Śākyans and Koliyans, and is now the Rowai in Rohwaini. See D.P.N. The variation between the two texts here is a good example of the vagaries of oral tradition. As compared with Thag., Kālodāyin’s appeal is here cut short.


The twentieth of the twenty-four Buddhas.


Literally, “it was a sublime thing when, etc.” udāram ... cārikāṃ pratipannasya Śikhisya lokanāyake, which is a strange amalgamation of loc. and gen. absolutes. The same anomaly is maintained throughout the many repetitions of this phrase in the sequel. See Edgerton, Gram. §7.12.


Sopānīya, “perh. for saupānīya or supāniya, “plenty of good water.” (Edgerton, B.H.S.D.). In view of the other natural phenomena which are related as attending Sikhin’s presence, this interpretation is decidedly superior to that of Senart, who suggests that sopānīya is a corruption of some form like poṣadheya, and that the allusion is to a gathering of people to make their eight vows (aṣṭāṅgasammitam) on a fast day! For the use of aṣṭāṅga in the sense of “perfect,” “excellent,” etc., see Vol. 2, p. 280, n. 6, and, with especial reference to water, Vol. 2, p. 332, n. 1. See also B.H.S.D. The translation assumes that sammitam should be emended into sammatam. So MSS.


Sthāṇuṣvāpuṣpitā, “blossoming on their branches and/or trunks.” Senart, however, is inclined to emend into sthānasya “(the trees) of the place,” on the analogy of p. 98, 1.7 (text). But the text reading is more in keeping with the tone of the verse. Miss I. B. Horner reminds the translator that parasite flowers, such as orchids, appear to blossom on the trunks of tropical trees.






For the next page and a half the text consists of a repetition of the preceding stanza, with a different object of the verb in each case, and with the synonymous caramāṇasya for pratipannasya in the later stanzas.


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


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


See Vol. 2, p. 156, n. 5.


See Vol. I, p. 186, n. 4.




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


See Vol. I, p. 32, n. 3.


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


The text repeats the temporal clause in each of these sentences.


I.e. the ten powers, balāni, of a Tathàgata. See Vol. I, p. 126.


Vaiśāradya, Pali vesārajja. These assurances were enumerated as four. See Vol. I, p. 33, n. 6.


Buddhadharmā, either attributes in general or the eighteen distinctive attributes—āveṇikā buddhadharmā. See vol. I, p. 33, n. 4.


Sthānasya. See p. 97 n. 2.


Onamitvā. But the parallel passage above, p. 94 (text) has obhāsitvā.


There is a slight variation here from the parallel passage, p. 94 (text), which reads cārikāyatanāni dṛśyensu. Cārikā-āyatanāni has been taken to mean “the area or the ways covered by his journey”, its case being accusative, object of carante. The present passage has cārikān tāni dṛśyensu, where the pronoun tāni merely resumes the substantive subjects of the verb, cārikān being accusative object of carante.


This temporal clause, which is repeated as the last line in each stanza for the rest of the passage, but is omitted in translation, has a peculiar construction: cārikāṃ pratipannasya carante lokanāyake (with caramāṇasya for pratipannasya in the later stanzas). The anomalous concord of pratipannasya with nāyake has already been met with (see p. 96 n. 8). In the present passage, unless carante, too, is taken as being for gen. sing, we are left with a clause containing half of a “genitive absolute” and the whole of a “locative absolute”, both referable to the same subject.


Nyagrodhārāma. “A grove near Kapilavatthu where a residence was provided for the Buddha when he visited the city in the first year after his Enlightenment (MA. 1.289). It belonged to a Sākyan named Nigrodha, who gave it to the Order” (D.P.N.)


The inhabitants of Kosala, to the north-west of Magadha. In the 6th century b.c., the Śākyan territory of Kapilavastu was subject to Kosala. See D.P.N. for references. Though the Banyan Grove, therefore, was near Kapilavastu, the Mhvu. speaks of it as being in Kosalan territory and near its capital Śrāvastī (Sāvatthi).


Reading naigemehi “townsmen”, with one MS., for the nigamehi, “towns”, of the text. The translation follows a suggestion of Miss I. B. Horner’s. See her Bk. of Disc., 4, p. 379, and n. 6, where she cites VA. 1114 which defines negama at V. 1.268, as kuṭumbikagaṇa, “a group of leading men.” It is at least obvious that some special class of townsmen is alluded to.


Three brothers known in the Pali texts as “Tebhātika Jaṭilas,” the three brother “matted-hair ascetics.” Uruvilvākāśyapa lived at Uruvilvā (see vol. 2, p. 119) on the banks of the Nairañjanā with five hundred disciples. Further down the river lived his two brothers, with three hundred and two hundred disciples respectively. The three were converted by the Buddha and attained Arahantship. See I. B. Horner, Bk. of Disc., 4, p. 32 ff.


? Pratinivartito, for pratinivarteti.


Literally, “turn him back,” nivartemi.


Most likely the Upasena who is referred to p. 431 (text) as the nephew of the three Kāśyapas just mentioned. It is not clear whether he is to be identified with the Upasena who was the teacher of Śāriputra (above p. 61). See D.P.N.


Mahaddhika for maharddhika; cf. Pali mahiddhika. One MS. has maharddhika.


See above p. 94.


Janapadasthāmavīryaprāpta. Cf. Pali janapadatthāvariya, D. 1.88; 2.16; Sn. p. 106. See vol. I, p. 293, n. 5.


? Or “gathered to spring”. Literally, “with body clinging together”, olīnakāya.


Or, “heavy, haughty of look”, gurudarśana.


Paricārita, “served by”, p. part, of BSk. paricārayati, Pali paricāreti.


Orupta. See vol. 2, p. 295, n. 3. Cf. B.H.S.D.


Epithet of Kuvera, god of wealth. See vol. 1, p. 200, n. 3.




Literally, “is still riding,” vuhyantasya, gen. sg. of pres. part, of vuhyati, BSk. = Pali, Sk. uhyate. For the form, see Edgerton, Gram., § 2. 52. Immediately below we have vuhyasi, 2nd sg. pres, indie.


This is the translation of Senart’s restored text. Edgerton (B.H.S.D. s.v. kārāhva) prefers to follow the MSS. more closely and read bandhasya kathaṃ mukto vacanena kārāhvam abhikrameya, which he translates, “how, having been freed from a bond by a word, would one enter into what is called a prison (viz. sensual life)?” But Senart’s text seems to fit the context better. A freed man who listens to the bidding of one still in captivity to return to it, is on a par with the man who suffers himself to be led by a blind man, and with the man on the right road who goes and follows another on the wrong one.


Or “Brahmā states”, brahmavihārā, “exercises in meditation to produce the four concepts or spiritual attitudes of love, compassion, cheerful sympathy and equanimity” (maitrā karuṇā muditā upekṣā). See P.E.D. for references. Kern, S.B.E. xxi, p. 140, n. 3, says of them, “Otherwise they are termed appamaññā in Pali; they are identical with the four bhāvanās or exercises to develop benevolence, compassion, cheerful sympathy and equanimity,” and he refers to Yogaśāstra 1.33.




I.e. Satyavardhana.


Samudaya. Possibly, there is a play on the name Udāyin.




Ojahara. Cf. vol. 1, p. 208, n. 3.


Darśanaśālā “hall for seeing or visiting.”


Hastokta. See vol. 2, p. 66, n. 3. This is the explanation also given by Edgerton (B.H.S.D.).


See vol. 1, p. 32, n. 2.


Literally, “A son of Buddha,” Buddhasya putra.


There is a lacuna here, but the context would seem to require a phrase to this effect.


Vapyate, BSk., = Pali vappate, vappati, Sk. upyate.


Cf. vol. 2, p. 56. These verses are identical with Thag. vv. 529 ff., where they are a continuation of a verse passage the first part of which has already been reproduced p. 96 above. The first three stanzas are also found at 5.1.174.


Ājanya. See p. 118. n. 6. Here, of course, an epithet of the Buddha.


Punāti. Thag. 533 has puneti, which P.E.D. explains as “caus. f. puna? or = punāti? “to experience (over and over) again”, but Kern Toev. s.v. takes it as = punāti, and Mrs. Rhys Davids translates “lifts to lustrous purity”. Thag A. II. 225 gives puneti = sodheti. The only variant in the MSS. of the Mhvu. seems to be pureti.


For the idea that traceable descent from a common ancestor through seven generations constitutes a family, cf. Thag. 533 and D. 1.113.


Or “who bears a true name.” Cf. Pali Saccanāma as epithet of the Buddha at A. 3. 346; 4. 285, 289; PvA. 231; Thag. 533.


See vol. 2, p. 113, n. 2.


There is considerable variation between the Mhvu. and Thag. in the last stanza, the variation centering in the two words prīta pitā of the former text as against pitu pitā of the latter.


Tāyin. See Vol. 2, p. 318, n. 2.


Although the Commentaries propose various explanations of this term, the likelihood is that it is a mere patronymic, for the Gautamas belonged to the Aṅgirasa tribe. See D.P.N. for references.


But contrast the text of Thag. 536, and see n.


See vol. 2, p. 23.


Gāndharvikā, “followers or disciples of the Gandharvas”, for whose musical abilities see D.P.N. Cf. vol. 2, p. 49, n. 3.


Tṛṣabhāva, “state of craving”; tṛṣa is for tṛṣā or tṛṣṇā.


See vol. 1, p. 49, n. 2.


See vol. 1, p. 78, n. 1.


See vol. 2, p. 142, n. 3.


Purohitapramukhā brāhmaṇā.


Śreṣṭhipramukho vaniggrāmo. The former word is not to be confused with śreṇipramukha, “head of a guild,” which is practically synonymous with śreṣṭhi by itself. For grāma, literally “village” in the meaning of a community of tradesmen or craftsmen, cf. the “village of smiths” in vol. 2, pp. 80 ff. There would seem to be a double organisation of professions and trades, namely into communities (grāma) and into guilds (śreṇi). The number of these latter is given as eighteen, see below, p. 114 and cf. Mrs. Rhys Davids: Cambridge History of India, 1, pp. 206-7, and references there given.


Gandharvikā. See p. 109, n. 2.


Cakrika, cf. Sk. cakrin, “a kind of juggler or tumbler who exhibits tricks with a discus or a wheel (?)” M.W. So, doubtfully, B.H.S.D.


Vaitālika, “a bard whose duty it is to awaken a chief or prince at dawn with music and song.” M.W. The Pali form is vetālika (Miln. 331; J. 6. 277), “a certain office or occupation at court connected with music or entertainment, a bard.” P.E.D. At J. 6. 277 it is explained as vetālā uṭṭhāpake, where the P.E.D. suggests that for vetālā we may read vettāya, i.e., “Those whose duty it is by vetālā or vetta to make people rise.” This explanation seems to tally with Buddhaghosa’s explanation of the name of the corresponding profession, vetālā, at D. 1. 6, as being ghanatāla, “cymbal-beating” (DA. 1.84), to which he adds mantena mata-sarir' uṭṭhāpanaṃ ti eke, “some take it to mean raising the dead by magic charms.” According to the P.E.D. the word is of dialectical origin. “Perhaps to be read vetālika” (B.H.S.D.).


Naṭa, and explained at VA. 931 as “those who play (or dance, nāṭenti) a pantomime” (nāṭakaṃ). Seel. B. Horner, Bk. of Disc. 3, p. 298, n. 2.


Nartaka, cf. Pali nāṭaka, V. 4. 285, Miln. 191, 331.


Ṛllaka, see vol. 1, p. 187, n. 1, and B.H.S.D. “prize-fighter.”


Pāṇisvarika, “player on a pāṇisvara”, Pali pāṇissara, literally “hand-sound or music.” At Dial., 1.8, n. 2, Buddhaghosa is quoted as explaining the term to be “playing on cymbals.” Cf. pāṇisvarya, vol. 2, p. 97, n. 3. But Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) says, “probably palm-clapping, not cymbal-sound.”


Śobhika, Sk. śaubhika, Pali sobhiya. Cf. J. 6. 277 and Dial. 1. 8, n. 3. See also B.H.S.D.


Laṅghaka, Pali id., J. 2. 142; Miln. 34, 191, 331. The fem. pl. form laṅghikā is found at V. 4. 285. See I. B. Horner, Bk. of Disc., 3, p. 298, n. 4, where the explanation at VA. 931 is quoted, “those who do tumbling on bamboos and thongs.”


Kumbhatūṇika, “a player on the kumbhathuṇa, “a sort of drum.” See Dial. 1. 8, n. 4 and Bk. of Disc. 3, p. 297, n. 6. The form of the word in the Mhvu. varies between kumbhatūṇi, kumbhātuṇika, kumbhatūna, kumbhatuna and kumbhathunika. The word has in this translation been hitherto rendered “drummer”, but that word is required for another Sk. word later on in this passage. The translation at Dial. 1. 8 has therefore been adopted here. According to Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) the form with th is the correct one.


Velambaka. According to Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) = viḍambaka = AMg. viḍambaga.


“A dubious form assumed by Senart” (B.H.S.D.).




Unknown. There is no term resembling it in the lists referred to. One MS. has koṇāvikā, which almost makes one think that the right reading should be loṇakārā, “salt-gatherers,” (Miln. 331), which would fit in nicely between “perfumers” and “oil-dealers.” But another MS. has nāvikā “sailors”! B.H.S.D.: “Possibly a corruption of kauśikāra, sheath or box-maker.”


Unknown. “Very likely corrupt” (B.H.S.D.).


Reading, as Senart suggests, tāṇḍavā for bhāṇḍavikā of the text.


Hāsyakāraka, “laughter-maker.”


Many of the professions named here, and of the crafts in the next paragraph must remain unidentified. Although Miln. 331 has a long list of about eighty occupations only a very few of them are identical with those named in the Mhvu., at least as far as their names are concerned. Similarly, with regard to the twenty classes of people mentioned at Miln. 191, the note in the translation in S.B.E. 35. 266 states that the meaning of most of them is obscure. Neither the list of occupations at D. 1. 51 nor that at V. 4. 6 is of much help in explaining the obscure Mhvu. terms, which may be regarded as regional or dialectical words.


Hairaṇyika, Pali heraññika, Miln. 331, “assayers of gold” (S.B.E. 36. 209, where see note.) Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) says “goldsmith”, but this word seems required for the preceding sauvarṇika, which, as a substantive, is not listed in his dictionary.


Prāvārika, Pali pāvārika, V. 4. 250. See P.E.D., s.v., where reference is made to pāvāra as “cloak” or “mantle” at V. 1. 281; J. 5. 409. See also I. B. Horner, Bk. of Disc. 3. 228, n. 4. Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) s.v. hairaṇyika, says “cloak-dealer,” or read prāvālika “coral-dealer.”


Prastārika, cf. Pali patthara, “stone-ware,” Miln. 2. Edgerton, B.H.S.D.: perhaps “merchant” if related to Pali (kaṃsā-) pattharikā, V. 2.135, according to Comm. 1211, “dealers in brass-ware.”


Ghṛtakuṇḍika. B.H.S.D.: “Seems to mean ‘ghee-potter’. Does it mean ‘maker of pots intended for holding ghee, a dealer in pots of ghee?’ No similar word has been discovered elsewhere.”


Gaulika = gauḍika, “relating to sugar or molasses” (M.W.).


Vārika. “Probably corrupt” (B.H.S.D.).


Pūpika, cf. pūvika (Miln. 331), from pūva = pūpa. So B.H.S.D.




Kaṇḍuka, which, on the analogy of the accompanying terms, must mean “factor or dealer in some kind of eatable called kaṇḍu.” Miss I. B. Horner has supplied the translator with the following extract from Sir George Watt, Commercial Products of India (1908), p. 902, under Pistacia: “P. vera. linn. The Pistachio nut; tree and nut = pista; galls = boz-ghanj; gum-resin = kunjad, wanjad, kandur, shilm, etc. The trees grow in forests in Syria (and other Near Eastern countries). The fruits, known as the pistachio nuts, are exported in large quantities from Afghanistan to India, Persia and Turkestan. In India the nut is a common article of food among the well-to-do classes... and a frequent ingredient in confectionery.” Our word kaṇḍu may not be unrelated to kandur. B.H.S.D., however, has, “presumably from Sk. kandu, “iron-pan,” and so makers or sellers of iron pans.” But the name of such an occupation is out of place among terms for dealers in various eatables.


Unknown. B.H.S.D. lists the word with a question mark.


Unknown. “Obscure and probably corrupt” (B.H.S.D.).


Śuṇṭhika from śuṇṭhi or suṇṭhī, “dry-ginger.” One MS. adds pācakā, “cookers of dried ginger,” i.e., makers of such confectionery.


Sīdhukāraka cf. majjikā, “dealers in strong drink,” Miln. 331.


Taddhukāraka, is read by Senart who suggests that taddhu is a Prakritising form of tardū “a wooden ladle.” Edgerton, B.H.S.D., would read taṭṭu-(taṭṭa) kārakā, “makers of flatfish bowls.”


Unknown; v.ll. are prabdhopakā and pradhopakā, both of which are as inexplicable as the text form. “Wholly obscure.” (B.H.S.D.).


Unknown, though the reading here seems to be certain. “Obscure.” (B.H.S.D.)


Siśa (= sīsa)-piccaṭakāra.


Jantukāraka, jantu in Pali, but not apparently in Sk., being the name of a grass. This sense fits in well with what follows. Cf. also the term tiṇahāraka, “grass-gatherers”, Miln. 331. But, perhaps, we should read jantakāraka, “machine-workers.” Cf. janta = yantra, Mhvu. 2. 475 (text), jantakāra, ibid., and jantrakāraka, 476. In his index Senart gives the last form as being the one in the present passage.


Reading parṇikā for purimakārakā. Cf. Pali paṇṇika in the same sense, Miln. 331; J. 1.411; 2. 180; 3. 21. Purima is not known as the name of any article. Senart appears certain of the reading, but makes no comment on the word in his notes. B.H.S.D.: (very doubtfully) “professional cleaners (of clothes).”


Carmakāra, cf. Pali cammakāra, Miln. 331; V. 4. 6, although VA. 738 uses cammakāra as a synonym to explain rathakāra, “carriage-builder.” See I. B. Horner, Bk. of Disc. 2, 173.


Varūthatantravāyaka, “weavers of thread or wire for defence,” though Senart says he would have as much justification in conjecturing varūthavetra, “rod of defence.” But such a word would seem to demand the verbal affix kāraka, “maker,” rather than vāyaka, “weaver”.


? Devalātantravāyaka.


Cailadhovaka, cf. codakadhovaka, vol. 2. 415, n. 2.


Citrakāraka, cf. Pali cittakāra, Miln. 331.


Vardhikarūpakāraka, literally “makers of form by cutting.” One MS. reads vaddhaki°, with which cf. Pali vaḍḍhaki. On this craft see Mrs. Rhys Davids: Cambridge History of India, 1. 206 and Fick: Sociale Gliederung, 181, f.


Reading kāla (v.l. kāra)-pattrika, which Edgerton, B.H.S.D., says means “carvers”. Senart emends into kālapātrika “monk (mendicant) whose bowl is black,” a term which is obviously out of place in a list of craftsmen.


Pelalaka, cf. Sk. peṭa, Pali peḷā, peḷikā, “a basket.” Miln. 331 and V. 4. 6. have vilivakāra, “a worker in bamboo.”


Pustakāraka. Cf. Edgerton, B.H.S.D.




Chedaka, “cutters” or “hewers”, simply. This class is called kaṭṭhahāraka at Miln. 331. Edgerton, B.H.S.D.: “perhaps cutters (of wood?), quite uncertain.”




Sthapitasūtrakāra. Sthapita should apparently, with one MS., be read sthapati, which would correspond with Pali thapati, “builder.” Sūtrakāra in its Pali form suttakāra (Miln. 331), is taken to mean “(cotton) spinner” (S.B.E. 36, 210), but in Sk. sūtrakarma means “rule-work,” or “carpentry”, so that the whole compound in our text would seem to mean “a builder working by rule” or “a builder-carpenter.”


Literally, “maker of a store-room for seed,” uptakoṣṭhakāraka, which probably denotes the same occupation as koṭṭhakakamma, “work of a storeroom keeper,” mentioned at V. 4. 6 as an example of “low” work. See I. B. Horner, Bk. of Disc. 2, p. 175.


Literally, “diggers of holes,” kūpakhanaka. According to Mrs. Rhys Davids, op. cit., 1.207, “mining and miners never come on in the Jātaka scenes.”




? Olumpika, cf. Pali oḷumpika “belonging to a skiff,” P.E.D., where the word uḍupa, “a skiff,” is cited from Śvet. Upanisad. Below p. 433 (text) the form oḍumpika is used.




Mauṣṭika. Dishonest as well as honest occupations had their guilds or communities. There was, for example, a robber gāma in the hills near Uttara Pañcāla. See references in Mrs. Rhys Davids, op. cit., p. 207, and Edgerton, B.H.S.D.


For the grading of social status according to occupation see V. 4. 6, B. Horner, Bk. of Disc. 2.173 and Dial. 1. 100, 102.


Śreṣṭhipramukho naigamo (so read for nigamo of the text. See p. 101, n. 1). This and the succeeding substantives with their adjectives are inexplicably nominative instead of instrumental.


Cf. vol. 2, p. 23.




See vol. 2, p. 42, 44.


Imañ ca, “and this (time).”


Literally “twin miracles” yamakaprātihāryāṇi (Pali paṭihāriya). Such a miracle was said to have been first performed by the Buddha at Śrāvastī (Sāvatthi) to refute the heretical teachers. It was subsequently repeated many times. In the Mhvs., 17. 44; 30. 82; 31. 99, we hear of a like miracle being performed by the Buddha’s relics. See P.E.D. for references, and cf. vol. 3, p. 410 (text).


See vol. 2, p. 160, n. 4.


Literally, “because of her wet (fresh) grief,” ullena śokena, ulla being AMg. for Sk. ārdra, which is also used in the same connection. Senart emends the MS. ullenaiva (ullena eva) into ruṇṇena, the instr. of the past part, of rud, “to weep” (see vol. 2, p. 207, n. 1), used here as a substantive (cf Pali). It is better, however, with Edgerton (B.H.S.D. s.v. ulla), to restore the reading of the MS.


Udakāñjaliṃ pūretvā.


Used in the English New Testament sense of the word. It is offered here as a better rendering of anubhāva than the words “power” or “might" hitherto used in this translation.




Generally in the Mhvu. Śakra (Sakka) and Indra (Inda) are interchangeable names for one and the same divinity. The present passage is a reminder that they were originally distinct. Śakra is not found as a name in pre-Buddhist times. See D.P.N., s.v. Sakka. For the Three-and-Thirty devas (Tridaśa), see vol. 1, p. 124, n. 2.


Prāṇasama, cf. Pali pānasama, J. 2.343; Dpvs. 11. 26; DhA. 1. 5. (P.E.D.).


Jālini. See vol. 2, p. 264, n. 2.


I.e., Śuddhodana, called by his clan name.


Śilatīrtha, cf. Pali sīlatittha, S. 1.169, 183.


The tree Michelia champaka.


Sāhasragatāna, gen. pl. I.e. the people of the whole universe consisting of “thousands” of world-systems. The number is generally 3,000 in the Mhvu. See index to vols 1 and 2.


I.e., Buddhas, of course.


Ajanya, contracted form of ājāneya, “thoroughbred” (of a horse as in the next stanza). Edgerton (B.H.S.D.), however, is not convinced that Senart (see vol. 1, p. 268, n. 1) is right in giving ajanya this sense. At Mhvu. 1.319, 321, and 323, where the adjective is applied to Jyotipāla’s brāhman father, it must, he says, mean “ignoble”, as “the father may have been an outcaste brāhman.” To get the obviously required sense of “noble " in the present passage, Edgerton would read with v.l. anajanya, “not ignoble,” adding that” the metre is bad in any case.”


I.e., insignia of royalty. Cf. Vol. I, p. 214.


Literally, “the basis or constituent of magic or psychic power,” ṛddhipāda, Pali iddhipāda. There were four such bases, defined by P.E.D. as “the making determination in respect of concentration on purpose, on will, on thoughts and on investigation.” “Will,” however, should be “energy,” viriya.


Pradhāna, Pali padhāna. “Padhāna is fourfold, viz., saṃvara, pahāna, bhāvana, anurakkhaṇā, or exertion consisting in the restraint of one’s senses, the abandonment of sinful thoughts, practice of meditation and guarding one’s character.” P.E.D., where see references. Bhāvana, however, as Miss I. B. Horner points out, is “mind-cultivation” rather than “meditation,” and anurakkhaṇā, “watchfulness”.


Reading na for ca of the text.


Literally, “The Buddhas... and I who am a Self-guiding One.”


Reading goṇakatūlikāsu for goṣṭhikatūl°, on which Senart remarks, “peut-il s’entendre de coussins, divans où on est assis de compagnie?” (goṣṭhika from goṣṭhi, “assembly,” “society.”) B.H.S.D. only quotes Senart. cf. goṇakatthata, A. 1.137.


Rujanti, intrans. use.


This class of devas seem to be mentioned only here. Edgerton (B.H.S.D.) adds Mmk. 19.


See p. 118 n. 4.


Suttanta and Veyyākarana, two of the nine divisions (navaṅgabuddhasāsana) into which the completed corpus of Buddhist scriptures was divided. In a note Senart calls attention to the anachronism involved in alluding to this division at such an early stage of Buddhist history.




I.e., of kingship, see, e.g., vol. 1, p. 41.


The allusion is probably to the four pairs of men, the eight individuals (e.g., M. 1.37, cattāri purisayugāni aṭṭha purisapuggalā) who are sotāpannas, etc., and have won the fruit of each of the four stages of the way. Cf. vol. 1, p. 94, n. 2.


Pharitvā, from pharati. Cf. Pali. The form is equally referable to the two Sk. stems sphur and sphar. See P.E.D. and B.H.S.D.



Mā pramādyi, aor. (2 sg.). Cf. Pali mā pamādo, S. 4. 263; Dh. 371; Thag. 119; mā pamādattha, M.I. 46. For the form see Edgerton, Gram. § 32. 17.


Tāyin, see vol. 2, p. 318, n. 2.



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