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Buddhist Suttas

Translated from Pāli by T. W. Rhys Davids

Oxford, the Clarendon Press
1881
Vol. XI of The Sacred Books of the East
translated by various Oriental scholars and edited by F. Max Müller

Public Domain
This work has been reformatted for presentation on BuddhaDust
Thanks to J.B. Hare's Internet Sacred Text Archives for originally posting this material
Digitized and formatted for Internet Sacred Text Archives by Cristopher M. Weimer

VI
Mahā-Sudassana[1] Sutta
Legend of the Great King of Glory


[247]

Chapter 1

[1][pts] THUS HAVE I HEARD. The Blessed One was once staying at Kusinārā in the Upavattana, the Sāla grove of the Mallas, between the twin Sāla trees, at the time of his death.

2. Now the venerable Ānanda went up to the place where the Blessed One was, and bowed down before him, and took his seat respectfully on one side. And when he was so seated, the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One:

[2]'Let not the Blessed One die in this little wattel and daub town, in this town in the midst of the jungle, in this branch township. For, Lord, there are other great cities, such as Campā, Rājagaha, Sāvatthi, Sāketa, Kosambi, and Benāres. Let the Blessed One die in one of them. There there are many wealthy nobles and Brāhmans and heads of houses, believers in the Tathāgata, who will pay due honour to the remains of the Tathāgata.'

3. 'Say not so, Ānanda! Say not so, Ānanda, [248] that this is but a small wattel and daub town, a town in the midst of the jungle, a branch township. Long ago, Ānanda, there was a king, by name Mahā-Sudassana, a king of kings, a righteous man who ruled in righteousness, an anointed Kshatriya[3], Lord of the four quarters of the earth, conqueror, the protector of his people, possessor of the seven royal treasures. This Kusinārā, Ānanda, was the royal city of king Mahā-Sudassana, under the name of Kusāvatī[4], and on the east and on the west it was twelve leagues in length, and on the north and on the south it was seven leagues in breadth. That royal city Kusāvatī, Ānanda, was mighty, and prosperous, and full of people, crowded with men, and provided with all things for food. just, Ānanda, as the royal city of the gods, Ā'akamandā by name, is mighty, prosperous, and full of people, crowded with the gods, and provided with all kinds of food, so. Ānanda, was the royal city Kusāvatī mighty and prosperous, full of people, crowded with men, and provided with all kinds of food. Both by day and by night, Ānanda, the royal city Kusāvatī resounded [249] with the ten cries; that is to say, the noise of elephants, and the noise of horses, and the noise of chariots; the sounds of the drum, of the tabor, and of the lute; the sound of singing, and the sounds of the cymbal and of the gong; and lastly, with the cry, "Eat, drink, and be merry[5]!"

 


 

4. 'The royal city Kusāvatī, Ānanda, was surrounded by Seven Ramparts. Of these, one rampart was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems[6]!'

[250] 5. 'To the royal city Kusāvatī, Ānanda, there were Four Gates. One gate was of gold, and one of silver, and one of jade, and one of crystal. At each gate seven pillars were fixed; in height as three times or as four times the height of a man. And one pillar was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems.

6. 'The royal city Kusāvatī, Ānanda, was surrounded by Seven Rows of Palm Trees. One row was of palms of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems.

7. 'And the Golden Palms had trunks of gold, and leaves and fruits of silver. And the Silver Palms had trunks of silver, and leaves and fruits of gold. And the Palms of Beryl had trunks of beryl, and leaves and fruits of crystal. And the Crystal Palms had trunks of crystal, and leaves and fruits of beryl. And the Agate Palms had trunks of agate, and leaves and fruits of coral. And the Coral Palms had trunks of coral, and leaves and fruits of agate. And the Palms of every kind of Gem had trunks and leaves and fruits of every kind of gem.

8.[7] 'And when those rows of palm trees, Ānanda,[251] were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

'Just, Ānanda, as the seven kind of instruments yield, when well played upon, to the skilful man, a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating-just even so, Ānanda, when those rows of palm trees were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

9. 'And whoever, Ānanda, in the royal city Kusāvatī were at that time gamblers, drunkards, and given to drink, they used to dance round together to the sound of those palms when shaken by the wind.

 


 

10. 'The Great King of Glory, Ānanda, was the possessor of Seven Precious Things, and was gifted with Four Marvellous Powers.'

'What are those seven?'

11.[8] 'In the first place, Ānanda, when the Great King of Glory, on the Sabbath day[9], on the day of [252] the full moon, had purified himself, and had gone up into the upper story of his palace to keep the sacred day, there then appeared to him the heavenly Treasure of the Wheel[10], with its nave, its tire, and all its thousand spokes complete.

12. 'When he beheld it the Great King of Glory thought:

'"This saying have I heard, 'When a king of the warrior race, an anointed king, has purified himself on the Sabbath day, on the day of the full moon, and has gone up into the upper story of his palace to keep the sacred day; if there appear to him the heavenly Treasure of the Wheel, with its nave, its tire, and all its thousand spokes complete-that king becomes a king of kings invincible.' May I, then, become a king of kings invincible[11]."

13. 'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory rose from his seat, and reverently uncovering from one shoulder his robe, he held in his left hand a pitcher, and with his right hand he sprinkled water up over the Wheel, as he said:

'"Roll onward, O my Lord, the Wheel! O my Lord, go forth and overcome!"

14. 'Then the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda, rolled onwards towards the region of the East, and after it went the Great King of Glory[12], and with him his [253] army, horses, and chariots, and elephants, and men. And in whatever place, Ānanda, the Wheel stopped, there the Great King of Glory took up his abode, and with him his army, horses, and chariots, and elephants, and men.

15. 'Then, Ānanda, all the rival kings in the region of the East came to the Great King of Glory and said:

'"Come, O mighty king! Welcome, O mighty king! All is thine, O mighty king! Do thou, O mighty king, be a Teacher to us!"

16. 'Thus spake the Great King of Glory:

'"Ye shall slay no living thing.

'"Ye shall not take that which has not been given.

'"Ye shall not act wrongly touching the bodily desires.

'"Ye shall speak no lie.

'"Ye shall drink no maddening drink.

'"Ye shall eat as ye have eaten[13]."

17. 'Then, Ānanda, all the rival kings in the region of the East became subject unto the Great King of Glory.

18. 'But the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda, having plunged down into the great waters in the East, rose up out again, and rolled onward to the region of the South [and there all happened as had happened [254] in the region of the East. And in like manner the wondrous Wheel rolled onward to the extremest boundary of the West and of the North; and there, too, all happened as had happened in the region of the East].

19. 'Now when the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda, had gone forth conquering and to conquer o'er the whole earth to its very ocean boundary, it returned back again to the royal city of Kusāvatī and remained fixed on the open terrace in front of the entrance to the inner apartments of the Great King of Glory, as a glorious adornment to the inner apartments of the Great King of Glory.

20. 'Such, Ānanda, was the wondrous Wheel which appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 


 

21. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Elephant Treasure[14], all white, sevenfold firm[15], wonderful in power, flying through the sky — the Elephant-King, whose name was "The Changes of the Moon[16]."

22. 'When he beheld it the Great King of Glory was pleased at heart at the thought [255] '"Auspicious were it to ride upon that Elephant, if only it would submit to be controlled!"

23. 'Then, Ānanda, the wondrous Elephant — like a fine elephant of noble blood long since well trained — submitted to control.

24. 'When as before, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wondrous Elephant, mounted on to it early in the morning, it passed over along the broad earth to its very ocean boundary, and then returned again, in time for the morning meal, to the royal city of Kusāvatī[17].

25. 'Such, Ānanda, was the wondrous Elephant that appeared to the Great King of Glory.

26. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Horse Treasure[18], all white with a black head, and a dark mane, wonderful in power, flying through the sky-the Charger-King, whose name was "Thunder-cloud[19]."

27. 'When he beheld it, the Great King of Glory was pleased at heart at the thought:

'"Auspicious were it to ride upon that Horse if only it would submit to be controlled!"

28. 'Then, Ānanda. the wondrous Horse — like [256] a fine horse of the best blood long since well trained — submitted to control.

29. 'When as before, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wondrous Horse, mounted on to it early in the morning, it passed over along the broad earth to its very ocean boundary, and then returned again, in time for the morning meal, to the royal city of Kusāvatī.

30. 'Such, Ānanda, was the wondrous Horse that appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 


 

31. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Gem-Treasure[20]. That Gem was the Ve'uriya, bright, of the finest species, with eight facets, excellently wrought, clear, transparent, perfect in every way.

32. 'The splendour, Ānanda, of that wondrous Gem spread round about a league on every side.

33. 'When as before, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wondrous Gem, set all his fourfold army in array and raised aloft the Gem upon his standard top, he was able to march out in the gloom and darkness of the night.

34. 'And then too, Ānanda, all the dwellers in the villages, round about, set about their daily work, thinking, "The daylight hath appeared."

35. 'Such, Ānanda, was the wondrous Gem that appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 


 

36. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory the Woman-Treasure[21], graceful in figure, beautiful in appearance, charming in manner, and of the most fine complexion; neither [257] very tall, nor very short; neither very stout, nor very slim; neither very dark, nor very fair; surpassing human beauty, she had attained unto the beauty of the gods[22].

37. 'The touch too, Ānanda, of the skin of that wondrous Woman was as the touch of cotton or of cotton wool: in the cold her limbs were warm, in the heat her limbs were cool; while from her body was wafted the perfume of sandal wood and from her mouth the perfume of the lotus.

38. 'That Pearl among Women too, Ānanda, used to rise up before the Great King of Glory, and after him retire to rest; pleasant was she in speech, and ever on the watch to hear what she might do in order so to act as to give him pleasure.

39. 'That Pearl among Women too, Ānanda, was never, even in thought, unfaithful to the Great King of Glory — how much less then could she be so with the body!

40. 'Such, Ānanda, was the Pearl among Women who appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 


 

41. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared unto the Great King of Glory a Wonderful Treasurer[23], possessed, through good deeds done in a [258] former birth, of a marvellous power of vision by which he could discover treasure, whether it had an owner or whether it had not.

42. 'He went up to the Great King of Glory, and said:

'"Do thou, O king, take thine case! I will deal with thy wealth even as wealth should be dealt with."

43. 'Then, as before, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory, to test that wonderful Treasurer, went on board a boat, and had it pushed out into the current in the midst of the river Ganges. Then he said to the wonderful steward:

'"I have need, O Treasurer, of yellow gold!"

'"Let the ship then, O Great King, go alongside either of the banks."

'"It is here, O Treasurer, that I have need of yellow gold."

44. 'Then the wonderful Treasurer reached down to the water with both his hands, and drew up a jar [259] full of yellow gold, and said to the Great King of Glory —

'"Is that enough, O Great King? Have I done enough, O Great King?"

'And the Great King of Glory replied:

'"It is enough, O Treasurer. You have done enough, O Treasurer. You have offered me enough, O Treasurer!"

45. 'Such was the wonderful Treasurer, Ānanda, who appeared to the Great King of Glory.

 


 

46. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory a Wonderful Adviser[24], learned, clever, and wise; and qualified to lead the Great King of Glory to undertake what he ought to undertake, and to leave undone what he ought to leave undone.

47. 'He went up to the Great King of Glory, and said:

'"Do thou, O King, take thine ease! I will be thy guide."

48. 'Such, Ānanda, was the wonderful Adviser who appeared to the Great King of Glory.

'The Great King of Glory was possessed of these Seven Precious Things.

 


 

49. 'Now further, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory was gifted with Four Marvellous Gifts[25].'

'What are the Four Marvellous Gifts?'

[260] 50. 'In the first place, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory was graceful in figure, handsome in appearance, pleasing in manner, and of most beautiful complexion, beyond what other men are.

'The Great King of Glory, Ānanda, was endowed with this First Marvellous Gift.

51. 'And besides that, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory was of long life, and of many years, beyond those of other men.

'The Great King of Glory, Ānanda, was endowed with this Second Marvellous Gift.

52. 'And besides that, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory was free from disease, and free from bodily suffering; and his internal fire was neither too hot nor too cold, but such as to promote good digestion, beyond that of other men[26].

[261]'The Great King of Glory, Ānanda, was endowed with this Third Marvellous Gift.

53. 'And besides that, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory was beloved and popular with Brāhmans and with laymen alike[27]. Just, Ānanda, as a father is near and dear to his own sons, just so, Ānanda, was the Great King of Glory beloved and popular with Brāhmans and with laymen alike. And just, Ānanda, as his sons are near and dear to a father, just so, Ānanda, were Brāhmans and laymen alike near and dear to the Great King of Glory.

54. 'Once, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory marched out with all his fourfold army to the pleasure ground. There, Ānanda, the Brāhmans and laymen went up to the Great King of Glory, and said:

'"O King, pass slowly by, that we may look upon thee for a longer time!"

'But the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, addressed his charioteer, and said:

'"Drive on the chariot slowly, charioteer, that I may look upon my people (Brāhmans and laymen) for a longer time!"

55. 'This was the Fourth Marvellous Gift, Ānanda, with which the Great King of Glory was endowed.

56. 'These are the Four Marvellous Gifts, Ānanda, with which the Great King of Glory was endowed.

 


 

57. 'Now to the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, there occurred the thought:

'"Suppose, now, I were to make Lotus-ponds [262] in the spaces between these palms, at every hundred bow lengths."

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory, in the spaces between those palms, at distances of a hundred bow lengths, made Lotus-ponds.

58. 'And those Lotus-ponds, Ānanda, were faced with tiles of four kinds. One kind of tile was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

59. 'And to each of those Lotus-ponds, Ānanda, there were four flights of steps, of four different kinds. One flight of steps was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal. The flight of golden steps had balustrades of gold, with the cross bars and the figure head of silver. The flight of silver steps had balustrades of silver, with the cross bars and the figure head of gold. The flight of beryl steps had balustrades of beryl, with the cross bars and the figure head of crystal. The flight of crystal steps had balustrades of crystal, with cross bars and figure head of beryl.

60. 'And round those Lotus-ponds there ran, Ānanda, a double railing. One railing was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden railing had its posts of gold, and its cross bars and its capitals of silver. The silver railing had its posts of silver, and its cross bars and its capitals of gold[28].

[263] 61. 'Now, to the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, there occurred the thought:

'"Suppose, now, I were to have flowers of every season planted in those Lotus-ponds for the use of all the people-to wit, blue water lilies and blue lotuses, white lotuses and white water lilies."

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory had flowers of every season planted in those Lotus-ponds for the use of all the people-to wit, blue water lilies and blue lotuses, white lotuses and white water lilies.

62. 'Now, to the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, occurred the thought:

'"Suppose, now, I were to place bathing-men on the banks of those Lotus-ponds, to bathe such of the people as come there from time to time."

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory placed bathing-men on the banks of those Lotus-ponds, to bathe such of the people as come there from time to time.

63. 'Now, to the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, occurred the thought:

'"Suppose, now, I were to establish a perpetual grant by the banks of those Lotus-ponds — to wit, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked, means of conveyance for those who have need of it, couches for the tired, wives for [264] those who want wives, gold for the poor, and money for those who are in want."

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory established a perpetual grant by the banks of those Lotus-ponds — to wit, food for the hungry, drink for the thirsty, raiment for the naked, means of conveyance for those who needed it, couches for the tired, wives for those who wanted wives, gold for the poor, and money for those who were in want.

 


 

64. 'Now, Ānanda, the people (Brāhmans and laymen) went to the Great King of Glory, taking with them much wealth. And they said:

'"This abundant wealth, O King, have we brought here for the use of the King of Kings. Let the King accept it of us!"

'"I have enough wealth, my friends, laid up for myself, the produce of righteous taxation. Do you keep this, and take away more with you!"

65. 'When those men were thus refused by the King they went aside and considered together, saying:

'"It would not beseem us now, were we to take back this wealth to our own houses. Suppose, now, we were to build a mansion for the Great King of Glory."

66. 'Then they went to the Great King of Glory, and said:

'"A mansion would we build for thee, O King!"'

'"Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory signified, by silence, his consent.

 


 

67. 'Now, Ānanda, when Sakka, the king of the gods, became aware in his mind of the thoughts that [265] were in the heart of the Great King of Glory, he addressed Vissakamma the god[29], and said:

'"Come now, Vissakamma, create me a mansion for the Great King of Glory — a palace which shall be called 'Righteousness[30].'"

68. '"Even so, Lord!" said Vissakamma, in assent, Ānanda, to Sakka, the king of the gods. And as instantaneously as a strong man might stretch forth his folded arm, or draw in his arm again when it was stretched forth, so quickly did he vanish from the heaven of the Great Thirty-Three, and appeared before the Great King of Glory.

69. 'Then, Ānanda, Vissakamma the god said to the Great King of Glory:

'"I would create for thee, O King, a mansion — a palace which shall be called 'Righteousness!'"

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory signified, by silence, his consent.

 


 

70. 'So Vissakamma the god, Ānanda, created for the Great King of Glory a mansion — a palace to be called "Righteousness."

71. 'The Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was on the east and on the west a league in length, and on the north and on the south half a league in breadth.

72. 'The ground-floor, Ānanda, of the Palace of Righteousness[31], in height as three times the height to which a man can reach, was built of bricks, of four kinds. One kind of brick was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

[266] 73. 'To the Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, there were eighty-four thousand pillars of four kinds. One kind of pillar was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

74. 'The Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was fitted up with seats of four kinds. One kind of seat was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

75. 'In the Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, there were twenty-four staircases of four kinds. One staircase was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal. The staircase of gold had balustrades of gold, with the cross bars and the figure head of silver. The staircase of silver had balustrades of silver, with the cross bars and the figure head of gold. The staircase of beryl had balustrades of beryl, with the cross bars and the figure head of crystal. The staircase of crystal had balustrades of crystal, with cross bars and figure head of beryl.

76. 'In the Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, there were eighty-four thousand chambers of four kinds. One kind of chamber was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

'In the golden chamber a silver couch was spread; in the silver chamber a golden couch; in the beryl chamber a couch of ivory; and in the crystal chamber a couch of coral.

'At the door of the golden chamber there stood a palm tree of silver; and its trunk was of silver, and its leaves and fruits of gold.

'At the door of the silver chamber there stood a palm tree of gold; and its trunk was of gold, and its leaves and fruits of silver.

[267]

'At the door of the beryl chamber there stood a palm tree of crystal; and its trunk was of crystal, and its leaves and fruits of beryl.

'At the door of the crystal chamber there stood a palm tree of beryl; and its trunk was of beryl, and its leaves and fruits of crystal.

 


 

77. 'Now there occurred, Ānanda, to the Great King of Glory this thought:

'"Suppose, now, I were to make a grove of palm trees, all of gold, at the entrance to the chamber of the Great Complex[32], under the shade of which I may pass the heat of the day."

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory made a grove of palm trees, all of gold, at the entrance to the chamber of the Great Complex, under the shade of which he might pass the heat of the day.

78. 'The Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was surrounded by a double railing. One railing was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden railing had its posts of gold, and its cross bars and its figure head of silver. The silver railing had its posts of silver, and its cross bars and its figure head of gold[33].

79. 'The Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was hung round with two networks of bells. One network of bells was of gold, and one was of silver. [268] The golden network had bells of silver, and the silver network had bells of gold.

80. 'And when those networks of bells, Ānanda, were shaken by the wind there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

'Just, Ānanda, as the seven kind of instruments yield, when well played upon, to the skilful man, a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating — just even so, Ānanda, when those networks of bells were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

81. 'And whoever, Ānanda, in the royal city Kusāvatī were at that time gamblers, drunkards, and given to drink, they used to dance round together to the sound of those networks of bells when shaken by the wind.

 


 

82. 'When the Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was finished it was hard to look at, destructive to the eyes. just, Ānanda, as in the last month of the rains in the autumn time, when the sky has become clear and the clouds have vanished away, the sun, springing up along the heavens, is hard to look at, and destructive to the eyes, — just so, Ānanda, when the Palace of Righteousness was finished was it hard to look at, and destructive to the eyes.

 


 

83. 'Now there occurred, Ānanda, to the Great King of Glory this thought:

'"Suppose, now, in front of the Palace of Righteousness, I were to make a Lotus-lake to bear the name of 'Righteousness.'"

'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory made a Lotus-lake to bear the name of "Righteousness."

[269] 84. 'The Lake of Righteousness, Ānanda, was on the east and on the west a league in length, and on the north and on the south half a league in breadth.

85. 'The Lake of Righteousness, Ānanda, was faced with tiles of four kinds. One kind of tile was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal.

86. 'The Lake of Righteousness, Ānanda, had four and twenty flights of steps, of four different kinds. One flight of steps was of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal. The flight of golden steps had balustrades of gold, with the cross bars and the figure head of silver. The flight of silver steps had balustrades of silver, with the cross bars and the figure head of gold. The flight of beryl steps had balustrades of beryl, with the cross bars and the figure head of crystal. The flight of crystal steps had balustrades of crystal, with cross bars and figure head of beryl.

87. 'Round the Lake of Righteousness, Ānanda, there ran a double railing. One railing was of gold, and one was of silver. The golden railing had its posts of gold, and its cross bars and its capitals of silver. The silver railing had its posts of silver, and its cross bars and its capitals of gold.

88. 'The Lake of Righteousness, Ānanda, was surrounded by seven rows of palm trees. One row was of palms of gold, and one of silver, and one of beryl, and one of crystal, and one of agate, and one of coral, and one of all kinds of gems.

89. 'And the golden palms had trunks of gold, and leaves and fruits of silver. And the silver palms had trunks of silver, and leaves and fruits of gold. And the palms of beryl had trunks of beryl, [270] and leaves and fruits of crystal. And the crystal palms had trunks of crystal, and leaves and fruits of beryl. And the agate palms had trunks of agate, and leaves and fruits of coral. And the coral palms had trunks of coral, and leaves and fruits of agate. And the palms of every kind of gem had trunks and leaves and fruits of every kind of gem.

90. 'And when those rows of palm trees, Ānanda, were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

'Just, Ānanda, as the seven kind of instruments yield, when well played upon, to the skilful man, a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating, — just even so, Ānanda, when those rows of palm trees were shaken by the wind, there arose a sound sweet, and pleasant, and charming, and intoxicating.

91. 'And whoever, Ānanda[34], in the royal city Kusāvatī were at that time gamblers, drunkards, and given to drink, they used to dance round together to the sound of those palms when shaken by the wind.

 


 

92. 'When the Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was finished, and the Lotus-lake of Righteousness was finished, the Great King of Glory entertained with all good things those of the Samaṇas who, at that time, were held in high esteem, and those of the Brāhmans who, at that time, were held in high esteem. Then he ascended up into the Palace of Righteousness.'

 


 

END OF CHAPTER ONE

 


 


[1]Sudassana means 'beautiful to see, having a glorious appearance,' and is the name of many kings and heroes in Indian legend.

[2]From here down to the end of the next section is found also, nearly word for word, in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, above, pp. 99, 100. Compare also Mahā-Sudassana Jātaka, No. 95.

[3]Khattiyo muddhāvasitto, which does not occur in the Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, the Mahāpadhāna Sutta, the Lakkhaṇa Sutta, and other places where this stock description of a Cakkavatti is found. It is omitted also in the Lalita Vistara. The Burmese Phayre MS. of the India Office reads here muddābhisitto, but this is an unnecessary correction. So the name of the Hindu caste mentioned in the Sahyādri Khaṇḍa of the Skanda Purāṇa is spelt both ways. The epithet is probably inserted here from Ī 12 below.

[4]KuSāvatī was the name of a famous city mentioned as the capital of Southern Kusala in post-Buddhistic Sanskrit plays and epic poems. In the Mahābhārata it is called KuSavatī. It is said to have been so named after KuSa, son of Rāma, by whom it was built; and it is also called KuSasthalī.

[5]This enumeration is found also at Jātaka, p. 3, only that the chank is added there — wrongly, for that makes the number of cries eleven.

[6]Beryl, agate, and coral are doubtful renderings of Pāli names of precious substances, the exact meaning of which has been discussed on the very slender evidence available (and hence, it seems to me, with very little certain result) by Burnouf in the 'Lotus de la Bonne Loi,' pp. 319-321; and Professor Max Müller has a further note in the journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1890, p. 178. The Pāli words here are in the first column:

 

1. Sovaṇṇamayo,

Suvarṇasya;

2. Rūpimayo,

Rūpasya;

3. Ve'uriyamayo,

Vaidūryasya;

4. Phalikamayo,

Sphaṭikasya;

5. Lohitaŋkamayo,

Lohitamuktasya;

6. Masāragallamayo,

Asmagarbhasya;

7. Sabbaratanamayo,

Musāragalvasya:

 

those in the second being taken from the Sukhavatīvyūha in the corresponding to Ī 6 below. It is quite possible that passage the writers of these passages used the rarer words only as names of precious substances, without attaching any clearly distinct meaning to each (compare Rev. xxi. 19-21). The Pāli author seems to have been hard put to it to find enough names to fill up the sacred number seven; just as in the 'Seven jewels' of the Dhamma, the sacred number seven is reached by giving to one jewel two distinct names (Pañk indriyāni = pañka balāni). At Kulla Vagga IX, 1, 4. we find the following enumeration of {footnote p. 250} rataṇas as found in the ocean, though only Nos. 1, 4, 5, 6 are really produced there:

 

1. Mutta.

6. Pavā'aṃ.

2. Maṇi.

7. Rajataṃ.

3. Ve'uriyo.

8. Gātarūpam.

4. Saŋkho.

9. Lohitaŋko.

5. Silā

10. Masāragallaṃ.

[7]This section and Ī 9 should be compared with one in the Sukhavatīvyūha, translated by Professor Max Müller as follows (journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1880, p. 170):
 
'And again, O Sāriputra, when those rows of palm trees and {footnote p. 251} strings of bells in that Buddha country are moved by the wind, a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds from them. Yes, O Sāriputra, as from a heavenly musical instrument consisting of a hundred thousand koṭis of sounds, when played by Āryas, a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds; a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds from those rows of palm trees and strings of bells moved by the wind.
'And when the men there hear that sound, reflection on Buddha arises in their body, reflection on the Law, reflection on the Assembly.'
 
Compare also below, Ī 81, and Jātaka I, 32.]

[8]The following enumeration is found word for word in several other Pāli Suttas, and occurs also, in almost identical terms, in the Lalita Vistara (Calcutta edition, pp. 14-19).

[9]'Uposatha, a weekly sacred day; being full-moon day, new-moon day, and the two equidistant intermediate days. Comp. Ī 21.

[10]Cakka-ratanaṃ, where the cakka is the disk of the sun.

[11]Cakkavattirājā.

[12]Atha kho cakka-ratanaṃ puratthimaṃ disaṃ pavatti anvad eva rājā Mahāsudassano, &c. Here anvad must be the Sanskrit anvañk. The Lalita Vistara has anveti in the corresponding passage, and the (Phayre Burmese) MS. here reads anud eva. The verb in the second clause must be supplied, as {footnote p. 253} is the case in the one or two other passages where I have met with this phrase.

[13]Yathābhuttaṃbhuñgatha. Buddhaghosa has no comment on this. I suppose it means, 'Observe the rules current among you regarding clean and unclean meats.' If so, the Great King of Glory disregards the teaching of the Āmagandha Sutta, quoted in 'Buddhism,' p. 131.

[14]Hatthi-ratana.

[15]Satta-ppatittho, that is, perhaps, in regard to its four legs, two tusks, and trunk. The expression is curious, and Buddhaghosa has no note upon it. It is quite possible that it merely signifies 'exceeding firm,' the number seven being used without any hard and fast interpretation.

[16]Uposatho. In the Lalita Vistara its name is 'Wisdom' (Bodhi). Uposatha is the name for the sacred day of the moon's changes-first, and more especially the full-moon day; next, the new-moon day; and lastly, the days equidistant between these two. It was therefore a weekly sacred day, and, as Childers says, may often be well rendered 'Sabbath.'

[17]Compare on this and Ī 29 my 'Buddhist Birth Stories,' p. 85, where a similar phrase is used of Kanthaka.

[18]Assa-ratanaṃ.

[19]Valāhako. Compare the Valāhassa Jātaka (Fausböll, No. 196, called in the Burmese MS. Valāhakassa Jātaka), of which the Chinese story translated by Mr. Beal at pp. 332-340 of his 'Romantic History,' &c., is an expanded and altered version. In the Valāhaka Saṃyutta of the Saṃyutta Nikāya the spirits of the skies are divided into Uṇha-valāhakā Devā, Sīta-valāhakā Devā, Abbha-valāhakā Devā, Vāta-valāhakā Devā, and Vassa-valāhakā Devā, that is, the cloud-spirits of cold, heat, air, wind, and rain respectively.

[20]Maṇi-ratanaṃ.

[21]Itthi-ratanaṃ.

[22]The above description of an ideally beautiful woman is of frequent occurrence.

[23] Gahapati-ratanaṃ. The word gahapati has been hitherto usually rendered 'householder,' but this may often, and would certainly here, convey a wrong impression. There is no single word in English which is an adequate rendering of the term, for it connotes a social condition now no longer known among us. The gahapati was the head of a family, the representative in a village community of a family, the pater familias. So the god of fire, with allusion to the sacred fire maintained in each household, is called in the Rig-veda the grihapati, the pater familias, {footnote p. 258} of the human race. Thence it is often used in opposition to brāhmaṇa very much as we might use 'yeoman' in opposition to 'clerk' (Jātaka I, 83, and below, Ī 53); and the two combined are used in opposition to people of other ranks and callings held to be less honourable than that of clerk or yeoman (Jātaka I, 218). In this respect the term gahapati is nearly equivalent, though from a different point of view, to the Kshatriyas and VaiSyas of the Hindu caste division; but the compound brāhmaṇa-gahapatikā as a collective term comes to be about equivalent to 'priests and laymen' (see, for instance, below, Ī 53, and Mahā Vagga I, 22; 3, 4, &c.). Then again the gahapati is distinct from the subordinate members of the family, who had not the control and management of the common property (Sāmaññaphala Sutta, 133, = Tevijja Sutta I, 47); and it is this implication of the term that is emphasised in the text. Buddhaghosa uses, as an explanatory phrase, the words seṭṭhi-gahapati. See further the passages quoted in the index to the Culla Vagga (p. 354).

[24]Pariṇāyaka-ratanaṃ. Buddhaghosa says that he was the eldest son of the king; but this is probably a mere putting back into the Sutta of a later idea derived from the summary in the Jātaka. The Lalita Vistara makes him a general.

[25]Catūhi iddhīhi. Here again, as elsewhere, it will be noticed that there is nothing supernatural about these four Iddhis. See {footnote p. 260} the notes above on the 'Book of the Great Decease,' I, 1; III, 2. They are merely attributes accompanying or forming part of the majesty (iddhi) of the Cakkavatti.

[26]Samavepākiniyā gahaṇiyā samannāgato nātisītāya nāccunhāya. The same thing is said of Raṭṭhapāla in the Raṭṭhapāla Sutta, where Gogerly renders the whole passage, 'Raṭṭhapāla is healthy, free from pain, having a good digestion and appetite, being troubled with no excess of either heat or cold' (journal of the Ceylon Asiatic Society, 1847-1848, p. 98). The gahaṇi is a supposed particular organ or function situate at the junction of the stomach and intestines. Moggallāna explains it, udare tu tathā pācanalasmiṃ gahaṇi (Abhidhāna-ppadīpikī, 972), where Subhū' ti. Sinhalese version is 'kukshi, pakāgni,' and his English version, 'the belly, the internal fire which promotes digestion.' Buddhaghosa explains samavipākiyā kammajā-tejo-dhātuyā, and adds, 'If a man's food is dissolved the moment he has eaten it, or if it remains like a lump, he has not the samavepākini gahaṇi, but he who has appetite (bhattakkhando) when the time for food comes round again, he has the samavepākini gahaṇi,' — which is delightfully naïve.

[27]Brāhmaṇa-gahapatikānaṃ. See the note on Ī 41.

[28]Pokkharaṇi, the word translated Lotus-pond, is an artificial pool or small lake for water plants. There are some which are probably nearly as old as this passage still in good preservation in Anurādhapuru in Ceylon. Each is oblong, and has its tiles and its four flights of steps, and some had railings. The balustrades, cross bars, figure head, and railing are in Pāli thambhā, sūciyo, unhīsaṃ, and vedikā, of the exact meaning of which I am not quite confident. They do not occur in the description {footnote p. 263} of the Lotus-lakes in Sukhavatī. General Cunningham says that the cross bars of the Buddhist railings are called sūciyo in the inscriptions at Bharhut (The Stupa of Bharhut, p. 127). Buddhaghosa, who is good enough to tell us the exact number of the ponds-to wit, 84,000, has no explanation of these words, merely saying that of the two vedikās one was at the limit of the tiles and one at the limit of the pariveṇa. The phrases in the text are repeated below, ĪĪ 73-87, of the Palace of Righteousness.

[29]Vissakammaṃ devaputtaṃ, where devaputtaṃ means not 'son of a god,' but 'belonging to, born into the class of, the gods.'

[30] Dhammaṃ nāma Pāsādaṃ.

[31]Dhammassa pāsādassa vatthuṃ.

[32]Mahāvyūhassa kuṭāgārassa dvāre. The 'Great Complex' contains a double allusion, in the same spirit in which the whole legend has been worked out: 1. To the Great Complex as a name of the Sun-God recorded as a unity of the four mythological deities, Vasudeva, Saŋkarshaṇa, Prajumna, and Aniruddha; and 2. To the Great Complex as a name of a particular kind of deep religious meditation or speculation.

[33]See above, Ī 60, and the note on Ī 54.

[34]This paragraph is perhaps repeated by mistake; but it is scarcely less in harmony with its context at Ī 8 than it is here. It is more probable that Ī 92 followed, originally, immediately after Ī 82, with the Lotus-lake clause omitted.

 


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