WARREN: BUDDHISM IN TRANSLATIONS

448

 

 


 

 

Ī 100. A Family of Magicians

Translated from the Mahā-Vagga (vi.34.1)

Now at that time there dwelt in the city of Bhaddiya a householder named Mendaka. And his magical power was such that if he bathed his head, had his granary swept out, and sat outside by the door, a shower of grain would fall from the sky and fill the granary. Of his wife the magical power was such that if she sat down by a pint-pot of boiled rice and a dish of sauce and curry, she could serve a meal to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she did not get up, the food was not exhausted. Of the son the magical power was such that with only a purse of a thousand pieces of money he could pay six months' wages to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as the purse was in his hand, the money was not exhausted. Of the daughter-in-law the magical power was such that if she sat down by a four-bushel basket, she could give six months' rations of rice to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she did not get up, the rice was not exhausted. Of the slave the magical power was such that with one plow he could plow seven furrows at once.

And it came to the ears of Seniya Bimbisāra, king of Magadha:

"They say that in the city of Bhaddiya, which is in our territory, there dwells a householder named Mendaka. And his magical power is such that if he bathes his head, has his granary swept out, and sits outside by the door, a shower of grain will fall from the sky and fill the granary. Of his wife the magical power is such that if she sits down by a pint-pot of boiled rice, and a dish of sauce and curry, she can serve a meal to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she does not get up, the food is not exhausted. Of the son the magical power is such that with only a purse of a thousand pieces of money he can pay six months' wages to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as the purse is in his hand, the money is [449] not exhausted. Of the daughter-in-law the magical power is such that if she sits down by a four-bushel basket, she can give six months' rations of rice to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she does not get up, the rice is not exhausted. Of the slave the magical power is such that with one plow he can plow seven furrows at once."

Then Seniya Bimbisāra, king of Magadha, said to a certain minister who had charge of general affairs:

"Look you now! They say that in the city of Bhaddiya, which is in our territory, there dwells a householder named Mendaka. And his magical power is such that if he bathes his head, has his granary swept out, and sits outside by the door, a shower of grain will fall from the sky and fill the granary. Of his wife the magical power is such that if she sits down by a pint-pot of boiled rice and a dish of sauce and curry, she can serve a meal to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she does not get up, the food is not exhausted. Of the son the magical power is such that with only a purse of a thousand pieces of money he can pay six months' wages to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as the purse is in his hand, the money is not exhausted. Of the daughter-in-law the magical power is such that if she sits down by a four-bushel basket, she can give six months' rations of rice to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she does not get up, the rice is not exhausted. Of the slave the magical power is such that with one plow he can plow seven furrows at once. Look you now! Go and find out about this. When you have seen this magical power, it will be as if I myself had seen it."

"Yes, sire," said the minister to Seniya Bimbisāra, king of Magadha, in assent, and set out with a fourfold army in the direction of Bhaddiya. And going from place to place, he drew near to Bhaddiya, and to where Mendaka the house-holder was; and having drawn near, he spoke to Mendaka the householder as follows:

"I, O householder, have been commanded by the king, as follows: 'Look you now! They say that in the city of Bhaddiya, which is in our territory, there dwells a householder [450] named Mendaka. And his magical power is such that if he bathes his head, has his granary swept out, and sits outside by the door, a shower of grain will fall from the sky and fill the granary. Of his wife the magical power is such that if she sits down by a pint-pot of boiled rice and a dish of sauce and curry, she can serve a meal to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she does not get up, the food is not exhausted. Of the son the magical power is such that with only a purse of a thousand pieces of money he can pay six months' wages to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as the purse is in his hand, the money is not exhausted. Of the daughter-in-law the magical power is such that if she sits down by a four-bushel basket, she can give six months' rations of rice to the slaves and serving-men; and as long as she does not get up, the rice is not exhausted. Of the slave the magical power is such that with one plow he can plow seven furrows at once. Look you now! Go and find out about this. When you have seen this magical power, it will be as if I myself had seen it.' Let us see, O householder, your magical power."

Then Mendaka the householder bathed his head, had his granary swept out, and sat outside by the door, and a shower of grain fell from the sky and filled the granary.

"We have seen, O householder, your magical power. We will see that of your wife."

Then Mendaka the householder commanded his wife:

"Serve, then, the fourfold army with food."

Then the wife of Mendaka the householder sat down by a pint-pot of boiled rice and a dish of sauce and curry, and served a meal to the fourfold army; and as long as she did not get up, the food was not exhausted.

"We have seen, O householder, the magical power of your wife. We will see that of your son."

Then Mendaka the householder commanded his son:

"Pay, then, my child, six months' wages to the army."

Then the son of Mendaka, with only a purse of a thousand pieces of money, paid six months' wages to the fourfold army; and as long as the purse was in his hand, the money was not exhausted.

[451] "We have seen, O householder, the magical power of your son. We will see that of your daughter-in-law."

Then Mendaka the householder commanded his daughter-in-law:

"Give, then, six months' rations of rice to the fourfold army."

Then the daughter-in-law of Mendaka the householder sat down by a four-bushel basket, and gave six months' rations of rice to the fourfold army; and as long as she did not get up, the rice was not exhausted.

"We have seen, O householder, the magical power of your daughter-in-law. We will see that of your slave."

"Sir, the magical power of my slave is to be seen in the field."

"Enough, O householder; we have seen the magical power of your slave."

Then the minister returned to Rājagaha with the fourfold army, and drew near to where Seniya Bimbisāra, king of Magadha, was; and having drawn near, he told the matter to Seniya Bimbisāra, king of Magadha.

 


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