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Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume III

Dīgha Nikāya

Dialogues of the Buddha
Part II

Sutta 17

Mahā-Sudassana Suttantaɱ

The Great King of Glory[1]

Translated from the Pali by T.W. Rhys Davids

Public Domain

Originally published under the patronage of
His Majesty King Chulālankarana,
King of Siam
by The Pali Text Society, Oxford

 


 

Chapter I

[1][bs] Thus have I heard.

The Exalted 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 Exalted 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 Exalted One:

'Let not the Exalted One die in this little wattle-and­daub town,
in this town in the midst of the jungle,
in this branch township.

For, lord, there are other great cities,
such as Champā, Rājagaha, Sāvatthī, Sāketa, Kosambi, and Benares.

Let the Exalted One die in one of them.

There there are many wealthy nobles and brahmins 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,
that this is but a small wattle-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[2],
Lord of the four quarters [200] 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 Kusāvati,
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 Kusāvati, 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,
Āḷakamandā 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 Kusāvati
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 Kusāvati resounded 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!"'[3]

4. 'The royal city Kusāvati, 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!

5. 'To the royal city Kusāvati, Ānanda,
there were Gates of four colours.

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.

[201] 6. 'The royal city Kusāvati, 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.

'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.

[4] '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 kinds 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.

'And whoever, Ānanda,
in the royal city Kusāvati
were at that time gamblers,
drunkards,
and given to [202] drink,
they used to dance round together
to the sound of those palms
when shaken by the wind.'

 


 

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

'What are those seven?

[5]'In the first place, Ānanda,
when the Great King of Glory,
on the Sabbath day[6],
on the day of 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,[7]
with its nave,
its tire,
and all its thousand spokes complete.

'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 kinors invincible."[8]

8. '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!"

'Then the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda,
rolled onwards [203] towards the region of the East,
and after it went the Great King of Glory,
and with him his 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.

9. '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!"

'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.'[9]

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

10. '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 after it went the Great King of Glory,
and with him his 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.

'Then, Ānanda, all the rival kings in the region of the South
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!"

'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.'

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

'But the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda,
having plunged down into the great waters in the South,
rose up out again,
and rolled onward to the region of the West,
and after it went the Great King of Glory,
and with him his 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.

'Then, Ānanda, all the rival kings in the region of the West
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!"

'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.'

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

'But the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda,
having plunged down into the great waters in the West,
rose up out again,
and rolled onward to the region of the North,
and after it went the Great King of Glory,
and with him his 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.

'Then, Ānanda, all the rival kings in the region of the North
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!"

'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.'

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

11. 'Now when the wondrous Wheel, Ānanda,
had gone forth conquering
and to conquer over the whole earth
to its very ocean boundary,
it returned back again to the royal city of Kusāvati
and remained fixed on the open terrace
in front of the entrance to the inner apartments
of the Great King of Glory,
as [204] a glorious adornment to the inner apartments
of the Great King of Glory.

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

 


 

12. 'Now further, Ānanda,
there appeared to the Great King of Glory
the Elephant Treasure,[10]
all white,
seven-fold firm[11],
wonderful in power,
flying through the sky —
the Elephant-King, whose name was
"The Changes of the Moon[12]."

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

'"Auspicious were it
to ride upon the Elephant,
if only it would submit to be controlled!"

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

'And long ago, Ānanda,
when the Great King of Glory,
to test that wondrous Elephant,
had 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 Kusāvati[13].

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

 


 

13. 'Now further, Ānanda,
there appeared to the Great King of Glory
the Horse Treasure[14],
all white [205] with a crow-black head,
and a dark mane,
wonderful in power,
flying through the sky —
the Charger-King,
whose name was
"Thunder-cloud.[15]'

'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!"

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

When long ago, 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 Kusāvati.

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

 


 

14.'Now further, Ānanda,
there appeared to the Great King of Glory
the Gem-Treasure[16].

That Gem was the Veḷuriya,
bright,
of the finest species,
with eight facets,
excellently wrought,
clear,
transparent,
perfect in every way.

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

'When, long ago, 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.

'And then too, Ānanda,
all the dwellers in the villages round about,
set about their daily work,
thinking:

"The daylight hath appeared."

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

 


 

15. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory
the Woman-Treasure,[17]
graceful in figure,
beautiful in appearance,
charming in manner,
and of the most fine complexion;
neither 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[18].

'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.

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.

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!

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

 


 

16. 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared unto the Great King of Glory
a Wonderful Treasurer[19],
possessed, [207] through good deeds done in a former birth,
of a marvellous power of vision
by which he could discover treasure,
whether it had an owner
or whether it had not.

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

'"Do thou, O King, take thine ease!

I will deal with thy wealth
even as wealth should be dealt with."

'Long ago, 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."

Then the wonderful Treasurer reached down to the water with both his hands,
and drew up a jar 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!"

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

 


 

[208] 'Now further, Ānanda, there appeared to the Great King of Glory
a Wonderful Adviser[1]
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.

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

'"Do thou, O King, take thine ease!

I will be thy guide."

'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.

18. 'Now, further, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory
was gifted with Four Marvellous Gifts[21].

'What are the Four Marvellous Gifts?

'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.

19. '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.

20. '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[22].

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

21. 'And besides that, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory
was beloved and popular with priests and with laymen alike.

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 priests and with laymen alike.

And just, Ānanda,
as his sons are near and dear to a father,
just so, Ānanda,
were priests and laymen alike
near and dear to the Great King of Glory.

'Once, Ānanda,
the Great King of Glory marched out with all his fourfold army
to the pleasure ground.

There, Ānanda, the priests 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
[priests and laymen]
for a longer time!"

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

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

 


 

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

[210] '"Suppose, now, I were to make Lotus-ponds 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.

'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.

'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 figurehead of crystal.

The flight of crystal steps
had balustrades of crystal,
with cross bars and figure-head of beryl.

'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[23].

[211] 23. '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 all the people to have garlands to put on[24]
to wit, blue water-lilies
and blue lotuses,
white lotuses
and white water-lilies."

And the Great King of Glory,
had flowers of every season planted in those Lotus-ponds for all the people to have garlands to put on —
to wit, blue water-lilies
and blue lotuses,
white lotuses
and white water-lilies."

'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."

And 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."

'Now, to the Great Kingof 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 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 have need of it,
couches for the tired,
wives for those who want wives,
gold for the poor,
and money for those who were in want."

24. 'Now, Ānanda, the people
[priests 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 [212] 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!"

'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."

'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.'

 


 

25. 'Now, Ānanda, when Sakka, the king of the gods,
became aware in his mind
of the thoughts that were in the heart of the Great King of Glory,
he addressed Vwasakamma the god, and said:

'"Come now, Vwasakamma,
create me a mansion for the Great King of Glory —
a palace which shall be called
'Righteousness'"

'"Even so, lord!" said Vwasakamma, 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.

'Then, Ānanda, Vwasakamma 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.

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

[213] 26. '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.

'The ground-floor, Ānanda,
of the Palace of Righteousness,
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.

'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.

'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.

'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.

'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 silver.

'At the door of the beryl chamber
there stood a palm [214] 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.'

27. '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[25],
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.

28. '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.

29. '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.

The golden network
had bells of silver,
and the silver network
had bells of gold.

'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 kinds 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 [215] bells
were shaken by the wind,
there arose a sound
sweet,
and pleasant,
and charming,
and intoxicating.

'And whoever, Ānanda, in the royal city Kusāvati
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.'

30. '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.'

31. '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".

'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.

'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.

'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 figurehead of gold.

The flight of beryl steps
had balustrades of beryl,
with the cross bars and the figure-head of [216] crystal.

The flight of crystal steps
had balustrades of crystal,
with cross bars and figure-head of beryl.

'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.

32. '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.

'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.

'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 kinds 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.

'And whosoever, Ānanda, in the royal city Kusāvati
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.'

 


 

33. 'When the Palace of Righteousness, Ānanda, was [217] finished,
and the Lotus-lake of Righteousness was finished,
the Great King of Glory entertained with all good things
those of the Wanderers
who, at that time, were held in high esteem,
and those of the brahmins
who, at that time, were held in high esteem.

Then he ascended up into the Palace of Righteousness.'

End of the First Portion for Recitation.

CHAPTER II.

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?"

'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 selfcontrol[26]."'

2. 'Now the Great King of Glory, Ānanda,
ascended up into the chamber of the Great Complex;
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!"

3. 'And when, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory had entered the chamber of the Great Complex,
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 Rapture, —
a state of joy and ease,
born of seclusion,
full of reflection,
full of investigation.

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

'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 Rapture.

'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 Rapture, —
a state of purified self-possession and equanimity,
without ease,
and without pain[27].

4.'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 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.

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.

And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the [220] 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.

And he let his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of Equanimity;[28]
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.

 


 

5. 'The Great King of Glory, Ānanda,
had four and eighty thousand cities,
the chief of which was the royal city of Kusāvati:

'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 longhaired 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, — [221] 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 Subhaddā,
the Queen of Glory[29] was the chief:

'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.'[30]

 


 

6. '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.

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

'"These eighty-four 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-two thousands,
once each,
every alternate hundred years!"

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

'"O, my friend, the Great Adviser!
these eighty-four thousand elephants
come every evening and every morning
to be of service to me.

Now, let the elephants [222] come, O my friend, the Great Adviser,
in alternate forty-two thousands,
once each,
every alternate hundred years!"

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

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

 


 

7. 'Now, Ānanda, after the lapse of many years,
of many hundred years,
of many thousand years,
there occurred to the Queen of Glory 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 Gtary."

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

'"Arise now,
dress your hair,
and clothe 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!"

'"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.

'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."

'"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."

8. '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 [223] 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.

'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?"

'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!"'

9. '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."

'"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.

'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.'

10. '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[31]!'

'And she said to the Great King of Glory:

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand [224] cities,
the chief of which is the royal city of Kusāvati:
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 longhaired rugs,
and cloths embroidered with flowers,
and magnificent antelope skins;
covered with lofty canopies;
and provided at both ends with purple cushions:
Arise, 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.

[225] 'Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand wives,
of whom Subhaddā,
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 was 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 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 was served:
Arise, O King,
re-awaken thy desire for these,
quicken thy longing after life.'

 


 

11. '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."

'"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.[32]

Pass not away, [226] O King,
with longing in thy heart.

Sad is the death of him who longs,
unworthy is the death of him who longs[33]

'"Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand cities,
the chief of which is the royal city of Kusāvati:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.

'Thine, O King, are those 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 those 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 those four and eighty thousand divans,
of gold,
and silver,
and ivory,
and sandal wood,
spread with longhaired 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 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:
Cast away desire for these,
long not 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:
Cast away desire for these,
long not 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:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.

[227] 'Thine, O King, are those 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 those four and eighty thousand wives,
of whom Subhaddā,
the Queen of Glory is the chief:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.

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

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

 


 

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

'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 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 those four and eighty thousand cities,
the chief of which is the royal city of Kusāvati:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.

'Thine, O King, are those 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 those four and eighty thousand chambers,
the chief of which is the chamber of the [228] Great Complex:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.

'Thine, O King, are those four and eighty thousand divans,
of gold,
and silver,
and ivory,
and sandal wood,
spread with longhaired 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 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:
Cast away desire for these,
long not 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:
Cast away desire for these,
long not 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:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.

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

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

'Thine, O King, are those 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 those four and eighty thousand [229] 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 those four and eighty thousand dishes,
in which, in the evening and in the morning
rice was served:
Cast away desire for these,
long not after life.'

 


 

13. 'Then immediately, Ānanda, the Great King of Glory died.

Just, Ānanda,
as when a yeoman has eaten a hearty meal
he becomes all drowsy,
just so were the feelings he experienced, Ānanda,
as death came upon the Great King of Glory.

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

'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 disolution of the body,
the world of Brahmā.[34]

14. '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 those four and eighty thousand cities,
the chief of which was the royal city of Kusāvati.

'Mine at that time were those four and eighty thousand palaces,
the chief of which was the Palace of Righteousness

[230] 'Mine at that time were those four and eighty thousand chambers,
the chief of which was the chamber of the Great Complex.

'Mine at that time were those four and eighty thousand divans,
of gold,
and silver,
and ivory,
and sandal wood,
spread with longhaired rugs,
and cloths embroidered with flowers,
and magnificent antelope skins;
covered with lofty canopies;
and provided at both ends with purple cushions.

'Mine at that time were 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," was chief.

'Mine at that time were 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,
was the chief.

'Mine at that time were 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" was the chief.

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

'Mine at that time were those four and eighty thousand wives,
of whom Subhaddā,
the Queen of Glory was the chief.

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

'Mine at that time were those four and eighty thousand nobles,
of whom the Wonderful Adviser was the chief.

'Mine at that time were those four and eighty thousand cows,
with jute trappings,
and horns tipped with bronzev those four and eighty thousand myriads of garments,
of delicate textures,
of flax,
and cotton,
and silk,
and wool.

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

 


 

15. '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 Kusāvati.

[231] '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 sandalwood.

'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 Velāmikāni.

'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.

'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.'

16. 'See, Ānanda,
how all these things are now past,
are ended,
have vanished away.

Thus impermanent, Ānanda, are component things;
thus transitory, Ānanda,
are component things;
thus untrustworthy, [232] 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!'

 


 

17. '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.

'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 Brahmā
no, not among the race of Samaṇas or Brahmins,
of gods or men, —
where the Tathāgata for the eighth time will lay aside his body[35]

Thus spake the Exalted 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 desolved again;
To bring them all into subjection — that is bliss.'[36]

End of the Mahā-Sudassana-Suttanta.

 


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

[2] Khattiyo muddhāvasitto, which does not occur in the Mahā-parinibbāna, the Mahāpadāna, and the Lakkhaṇa Suttantas, and other places where this stock description of a king of kings 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. The epithet is probably inserted here from Ī 7 below.

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

[4] This section should be compared with one in the Sukhāvatīvyūha, translated by Professor Max Muller as follows ('Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,' 1880, p. 170): —
'And again, O Sāriputra, when those rows of palm trees and 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 kotis of sounds, when played by Aryas, 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 32, and Jātaka I, 32.

[5] 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).

[6] Uposatha, a weekly sacred day; being full-moon day, new-moon day, and the two equidistant intermediate days. Comp. Ī 12.

[7] This is the disk of the sun.

[8] A king of the rolling wheel.

[9] Yathābhuttam bhuñjatha. 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 (translated in my 'Buddhism,' p. 131).

[10] Hatthi-ratana.

[11] 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.

[12] 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.'

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

[14] Assa-ratanam.

[15] Vaḷahako. Compare the Valāhassa-Jātaka (Fausboll, No. 196), of which the Chinese story translated by Mr. Beal at pp. 332-40 of his 'Romantic History,' etc., is an expanded and altered version. In the Valāhaka Saṃyutta of the Saṃyutta Nikāya the spirits of the skies are divided into Uṇha-valāhaka Devā, Sīta-valāhaka Devā, Abbha-valāhaka Devā, Vāta-valāhaka Devā, and Vassa-valāhaka Devā, that is, the cloud-spirits of cold, heat, air, wind, and rain respectively.

[16] Maṇi-ratanaṃ.

[17] Itthi-ratanaṃ.

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

[19] 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, of the human race. It is often used in opposition to brāhmaṇa very much as we used 'yeoman' in opposition to 'clerk' (Jātaka I, 83); 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). The compound brāhmaṇa-gahapatika as a collective term comes to be about equivalent to 'priests and laymen' (see, for instance, below, Ī 21, and Vinaya I, 35, 36). Then again the gahapati is distinct from the subordinate members of the family, who had not the control and management of the common property (Sāmañña Phala Suttanta 133, = Tevijja Suttanta I, 47); and it is this implication of the term that is emphasized in the text. Buddhaghosa uses, as an explanatory phrase, the words seṭṭhi-gahapati.

[20] Pariṇāyaka-ratanaṃ. Buddhaghosa says that he was the eldest son of the king. The Lalita Vistara makes him a general.

[21] The Four Iddhis. Here again, as elsewhere, it will be noticed that there is nothing supernatural about these four Iddhis. See the passages quoted above, Vol. I, pp. 272 foil. They are merely attributes accompanying or forming part of the majesty (iddhi) of the King of kings.

[22] 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,' 1847-8, 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-ppadīpikā 972), where Subhūti's Sinhalese version is 'kukshi, pākāgni,' and his English version, 'the belly, the internal fire which promotes digestion.' Buddhaghosa explains samavipākiyā kammaga-tejo-dhātuyā, and adds: — 'If a man's food is dwasolved the moment he has eaten it, or if it remains like a lump, he has not the samavepākini gahaṇi, but he who has appetite (bhattacchando) when the time for food comes round again, he has the samavepākini gahaṇi,' — which is delightfully naive.

[23] 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 Anurādhapura 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 railings are in Pāli thambha, sūciyo, unhīsa, and vedikā, of the exact meaning of which I am not quite confident. They do not occur in the description of the Lotus-lakes in Sukhāvatī. General Cunningham says that the cross bars of the Buddhist railings are called sūciyo in the inscriptions at Bharahat ('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. See below Ī31; and Rhys Davids, 'Buddhist India,' Figures 6, 7; pp. 74-6.

Only possible use of flowers... There were drinks and medicines and insense all made from various flowers at the time. If anything the ancients knew more about the uses of plants than people do today [Monday, December 28, 2015 7:37 AM]

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[24] Literally 'have garlands planted for all the people to put on' — an elliptical expression revealing the ideas of that early time as to the only possible use of flowers. I think the reading should be anavaraṃ.

[25] Mahāvyūhassa kūṭāgārassa 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 regarded as a unity of the deities; and (2) To the Great Complex as a name of a particular kind of deep religious meditation or speculation.

[26] 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.

[27] 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. It implies neither hypnotism nor trance.

[28] These are the four Appamaññas or infinite feelings, also called (e.g. below, Ī 13) the four Brahma-vihāras or Sublime Conditions. They are here very appropriately represented to follow immediately after the state of feeling described in the Raptures; but they ought to be the constant companions of a good Buddhist.

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

[30] Most of the trappings and cloths here mentioned are the same as those referred to in the Moralities translated above, Vol. I, pp. ii, 12. The whole paragraph is four times repeated below.

[31] On the approach of death, explains the commentator, people are transfigured, shine forth. This idea may be the source of the legend of the Transfiguration translated above, p. 146, 'Book of the Great Decease,' IV, 37.

[32] 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.'

[33] Compare Jātaka, No. 34.

[34] The 'noble thoughts' are the Brahma-vihāras, the sublime conditions described above, Chap. II, Ī 4. 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 Brahmaloka.

Both the Buddha and Ananda had the power of 'Fast Talking'; the ability to speak many times faster than normal speech. The 'Great Decease' was of necessity a compilation and subject to selective editing.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[35] The whole of this conversation between the Great King of Glory and the Queen is very much shorter in the Jātaka. This may be perhaps partly explained by the narrative style in which the stories are composed — a style incompatible with the repetitions of the Suttas, and confined to the facts of the story.
But I think lhat no one can read this Suttanta in comparison with the short passage found in the 'Book of the Great Decease' (above, Chap. V, Ī 18) without feeling that the latter is the more original of the two, and that the legend had not, when that passage or episode was first composed, attained to its present extended form.

[36] On this celebrated verse, see the note at Mahāparinibbāna Suttanta VI, 16, where it is put into the mouth of Sakka, the king of the gods. The principal word, saṃkhāra (states, or things, or phenomena), is discussed in the Introduction to this Suttanta. See the 'Journal of the Pāli Text Society' for 1909, and below, p. 248.


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