Rhys Davids: Buddhist Suttas Masthead

[Site Map]  [Home]  [Sutta Indexes]  [Glossology]  [Site Sub-Sections]

The Pali is transliterated as IAST Unicode (āīūṃṅñṭḍṇḷ). Alternatives:
[ ASCII (aiumnntdnl) | Mobile (āīūŋńñţđņļ) | Velthuis (aaiiuu.m'n~n.t.d.n.l) ]

 

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 Sutta
Legend of the Great King of Glory


[271]

Chapter 2

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

'"Of what previous character, now, may this be the fruit, of what previous character the result, that I am now so mighty and so great?"

2. 'And then occurred, Ānanda, to the Great King of Glory this thought:

'"Of three qualities is this the fruit, of three qualities the result, that I am now so mighty and so great, — that is to say, of giving, of self-conquest, and of self-control[1]."

 


 

3. 'Now the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, ascended up into the chamber of the Great Complex; and when he had come there he stood at the door, and there he broke out into a cry of intense emotion:

'"Stay here, O thoughts of lust!

'"Stay here, O thoughts of ill-will!

'"Stay here, O thoughts of hatred!

'"Thus far only, O thoughts of lust!

'"Thus far only, O thoughts of ill-will

'"Thus far only, O thoughts of hatred!"

4. 'And when, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory had entered the chamber of the Great Complex, [272] and had seated himself upon the couch of gold, having put away all passion and all unrighteousness, he entered into, and remained in, the First Jhāna, — a state of joy and ease, born of seclusion, full of reflection, full of investigation.

5. 'By suppressing reflection and investigation, he entered into, and remained in, the Second Jhāna, — a state of joy and ease, born of serenity, without reflection, without investigation, a state of elevation of mind, of internal calm.

6. 'By absence of the longing after joy, he remained indifferent, conscious, self-possessed, experiencing in his body that ease which the noble ones announce, saying, "The man indifferent and self-possessed is well at ease," and thus he entered into, and remained in, the Third Jhāna.

7. 'By putting away ease, by putting away pain, by the previous dying away both of gladness and of sorrow, he entered into, and remained in, the Fourth Jhāna, — a state of purified self-possession and equanimity, without ease, and without pain[2].[edfnVI2.1]

 


 

8. 'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory went out from the chamber of the Great Complex, and entered the golden chamber and sat himself down on the silver couch. And he let his mind pervade [273] one quarter of the world with thoughts of Love; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Love, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

9. 'And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Pity; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Pity, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

10. 'And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Sympathy; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Sympathy, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

11. 'And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Equanimity[3]; and so the second quarter, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, and everywhere, did he continue to pervade with heart of Equanimity, far-reaching, grown great, and beyond measure, free from the least trace of anger or ill-will.

[274] 12. 'The Great King of Glory, Ānanda, had four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which was the royal city of Kusāvatī:

'Four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which was the Palace of Righteousness:

'Four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which was the chamber of the Great Complex:

'Four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins; covered with lofty canopies; and provided at both ends with purple cushions:

'Four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called "the Changes of the Moon," was chief:

'Four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which "Thunder-cloud," the king of horses, was the chief:

'Four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called "the Flag of Victory" was the chief:

'Four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem was the chief:

'Four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory was the chief:

[275] 'Four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward was the chief:

'Four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser was the chief:

'Four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze:

'Four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool:

'Four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice was served[4].

 


 

13. 'Now at that time, Ānanda, the four and eighty thousand state elephants used to come every evening and every morning to be of service to the Great King of Glory.

14. 'And this thought occurred to the Great King of Glory:

'"These eighty thousand elephants come every evening and every morning to be of service to me. Suppose, now, I were to let the elephants come in alternate forty thousands, once each, every alternate hundred years!"

15. 'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory said to the Great Adviser:

'"O, my friend, the Great Adviser! these eighty thousand elephants come every evening and every morning to be of service to me. Now, let the elephants come, O my friend, the Great Adviser, in [276] alternate forty thousands, once each, every alternate hundred years!"

'"Even so, Lord!" said the Wonderful Adviser, in assent, to the Great King of Glory.

16. 'From that time forth, Ānanda, the elephants came in alternate forty thousands, once each, every alternate hundred years.

 


 

17. 'Now, Ānanda, after the lapse of many years, of many hundred years, of many thousand years, there occurred to the Queen of Glory[5] this thought:

'"'Tis long since I have beheld the Great King of Glory. Suppose, now, I were to go and visit the Great King of Glory."

18. 'Then, Ānanda, the Queen of Glory said to the women of the harem:

'"Arise now, dress your hair, and clad yourselves in fresh raiment. 'Tis long since we have beheld the Great King of Glory. Let us go and visit the Great King of Glory!"

19. "'Even so, Lady!" said the women of the harem, Ānanda, in assent, to the Queen of Glory. And they dressed their hair, and clad themselves in fresh raiment, and came near to the Queen of Glory.

20. 'Then, Ānanda, the Queen of Glory said to the Great Adviser:

'"Arrange, O Great Adviser, the fourfold army in array. 'Tis long since I have beheld the Great King of Glory. I am about to go to visit the Great King of Glory."

[277] 21. '"Even so, O Queen!" said the Great Adviser, Ānanda, in assent, to the Queen of Glory. And he set the fourfold army in array, and had the fact announced to the Queen of Glory in the words:

'"The fourfold army, O Queen, is set for thee in array. Do now whatever seemeth to thee fit."

22. 'Then, Ānanda, the Queen of Glory, with the fourfold army, repaired, with the women of the harem, to the Palace of Righteousness. And when she had arrived there she mounted up into the Palace of Righteousness, and went on to the chamber of the Great Complex. And when she had reached it, she stopped and leant against the side of the door.

23. 'When, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory heard the noise he thought:

'"What, now, may this noise, as of a great multitude of people, mean?"

24. And going out from the chamber of the Great Complex, he beheld the Queen of Glory standing leaning up against the side of the door. And when he beheld her, he said to the Queen of Glory:

'"Stop there, O Queen! Enter not!"

 


 

25. 'Then the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, said to one of his attendants:

'"Arise, good man! take the golden couch out of the chamber of the Great Complex, and make it ready under that grove of palm trees which is all of gold."

26. '"Even so, Lord!" said the man, in assent, to the Great King of Glory. And he took the golden couch out of the chamber of the Great Complex, and made it ready under that grove of palm trees which was all of gold.

[278] 27. 'Then, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory laid himself down in the dignified way a lion does; and lay with one leg resting on the other, calm and self-possessed.

 


 

28. 'Then, Ānanda, there occurred to the Queen of Glory this thought:

'"How calm are all the limbs of the Great King of Glory! How clear and bright is his appearance! O may it not be that the Great King of Glory is dead[6]!"

29. 'And she said to the Great King of Glory:

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which is the royal city of Kusāvatī. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which is the Palace of Righteousness. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which is the chamber of the Great Complex. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins; covered with lofty canopies; and provided at both ends with purple cushions. Arise, [279] O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, of which the king of elephants, called 'the Changes of the Moon,' is chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, of which 'Thunder-cloud,' the king of horses, is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers,-of which the chariot called 'the Flag of Victory' is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward is the chief. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser is the [280] chief Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice is served. Arise, O King, re-awaken thy desire for these! quicken thy longing after life!"

 


 

30. 'When she had thus spoken, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory said to the Queen of Glory:

'"Long hast thou addressed me, O Queen, in pleasant words, much to be desired, and sweet. Yet now in this last time you speak in words unpleasant, disagreeable, not to be desired."

31. '"How then, O King, shall I address thee?"

'"Thus, O Queen, shouldst thou address me: — The nature of all things near and dear to us, O King, is such that we must leave them, divide ourselves from them, separate ourselves from them[7]. Pass not away, O King, with longing in thy heart. Sad is the death of him who longs, unworthy is the death of him who longs[8]. Thine, O King, are these [281] four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which is the royal city of Kusāvatī. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which is the Palace of Righteousness. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which is the chamber of the Great Complex. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins; covered with lofty canopies; and provided at both ends with purple cushions. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called 'the Changes of the Moon,' is chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which 'Thunder-cloud,' the king of horses, is the chief Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called 'the Flag of Victory' is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

[282] '"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward is the chief Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and. eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice is served. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!"

 


 

32. 'When he thus spake, Ānanda, the Queen of Glory wept and poured forth tears.

33. 'Then, Ānanda, the Queen of Glory wiped away her tears, and addressed the Great King of Glory, and said:

'"The nature of all things near and dear to us, O King, is such that we must leave them, divide [283] ourselves from them, separate ourselves from them. Pass not away, O King, with longing in thy heart. Sad is the death of him who longs, unworthy is the death of him who longs. Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand cities, the chief of which is the royal city of Kusāvatī. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand palaces, the chief of which is the Palace of Righteousness. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand chambers, the chief of which is the chamber of the Great Complex. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand divans, of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins; covered with lofty canopies; and provided at both ends with purple cushions. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called 'the Changes of the Moon,' is chief Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which 'Thunder-cloud,' the king of horses, is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand [284] chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called 'the Flag of Victory' is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser is the chief. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

'"Thine, O King, are these four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice is served. Cast away desire for these! long not after life!

 


 

34. 'Then immediately, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory died. Just, Ānanda, as when a yeoman has eaten a hearty meal he becomes all drowsy, [285] just so were the feelings he experienced, Ānanda, as death came upon the Great King of Glory.

35. 'When the Great King of Glory, Ānanda, had died, he came to life again in the happy world of Brahmā.

36. 'For eight and forty thousand years, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory lived the happy life of a prince; for eight and forty thousand years he was viceroy and heir-apparent; for eight and forty thousand years he ruled the kingdom; and for eight and forty thousand years he lived, as a layman, the noble life in the Palace of Righteousness. And then, when full of noble thoughts, he died; he entered, after the dissolution of the body, the noble world of Brahma[9].

 


 

37. 'Now it may be, Ānanda, that you may think "The Great King of Glory of that time was another person." But, Ānanda, you should not view the matter thus. I at that time was the Great King of Glory.

'Mine at that time were the four and eighty thousand cities, of which the chief was the royal city of Kusāvatī.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand palaces, of which the chief was the Palace of Righteousness.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand chambers, of which the chief was the chamber of the Great Complex.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand divans, [286] of gold, and silver, and ivory, and sandal wood, spread with long-haired rugs, and cloths embroidered with flowers, and magnificent antelope skins; covered with lofty canopies; and provided at both ends with purple cushions.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand state elephants, with trappings of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which the king of elephants, called "the Changes of the Moon," was chief.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand state horses, with trappings, of gold, and gilded flags, and golden coverings of network, — of which "Thunder-cloud," the king of horses, was the chief.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand chariots, with coverings of the skins of lions, and of tigers, and of panthers, — of which the chariot called "the Flag of Victory" was the chief.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand gems, of which the Wondrous Gem was the chief.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand wives, of whom the Queen of Glory was the chief.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand yeomen, of whom the Wonderful Steward was the chief.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand nobles, of whom the Wonderful Adviser was the chief,

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand cows, with jute trappings, and horns tipped with bronze.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand myriads of garments, of delicate textures, of flax, and cotton, and silk, and wool.

'Mine were the four and eighty thousand dishes, in which, in the evening and in the morning, rice was served.

 


 

[287] 38. 'Of those four and eighty thousand cities, Ānanda, one was that city in which, at that time, I used to dwell — to wit, the royal city of Kusāvatī.

'Of those four and eighty thousand palaces too, Ānanda, one was that palace in which, at that time, I used to dwell — to wit, the Palace of Righteousness.

'Of those four and eighty thousand chambers too, Ānanda, one was that chamber in which, at that time, I used to dwell — to wit, the chamber of the Great Complex.

Of those four and eighty thousand divans too, Ānanda, one was that divan which, at that time, I used to occupy — to wit, one of gold, or one of silver, or one of ivory, or one of sandal wood.

'Of those four and eighty thousand state elephants too, Ānanda, one was that elephant which, at that time, I used to ride — to wit, the king of elephants, "the Changes of the Moon."

'Of those four and eighty thousand horses too, Ānanda, one was that horse which, at that time, I used to ride — to wit, the king of horses, "the Thunder-cloud."

'Of those four and eighty thousand chariots too, Ānanda, one was that chariot in which, at that time, I used to ride — to wit, the chariot called "the Flag of Victory."

'Of those four and eighty thousand wives too, Ānanda, one was that wife who, at that time, used to wait upon me — to wit, either a lady of noble birth, or a Velāmikānī.

'Of those four and eighty thousand myriads of suits of apparel too, Ānanda, one was the suit of apparel which, at that time, I wore — to wit, one of delicate texture, of linen, or cotton, or silk, or wool.

[288]

'Of those four and eighty thousand dishes too, Ānanda, one was that dish from which, at that time, I ate a measure of rice and the curry suitable thereto.

 


 

39. 'See, Ānanda, how all these things are now past, are ended, have vanished away.[edfnVI2.2] Thus impermanent, Ānanda, are component things; thus transitory, Ānanda, are component things; thus untrustworthy, Ānanda, are component things. Insomuch, Ānanda, is it meet to be weary of, is it meet to be estranged from, is it meet to be set quite free from the bondage of all component things!

 


 

40. 'Now I call to mind, Ānanda, how in this spot my body had been six times buried. And when I was dwelling here as the righteous king who ruled in righteousness, the lord of the four regions of the earth, the conqueror, the protector of his people, the possessor of the seven royal treasures — that was the seventh time.

41. 'But I behold not any spot, Ānanda, in the world of men and gods, nor in the world of Māra, nor in the world of Brahma, — no, not among the race of Samaṇas or Brāhmans, of gods or men, — where the Tathāgata for the eighth time will lay aside his body[10].'

[289] 42. Thus spake the Blessed One; and when the Happy One had thus spoken, once again the Teacher said:

How transient are all component things!
Growth is their nature and decay:
They are produced, they are dissolved again:
And then is best, when they have sunk to rest[11]!'

 


 

END OF THE MAHĀ SUDASSANA SUTTA

 


 


[1]I have here translated kamma by 'previous character' and by 'quality.' The easiest plan would, no doubt, have been, to preserve in the translation the technical term karma, which is explained at some length in 'Buddhism,' pp. 99-106.

[2]The above paragraphs are an endeavour to express the inmost feelings when they are first strung to the uttermost by the intense effects of deep religious emotion, and then feel the effects of what may be called, for want of a better word, the reaction. Most deeply religious natures have passed through such a crisis; and though the feelings are perhaps really indescribable, this passage is dealing, not with a vain mockery, but with a very real event in spiritual experience.

[3]These are the four Appamaññas or infinite feelings, also called (e.g. below, Ī II, 36) the four Brahma-vihāras. They are here very appropriately represented to follow immediately after {footnote p. 274} the state of feeling described in the Jhānas; but they ought to be the constant companions of a good Buddhist (see Khaggavisāna Sutta 8; and compare also Tevijja Sutta III, 7; Jātaka, vol. i. p. 246; and the Araka Jātaka, No. 169).

[4]Most of the trappings and cloths here mentioned are the same as those referred to in the Majjhima Sīla, ĪĪ 5, 6, 7 recurring in the Tevijja Sutta, and in the Brahmajāla Sutta. The whole paragraph is four times repeated below, ĪĪ 29, 31, 33, 37.

[5]Subhaddā Devī. Subhadda, 'glorious, magnificent,' is a not uncommon name both for men and women in Buddhist and post-Buddhistic Hindu literature.

[6]The rather curious connexion between these clauses is worthy of notice in comparison with the legend of the 'Transfiguration' just before the Buddha's death (above, pp. 80-82).

[7]The Pāli words are the same as those at the beginning of the constantly repeated longer phrase to the same effect in the Book of the Great Decease.

[8]Compare Gātaka, No. 34.

[9]The 'noble thoughts' are the Brahma-vihāras, described above, Chap. II, ĪĪ 8-11. The 'noble life' is the Brahmacariyaṃ, which does not mean the same as it does in Sanskrit. The adjective Brahma may have reference here also to the subsequent (and consequent?) rebirth in the Brahma-loka.

[10]The whole of this conversation between the Great King of Glory and the Queen is very much shorter in the Jātaka, the enumeration of the possessions of the Great King being omitted (except the first clause referring to the four and eighty thousand cities), and clauses 34-38, 40, and 41 being also left out, Ī 39 and the concluding being placed in the mouth of the King immediately after Ī 33. This may be perhaps partly explained by the narrative style in which the Jātakas are composed — a style incompatible {footnote p. 289} with the repetitions of the Suttas, and confined to the facts of the story.
But I think that no one can read this Sutta in comparison with the short passage found in the Book of the Great Decease (above, pp. 99-101) without feeling that the latter is the more original of the two, and that the legend had not, when the Book of the Great Decease was composed, attained to its present extended form.
We seem therefore really to have three stages of the legend before us, and though the Jātaka story was actually put into its present shape at a known date (the fifth century of our era) long after the latest possible date for the Book of the Great King of Glory, it has probably preserved for us a reminiscence of what the legend was at the time when the Book of the Great Decease was composed.]

[11]On this celebrated verse, see the note at Mahāparinibbāna Sutta VI, 16, where it is put into the mouth of Sakka, the king of the gods, and the discussion in the Introduction to this Sutta.

 


 [Contents
 [Back
 [Next: Sabbasāva Sutta: All the Āsavas]


Contact:
E-mail
Copyright Statement   Webmaster's Page