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Title: The Gâtakamâlâ - Garland of Birth-Stories
Author: Sûra, Ârya
Language: English
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  VOL. I












After all the necessary preparations for the first and second series of
the _Sacred Books of the East_, consisting in all of forty-nine volumes,
with two volumes of _General Index_, had been completed, I still
received several offers of translations of important texts which I felt
reluctant to leave unpublished. As they were chiefly translations of
Buddhist texts, I mentioned the fact to several of my Buddhist friends,
and I was highly gratified when I was informed that H. M. the King of
Siam, being desirous that the true teaching of the Buddha should become
more widely known in Europe, had been graciously pleased to promise that
material support without which the publication of these translations
would have been impossible.

I therefore resolved to do what I could for helping to spread a more
correct knowledge of the religion of Buddha: but after the first three
volumes of this new Series of the Sacred Books of the Buddhists is
published, it will mainly depend on the interest which the public may
take in this work, whether it can be continued or not.

As long as my health allows me to do so I shall be quite willing to
continue what has been a labour of love to me during many years of my
life. It was not always an easy task. The constant correspondence with
my fellow-workers has taxed my time and my strength far more than I
expected. The difficulty was not only to select from the very large mass
of Sacred Books those that seemed most important and most likely to be
useful for enabling us to gain a correct view of the great religions of
the East, but to find scholars competent and willing to undertake the
labour of translation. I can perfectly understand the unwillingness of
most scholars to devote their time to mere translations. With every year
the translation of such works as the Veda or the Avesta, instead of
becoming easier, becomes really more perplexing and more difficult.
Difficulties of which we formerly had no suspicion have been brought to
light by the ever-increasing number of fresh students, and precautions
have now to be taken against dangers the very existence of which was
never dreamt of in former years. I do not exaggerate when I say that the
translation of some of the hymns of the Veda, often clearly corrupt in
the original, has become as difficult as the deciphering of hieroglyphic
or cuneiform inscriptions, where at all events the text may be depended
on. What critical scholars like is to translate a verse here and a verse
there, possibly a hymn or a whole chapter with various readings,
critical notes and brilliant conjectures; but to translate a whole book
without shirking a single line is a task from which most of them recoil.
Nor have the labours of those who have hitherto ventured on a more
complete translation of the Rig-veda, such as Wilson, Grassmann, Ludwig
and Griffith, been received as they ought to have been, with gratitude
for what they have achieved, and with allowances for what they failed to
achieve. I therefore remarked in the Preface to the first volume of this
collection, p. xlii:

     'Oriental scholars have been blamed for not having as yet supplied
     a want so generally felt, and so frequently expressed, as a
     complete, trustworthy, and readable translation of the principal
     Sacred Books of the Eastern Religions. The reasons, however, why
     hitherto they have shrunk from such an undertaking are clear
     enough. The difficulties in many cases of giving complete
     translations, and not selections only, are very great. There is
     still much work to be done for a critical restoration of the
     original texts, for an examination of their grammar and metres, and
     for determining the exact meaning of many words and passages. That
     kind of work is naturally far more attractive to scholars than a
     mere translation, particularly when they cannot but feel that, with
     the progress of our knowledge, many a passage which now seems clear
     and easy, may, on being re-examined, assume a new import. Thus
     while scholars who would be most competent to undertake a
     translation prefer to devote their time to more special researches,
     the work of a complete translation is deferred to the future, and
     historians are left under the impression that Oriental scholarship
     is still in so unsatisfactory a state as to make any reliance on
     translations of the Veda, the Avesta, or the Tâo-te king extremely

     'It is clear, therefore, that a translation of the principal Sacred
     Books of the East can be carried out only at a certain sacrifice.
     Scholars must leave for a time their own special researches in
     order to render the general results already obtained accessible to
     the public at large. And even then, useful results can be achieved
     _viribus unitis_ only.'

My expectations, however, have not been deceived. My appeal was most
generously responded to by the best Oriental scholars in England,
France, Germany, Holland and America. Nor have these scholars, who were
not afraid to come forward with translations which they knew to be far
from final, had to regret their courage and their public spirit. The
most competent judges have accepted what we had to offer in a grateful
and indulgent spirit. There has only been one painful exception in the
case of a scholar who has himself never ventured on the translation of a
sacred text, and who seems to have imagined that he could render more
useful service by finding fault with the translation of certain words
and passages, or by suggesting an entirely different and, in his eyes, a
far more excellent method of translation. All scholars know how easy it
is to glean a few straws, and how laborious to mow a whole field. There
are passages in every one of the Sacred Books, even in such carefully
edited texts as the Old and New Testaments, on which interpreters will
always differ; and we know how, after centuries of constant labour
bestowed on those texts, the most learned and careful scholars have not
been able to agree, or to avoid oversights in their Revised Version of
the Bible. Could we expect anything different in the first attempts at
translating the Sacred Books of other religions? Valuable emendations,
offered in a scholarlike spirit, would have been most gratefully
accepted by myself and by my fellow-workers. But seldom, nay hardly
ever, have emendations been proposed that would essentially alter the
_textus receptus_ or throw new light on really obscure passages, while
the offensive tone adopted by our critic made it impossible to answer
him. As he is no longer among the living, I shall say no more. I feel
bound, however, for the sake of those who do not know me, to correct one
remark, as invidious as it was groundless, made by the same departed
scholar, namely that I had received an excessive _honorarium_ as Editor
of the Sacred Books of the East, nay, as he expressed it, that I had
levied tribute of my fellow-workers. The fact is that during all the
years which I devoted to the superintending of the publication of the
fifty volumes of the Sacred Books of the East, I have not had the
smallest addition to my income. I was relieved by the University of
Oxford from the duty of delivering my public lectures, so that I might
devote my time to this large literary undertaking brought out by our
University Press. My labour, even the mere official correspondence with
my many contributors, was certainly not less than that of delivering
lectures which I had been in the habit of delivering for twenty-five
years. My private lectures were continued all the same, and the
publications of my pupils are there to show how ungrudgingly I gave them
my time and my assistance in their literary labours. It is difficult to
see of what interest such matters can be to other people, or with what
object they are dragged before the public. I should have felt ashamed to
notice such an accusation, if the accuser had not been a man whose
scholarship deserved respect. I have never claimed any credit for the
sacrifices which I have made both in time and in money, for objects
which were near and dear to my heart. It has been, as I said, a labour
of love, and I shall always feel most grateful to the University of
Oxford, and to my fellow-translators, for having enabled me to realise
this long cherished plan of making the world better acquainted with the
Sacred Books of the principal religions of mankind, a work which has
borne fruit already, and will, I hope, bear still richer fruit in the

If the members of the principal religions of the world wish to
understand one another, to bear with one another, and possibly to
recognise certain great truths which, without being aware of it, they
share in common with one another, the only solid and sound foundation
for such a religious peace-movement will be supplied by a study of the
Sacred Books of each religion.

One such religious Peace-Congress has been held already in America.
Preparations for another are now being made; and it is certainly a sign
of the times when we see Cardinal Gibbons, after conferring with Pope
Leo XIII at Rome, assuring those who are organising this new Congress:
'The Pope will be with you, I know it. Write, agitate, and do not be

     [1] _Le Pape sera avec vous, je le sais. Écrivez, agissez, ne soyez
     pas timides._ Revue de Paris, Sept. 1, 1895, p. 136.

The _G_âtakamâlâ, of which Prof. Speyer has given us an English
translation in this volume, is a work well known to students of
Buddhism. The edition of the Sanskrit text by Prof. Kern is not only an
_editio princeps_, but the text as restored by him will probably remain
the final text, and Prof. Speyer in translating has had but seldom to
depart from it.

_G_âtaka has generally been translated by Birth-story or Tale of
Anterior Births, and it would be difficult to find a better rendering.
This class of stories is peculiar to Buddhism; for although the idea
that every man had passed through many existences before his birth on
earth and will pass through many more after his death was, like most
Buddhist theories, borrowed from the Brâhmans, yet its employment for
teaching the great lessons of morality seems to have been the work of
Buddha and his pupils. In addition to this there was another theory,
likewise Brahmanic in its origin, but again more fully developed for
practical purposes by the Buddhists, that of Karma, a firm belief that
an unbroken chain of cause and effect binds all existences together.
The great problems of the justice of the government of the world, of the
earthly sufferings of the innocent, and the apparent happiness of the
wicked, were to the Indian mind solved once for all by the firm
conviction that what we experience here is the result of something that
has happened before, that there is an unbroken heredity in the world,
and that we not only benefit by, but also suffer from our ancestors. In
order fully to understand the drift of the _G_âtakas we must, however,
bear in mind one more article of the Buddhist faith, namely that, though
ordinary mortals remember nothing of their former existences beyond the
fact that they did exist, which is involved in the very fact of their
self-consciousness, highly enlightened beings have the gift of recalling
their former vicissitudes. It is well known that Pythagoras claimed the
same gift of remembering his former lives, or at all events is reported
to have claimed it. A Buddha is supposed to know whatever has happened
to him in every existence through which he has passed: and it seems to
have been the constant habit of the historical Buddha, Buddha
_S_âkya-muni, to explain to his disciples things that were happening by
things that had happened countless ages before. Those lessons seem
certainly to have impressed his hearers, after they once believed that
what they had to suffer here on earth was not the result of mere chance,
but the result of their own former deeds or of the deeds of their
fellow-creatures, that they were in fact paying off a debt which they
had contracted long ago. It was an equally impressive lesson that
whatever good they might do on earth would be placed to their account in
a future life, because the whole world was one large system in which
nothing could ever be lost, though many of the links of the chain of
cause and effect might escape human observation or recollection.

The Buddha, in telling these stories of his former births or existences,
speaks of himself, not exactly as the same individual, but rather as the
enlightened one, the Buddha as he existed at any and at every time; and
from a moral point of view, the enlightened meant the good, the perfect
man. We must not suppose that his hearers were expected to believe, in
our sense of the word, all the circumstances of his former existences as
told by Buddha _S_âkya-muni. Even for an Indian imagination it would
have been hard to accept them as matters of fact. A _G_âtaka was not
much more than what a parable is with us, and as little as Christians
are expected to accept the story of Lazarus resting in Abraham's bosom
as a matter of fact (though, I believe, the house of _Dives_ is shown at
Jerusalem) were the Buddhists bound to believe that Buddha as an
individual or as an historical person, had formerly been a crow or a
hare. The views of the Buddhists on the world and its temporary tenants,
whether men, animals, or trees, are totally different from our own,
though we know how even among ourselves the theories of heredity have
led some philosophers to hold that we, or our ancestors, existed at one
time in an animal, and why not in a vegetable or mineral state. It is
difficult for us to enter fully into the Buddhist views of the world; I
would only warn my readers that they must not imagine that highly
educated men among the Buddhists were so silly as to accept the
_G_âtakas as ancient history.

It would be more correct, I believe, to look upon these Birth-stories as
homilies used for educational purposes and for inculcating the moral
lessons of Buddhism. This is clearly implied in the remarks at the end
of certain _G_âtakas, such as 'This story is also to be used when
discoursing on the Buddha' (p. 148), or 'This story may be used with the
object of showing the difficulty of finding companions for a religious
life' (p. 172). We know that Christian divines also made use of popular
stories for similar purposes. In India many of these stories must have
existed long before the rise of Buddhism, as they exist even now, in the
memory of the people. It is known how some of them reached Greece and
Rome and the Western world through various well-ascertained
channels[2], and how they still supply our nurseries with the earliest
lessons of morality, good sense, and good manners.

     [2] Migration of Fables, in Chips from a German Workshop, vol. iv,
     =p. 412=.

It may be said that the lessons of morality inculcated in these homilies
are too exaggerated to be of any practical usefulness. Still this _modus
docendi_ is very common in Sacred Books, where we often find an extreme
standard held up in the hope of producing an impression that may be
useful in less extreme cases. To offer the other cheek to whosoever
shall strike our right cheek, to give up our cloak to him who takes away
our coat, to declare that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye
of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God, are
all lessons which we also take _cum grano salis_. They ask for much in
the hope that something may be given. That there is danger too in this
mode of teaching cannot be denied. We are told that Ârya _S_ûra, in
order to follow the example of Buddha in a former birth, threw himself
in this life before a starving tigress to be devoured. Let us hope that
this too was only a _G_âtaka.

When once a taste for these moralising stories had arisen, probably
owing to Buddha's daily intercourse with the common people, their number
grew most rapidly. The supply was unlimited, all that was required was
the moral application, the _Haec fabula docet_. The Buddhists give their
number as 550. The earliest are probably those which are found in
different parts of the Buddhist Canon. In the _K_ariyâ-pi_t_aka there is
a collection of thirty-five stories of the former lives of Buddha, in
each of which he acquired one of the ten Pâramitâs or Great Perfections
which fit a human being for Buddhahood[3]. A similar collection is found
in the Buddhava_m_sa[4], which contains an account of the life of the
coming Buddha, the Bodhisat, in the various characters which he filled
during the periods of the twenty-four previous Buddhas.

     [3] See Buddhist Birth-stories, translated by Rhys Davids, p. lv.

     [4] Some doubt attaches to the canonicity of the _K_ariyâ-pi_t_aka
     and the Buddhava_m_sa (see Childers, s. v. Nikâya).

The _G_âtaka stories are therefore at least as old as the compilation of
the Buddhist Canon at the Council of Vesâli, about 377 B.C.[5] It was at
that Council that the great schism took place, and that the ancient
Canon was rearranged or disarranged. Among the books thus tampered with
is mentioned the _G_âtaka, which therefore must be considered as having
existed, and formed part of the old Canon before the Council of Vesâli.
This is what the Dîpava_m_sa (V, 32) says on the subject:

     'The Bhikkhus of the Great Council settled a doctrine contrary (to
     the true Faith). Altering the original text they made another text.
     They transposed Suttas which belonged to one place (of the
     collection) to another place; they destroyed the true meaning of
     the Faith, in the Vinaya and in the five collections (of the
     Suttas).... Rejecting single passages of the Suttas and of the
     proposed Vinaya, they composed other Suttas and another Vinaya
     which had (only) the appearance (of the genuine ones). Rejecting
     the following texts, viz. the Parivâra, which is the abstract of
     the contents (of the Vinaya), the six sections of the Abhidhamma,
     the Pa_t_isambhidâ, the Niddesa, and _some portions of the_
     G_âtaka_, they composed new ones.'

     [5] Dhammapada, p. xxx, S. B. E., vol. x.

Whatever else this may prove with regard to the way in which the ancient
Canon was preserved, it shows at all events that _G_âtakas existed
before the Vesâli Council as an integral portion of the sacred Canon,
and we learn at the same time that it was possible even then to compose
new chapters of that canon, and probably also to add new _G_âtaka

Whether we possess the text of the _G_âtaka in exactly that form in
which it existed previous to the Council of Vesâli in 377 B.C. is
another question. Strictly speaking we must be satisfied with the time
of Vattagâmani in whose reign, 88-76 B.C., writing for literary purposes
seems to have become more general in India, and the Buddhist Canon was
for the first time reduced to writing.

What we possess is the Pâli text of the _G_âtaka as it has been
preserved in Ceylon. The tradition is that these 550 _G_âtaka stories,
composed in Pâli, were taken to Ceylon by Mahinda, about 250 B.C., that
the commentary was there translated into Singhalese, and that the
commentary was retranslated into Pâli by Buddhaghosha, in the fifth
century A.D. It is in this commentary alone that the text of the
_G_âtakas has come down to us. This text has been edited by Dr.
Fausböll. He has distinguished in his edition between three component
elements, the tale, the frame, and the verbal interpretation. This text,
of which the beginning was translated in 1880 by Prof. Rhys Davids, is
now being translated by Mr. R. Chalmers, Mr. W. R. D. Rouse, Mr. H. T.
Francis and Mr. R. A. Neil, and the first volume of their translation
has appeared in 1895 under the able editorship of Professor Cowell.

As Professor Speyer has explained, the _G_âtakamâlâ, the Garland of
Birth-stories, which he has translated, is a totally different work. It
is a Sanskrit rendering of only thirty-four _G_âtakas ascribed to Ârya
_S_ûra. While the Pâli _G_âtaka is written in the plainest prose style,
the work of Ârya _S_ûra has higher pretensions, and is in fact a kind of
kâvya, a work of art. It was used by the Northern Buddhists, while the
Pâli _G_âtaka belongs to the Canon of the Southern Buddhists. The date
of Ârya _S_ûra is difficult to fix. Târanâtha (p. 90) states that _S_ûra
was known by many names, such as A_s_vaghosha, Mât_rik_e_t_a,
Pit_rik_e_t_a, Durdarsha (_sic_), Dharmika-subhûti, Mati_k_itra. He also
states that towards the end of his life _S_ûra, was in correspondence
with king Kanika (Kanishka?), and that he began to write the hundred
_G_âtakas illustrating Buddha's acquirement of the ten Pâramitâs (see p.
xiv), but died when he had finished only thirty-four. It is certainly
curious that our _G_âtakamâlâ contains thirty-four _G_âtakas[6]. If
therefore we could rely on Târanâtha, Ârya _S_ûra, being identical with
A_s_vaghosha, the author of the Buddha_k_arita, would have lived in the
first century of our era. He is mentioned as a great authority on metres
(Târanâtha, p. 181), and he certainly handles his metres with great
skill. But dates are always the weak point in the history of Indian
Literature. Possibly the study of Tibetan Literature, and a knowledge of
the authorities on which Târanâtha relied, may throw more light
hereafter on the date of _S_ûra and A_s_vaghosha.

     [6] The same is also the number of Avadânas in the
     Bodhisattva-Avadâna, and the stories seem to be the same as those
     of our _G_âtakamâlâ.--Rajendralal Mitra, Sanskrit Buddhist
     Literature, p. 49.

                                               F. MAX MÜLLER.

  OXFORD, _October, 1895_.



  INTRODUCTION                                                 xxi

  Introductory Stanzas                                           1

       I. The Story of the Tigress                               2

      II. The Story of the King of the _S_ibis                   8

     III. The Story of the Small Portion of Gruel               20

      IV. The Story of the Head of a Guild                      25

       V. The Story of Avishahya, the Head of a Guild           30

      VI. The Story of the Hare                                 37

     VII. The Story of Agastya                                  46

    VIII. The Story of Maitrîbala                               55

      IX. The Story of Vi_s_vantara                             71

       X. The Story of the Sacrifice                            93

      XI. The Story of _S_akra                                 104

     XII. The Story of the Brâhman                             109

    XIII. The Story of Unmâdayantî                             114

     XIV. The Story of Supâraga                                124

      XV. The Story of the Fish                                134

     XVI. The Story of the Quail's Young                       138

    XVII. The Story of the Jar                                 141

   XVIII. The Story of the Childless One                       148

     XIX. The Story of the Lotus-Stalks                        154

      XX. The Story of the Treasurer                           164

     XXI. The Story of _K_u_dd_abodhi                          172

    XXII. The Story of the Holy Swans                          181

   XXIII. The Story of Mahâbodhi                               200

    XXIV. The Story of the Great Ape                           218

     XXV. The Story of the _S_arabha                           227

    XXVI. The Story of the Ruru-Deer                           234

   XXVII. The Story of the Great Monkey                        244

  XXVIII. The Story of Kshântivâdin                            253

    XXIX. The Story of the Inhabitant of the Brahmaloka        268

     XXX. The Story of the Elephant                            281

    XXXI. The Story of Sutasoma                                291

   XXXII. The Story of Ayog_ri_ha                              314

  XXXIII. The Story of the Buffalo                             324

   XXXIV. The Story of the Woodpecker                          329

  Synoptical Table of the Correspondence between the
  Stanzas of the _G_âtakamâlâ and the Scripture
  Verses of the Pâli _G_âtaka                                  337

  Index                                                        341

  Transliteration of Oriental Alphabets adopted for
  the Translations of the Sacred Books of the
  Buddhists                                                    347


The 'Garland of Birth-stories' belongs to the Canon of the Northern
Buddhists. For the discovery of this work we are indebted to Mr. Brian
H. Hodgson, who as early as 1828 mentioned it among the interesting
specimens of Bauddha scriptures communicated to him by his old Patan
monk, and also procured copies of it. One of these was deposited in the
library of the college of Fort William, now belonging to the Bengal
Asiatic Society, and was described, in 1882, by Râ_g_endralâla Mitra.
Another was forwarded to the Paris library. Burnouf, who thoroughly
studied other works belonging to the Sûtra and Avadâna classes, which
form part of the Hodgson MSS. in Paris, seems to have had a merely
superficial acquaintance with the _G_âtakamâlâ, if we may judge from the
terms with which he deals with it in his 'Introduction à l'histoire du
Bouddhisme indien.' p. 54 of the second edition: 'Je dis les livres,
quoiqu'il n'en existe qu'un seul dans la liste népalaise et dans la
collection de M. Hodgson, qui porte et qui mérite le titre de _Djâtaka_
(naissance); c'est le volume intitulé _Djâtakamâlâ_ ou la Guirlande des
naissances, qui passe pour[7] un récit des diverses actions méritoires
de Çâkya antérieurement à l'époque où il devint Buddha.' In fact, he has
never given a summary, still less a detailed account of its contents. It
was not until 1875 that M. Féer gave such an account in the Journal
Asiatique, VII^e Sér., t. 5, p. 413.

     [7] I have spaced the words that prove my statement.

Moreover, Burnouf's statement is not quite correct with respect to the
Nepal list. Not one, but three _G_âtaka works are named there[8], the
_G_âtakâvadâna (No. 32), the _G_âtakamâlâ (No. 33), and the
Mahâ_g_âtakamâlâ (No. 34). Of these only one, indeed, is extant, viz.
No. 33, our 'Garland of Birth-stories.' No. 34 may be the work,
containing 550 or 565 _G_âtakas, spoken of by the Bauddha monk who
imparted so much valuable information to Hodgson[9], or, perhaps, the
original of the Tibetan collection of 101 tales, including also our
_G_âtakamâlâ, to which two Russian scholars, Serge d'Oldenburg and
Ivanovski, have of late drawn the attention of the public[10]. As to No.
32, its title, _G_âtakâvadâna, allows the supposition that it is either
a collection of _G_âtakas and avadânas, or that it contains 'great
religious exploits' (avadâna) performed by the Bodhisattva, who
afterwards became Buddha, the Lord. Nothing is more common than the use
of both terms in a nearly synonymous manner. Our _G_âtakamâlâ bears also
the appellation of Bodhisattvâvadânamâlâ[11]. In translating _G_âtaka by
'birth-story,' I comply with the general use and official interpretation
of that term by the Buddhist Church. The original meaning must have been
simply 'tale, story,' as Prof. Kern has demonstrated in his 'History of
Buddhism in India[12].' Additional evidence of this statement may be
drawn from the fact, that in several of the old and traditional headings
of these stories the former part of the compound denotes not the
Bodhisattva, but some other person of the tale, as Vyâghrî_g_âtaka, 'the
Story of the Tigress,' or a thing, as Kumbha_g_âtaka, 'the Story of the
Jar;' Bisa_g_âtaka, 'the Story of the Lotus-stalks,' which are
respectively Nos. I, XVII, and XIX of this collection; or an action, as
Sîlavîma_m_sa(ka)_g_âtaka, the common heading of Nos. 86, 290, 305, and
330 in Fausböll's Pâli _G_âtaka, Na_kk_a_g_âtaka, ibid., No. 32, or a
quality, as Sîlânisa_m_sa_g_âtaka, ibid., No. 190.

     [8] See Hodgson, Essays on the Languages &c. of Nepal and Tibet,
     1874, p. 37.

     [9] See Hodgson, Essays, pp. 17 and 37.

     [10] See the paper of d'Oldenburg, translated by Dr. Wenzel in the
     Journ. Roy. As. Soc. of 1893, p. 304.

     [11] Also cp. the passage of the Avadânakalpalatâ, quoted infra, p.

     [12] See I, p. 257 of the original (Dutch) edition.

Some time after M. Féer's compte-rendu of the Paris MS. was published
two new MSS. of the _G_âtakamâlâ came to Europe. They belong to the
valuable set of Sanskrit Buddhist works which Dr. Wright acquired for
the Cambridge University Library, and are described by Prof. Cecil
Bendall in his excellent Catalogue (1883). Prof. Kern was the first to
appreciate the great literary merits of the _G_âtakamâlâ, and soon
planned an edition, availing himself of the two Cambridge MSS. (Add.
1328 and 1415) and the Paris one[13]. This editio princeps was published
at the end of 1891 as the first volume of the Harvard Oriental Series of
Prof. Lanman. It has every right to bear the name of 'princeps,' not
only because Ârya _S_ûra's work has never been edited before, but on
account of the critical acumen and the untiring care of the editor,
whose exertions have almost purged the text from the clerical errors and
blunders which greatly encumber the Nepal manuscripts[14]. Thus, thanks
to Prof. Kern, this masterpiece of Sanskrit Buddhist literature is now
accessible to Sanskritists in an excellent edition. I have undertaken to
translate it, as I consider it a most valuable document for the
knowledge of Buddhism.

     [13] Dr. d'Oldenburg mentions two more copies; they are at St.
     Petersburg. See his paper in the Journ. Roy. As. Soc., p. 306.

     [14] Compare the complaint of Prof. Cowell, p. xii of the
     Introduction to his translation of the Buddha_k_arita (Sacred
     Books, vol. xlix).

Properly speaking, _G_âtakamâlâ is a class-name. It has been pointed out
above that in the Northern Buddhist Canon several writings of that name
have been made known, and though, so far as I know, this appellation
does not occur in the book-titles of the Pâli Tripi_t_aka, such texts as
the Pâli _G_âtaka and the _K_ariyâpi_t_aka may have some right to be
thus designated. That it is a generic appellation is made plain from
Somendra's Introduction to the Avadânakalpalatâ of his father
Kshemendra. It is said there, verses 7 and 8:--

  'â_k_âryaGopadattâdyair avadânakramo_ggh_itâ_h_
  u_kk_ityo_kk_itya vihitâ gadyapadyavi_sri_ṅkhalâ_h_,
  ekamârgânusâri_n_ya_h_ para_m_ gâmbhîryakarka_s_â_h_
  vistîr_n_avar_n_anâ_h_ santi _G_ina_g_âtakamâlikâ_h_.'

'There exist many "Garlands of Birth-stories of the _G_ina" by Gopadatta
and other teachers, who, discarding the usual order of the Avadânas,
gathered tales _carptim_, and told them at length in elaborate prose
(gadya) interspersed with verse, holding themselves free as to the
proportions of the two styles, which they made interchange. They all
treat of the praise of the Right Path, but, owing to their profoundness,
are hard to understand.'

This definition of that class exactly suits the work, the translation of
which is here published. This composition consists, indeed, of verse
intermingled with flowery prose built up according to the rules and
methods of Sanskrit rhetoric; it claims to be a florilegium, a selection
of _G_âtakas, with the avowed object of rousing or invigorating the true
faith in the minds of the reader; and the stories are told at length. It
has perhaps been the most perfect writing of its kind. It is
distinguished no less by the superiority of its style than by the
loftiness of its thoughts. Its verses and artful prose are written in
the purest Sanskrit[15], and charm the reader by the elegance of their
form and the skill displayed in the handling of a great variety of
metres, some of which are rarely to be met with elsewhere[16], and are
sometimes adorned with the additional qualities of difficult and refined
rhymes, and the like. Apparently _S_ûra, to whom the _G_âtakamâlâ is
ascribed, was a poet richly gifted by Nature, whose talent must have
been developed by thorough and extensive literary studies. Above all, I
admire his moderation. Unlike so many other Indian masters in the art of
literary composition, he does not allow himself the use of embellishing
apparel and the whole luxuriant _mise en scène_ of Sanskrit ala_m_kâra
beyond what is necessary for his subject. His flowery descriptions, his
long and elaborate sermons, his elegant manner of narration, are always
in harmony with the scheme of the whole or the nature of the contents.
Similarly, in the choice of his metres he was guided by stylistic
motives in accordance with the tone and sentiment required at a given
point of the narrative. It is a pity that most of these excellencies are
lost in the translation.

     [15] The peculiarities of our author are not many, and bear chiefly
     on lexicology, not on grammar or style, which show the most
     intimate acquaintance with the classic language. His subject-matter
     and his faith, of course, necessitate the use of a number of terms,
     found in Buddhist writings only; yet he avoids several of them,
     which are not good Sanskrit, as vi_g_ita and most of those
     signalized by Cowell and Neil in p. ix of their edition of the
     Divyâvadâna. He often employs uddhava=Pâli utthava [which itself
     is=Skt. utsava], sumukha='propense,' sâtmîbhavati, ºkaroti, ºbhâva,
     a term to express the imbibing of qualities into one's nature,
     adhyâ_s_aya=â_s_aya, vitâna and vaitânya='dejected' and
     'dejection,' vimana_h_=durmana_h_ 'sad,' pratipat and
     pratipatti='(good) conduct' and so on. Likewise he uses such words
     as vanîpaka, pratisa_m_-modana, (ahorâtram) atinâmayâm âsa, XXVI,
     27 ârabhya [=Pâli ârabbha] in the meaning of
     'concerning'=adhik_ri_tya, â_s_ritya and VIII, 20
     pratyâham=pratyaham. On the other hand, instances of old words and
     expressions, and of such as were hitherto only known from the
     Dictionaries, are found in his work. So e.g. addhâ IX, 60 and
     elsewhere, âkumbha XVII, 5, XXVIII, 31, dâ_nd_â_g_inika in XXVIII,

     [16] Among the less common metres I notice the Mattamayûra V,
     22-24, XXIX, 4 and 32; the Pramitâkshara XVII, 17, XVIII, 20,
     XXIII, 25; the Bhu_g_aṅgaprayâta XXIX, 26; the Prahara_n_akalitâ
     or Kalikâ XVII, 20; some metre akin to the Sumânikâ--cp.
     Colebrooke, Misc. Ess. II, 141--XXIII, 34-39, for it does not suit
     the scheme taught by Colebrooke, in verses 35-39 each pâda
     consisting of two trochees and a bacchius, whereas verse 34 is made
     up of two trochees and a molossus.

Thus much for the philologist and the lover of Oriental literature. To
the student of Buddhism it is the peculiar character of the _G_âtakamâlâ
which constitutes its great importance. Although it is styled 'a garland
of stories,' it is really a collection of homilies. Each _G_âtaka is
introduced by a simple prose sentence of ethical and religious purport,
which is to be illustrated by the story. The whole treatment of the tale
bears the character of a religious discourse. Prof. Cowell, in his
preface to the translation of the Pâli _G_âtaka, observes that the
_G_âtaka-legends are 'continually introduced into the religious
discourses ... whether to magnify the glory of the Buddha or to
illustrate Buddhist doctrines and precepts by appropriate
examples[17].' Our _G_âtakamâlâ has a right to be called a choice
collection of such sermons, distinguished by their lofty conception and
their artistic elaboration. It is a document of the first rank for the
study of ancient Buddhist homiletics, and is for this reason entitled to
a place among the Sacred Books of the East.

     [17] See The Jātaka, translated from the Pâli by various hands
     under the editorship of Prof. E. B. Cowell, Cambridge, 1895, I, p.

_S_ûra took his thirty-four holy legends from the old and traditional
store of _G_âtaka-tales. Almost all of them have been identified with
corresponding ones in other collections, both of Northern and Southern
Buddhism. So far as I could control those parallels or add to them, I
have taken care to notice them at the beginning or at the end of each
story. The author himself in his introductory stanzas declares his
strict conformity with scripture and tradition; and, however much he has
done for the adornment and embellishment of the outer form of his tales,
we may trust him, when he implies that he has nowhere changed their
outlines or their essential features, but has narrated them as they were
handed down to him by writing or by oral tradition. Wherever his account
differs from that preserved in other sources, we may infer that he
followed some different version. Sometimes he passes over details of
minor importance. For instance, in the second story he avoids the
hideous particulars of the eye-operation, dwelt upon in the Pâli
_G_âtaka. The same good taste will be appreciated in Story XXVIII, when
the cruel act of the wicked king against the monk Kshântivâdin has to be
told, and in Story VIII. Stories XVII, XXII, XXXI are much simpler than
their parallels in the holy Pâli book, which are unwieldy, encumbered as
they are by exuberance of details. I cannot help thinking that _S_ûra
omitted such particulars purposely. For the rest, he does not pretend to
tell stories new or unknown to his readers. He acknowledges their
popularity; he puts the story of the tigress at the beginning, in order
to honour his teacher, who had celebrated that _G_âtaka. He often
neglects to give proper names to the actors in his tales. For instance,
of Agastya, Ayog_ri_ha, _K_u_dd_abodhi, the heroes of the _G_âtakas thus
named, it is nowhere said that they were so called. _G_û_g_aka, the
Brâhman who begged the children from Vi_s_vantara, consequently a
well-known figure in the legend, is only named 'a Brâhman.' In the same
story (IX) Madrî, the wife of the hero, is introduced as a well-known
person, although her name had not been mentioned before.

That he closely adheres to the traditional stock of legends is also
shown by a good number of his verses. Generally speaking, the metrical
part of the _G_âtakamâlâ admits of a fourfold division. There are
laudatory verses, praising and pointing out the virtues of the hero;
these are commonly found in the first part or preamble of the tale.
There are descriptive verses, containing pictures of fine scenery or of
phenomena. Further, there are religious discourses, sometimes of
considerable length, put in the mouth of the Bodhisattva; they have
their place mostly at the end[18]. The rest consists in verses treating
of facts in the story, and it is chiefly there that we find again the
gâthâs of the corresponding Pâli _G_âtakas. It is incontestable that in
a great many cases _S_ûra worked on the same or a very similar stock of
gâthâs as are contained in the Sacred Canon of the Southern Buddhists.
For the sake of reference I have registered those parallel verses in a
Synoptical Table, which is placed at the end of this book (pp. 337-340).
Sometimes the affinity is so striking that one text will assist the
interpretation and critical restitution of the other. _S_ûra's stanza,
V, 11, for example, has not been invented by the author himself; it is a
refined paraphrase in Sanskrit of some Prâkrit gâthâ of exactly the same
purport as that which in Fausböll's _G_âtaka III, p. 131, bears the
number 158. By comparing pâda c in both, it is plain that in the Pâli
text no ought to be read instead of vo[19]. It must have been sacred
texts in some popular dialect, not in Sanskrit, that underly the
elaborate and high-flown verses of _S_ûra. This is proved, among other
things, by the mistake in XIX, 17, pointed out by Prof. Kern in the
Various Readings he has appended to his edition.

     [18] It is but seldom that the verses contain a mere repetition or
     development of what has just been told in the prose immediately
     preceding. Of this kind are XIII, 16; XIX, 5; XXV, 1; XXX, 5.

     [19] Here are some other instances. In the Bhisa_g_âtaka, Fausb.
     IV, 309, 11, read puttî ... sabbakâmî, cp. _G_âtakamâlâ XIX, 13,
     ibid. 1. 22 sabbasamattaveda_m_ and 1. 24 pû_g_entu, cp.
     _G_âtakamâlâ XIX, 16; ibid. p. 310, 3 lattha, not alattha, cp. XIX,
     18.--In the _K_ullaha_m_sa_g_âtaka, F. V, 340, 12 kha_nd_a_m_ the
     reading of _B^{ds}_ and _S^{dr}_ is confirmed by _S_ûra, XXII, 37
     ûna_m_. Ibid. 343, 16 I read tâvad eva _k_a te lâbho kat' assa
     yâ_k_anâ _k_a me, comparing _S_ûra XXII, 50, and from XXII, 80 I
     infer that F. V, 350, 16 mama is to be read for dhamma_m_, vasu for
     vaso, sabbatth' instead of sabb' atth'.--In F. I, 213, 13 a prose
     passage may be corrected from the parallel prose of _G_âtakamâlâ.
     (p. 98, 8 of the edition); divide the words thus, ku_kkh_ito _g_âto
     a_nd_akosam padâletvâ.

     On the other hand the Pâli text is of use to correct a passage of
     _S_ûra. XXII, 33 c we should read dharmo hy apa_k_ita_h_ samyag
     &c., cp. Fausb. V, 339, 22.

As I have already remarked, each story is introduced by a leading
sentence, expressing some religious maxim, which, according to Indian
usage, is repeated again at the end as a conclusion to the story, being
preceded by evam or tathâ, 'in this manner.' But, as a rule[20], the
epilogues are not limited to that simple repetition. They often contain
more, the practical usefulness of the story thus told being enhanced by
the addition of other moral lessons, which may be illustrated by it, or
by pointing out different subjects of religious discourses, in
connection with which our tale may be of use. Most of these epilogues,
in my opinion, are posterior to _S_ûra. Apart from the argument offered
by some remarkable discrepancies in style and language and the monkish
spirit pervading them, I think it highly improbable that, after the
author had put at the head and at the end of each _G_âtaka the moral
maxim he desires to inculcate upon the minds of his readers by means of
the account of a certain marvellous deed of the Bodhisattva, he should
himself add different indications for other employments to serve
homiletical purposes. It is more likely that these accessories are of
later origin, and were added when the discourses of _S_ûra had gained so
great a reputation as to be admitted to the Canon of Sacred Writings,
and had come to be employed by the monks as a store of holy and edifying
sermons for the purposes of religious instruction.

     [20] With the exception of V and XV. In the conclusion of III and
     XIII the leading text is repeated, and then more fully developed;
     in that of the ninth _G_âtaka it is repeated in an abridged form.

On account of these considerations, I have bracketed in my translation
such part of the epilogues as seemed to me later interpolations. Yet I
did not think it advisable to omit them. They are not without importance
in themselves. They allow us an insight into the interior of the
monasteries and to witness the monks preparing for preaching. Moreover,
some of them contain precious information about holy texts of the
Northern Buddhists, which are either lost or have not yet been
discovered. In the epilogue of VIII there is even a textual quotation;
likewise in that of XXX, where we find the words spoken by the Lord at
the time of his Complete Extinction. As to XI, see my note on that
epilogue. In XII and XXI similar sayings of holy books are hinted at.

Concerning the person of the author and his time, nothing certain is
known. That he was called Ârya _S_ûra is told in the manuscripts, and is
corroborated by Chinese tradition; the Chinese translation of the
_G_âtakamâlâ, made between 960 and 1127 A.D., bears Ârya _S_ûra on its
title as the author's name (see Bunyiu Nanjio's Catalogue, No. 1312).
Tibetan tradition, too, knows _S_ûra as a famous teacher, and as the
author of our collection of stories. Târanâtha identifies him with
A_s_vaghosha, and adds many more names by which the same great man
should be known. It is, however, impossible that two works so entirely
different in style and spirit as the Buddha_k_arita and the _G_âtakamâlâ
should be ascribed to one and the same author.

As to his time, Dr. d'Oldenburg observes that the terminus ante quem is
the end of the 7th century A.D., since it seems that the Chinese
traveller I-tsing speaks of our 'Garland of Birth-stories.' If No. 1349
of Bunyiu Nanjio's Catalogue of the Chinese Tripi_t_aka, being a Sûtra
on the fruits of Karma briefly explained by Ârya _S_ûra, is written by
our author--and there seems to be no reasonable objection to
this--_S_ûra must have lived before 434 A.D., when the latter work is
said to have been translated into Chinese. This conclusion is supported
by the purity and elegance of the language, which necessarily point to a
period of a high standard of literary taste and a flourishing state of
letters. Prof. Kern was induced by this reason to place _S_ûra
approximately in the century of Kâlidâsa and Varâhamihira, but equally
favourable circumstances may be supposed to have existed a couple of
centuries earlier. I think, however, he is posterior to the author of
the Buddha_k_arita. For other questions concerning the _G_âtakamâlâ,
which it would be too long to dwell upon here, I refer to Prof. Kern's
preface and d'Oldenburg in Journ. Roy. As. Soc. 1893, pp. 306-309.

Târanâtha, the historian of Tibetan Buddhism, has preserved a legend
which shows the high esteem in which the _G_âtakamâlâ stands with the
followers of the Buddha's Law. 'Pondering on the Bodhisattva's gift of
his own body to the tigress, he [viz. _S_ûra] thought he could do the
same, as it was not so very difficult. Once he, as in the tale, saw a
tigress followed by her young, near starvation; at first he could not
resolve on the self-sacrifice, but, calling forth a stronger faith in
the Buddha, and writing with his own blood a prayer of seventy _S_lokas,
he first gave the tigers his blood to drink, and, when their bodies had
taken a little force, offered himself[21].' In this legend I recognise
the sediment, so to speak, of the stream of emotion caused by the
stimulating eloquence of that gifted Mahâyânist preacher on the minds of
his co-religionists. Any one who could compose discourses such as these
must have been capable of himself performing the extraordinary exploits
of a Bodhisattva. In fact, something of the religious enthusiasm of
those ancient apostles of the Mahâyâna who brought the Saddharma to
China and Tibet pervades the work of _S_ûra, and it is not difficult to
understand that in the memory of posterity he should have been
represented as a saint who professed the ethics of his religion, _non
disputandi causa_, as Cicero says of Cato, _ut magna pars, sed ita

     [21] I quote the very words, with which Dr. Wenzel translates
     d'Oldenburg's quotation from the Russian. See Journ. Roy. As. Soc.,
     1. 1. p. 307.

It was no easy task to translate a work of so refined a composition,
still less because there is no help to be had from any commentary. The
Sanskrit text has none, and the Chinese commentary mentioned by Bunyiu
Nanjio is not translated. Repeated and careful study of the original has
led me to change a few passages of the translation I formerly published
in the Bijdragen voor Taal-Land-en Volkenkunde van Ned. Indië, vols.
viii and x of the fifth 'Volgreeks.' Moreover, I have adapted this,
which may almost be styled a second edition, to the wants and the
arrangements of the 'Sacred Books of the East.'

                                                J. S. SPEYER.

  GRONINGEN, _April 16, 1895_.






_Om! Adoration to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!_


1[22]. Grand and glorious, of inexhaustible praise and charm, comprising
excellent virtues and thereby auspicious, are the wonderful exploits
which the Muni performed in previous births. Them will I devoutly
worship with the handful of flowers of my poem.

     [22] The cipher on the left denotes the number of the stanza. The
     prose parts of the original are indicated by the absence of the

2, 3. 'By those praiseworthy deeds the way is taught that is leading to
Buddhahood; they are the landmarks on that way. Further even the
hard-hearted may be softened by them. The holy stories may also obtain a
greater attractiveness.' So I considered, and for the benefit of men the
attempt will be made to find a favourable audience for my own genius, by
treating of the extraordinary facts of the Highest One in the world in a
manner which is in accordance with the course of facts as recorded by
Scripture and Tradition.

4. Him, whose beautiful practice of virtues, while acting for the sake
of others, no one could imitate, though bent on self-interest; Him, the
blaze of whose glory is involved in his true name of the All-Knowing
One; Him, the Incomparable One together with the Law and the
Congregation I venerate with bowed head.


Even in former births the Lord showed His innate, disinterested, and
immense love towards all creatures, and identified himself with all
beings. For this reason we ought to have the utmost faith in Buddha, the
Lord. This will be instanced by the following great performance of the
Lord in a previous birth, which has been celebrated by my guru, a
venerator of the Three Jewels, an authority because of his thorough
study of virtues, and beloved by his own guru by virtue of his religious

In the time that the Bodhisattva, who afterwards became our Lord,
benefited the world by manifold outpourings of his compassion: gifts,
kind words, succour, and similar blameless deeds of a wisdom-cultivating
mind, quite in accordance with the excessive engagements to which he had
bound himself, he took his birth in a most eminent and mighty family of
Brâhmans, distinguished by the purity of their conduct owing to their
attachment to their (religious) duties. Being purified by the
_g_âtakarma and the other sacraments in due order, he grew up and in a
short time, owing to the innate quickness of his understanding, the
excellent aid in his studies, his eagerness for learning and his zeal,
he obtained the mastership in the eighteen branches of science and in
all the arts (kalâs) which were not incompatible with the custom of his

5. To the Brâhmans he was (an authority) like the Holy Writ; to the
Kshatriyas as venerable as a king; to the masses he appeared like the
embodied Thousand-eyed One[23]; to those who longed for knowledge he was
a helpful father.

     [23] Viz. _S_akra, the Indra or Lord of the Devas.

In consequence of his prosperous destiny (the result of merits formerly
earned), a large store of wealth, distinction, and fame fell to his
share. But the Bodhisattva took no delight in such things. His thoughts
had been purified by his constant study of the Law, and he had become
familiar with world-renunciation.

6. His former behaviour had wholly cleared his mind, he saw the many
kinds of sin which beset (worldly) pleasures. So he shook off the
householder's state, as if it were an illness, and retired to some
plateau, which he adorned by his presence.

7. There, both by his detachment from the world and by his
wisdom-brightened tranquillity, he confounded, as it were, the people in
the world, who by attachment to bad occupations are disinclined for the
calmness of the wise.

8. His calmness full of friendliness spread about, it seems, and
penetrated into the hearts of the ferocious animals so as to make them
cease injuring one another and live like ascetics.

9. By dint of the pureness of his conduct, his self-control, his
contentment, and his compassion, he was no less a friend even to the
people in the world, who were unknown to him, than all creatures were
friends to him.

10. As he wanted little, he did not know the art of hypocrisy, and he
had abandoned the desire for gain, glory, and pleasures. So he caused
even the deities to be propitious and worshipful towards him.

11. On the other hand, those whose affection he had gained (in his
former state) by his virtues, hearing of his ascetic life, left their
families and their relations and went up to him as to the embodied
Salvation, in order to become his disciples.

12. He taught his disciples, as best he could, good conduct (_s_îla),
chastity, purification of the organs of sense, constant attentiveness,
detachment from the world, and the concentration of the mind to the
meditation on friendliness (maitrî) and the rest[24].

     [24] The four, or five, bhâvanâs or 'meditative rites' are meant.

Most of his numerous disciples attained perfection in consequence of his
teaching, by which this holy road (to salvation) was established and
people were put on the excellent path of world-renunciation. Now, the
doors of evils being shut, as it were, but the ways of happiness widely
opened like high roads, it once happened that the Great-minded One
(mahâtman) was rambling along the shrubby caverns of the mountain well
adapted to the practices of meditation (yoga), in order to enjoy at his
ease this existing order of things. A_g_ita, his disciple at that time,
accompanied him.

13-15. Now, below in a cavern of the mountain, he beheld a young tigress
that could scarcely move from the place, her strength being exhausted by
the labour of whelping. Her sunken eyes and her emaciated belly
betokened her hunger, and she was regarding her own offspring as food,
who thirsting for the milk of her udders, had come near her, trusting
their mother and fearless; but she brawled at them, as if they were
strange to her, with prolonged harsh roarings.

16, 17. On seeing her, the Bodhisattva, though composed in mind, was
shaken with compassion by the suffering of his fellow-creature, as the
lord of the mountains (Meru) is by an earthquake. It is a wonder, how
the compassionate, be their constancy ever so evident in the greatest
sufferings of their own, are touched by the grief, however small, of

And his powerful pity made him utter, agitation made him repeat to his
pupil, the following words manifesting his excellent nature: 'My dear,
my dear,' he exclaimed,

18. 'Behold the worthlessness of Sa_m_sâra! This animal seeks to feed on
her very own young ones. Hunger causes her to transgress love's law.

19. 'Alas! Fie upon the ferocity of self-love, that makes a mother wish
to make her meal with the bodies of her own offspring!

20. 'Who ought to foster the foe, whose name is self-love, by whom one
may be compelled to actions like this?

'Go, then, quickly and look about for some means of appeasing her
hunger, that she may not injure her young ones and herself. I too shall
endeavour to avert her from that rash act.' The disciple promised to do
so, and went off in search of food. Yet the Bodhisattva had but used a
pretext to turn him off. He considered thus:

21. 'Why should I search after meat from the body of another, whilst the
whole of my own body is available? Not only is the getting of the meat
in itself a matter of chance, but I should also lose the opportunity of
doing my duty.


22-24. 'This body being brute, frail, pithless, ungrateful, always
impure, and a source of suffering, he is not wise who should not rejoice
at its being spent for the benefit of another. There are but two things
that make one disregard the grief of another: attachment to one's own
pleasure and the absence of the power of helping. But I cannot have
pleasure, whilst another grieves, and I have the power to help; why
should I be indifferent? And if, while being able to succour, I were to
show indifference even to an evildoer immersed in grief, my mind, I
suppose, would feel the remorse for an evil deed, burning like shrubs
caught by a great fire.

25. 'Therefore, I will kill my miserable body by casting it down into
the precipice, and with my corpse I shall preserve the tigress from
killing her young ones and the young ones from dying by the teeth of
their mother.

'Even more, by so doing

26-29. 'I set an example to those who long for the good of the world; I
encourage the feeble; I rejoice those who understand the meaning of
charity; I stimulate the virtuous; I cause disappointment to the great
hosts of Mâra, but gladness to those who love the Buddha-virtues; I
confound the people who are absorbed in selfishness and subdued by
egotism and lusts; I give a token of faith to the adherents of the most
excellent of vehicles[25], but I fill with astonishment those who sneer
at deeds of charity; I clear the highway to Heaven in a manner pleasing
to the charitable among men; and finally that wish I yearned for, "When
may I have the opportunity of benefiting others with the offering of my
own limbs?"--I shall accomplish it now, and so acquire erelong Complete

     [25] This best of vehicles (yânavara) is the Buddhayâna, the
     vehicle by which Buddhahood may be reached, or mahâyâna, for both
     appellations cover nearly the same ground. The other two are the
     _S_râvakayâna and the Pratyekabuddhayâna. See Dharmasa_m_graha II,
     with the annotation of Kenjiu Kasawara.

30, 31. 'Verily, as surely as this determination does not proceed from
ambition, nor from thirst of glory, nor is a means of gaining Heaven or
royal dignity, as surely as I do not care even for supreme and
everlasting bliss for myself, but for securing the benefit of
others[26]: as surely may I gain by it the power of taking away and
imparting for ever at the same time the world's sorrow and the world's
happiness, just as the sun takes away darkness and imparts light!

     [26] Parârthasiddhi here and in st. 33 is a rather ambiguous term,
     as it may also convey this meaning: 'the attainment of the highest
     object.' Apparently this ambiguity is intentional. Cp. Story XXX,
     verse 17.

32. 'Whether I shall be remembered, when virtue is seen to be practised,
or made conspicuous, when the tale of my exploit is told; in every way
may I constantly benefit the world and promote its happiness!'

33. After so making up his mind, delighted at the thought that he was to
destroy even his life for securing the benefit of others, to the
amazement even of the calm minds of the deities--he gave up his body.

The sound of the Bodhisattva's body falling down stirred the curiosity
and the anger of the tigress. She desisted from her disposition of
making a slaughter of her whelps, and cast her eyes all around. As soon
as she perceived the lifeless body of the Bodhisattva, she rushed
hastily upon it and commenced to devour it.

But his disciple, coming back without meat, as he had got none, not
seeing his teacher, looked about for him. Then he beheld that young
tigress feeding on the lifeless body of the Bodhisattva. And the
admiration of the extraordinary greatness of his performance driving
back his emotions of sorrow and pain, he probably gave a fair
utterance[27] to his veneration for his teacher's attachment to virtues
by this monologue:

     [27] The text has _s_obheta, not a_s_obhata, as might have been

34-37. 'Oh, how merciful the Great-minded One was to people afflicted by
distress! How indifferent He was to His own welfare! How He has brought
to perfection the virtuous conduct of the pious, and dashed to pieces
the splendid glory of their adversaries! How He has displayed, clinging
to virtues, His heroic, fearless, and immense love! How His body, which
was already precious for its virtues, has now forcibly been turned into
a vessel of the highest veneration! And although by His innate kindness
He was as patient as Earth, how intolerant He was of the suffering of
others! And how my own roughness of mind is evidenced by the contrast of
this splendid act of heroism of His! Verily, the creatures are not to be
commiserated now, having got Him as their Protector, and Manmatha[28],
forsooth, is now sighing away, being disturbed and in dread of defeat.

     [28] Manmatha, Kâma, Kandarpa and the other names of the god of
     sensual love and pleasure are common equivalents of Mâra. Cp.
     Buddha_k_arita XIII, 2.

'In every way, veneration be to that illustrious Great Being
(mahâsattva), of exuberant compassion, of boundless goodness, the refuge
of all creatures, yea, that Bodhisattva for the sake of the creatures.'
And he told the matter over to his fellow-disciples.

38. Then his disciples and also the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the snakes,
and the chiefs of the Devas, expressing by their countenance their
admiration for his deed, covered the ground that held the treasure of
his bones, with a profusion of wreaths, clothes, jewel ornaments, and
sandal powder.

So, then, even in former births the Lord showed His innate,
disinterested, and immense love towards all creatures, and identified
Himself with all creatures. For this reason we ought to have the utmost
faith in Buddha, the Lord. [And also this is to be propounded: 'And
having obtained this faith in Buddha the Lord, we ought to strive for
feeling the highest gladness; in this manner our faith will have its
sanctuary.'--Likewise we must listen with attention to the preaching of
the Law, since it has been brought to us by means of hundreds of
difficult hardships[29].--And in sermons on the subject of compassion,
thus is to be said: 'in this manner compassion, moving us to act for the
benefit of others, is productive of an exceedingly excellent

     [29] Dushkara_s_atasamudânîtatvât, cp. Divyâvadâna, ed. Cowell, p.

     [30] Viz. as far as gathering merit, the consequence of good
     actions, improves our nature.

       *       *       *       *       *

     The story of the tigress, which does not appear either in the Pâli
     _G_âtaka or in the _K_ariyâpi_t_aka, is alluded to in the
     Bodhisattvâvadanâkalpalatâ of Kshemendra II, 108. There the
     Bodhisattva, on the occasion of a similar fact of self-denial and
     heroism in a later birth, says: 'Formerly, on seeing a hungry
     tigress preparing to eat her whelps, I gave her my body, in order
     to avert this, without hesitation.' And in the fifty-first pallava
     the story is narrated at length, verses 28-50. It differs in some
     points from ours. So does also the redaction of the Southern
     Buddhists, told by Spence Hardy, Manual, p. 94 of the 2nd ed.


(Comp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 499, Fausb. IV, 401-412; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
I, 8.)

The preaching of the excellent Law must be listened to with attention.
For it is by means of hundreds of difficult hardships that the Lord
obtained this excellent Law for our sake. This is shown by the

In the time, when this our Lord was still a Bodhisattva, in consequence
of his possessing a store of meritorious actions collected by a
practice from time immemorial, he once was a king of the _S_ibis. By his
deference to the elders whom he was wont to honour from his very
childhood, and by his attachment to a modest behaviour, he gained the
affection of his subjects; owing to his natural quickness of intellect,
he enlarged his mind by learning many sciences; he was distinguished by
energy, discretion, majesty and power, and favoured by fortune. He ruled
his subjects as if they were his own children.

1. The different sets of virtues, that accompany each member of the
triad (of dharma, artha, and kâma) all together gladly took their
residence, it seems, with him; and yet they did not lose any of their
splendour in spite of the disturbance which might occur from their

2. And felicity, that is like a mockery to those who have attained a
high rank by wrong means, like a grievous calamity to the fool, like an
intoxicating liquor to the feeble-minded--to him it was, as is indicated
by its name, real happiness.

3. Noble-hearted, full of compassion, and wealthy, this best of kings
rejoiced at seeing the faces of the mendicants beaming with satisfaction
and joy at the attainment of the wished-for objects.

Now this king, in accordance with his propensity for charity, had caused
alms-halls, provided with every kind of utensils, goods, and grains, to
be constructed in all parts of the town. In this way he poured out the
rain of his gifts, not unlike a cloud of the K_ri_ta Yuga. And he
distributed them in such a manner, as well became the loftiness of his
mind, supplying the wants of each according to his desire, with lovely
deference and kind speed, whereby he enhanced the benefit of his gifts.
He bestowed food and drink on those who were in need of food and drink;
likewise he dispensed couches, seats, dwellings, meals, perfumes,
wreaths, silver, gold, &c., to those who wanted them. Then, the fame of
the king's sublime munificence spreading abroad, people who lived in
different regions and parts of the world went to that country, with
surprise and joy in their hearts.

4. The mendicants, when letting the whole world of men pass before their
mind's eye, did not find in others an opportunity of putting forth their
requests; to him it was that they went up in crowds with glad faces,
just as wild elephants go up to a great lake.

The king, on the other hand, when beholding them, whose minds were
rejoiced with the hope of gain, flocking together from all directions,
though the outward appearance of that mendicant people in travelling
dress was anything but handsome,--

5. Nevertheless he received them, as if they were friends come back from
abroad, his eyes wide-opened with joy; he listened to their requests, as
if good news were reported to him, and after giving, his contentment
surpassed that of the recipients.

6. The voices of the beggars spread about the perfume of the fame of his
munificence, and so abated the pride of the other kings. In a similar
way, the scent of the juice that runs out of the temples of the
scent-elephant in rut, being scattered by the wind, causes the bees to
neglect the like fluid of the other elephants[31].

     [31] In the original this simile is expressed by the rhetorical
     figure, called _s_lesha.

One day the king, making the tour of his alms-halls, noticed the very
small number of supplicants staying there, in consequence of the wants
of the mendicant people being supplied. When he considered this, he was
uneasy, because his habit of almsgiving could not well proceed.

7. The indigent, when coming to him, quenched their thirst (for the
desired boons), not he his (thirst for giving), when meeting with them.
His passion for charity was so great, that no requester by the extent of
his request could outdo his determination of giving.

Then this thought arose within him: 'Oh, very blessed are those most
excellent among the pious, to whom the mendicants utter their desires
with confidence and without restraint, so as to ask even their limbs!
But to me, as if they were terrified by harsh words of refusal, they
show only boldness in requesting my wealth.'

8. Now Earth, becoming aware of that exceedingly lofty thought, how her
lord holding on to charity, had stopped the very attachment to his own
flesh, trembled as a wife would, who loves her husband.

The surface of the earth being shaken, Sumeru, the lord of mountains,
radiant with the shine of its manifold gems, began to waver. _S_akra,
the Lord of the Devas (Devendra), inquiring into the cause of this
wavering, understood that it was the sublime thought of that king which
produced the shivering of Earth's surface; and as he was taken up with
amazement, he entered into this reflection:

9. 'How is this? Does this king bear his mind so high and feel so great
a rejoicing at giving away in charity as to conceive the thought of
girding his resolution to give with the strong determination of parting
with his own limbs?

'Well, I will try him.'

Now the king, surrounded by his officials, was sitting (on his throne,
in his hall) in the midst of the assembly. The usual summons by
proclamation had been given, inviting anybody who was in need of
anything; stores of wealth, silver, gold, jewels, were being disclosed
by the care of the treasurer; boxes filled to the top with various kinds
of clothes, were being uncovered; various excellent carriages, the yokes
of which enclosed the necks of different well-trained beasts of draught,
were being made to advance; and the mendicants were crowding in. Among
them _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, having assumed the shape of an old
and blind Brâhman, drew the attention of the king. On him the king fixed
his firm, placid, and mild looks expressive of compassion and
friendliness, and he seemed with them to go to his encounter and to
embrace him. The royal attendants requested him to say what he was
wanting, but he drew near the king, and after uttering his hail and
blessing, addressed him with these words:

10. 'A blind, old man I have come hither from afar begging thy eye, O
highest of kings. For the purpose of ruling the world's regular course
one eye may be sufficient, O lotus-eyed monarch.'

Though the Bodhisattva experienced an extreme delight at his heart's
desire being realised, a doubt arose within him as to whether the
Brâhman had really said so or, this thought being always present to his
mind, himself had fancied so, and since he longed to hear the very sweet
words of the eye being asked, he thus spoke to the eye-asker:

11. 'Who has instructed thee, illustrious Brâhman, to come here and to
ask from me one eye? No one, it is said, will easily part with his eye.
Who is he that thinks the contrary of me?'

_S_akra, the Lord of the Devas in the disguise of a Brâhman, knowing the
intention of the king, answered:

12. 'It is _S_akra. His statue, instructing me to ask thee for thy eye,
has caused me to come here. Now make real his opinion and my hope by
giving me thy eye.'

Hearing the name of _S_akra, the king thought: 'Surely, through divine
power this Brâhman shall regain his eyesight in this way,' and he spoke
in a voice, the clear sound of which manifested his joy:

13. 'Brâhman, I will fulfil thy wish, which has prompted thee to come
here. Thou desirest one eye from me, I shall give thee both.

14. 'After I have adorned thy face with a pair of bright lotus-like
eyes, go thy way, putting the bystanders first into doubt's swing as to
thy identity, but soon amazing them by the certainty of it.'

The king's counsellors, understanding that he had decided to part with
his eyes, were perplexed and agitated, and sadness afflicted their
minds. They said to the king:

15, 16. 'Majesty, Your too great fondness for charity makes you overlook
that this is mismanagement leading to evil. Be propitious, then, desist
from your purpose; do not give up your eyesight! For the sake of one
twice-born man you must not disregard all of us. Do not burn with the
fire of sorrow your subjects, to whom you have hitherto ensured comfort
and prosperity.

17, 18. 'Money, the source of opulence; brilliant gems; milch cows;
carriages and trained beasts of draught; vigorous elephants of graceful
beauty; dwellings fit for all seasons, resounding with the noise of the
anklets[32], and by their brightness surpassing the autumn-clouds: such
are boons fit to be bestowed. Give those, and not your eyesight, O you
who are the only eye of the world.

     [32] Not only the houses, therefore, are meant, but also the
     (female) attendance; in other words, the epithet is indicative of
     the richness and magnificence of the habitations.

'Moreover, great king, you must but consider this:

19. 'How can the eye of one person be put in the face of another? If,
however, divine power may effect this, why should your eye be wanted for

'Further, Your Majesty,

20. 'Of what use is eyesight to a poor man? That he might witness the
abundance of others? Well then, give him money; do not commit an act of

Then the king addressed his ministers in soft and conciliating terms:

21. 'He who after promising to give, makes up his mind to withhold his
gift, such a one puts on again the bond of cupidity which he had cast
off before.

22. 'He who after promising to give, does not keep his promise, being
driven from his resolution by avarice, should he not be held for the
worst of men?

23. 'He who, having strengthened the hope of the mendicants by engaging
himself to give, pays them with the harsh disappointment of a refusal,
for him there is no expiation.

'And with respect to your asserting "is divine power of itself not
sufficient to restore the eyesight to that man?" you should be taught

24. 'That different means are wanted to carry out purposes, is well
known, indeed. For this reason even Destiny (Vidhi), though a deity,
needs some means or other.

'Therefore, you must not exert yourselves to obstruct my determination
to accomplish an extraordinary deed of charity.'

The ministers answered: 'We have only ventured to observe to Your
Majesty that you ought to give away goods and grains and jewels, not
your eye; when saying this, we do not entice Your Majesty to

The king said:

25. 'The very thing asked for must be given. A gift not wished for does
not afford pleasure. Of what use is water to one carried off by the
stream? For this reason, I shall give to this man the object he

After this, the first minister who more than the others had got into the
intimate confidence of the king, overlooking, owing to his solicitude,
the respect due to the king, spoke thus: 'Pray, do it not.

26. 'You are holding an empire, which is vying with the riches of
_S_akra, to the attainment of which no one can aspire without a large
amount of penance and meditation, and the possession of which may pave
with numerous sacrifices the way to glory and Heaven; and you care not
for it! and you are willing to give away both your eyes! With what aim
do you wish so? Where on earth has there been seen such a way of

27. 'By your sacrifices you have gained a place among the celestial
gods, your fame is shining far and wide, your feet reflect the splendour
of the head-ornaments of the kings (your vassals)--what then is it that
you long for to give up your eyesight?'

But the king answered that minister in a gentle tone:

28. 'It is not the realm of the whole earth for which I am striving in
this manner, nor is it Heaven, nor final extinction, nor glory, but with
the intention of becoming a Saviour of the World I now provide that this
man's labour of asking be not fruitless.'

Then the king ordered one eye of his, the lovely brightness of which
appeared like a petal of a blue lotus, to be extirpated after the
precepts of the physicians gradually and intact, and with the greatest
gladness he had it handed over to the beggar, who asked it. Now _S_akra,
the Lord of the Devas, by the power of magic produced an illusion of
such a kind that the king and his bystanders saw that eye filling up the
eye-hole of the old Brâhman. When the king beheld the eye-asker in the
possession of one unclosed eye, his heart expanded with the utmost
delight, and he presented him with the other eye too.

29. The eyes being given away, the king's visage looked like a
lotus-pond without lotuses, yet it bore the expression of satisfaction,
not shared however by the citizens. On the other hand, the Brâhman was
seen with sound eyes.

30. In the inner apartments of the palace as well as in the town,
everywhere tears of sorrow moistened the ground. But _S_akra was
transported with admiration and satisfaction, seeing the king's unshaken
intention of attaining Supreme Wisdom (Sambodhi).

And in this state of mind he entered into this reflection:

31. 'What a constancy! What a goodness and a longing for the food of the
creatures! Though I witnessed the fact, I can scarcely believe it.

'It is not right, then, that this person of marvellous goodness should
endure this great hardship for a long time. I will try to render him his
eyesight by showing him the way for it.'

       *       *       *       *       *

Afterwards, when time had healed the wounds caused by the operation, and
lessened and almost lulled the sorrow of the inhabitants of the palace,
the town, and the country, it happened one day that the king, desirous
of solitary retirement, was sitting with crossed legs in his garden on
the border of a pond of lotuses. That spot was beset by fair and fine
trees bent down by the weight of their flowers; swarms of bees were
humming; a gentle, fresh, and odoriferous wind was blowing agreeably.
Suddenly _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, presented himself before the
king. Being asked who he was, he answered:

32 _a_. 'I am _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, I have come to you.'

Thereupon the king welcomed him and said that he waited for his orders.
After being thus complimented, he again addressed the king:

32 _b_. 'Choose some boon, holy prince (râ_g_arshi); say on what thou

Now the king being ever wont to give, and having never trodden the way
of miserable begging, in conformity with his astonishment and his lofty
mind spoke to him:

33, 34. 'Great is my wealth, _S_akra, my army is large and strong; my
blindness, however, makes death welcome to me. It is impossible for me,
after supplying the wants of the mendicants, to see their faces
brightened by gladness and joy; for this reason, O Indra, I love death

_S_akra said: 'No more of that resolution! Only virtuous persons come in
such a state as thine. But this thou must tell me:

35. 'It is the mendicants who have caused thee to come in this state;
how is it that thy mind is occupied with them even now? Say on! do not
hide the truth from me and thou mayst take the way to immediate

     [33] This way is the Act of Truth, as Hardy, Manual of Buddhism,
     197, calls it. In the Pâli _G_âtaka, Sakka invites the king to it
     in plain terms. Other instances of the sa_kk_akiriyâ, as it is
     styled in Pâli, will occur in Stories XIV, XV, XVI.

The king replied: 'Why dost thou insist upon my boasting myself? Hear,
however, Lord of the Devas.

36. 'As surely as the supplicatory language of begging people both now
and before is as pleasing to my ears as the sound of benedictions, so
surely may one eye appear to me!'

No sooner had the king pronounced these words than by the power of his
firm veracity and his excellent store of meritorious actions one eye
appeared to him, resembling a piece of a lotus-petal, encompassing a
pupil like sapphire. Rejoiced at this miraculous appearance of his eye,
the king again spoke to _S_akra:

37. 'And as surely as, after giving away both eyes to him who asked but
one, my mind knew no other feeling but the utmost delight, so surely may
I obtain also the other eye!'

The king had hardly finished, when there appeared to him another eye,
the rival, as it were, of the first one.

38-40. Upon this the earth was shaken with its mountains; the ocean
flowed over its borders; the drums of the celestials spontaneously
uttered deep-toned and pleasing sounds; the sky in all directions looked
placid and lovely; the sun shone with pure brightness as it does in
autumn[34]; a great number of various flowers, tinged by the sandal
powder which was whirling around, fell down from heaven; the celestials,
including Apsarasas and Ga_n_as, came to the spot, their eyes wide
opened with amazement; there blew an agreeable wind of extreme
loveliness; gladness expanded in the minds of the creatures.

     [34] It was spring when the miracle happened, as is to be inferred
     from the flowers being mentioned above.

41-43. From all parts were heard voices of praise, uttered by crowds of
beings endowed with great magic power. Filled with joy and admiration,
they glorified the great exploit of the king in such exclamations: 'Oh,
what loftiness! what compassion! see the purity of his heart, how great
it is! oh, how little he cares for his own pleasures! Hail to thee,
renowned one, for thy constancy and valour! The world of creatures has
recovered their protector in thee, of a truth, as the lustre of thy
eye-lotuses has again expanded! Surely, the stores of merit are solid
treasures! After a long time Righteousness has, indeed, obtained an
immense victory!'

Then _S_akra applauded him, 'Very well, very well!' and spoke again:

44, 45. 'Thy true feeling was not hidden from me, pure-hearted king; so
I have but rendered thee these eyes of thine. And by means of them thou
wilt have the unencumbered power of seeing in all directions over one
hundred of yo_g_anas, even beyond mountains.'

Having said these words, _S_akra disappeared on the spot.

Then the Bodhisattva, followed by his officials[35], whose wide-opened
and scarcely winking eyes indicated the astonishment that filled their
minds, went up in procession to his capital. That town exhibited a
festival attire, being adorned with hoisted flags and manifold banners,
the citizens looking on and the Brâhmans praising the monarch with hails
and benedictions. When he had seated himself in his audience-hall, in
the midst of a great crowd, made up of the ministers in the first place,
of Brâhmans and elders, townsmen and countrymen, all of whom had come to
express their respectful congratulations; he preached the Law to them,
taking for his text the account of his own experience.

     [35] The sudden appearance of these officials and ministers is
     somewhat strange here. The Pâli _G_âtaka may account for it. 'At
     the same time, it is said there (IV, p. 411) that [the eyes]
     reappeared, the whole attendance of the king (sabbâ râ_g_aparisâ)
     was present by the power of Sakka.'

46-48. 'Who in the world, then, should be slow in satisfying the wants
of the mendicants with his wealth, who has beheld how I have obtained
these eyes of mine, endowed with divine power, in consequence of
charity-gathered merit? In the circumference of one hundred of yo_g_anas
I see everything, though hidden by many mountains, as distinctly as if
it were near. What means of attaining bliss is superior to charity,
distinguished by commiseration with others and modesty? since I, by
giving away my human eyesight, have got already in this world a
superhuman and divine vision.

49. 'Understanding this, _S_ibis, make your riches fruitful by gifts and
by spending[36]. This is the path leading to glory and future happiness
both in this world and in the next.

     [36] The purport of this royal precept may be illustrated by the
     corresponding parts of the narrative in the Pâli _G_âtaka. The
     precept is there given twice, in prose and in verse, see Fausböll's
     _G_âtaka IV, p. 411, 22, and p. 412, 7.

50. 'Wealth is a contemptible thing, because it is pithless; yet it has
one virtue, that it can be given away by him who aims at the welfare of
the creatures; for if given away, it becomes a treasure (nidhâna),
otherwise its ultimate object is only death (nidhana).'

       *       *       *       *       *

So, then, it is by means of hundreds of difficult hardships that the
Lord obtained this excellent Law for our sake; for this reason its
preaching is to be heard with attention. This story is also to be told
on account of the high-mindedness of the Tathâgata, just as the
foregoing[37]. Likewise when discoursing of compassion, and when
demonstrating the result of meritorious actions appearing already in
this world: 'in this manner the merit, gathered by good actions, shows
already here (in this world) something like the blossom of its power,
the charming flowers of increasing glory.'

     [37] Viz. the story of the tigress.

       *       *       *       *       *

     In the list of the contents of the Avadânakalpalatâ which Somendra
     added to that poem of his father Kshemendra, I do not find our
     avadâna, unless it should happen to be included in No. 91, which
     deals with a king of the _S_ibis. But the edition which is being
     published in the Bibl. Indica is not yet so far advanced. For the
     rest, like the story of the tigress, it is alluded to in the second
     pallava, verse 108: 'And in my _S_ibi-birth I gave away both my
     eyes to a blind man, and with (the gift of) my body preserved a
     pigeon from the danger caused by a falcon.'


(Comp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 415, Fausb. III, 406-414; Divyâvadâna VII,
p. 88, Cowell's ed.; Kathâsarits. XXVII, 79-105.)

Any gift that proceeds from faith of the heart and is bestowed on a
worthy recipient produces a great result; there does not exist at all
anything like a trifling gift of that nature, as will be taught by the

In the time, when our Lord was still a Bodhisattva, he was a king of
Ko_s_ala. Though he displayed his royal virtues, such as energy,
discretion, majesty, power, and the rest in an exceedingly high degree,
the brilliancy of one virtue, his great felicity, surpassed the others.

1. His virtues, being embellished by his felicity, shone the more; as
the moonbeams do, when autumn makes their splendour expand.

2. Fortune, who dwelt with him, distributed her wrath and favour to the
other kings in such a manner, that she abandoned his enemies, however
proud, but like an amorous woman cherished his vassals.

3. His righteousness, however, prevented his mind from doing ill; so he
did not oppress at all his adversaries. But his dependents displayed
their affection for him in such a degree, that Fortune would not stay
with his foes.

Now one day this king recollected his last previous existence. In
consequence of remembering this he felt greatly moved. He bestowed still
greater gifts in charity--the motive and essential cause of
happiness--on _S_rama_n_as and Brâhmans, the wretched and the beggars;
he fostered unceasingly his observance of good conduct (_s_îla); and he
kept strictly the poshadha[38] restrictions on sabbath-days. Moreover,
as he was desirous of bringing his people into the way of salvation by
magnifying the power of meritorious actions, he was in the habit of
uttering with a believing heart in his audience-hall as well as in the
inner apartments of his palace these two stanzas, full of import:

     [38] Poshadha in Buddhistic Sanskrit = Pâli uposatha, which is of
     course the same word as Sanskrit upavasatha. A fuller form
     uposhadha occurs in the Avadânakalpalatâ VI, 76.

4. 'Attending on Buddhas[39] by paying them honour, howsoever little,
cannot produce a trifling fruit. This has been taught before only by
words, now it may be seen. Look at the rich affluence of the fruit,
produced by a small portion of saltless, dry, coarse, reddish-brown

     [39] The text has na Sugatapari_k_aryâ vidyate svalpikâpi, the
     parallel passage in the Pâli _G_âtaka may serve as its commentary:

                  Na kir' atthi anomadassisu
                  Pâri_k_ariyâ Buddhesu appikâ.

     In stanza 18 of this _G_âtaka the purport of these words of the
     king is thus expressed: kshî_n_âsraveshu na k_r_ita_m_ tanu nâma
     ki_mk_it; therefore, kshî_n_âsrava = Pâli khî_n_âsavo, 'who has
     extinguished his passions,' is here synonymous with buddha.
     Speaking properly, then, all wandering monks, who are earnestly
     performing their duties as such, may be styled 'buddhas,' cp. for
     instance, Suttanipâta, Sammâparibbâ_g_anîyasutta, verse 12; in
     other terms, buddha may sometimes be an equivalent of muni. So it
     is used in chapter xiv of the Dhammapada; see the note of Prof. Max
     Müller on verses 179 and 180 in Sacred Books, vol. x, p. 50, and
     the verses pointed out by Weber, Ind. Streifen, I, p. 147. It is
     also plain that the Pratyekabuddhas are considered to belong to the
     general class of the Buddhas. Though they are different from the
     Supreme Buddhas (Samyaksambuddha), they are nevertheless also
     sugatas or buddhas. Cp. Spence Hardy, Manual, pp. 37-39; Kern, Het
     Buddhisme, I, pp. 294-296.

5. 'This mighty army of mine with its beautiful chariots and horses and
its dark-blue masses of fierce elephants; the sovereignty of the whole
earth; great wealth; Fortune's favour; my noble wife: behold the beauty
of this store of fruit, produced by a small portion of coarse gruel.'

Neither his ministers nor the worthiest among the Brâhmans nor the
foremost among the townsmen, though tormented with curiosity, ventured
to question the king as to what he meant by these two stanzas which he
was in the habit of reciting every moment. Now by the king's incessant
repeating of them the queen also grew curious; and as she felt less
embarrassment in putting forth her request, one day, the opportunity of
entering into conversation upon this subject presenting itself, she put
this question in full audience to him:

6, 7. 'Verily, at all times, my lord, you are reciting, as if you were
giving vent to the gladness which is within your heart. But my heart is
troubled by curiosity at your speaking so. If my person is allowed to
hear it, say on, then, what you mean by this utterance, sir. A secret is
nowhere proclaimed in this manner; therefore, it must be a matter of
public knowledge, and I may ask you about it.'

Then the king cast a mild look of gladness on his queen, and with a
smile-blooming face he spoke:

8, 9. 'When hearing this utterance of mine without perceiving its cause,
it is not only you, that are excited by curiosity, but also the whole of
my officials, my town, and my zenana are troubled and disturbed by the
desire of knowing the meaning of it. Listen, then, to what I am going to

10. 'Just as one who awakes from sleep, I remember my existence, when I
lived a servant in this very town. Although I was keeping good conduct,
I earned a sorry livelihood by performing hired labour for people
elevated only because of their wealth.

11. 'So one day I was about to begin my service for hire, that abode of
toil, contempt, and sorrow, striving to support (my family) and fearing,
lest I should lack the means of sustenance myself; when I saw four
_S_rama_n_as with subdued senses, accompanied as it were by the bliss of
monkhood, going about for alms.

12. 'After bowing to them with a mind softened by faith, I reverentially
entertained them in my house with a small dish of gruel. Out of that
sprout has sprung this tree of greatness, that the glitterings of the
crest-jewels of other kings are now reflected in the dust on my feet.

13. 'Thinking of this, I recite these stanzas, my queen, and for this
reason I find satisfaction in doing meritorious actions and receiving

Then the queen's face expanded with gladness and surprise. She raised
her eyes respectfully to the king, saying: 'Highly probable, indeed, is
it that such very great prosperity is the fruit produced by meritorious
actions, since you, great king, being yourself a witness of the result
of meritorious actions, are so anxious for (gathering) merit. For this
very reason you are disinclined to evil actions, disposed to protect
your subjects duly like a father, and intent on earning plenty of merit.

14. 'Shining with illustrious glory enhanced by charity, vanquisher of
your rival kings waiting with bent heads for your orders, may you for a
long time with a righteous management rule the earth up to its
wind-wrinkled ocean-border!'

The king said: 'Why should this not be? my queen!

15. 'In fact, I will endeavour to keep once more the path leading to
salvation, of which I have noted the lovely marks. People will love
giving, having heard the fruit of charity; how should not I be liberal,
having experienced it in myself?'

Now the king, tenderly looking on his queen, beheld her shining with
almost divine splendour, and desiring to know the reason of that
brightness, said again:

16. 'Like the crescent amidst the stars you shine in the midst of the
women. Say, what deed have you done, my dear, having this very sweet

The queen replied: 'O yes, my lord, I too have some remembrance of my
life in my former birth.' Now, as the king gently entreated her to tell
it, she spoke:

17, 18. 'Like something experienced in my childhood I recollect that
being a slave, after giving with devotion to a Muni with extinguished
passions the remnants of one dish, I fell asleep there, as it were, and
arose from sleep here. By this wholesome action, my prince, I remember,
I have obtained you for my lord, sharing you with the earth. What you
said: "surely, no benefit given to holy persons who have extinguished
their passions, can be a small one"--these very words were then spoken
by that Muni.'

Then the king, perceiving that the assembly was overcome by feelings of
piety and amazement, and that the manifestation of the result of merit
had roused in their minds a high esteem for meritorious actions,
earnestly pressed on the audience something like this:

19. 'How is it possible, then, that anybody should not devote himself to
performing meritorious actions by practising charity and good conduct,
after seeing this large and splendid result of a good action however
small? No, that man is not even worth looking at, who inwrapt in the
darkness of avarice, should decline to make himself renowned for his
gifts, though being wealthy enough to do so.

20. 'If by abandoning in the right manner wealth, once necessarily to be
left and so of no use at all, any good quality may be acquired: who,
then, knowing the charm of virtues, would follow in this matter the path
of selfishness? And different virtues, in truth, gladness, &c., being
followed by good renown, are founded on charity.

21. 'Almsgiving is a great treasure, indeed, a treasure which is always
with us and is inaccessible to thieves and the rest[40]. Almsgiving
cleanses the mind from the dirt of the sins of selfishness and cupidity;
it is an easy vehicle by which to relieve the fatigue of the travel
through Sa_m_sâra; it is our best and constant friend, that seeks to
procure manifold pleasure and comfort for us.

     [40] That is: to fire, water, seizure from the part of the king.
     Cp. Story V, stanza 8.

22. 'All is obtained by almsgiving, whatever may be wished for, whether
it be abundance of riches or brilliant domination, or a residence in the
city of the Devas, or beauty of the body. Who, considering this matter
so, should not practise almsgiving?

23. 'Almsgiving, it is said, constitutes the worth of riches; it is also
called the essential cause of dominations, the grand performance of
piety. Even rags for dress, given away by the simple-minded, are a
well-bestowed gift.'

The audience respectfully approved this persuasive discourse of the
king, and felt inclined to the exercise of charity and the like.

       *       *       *       *       *

So any gift that proceeds from faith of the heart, and is bestowed on a
worthy recipient, produces a great result; there does not exist at all
anything like a trifling gift of that nature. [For this reason, by
giving with a faithful heart to the Congregation of the Holy[41]--that
most excellent ground fit for (sowing) meritorious actions--one may
obtain the utmost gladness, considering thus: 'such blessings, and even
greater than these, may erelong occur to me too.']

     [41] Âryasa_m_ghe.


(Comp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 40, Fausb. I, 231-234.)

The pious wish to exercise almsgiving even in spite of imminent peril;
who, then, should not be charitable when safe? This will be taught as

In the time, when our Lord was still a Bodhisattva, he was a head of a
guild. In consequence of the excessive favour of his destiny, and owing
to his own great activity, he had acquired a large estate. His fairness
and integrity in commercial transactions procured him the highest esteem
among the people; he was born of an illustrious family; he had
acquainted himself with various branches of learning and art, and by
them purified his mind. These qualities and his noble virtues caused him
to be honoured by the king. As he was always keeping the precept of
almsgiving, he shared his opulence with the people.

1. The mendicants loving him, praised his name far and wide, so as to
fill all parts of the horizon with the high reputation of his prowess as
an almsgiver.

2. With him, no one indigent was floating on the swing of doubt as to
whether he would give or not. Trusting in this benefactor of renowned
exploits, the mendicants were bold enough to put forth their wants

3. And he, for his part, did not keep his wealth from them, neither for
his own pleasures, nor striving to emulate others, nor overcome by
avarice. It was impossible for him to see the suffering of the
mendicants, and for this reason he avoided saying 'no' to them.

One day, at meal-time, when the Great Being had just bathed and anointed
himself, and a complete dinner made up of various dishes of hard and
soft food and the rest, dressed by skilled and excellent cooks, and so
prepared as to please by their colour, smell, taste, touch, &c., was
served up, a mendicant came near his house. It was a Pratyekabuddha, who
by the fire of his knowledge had burned away all the fuel of innate evil
passions, and now desired to increase the merit of the Bodhisattva. He
placed himself in the gateway.

4. There he stood without apprehension, without agitation, looking
firmly and quietly[42] to no greater distance before him than the length
of a yoke[43], in a quiet attitude, holding his lotus-white fingers
clasped on his almsbowl.

     [42] Read pra_s_amaº instead of pra_n_amaº, an error of print of

     [43] Cp. Lalitavistara (Bibl. Ind.), p. 230 infra, Buddha_k_arita
     X, 13.

Now Mâra, the Wicked One, could not bear the Bodhisattva to enjoy that
bliss of almsgiving. In order to put an obstacle in his way, he created
by magic between the Reverend and the threshold of the entrance-door a
very deep hell measuring several fathoms in width. It offered a dreadful
sight, accompanied with terrible sounds; tremulous flames were burning
awfully within; it contained many hundreds of men in great agony.

In the meanwhile the Bodhisattva, seeing the Pratyekabuddha come in
search of alms, said to his wife: 'My dear, go yourself and give an
abundant portion of food to the holy man.' She said she would do so, and
went off with excellent hard and soft food; but beholding the hell near
the gateway, she suddenly turned on her heels, terror-stricken and with
bewildered looks. When her husband asked her what was the matter, she
could hardly tell; the sudden fright had almost barred her throat. As
the Bodhisattva, however, was uneasy at the thought that this holy man
might turn back from his house without receiving his beeped meal, he did
not heed what she told him, but taking the excellent hard and soft food,
came himself, desiring to fill with it the almsbowl of the Great-Minded
One. When he arrived near the gateway, he saw that most dreadful hell
between. And whilst he considered what could be the meaning of this,
Mâra, the Wicked One, went out of the house-wall, and showing his divine
and marvellous shape, stood in the air, and, as if he wished to do good
to the Bodhisattva, spoke: 'Householder, this is the great hell, named

5. 'Here is the abode--an abode, out of which it is difficult to
escape--of those who, greedy of the praising voices of the beggars,
desire to give away wealth, indulging in the vicious passion for
charity. In this hell they must stay for many thousands of autumns.

6. 'Material prosperity (artha) is the principal cause of the world's
regular striving after the triad of objects. Whoso injures artha,
injures righteousness (dharma) too[44]. How is it possible, then, that
the injurer of righteousness by destroying material prosperity, should
not stay in hell?

     [44] The idea which underlies this assertion is often met with in
     Brâhmanical literature. If practising dharma is the same thing as
     performing the sacrifices to the deities, material prosperity may
     be justly styled the foundation-ground or substratum of dharma; for
     the right performance of sacrifices requires the possession of

7. 'Thou hast sinned, being attached to charity and destroying thy
wealth, which is the root of dharma. For this reason this flame-tongued
hell, that looks like the face of Narakântaka[45], has come to thy
encounter in order to devour thee.

     [45] See Vish_n_upurâ_n_a IV, chapter xxix (Wilson, p. 581).

8. 'Well then, desist from giving, lest thou immediately fall down and
share the fate of those almsgivers, who shrink away from pain and are
weeping piteously.

9. 'The recipients, on the other hand, who have ceased from the bad
custom of giving, obtain the rank of Devas. Therefore, desist from thy
effort for charity, which obstructs the way to Heaven, and rather apply
thyself to restraint[46].'

     [46] The Evil One uses ambiguous expressions purposely. The worthy
     recipients of the gifts are indeed on the way that leads to
     salvation; and the 'restraint' sa_m_yama he recommends, may imply
     the meaning of the self-restraint of the monks. The Bodhisattva in
     his well-turned answer takes care to keep the same ambiguous word
     (see stanza 15, sa_m_yamayishyatâpi).

The Bodhisattva, however, knew him: 'Surely, this is an attempt of the
Evil One to thwart my almsgiving.' And understanding so, he made, in
truth, a vigorous reply, yet in accordance with his firm attachment to
virtue, without breaking modesty and kindness of words. He spoke thus to

10-12. 'It is with respect to my welfare, that thou hast had the
kindness to show me the path of the pious. Indeed, it is most proper for
divine beings to show by their actions their skill in feeling compassion
for others. Nevertheless, it would have been wise to use that way of
stopping the illness before its appearance, or immediately after its
first symptoms. For if a sickness have already made progress[47] by the
fault of bad treatment, the desire for cure will but tend to calamity.
So this passion of mine for charity has already spread, I fear, beyond
the compass of medical cure, inasmuch as my mind will never shrink from
almsgiving, notwithstanding thy well-wishing counsel.

     [47] The reading prayâmam, proposed by Prof. Kern in the various
     readings of his edition, is undoubtedly right. Cp. pp. 78, 2; 96,
     23; 111, 16; 171, 15; 182, 3; 238, 11 of his edition.

13, 14. 'As for what thou saidst about unrighteousness arising from
charity and wealth being the principal cause of righteousness, my weak
human understanding cannot grasp how wealth without charity can be
called the path of virtue. Why, tell me, please, at what time is it that
wealth produces virtue? whether when laid up as a treasure, or when
robbed violently by thieves, or when sunk away to the bottom of the sea,
or when having become fuel for fire?

15, 16. 'Further, thou saidst, "the giver goes to hell and the receiver
to the celestial abodes." Speaking so, however, thou hast increased my
longing for works of charity, though endeavouring to restrain me. Yea,
may that word of thine be fulfilled, and those who beg from me rise to
heaven! For it is not as a means of procuring my own happiness that I
give in charity, but I love charity that I may do good to the world.'

Then Mâra, the Wicked One, once more addressed the Bodhisattva, speaking
earnestly as though he were a well-meaning friend.

17. 'Decide thyself, whether I have spoken for thy good or idle talk,
and afterwards go as thou desirest. Thou shalt remember me with high
regard--either happy or remorseful.'

The Bodhisattva said: 'Sir, thou must excuse me.

18. 'I will fall of my own accord into this fiercely blazing hell
headlong, a prey to the flames, that will lick at me, rather than at the
due time of honouring the mendicants, who show me their affection by
requesting from me, incur the guilt of neglecting them.'

After so speaking, the Bodhisattva--relying on the power of his destiny
and knowing that almsgiving cannot at any rate entail evil--stepped
forth across the hell without heeding his family and his attendants, who
were eager to withhold him; his mind was not overcome by terror, and his
desire of giving was still increased.

19. Then, owing to the power of his merit, in the midst of the hell a
lotus sprang up, not rooted in mud like other lotuses[48]. With its row
of stamen-teeth[49] it seemed to laugh contemptuously at Mâra.

     [48] In the original there is a pun, pa_m_ka_g_a, 'originating in
     mud, born from mud,' being a common word for 'lotus.'

     [49] Instead of dantiº I read dantaº.

And with the aid of the lotus, produced out of the large amount of his
merit, the Bodhisattva having reached the Pratyekabuddha, filled his
bowl with food, while his heart was expanding with gladness and joy.

20. The monk, in order to show his satisfaction, rose into the air.
There he displayed his splendour, raining and flaming with as great a
majesty as a cloud from which appear flashes of lightning.

21. Mâra, on the other hand, seeing his design overturned, was in low
spirits and lost accordingly his splendour. He dared no longer look in
the face of the Bodhisattva, and soon he disappeared with his hell.

       *       *       *       *       *

Why has this been taught? (For this purpose): in this manner the pious
wish to exercise almsgiving even in spite of imminent peril; who, then,
should not be charitable when safe? [Further this too is to be
propounded: 'the virtuous cannot be induced even by fear to take the
wrong way.']


(Comp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 340, Fausb. III, 128-132.)[50]

     [50] In the Pâli redaction the story is told of the se_tth_i
     Visayha, not Avisayha, in consequence, it seems, of the
     misinterpretation of the first pâda of the first gâthâ in this
     story; that line should be read adâsi dânâni pure 'visayha.
     Likewise in the Nidânakathâ (Fausb. I, p. 45, l. 14) we must read
     _K_andakumârakâle 'vishahyase_tth_ikâle.

The virtuous do not allow themselves to be deficient in the virtue of
charity either from respect to the loss of their fortune, or from the
prospect of riches, as will be taught in the following.

In the time, when our Lord was yet a Bodhisattva, he was the head of a
guild, born of an illustrious family. He possessed many virtues:
liberality, modesty, morals, sacred learning, spiritual knowledge[51],
humility, &c. His affluent riches made him appear another Kubera. He
spent them by admitting everybody as his guest and practising charity
like an everlasting sacrifice (sattra). In short, he was the best of
almsgivers and lived for the good of mankind. On account of his being
invincible by vices, selfishness, and the rest, he was known under the
name of Avishahya (that is, 'the Invincible One').

     [51] The 'sacred learning' is _s_ruta, knowledge of Vaidik texts.
     &c., the 'spiritual knowledge,' _gñ_âna, to be learnt from the
     Upanishads, the philosophical Dar_s_anas and the like.

1. The sight of the mendicants had the same effect on him, as he had on
the mendicants. On both sides it was a principal cause of gladness,
since it destroyed the uncertainty as to the attainment of the object
wished for.

2. When requested to give, he was not capable of saying 'no.' His great
compassion had left no room in his heart for attachment to wealth.

3. His joy rose to the highest pitch, when mendicants carried away the
best things out of his house. For he knew those so-called goods to be
the source of violent and heavy calamities, and therefore to cause
dissatisfaction in a short time and without any apparent reason.

4. As a rule, indeed, riches, being joined with covetousness, may be
called caravans on the road towards wretchedness. With him, on the
contrary, they conduced to the bliss of both himself and others; his
goods appeared to be what is signified by their name.

So then, that Great Being bestowed large gifts on the mendicant people
all around, and satisfied them wholly, giving to each according to his
desire and generously, and adorning his bounty by paying a pious
respect to the requesters. When _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, heard of
his lofty munificence, he was transported with amazement; and wishing to
try the firmness of his resolution, he caused the every-day provisions
of money, grains, jewels, clothes to disappear day after day; 'perhaps,
so he thought, his apprehension at least of the loss of his goods may
entice him to self-interest.' Nevertheless, the Great Being remained
intent on the virtue of charity.

5. As often as his goods disappeared, like water-drops hit by the
sun-darts, so often did he order them to be fetched again from his
house, as if it were on fire, and continued his large gifts.

_S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, understanding the Great Being to be bent
as intently as ever on deeds of charity, although his riches always went
on decreasing, his amazement grew. Now he concealed the whole of his
wealth in one night, except a coil of rope and a sickle. When the
Bodhisattva, as usual, awoke at day-break, he nowhere saw his household
goods, neither furniture, nor money, nor grains, nor clothes, nor even
his attendants. His house looked quite empty, desolate, and sad, as if
it were plundered by Râkshasas; in short, it offered an afflicting
aspect. Then he began to reflect upon the matter; and searching about,
he found nothing left but that coil of rope and that sickle. And he
considered thus: 'Perhaps somebody, not accustomed to begging, but wont
to get his livelihood by his own energy, has in this manner shown a
favour to my house. In that case, my goods are well spent. If, however,
by the fault of my destiny, some person whom my high rank has made
envious, has caused them to run away without being of use to any one, it
is a great pity.

6. 'The fickleness of Fortune's friendship was known to me long before;
but that the indigent have come to grief by it, on this account my heart

7. 'When coming to my empty house, how will they feel, my mendicants,
who for a long time were accustomed to the enjoyment of my gifts and my
hospitality? Will they not be like thirsty people coming to a dried-up

Nevertheless, the Bodhisattva did not yield to the feeling of affliction
and sadness, but kept the constancy of his mind, and though, being in
this condition, he was not capable of asking others, not even his
intimates, as he never had followed the course of getting his livelihood
by begging. Moreover, since he experienced himself that it is hard to
beg, his compassion for the begging people became still greater. Then
that High-minded One, still with the disposition to earn, from those who
lived by begging their food, kind words of welcome and the like, took
that coil of rope and that sickle, and went out to weed grass day after
day. With the little money he earned by selling the grass, he attended
to the wants of the mendicants.

But _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, seeing his imperturbable calmness
and his devotion to almsgiving even in a state of extreme poverty, was
filled not only with astonishment, but also with admiration. Showing his
wonderful celestial body, he stood in the air and spoke to the Great
Being to dissuade him from giving: 'Householder,

8-10. 'Neither thieves have robbed thee of thy wealth, nor water, nor
fire, nor princes. It is thy own largesses, that have brought thee into
this condition, which alarms thy friends. For this reason I tell thee
for thy own good: restrain thy passionate love of charity. Though being
as poor as thou art now, if thou dost not give, thou mayst recover thy
former beautiful riches. By constant consuming of however little at a
time, possessions fade; by gathering ant-hills become high. For him who
sees this, the only way of increasing his property is self-restraint.'

The Bodhisattva, however, displayed his high-mindedness and his constant
practice of charity, when he answered _S_akra in this manner:

11. 'A gentleman (ârya), however distressed, will scarcely do anything
ignoble (anârya), O thou Thousand-eyed One! Never let such wealth be
mine, O _S_akra, to obtain which I should have to live as a miser.

12, 13. 'Who, thinking himself to belong to an honest family, would
strike with the clear-sky thunderbolt of his refusal the wretched men
who desire to find a remedy for their misery by death-like begging? Is
it possible, then, that such a one as I am, should accept any jewel, or
wealth, or even the realm among the Celestials, and not use it for the
purpose of gladdening the faces of the beggars, grown pale by the pain
of asking?

14. 'Such receiving as would only tend to increase the vice of
selfishness, not to strengthen the propensity to give away, must be
entirely abandoned by such as me; for it is a calamity in disguise.

15. 'Wealth is as fickle as a flash of lightning; it may come to every
one, and it is the cause of many calamities; but almsgiving is a source
of happiness. This being so, how may a nobleman cling to selfishness?

16. 'Therefore, _S_akra, thou hast shown me thy good nature, I thank
thee also for thy commiseration and well-wishing words; yet my heart is
too much accustomed to the gladness caused by deeds of charity. How,
then, can it take delight in the wrong way?

17. 'Do not, however, bend thy mind to anger on this account, I pray
thee! Indeed, it is impossible to assault the hostile fortress of my
native character with small forces.'

_S_akra spoke: 'Householder, what thou describest is the line of conduct
for a wealthy man, whose treasury and granary are full to the top, for
whom manifold and abundant work is well-performed (by his servants), who
has assured his future, and has gained domination among men, but that
conduct does not suit thy condition. See,

18-20. 'Thou must, before all, through honest business either carried on
by exerting thy own sagacity, or by following the traditional line of
trade of thy family, in so far as it be compatible with thy fame,
gather riches surpassing, like the sun, the splendour of thy rivals;
then on proper occasions, display thy opulence to the people, and
rejoice by it thy relations and friends. Afterwards, having obtained due
honour even from the part of the king and enjoying Fortune's favour,
like the embrace of a loving sweetheart, if then there may arise in thee
the inclination for charity or worldly pleasures, nobody will blame
thee. But the sole love of charity without means makes a man come to
calamity and resemble a bird desiring to rise in the air with wings not
yet full-grown.

21. 'Therefore, thou must acquire wealth by practising restraint and
pursuing humble aims, and meanwhile give up the longing for almsgiving.
And what meanness can there be in this after all, if thou dost not give,
possessing nothing?'

The Bodhisattva replied: 'Pray, thy Highness must not urge me.

22, 23. 'Even he who cares more for his own interest than for the
benefit of others, ought to give in charity, not caring for riches. For
great opulence affords him no such gladness, as is caused by the
satisfaction he enjoys by subduing covetousness with charitable deeds.
Add to this, that mere riches do not lead to Heaven, but charity alone
is sufficient to obtain a holy reputation; further, that riches are an
impediment to the subduing of selfishness and the other vices. Who,
then, should not observe charity?

24. 'He, however, who in order to protect the creatures surrounded by
old age and death, desires to give away his very self in alms, moved by
compassion; he whom the sufferings of others forbid to enjoy the relish
of pleasures; say, of what use will be to him the very great bliss,
possessed by thee?

'Hear also this, Lord of the Devas.

25. 'The duration of our life is as uncertain as the prosperity of our
wealth. Thus reflecting, we must not care for riches, when getting a

26. 'If one carriage has beaten a track on the ground, a second goes by
that track with some confidence, and so on. For this reason I will not
spurn this first good road, nor prefer conducting my carriage on the
wrong path.

27. 'And should I once more come to great wealth, it shall to a
certainty enrapture the minds of the mendicants; and for the present,
even in this condition, I will give alms according to my means. And may
I never be careless in keeping my vow of charity, _S_akra!'

On these words _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, being wholly propitiated,
exclaimed with praise: 'Excellent, excellent,' and looking at him with
admiration and kindness, spoke:

28, 29. '(Other) people run after riches by every trade, be it low and
rough and prejudicial to their reputation, not minding danger, since
they are attached to their own pleasures and misguided by their
inconsiderateness. Thou, on the contrary, dost not mind the loss of thy
wealth, nor the deficiency of thy pleasures, nor my temptation; keeping
thy mind firmly intent on promoting the welfare of others, thou hast
manifested the greatness of thy excellent nature!

30. 'Ah! how thy heart shines with the lustre of exceeding loftiness,
and how it has wiped off entirely the darkness of selfish feelings, that
even after the loss of thy riches the hope for recovering them cannot
spoil it by bringing about reduction of its charitableness!

31. 'Yet, since thou sufferest at the suffering of others, and moved by
compassion strivest for the good of the world, it is no wonder after
all, that I have not been able to deter thee from almsgiving. As little
is the Snow-bright Mountain shaken by the wind.

32. 'But it is in order to enhance thy fame by trial, that I have hidden
that wealth of thine. Not otherwise than by trial can a gem, though
beautiful, reach the great value of a renowned jewel.

33. 'Well then, pour thy gifts down on the mendicants, satisfy them as a
great rain-cloud fills the pools. By my favour thou shalt never
experience the loss of thy wealth, and thou must forgive me my
behaviour towards thee.'

After praising him so, _S_akra restored his large estate to him, and
obtained his pardon, then he disappeared on the spot.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, the virtuous do not allow themselves to be
deficient in the virtue of charity either through regard to the loss of
their fortune, or through the prospect of riches.


(Comp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 316, Fausb. III, 51-56; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
I, 10; Avadâna_s_ataka in Féer's transl. Ann. du Musée Guimet, XVIII,

     [52] In the Avadânakalpalatâ the hare that gave up his body is No.
     104. It is much akin to the version of the Avadâna_s_ataka, as I
     ascertained from the two Cambridge MSS. of the Avadânakalpalatâ.

The practice of charity according to their power by the Great-minded,
even when in the state of beasts, is a demonstrated fact; who then,
being a man, should not be charitable? This is taught by the following.

In some inhabited region of a forest there was a spot frequented by
ascetics. It was beset with thickets made up of lovely creepers,
grasses, and trees; abounding in flowers and fruits; adorned on its
boundary with a river, the stream of which was as blue and as pure as
lapis lazuli; its ground, covered with a carpet of tender grass, was
soft to the touch and handsome to look at. There the Bodhisattva lived a

1. In consequence of his goodness, his splendid figure, his superior
strength, and his great vigour, not suspected by the small animals nor
fearing others, he behaved like the king of animals in that part of the

2. Satisfying his wants with blades of grass, he bore the handsome
appearance of a Muni. For the ascetic's skin he wore his own, his
bark-garment was the hairs of his body.

3. As everything he did in thought, speech, and action was purified by
his friendliness, most of the animals given to wickedness were like his
pupils and friends[53].

     [53] The text is slightly corrupt here. The MSS. have ºsukhâ_h_,
     the printed text ºmukhâ_h_, but in the various readings the editor
     again adopts the reading of the MSS. But now Prof. Kern tells me he
     should rather suppose that the original reading was ºsakhâ_h_,
     which suits the sense better.

But more especially he had caught the hearts of an otter, a jackal, and
an ape. They became his companions, attracted by the love and respect
which his eminent virtues inspired in them. Like relations whose
affection is founded on mutual relationship, like friends whose
friendship has grown by the compliance to each other's wishes, they
passed their time rejoicing together. Opposed to the nature of the
brutes, they showed compassion to living beings, and their cupidity
being extinguished, they forgot to practise theft. By this behaviour and
by their having regard to good renown conformably to (the precepts of)
righteousness (dharma), by their keen understanding and, owing to this,
by their close observance of religious obligations in the manner
approved by the pious, they roused even the surprise of the deities.

4, 5. If out of the two lines of conduct--that which complies with
pleasures and checks virtue, and that which is in accordance with virtue
and obstructs pleasures--a man applies himself to the virtuous side, he
is already illustrious, how much more a being that has the shape of a
beast! But among them, he who bore the figure of a hare and was their
teacher, was so pious, he esteemed the practice of compassion for others
so highly, and his excellent native character was accompanied by such a
set of virtues, that their renown reached even the world of the Devas.

One day at evening-time, the Great-minded One was in the company of his
friends, who had come to him to hear him preach the Law and
reverentially sat down at his feet. The moon, then being at a great
distance from the sun, showed its orb almost full and resembling by its
bright beauty a silver mirror without handle. When the Bodhisattva
beheld it showing its disc not fully rounded on one side[54], and
considered that it was the moon of the fourteenth of the bright half,
that had risen, he said to his comrades:

     [54] Instead of îshatpâr_s_vâpav_ri_ttabimba_m_, the reading of the
     MSS., I think we should read ºâpak_ri_ttabimba_m_. In the evening
     before full-moon's day the disc of the moon is not completely
     round, presenting one side so as to seem a little flattened.

6. 'See! The moon by the beauty of its almost complete orb is announcing
with a laughing face as it were the holyday of sabbath (poshadha) to the

'Surely, to-morrow is the fifteenth. Ye must perform accordingly the
religious duties which are prescribed for the sabbath, and not satisfy
the want of sustaining your body before honouring some guest at the time
appearing with excellent food obtained in a right manner. Ye must
consider thus:

7, 8. 'Every union has separation at its end, of high rank the
conclusion is dreary downfall; life is as frail and fickle as a flash of
lightning. It is for this very reason, that ye must be upon your guard
against carelessness (in the fulfilment of your duties), and also
endeavour to increase your merit by charity, which has good conduct
(_s_îla) for its ornament. Meritorious actions, indeed, are the
strongest support for the creatures moving round in the troublesome
succession of births.

9, 10. 'That the moon by its lovely brightness outdoes the lustre of the
host of stars, that the sun's splendour overpowers the (other)
luminaries, is due to the sublimity of the qualities produced by merit.
It is also by the power of their merit that mighty kings cause
presumptuous high officials and princes to bear, like excellent horses,
willingly and with abated pride the yoke of their command.

11. 'But if they are devoid of merit, misfortune goes after them, be
they ever moving about on the road of political wisdom (nîti)[55]. For
that unhappiness, being rebuffed by the excess of merit, hovers, as if
moved by wrath, round the possessors of demerit.

     [55] The political wisdom, which aims at attaining worldly ends by
     worldly means, and makes morals subordinate to self-interest, is
     taught in such books as Kâmandaki's Nîti_s_âstra, _S_ukra's
     Nîtisâra, in the Pa_ñ_katantra and the Hitopade_s_a. It is
     considered sinful by Buddhistic lore. The _G_âtakamâlâ often
     reproves it, see for instance, IX, 10; XXIII, 51.

12. 'Leave then that path of demerit; suffering is underlying it, and it
is connected with dishonour. But merit being the illustrious source and
instrument of happiness, ye must keep your mind intent on all
opportunities of gathering it.'

The others, after listening to his teaching, said amen, and saluting him
with respect circumambulated him from left to right, then they went off
each to his dwelling. When his comrades were not far off, the
Great-minded One entered upon this reflection:

13-15. 'They are able to honour with some food or other the guest that
may happen to arrive, but I am here in a pitiful condition. It is in no
way possible to present a guest with the very bitter blades of grass I
cut off with my teeth. Alas! how helpless I am! My powerlessness
afflicts me. Of what use, then, is life to me, since a guest that ought
to be a matter of joy to me, must in this manner become a matter of

'On what occasion, then, may this worthless body, which is not even able
to attend on a guest, be given up so as to conduce to the profit of
anybody?' When his reflection had come to that point, the Great-minded
One recovered his keenness of thought. 'Well!

16. 'The property which will suit the purpose of honouring any guest is
easy to be got; for it is in my power; it is unobjectionable; it belongs
to none but me; indeed, it is the property of my body.

'Why, then, should I be in trouble?

17. 'Yes, I have found proper food for my guest; now, my heart, abandon
thy grief and thy sadness! With this vile body of mine I will practise
hospitality and satisfy the want of my guest.'

Having thus resolved, the Great Being felt an extreme delight as though
he had obtained a very great gain, and remained there (in his dwelling,
waiting for some guest).

18. Now, when that sublime reflection had presented itself to the Great
Being's mind, the Celestials manifested their propitiousness and their

19-21. Earth shook with her mountains, as if from joy, nor was her
garment, the Ocean, quiet[56]; divine drums resounded in the sky; the
regions of the horizon were ornamented with a placid sheen; all around
clouds of a pleasant aspect, which were girded with lightnings and gave
forth prolonged soft rattlings of thunder, strewed on him a shower of
flowers falling close together, so as to spread the pollen through the
air by their contact. The god of wind, too, showed him his esteem;
blowing steadily he bore to him the fragrant flower-dust from various
trees, as if out of gladness he presented him with gauzy veils, bearing
them up and so disarranging the figures interwoven in them.

     [56] Read babhûvânibh_ri_tâº. Cp. supra, II, 38, and
     Bodhisattvâvadânakalpalatâ II, 52.

As the deities, rejoiced and astonished, were praising everywhere the
marvellous resolution of the Great Being, _S_akra, the Lord of the
Devas, became aware of it; and curiosity and surprise overtaking his
mind, he was desirous of knowing the truth about his disposition. On the
next day at noon-tide, when the sun, ascending in the midst of the sky,
darts his sharpest beams; when the horizon, clothed in a net of
trembling rays of light and veiled with the outburst of radiant heat,
does not suffer itself to be looked upon; when shadows are contracting;
when the interior of the woods resounds with the loud shrieks of the
cicadae; when birds cease to show themselves and the vigour of
travelling people is exhausted by heat and fatigue: in that time of the
day, then, _S_akra, the chief (adhipati) of the Devas having assumed the
figure of a Brâhman, cried out not far from the spot where the four
animals were living. He wept and wailed aloud, like one who has lost his
way, and as one worn out with hunger and thirst, weariness and sorrow.

22. 'Alone and astray, having lost my caravan, I am roaming through the
deep forest, exhausted by hunger and lassitude. Help me, ye pious!

23. 'Not knowing the right way nor the wrong, having lost my faculty of
orientation, wandering at random, alone in this wilderness, I suffer
from heat, from thirst, from fatigue. Who will rejoice me by friendly
words of hospitality?'

The Great Beings, touched in their heart and alarmed by the sound of his
piteous outcries for help, quickly went to that spot, and beholding him
who offered the miserable appearance of a traveller gone astray,
approached him and in a respectful manner spoke to him these words of

24, 25. 'Be no more disturbed, thinking thou art astray in the
wilderness; with us thou art altogether as if thou wert with thine own
disciples. Therefore, grant us the favour of accepting to-day our
attendance, gentle sir; to-morrow thou mayst go thy way according to thy

Then the otter, understanding from his silence that he accepted the
invitation, went off hastily; joy and agitation quickened his pace. He
came back with seven rohita-fishes, which he offered him, saying:

26. 'These seven fishes I found on the dry ground, where they were lying
motionless, as if asleep through lassitude; either they have been left
there by fishermen who forgot them, or they have jumped upon the shore
through fear. Feed on them, and stay here.'

Then the jackal also brought to him such food as he happened to have at
that time, and after bowing reverentially, he spoke with deference

27. 'Here, traveller, is one lizard and a vessel of sour milk, left by
somebody; grant me the benefit of thy enjoying them, and take thy abode
in this forest this night, O thou who art an abode of virtues!'

So speaking he handed them over to him with an extreme gladness of mind.

Then the monkey drew near. He brought mango-fruits, ripe and
consequently distinguished by their softness, their strong orange
colour, as if they were dyed with red orpiment, their very red
stalk-ends, and their roundness; and performing the reverence of the
a_ñg_ali, he spoke:

28. 'Ripe mangos, delicious water, shadow refreshing like the pleasure
of good society, these things, O best of those who know the brahma, I
have for thee. Enjoy them, and stay this night here.'

Then the hare approached, and as soon as he had made his reverence, he
bade him accept the offer of his own body. Thus he spoke, looking up to
him with great regard:

29. 'A hare, who has grown up in the forest, has no beans nor sesamum
seeds nor grains of rice to offer, but prepare this body of mine with
fire, and having fed upon it stay over this night in this hermitage.

30. 'On the holiday of a mendicant's arrival every one provides him with
whatever of his goods may be a means of supplying his wants. But my
wealth is limited to my body; take it, then, this whole of my

_S_akra answered:

31. 'How is it possible that anybody like me should kill another living
being? And how much less a being like thee, who hast shown friendship to

The hare said: 'Verily, this becomes well a Brâhman, inclined to
compassion. Well then, thou must grant me at least the favour of resting
here in this place; in the mean while I think I shall find in some way
or other the means of showing my favour to thee.' Now _S_akra, the Lord
of the Devas, understanding his intention, created by magic a heap of
charcoal burning without smoke; this mass had the colour of purified
gold, very thin flames shot forth out of it, and a multitude of sparks
were scattered about. The hare, who was looking around on all sides,
perceived that fire. On seeing it, he said, rejoiced, to _S_akra: 'I
have found that means of showing thee my favour. Thou, then, must fulfil
the hope with which I give thee this boon, and enjoy my body. See, great

32. 'It is my duty to give in charity, and my heart is inclined to do
so, and in a person like thee I have met with a worthy guest; such an
opportunity for giving cannot be easily obtained. Let then my charity
not be useless, inasmuch as it depends on thee.'

So saying the Great-minded One persuaded him, and after showing him by
his salutation his esteem, his respect, and his hospitable mind--

33. Then, with the utmost gladness, like one desirous of wealth on
suddenly beholding a treasure, he threw himself in that blazing fire, as
the supreme ha_m_sa plunges into a pond with laughing lotuses.

When the chief of the Devas saw this deed, he was affected with the
highest admiration. Reassuming his own shape, he praised the Great Being
with words both agreeable to the mind and the ears and preceded by a
shower of celestial flowers. Then with his delicate hands of a rich
lustre, like that of the petal of the white lotus, and embellished with
their fingers resplendent like jewel ornaments, he took him up himself
and showed him to the Celestials. 'Behold, ye Devas, inhabitants of the
celestial residence, behold and rejoice at this astonishing deed, this
heroic exploit of this Great Being.

34. 'Oh, how he has given away his body without hesitation to-day, to be
charitable to his guest! But the fickle-minded[57] are not even able to
give up, without trembling, faded flowers, the remainder of a

     [57] Strength of mind, constancy, earnestness, wisdom and virtue
     are all implied by the Buddhistic term dhîra; its opposite, adhîra,
     denotes therefore those who possess the opposed qualities, the

35. 'What a contrast between the animal species, which he belongs to,
and the loftiness of his self-sacrifice, the sharpness of his mind!
Indeed, he confounds all such as are slow in striving for meritorious
actions, deities as well as men.

36. 'Oh, how his mind is impregnated with the fragrance of a constant
practice of virtues! How he loves good conduct, as he manifested by his
sublime deed!'

Then, in order to glorify that extraordinary fact, and having in view
the good of the world, _S_akra adorned with the image of the hare as a
distinctive mark both peaks on the top of the belvederes--one on his
most excellent palace Vai_g_ayanta and the other on Sudharmâ, the hall
of the Devas--and likewise the disc of the moon.

37, 38. At full-moon even now that image of the hare (_s_a_s_a) appears
in the moon's disc in the sky, as a reflected image shines in a silver
mirror. From that time onward _K_andra (the Moon), named also the
Ornament of the Night and the Cause of the Brilliancy of the
Night-waterlilies, is famous in the world as the Hare-marked

And the others, the otter, the jackal, and the ape, disappeared
thereafter (from the earth) and arrived in the world of the Devas,
thanks to their possessing such a holy friend.

       *       *       *       *       *

So then the practice of charity according to their power by Great
Beings, even when in the state of beasts, is a demonstrated fact; who,
then, being a man, should not be charitable? [Moreover, this too is to
be propounded: 'Even beasts are honoured by the pious for their
attachment to virtues; for this reason one must be intent on virtues.']


(Comp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 480, Fausb. IV, 236-242; and
_K_ariyâpi_t_aka I, 1.)

A heroic practice of liberality is an ornament even to ascetics, how
much more to householders; as is taught by the following.

In the time, when our Lord, still being a Bodhisattva, was moving on his
road through Sa_m_sâra for the good of the world, he was born of an
illustrious family of Brâhmans, which being distinguished by great
purity of conduct might pass for an ornament of the earth. His birth
enhanced the lustre of this family in the same way as the moon rising in
autumn with full and spotless orb, beautifies the firmament. He had in
due order obtained the different sacraments ordained by the sacred texts
and the tradition: _g_âtakarma and the rest; he had studied the Vedas
with their Aṅgas and the whole ritual, and the fame of his learning
filled the world of men. By the large gifts which he received, begging
from charitable people who were lovers of virtues, he amassed
considerable wealth.

1. Like a big cloud showering over the fields, he gladdened with his
wealth his relations, his friends, his clients, his guests, his
teachers, in short the distressed as well as those who are to be

2. Owing to his grand munificence, the bright glory which he had
obtained by his learning shone the more. So the complete beauty of the
moon's full disc is still augmented with loveliness, when autumn makes
it shine brightly.

Yet the Great-minded One soon understood that the state of a householder
is a source of sorrow, and affords but meagre comfort; for by its close
connection with wrong business, it is thronged with noxious qualities,
it is the abode of carelessness (about religious duties), it is a
troublesome state, being connected with occupations for gathering wealth
and guarding it, it affords a scope for hundreds of arrows made up of
calamities and evil habits obstructive of tranquillity, and is
accompanied with toil, inasmuch as it implies the necessity of
accomplishing numberless tasks. On the other hand, he became convinced
that renunciation of the world brings about comfort by its freedom from
those evils, that it is a state favourable to the performance of
religious duties, and that it may be called the proper basis for
undertaking the religious practices required for salvation. So casting
away, as if it were a straw, that great abundance of wealth which he had
obtained without trouble, and which must have possessed charms for him
because of the high regard which he enjoyed among the people, he gave
himself up to the observance of the discipline and the self-restraint of
world-renouncing ascetics. But also, after his leaving the world--owing
to his celebrated fame, the remembrance of former intercourse, the
respect for his virtues, and the tranquillity by which he was
distinguished--the Great Being was frequented as before by people
longing for salvation, whose affection he had gained by the multitude of
his virtues. Yet, disliking that contact with householders, as
prejudicial to the happiness that arises from entire detachment from the
world, and an obstacle to throwing away the bonds by which he had held
to it, he repaired to the island of Kârâ, aspiring to solitude. That
island is situated in the Southern Ocean. Its outskirts are moistened by
the play of the wanton waves, which moved by the wind have the blue
colour of pieces of sapphire; white sand covers its ground; various
trees, the branches of which are adorned with twigs, flowers and fruits,
enhance its beauty; near its shore there is a lake of pure water. This
lovely country he embellished with the splendour of his hermitage.

3. There he lived, manifesting the lustre of his heavy penance by the
emaciation of his body, as the crescent appears in the sky, joining
great loveliness to a small size.

4. That this man living in the forest, absorbed in vows and penances,
and whose modest actions and sensations attested his tranquillity of
mind, was a Muni, even the wild quadrupeds and birds of the forest did
understand, even their small intellect became aware of it, and they
imitated his behaviour.

While staying in the grove of penance, the Great-minded One, being in
the habit of giving, continued also honouring the guests that happened
to arrive, with such roots and fruits as he had just gathered, with
fresh water and such hearty and kind words of welcome and blessings as
are appropriate to ascetics, and himself lived on as much of his
forest-produced food as his guests had left, strictly limiting his meals
to the sustenance of his body.

Now, the glory of his excessive penance having spread about, _S_akra,
the Lord of the Devas, touched by it, desired to prove his constancy. In
that part of the forest where the Great Being dwelt, he caused to
disappear successively all roots and fruits fit for the food of
ascetics. But the Bodhisattva, absorbed in meditation and being
accustomed to the feeling of contentment, insensible to the perplexing
influence of stupefaction, and indifferent concerning his food and
his body, did not direct his thoughts to the cause of that
disappearance[58]. And having dressed young leaves on the fire, he
accomplished with these the action of taking his meal, without any
feeling of discontent, nor longing for a better meal, but calm as ever
he went on living in the same way.

     [58] For, if he had, he would have discovered it, owing to the
     transcendent power he had obtained by his penance.

5. The livelihood of those who in earnest practise continence is nowhere
difficult to be obtained. Say, where are not found grass and leaves and

Yet _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, though his astonishment increased,
in consequence of the Bodhisattva's behaviour in that situation, and his
high opinion of his virtues grew stronger, resorted to another trial.
Like the wind at summer-time he stripped of their leaves the whole
number of trees, shrubs and grasses, that were in that grove. Then the
Bodhisattva, taking such fallen leaves as were still fresh, and boiling
them in water, lived on them without feeling any uneasiness; rejoiced by
the happiness of meditation, he stayed there as if he had feasted upon

6. Modesty in the learned, disinterestedness in the wealthy, and
contentment in the ascetics: each of these splendid virtues is the
highest treasure of each of them[59].

     [59] Instead of gu_n_a_s_obhâvidhi_h_ para_h_ I read ºnidhi_h_
     para_h_, comp. 51, l. 11 of the edited text gu_n_âbhyâsanidher

Now that very marvellous constancy of his contentment increased the
surprise of _S_akra, and as if he were angry on account of it, having
assumed the shape of a Brâhman, that he might be a guest, of course, he
appeared before the eyes of the Great Being, when at the time prescribed
by his vow, after performing the Agnihotra-sacrifice and repeating his
prayers, he was just looking about for some guest. And the Bodhisattva
rejoiced went to meet him, and welcoming him and addressing kind words
to him, invited him to take his meal by announcing to him that it was
meal-time. Understanding by his silence that he accepted, the
Great-minded One,

7. Manifesting by his expanding eyes and his blooming face the gladness
he experienced in practising charity, and rejoicing his guest with
gentle words both pleasant to the mind and to the ears, entertained him
with the whole of his boiled leaves, which he had had so much trouble to
procure, and himself was satisfied with joy alone.

And even so he entered his home of meditation[60], and passed that day
and night in the very ecstacy of gladness.

     [60] In other words, his hut. Both Pâli redactions mention here his
     pa_nn_asâlâ, 'hut of leaves.'

Now _S_akra reappeared to him in the same manner the next day at the
time destined for (the accomplishment of) his vow (of hospitality). So
he did also on the third, fourth, and fifth day. And the other received
him as his guest in the same way, and with still more joy.

8. No suffering, indeed, not even peril of life, is able to compel the
virtuous to a miserable infringement of their love for giving, a love
fostered by their practice of commiseration.

Then _S_akra, whose mind was overcome by the utmost amazement, knowing
him to be enabled by his excess of penance to get into the possession of
(his own) brilliant realm of the gods[61], if he did but ask for it,
began to feel uneasy, and fear arose within him. Having assumed the
wonderful beauty of his own celestial shape, he questioned him as to the
purpose for which he performed his penance.

     [61] This fear of the Lord of the Devas rests on the belief in the
     transcendent power of penance, which enables great ascetics to
     aspire even to that dignity. _S_akra, afraid of human tapas and
     trying to prevent its earning by every means, is a well-known
     figure in Indian mythology.

9, 10. 'Say, on what hast thou set thy hopes, that they could impel thee
to leave thy beloved relations, who shed tears at thy departure, thy
household and possessions that had been a source of happiness to thee,
and to resort to this toilsome life of penance? For it is not for a
trifling motive that the wise despise enjoyments easily obtained, and
afflict their relations with grief, leaving them to go to the
penance-forest destructive of pleasures.

11. 'If thou thinkest it may be told me, please, satisfy my curiosity.
What may be the object of thy wishes, the penetration into the excellent
qualities of which fascinated to this point a mind like thine?'

The Bodhisattva replied: 'Hearken, sir, what I am exerting myself for.

12. 'Repeated births tend to great sorrow; so do calamitous old age and
illnesses, those dismal plagues; and the necessity of death is a
disturbance to the mind. From those evils I am resolved to save the

Then _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, understanding that it was not his
own celestial splendour that was claimed by the Bodhisattva, was set at
rest, and as he was very pleased with that well-said sentence, he
honoured it by exclaiming 'Very well!' and requested him to accept some

13. 'Ascetic, Kâ_s_yapa[62], for this right and well-said sentence I
give thee some boon; choose then what thou desirest.'

     [62] In the metrical part of the Pâli redaction of this story in
     the _G_âtaka, Akitti (=Agastya) is likewise called Kassapa and
     addressed by that name.

The Bodhisattva, being not at all desirous of pleasures and rejoicings
connected with existence, and thinking it painful even to ask for
anything, since he had attained the state of contentment, said to

14. 'If thou wishest to give me some boon, that may please me, I ask the
foremost of the Devas this boon,

15. 'May that fire of covetousness, which after obtaining a beloved
wife, children, power, riches more abundant than had been longed for,
still goes on heating the mind of men never to be satisfied--may that
fire never enter my heart!'

The propensity to contentment declared by this well-turned saying
delighted _S_akra in a still higher degree. He praised the Bodhisattva
again, saying: 'Excellent, excellent!' and once more he urged him to
choose some boon.

16. 'Muni, also for this right and well-said sentence I offer thee
gladly as a present in return a second boon.'

Then the Bodhisattva, in order to show him the difficulty of getting rid
entirely of the innate evil passions[63], preached him the Law once more
under the guise of asking a boon.

     [63] Viz. the kle_s_âs, cp. Dharmasa_m_graha LXVII with Kenjiu
     Kasawara's explanatory note on p. 49 and the literature quoted

17. 'If thou givest me some boon, thou Vâsava, abode of excellent
qualities, then I ask thee another boon, and no mean one, Lord of the

18. 'May that fire of hatred, subdued by which the creatures come to[64]
loss of wealth, loss of caste and of good reputation, as if they were
vanquished by a hostile attack--may that fire be far from me!'

     [64] In order to correct the fault against the metre in the first
     pâda of this stanza, I think we should read arthâd api bhra_ms_am

On hearing this, _S_akra, the chief of the Devas, highly admiring him,
praised him: 'Excellent, excellent!' and again he said:

19. 'Justly Fame, like a loving woman, attends upon those who have
renounced the world. Well, accept some other boon from me for this
well-said sentence.'

Then the Bodhisattva, induced by his hostility to innate evil passions
to blame the intercourse with such creatures as are not free from those
passions, under the guise of accepting the boon[65], said this:

     [65] Instead of vrati, which is here almost meaningless, Prof. Kern
     suggests v_ri_ti = vara.

20. 'May I never hear a fool, nor get the sight of such a one, nor speak
to such a one, nor endure the annoyance and the pain of staying with
such a one! This is the boon I ask thee for.'

_S_akra spoke:

21, 22. 'What dost thou say? Anybody being in distress is most deserving
of the commiseration of the pious. Now, foolishness being the root of
calamities, is held to be the vilest condition. How is this that thou,
though compassionate, abhorrest the sight of a fool, a person especially
fit for commiseration?'

The Bodhisattva answered: 'Because there is no help for him, sir. Do but
consider this:

23. 'If a fool were at any rate curable by treatment, how would anybody
like me be wanting in effort to bring about his good?

'But such a one, thou must understand, can derive no profit at all from
medical treatment.

24, 25. 'He follows the wrong course of conduct, as if it were the right
one, and desires to put also his neighbour in that way, and not having
been accustomed to a decent and upright behaviour, becomes even angry
when admonished for his good. Now, then, to such a person, who burns
with the infatuation of self-conceit, thinking himself wise, whose harsh
anger is provoked by those who speak for his good, and whose
impetuousness has not been softened because of the deficiency of his
moral education--say, what means does there exist to bring profit to

26. 'For this reason, then, O most excellent of the Devas, because there
is no help for him, not even in the power of the compassionate, I do not
want to see a fool, since he is the most unfit object.'

On hearing this, _S_akra praised him, exclaiming 'Very well! very well!'
and charmed by his right sayings, spoke again:

27. 'The invaluable jewels of well-said sentences cannot be rewarded by
any equivalent. But as a handful of flowers to worship thee, I gladly
offer thee some boon for these too.'

Then the Bodhisattva, in order to show that the virtuous are welcome in
every circumstance, spoke:

28. 'May I see a wise man, and hear a wise man, dwell with such a one,
_S_akra, and converse with such a one! This boon, best of the Devas, do
grant me.'

_S_akra said: 'Thou seemest, indeed, to be a warm partisan of the wise.
Why, tell me then,

29. 'What have the wise done for thee? Say, Kâ_s_yapa, what is the
reason that thou showest this rather foolish greediness for the sight of
a wise man?'

Then the Bodhisattva, in order to show him the magnanimity of the
virtuous, spoke: 'Hearken, sir, for what reason my mind longs for the
sight of a wise man.

30. 31. 'He walks in the path of virtue himself, and brings also others
into that way, and words said for his good, even if they be harsh, do
not rouse his impatience. Being adorned by uprightness and decency, it
is always possible to make him accept what is said for his good. For
this reason my mind, adhering to virtue, is inclined to the partisan of

Then _S_akra praised him, exclaiming: 'Well said! very excellent!' and
with still increased satisfaction again summoned him to ask some boon.

32, 33. 'Surely, thou hast already obtained everything, since thou art
wholly satisfied, yet thou shouldst take some boon from me, considering
it as a means of gratifying me. For a favour offered out of reverence,
from abundance of power, and with the hope of affording a benefit,
becomes a cause of great pain, if not accepted.'

Then the Bodhisattva, seeing his utmost desire for doing good, and
wishing to please him and to benefit him, answered so as to declare to
him the superiority of the strong desire of almsgiving.

34. 'May thy food, which is free from destruction and corruption, thy
mind, which is lovely because of its practice of charity, and mendicants
adorned by the pureness of their good conduct, be mine! This most
blessed boon I ask.'

_S_akra said: 'Thy Reverence is a mine of jewels of well-said sentences.

35. 'Not only will everything thou hast requested be accomplished, but
on account of this well-said sentence I give thee some other boon.'

The Bodhisattva said:

36. 'If thou wilt give me a boon which incloses the highest favour for
me, O most excellent of all Celestials, do not come to me again in this
thy blazing splendour. For this boon I ask the destroyer of the

Upon this _S_akra was somewhat irritated, and highly astonished he thus
spoke to him: 'Do not speak so, sir.

37. 'By every kind of ritual: prayers, vows, sacrifices, with penances
and toilsome exertions, people on earth seek to obtain the sight of me.
But thou dost not desire so. For what reason then? I came up to thee,
wishing to bestow my boons on thee.'

The Bodhisattva said: 'Do not yield to thy anger. I will pacify Thy
Highness, king of the Devas. It is not for want of courtesy, that I ask
so, nor is it a deed of irreverence, nor do I aim at showing lack of
devotion towards Thy Majesty. Not at all, but,

38. 'Contemplating thy superhuman wonderful shape, which though shining
gently, is still blazing with brilliancy, I fear the sight of thee,
however mildly shining, lest it should cause any want of strictness in
the fulfilment of my penance.'

Then _S_akra bowed to him, circumambulated him from left to right, and
disappeared on the spot. And lo, at day-break the Bodhisattva perceived
plenty of divine food and drink, brought thither by the power of
_S_akra, and many hundreds of Pratyekabuddhas called by the invitation
of _S_akra, also many angels (devaputras) high girded, ready to wait on

39. Supplying in this way with food and drink the wants of those most
holy sages, the Muni obtained a sublime joy; and he delighted in living
after the manner suitable for ascetics, in performing his boundless vow
of meditation (dhyâna), and in tranquillity.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, a heroic practice of liberality is an ornament
even in ascetics, how much more in householders.

[So considering, a virtuous man must adorn himself with heroic constancy
of giving. This (story) must also be adduced, when treating of the
gladness caused to a liberal and charitable man; when blaming
covetousness, hatred, infatuation, and foolishness; when preaching on
the virtue of the intercourse with a pious friend, or on contentment.
Likewise in discourses on the magnanimity of the Tathâgata: 'So our Lord
was an inexhaustible mine of jewels of excellent sayings, when still in
his former existences, how much more so was he after attaining Complete


Being afflicted by the sufferings of others, the intensely compassionate
do not mind their own pleasure. This will be taught as follows.

At the time when the Bodhisattva, always having in view his purpose of
saving the creatures, had fixed upon (the exercise of the pâramitâ of)
compassion, as became his high-mindedness, and was always increasing in
matchless virtues--charity, humility, self-restraint, tenderness, and
the like, suitable for the benefit of the world, he was, it is said, a
king kind-hearted towards all creatures, named Maitrîbala[66].

     [66] This name signifies, 'he whose strength is kindness,' cp.
     stanza 14. The edition has here Maitrabalo, by a misprint, it

1, 2. This king felt the weal and the woe of his subjects as his own,
and being skilled in the art of protecting them, he handled both his
sword and his law in accordance with this feeling. Yet his sword was
only an ornament to him, since the (other) kings waited for his orders,
respectfully bowing their head-crests; his law, on the contrary, showed
itself most openly in the measures he took for promoting the welfare of
his people.

3. He dealt out punishments and rewards without infringing
righteousness. In consequence of his goodness of heart and his political
wisdom, he inquired into his subjects like a father.

So he ruled with righteousness, and while directing his veracity, his
liberality, his tranquillity, his wisdom, and his other virtues to
conduce to the welfare of others, he increased his store of exceedingly
lofty actions, which are the due requisites for the attainment of
Buddhahood. Now one day, five Yakshas, whom for some offence or other
(Kubera) the Lord of the Yakshas had exiled from his dominions, came to
his realm. These goblins were O_g_ohâras [that is, vigour-bereaving
spirits], skilled in the art of killing others[67]. When they saw the
kingdom exhibiting the aspect of the utmost prosperity, and became aware
that the absence of every kind of calamity made the people rejoiced,
satisfied, thriving, and in the habit of having merriment and manifold
festivals, the desire of taking away the vigour from the inhabitants of
that region arose within them.

     [67] It is likely, those Yakshas were thought to possess the power
     of causing consumptive diseases; consumption is called in Sanskrit
     yakshma or râ_g_ayakshma. In the Divyâvadâna (295, 6) a râkshasa
     o_g_ohâra_h_ is mentioned.

4. But, though they did their usual work with the greatest effort, they
were still not able to take away the vigour of the inhabitants of that

5. The power of that king was so excessive that his very intention of
shielding proved the highest protection. For this reason those Yakshas
were powerless to take away the vigour of his subjects.

And as they were not able to debilitate any one, living in that kingdom,
however much they exerted themselves, they deliberated among themselves
and said: 'How may this be, sirs?

6. 'They do not possess such superiorities of learning, penance, or
magic as to enable them to obstruct our power, and yet all of us are
reduced to impotency, so as to bear our appellation (of O_g_ohâras) in

And they assumed the shape of men of the Brâhman class, and going about,
they saw a certain cowherd of those who live in the forest-region, who
was sitting upon a grass-plot at the foot of a shady tree. He had shoes
on his feet, and on his head he wore a garland, made of flowers and
opening buds of forest-trees. His stick and his hatchet he had laid on
the earth on his right. He was alone and occupied with twisting a rope,
diverting himself meanwhile with singing and humming. Him they
approached and imitating human voice[68], they said to him: 'Well,
friend, thou who art charged with guarding the cows, how is it that
staying thus alone in this lonely forest where no man is to be seen,
thou are not afraid?' And he, looking at them, spoke: 'Of what should I
be afraid?' The Yakshas said: 'Hast thou never before heard that such
goblins as Yakshas, Râkshasas, or Pi_s_â_k_as are cruel by nature?

     [68] In the original the Yakshas utter some inarticulate sounds
     before succeeding in speaking Sanskrit.

7, 8. 'If men are in company and endowed with learning, penance, and
svastyayana-charms,[69] even then, be they never so brave and
contemptuous of fear, they will but narrowly escape those Râkshasas who
feed on the flesh and fat of men. How, then, is it that thou art not
afraid of them, thou who stayest without any comrade amidst these
solitary, remote, and frightful forests?'

     [69] Viz. spells and charms, effective of bliss and happiness and
     obstructive of the contrary.

On hearing this, the cowherd laughed heartily, and said to them:

9, 10. 'Well, the people of this country are protected by a mighty
svastyayana, so that even the Lord of the Devas himself has no power
over them, how much less the flesh-eating goblins. So it happens that I
wander fearless through the wilderness as if I stayed at home, at night
as if it were day, and alone as if I were in a crowd.'

Upon this the Yakshas became very curious, and said to him respectfully,
as if to encourage him: 'Why, you must tell us, gentle sir, you must
tell us, of what kind this extraordinary svastyayana of yours is.' He
answered them, laughing once more: 'Hear, then, of what kind this very
wonderful excellent svastyayana of ours is.

11. 'It is he whose broad breast is equal to a plate of the Golden
Mountain (Meru), he whose face displays the lovely beauty of the
spotless moon in autumn, he whose long and full arms are like golden
clubs, he who has the eyes of a bull and the gait of a bull. In short,
it is our king.

'Of this kind our excellent svastyayana is.' And after saying these
words, looking with resentment and astonishment in the face of the
Yakshas, he continued: 'Ah! this is rather a wonder, is not it?

12. 'So renowned is the power of our king, and it has not come to your
hearing! How has this happened? Or have you perhaps heard of it, but
distrusting the excessive marvel of that fame, not minded it?

13. 'I suppose, the people of the country, from whence you have come
hither, are either disinclined to search after virtue or indifferent
about it; it may also be that, the store of their good fortune[70] being
exhausted, the great renown of our king has shunned them.

     [70] Every one's good fortune is the result of his merit, and lasts
     until that store of good actions is exhausted.

'At all events, for you there is still some remnant of good fortune,
since you are come here from such a savage country.'

The Yakshas said: 'Gentle sir, tell us, of what nature is this power of
that king, that spirits are by no means able to hurt the inhabitants of
his realm?' The cowherd replied: 'Our monarch has obtained this power
through his high-mindedness. See, noble Brâhmans.

14. 'On friendliness does his strength rest, not on his motley-bannered
army, which he keeps only to comply with custom. He knows no anger, nor
does he speak harsh words. He protects his land in the proper manner.
Righteousness is the rule of his actions, not political wisdom, that
base science. His wealth serves to honour the virtuous. And endowed with
those marvellous qualities, still he does not take unto himself either
the wealth of the wicked, or pride.

'Such and many, many more virtues are to be found in our master. For
this reason no calamities have the power to hurt the inhabitants of his
realm. But how little is the information you may get from me! If you are
curious to learn the excellent qualities of our king, it would rather be
suitable for you to enter the capital. There you will behold the people
in their every-day life; you will see how firm they stand in the (moral)
bounds of the âryas, loving each the peculiar duties proper to him; how
merry and thriving they are, in consequence of a constant abundance of
food and uninterrupted welfare; how splendidly they are dressed, yet not
presumptuously; how kind they are to worthy strangers who come to them
as guests; how enraptured they are with the virtues of their king, the
praises of whose glory they never cease to proclaim with gladness, as if
they were uttering some auspicious and evil-averting charm. When
beholding all this, you will obtain the standard for measuring the
multitude of virtues possessed by our lord. And if you once begin to
feel something like reverence for his virtues, you will witness them,
for you will not fail to feel the desire for getting the sight of him.'

The Yakshas, being already moved with anger against the king on account
of his obstructing the manifestation of their power, were in no way
softened by this affectionate and well-deserved eulogy of his virtues.

15. Verily, as a rule the mind of fools[71] becomes inflamed the more by
the praise of the object which has excited their fervent wrath.

     [71] In the original they are not called bâla, as above, Story VII,
     stanza 22, but by the nearly synonymous term of manda. Still there
     may be a slight difference between both appellations. Bâla meant at
     the outset 'child, childish, ignorant;' manda, 'slow, feeble, sick,
     dull, lazy.' Cp. Suttanipâta, verses 666, 728, 820, and 1051.

Now considering that king's love of charity and wishing to do harm to
him, they approached him at the time of his audience, and asked him for
a meal. The king rejoiced, ordered his officers who stood in charge of
such matters: 'Go and quickly present the Brâhmans with a delicious
meal.' The Yakshas, however, were not ready to accept the meal served to
them, though it might have suited the royal table, but spurning it, as
tigers would green grass, said they did not feed on such dishes. On
hearing which, the king went to them saying: 'But what sort of repast
will agree with your digestion, that something of the kind may be

The Yakshas answered:

16. 'Raw human flesh, freshly cut off and still warm, and human blood, O
lotus-eyed monarch, is the food and drink of Yakshas, O you who are
strict in keeping your engagements.'

After which, they reassumed their own disfigured and frightful features,
exhibiting their mouths rendered ferocious by large teeth, their eyes
fierce and red, flaming and squinting, their flat noses, wide-opened and
misshapen. Their hair and beard had the tawny colour of flames, and
their complexion was as dark as clouds big with rain. Looking at them,
the king knew them to be goblins[72], not men, and understood that for
that reason they did not like the food and drink served by his orders.

     [72] Lit. 'to be Pi_s_â_k_as,' apparently a general term. The
     different classes of goblins, Yakshas, Râkshasas, Pi_s_â_k_as, are
     often confounded; in stanza 27 the general appellation is
     Râkshasas. In Story IX, verse 66, yaksha and pi_s_â_k_a are used
     promiscuously in the sense of 'ogre.' In the sixth story of the
     Pâli _G_âtaka (translated by Rhys Davids in his Birth Stories, p.
     180) the water-sprite is sometimes called rakkhaso, sometimes

17. And according to his compassionate nature and his pure-heartedness,
the pity of the monarch towards them increased by this reflection.

Absorbed with commiseration and pitying those Yakshas, he entered surely
upon this thought:

18, 19. 'For a merciful man such food and drink is not only hard to be
found, but it were also to be searched for day after day. Oh, the
immense grief it would cause him! A cruel man may be either able to get
it for them, or not. If not able, his effort would have no other effect
than that of mere destruction; if able, what can be more miserable than
such a one constantly exercising that evil practice?

20. 'These Yakshas, on the other hand, who live on food of that kind,
with hearts wicked and pitiless, are destroying their own happiness
every day. When will their sufferings ever end?

'This being so, how is it possible for me to procure such food for
them? Not even for one single day could I injure others and destroy

21. 'Indeed, I do not remember having ever saddened the faces of those
who came to me as supplicants, and bereaved them of splendour by the
disappointment of their hopes, so as to make them appear like lotuses
withered by the winter-wind.

'But, why muse any longer? I have found what I will do.

22, 23. 'I will give them lumps of solid and fat flesh and draughts of
blood taken from my own body. What way, if not this, can be more
suitable for me to supply the wants of those beggars seeking their
relief from my side? For the flesh of animals who have died a natural
death is cold and bloodless, and of course does not please them; and
their hunger is great and attested by their afflicted figures.

'On the one hand, how may I take flesh out of the body of any other
living being? On the other, how may I suffer them who have resorted to
me, to draw off in this manner, with countenances languishing and eyes
sunken in consequence of their hunger and thirst, and still more sick
with grief because of the fruitlessness of their request on which they
had founded their hopes? It is, therefore, the right time to act in this

24. 'Like a malignant ulcer, this body is always sick and an abode of
pain. Now I will return it that grief by availing myself of it for the
accomplishment of an extraordinary performance of surpassing

Having so resolved, the Great-minded One, whose eyes and face received
increase of splendour by the outburst of his gladness, spoke thus to the
Yakshas, pointing out his body to them:

25. 'If this flesh and blood, which I bear only for the good of the
creatures, were now to be disposed of with the object of entertaining
guests, I would deem this a good fortune for myself and of great

The Yakshas, though knowing the determination of the king, could not
believe it; so marvellous did it appear to them. And they said to him:

26. 'After the mendicant has unveiled his suffering by wretched asking,
from that very moment it is the giver alone who ought to know what
should be done in the case.'

The king, understanding that they assented, was much rejoiced, and
ordered his physicians to be sent for, to have his veins opened. Now the
royal ministers, understanding his determination to offer his own flesh
and blood, became agitated, irritated, and perplexed by it, and prompted
by their affection, spoke emphatically to this purport: 'We pray Your
Majesty not to give way to your excessive love of charity in such a
degree as to disregard the consequences of your actions, whether they
are to be good or evil to your loyal and devoted subjects. Your Majesty
cannot be ignorant of the nature of the evil spirits.

27. 'Goblins, you know, rejoice in whatsoever may tend to the mishap of
your subjects, most illustrious lord. They get satisfied by a livelihood
necessitating injury to others. Such is the nature of that class of
beings, benevolent master.

28. 'You, Your Majesty, not minding your own pleasures, sustain the
toilsome burden of royalty exclusively for the happiness of your people.
Cease, therefore, from this determination of offering your flesh and
blood; it is a wrong action.

29. 'These goblins have no power over your people, Your Majesty, no
doubt, as long as your strength protects your subjects. So being
obstructed in their cleverness in bringing about mischief, they seek the
calamity of the inhabitants of this country by means of an adroit

30. 'In fact, the Celestials are pleased with fat, suet, and the like,
offered to them in the fire at sacrifices, and these goblins should not
like Your Majesty's food, that is excellent and pure, being carefully

'Surely, Your Royal Majesty is not obliged to communicate your designs
to such as we. Notwithstanding this, the attachment to our duty forbids
us to show in this matter our usual obedience. Can it be called a
righteous action of Your Majesty to throw your whole people into
calamity for the sake of those five? Moreover, for what reason do you
make us feel to this degree your want of affection? How else could it
happen that our flesh and blood, which we are employing in the service
of our master, have remained unnoticed by you, but you form the desire
of offering your own, while our bodies are entire and available?'

Then the king spoke to those ministers:

31. 'Being requested in distinct terms, how may anybody like me say "I
have not," when having, or "I will not give," speaking falsely?

32. 'Since I pass for your leader in matters of righteousness, if I
myself should walk in the wrong path, what would be the condition of my
subjects, who are ready to follow the example of my behaviour?

33. 'Therefore, it is with regard to my very subjects that I will have
the strength of my body taken out of it. Besides, if I were to be
faint-hearted, subdued by self-love, what power should I have to promote
the welfare of my people?

'As to the words of love and respect which you have spoken, words full
of affection and cordial sympathy, when you asked why I showed such want
of affection, wishing to offer my own limbs even now, while your flesh
and blood are intact and available, I will convince you by argument.
Surely, do not think that by want of trust I mean to close up the path
in which you could show your affection towards me, or that suspicion has
created an impenetrable thicket across it. Yet,

34. 'The proper time for friends to conceive the desire of succouring
their friend is this, when his wealth has either diminished gradually,
or has been destroyed by the disfavour of his destiny; but it would not
befit the poor acting thus towards a wealthy man.

35. 'Now, my limbs are available. They are big, solid, fleshy. Them I
do sustain for the sake of supplicants. This being so, it would be unfit
even for you to conceive such a desire.

36. 'I am not capable of bearing the pain of strangers, how then can you
suppose I should bear your suffering? Therefore, I wish to offer my own
flesh. It is I, whom they ask, not you.

'Well, then, though attachment to my person gave you the courage to put
obstacles in the way of my righteous behaviour, do not oppose my
determination any longer. Verily, Your Lordships are not in the habit of
dealing in the proper manner with my mendicants. Besides, you should
also consider this.

37. 'He who prohibits any one wishing for his own sake to give in
charity food or the like, say, by what appellation is he to be called, a
pious man or an impious one? How much less can there be any doubt about
this in the case of a gift of this character?

'Why then insist any longer? Do but examine the matter duly, and you
will keep your thoughts from the wrong path, as befits those who occupy
a ministership in my service. In fact, sympathetic words of approval
would now become Your Lordships more than these anxious looks. Why do I
say so?

38, 39. 'Beggars, wanting money and goods, objects of various
employment, are to be found every day, are they not? but mendicants like
these cannot be obtained even by propitiating deities. Now considering
the frailness of my body and that it is an abode of woe, it would be
meanness of mind, I think, even to hesitate at the time of the
appearance of such uncommon mendicants; but miserable self-love would be
here the deepest darkness.

'Pray, do not withhold me, then, My Lords.'

Having so persuaded his council, he sent for the physicians, and after
having five veins in his body opened by them, he spoke to the Yakshas:

40. 'Deign to assist me in this pious performance and to procure for me
the highest gladness by accepting this bounty.'

They assented and began to drink, intercepting with the hollow of their
joint hands the king's blood, the dark colour of which resembled
fragrant red sandal.

41. While allowing the nocturnal monsters to drink the blood from his
wounds, the monarch shone as if his body were of gold, and he had the
appearance of Mount Meru covered with rain-clouds hanging down by their
weight, and tinged with the hue of the twilight.

42. In consequence of the high degree of his gladness, of his
magnanimous forbearance, and also of his corporeal strength, his body
did not fade, nor did his mind faint, and the flowing blood did not

The Yakshas, having quenched their intense thirst, said to the king that
it was enough.

43. Considering that he had now disposed of his body, that always
ungrateful object and abode of many pains, so as to turn it into a means
of honouring mendicants, his satisfaction grew no less when they ceased.

Then the king, the serenity of whose countenance was enhanced by his
expanding joy, took a sharp sword. It had a spotless bluish blade, not
unlike a petal of the blue lotus, and a beautiful hilt shining with
brilliancy by the lustre of the jewels which adorned it. With it he cut
pieces of flesh out of his body and presented the Yakshas with them.

44. And the joy he experienced by giving did not leave room for the
sense of pain caused by cutting, and prevented his mind again and again
from being immersed in sorrow.

45. So the pain, pushing on at each stroke of the sharp sword, but
driven far back again by his gladness, was slow in penetrating his mind,
as if it were tired by the trouble of being urged to and fro.

46. And he was feeling a sense of gladness alone, whilst he satisfied
the nocturnal goblins with pieces of his flesh, to such an extent that
the cruel hearts of those very beings unclosed themselves to softness.

47. He who, moved by love of the Law or by compassion, abandons his own
dear body for the benefit of others, such a man may be able to
regenerate the hearts of men burnt by the fire of hatred, changing it
into the gold of tenderness and faith[73].

     [73] 'Tender-heartedness' or 'softness of mind' and 'faith in the
     Buddha' are expressed by the one word prasâda. I have as a rule
     translated it according to the conception prevailing, but there is
     equivalence here.

The Yakshas, beholding the monarch, who, though intent on cutting out
his own flesh, was yet as calm as ever, and exhibited an unshaken
serenity of countenance and dauntless intrepidity against the pain
caused by the work of his sword, became affected with the utmost
tenderness and admiration.

48. 'Oh, it is a wonder! oh, it is a miracle! Can it be true, or is it
perhaps a phantasm?' Such thoughts arose in their ecstatic minds; and
the wrath they had fostered against the king was crushed, and they began
to proclaim their faith by veneration and praise of his deed.

'No more, no more, Your Majesty,' they exclaimed; 'cease injuring your
own body! This marvellous performance of yours, by which you win the
hearts of all mendicants, has satisfied us.' So with great agitation,
and respectfully bowing their heads, they bade the king stop; after
which, they looked up to him with great regard, uplifting their faces
moistened with tears of faithful contrition, and continued:

49. 'Justly people are prompted by devoutness to proclaim everywhere
your glory. Justly _S_rî, disdaining the lotus-pond, loves to reside
with you. Verily, if Heaven, though protected by _S_akra's sovereignty,
does not feel something like jealousy, when it looks down on this earth,
guarded by your heroism--Heaven, forsooth, is deceived.

'Why use many words? Mankind is happy, indeed, being under the
protection of such a person as you; but we, we are utterly distressed at
having approved of your suffering. Yet, we hope that applying to such a
being as you are, may prove a means of salvation for us, be we ever so
wicked as we are. Thus hoping, we put this question to you.

50. 'What is that exceedingly marvellous rank for which you long, acting
in this way without regard to your royal happiness, that beloved state
which you possess at your ease?

51. 'Is it the sovereignty of the whole earth you covet by means of this
penance, or is it the rank of Kubera or that of Indra, or entire
deliverance and absorption into the Brahma?

52. 'Be it what it may, the goal you are striving after cannot be very
far from this strong determination. If we are allowed to hear it, you
would please us by telling it, sir.'

The king spoke: 'Hear then, for what I am exerting myself.

53-55. 'An illustrious high rank depends on existence, it is to be
obtained by effort, and may be easily lost. It cannot give the pleasure
of satisfaction, much less tend to serenity of mind. For this reason, I
do not desire even the brilliancy of the Lord of the Devas, how much
less, that of a king of the earth. Nor would my heart become content, if
I were to succeed in destroying the suffering of myself alone[74]. I
rather regard those helpless creatures, distressed by toil and
sufferings because of the violent calamities and vices to which they are
liable. For their sakes, may I by means of this my meritorious action
attain All-knowingness, and vanquishing the evil passions, my enemies,
may I save the creatures from the Ocean of Existence, that rough sea
with its billows of old age, sickness and death!'

     [74] This is said in answer to the question whether he aimed at
     absorption into Brahma [or 'into the Brahma,' the Sanskrit word
     being brahmabhûya].

On hearing this, the Yakshas, the hairs on whose bodies bristled in
consequence of the intense joy of faith, bowed to the king, and said:
'This performance of yours is consistent with your extraordinary
determination. Accordingly we venture to express our conviction
concerning it: the designs of such persons as you will be accomplished
after a short time.

56, 57. 'No doubt, all your exertions tend to the salvation of all
creatures; yet deign to take a special care of us, pray do not forget us
at that time[75]. And now forgive us what we have done from ignorance,
causing you to be thus tortured: we did not understand even our own

     [75] Viz. 'at the time of your All-knowingness, when you will have
     reached Buddhahood.'

58. 'Further, we beg you to show us your favour by giving us some
injunction which we may follow. Do it with the same confidence, as you
would to your own officials.'

Upon which the king, knowing them to be converted and to have lost their
hard-heartedness, spoke in this manner: 'Do not be in trouble without
reason. It is no torment, in fact it is a benefit you have conferred on
me. Moreover,

59. 'The path of righteousness (dharma) being thus (difficult), how
should I ever forget my companions on that road, when once I shall have
attained Supreme Wisdom (bodhi)? My first teaching of the Lore of
Liberation shall be to you; to you I shall impart of that ambrosia

60. 'And if you now intend to do what may be agreeable to me, you must
avoid like poison these sins: doing harm to others, coveting the goods
or wives of others, speaking evil, and drinking intoxicating liquors.'

The Yakshas promised to do so, and having bowed to him and
circumambulated him from left to right, disappeared on the spot.

But when the Great Being had made up his mind to give away his own flesh
and blood, at that very time

61, 62. Earth trembled in many places and caused the Golden Mountain to
waver, in consequence of which concussion the drums on that mountain
began to sound and the trees to cast off their flowers. These spread
about in the sky, and moved by the wind appeared like a cloud; at one
place, like a flight of birds, they resembled a canopy; at another they
bore the appearance of a well-arranged garland. They fell down together
on all sides of the place where the king was.

63. The great Ocean, as if he intended to prevent the monarch, showed
his excitement and agitation by the increased commotion and noise of his
waves, and his figure expressed great vigour as if he were ready to

     [76] Viz. to relieve the king. In this simile the Ocean is
     represented as an auxiliary prince who raises his army to the
     succour of his ally.

64, 65. Then the Chief of the Devas became agitated by those phenomena;
and discovering by reflection the cause of them, and being filled with
apprehension at the sufferings to which the king exposed himself,
hastily came to the royal residence, where he found every one perplexed
with sorrow and fear, except the king. On beholding the calmness of his
countenance, though he was in so miserable a condition, _S_akra was
affected with the utmost amazement. He approached the monarch, and
impelled by gladness and joy, he eulogised his performance in his lovely

66. 'Oh, thou hast reached the summit of pious behaviour! oh, the
loftiness of thy treasure which is the practice of virtue! oh, how
charmingly clever is thy mind in showing thy favour to others! Verily,
being given to thee, Earth has obtained a protector!'

After so praising him, _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, applied excellent
herbs, fit to heal wounds immediately, which herbs were partly divine,
partly such as are used by men. So he put a stop to his pains, and made
his body as it was before. In return for which the king honoured him by
kind attendance in a courteous and reverent manner. Then _S_akra went
back to his own abode.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this way, then, the intensely compassionate do not mind their own
pleasure, being afflicted by the sufferings of others; [who, then,
ought not to set aside the attachment to anything so mean as wealth?
Thus ought to be said when stimulating the zeal of charitable people.
Likewise, when explaining the virtue of compassion; when glorifying the
Tathâgata; also on the subject of listening with attention to the
preaching of the Law. Moreover, the words said by the Lord: 'Monks,
these Five have done much, indeed,' will be explained by their being
connected with this story. For they were the five Yakshas of that time.
To them the Lord imparted the first of the ambrosia of the Law, just as
he had promised.]

       *       *       *       *       *

     The story of Maitrîbala is not met with in the _K_ariyâpi_t_aka nor
     in the five volumes of the Pâli _G_âtaka, which have appeared up to
     date; it will probably be found in the part not yet published.
     Something like it is told in the ninety-first pallava of
     Kshemendra's Avadânakalpalatâ. There a king of the _S_ibis gives up
     his flesh and blood in order to obtain a sûkta or well-said
     sentence[77]. This tale, however, is not yet printed, nor may we
     expect it soon to be so. But in another part of that poem, already
     published, I have met with the story of king Ma_n_i_k_û_d_a, which
     bears in many respects a striking resemblance to ours. See 3, 56

     [77] Somendra in his introductory _s_lokas describes the
     ninety-first story thus: svamâ_m_sâs_ri_kpradânena ya_h_ _S_ibi_h_
     sûktam agrahît (_s_l. 36).


The mean-spirited are not even capable of approving the behaviour of the
Bodhisattva, how much less can they act after it. This will be taught by
the following.

Once the _S_ibis were ruled by a king named Sa_mg_aya, who performed his
royal duties in the right manner. Having entirely subdued his organs of
sense, and possessing in a high degree the virtues of valour,
discretion, and modesty, he was victorious and mighty. Thanks to the
constant and strict observance he paid to the elders, he had mastered
the essential contents of the three Vedas (trayî) and of metaphysics.
His good administration of justice was praised by his affectionate
subjects, who loved the exercise of their different trades and duties,
and enjoyed the benefits of security and peace.

1. By the progress of his virtues he had gained the affection of Royal
Felicity, who, like an honest woman, was faithful to him, not to be
thought of by the other monarchs; just as a den kept by a lion is
inaccessible to other animals.

2. All such men as spent their labours in any kind of penance, science
or art, used to come up to him, and if they proved their merit, they
obtained distinguished honour from him.

Next to him in dignity, but not his inferior by a famous set of virtues,
his son Vi_s_vantara held the rank of heir-apparent.

3. Though a youth, he possessed the lovely placidity of mind proper to
old age; though he was full of ardour, his natural disposition was
inclined to forbearance; though learned, he was free from the conceit of
knowledge; though mighty and illustrious, he was void of pride.

4. As the extent[78] of his virtue was conspicuous in all regions and
his fame penetrated the three worlds, there was no room for the feeble
and trifling reputations of others; it seemed as if they did not venture
to show themselves.

     [78] I suppose the reading of the MSS. d_ri_sh_t_aprayâmâsu to be

5. He could not endure the proud prevalence of calamities and other
causes of sufferings among mankind. It was against these foes that he
waged war and fought in battle, shooting from his large bow of
compassion numberless arrows which had the form of gifts of charity.

So he was wont to fill day after day the mendicants who happened to come
to him with the utmost gladness by his bounties, given without
difficulty, surpassing the objects asked for, and the more lovely, as
they were bestowed with deference and kind words. But on the
knotdays[79], as he was distinguished by his strict observance of the
restrictions and the quiet of the sabbath, after bathing his head and
putting on a white linen dress, he mounted his excellent, well-trained,
swift, and vigorous elephant, who (by his colour and size) might be
compared to a peak of the Snow-mountain, whose face was adorned with the
tracks of the juice flowing in rutting-time, and on whose body
auspicious marks were found. Sitting, then, on the back of that
far-famed scent-elephant[80] and royal vehicle, he was in the habit of
making the round of his alms-halls, which he had established in all
parts of the town to be like refreshing wells for the mendicants. So
going about, he experienced an excessive gladness.

     [79] Viz. the sabbath-days.

     [80] Cp. stanza 6 of Story II.

6. No opulence, in truth, within doors procures to a charitable man such
rejoicing, as it produces when transferred to the mendicants.

Now his very great practice of charity being proclaimed everywhere by
the rejoiced mendicants, some neighbouring king who had heard of it,
considering that it would be possible to deceive the young prince by
means of his passion for almsgiving, directed some Brâhmans, his
emissaries, to rob him of that excellent elephant. Accordingly one day,
when Vi_s_vantara was inspecting his alms-halls, manifesting his
gladness of mind by the enhanced beauty of his countenance, the said
Brâhmans placed themselves in his way, uttering benedictions with their
uplifted and outstretched right hands. He stopped his excellent
elephant, and asked them respectfully the reason of their coming; they
had but to express their want, he said. The Brâhmans spoke:

7, 8. 'Both the excellent qualities of this elephant of thine, who has
so graceful a gait, and thy heroic love of charity make us like beggars.
Present us with this (white) elephant, who is like a peak of the
Kailâsa mountain, and thou wilt fill the world with astonishment.'

The Bodhisattva being thus addressed, was filled with sincere joy and
entered upon this reflection: 'Truly, after a long time I now see
mendicants requesting a grand boon. But, after all, what may be the want
of such a lord of elephants to these Brâhmans? No doubt, this must be a
miserable trick of some king, whose mind is troubled with covetousness,
jealousy, and hatred.

9. 'Yet that prince, who, not minding either his reputation or the
precepts of righteousness, is eager, as it were, to promote my good[81],
must not be saddened by disappointment.'

     [81] Inasmuch as his covetousness affords to the Bodhisattva an
     occasion of performing an extraordinary deed of charity. Compare a
     similar argument in Story XXXIII, stanza 15.

Having thus considered, the Great-minded One alighted from the back of
that excellent elephant and stood before them with uplifted golden
pitcher; then he pronounced (the solemn formula) 'Accept.'

10. After which, though knowing that the science of politics follows the
path of Righteousness (dharma) only as far as it may agree with material
interest (artha), he gave away his foremost elephant. His attachment to
Righteousness did not allow him to be frightened by the lie of political

11. Having given away that lord of elephants, who, adorned with the
lovely golden lattice-seat on his back, resembled a massy cloud of
autumn, radiant with a flash of lightning[82], the royal prince obtained
the utmost delight--but the citizens were stricken with consternation,
for they were adherents of political wisdom.

     [82] In the Pâli redaction which is the source of Spence Hardy's
     narration of our tale, it is said that this white elephant had the
     power of causing rain.

In fact, when the _S_ibis heard of the gift of that lord of elephants,
anger and wrath penetrated them, and the eldest of the Brâhmans, the
ministers, the warriors, and the chiefs of the townsmen, making hubbub
went into the presence of king Sa_mg_aya. Owing to their agitation,
resentment, and anger, they neglected the restraint imposed on them by
the respect due to their monarch, and spoke: 'Why do you overlook in
this manner, Your Majesty, the fortune of your kingdom being carried
off? Your Majesty ought not to overlook that in this way you are
fostering the misfortune of your realm.' When the king, alarmed, asked
them what they meant by this, they replied: 'Why, are you not aware of
what has happened, Your Majesty?

12, 13. 'That splendid animal, whose face, being fragrant with the scent
of the flowing juice, intoxicates crowds of humming bees hovering about,
and likewise impregnates the cherishing wind with its perfume, so as to
induce him to wipe off gladly and easily the smell caught from the fluid
of other haughty elephants; that war-elephant, whose brilliant vigour
subdued the strength and the power of your enemies, and abated their
pride even unto the motionlessness of sleep--see, that embodied victory
has been given away by Vi_s_vantara and is now being carried off abroad.

14. 'Kine, gold, clothes, eatables, such are the goods fit to give to
Brâhmans, but parting with our foremost elephant, the pledge of glorious
victory, is an excess of charity, and goes too far.

15. 'How should success and might ever join this prince who acts up to
this point contrary to the maxims of policy? In this matter forbearance
from your side is out of place, Your Majesty, lest he should before long
afford matter of rejoicing to your enemies.'

On hearing this, the king, who loved his son, was not very kindly
disposed towards them; but submitting to necessity, he told them
hastily, they were right; after which he tried to appease the _S_ibis.
'I know,' he said, 'that Vi_s_vantara indulges in his disproportionate
passion for charity so as to neglect for it the rules of political
wisdom, which behaviour is not suitable for a person appointed to the
royal charge. But as he has resigned his own elephant, as if it were
phlegm, who will bring back that animal? Nevertheless, I shall take such
measures that Vi_s_vantara will know a limit in his almsgiving. This may
suffice to appease your anger.'

The _S_ibis answered: 'No, Your Majesty, this will not do. Vi_s_vantara
is no person to be brought to reason in this matter by a simple

Sa_mg_aya spoke: 'But what else can I do?

16. 'He is averse to sinful actions, only his attachment to virtuous
practices is turning into a kind of passion. Why, should you then deem
imprisonment or death inflicted on my own son to be the due requital for
that elephant?

'Therefore, desist from your wrath! Henceforward I will prevent
Vi_s_vantara from such actions.'

Notwithstanding this, the _S_ibis persisted in their anger and said:

17, 18. 'Who would be pleased, O king, with the pain of death, or
prison, or flogging pronounced upon your son? But being devoted to his
religious duties, Vi_s_vantara is not fit to be a bearer of the
troublesome burden of royalty, because of his tenderness of heart and
his compassion. Let the throne be occupied by such princes, as have
obtained renown for their martial qualities and are skilled in the art
of giving its due to each of the three members of the trivarga; but your
son, who in consequence of his love of Righteousness (dharma), does not
heed Policy (naya), is a proper person to dwell in a penance-grove.

19. 'Surely, if princes commit faults of bad policy, the results of
those faults fall on their subjects[83]. They are however bearable for
them, after all, as is taught by experience; not so for the kings
themselves, the very roots of whose power they undermine.

     [83] This Indian parallel to the Horatian verse quidquid delirant
     reges, plectuntur Achivi, runs thus in the original: phalanti
     kâma_m_ vasudhâdipânâ_m_ durnîtidoshâs tadupâ_s_riteshu.

20. 'Why, then, here say much? Not capable of conniving at a state of
things which must lead to your ruin, the _S_ibis have taken this
resolution. The royal prince must withdraw to Mount Vaṅka, the residence
of the Siddhas; there he may exert his penance.'

Being so addressed for his good in very harsh terms by those
dignitaries, who moved by affection and love spoke frankly, foreseeing
the calamities to be expected from bad policy, the king was ashamed of
the wrath of the chiefs of his people, and with downcast eyes,
overwhelmed by the sorrowful thought of a separation from his son, he
heaved a deep, woeful sigh, and said to the _S_ibis: 'If this is your
peremptory decision, allow him, at least, the delay of one day and
night. Tomorrow at day-break Vi_s_vantara shall accomplish your desire.'
This answer satisfied the _S_ibis. Then the king said to his
chamberlain: 'Go and tell Vi_s_vantara what has happened.' The
chamberlain said he would do so, and, his face bathed in tears, went to
Vi_s_vantara, who was at that moment in his own palace. Overwhelmed by
his sorrow, he threw himself at the feet of the prince, weeping aloud.
Then Vi_s_vantara anxiously inquired after the health of the royal
family; the other said in a voice rather indistinct by affliction: 'O,
the royal family is well.' 'But why are you thus excited, then?'
Vi_s_vantara replied. Being so asked once more, the chamberlain whose
throat was choked with tears, uttered slowly and in a faltering tone
these words, interrupting and disturbing them by his sobs:

21. 'Brusquely disregarding the royal command, though it was declared to
them in gentle terms, the _S_ibis, moved by anger, order you to be
banished from the kingdom, my prince.'

Vi_s_vantara said: 'Me ... the _S_ibis ... order to be banished, moved
by anger! What you say is out of all reason.

22. 'Never did I take delight in leaving the path of discipline, and I
detest carelessness about my duties. What evil action of mine, unknown
to me, makes the _S_ibis angry with me?'

The chamberlain said: 'They are offended at your exceeding loftiness of

23, 24. 'Your satisfaction was pure by the disinterested feeling you
experienced, but that of those mendicants was troubled by cupidity. When
you gave away that foremost of elephants, O most noble prince, wrath put
the _S_ibis out of patience and caused them to transgress the limits of
their duty. They are furious against you. You must go, indeed, the way
of those who live as ascetics.'

At this moment the Bodhisattva displayed both his deeply-rooted
affection for the mendicants which his continuous practice of compassion
had firmly established, and his grand, immense patience. He said: 'The
nature of the _S_ibis is fickle, and they cannot understand mine, it

25. 'The objects of sense being outside of ourselves, it is superfluous
to say that I would give away my eyes or my head[84]. For the benefit of
the creatures I support this body, how much more the possession of
clothes and vehicles.

     [84] The Bodhisattva is said to have given away his eyes in one of
     his existences (Story II). The gift of his head is related in some
     _g_âtaka, not found in this selection of Ârya _S_ûra. It occurs in
     Kshemendra's Avadânakalpalatâ, pallava the fifth.

26. 'Me, wanting to honour the requests of the mendicants, if need be,
with my own limbs, the _S_ibis believe to restrain from charity by fear!
So considering, they do but unfold their foolish fickleness of mind.

27. 'Let all _S_ibis kill me or banish me, I shall not desist from
charity for that reason. With this mind I am ready to set out for the

After this, the Bodhisattva said to his wife, who had turned pale while
hearing the sad news: 'Your Highness has heard the resolution of the
_S_ibis.' Madrî[85] replied: 'I have.' Vi_s_vantara said:

     [85] It is plain that _S_ûra supposes the story of Vi_s_vantara to
     be known to his readers. Neither the name of Vi_s_vantara's wife
     nor even the fact of his being married has been told before.

28. 'Now make a deposit, fair-eyed one, of all your property, taking
what you have got from my part as well as from your father's side[86].'

     [86] On this strîdhana, or 'wife's property,' see the paper of
     Jolly in the Sitzungsber. der bair. Akad. der Wiss., 1876.

Madrî answered: 'Where shall I lay the deposit, my prince?' Vi_s_vantara

29, 30. 'You must always give in charity to people of good conduct,
embellishing your bounty by kind observance. Goods deposited in this
manner are imperishable and follow us after death. Be a loving daughter
to your parents-in-law, a careful mother to our children. Continue in
pious conduct, beware of inadvertence; but do not mourn for my absence,
will you?'

Upon this, Madrî, avoiding what might impair the firmness of mind of her
husband, suppressed the deep sorrow that put her heart to anguish, and
said with feigned calmness:

31, 32. 'It is not right, Your Majesty, that you should go to the forest
alone. I too will go with you where you must go, my lord. When attending
on you, even death will be a festival to me; but living without you I
deem worse than death.

'Nor do I think the forest-life to be unpleasant at all. Do but consider
it well.

33. 'Removed from wicked people, haunted by deer, resounding with the
warbling of manifold birds, the penance-groves with their rivulets and
trees, both intact, with their grass-plots which have the loveliness of
inlaid lapis lazuli floors, are by far more pleasing than our artificial

'Indeed, my prince,

34. 'When beholding these children neatly dressed and adorned with
garlands, playing in the wild shrubs, you will not think of your

35. 'The water-carrying brooks, overhung by natural bowers of
perpetually renewed beauty, varying according to the succession of the
seasons, will delight you in the forest.

36, 37. 'The melodious music of the songs of birds longing for the
pleasure of love, the dances of the peacocks whom Lasciviousness has
taught that art, the sweet and praised buzzing of the honey-seeking
bees: they make together a forest-concert that will rejoice your mind.

38. 39. 'Further, the rocks overspread at night with the silk garment of
moonlight; the soft-stroking forest wind impregnated with the scent of
flowering trees; the murmuring noise of the rivulets, pushing their
waters over moving gravel so as to imitate the sound of a number of
rattling female ornaments--all this will gladden your mind in the

This entreaty of his well-beloved wife filled him with a great desire to
set out for the forest. Therefore he prepared to bestow great largesses
on the mendicant people.

But in the king's palace the news of the banishment pronounced upon
Vi_s_vantara caused great alarm and violent lamentations. Likewise the
mendicants, agitated by sorrow and grief, became almost beside
themselves, or behaved as if they were intoxicated or mad, and uttered
many and various lamentations of this kind:

40. 'How is it that Earth does not feel ashamed, permitting the hatchets
to hew down that shady tree, her foster-child, the giver of such sweet
fruits? It is now plain she has been deprived of consciousness.'

41. 'If no one will prevent those who are about to destroy that well of
cold, pure, and sweet water, then in truth the guardians of the
world-quarters are falsely named so, or they are absent, or they are
nothing but a mere sound.'

42. 'Oh! Indeed Injustice is awake and Righteousness either asleep or
dead, since prince Vi_s_vantara is banished from his reign.'

43. 'Who possesses such a refined skill in occasioning distress, as to
have the cruelty to aim at starving us, the guiltless, who obtain a
scanty livelihood by begging?'

The Bodhisattva then gave away his wealth. He bestowed on the mendicants
the contents of his treasury, filled to the very top with precious
stones, gold, and silver, of the value of many hundred thousands; his
magazines and granaries, containing stores of manifold goods and grains;
all his other property, consisting of slaves of both sexes, beasts of
draught, carriages, garments and the like. The whole of this he
distributed according to the merit of the recipients. This being done,
he paid his respectful homage to his father and mother, taking leave of
them, who were overwhelmed with sadness and grief. Then he mounted his
royal chariot with his wife and children. He left the capital, while a
great body of people uttered lamentations, the streets being as noisy as
on a holiday; nor did he succeed without difficulty in making the crowd
turn back, who followed him out of affection, shedding tears of sorrow.
Then himself taking the reins, he drove in the direction of Mount Vaṅka.
And without the least agitation of mind he passed along the environs of
the capital, crowned with charming gardens and groves, and approached
the forest, betokened by the gradually increasing rareness of shady
trees and of human beings, the sight of flocks of antelopes running at a
far distance, and the chirping of crickets. Now by chance some Brâhmans
came to meet him, who begged from him the horses that were drawing his

44. And he, though on a journey of many yo_g_anas without attendants,
and burdened with his wife, gave away to these Brâhmans his four horses,
being rejoiced at this opportunity of giving, and not caring for the

Now, when the Bodhisattva was about to put himself under the yoke, and
was fastening the girth tightly round his waist, there appeared four
young Yakshas, under the form of red deer. Like well-trained excellent
horses they put their shoulders under the yoke themselves. On seeing
them, the Bodhisattva said to Madrî, who stared at them with joy and

45. 'Behold the extraordinary might of the penance-groves honoured by
the residence of ascetics. Their kindness towards guests has in this
degree taken root in the breast of the foremost of deer.'

Madrî replied:

46. 'This is rather your superhuman power, I suppose. The practice of
virtue by the pious, however deeply rooted, is not the same with respect
to everybody.

47. 'When the beautiful reflection of the stars in the water is
surpassed by the laughing lustre of the night-waterlilies, the cause
thereof is to be found in the beams which the Moon-god sends down as if
out of curiosity[87].'

     [87] The white waterlilies (kumuda) are said to open at moonrise.
     The connection between these flowers and the moon is a commonplace
     in Indian poetry.

While they were going on, so speaking to each other kind words of
affection, see, another Brâhman came near, and asked the Bodhisattva for
his royal chariot.

48. And the Bodhisattva, as he was indifferent to his own comfort, but
to the beggars a loving kinsman, fulfilled the wish of that Brâhman.

He gladly caused his family to alight from the chariot, presented the
Brâhman with it, and taking _G_âlin, his boy, in his arms, he continued
his way on foot. Madrî, she too free from sadness, took the girl,
K_ri_sh_n_â_g_inâ, in her arms and marched after him.

49. The trees, stretching out to him their branches adorned at their
ends with charming fruits, invited him, as it were, to enjoy their
hospitality, and paying homage to his merit-obtained dignity, bowed to
him like obedient disciples, when they got sight of him.

50. And, where he longed for water, in those very places lotus-ponds
appeared to his eyes, covered on their surface with the white and
reddish-brown pollen fallen down from the anthers of the lotuses shaken
by the wing-movements of the swans.

51. The clouds overspread him with a beautiful canopy; there blew an
agreeable and odoriferous wind; and his path was shortened by Yakshas
not enduring his labour and fatigue.

In this manner the Bodhisattva with his wife and children experienced
the pleasure and the delight of a walk, without feeling the sensation of
weariness, just as if he were in some park, and at last he perceived
Mount Vaṅka. Being showed the way by some foresters, he went up to the
penance-forest which was on that mountain. This forest was beset with
manifold charming and smooth-barked, excellent trees, with their
ornaments of twigs, flowers, and fruits; birds exulting with lust made
it resound with their various notes; groups of dancing peacocks enhanced
its beauty; many kinds of deer lived in it. It was encircled as with a
girdle by a river of pure, blue water, and the wind was agreeable there,
carrying red flower-dust. In this grove stood a desert hut of leaves,
lovely to behold, and pleasing in every season. Vi_s_vakarman himself
had built it by the orders of _S_akra. There the Bodhisattva took up his

52. Attended by his beloved wife, enjoying the artless and sweet talk of
his children, not thinking of the cares of royalty, like one who is
staying in his gardens, he practised in that grove strong penance for
half a year.

One day, when the princess had gone to seek roots and fruits, and the
prince watching the children kept himself within the borders of the
hermitage, there arrived a Brâhman, whose feet and ankles were stiff
with the dust of the journey, and whose eyes and cheeks were sunken by
toil; he was bearing over his shoulder a wooden club, from which his
waterpot hung down. His wife had despatched him with the pressing
errand, to go and search after some attendance. When the Bodhisattva saw
a mendicant coming up to him after a long time, his heart rejoiced, and
his countenance began to beam. He went to meet him, and welcomed him
with kind words. After the usual complimentary conversation he told him
to enter the hermitage, where he entertained him with the honour due to
a guest. Then he asked him the object of his coming. And the Brâhman,
who through fondness for his wife had banished virtue and shame and was
but eager to receive his boon, said in truth something like this:

53. 'Where a light is and an even road, there it is easy for men to go.
But in this world the darkness of selfishness prevails to such a degree
that no other men would support my words of request.

54. 'Thy brilliant renown of heroic almsgiving has penetrated
everywhere. For this reason I have undertaken this labour of begging
from thee. Give me both thy children to be my attendants.'

Being so addressed, the Bodhisattva, that Great Being,

55. As he was in the habit of cheerfully giving to mendicants and had
never learnt to say no, bravely said that he would give even both his

'Bless thee! But what art thou still waiting for?' Thus speaking the
Brâhman urged the Great Being. Now the children, having heard their
father saying he would give them away, became afflicted, and their eyes
filled with tears. His affection for them agitated him, and made his
heart sink. So the Bodhisattva spoke:

56, 57. 'They are thine, being given by me to thee. But their mother is
not at home. She went out to the forest in search of roots and fruits;
she will come back at evening-time. Let their mother see them, neatly
dressed as they are now and bearing wreaths, and kiss[88] them
(farewell). Rest this night here; to-morrow thou shalt carry them away.'

     [88] The literal translation is 'to smell at.' This old and
     traditional manner of caressing is prescribed in the ritual-books,
     see for instance, Â_s_valâyanag_ri_hyasûtra I, 15, 9; Pâraskara I,
     18; Gobhila II, 8, 22 and 25.

The Brâhman said: 'Thy Reverence ought not to urge me.

58. 'A metaphorical name of womankind is "beautiful charmers[89]," thou
knowest. She might prove a hindrance to the fulfilment of thy promise.
Therefore I do not like staying here.'

     [89] I have tried to render approximately the ambiguousness of the
     original. Women are designated, says the Brâhman, by the
     appellation of vâmâ_h_. Now vâmá means 'beautiful,' but pronounced
     with a different accent vâma, it is a word signifying 'left,
     contrary, opposite.'

The Bodhisattva said: 'Do not think of that. My wife will not obstruct
the fulfilment of my promise. She is in fact the companion of my pious
practice[90]. But do as pleases Thy Reverence. Yet, great Brâhman, thou
shouldst consider this:

     [90] Vi_s_vantara uses here the solemn appellation of
     sahadharma_k_âri_n_î (= 'housewife') with its full meaning. The
     formula sahobhau _k_arata_m_ dharmam is uttered in the fourth or
     Prâ_g_âpatya form of marriage. Manu III, 30.

59-61. 'How should these children satisfy thy wants by slavework? They
are very young and weak and have never been accustomed to such kind of
occupation. But the king of _S_ibi, their grandfather, seeing them
fallen into this state of bondage, will doubtlessly give thee as much
money as thou desirest to redeem them. Well, for this reason I pray
thee, take them to his realm. When acting thus, thou wilt get the
possession of great wealth and at the same time of righteousness.'

'No' (said the Brâhman), 'I do not venture to come to this king with an
offer which would excite his anger; he would be unapproachable like a

62. 'He would have the children torn from me by force, perhaps he would
also inflict punishment on me. I shall bring them rather to my
Brâhma_n_î that they may attend on her.'

Upon this the Bodhisattva said nothing but: 'Then as thou likest,'
without finishing the sentence. He instructed the little ones with
persuasive words how they had to act in accordance with their new
condition of servants; after which he took the waterpot, bending it
over the outstretched hand of the Brâhman, greedy to accept the
ratification of the gift.

63. Yielding to his effort, the water poured down from the pot, and at
the same time tears fell without effort from his eyes resembling dark
red lotus-petals.

Overjoyed with his success, agitated by his excitement, and hastening to
carry off the children of the Bodhisattva, the Brâhman uttered a short
phrase of benediction, and telling the children with a harsh voice of
command to go out, he prepared to make them leave the hermitage. They,
however, could not bear the too intense grief of separation, their
hearts shrunk together and they embraced the feet of their father.
Bathed in tears, they exclaimed:

64. 'Mother is out of doors, while you are about to give us away. Do not
give us away before we have bidden adieu to mother too.'

Now the Brâhman reflected: 'The mother will return erelong, or it is
likely that his paternal love will make him repent.' Thus considering,
he tied their hands like a bundle of lotuses with a creeper, and as they
were reluctant and looked back at their father, he began to drag those
young and delicate children along with him, threatening them. At this
moment K_ri_sh_n_â_g_inâ the girl, having never before experienced a
sudden calamity, cried out with tears to her father:

65. 66. 'This cruel Brâhman, father, hurts me with a creeper. No, it is
no Brâhman, to be sure. Brahmans are righteous, they say. It is an ogre
under the guise of a Brâhman. Certainly he carries us off to eat us. Why
do you suffer us, father, to be led away by this ogre?'

And _G_âlin the boy lamented on account of his mother, saying:

67. 'I do not suffer so much by the violence of this Brâhman, as by the
absence of mother. It is as if my heart is pierced by grief that I did
not see her.

68. 'Oh! certainly, mother will weep for us for a long time in the
empty hermitage, like the bird _k_âtaka[91] whose little ones have been

     [91] This bird, the cuculus melanoleucus, is a favourite with
     Indian poets and rhetoricians. It is said to feed on raindrops.

69. 'How will mother behave, when coming back with the many roots and
fruits she has gathered in the forest for us, she will find the
hermitage empty?

70. 'Here, father, are our toy horses, elephants, and chariots. Half of
them you must give to mother, that she may assuage her grief therewith.

71. 'You must also present to her our respectful salutations and
withhold her at any rate from afflicting herself; for it will be
difficult for us, father, to see you and her again.

72. 'Come, K_ri_sh_n_â, let us die. Of what use is life to us? We have
been delivered by the prince to a Brâhman who is in want of money.'

After so speaking they parted. But the Bodhisattva, though his mind was
shaken by these most piteous laments of his children, did not move from
the place where he was sitting. While representing to himself that it is
not right to repent having given, his heart was burnt by the fire of
irremediable grief, and his mind became troubled, as though it were
paralysed by torpor occasioned by poison. The fanning of the cool wind
made him soon recover his senses, and seeing the hermitage noiseless and
silent, as it were, being devoid of his children, he said to himself in
a voice choked with tears:

73. 'How is it possible that this man did not scruple to strike my very
heart before my very eyes in my children?[92] O, fie on that shameless

     [92] Lit.: 'On my very heart, whose name is offspring.' This
     identification of the heart of the father with his children depends
     on an old formula, forming part of the prayers and sacred mantras
     of the g_ri_hya-books. Cp. also Kaushîtakibrâhma_n_opanishad II,

74. 'How may they be capable of making the journey, going bare-footed,
unable to bear fatigue by reason of their tender age, and become
servants to that man?

75. 'Who will afford rest to them, when they are way-worn and exhausted?
Whom may they go and ask, if vexed by the suffering of hunger and

76. 'If this sorrow strikes even me, the earnest striver after firmness
of mind, what then will be the condition of those little ones, brought
up in ease?

77. 'Oh! the separation from my children is to my mind like a burning
fire.... Nevertheless, who, holding on to the righteous conduct of the
virtuous, would give way to repentance?'

In the meanwhile Madrî was disquieted by ill omens and prognostics, the
foretokens of some accident. Desiring therefore to get back with her
roots and fruits as soon as possible, she was obstructed on the way by
ferocious animals, and was obliged to return to the hermitage by a long
circuitous way. And when she did not see her children neither on the
way, where they were used to come to meet her, nor in the playground,
her uneasiness greatly increased.

78. Apprehending evil because of these dreadful sensations of danger,
she was agitated and anxious, and looked round about if she might get
sight of the children; then she called them. Receiving no answer, she
began to lament, being sore with grief.

79. 'Formerly the hermitage, resounding with the shouts of my children,
appeared to me a much-frequented region; now not perceiving them, I feel
myself helpless in the very same place as in a wilderness.

80. 'But perhaps they have fallen asleep and are slumbering, tired with
playing. Or should they have gone astray in the thicket? Or should they
have hidden themselves out of childishness, being displeased that I was
so long in coming home?

81. 'But why do not yonder birds warble? Are they perhaps bewildered,
having witnessed mischief done to the children? Can it be that my
darlings have been carried away by that very rapid stream, which is
eagerly pushing forth its dashing waves?

'Oh! that my suspicions may prove to be groundless and false even now,
and the prince and the children be well! Oh! may the evil-boding
prognostics find their fulfilment on my body! But why then is my heart
big with sadness because of them? Why is it enwrapt in the night of
sorrow and as if it would sink away? Why is it that my limbs seem to
slacken, that I am no more able to discern the objects around me, that
this grove, deprived of its lustre, seems to turn round?'

Having entered the hermitage-ground and put aside her roots and fruits,
she went to her husband. After performing the usual salutation, she
asked him for the children. Now the Bodhisattva, knowing the tenderness
of a mother's love and also considering that bad news is hard to be
told, was not able to make any answer.

82. It is a very difficult matter for a pitiful man, indeed, to torment
with evil tidings the mind of one who has come to him and deserves to
hear pleasant words.

Then Madrî thought: 'Surely, some ill has befallen the children; his
silence must be the effect of his being overwhelmed by grief and
sadness,' and almost stricken with stupor she stared about the
hermitage, but saw no children. And again she said in a voice rather
indistinct by smothered tears:

83. 'I do not see the children, and you do not speak anything to me!
Alas! I am wretched, I am forlorn. This silence speaks of some great

No sooner had she said these words, than overpowered by the sorrow that
tortured her heart, she sank down like a creeper violently cut off. The
Bodhisattva prevented her from falling to the ground, clasping his arms
round her, and brought her to a grass couch, on which lying and being
sprinkled with cold water she recovered her senses. Then he endeavoured
to comfort her, saying:

84. 'I have not told the sad news straightway to you, Madrî, for
firmness is not to be expected of a mind rendered weak by affection.

85. 'See, a Brâhman suffering from old age and poverty has come to me.
To him I have given both children. Be appeased and do not mourn.

86. 'Look at me, Madrî, do not look for the children, nor indulge in
lamentations. Do not strike anew my heart, still pierced by the dart of
sorrow on account of the children.

87. 'When asked for my life, should I be able to withhold it? Take this
in account, my love, and approve the gift I have made of the children.'

Madrî, whom the suspicion of the death of her children had put to
anguish, now hearing by these words that they were alive, began to
recover from her fright and affliction. She wiped away her tears with
the object of comforting and strengthening her husband; then looking up,
she beheld (something) that made her speak with amazement to her
husband: 'A wonder! A wonder! To say it in a few words,

88. 'Surely, even the Celestials are wrapt in admiration at your heart
being up to this point inaccessible to selfish feelings.

89. 'This is evident from the sounds of the divine drums, echoing in all
directions. It is in order to celebrate your glory, that Heaven has
composed the hymn which it thus pronounces in distinct language from

90. 'Earth shakes, trembling, I suppose, from exultation, as is
indicated by the heaving of her breasts, the huge mountains. Golden
flowers, falling down from heaven, make the sky appear as if it were
illuminated by lightnings.

91. 'Leave, then, grief and sadness. That you have given away in charity
must rather tend to brighten up your mind. Become again the well that
affords benefit to the creatures, and a giver as before!'

Now the surface of Earth being shaken, Sumeru, the lord of mountains,
radiant with the lustre of its manifold gems, began to waver. _S_akra,
the Lord of the Devas, inquiring into the cause of the earthquake, was
informed of it by the regents of the world-quarters, who, with eyes
expanding with amazement, told him that it had been caused by
Vi_s_vantara giving away his children. Excited with joy and surprise,
next day at day-break he went into the presence of Vi_s_vantara,
feigning to be a Brâhman come to him as a mendicant. The Bodhisattva
showed him the hospitality due to a guest, after which he asked him to
bring forth his request. Then _S_akra begged him for his wife.

92. 'The practice of almsgiving in virtuous persons,' he said, 'comes as
little to its end as the water in great lakes dries up. For this reason
I ask thee for that woman there who is looking like a deity. Her, thy
wife, give to me, I pray thee.'

The Bodhisattva did not lose his firmness of mind, however, and made the
promise of giving her.

93. Then taking Madrî with his left hand and the waterpot with his
right, he poured down water on the hand of the Brâhman, but fire of
grief on the mind of the Love-god[93].

     [93] This means not so much that the Indian Amor was afflicted on
     account of the offence against conjugal love, as the defeat of
     Mâra, the Indian Satan. To conquer the senses and sensuality is to
     vanquish Mâra, who is the same as Kâma.

94. No anger arose in Madrî's breast, nor did she weep, for she knew her
husband's nature. Only keeping her eyes fixed on him, she stood like an
image, stupefied by the excessive heaviness of that fresh burden of

On beholding this, _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, affected with the
utmost admiration, magnified the Great Being.

95. 'Oh! the wide distance which is between the conduct of the righteous
and that of the impious! How will those who have not purified their
hearts be even capable of believing this great performance?

96. 'To cherish an affectionate wife and much-beloved children, and yet
to give them up, obeying the self-imposed vow of detachment--is it
possible to conceive any loftiness like this?

97. 'When thy glory will be spread throughout the world by the tales of
those who are enthusiastic about thy virtues, the brilliant reputations
of others will disappear in thine, beyond doubt, just as the other
luminaries dissolve in the splendour of the sunlight.

98. 'Even now this superhuman fact of thine is praisingly approved by
the Yakshas, the Gandharvas, the snakes, and by the Devas, Vâsava[94]

     [94] Vâsava is another name of _S_akra.

After so speaking, _S_akra reassumed his own brilliant figure and made
himself known to the Bodhisattva. Which being done, he said:

  99. 'To thee I now give back Madrî, thy wife.
       Where else should moonshine stay but with the moon?

100. 'Nor shouldst thou be anxious about the separation from thy son and
daughter, nor grieve for the loss of thy royal dignity. Before long thy
father will come to thee, accompanied by both thy children, and provide
his kingdom with a protector, re-establishing thee in thy high rank.'

Having said these words, _S_akra disappeared on the spot.

And that Brâhman, in consequence of _S_akra's power, brought the
children of the Bodhisattva to the very land of _S_ibi. And when the
_S_ibis and Sa_m_gaya, their king, heard of the Bodhisattva's
performance of the greatest compassion, hard to be done by others, their
hearts became soft with tenderness. They redeemed the children from the
hand of the Brâhman, and having obtained the pardon of Vi_s_vantara, led
him back and reinstated him in his royal dignity.

       *       *       *       *       *

[In this way, then, the behaviour of a Bodhisattva is exceedingly
marvellous. For this reason such distinguished beings as strive for that
state, must not be despised or hindered. This story is also to be
adduced, when discoursing on the Tathâgata and when treating of
listening with attention to the preaching of the Law.]

     Vi_s_vantara's birth being the last but one of the Lord, the person
     of that charitable king is held very high among Buddhists. His
     largesses are also considered to constitute the highest degree of
     practising the pâramitâ of charity. In the memorable night which
     preceded his attainment of the Buddhahood, the _S_âkya prince had
     but to refer to his actions in the Vi_s_vantara-existence to
     demonstrate his having fulfilled that pâramitâ. In the Pâli
     _G_âtaka that existence forms the subject-matter of the longest and
     last tale of the collection, but since it is the last, it is still
     unpublished; its contents, however, have been communicated by
     Spence Hardy in his 'Manual of Budhism' (pp. 118-127 of the second
     edition). From hence Prof. Kern borrowed his exposition of the tale
     in his Geschiedenis van het Buddhisme, I, pp. 303-317, to which he
     added copious notes with the object of exploring and expounding the
     mythological substratum which underlies it. It is curious to
     compare the redaction of the Pâli _G_âtaka with that of _S_ûra. The
     latter omitted purposely, it seems, some particulars, for instance,
     the name of the old Brâhman, that of the mother of Vi_s_vantara,
     and the etymology of his name; his narration is different in some
     slight details. But the main features are the same, likewise in the
     redaction of the _K_ariyâpi_t_aka, where Vi_s_vantara's story is
     No. 9 of the dânaparamitâ and is told in 58 _s_lokas. From this
     version it appears that the earthquake, caused by the great
     liberality of the prince, is something most essential; or rather
     the earthquakes, for this miracle occurred seven times, once, when
     he took the determination [not mentioned by _S_ûra] of giving his
     heart, eyes, flesh or blood, if requested; secondly, after the gift
     of the white elephant; thirdly, when he had made his great
     largesses preceding his withdrawal to Mount Vaṅka; fourthly and
     fifthly, after giving his children and his wife; the sixth time was
     when he met again with his father and mother in the forest; the
     seventh at his entrance in his capital. The sevenfold earthquake is
     also discussed in the Milinda Pa_ñ_ha, 119 foll. Cp. also the
     parallel performance told of the Bodhisattva, who afterwards was
     Maṅgala Buddha (Fausb. _G_ât. I, p. 31, translated by Rhys Davids,
     Birth-Stories, I, p. 33).

     In Kshemendra's Avadânakalpalatâ the story of Vi_s_vantara is No.
     23, not yet published.


Those whose hearts are pure do not act up to the enticement of the
wicked. Knowing this, pure-heartedness is to be striven after. This will
be taught by the following.

Long ago the Bodhisattva, it is said, was a king who had obtained his
kingdom in the order of hereditary succession. He had reached this state
as the effect of his merit, and ruled his realm in peace, not disturbed
by any rival, his sovereignty being universally acknowledged. His
country was free from any kind of annoyance, vexation or disaster, both
his home relations and those with foreign countries being quiet in every
respect; and all his vassals obeyed his commands.

1. This monarch having subdued the passions, his enemies, felt no
inclination for such profits as are to be blamed when enjoyed, but was
with his whole heart intent on promoting the happiness of his subjects.
Holding virtuous practice (dharma) the only purpose of his actions, he
behaved like a Muni.

2. For he knew the nature of mankind, that people set a high value on
imitating the behaviour of the highest. For this reason, being desirous
of bringing about salvation for his subjects, he was particularly
attached to the due performance of his religious duties.

3. He practised almsgiving, kept strictly the precepts of moral conduct
(_s_îla), cultivated forbearance, strove for the benefit of the
creatures. His mild countenance being in accordance with his thoughts
devoted to the happiness of his subjects, he appeared like the embodied

Now it once happened that, though protected by his arm, his realm, both
in consequence of the faulty actions of its inhabitants and inadvertence
on the part of the angels charged with the care of rain, was afflicted
in several districts by drought and the troublesome effects of such a
disaster. Upon this the king, fully convinced that this plague had been
brought about by the violation of righteousness by himself or his
subjects, and taking much to heart the distress of his people, whose
welfare was the constant object of his thoughts and cares, took the
advice of men of acknowledged competence, who were reputed for their
knowledge in matters of religion. So keeping counsel with the elders
among the Brâhmans, headed by his family priest (purohita) and his
ministers, he asked them for some means of putting an end to that
calamity. Now they, believing a solemn sacrifice as is enjoined by the
Veda to be a cause of abundant rain, explained to him that he must
perform such a sacrifice of a frightful character, inasmuch as it
requires the massacre of many hundreds of living beings. But after being
informed of everything concerning such a slaughter as is prescribed for
the sacrifice, his innate compassionateness forbade him to approve of
their advice in his heart; yet out of civility, unwilling to offend them
by harsh words of refusal, he slipped over this point, turning the
conversation upon other topics. They, on the other hand, no sooner
caught the opportunity of conversing with the king on matters of
religion, than they once more admonished him to accomplish the
sacrifice, for they did not understand his deeply hidden mind.

4. 'You constantly take care not to neglect the proper time of
performing your different royal duties, established for the sake of
obtaining the possession of land and ruling it. The due order of these
actions of yours is in agreement with the precepts of Righteousness

5. 'How then is this that you who (in all other respects) are so clever
in the observance of the triad (of dharma, artha, and kâma), bearing
your bow to defend the good of your people, are so careless and almost
sluggish as to that bridge to the world of the Devas, the name of which
is 'sacrifice'?

6. 'Like servants, the kings (your vassals) revere your commands,
thinking them to be the surest gage of success. Now the time is come, O
destroyer of your foes, to gather by means of sacrifice superior
blessings, which are to procure for you a shining glory.

7, 8. 'Certainly, that holiness which is the requisite for a
dîkshita[95] is already yours, by reason of your habitual practice of
charity and your strictness in observing the restraint (of good
conduct). Nevertheless, it would be fit for you to discharge your debt
to the Devas[96] by such sacrifices as are the subject-matter of the
Veda. The deities being satisfied by duly and faultlessly performed
sacrifice, honour the creatures in return by (sending) rain. Thus
considering, take to mind the welfare of your subjects and your own, and
consent to the performance of a regular sacrifice, which will enhance
your glory.'

     [95] Before undertaking the performance of a great sacrifice, its
     performer has to be purified by the initiatory ceremony of dikshâ.
     From that time till the final bath or avabh_ri_tha at the close of
     the sacrifice he is called a dîkshita, and bound to the observance
     of many detailed prescriptions about his food, dress, residence,
     and his whole mode of living.

     [96] By sacrifice, is the saying of the Hindus, man pays his debts
     to the Devas, by the _S_râddha and by offspring to his ancestors,
     by study and penance to the _ri_shis or old sages, by benevolence
     and kindness to men. See, for instance, Mhbh. I, 120, 17 foll.;
     Buddha_k_arita IX, 55.

Thereupon he entered upon this thought: 'Very badly guarded is my poor
person indeed, being given in trust to such leaders. While faithfully
believing and loving the Law, I should uproot my virtue of
tender-heartedness by reliance upon the words of others. For, truly,

9. 'Those who are reputed among men to be the best refuge, are the very
persons who intend to do harm, borrowing their arguments from the Law.
Alas! such a man who follows the wrong path shown by them, will soon
find himself driven to straits, for he will be surrounded by evils.

10. 'What connection may there be, forsooth, between righteousness and
injuring animals? How may residence in the world of the Devas or
propitiation of the deities have anything to do with the murder of

11, 12. 'The animal slaughtered according to the rites with the
prescribed prayers, as if those sacred formulae were so many darts to
wound it, goes to heaven, they say, and with this object it is killed.
In this way that action is interpreted to be done according to the Law.
Yet it is a lie. For how is it possible that in the next world one
should reap the fruits of what has been done by others? And by what
reason will the sacrificial animal mount to heaven? though he has not
abstained from wicked actions, though he has not devoted himself to the
practice of good ones, simply because he has been killed in sacrifice,
and not on the ground of his own actions?

13. 'And should the victim killed in sacrifice really go to heaven,
should we not expect the Brâhmans to offer themselves to be immolated in
sacrifice? A similar practice, however, is nowhere seen among them. Who,
then, may take to heart the advice proffered by these counsellors?

14. 'As to the Celestials, should we believe that they who are wont to
enjoy the fair ambrosia of incomparable scent, flavour, magnificence,
and effective power, served to them by the beautiful Apsarasas, would
abandon it to delight in the slaughter of a pitiable victim, that they
might feast on the omentum and such other parts of his body as are
offered to them in sacrifice?

'Therefore, it is the proper time to act so and so.' Having thus made up
his mind, the king feigned to be eager to undertake the sacrifice; and
in approval of their words he spoke to them in this manner: 'Verily,
well protected am I, well gratified, having such counsellors as Your
Lordships are, thus bent on securing my happiness! Therefore I will have
a human sacrifice (purushamedha) of a thousand victims performed. Let my
officials, each in his sphere of business, be ordered to bring together
the requisites necessary for that purpose. Let also an inquiry be made
of the most fitting ground whereon to raise the tents and other
buildings for the sattra[97]. Further, the proper time for the sacrifice
must be fixed (by the astrologers) examining the auspicious lunar days,
kara_n_as, muhûrtas, and constellations.' The purohita answered: 'In
order to succeed in your enterprise, Your Majesty ought to take the
avabh_ri_tha (final bath) at the end of one sacrifice; after which you
may successively undertake the others. For if the thousand human victims
were to be seized at once, your subjects, to be sure, would blame you
and be stirred up to great agitation on their account.' These words of
the purohita having been approved by the (other) Brâhmans, the king
replied: 'Do not apprehend the wrath of the people, Reverends. I shall
take such measures as to prevent any agitation among my subjects.'

     [97] This is the appellation of great Soma-sacrifices lasting for
     many days, sometimes even for years.

After this the king convoked an assembly of the townsmen and the
landsmen, and said: 'I intend to perform a human sacrifice of a thousand
victims. But nobody behaving honestly is fit to be designated for
immolation on my part. With this in mind, I give you this advice:
Whomsoever of you I shall henceforward perceive transgressing the
boundaries of moral conduct, despising my royal will, him will I order
to be caught to be a victim at my sacrifice, thinking such a one the
stain of his family and a danger to my country. With the object of
carrying this resolution into effect, I shall cause you to be observed
by faultless and sharp-sighted emissaries, who have shaken off sleepy
carelessness and will report to me concerning your conduct.'

Then the foremost of the assembly, folding their hands and bringing them
to their foreheads, spoke:

15, 16. 'Your Majesty, all your actions tend to the happiness of your
subjects, what reason can there be to despise you on that account? Even
(god) Brahmâ cannot but sanction your behaviour. Your Majesty, who is
the authority of the virtuous, be our highest authority. For this reason
anything which pleases Your Majesty must please us, too. Indeed, you are
pleased with nothing else but our enjoyment and our good.'

After the notables both of the town and the country had accepted his
command in this manner, the king dispersed about his towns and all over
his country officers, notified as such by their outward appearance to
the people, with the charge of laying hold of the evildoers, and
everywhere he ordered proclamations to be made by beat of drum day after
day, of this kind:

17. 'The king, a granter of security as he is, warrants safety to every
one who constantly cultivates honesty and good conduct, in short, to the
virtuous. Yet, intending to perform a human sacrifice for the benefit of
his subjects, he wants human victims by thousands to be taken out of
those who delight in misconduct.

18. 'Therefore, whosoever henceforward, licentiously indulging in
misbehaviour, shall disregard the command of our monarch, which is even
observed by the kings, his vassals, shall be brought to the state of a
sacrificial victim by the very force of his own actions; and people
shall witness his miserable suffering, when he shall pine with pain, his
body being fastened to the sacrificial post.'

When the inhabitants of that realm became aware of their king's careful
search after evildoers with the aim of destining them to be victims at
his sacrifice--for they heard the most frightful royal proclamation day
after day and saw the king's servants, who were appointed to look out
for wicked people and to seize them, appearing every now and then
everywhere--they abandoned their attachment to bad conduct, and grew
intent on strictly observing the moral precepts and self-control. They
avoided every occasion of hatred and enmity, and settling their quarrels
and differences, cherished mutual love and mutual esteem. Obedience to
the words of parents and teachers, a general spirit of liberality and
sharing with others, hospitality, good manners, modesty, prevailed among
them. In short, they lived as it were in the K_ri_ta Yuga.

19. The fear of death had awakened in them thoughts of the next world;
the risk of tarnishing the honour of their families had stirred their
care of guarding their reputation; the great purity of their hearts had
strengthened their sense of shame. These factors being at work, people
were soon distinguished by their spotless behaviour.

20. Even though every one became more than ever intent on keeping a
righteous conduct, still the king's servants did not diminish their
watchfulness in the pursuit of the evildoers. This also contributed to
prevent people from falling short of righteousness.

21. The king, learning from his emissaries this state of things in his
realm, felt extremely rejoiced. He bestowed rich presents on those
messengers as a reward for the good news they told him, and enjoined his
ministers, speaking something like this:

22-24. 'The protection of my subjects is my highest desire, you know.
Now, they have become worthy to be recipients of sacrificial gifts[98],
and it is for the purpose of my sacrifice that I have provided this
wealth. Well, I intend to accomplish my sacrifice in the manner which I
have considered to be the proper one. Let every one who wishes for
money, that it may be fuel for his happiness, come and accept it from my
hand to his heart's content. In this way the distress and poverty, which
is vexing our country, may be soon driven out. Indeed, whenever I
consider my own strong determination to protect my subjects and the
great assistance I derive from you, my excellent companions in that
task, it often seems to me as though those sufferings of my people, by
exciting my anger, were burning in my mind like a blazing fire.'

     [98] Viz. by the purity of their life and the holiness of their

The ministers accepted the royal command and anon went to execute it.
They ordered alms-halls to be established in all villages, towns, and
markets, likewise at all stations on the roads. This being done, they
caused all who begged in order to satisfy their wants, to be provided
day after day with a gift of those objects, just as had been ordered by
the king.

25. So poverty disappeared, and the people, having received wealth from
the part of the king, dressed and adorned with manifold and fine
garments and ornaments, exhibited the splendour of festival days.

26. The glory of the king, magnified by the eulogies of the rejoiced
recipients of his gifts, spread about in all directions in the same way,
as the flower-dust of the lotuses carried forth by the small waves of a
lake, extends itself over a larger and larger surface.

27[99]. And after the whole people, in consequence of the wise measures
taken by their ruler, had become intent on virtuous behaviour, the
plagues and calamities, overpowered by the growth of all such qualities
as conduce to prosperity, faded away, having lost their hold.

     [99] In the printed text the first line of this stanza is
     deficient, two syllables at the end being wanting. I think this
     second pâda should be restored by the insertion of _g_ane after

28. The seasons succeeded each other in due course, rejoicing everybody
by their regularity, and like kings newly established, complying with
the lawful order of things. Consequently the earth produced the various
kinds of corn in abundance, and there was fulness of pure and blue water
and lotuses in all water-basins.

29. No epidemics afflicted mankind; the medicinal herbs possessed their
efficacious virtues more than ever; the monsoons blew in due time and
regularly; the planets moved along in auspicious paths.

30. Nowhere there existed any danger to be feared, either from abroad,
or from within, or such as might be caused by derangements of the
elements. Continuing in righteousness and self-control, cultivating good
behaviour and modesty, the people of that country enjoyed as it were the
prerogatives of the K_ri_ta Yuga.

By the power, then, of the king performing his sacrifice in this manner
in accordance with (the precepts of) the Law, the sufferings of the
indigent were put to an end together with the plagues and calamities,
and the country abounded in a prosperous and thriving population
offering the pleasing aspect of felicity. Accordingly people never
wearied of repeating benedictions on their king and extending his renown
in all directions.

One day one of the highest royal officials, whose heart had been
inclined to the (True) Belief, spoke thus to the king: 'This is a true
saying, in truth.

31. 'Monarchs, because they always deal with all kinds of business, the
highest, the lowest, and the intermediate, by far surpass in their
wisdom any wise men.

'For, Your Majesty, you have obtained the happiness of your subjects
both in this world and in the next, as the effect of your sacrifice
being performed in righteousness, free from the blameable sin of
animal-slaughter. The hard times are all over and the sufferings of
poverty have ceased, since men have been established in the precepts of
good conduct. Why use many words? Your subjects are happy.

32[100]. 'The black antelope's skin which covers your limbs has the
resemblance of the spot on the bright moon's surface, nor can the
natural loveliness of your demeanour be hindered by the restraint
imposed on you by your being a dîkshita[101]. Your head, adorned with
such hair-dress as is in compliance with the rites of the dîkshâ,
possesses no less lustre than when it was embellished with the splendour
of the royal umbrella[102]. And, last not least, by your largesses you
have surpassed the renown and abated the pride of the famous performer
of a hundred sacrifices[103].

     [100] The corruptions of this stanza in the MSS. have been
     corrected in the edition. In some points, however, I venture to
     propose some alterations.

     To gâtre_n_a of the MSS., gâtre na of the ed., I should prefer

     For mandodyamâ_h_ of the MSS., mandodyama_h_ of the ed., I
     substitute mandodyamâ, and in pâda 3, I think ke_s_ara_k_ana_s_obhâ
     is one word.

     [101] See note on p. 95 supra. The sattra and the dîkshâ continue
     as long as the sacrifice is being performed. The king, therefore,
     is still wearing the skin of the black antelope, which he put on at
     the time of his consecration for the sake of performing the
     sacrifice, since he is obliged to observe this and many other
     restrictions of the dîkshâ. The minister says that to the pious
     monarch these obligations are no restraint with respect to his
     behaviour, which already before has been in accordance with the
     strictest precepts of the Law.

     [102] The white umbrella has been put aside for the time of the

     [103] Viz. _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas. Here he is called
     _s_ataya_g_van, which is well-nigh synonymous with his common
     epithet of _s_atakratu.

33. 'As a rule, O you wise ruler, the sacrifice of those who long for
the attainment of some good, is a vile act, accompanied as it is by
injury done to living beings. Your sacrifice, on the contrary, this
monument of your glory, is in complete accordance with your lovely
behaviour and your aversion to vices.

34. 'Oh! Happy are the subjects who have their protector in you! It is
certain that no father could be a better guardian to his children.'

Another said:

35. 'If the wealthy practise charity, they are commonly impelled to do
so by the hopes they put in the cultivation of that virtue; good
conduct, too, may be accounted for by the wish to obtain high regard
among men or the desire of reaching heaven after death. But such a
practice of both, as is seen in your skill in securing the benefit of
others, cannot be found but in those who are accomplished both in
learning and in virtuous exertions.'

       *       *       *       *       *

In such a way, then, those whose hearts are pure do not act up to the
enticement of the wicked. Knowing this, pure-heartedness is to be
striven after.

[In the spiritual lessons for princes, also, this is to be said:

  'Who to his subjects wishing good, himself exerts,
   Thus brings about salvation, glory, happiness.
   No other should be of a king the business.'

And it may be added as follows: '(The prince) who strives after material
prosperity, ought to act in accordance with the precepts of religion,
thinking a religious conduct of his subjects to be the source of

Further this is here to be said: 'Injuring animals never tends to bliss,
but charity, self-restraint, continence and the like have this power;
for this reason he who longs for bliss must devote himself to these
virtues.' And also when discoursing on the Tathâgata: 'In this manner
the Lord showed his inclination to care for the interests of the world,
when he was still in his previous existences.']

       *       *       *       *       *

     This story is not met with elsewhere, it seems, at least in this
     shape. No. 50 of the Pâli _G_âtaka is told with the same intention
     but in a different manner. The resolve of the Bodhisattva and his
     stopping bloody sacrifices is better accounted for in our text.


(Comp. Fausb., _G_ât. I, p. 202, translated by Rhys Davids, Buddhist
Birth Stories, pp. 284-287.)

Neither adversity nor the brilliancy of sovereign power can relax in the
high-minded the virtue of compassion towards living beings. This will be
taught now.

In the time when the Bodhisattva, having well practised meritorious
actions for a long time, and having come into possession of the virtues
of charity, self-restraint, continence and compassion, was directing his
extraordinary performances for the benefit of others, once, it is said,
he became _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas.

1. The magnificence of the Chief of the Celestials shone in a higher
degree and displayed a greater majesty, since that rank had fallen to
his share. Something analogous may be seen, when a palace adorned by a
covering of fresh stucco is made resplendent by the moonbeams.

2. The rich lustre of that mighty state, to conquer which the sons of
Diti dared push forward against the impetuous advance of the
world-elephants and expose their breasts to their pestle-like tusks,
that brilliancy was his. But though he easily enjoyed that happiness at
his command, nevertheless, that bliss did not stain his heart with

Ruling heaven and earth in the proper manner, he acquired splendid
glory, which pervaded the whole universe. Now the Demons[104] could not
bear the renown nor the very wonderful bliss which he enjoyed, and waged
war against him. They marched to his encounter to fight him with an
enormous army of elephants, chariots, horsemen and footmen, being the
more terrible, as they were drawn up in the proud array of battle and
made a noise as awful as that of the wild Ocean. Through the glittering
blaze of their various kinds of offensive and defensive weapons they
hardly suffered themselves to be looked at.

     [104] The spirits of darkness, called Daityas (sons of Diti) or
     Dânavas (sons of Danu) or Asuras.

3. He for his part, though attached to the precepts of righteousness,
felt however within his heart the disposition to indulge in the frenzy
of fighting. He was prompted to do so by the pride of his enemies, by
the danger of his own men, unpleasantly interrupted in their peaceful
sport, also by the regard of his majesty and of the traditional line of
conduct along the path of political wisdom.

So he mounted his excellent golden chariot, to which a thousand
excellent horses were put. This chariot was decorated in front with a
beautiful, high-floating banner which bore a figure in the attire of an
Arhat[105] for its emblem. Its outer appearance was exceedingly
brilliant, owing to the lustre reflected by the manifold precious stones
and jewels that adorned it, and to the brightness which irradiated its
flanks and which proceeded from the different flaming weapons,
sharp-pointed and well-disposed to be ready for use, on both sides of
the chariot. On the inside it was covered with a fine white blanket.
Standing on it and surrounded by his great divine host of different
arms, elephants, chariots, horse and foot, the Great Being met the
forces of the Demons just on the border-line of the Ocean.

     [105] It is curious to see this _S_akra of the Buddhists making
     profession in this manner of his Buddhistical faith. If this trait
     is an old one, _S_akra is here represented as a digambara, as he in
     fact is. The _S_abdaratnâvalî gives Arha as a name of Indra; (see
     Petr. Dict. s. v. arha 2).

4. Then a great battle took place, destructive of the firmness of the
timid as well as of the shields and mail-coats pierced by the strokes of
the weapons with which they fought each other.

5, 6. Various cries were heard in the tumult of that struggle. Stay! Not
in this manner! Here! Look out! Where are you now? You will not escape
me! Strike! You are a dead man! So challenging one another they fought.
And this noise mixing with the clashing and crashing of the arms all
over the battle-field and the sound of the drums, made Heaven shake and
almost burst.

7. The elephants on both sides, rushing on each other with great fury
increased by the smell of the flowing juice, offered the frightful
spectacle of mountains swept along by the wind of a world-destroying

8. Like portentous clouds, the chariots swept over the field, their
floating standards resembling the lightning, and the rattling noise they
made being as the roaring of the thunder.

9. Sharp arrows were flying over both armies, and fell down amidst the
warriors of both the Devas and the Demons, hitting banners and royal
umbrellas, bows and spears, shields and cuirasses, and the heads of men.

10. At the end the army of _S_akra took to flight, frightened by the
fiery swords and arrows of the Demons. The Lord of the Celestials alone
held still the field, barring with his chariot the host of his enemies.

When Mâtali, the charioteer of the Lord of the Devas, perceived that the
army of the Demons, high-spirited and overjoyed, was coming over them
with a tremendous noise of loud warcries and shouts of victory, whereas
the army of the Devas was almost intent on flight, he thought it was
now the proper time to retreat, and so he turned the chariot of the
Ruler of the Devas. While they were making the ascent[106], _S_akra, the
Lord of the Devas, caught sight of some eagle-nests which were placed on
a silk-cotton tree just in the line of direction of the chariot-pole, so
that they must needs be crushed by it. No sooner had he seen them, than
seized with compassion he said to Mâtali, his charioteer:

     [106] Returning from the battle-field on the border of the Ocean to
     his residence in Heaven, _S_akra must needs drive upward.

11. 'The birds' nests on this silk-cotton tree are filled with not yet
winged young ones. Drive my chariot in such a manner that these nests
will not fall down crushed by the chariot-pole.'

Mâtali answered: 'In the meanwhile the crowds of the Demons will
overtake us, sir.'

_S_akra said: 'Never mind. Do you but take the proper care in avoiding
these eagle-nests.' Upon which Mâtali answered:

12. 'Nothing short of turning the chariot can save the birds, O
Lotus-eyed One. But we have at our heels yon host of foes who after a
long time are at last getting the better of the Devas.'

At this moment _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, moved by the utmost
compassion, showed his extraordinary goodness of heart and firmness of

13. 'Well then,' said he, 'turn the chariot. Better is it for me to die
by the terrible club-strokes of the chiefs of the Demons than to live
blameful and dishonoured, if I should have murdered those poor
terror-stricken creatures.'

Mâtali promised to do so, and turned his car, drawn by a thousand

14. Now the foes who had witnessed his heroism in battle, seeing that
the chariot turned, were overtaken with fear, and got into confusion.
Their ranks gave way like dark rain-clouds driven away by the wind.

15. In the case of a defeat one single man turning his face to the enemy
and barring the way of the enemy's forces, will sometimes abate the
pride and haughtiness of the victors by the unexpectedness of his heroic

16. The sight of the broken ranks of the hostile army encouraging the
host of the Devas, made them return. For the Demons, terror-stricken and
fleeing, thought no more of rallying and resisting.

17. Then the Devas, whose joy was mingled with shame, paid homage to
their Lord; after which, brilliant and beautiful by the radiance of
victory, he quietly returned from the battle-field to his city, where
his zenana impatiently longed for him.

In this way was the victory gained in that battle. It is for this reason
that the saying goes:

18. The low-minded do wicked actions in consequence of their cruelty.
Average men, though pitiful, will do so, when come into distress. But
the virtuous, even when in danger of life, are as little capable of
transgressing their proper line of conduct as the Ocean its boundary.

       *       *       *       *       *

[In this way the Lord did long ago protect animal life even at the risk
of his own and of the loss of the Celestial sway. Keeping then in mind
that it does not at all befit a wise man to offend living beings, much
less to sin against them, a pious man must be intent on practising
compassion towards the creatures. And the saying that Dharma in truth
watches him who walks in righteousness (dharma)[107], is to be
propounded here too. Likewise this (story) may be adduced when
discoursing on the Tathâgata, and when treating of listening with
attention to the preaching of the Law.]

     [107] We have here a remarkable quotation from the Holy Writ of
     Northern Buddhism. The wording of this sentence in the original:
     dharmo ha vai rakshati dharma_k_âri_n_am, is the exact Sanskrit
     counterpart of the first pâda of a well-known Pâli stanza uttered
     by the Lord (see Fausböll, _G_âtaka I, p. 31; IV, p. 54, and the
     other passages quoted there):

        Dhammo have rakkhati dhamma_k_âri_m_
        Dhammo su_k_i_nn_o sukham âvahâti
        Esânisa_m_so dhamme su_k_i_nn_e
        Na duggati_m_ ga_kkh_ati dhamma_k_âri.


What forbids the virtuous to transgress the boundary of good behaviour
is the very shame of the Self within their hearts. This will be taught
by the following.

Once the Bodhisattva, it is told, came to life in an illustrious family
of Brâhmans, well-reputed both on account of their ancestry and their
conduct. They were highly esteemed and renowned, observing their
traditional customs and setting a high value on good education and good
manners. Having received in due order the different sacraments:
garbhâdhâna, pu_m_savana, sîmantonnayana, _g_âtakarma, and the rest, he
dwelt at his teacher's, who was a Brâhman distinguished by the
superiority of his learning, by his birth, and by his practice of the
customary conduct, with the object of studying the Veda.

1. His quickness in mastering and retaining the texts he was taught, his
devoted obedience for which his family had always been reputed--a virtue
his correctness of conduct embellished by tranquillity, a rare ornament
in a youth, made him obtain the love and affection of his teacher.

2. For virtues practised without interruption are magic charms to win
the affection even of such as are burnt by the fire of hatred, how much
more of the sound-hearted.

Now his teacher, in the intervals of rest from sacred study, with the
object of trying the morals of all his disciples, was used to tell them
frequently of his own sufferings, the effect of his poverty.

  3. 'To him no help his family affords,
      No joy is his, not e'en on holidays,
      And wretched alms-requesting makes him sick.
      A pauper's wish, how may it be fulfill'd?

4. 'The state of a moneyless man is the home of disregard, the abode of
toil. And a very hard condition it is, devoid of pleasure, abounding in
scantiness, and incessantly afflicting like a calamity.'

Like excellent horses, pricked with spurs, his disciples, very much
moved by their attachment to their spiritual teacher, did their utmost
to deliver to him ever more and better prepared food from their daily
begging round. But he said to them: 'Good sirs, do not exert yourselves
in this way. No offerings of food obtained by daily begging will
diminish the distress of poverty to anybody. If you cannot bear my
hardship, you ought rather to apply these your efforts to gaining
wealth. Doing thus, you would act in the proper manner. Why do I say so?

5. 'Hunger is driven away by food, and thirst by water. The
spell-uttering voice together with medicine expels illnesses. But
poverty's pain is destroyed by wealth, that cause of being honoured by
one's kinsmen.'

The pupils answered: 'What can we do for you? Unhappy we, that the
extent of our power is so small. Moreover,

6, 7. 'If wealth, like food, were obtained by begging, we would not
allow you to suffer by poverty in this degree, master. But the case is
this. The proper, though weak, means for Brâhmans of gaining wealth is
receiving gifts: and people here are not charitable. So we are
powerless, and by this impotency we are smitten with grief.'

The teacher replied: 'But there are still other expedients for earning
money, and they are explained in the law-books. Yet, my strength being
exhausted by old age, I am not fit to put them into effect.'

The disciples said: 'But our strength is not impaired by old age,
master. If, then, you think us capable of acting upon those precepts of
the law-books, inform us of them, that we may requite you for your
labour of teaching us.'

The teacher said: 'No, such means of earning money are hardly available,
indeed, for young men, whose mind is too loose to carry out a strong
resolution. Nevertheless, if Your Honours urge me, well[108], you may
learn from me what one of the said expedients is.

     [108] Instead of sâdhu_h_ we must read sâdhu.

8. 'In the law-precepts for the time of distress[109] theft is an
approved livelihood for Brâhmans; and poverty, I suppose, is the extreme
distress in this world. Consequently, it is no sin for us to enjoy the
wealth of others, and the whole of these goods belongs, of a truth, to
the Brâhmans.

     [109] Read âpaddharme steyam, &c. The âpaddharma substitutes for
     the precepts of right conduct and right livelihood some others to
     be followed in times of distress, if the primary ones cannot be
     observed. The permission to Brâhmans to make money by theft is of
     course not lawful; it is inferred from the well-known pretension of
     the Brâhmanical caste to be owners of the whole earth. Even
     _S_arvilaka, the thief in the M_rikkh_aka_t_ikâ, does not venture
     to defend his deeds by arguments borrowed from the law-books; he
     avows that theft is blameable, 'I blame it,' says he, 'and yet I do

9. 'Men such as you, would doubtlessly be able to seize on wealth even
by violence. You should, however, not practise that mode of taking,
minding your reputation. Therefore, you must show your energy in lonely
places and times.'

By such language he loosened the bridle from his disciples. Accordingly
they exclaimed 'Very well,' approving his bad words, as if they were
good, and all of them engaged themselves to do so, all--save the

10. Him his innate goodness forbade to comply with the teacher's advice,
and compelled him on the contrary to oppose it without delay, though it
had been accepted as a duty by the other pupils.

Ashamed and with downcast looks he heaved a soft sigh and remained
silent. The teacher perceived that the Bodhisattva did not approve of
that fashion of making money, without, however, crying it down; and as
he had a high regard for the virtue of that Great Being, he entered upon
this reflection: 'For what reason does he disapprove of theft? Is it
want of courage or disaffection towards me? Or does he really know it
to be a wicked action?' Then in order to prompt him to open his true
disposition of mind, he spoke in this way to the Bodhisattva: 'Say,
noble Brâhman,

11. 'Those twice-born men, incapable of bearing my misfortune, are
willing to resort to the course of life followed by the energetic and
the heroes; but in you I find nothing but indolence and dullness.
Surely, it is not you who are affected by our distress.

12. 'My suffering is evident. Its whole extent lies open to your eyes. I
have made it plain by speech. Notwithstanding this, you are keeping
quiet! How is it that your mind is undisturbed and untouched by sorrow?'

Upon this the Bodhisattva, after making his respectful salute to the
teacher, said quite alarmed: 'Heaven forbid such feelings! Verily, it is
not want of affection or hard-heartedness which causes me to keep apart,
nor am I unmoved by the sufferings of my teacher, but I think the mode
of acting which my master has shown us, cannot be put into practice. It
is impossible, indeed, to commit a wicked action without being seen.
Why? Because there does not exist anything like loneliness.

13, 14. 'No, loneliness is not to be found anywhere in the world for the
evildoer. Are not the invisible Beings and the purified Munis, whose eye
is endowed with divine power, lookers-on of men's actions? Not seeing
them, the fool thinks himself alone and commits sin[110].

     [110] Cp. Manu VIII, 85; Mahâbhârata (ed. Bombay) I, 74, 39.

15. 'But I know no lonely place at all. Wheresoever I do not see anybody
else, is such a place for that reason empty of my own Self?

16, 17. 'And of a bad action my Self is a witness far more sharp-sighted
than any other person. Another may perchance perceive me, or he may not,
his mind being occupied with his own business, but my Self, eagerly
surrendering my whole mind to passion, knows with certainty that I am
doing evil.

'For this reason, then, I keep aloof from the others.' And understanding
that his teacher was fully appeased, the Bodhisattva continued:

18. 'Nor can I persuade myself into the belief that you would deceive us
in this way for the sake of obtaining wealth. Who, indeed, knowing the
difference between virtue and vice, would allow himself to be seduced by
the pursuit of wealth to oppression of virtue?

'As to my own determination, I will inform you of it.

19. 'Better is it to take the almsbowl and vile garments, beholding the
opulence of the mansions of one's enemies, than to bend one's mind
shamelessly to the murder of Righteousness, be it even with the goal of
attaining the Sovereignty of the Devas!'

At these words his teacher rapt with joy and admiration, rising from his
seat, embraced him, and said to him: 'Very well, very well, my son!
well-said, well-said, noble Brâhman! This is becoming to your keen
intellect adorned by tranquillity.

20. 'Fools leave the path of duty, stirred by any motive whatever, but
the virtuous do not allow themselves to be led astray even in the
greatest distress; penance, learning, and wisdom being their wealth.

21. 'As the moon rising in autumn adorns the firmament, so you are the
ornament of your entirely spotless family. For you the sacred texts you
have been taught have their full import; that you have well understood
them is made plain by your good behaviour; and my labour is crowned with
success, it has not been fruitless.'

       *       *       *       *       *

So, then, it is the very shame of the Self within their hearts that
prevents the virtuous from transgressing the boundary of good behaviour.
[For this reason the pious man (ârya) ought to have a powerful shelter
in shame. (This story) is to be adduced on account of such texts[111]
as this: 'In this way the faithful votary of our creed (ârya_s_râvaka),
being well-guarded by the trench of his shame, avoids what is noxious
and fosters what is wholesome.' Likewise in texts dealing with the
feeling of shame and the regard of public opinion.]

     [111] sûtreshu. The same term is used at the conclusion of Story

       *       *       *       *       *

     The story of the Brâhman has the appearance of being the clumsy
     invention of some monk engaged in giving lessons of morality and in
     want of some story to illustrate the sinfulness of theft. I can
     scarcely believe it forms part of the old stock of traditional
     tales and folklore, as little as the story of the sacrifice (X). In
     its parallel in the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 305, sîlavîma_m_sana_g_âtaka
     (Fausb. III, pp. 18, 19), the old teacher's trial of his disciples
     is better accounted for.


(Cp. Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 529; Fausb. V, 210-227.)

Even when sick with heavy sorrow, the virtuous are disinclined to follow
the road of the low-minded, being prevented from such actions by the
firmness of their constancy[112]. This will be taught as follows.

     [112] Compare the note on p. 44.

In the time when the Bodhisattva by the practice of his surpassing
virtues, veracity, liberality, tranquillity of mind, wisdom &c., was
exerting himself for the benefit of the creatures, he was, it is said, a
king of the _S_ibis, behaving like the embodied Righteousness and
Discipline, and being intent on promoting the welfare of his subjects
like a father.

1. Being withheld from sinful actions and put in the possession of
virtues by their king, (who was solicitous of their true happiness) as a
father is of his son's, his people rejoiced both in this world and in
the next.

2. For his administration of justice followed the path of righteousness,
and made no difference between kinsmen and the rest of his subjects. It
obstructed for his people the road of wickedness, and accordingly
became, so to speak, a flowery ladder to Heaven.

3. Perceiving the welfare of the creatures to be the effect of
righteousness, this ruler of men knew no other purpose than this. With
all his heart he delighted in the path of righteousness, and did not
allow others to violate its precepts.

Now in the capital of that king one of the principal townsmen had a
daughter of surpassing beauty, the acknowledged pearl of womanhood. The
ravishing loveliness of her figure and charms made her appear like the
embodied goddess _S_rî or Rati or one of the Apsarasas.

4. No one--except only the passionless--having got the sight of her, was
able to withdraw his looks from her figure, as she fascinated by her
beauty the eyes of all who beheld her.

And for this reason her relations called her Unmâdayantî ('she who makes

Now her father apprised the king of the fact of his having such a
daughter: 'Your Majesty, the very pearl of womanhood has appeared in
your realm. May Your Majesty therefore deign to decide whether you will
accept her as a wife or renounce her.' Then the king ordered some
Brâhmans knowing the auspicious marks of women, to go and see the
maiden, whether she would be a suitable wife for him or not. The father
of Unmâdayantî led them to his house, and ordered his daughter to attend
upon his guests herself. She said she would do so, and commenced to
attend upon them at table in the proper manner. But no sooner did those

5. Behold her, than their eyes were compelled to remain closely fixed on
her face. The god of Love had subdued their firmness. They had no power
over their looks and minds, and they got rid of their consciousness as
if drunkenness had befallen them.

Now, as they were not able to keep their grave and modest countenance
nor their imperturbability, still less to take their meal, the
householder removed his daughter out of the reach of their looks and
attended himself on the Brâhmans. Afterwards they took their leave and
went off. And they considered thus: 'The lovely beauty of that maiden
is, in truth, of an exceedingly enchanting nature, it acts like a very
magic spell. For this reason it is not suitable for the king to see her,
much less to make her his queen. Having grown mad by her splendid
beauty, as he doubtless would, he would abate his zeal for performing
his religious and political duties, and his neglect of duly observing
his royal occupations would prove of evil consequence to his subjects,
inasmuch as it would obstruct the sources of their profit and welfare.

6. 'The sight of her would be sufficient to put an obstacle in the way
even of Munis striving after perfect wisdom, how much more may it
obstruct the success of a young prince, who lives in pleasure, and is in
the habit of directing his looks to the objects of sense.

'Therefore it is now suitable to act so and so.' Having thus made up
their mind, they went to the king's presence at a convenient time and
reported this to him: 'We have seen that maiden, great king. She is a
beauty and possesses lovely charms, but no more; she has inauspicious
marks, the foretokens of ruin and ill luck. For this reason Your Majesty
ought not even to see her, how can there be question about wedding her?

7. 'A reprehensible wife veils both the glory and the opulence of two
families; just as a cloudy, moon-concealing night hides the beauty and
the arrangement of all things upon earth and in heaven.'

Thus informed, the monarch imagining her to have inauspicious marks and
not to suit his family, no more desired to possess her; and the
householder, her father, knowing the king's disaffection, married his
daughter to one Abhipâraga, officer of that very king.

Now once, on the occasion of the Kaumudî-festival, it happened that the
king desired to contemplate the splendour of that festivity in his
capital. He mounted his royal chariot and took a drive through the
town, which exhibited a pleasant aspect. Its streets and squares had
been sprinkled and cleansed; their white ground was strewed with
many-coloured flowers; gay flags and banners were floating aloft;
everywhere there was dancing and singing, representations of burlesques,
ballets and music; the mingled scents of flowers, incense, odoriferous
powders, perfumes, garlands, strong liquors, also of the perfumed water
and the ointments used in ablutions, filled the air with fragrance;
lovely articles were being exposed for sale; the principal streets were
thronged by a merry crowd of townsmen and landsmen in their best dress.
While making this tour, the king came near the house of Abhipâraga. Now
Unmâdayantî, who was angry with the king because he had spurned her--had
she not inauspicious marks?--feigning curiosity to see him, placed
herself in his way, illuminating by her brilliant figure the flat roof
of her house, as a flash of lightning does the top of a cloud; he at
least, she thought within her heart, must be able to keep the firmness
of his mind and the power over his senses unshaken by the sight of an
inauspicious person such as I am. Accordingly, while the king, curious
to behold the splendour of his capital, was looking around, his eye
suddenly fell upon her, when she was facing him. On beholding her, the

8, 9. Though his eyes were accustomed to the attraction of the wanton
graces of the beauties in his zenana; though, owing to his attachment to
the path of virtue, his disposition was a modest one, and he had
exercised himself in subduing his organs of sense; though he possessed
in a high degree the virtue of constancy; though he had a strong feeling
of shame and his looks were afraid of the looks of young women belonging
to others--notwithstanding this, he could not prevent the Love-god's
triumph, and gazed a long gaze at that woman, powerless to turn his eyes
from her face.

10. 'Is she perhaps the embodied Kaumudî or the Deity of that house? is
she an Apsaras or a Demoness? For it is no human figure she has.'

Thus the king considered and could not look enough at her; and the
chariot passing away did not comply with his heart's desire. He went
back to his palace, like one absent-minded, thinking of nothing but her;
his firmness of mind had been confounded by Manmatha. So he asked his
charioteer Sunanda secretly:

11. 'Do you know, whose is the house that was surrounded by a white
wall, and who is she whose beauty did shine there like lightning in a
white cloud?'

The charioteer answered: 'Your Majesty has a high official named
Abhipâraga. His is that house, and she is his wife, a daughter to
Kirî_t_avatsa, of herself she is called Unmâdayantî.' After hearing
this, the thought that she was the wife of another caused his heart to
faint, and sorrowful meditation made his eyes rigid. Often he heaved
long and deep sighs, and thinking of nothing but her, said in a low
voice to himself:

12. 'Alas! She bears her soft and lovely-sounding name rightly, indeed.
This sweet-smiling Unmâdayantî has made me almost mad.

13. 'I would forget her, yet I see her always in my mind. For my
thoughts are with her, or rather it is she who is the ruler of my mind.

14. 'And this weakness of mind is mine concerning the wife of another!
No doubt, I am mad; shame, it seems, has left me, just as sleep has.

15. 'While absorbed in representing to myself with rapture the grace of
her features, her smiles, her looks, O that sudden sound of the metal
plate[113], reminding me by its bold tone of the regular order of my
royal business, rouses my wrath.'

     [113] Strokes on a metal plate, sounding every half-hour, are to
     announce the time to the king.

In such a way the king's firmness was shaken by the power of passionate
love. And although he endeavoured to compose his mind, his languishing
appearance and emaciating body, his frequent absorption in thoughts
together with his sighs indicated very clearly his state of being in

16. However great his firmness was in disguising his heart's disease, it
manifested itself in his countenance, his eyes rigid from
thoughtfulness, and his emaciated limbs.

Now Abhipâraga, the king's officer, was skilled in the interpretation of
the expression of the face and of such gestures as betray internal
feelings. When he had observed the behaviour of his master and
discovered its cause, he apprehended evil consequences from it, for he
loved the king and knew the excessive power of the God of Love. So he
asked the king for a secret audience; which having been granted to him,
he went up to his master, and having obtained permission, thus addressed

17, 18. 'While engaged in worshipping the Devas to-day, O lotus-eyed
ruler of men, see, a Yaksha, presenting himself before my eyes, said to
me: "How is it that you ignore the king having fallen in love with
Unmâdayantî?" After speaking so, he disappeared immediately, and I,
solicitous on this account, approached you. If this is true, why, Your
Majesty, do you show in this manner your disaffection to me by your

'Therefore, may Your Majesty do me the favour of accepting her from my

The king was confounded, and dared not lift up his eyes for shame.
Nevertheless, even though he was in the power of Love, he did not suffer
his firmness to falter, thanks to his being conversant with the Law by
long and good practice, and refused that offer in plain terms. 'No, that
may not be. For what reason? Hear.

19. 'I would lose my merit and I know myself not to be immortal.
Further, my wicked deed would be known also to the public. Moreover, if
the fire of sorrow should burn your heart because of that separation, it
would erelong consume you, as fire consumes dry grass.

20. 'And such a deed, which would cause that distress in both this world
and the next and would be committed for this reason by the unwise, the
wise never will do, for this very reason.'

Abhipâraga answered: 'Do not fear, Your Majesty, that you will
transgress the Law herein.

21. 'By assisting in the performance of a gift you will act in
accordance with the Law, whereas by not receiving her from my hand you
would do wrong, since you obstruct the practice of giving.

'Nor do I see in this matter any occasion of damage to the reputation of
Your Majesty. Why?

22. 'This is an arrangement between us; nobody else need know of it? Do
not, therefore, put in your mind the fear of blame by public opinion.

'Further, to me this will be a favour, not a source of grief. Why so?

23. 'What harm can be procured to a faithful heart by the satisfaction
obtained by serving the interest of his master? For this reason you may
quietly indulge in your love; do not apprehend any grief on my side.'

The king replied: 'Stop, stop! no more of that wicked reasoning.

24. 'Surely, your very great attachment to my person prevents you from
understanding that the righteous action which consists in the assistance
to a deed of giving does not exist in the case of every gift.

25. 'Who by exceeding attachment to my person does not heed even his own
life, is my friend, dearer to me than my kinsmen. His wife I am bound to
respect as a friend's.

'You do not well, therefore, enticing me to a sinful action. And what
you assert, "nobody else will know of it," will it be less sinful for
this reason?

26. 'How can happiness be expected for him who commits a wicked action,
though unwitnessed? As little as for him who has taken poison unseen.
Both the pure-sighted Celestials and the holy ascetics among men cannot
fail to witness him.

'Moreover, I tell you this:

27. 'Who may in earnest believe that you do not love her, or that you
will not get into harm, as soon as you have abandoned her?'

Abhipâraga said:

28. 'I am your slave, I with my wife and children. You are my master and
my deity. What infringement of Law, Your Majesty, can there be, then, if
you act as pleases you with respect to this your female slave?

'As to your asserting that I love her, what matters it?

29. 'Yea, my liege, she is my beloved wife, and it is for this very
reason that I desire her to be given to you. He who has given in this
world something dear to him, receives in the next dear objects of
exceeding loveliness.

'Therefore, Your Majesty may take her.'

The king spoke: 'Oh, do not say so! It is impossible for me to do so.

30. 'I should dare throw myself on a sharp sword or into a fire with
blazing flames, but I shall not be able to offend against Righteousness,
which I have always observed, and to which I owe my royal bliss.'

Abhipâraga said: 'If Your Majesty will not take her, because she is my
wife, then myself will command her to lead the life of a harlot, whom no
one is forbidden to woo. Then Your Majesty may take her.'

The king answered: 'Are you mad?

31. 'If you were to abandon your guiltless wife, you would not only
incur punishment from my part, but having become an object of reproach,
likewise unavoidable grief in this world and hereafter.

'Desist then; do not enforce a bad action. Rather direct your mind to
justice and honesty.'

Abhipâraga said:

32. 'And if by persisting, I really were to do an action which might be
in any respect a violation of Righteousness and the source of censure
among men and of the loss of my happiness--be these consequences
whatever they may--I fain shall front them with my breast, owing to the
gladness of mind I shall feel for having promoted your happiness.

33. 'No one I know in the world is more worthy than you to be worshipped
by a sacrificial offering, O most mighty ruler of the earth. Well then,
with the object of increasing my merit, deign to accept, like an
officiating priest, Unmâdayantî as your sacrificial fee[114].'

     [114] Properly speaking, giving the woman into marriage to the
     officiating priest at the end of a _s_rauta-sacrifice as his fee
     (dakshi_n_â) is the second of the eight classical forms of wedding,
     the so-called daivo vivâha_h_.

The king said: 'No doubt it is your great affection for me that prompts
you to the effort to promote my interest without considering what is
right and wrong on your side. But this very consideration induces me the
more to prevent you. Verily, indifference as to the censure of men
cannot at any rate be approved. Look here!

34. 'Who, neglecting Righteousness, does not mind either the censure of
men or the evil consequences in the next world, will attain but this: in
this world people will distrust him; and surely, after death he will be
destitute of bliss.

'And therefore I press this upon your mind.

35. 'Never delight in injuring Righteousness for the sake of life[115].
The sin you would incur would be great and unquestionable, the advantage
trifling and doubtful.

     [115] The meaning of this seems to be something like this: 'Do not
     seek after temporal pleasure here at the risk of long-lasting
     suffering after death.'

'Moreover, you should consider also this.

36. 'The virtuous do not like for themselves a pleasure, procured at the
expense of others, whom they have distressed by bringing them into
disrepute and the like. For this reason, standing on the ground of
Righteousness, I shall bear the charge of my private interests alone
without causing pain to others.'

Abhipâraga replied: 'But how could there be any room for injustice here,
after all, either on my side, if moved by attachment I should take care
of the interest of my master, or on the side of Your Majesty receiving
her as a present from my hand? All _S_ibis, townsmen and landsmen, would
ask: what is the injustice of this deed? Therefore, be pleased to take
her, Your Majesty.'

The king replied: 'Verily, you have the intense desire of assisting me.
But reflect well upon this: Which of us knows the Law best, the whole of
the _S_ibis, you, or I?'

Then Abhipâraga hastily answered:

37. 'Owing to your assiduous and respectful watching of the wise, and
your great regard for sacred lore, and the sagacity of your mind, Your
Majesty ranks with B_ri_haspati as the most competent judge in all
matters taught in the sciences concerning the Triad of objects

The king said: 'This being so, you ought not to mislead me in this
matter. Why do I say so?

38. 'The evil and the good of the people depend on the behaviour of
their rulers. For this reason, and taking into account the attachment of
my subjects, I shall continue to love the Path of the Pious above all,
in conformity with my reputation.

39. 'As cows go after the bull in any direction, whether the right or
the wrong one, following his steps, in the very same manner the subjects
imitate the behaviour of their ruler without any scruple and

'You must take also this into consideration.

40. 'If I should lack the power of ruling my own self, say, into what
condition would I bring this people who long for protection from my

41. 'Thus considering and regardful of the good of my subjects, my own
righteousness, and my spotless fame, I do not allow myself to submit to
my passion. I am the leader of my subjects, the bull of my herd.'

Then Abhipâraga, the king's official, appeased by this constancy of the
king, bowed his head and reverentially folding his hands, spoke:

42. 'Oh! excessively favoured by Destiny are these subjects, having such
a ruler as you are, Illustrious King. Love of Righteousness utterly
disregardful of pleasures is to be searched for even among those who
dwell in penance-groves.

43. 'In you the appellation of "great," O Mahârâ_g_a, is a brilliant
ornament. For the name of a virtue, conferred upon persons devoid of
virtue, has a rather harsh sound, as if used in contempt.

44. 'Nor is there any reason for me to be astonished or agitated by this
grand deed of yours, who are a mine of virtues, as the sea is of

     [116] This epithet of the sea is very common in Indian rhetorical

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, the virtuous, even when sick with heavy sorrow,
are disinclined to follow the road of the low-minded, being prevented
from such actions by the firmness of their constancy [and their being
conversant with the Law by long and good practice. Thus considering, one
ought to exert one's self in practising constancy and the precepts of
the Law].

     The tale of the maiden making mad all who see her, and the
     love-smitten monarch who prefers walking on the right path and even
     death to indulging in passion, is found also outside Buddhism. In
     the preface of his edition, Prof. Kern points out its being told
     thrice in the Kathâsaritsâgara; in the fifteenth, the thirty-third,
     and the ninety-first taraṅga. The last version, being a
     Vetâla-tale, is found also in the prose-work Vetâlapa_ñk_avi_ms_ati
     (Kathâ 14). Of the non-Buddhistic redactions all agree in this
     point, that the king at last dies from love, and that the faithful
     officer then kills himself. No doubt, this must be the original


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 463; Fausb. IV, 137-143.)

Even speaking the truth on the ground of Righteousness is sufficient to
dispel calamity, what can be said more to assert the good results of
observing the Law? Considering thus, one must observe the Law. This will
be taught now.

In one of his Bodhisattva-existences, the Great Being was, it is said,
an extremely clever steersman. For this is the invariable nature of the
Bodhisattvas, that owing to the innate acuteness of their mind, whatever
branch of science or species of art they desire to know, they will in it
surpass the wisest in the world. Accordingly the High-minded One
possessed every quality required in such a one. Knowing the course of
the celestial luminaries, he was never at a loss with respect to the
regions of the sky; being perfectly acquainted with the different
prognostics, the permanent, the occasional, and the miraculous ones, he
was skilled in the establishment of a given time as proper or improper;
by means of manifold marks, observing the fishes, the colour of the
water, the species of the ground, birds, rocks, &c., he knew how to
ascertain rightly the part of the sea; further he was vigilant, not
subject to drowsiness and sleep, capable of enduring the fatigue of
cold, heat, rain, and the like, careful and patient. So being skilled in
the art of taking a ship out and bringing her home[117], he exercised
the profession of one who conducts the merchants by sea to their
destination. And as his navigation was very successful, he was named
Supâraga[118]. The seaport where he lived bore the same name of
Supâraga, which place is now known as Sûpâraga. Even in his old age, the
sea-traders, longing for a prosperous voyage, applied to him, who was
well-known to be an auspicious person, and entreating him in the most
respectful terms, put him on their ships.

     [117] The exact meaning of the Sanskrit terms âhara_n_a and
     apahara_n_a is doubtful, but must be something like this.

     [118] In the Pâli redaction he is called Suppâraka, and the seaport
     where he lives and from whence he undertakes his last voyage is
     Bharuka_kkh_a. The form Supâraga is Sanskritised wrongly, in order
     to fit the author's etymological fancy. See Prof. Kern's note on
     this passage in the various readings of his edition.

So it once happened that merchants who trafficked with Goldland, coming
from Bharuka_kkh_a, longing for a prosperous voyage, touched at the town
of Supâraga and requested that Great Being to embark with them. He
answered them:

1. 'What kind of assistance do you think to find in me? Old age, having
got power over me, makes my eyesight diminish[119]; in consequence of
the many toils I have endured, my attentiveness has grown weak, and even
in my bodily occupations I feel my strength almost gone.'

     [119] In the Pâli redaction Suppâraka is wholly blind. This must be
     the better tradition on account of his never perceiving himself,
     but always hearing from the traders the miraculous objects which
     will present themselves in this voyage.

The merchants said: 'We are well acquainted with the bodily state of
Your Honour. But this being so, and taking into account your inability
for labour, we will not cause hardship to you nor give any task into
your charge, but we want you for some other reason.

2. 'The dust touched and hallowed by your lotus-like feet will be
auspicious to our ship and procure her a happy course over yonder sea,
even if assailed by great danger. With this in mind we have applied to

The Great Being, though subject to the infirmity of old age, went on
board their vessel out of compassion. His embarkment was a cause of
rejoicing for all those merchants, for they thought: 'Now we are assured
of a very successful voyage.' And so they (set off, and) in course of
their voyage reached that Abode of the Snakes who constitute the host of
the Demons, that Pâtâla into which it is difficult to penetrate, that
immense receptacle of water, the Great Ocean, which is haunted by
different kinds of fishes and resounds with the murmuring of its
never-quiet waves, whereas, when impelled by the power of the wind, it
hurries on its billows after the whims of that element; on its bottom
different sorts of ground extend, concealing manifold precious stones,
and its surface is embellished by the various flower-garlands of its

3. A dark-blue hue, like that of a heap of sapphires, was lying over the
surface of the water, as if it were sky melted by the glowing heat of
the sunbeams, when they lost sight of the coast-line and were running
over the profound ocean which surrounded them on all sides.

After they were in the open sea, it happened in the afternoon, at the
time when the sun-rays begin to lose their strength, that a great and
very fearful, portentous event appeared to them.

4. On a sudden the sea took a terrible aspect. A violent gale arose,
causing a fearful noise of the waters, lashing their surface so that
they were covered with foam scattered by the breaking billows. The whole
sea was brought in commotion up from its very bottom.

5. Shaken by the hurricane, the immense masses of water were stirred up
and rolled with formidable rapidity. The Ocean assumed a dreadful
appearance, like that of Earth quivering with her mountains at the time
of a world-destruction.

6. Like many-headed hissing serpents, clouds of a bluish-black colour
with their flame-tongues of lightnings obstructed the path of the sun,
and without interruption produced the terrible noise of their thunder.

7. The sun, whose net-work of rays was hidden by thick clouds, gradually
reached the point where it set. Then darkness availing itself of the
opportunity of evening-time and growing, as it were, more concrete,
enveloped all around.

8, 9. Smitten on its wave-surface by the rain-darts of the showers, the
sea rose up, as if in rage, and the poor ship trembled very much, as if
afraid, saddening the hearts of the occupants, who manifested their
different natures according to their inherent qualities. Some were
overcome by affliction and stood speechless with terror, some behaved
courageously and were busily working to avert the danger, and some were
absorbed in prayers to their tutelar deities.

Now, the strong wind making the sea run high, the vessel drove along
with the current. The merchants did not discover land for many days, nor
did they observe favourable signs of the sea. The signs they saw, being
new to them, made their sadness increase, and they grew perplexed by
fear and dejection. But Supâraga, the Bodhisattva, comforted them, thus
speaking: 'You must not wonder at the sea tossing about in a portentous
state of commotion; are we not crossing the Great Ocean? There is no
reasonable ground for Your Honours to indulge in affliction. Why so?

10, 11. 'It is not by dejection that mischief is warded off; therefore
do not remain in low spirits. But it is by courage that those who are
clever to do what is to be done surmount difficulties without
difficulty. Well then, shake off that sadness and dejection, set rather
to work, availing yourselves of the opportunity of working. The energy
of a wise man, kindled by firmness of mind, is the hand by which success
is grasped in any matter.

'Let each of you then be intent on performing his special duty.' And the
merchants, in this way invigorated by the Great Being, longing for the
sight of land and looking down into the sea, beheld beings who had the
figure of men and looked as if they wore silver armour; they saw them
diving up and down the water-surface. When they had well considered
their figures and marks, they informed Supâraga of that phenomenon,
expressing their amazement. 'Verily, here we meet in the great ocean
with a phenomenon unheard of before. These, in truth, are

12. 'Some beings not unlike warriors of the Demons, wearing silver
armour, with fierce looks and ugly noses that resemble a quadruped's
hoof; it seems as if they are sporting in the ocean-water, incessantly
shooting and diving up and down its surface.'

Supâraga said: 'These are no men nor demons, but fishes, to be sure. Do
not be afraid of them. Still,

13. 'We are driven far off both seaports. This is the sea called
Khuramâlin [ = wearing hoof-garlands]. Therefore, you must try to turn

But they could not veer on account of the vehemence of the high-running
sea and of the strong wind, which continued to blow after them and
drive the ship in the same direction. And as they advanced farther into
the ocean, they perceived another sea shining with the lustre of silver
and looking bright with the mass of white foam on its waves. On
beholding this astonishing spectacle, they said to Supâraga:

14. 'What great sea is this, which is clothed, as it were, in fine white
linen and veils its waters with its foam? It seems to bear on its
surface fluid moonbeams, as it were, and to show all around a laughing

Supâraga said: 'Alas! we are penetrating too far.

15. 'That is the sea Dadhimâlin [ = wearing garlands of coagulated
milk], called the "milk-ocean." It is not wise to go farther on, at
least if it is possible to turn back.'

The merchants said: 'It is impossible, indeed, to reduce the speed of
the ship, much less to change her course. She is being driven too
swiftly by the current, and the wind blows contrary.'

Now, having crossed also that sea, the merchants perceived another sea,
whose rolling waves were tinged with the splendour of gold resembling
the red-brown colour of flames, and filled with amazement and curiosity
they spoke about it to Supâraga.

16. 'It looks now as if the high, bright waves had been tinged with the
brilliant hue of the rising sun. They appear to us like a great, blazing
fire. Say, what sea is this and how is it named for this reason?'

Supâraga answered:

17. 'Agnimâlin [ = wearing fire-garlands] is the celebrated name of this
sea. It would be very prudent, indeed, if we were to turn back now.'

Thus saying the Great Being, far-seeing as he was, told them only the
name of that sea, but concealed the cause of the change of colour of the
water. After crossing also that sea, the merchants saw that the colour
of the sea changed again; now its hue bore a resemblance to a grove of
ripe ku_s_a-grass, and its waters were illuminated with the lustre of
topazes and sapphires; and prompted by curiosity they asked Supâraga:

18. 'Which of the seas now appears to us? Its waters have the colour of
the blades of ripe ku_s_a-grass. The breaking of its wind-stirred
billows crowns it with a many-coloured foam-ornament, and makes it look
as if it were overspread with flowers.'

Supâraga said: 'Say, merchants, you should now make efforts to turn
back. Surely it is not advisable to go farther.

19. 'This is the sea named Ku_s_amâlin [= wearing kusa-garlands]. Like
an elephant not heeding the goad, it drags forcibly along with its
irresistible waves, and will take away our enjoyment.'

And the merchants, not being able to turn the ship, however bravely they
exerted themselves, crossed also that sea. Then perceiving another sea,
the water of which had a greenish colour like that proceeding from the
united brilliancy of emeralds and beryls, they asked Supâraga:

20. 'The sea we now behold has yet another appearance. Its waters have
the green shine of emeralds and resemble a splendid meadow; they are
adorned with foam as lovely as waterlilies. Which sea is this again?'

Upon this the Great Being, whose heart ached as he foresaw the calamity
which was about to befall the merchants, heaved a long and deep sigh,
and said in a low tone:

21. 'You have gone too far. It will be hard to return from hence. This
sea, the Nalamâlin [= wearing reed-garlands[120]], is well-nigh at the
end of the world.'

     [120] In the Pâli redaction this sea has the appearance of an
     immense reed-bed or bamboo-grove (nalavana_m_ viya _k_a
     ve_l_uvana_m_ viya _k_a), and the commentator argues that those
     names of grasses convey also the acceptation of some precious
     stones. But the stones there are of a red colour.

When they heard that answer, the poor merchants were utterly afflicted.
Their minds lost their energy, their limbs became powerless, and sitting
down in dull sadness, they did nothing but sigh. And after crossing
that sea too, in the afternoon, when the Sun with his slackening circle
of rays seemed to be about to enter the Ocean, a confused and tremendous
noise, piercing both the ears and the hearts of the merchants, became
audible. This noise rising from the sea may be compared to that of a sea
swelling in rage, or of many thunderclaps together, or of bamboo-groves
having caught fire and crackling. On hearing it, they suddenly jumped
from their seats, trembling with fear and highly agitated, and examining
the ocean all around, perceived that immense mass of water falling down
as if over some precipice or chasm. That alarming sight filled them with
the utmost fear, sadness, and dejection. They went to Supâraga, saying:

22. 'We hear a tremendous noise from afar, almost piercing our ears and
crushing our minds, as if the Lord of the Rivers were angry, and this
whole mass of ocean-water falls down, it seems, into an awful abyss.
Say, then, what sea is that, and what do you think is best to be done

Then the Great Being, agitated, said: 'Alas! alas!' and looking down
over the sea, he spoke:

23. 'You have come to that dreadful place, from which no one returns,
that mouth-like entrance of Death, the famous Mare-mouth[121].'

     [121] This va_d_avâmukha is the place where, according to Hindu
     mythology, the submarine fire resides.

On hearing this the poor merchants, understanding that having reached
the Mare-mouth, they must give up all hope of life, were distressed by
the fear of death.

24-26. Some of them wept aloud or lamented and cried out. Others did
nothing at all, being torpid from anxiety. Some with sorrow-stricken
minds worshipped the deities, especially the Lord of the Devas, others
resorted to the Âdityas, the Rudras, the Maruts, the Vasus, and to
Sâgara himself [the Ocean]. Others again muttered various prayers, and
there were those who paid in due form homage to Devi. Some again went
to Supâraga, and in various modes and ways lamented piteously.

27-29. 'Practised in the virtue of compassionateness for others, you are
in the habit of relieving from fear those who are in distress. Now the
time has arrived for employing that excessive power of yours. Resolve,
then, O wise man, upon rescuing us, the distressed, the helpless, who
have taken our refuge in you. The Ocean in his wrath is now about to
swallow us with his Mare-mouth, like a mouthful of food. It does not
become you to neglect this poor crew perishing in the rolling waves. The
great Ocean obeys your orders. Therefore, put a stop to his rage.'

But the Great Being felt his heart oppressed with great compassion and
spoke thus, comforting the poor merchants: 'There is still an expedient
to rescue us even now. It occurs to my mind. Why, I will make use of it.
But you must show courage for a moment.' Now, when the merchants heard
this, the hope that there was still some remedy, after all, revived
their courage, and fixing their whole attention upon him, they became
silent. But Supâraga, the Bodhisattva, after throwing his upper-garment
on one shoulder and bending his right knee on the ship's deck[122], made
his veneration to the Tathâgatas, having his whole heart absorbed by
that deed of devotion; after which he thus addressed the company: 'Be
you, honourable sea-traders, and you, different gods, who have your
dwelling in the sky, my witnesses.

     [122] In the Pâli redaction the Bodhisatta orders the merchants to
     bathe his body with fragrant water and to clothe him with unwashed,
     i.e. new, garments, and to prepare a vessel filled with water, to
     pour out while performing his sa_kk_akiriyâ.

30. 'Since I have remembrance of my Self, since the time when I have
become conscious of my deeds, I do not recollect, however much I ponder,
having injured in any respect any living being.

31. 'By the power of this Act of Truth and by the strength of my store
of meritorious actions may the ship turn safely without reaching the

And so great was the power of the veracity of the Great Being, so great
also the splendour of his merit[123], that the current and the wind
changed to the opposite direction and made the vessel go back. The
merchants beholding the ship go back, exulted with the highest
admiration and joy, and expressing their veneration to Supâraga by
reverential bows, told him that the ship went back. Then the Great Being
instructed them to be calm and to hoist the sails quickly. And being
thus ordered, they who had the charge of that work, having regained by
their gladness their ability and energy, did as he had said.

     [123] In the Pâli version it is the power of the Great Being's
     veracity alone that causes the winds to change.

32. Then, resplendent with the lovely outspread wings of her white
sails, and filled with the sound of her merry and laughing crew, the
ship flew over the sea, like a flamingo in the pure and cloudless sky.

Now while the ship, favoured by both current and wind, returned with as
much ease as the heavenly cars move through the air, and was flying, so
to speak, at her will, at that time of the day, when the gathering
darkness extends far and wide, and the sky, no more adorned by the
dimming glow of the twilight, begins to make the ornaments of its
constellations appear on the firmament, where still a faint remnant of
light is left, in that moment, then, of the commencement of the rule of
Night, Supâraga addressed the merchants in these terms: 'Well, traders,
while crossing the Nalamâlin sea and the others, you must draw up sand
and stones from the bottom of the seas and charge your ship with as much
as she can contain. By this practice she will keep her sides firm, if
assailed by a violent hurricane; besides, that sand and gravel being
pronounced to be auspicious, will doubtless tend to your profit and
gain.' And the merchants, being shown the fit places all along by the
deities, who did so out of affection and veneration for Supâraga, drew
up from thence what they meant to be sand and stones, and loaded their
ship with that burden. But, in fact, that sand and those stones were
beryls and other jewels. And in that one night's course they reached

     [124] According to the Pâli story, they had spent a four months'
     voyage before they reached the Mare-mouth.

33. At day-break they beheld with gladness their ship filled with
treasures: silver, gold, sapphires, beryls, and at the same time they
saw that they had arrived in their country; and exulting with joy they
praised their saviour.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner even speaking the truth on the ground of Righteousness is
sufficient to dispel calamity, what can be said more to assert the good
results of observing the Law? Thus considering, one must observe the
Law. [Likewise, when discoursing on the assistance of a virtuous friend,
it is to be said: 'In this way those who rest on a virtuous friend
attain happiness.']


(Cp. Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 75, Fausb. I, 331-32; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka III, 10.)

The designs of those who practise good conduct will be successful and
thrive even in this world, how much more in the next. For this reason
perfect pureness of conduct ought to be striven after, as will be taught
by the following.

The Bodhisattva, it is said, was once a chief of fishes, living in a
certain small lake, the lovely water of which was embellished with
various lotuses and waterlilies, white, red, and blue, adorned with
couples of swans, ducks, and geese, and covered with the blossoms of the
trees growing on its borders. Yet, owing to his constant practice of
(the virtue of) helping others in many previous births, he was wholly
given up to the business of procuring for others what would be good and
agreeable to them, even in this fish-existence.

1. By the power of a long practice, actions good or wicked become
inherent in mankind to such an extent that they will perform them in a
new existence without any effort and, as it were, while sleeping[125].

     [125] The technical name for that imbibing of good qualities is

The Great Being, then, had set his heart on those fishes, as if they
were his own dear offspring, and showed them his favour in various ways:
by gifts, kind words, attending to their interests, and the like.

2. He restrained them from desiring to injure each other and made their
mutual affection grow. Owing to this, and his efforts, and his knowledge
of every expedient, he made them forget their habit of feeding in the
(cruel) manner of fishes.

3. Duly protected by him, that shoal of fishes came to great prosperity,
just as a town, when ruled by a king that acts in the proper manner,
enjoys freedom from every kind of mishap.

One time, because of the deficiency of good fortune in the creatures and
the neglect of the angels who have the charge of rain, the (rain)god did
not rain his due amount. In consequence of this scantiness of rain, the
lake was not filled up as before with new water yellow-coloured by the
expanding flowers of the kadamba-trees. Afterwards, when the hot season
arrived, the rays of the sun, burning more ardently and being, as it
were, exhausted with fatigue, drank from that lake day after day; so did
Earth heated by those rays; likewise Wind, who being, as it were,
accompanied by flames, would long for refreshment. All three assuaging
their thirst in the lake, so to speak, made it at last turn into a pool.

4. In the hot season the flaming Sun, the pungent Wind who seems to send
forth flames, and heat-wearied Earth sick with fever, dry up the waters,
as if they would allay their wrath.

That shoal of fishes, then, had come into a miserable condition. Not
only the crowds of birds haunting the borders of the lake, but even
troops of crows commenced to look upon them as their prey, for they
could do nothing but lie and gasp. The Bodhisattva perceived the
affliction and grief of his tribe, and moved with compassion entered
upon this reflection: 'Oh! these wretched fishes, what a calamity has
befallen them!

5. 'The water is decreasing every day, as if it vied with the life of
mortals, and as yet clouds are not to be expected to come at all for a
long time.

6, 7. 'There is no opportunity of withdrawing; and if there were, who
should lead us elsewhere? Besides, our enemies, invited by our calamity,
throng together against us. No doubt, they do but wait for the remainder
of the water to dry up to devour these prostrate fishes under my very

'Now, what may be the proper act to be done here?' Thus considering, the
Great Being saw but one means for relief, if he should avail himself of
his veracity. Accordingly, while grieved by compassion in his mind and
heaving a long and deep sigh, he looked upwards to the sky and spoke:

8. 'As truly as I do not recollect, however pondering, that I ever did
harm to any living being, not even in the highest distress, by the power
of this truth may the King of the Devas fill the water-basins with the
water of his rains.'

When the Great Being had pronounced these words, there happened a
miracle, occasioned by the power of his veracity joined to the store of
his merit and to the favour shown to him by Devas, Snakes and Yakshas,
who put into effect their might. In all parts of the sky there appeared
rain-clouds, though out of season yet in the proper time[126]. They were
hanging low, being loaded with rain; the deep and soft sound of
approaching thunder was heard out of them; while flashes of lightning
adorned their big and dark-blue tops, they were spreading over the sky,
as if they embraced each other with their heads and arms gradually

     [126] Or 'rain-clouds, out of season and black.' The pun is in the
     word kâlamegha.

9. Like the shadows of mountains projected in the mirror of the sky, the
black clouds appeared, diminishing like those the circumference of the
horizon and occasioning darkness with their tops.

10. The rumbling noise of the thunderclaps now resounded around,
inducing the peacocks to utter cries of gladness and to perform various
dancing movements, as if they praised the clouds. These accessories
together with the incessant illumination by lightning gave the effect of
great merriness and laughter irradiating those cloud-masses.

11. Then the clouds let loose streams of rain, which fell down like
pearls loosened from their shells. The dust subsided, and a strong smell
extended itself, carried about by means of the wind which accompanied
the thunder-shower.

12. The sun-rays, though their power had reached its highest degree
because of the hot season, were now hidden, and currents of water ran
down from the mountains, troubling their banks with the rows of foam
which they deposited.

13. And it was as if the slender figure of Lightning, illuminating the
firmament again and again with her gold-yellow light-appearances,
performed her dances, rejoiced at the music of the cloud-instruments.

Now, while the currents of palish water flowing to the lake from all
sides were filling it, the crows and other birds had flown away at the
very outset of the thunderstorm. The crowds of fishes recovering the
hope of life, were much rejoiced. Yet the Bodhisattva, though his heart
was pervaded with gladness, fearing lest the rain should cease, thus
spoke to Par_g_anya again and again:

14. 'Roar, Par_g_anya, roar a roaring, loud and deep; dispel the joy of
the crows, pouring out thy waters like jewels endowed with the flaming
brilliancy of lightning, their companion[127].'

     [127] The corresponding gâthâ in the Pâli _G_âtaka (Fausb. I, p.
     332) is also found in the _K_ariyâpi_t_aka (III, 10, 7) with some
     preferable various readings. In both redactions the birds have
     already begun to kill and devour the fishes, when the Bodhisatta
     performs his sa_kk_akiriyâ and addresses Pa_gg_unna, commanding
     him, says the _G_âtaka prose-writer, 'as a man would do his
     attendant slave.' This exhortation is uttered before the appearance
     of the clouds, which I suppose to be the older version of our

When _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, heard this, he became highly
astonished and went in person to him. And eulogizing him, he spoke:

15. 'Surely, it is thy power, the effect of thy transcendent veracity, O
mighty lord of fishes, that makes these rain-clouds pour out their
waters with the lovely noise of thunder, as if they were waterpots bent

16. 'But I should incur the blame of great inattention if I neglected to
approve of the exertions of such beings as thou, intent on performing
such deeds for the benefit of the world.

17. 'Therefore, thou must be henceforth no more anxious. I am bound to
assist the virtuous in carrying out their designs. Never shall this
region, since it is the abode of thy virtues, be visited another time by
a similar plague.'

After thus praising him in kind terms, he disappeared on the spot. And
that lake obtained a very large increase of water.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner the designs of those who practise good conduct will be
successful and thrive even in this world, how much more in the next. For
this reason entire pureness of conduct ought to be striven after.


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 35, Fausb. I, 213-14; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka III,

Not even fire is able to surpass speech purified by truth. Having this
in mind, one must addict one's self to speaking the truth. This will be
taught as follows.

Once the Bodhisattva, it is said, lived in some part of the forest as a
young quail. He had come out of the egg some nights before, and could
not fly, his tender wings having still to grow both in height and in
width; in his very small and weak body the different limbs, principal
and minor, were hardly discernible. So he dwelt with his numerous
brothers in the nest which his parents had built with great care and
made impervious by a strong covering of grass. This nest was placed on a
creeper within a thicket. Yet, still in this existence, he had not lost
his consciousness of the Law, and would not feed on such living beings
as his father and mother offered to them, but exclusively sustained
himself by (the vegetable food) which was brought by his parents:
grass-seeds, figs of the banian tree, &c. In consequence of this coarse
and insufficient nourishment, his body did not thrive nor would his
wings develop. The other young quails, on the contrary, who fed on
everything offered to them, became strong and got full-grown wings. For
this, indeed, is an invariable rule:

1. He who, not anxious about the precepts of the Law, eats everything,
will thrive at his ease, but such a one as seeks for his livelihood in
accordance with the precepts, and is careful about the choice of his
food, will endure pain in this world[128].

     [128] Here follows an interpolation, which the editor of the
     original has placed within brackets. It is a quotation, which was
     originally no doubt a marginal note. Here is its translation:

     'This is also declared by our Lord in the two gâthâs: "Easy is the
     livelihood &c."

     2. 'Easy is the livelihood of the shameless crow, that bold and
     impetuous animal, who practises impure actions, but it is a very
     sinful life.

     3. 'But the modest one who always strives after purity has a hard
     livelihood, the bashful one who is scrupulous and sustains himself
     only by pure modes of living.

     'This couple of gâthâs is found in the Âryasthâvirîyanikâya.'

     The gâthâs quoted are substantially and partly verbally the same as
     two stanzas of the Dhammapada (244 and 245) that are their Pâli

Now, while they were living in this manner, a great forest-conflagration
took place not far from them. It was characterised by an incessant
tremendous noise, by the appearance of clouds of rising smoke, then by
flying sparks of fire scattered about from the line of flames. This fire
caused much terror to such animals as haunted the forest, and was a ruin
to its groves and thickets.

4. The fire excited by the whirling of the wind, that seemed to induce
it to perform manifold and different figures of dance, agitated its
wide-outstretched flame-arms, leaped shaking its dishevelled smoke-hair,
and crackled, taking away the courage and strength of those (animals and

5. It jumped, as if in wrath, on the grasses, which trembling under the
violent touch of the fierce wind, seemed to take to flight; and covering
them with its glittering sparks, burnt them.

6. Yea, it seemed as if the forest itself, with its crowds of birds
flying about terror-stricken and alarmed, with its terrified quadrupeds
roaming on all sides, with the thick smoke which enveloped it, and with
the sharp noise of the fire's crackling, uttered strong roars of pain.

So that conflagration, pushed forward as if pressed on by the violent
wind, and following the grasses and shrubs, reached at last the vicinity
of that nest. In this moment the young quails, uttering confused and
discordant shrieks of fear, each caring for himself, none for the rest,
suddenly flew up all together. Only the Bodhisattva, because of the
great weakness of his body and because he had as yet no wings, made no
such effort. Yet the Great Being knew his power and was not at all
disturbed. When the fire with impetuosity approached, and was about to
seize upon the nest, he addressed it with these persuasive words:

7. 'My feet are not strong enough to deserve that name, nor are my wings
able to fly, and the disturbance caused by thee put to flight also my
parents. Nothing worth offering to a guest like thee, is to be found
here. For this reason it becomes thee to turn back from hence, Agni.'

When the Great Being had spoken these words, hallowed by the power of

8. That fire, though stirred by the wind, though raging in dry underwood
mixed with very arid grasses, abated suddenly, as if it had reached a
swollen river, having come near to his utterance of speech.

9. Still up to this day any forest-conflagration, reaching that famous
place in the Himâlaya, however high its flames may rise by the power of
the wind, will lessen its fire and slacken its rage, in the same way as
a many-headed serpent is charmed by a spell.

For what reason, then, has this (tale) been adduced? It will be said.

10. As little as the sea with its rolling billows will transgress the
shore, or he who loves Truth the discipline ordained by the Lord of
Munis, so little even fire is able to transgress the command of the
veracious. For this reason one must never leave Truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, not even fire is able to surpass speech purified
by truth. Having this in view, one must addict one's self to speaking
the truth. [This story is also to be told, when discoursing on the


(Cp. Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 512, Fausb. V, pp. 11-20.)

Drinking intoxicating liquors is an exceedingly bad action, attended by
many evils. Having this in mind, the virtuous will keep back their
neighbour from that sin, how much more their own selves. This will be
taught as follows.

One time the Bodhisattva, having by his excessive compassion purified
his mind, always intent on bringing about the good and the happiness of
others, manifesting his holy practice of good conduct by his deeds of
charity, modesty, self-restraint, and the like, held the dignity of
_S_akra, the Lord of the Devas. In this existence, though he enjoyed to
his heart's content such paramount sensual pleasures as are proper to
the Celestials, yet Compassionateness ruled his mind so as not to allow
him to relax his exertions for the benefit of the world.

1. As a rule the creatures, drinking from the wine[129] of prosperity,
are not watchful, not even with respect to their own interests. He, on
the contrary, was not only free from the drunkenness originating from
the transcendent enjoyments which attend the sovereign rank among the
Devas, but his watchfulness for the interests of others was as great as

     [129] The juice of grapes not being among the national intoxicating
     liquors of India, Sanskrit has no proper word for 'wine.' For
     rhetorical purposes, however, it will meet no objection to use this
     term in a translation. Moreover, nowadays 'wine' is signified in
     Sanskrit by words meaning 'strong liquor.'

2. Being full of affection towards the creatures, as if they were his
kinsmen, those poor creatures harassed by many violent calamities, he
never forgot to take care of the interests of others, persisting in his
strong determination and being well aware of his own (extraordinary)

Now, one day the Great Being was casting His eyes over the world of men.
His eye, great as His nature and mildly looking according to His
friendliness, while bending down to mankind with compassion, perceived a
certain king, whose name was Sarvamitra [= every one's friend], who by
the sin of his intercourse with wicked friends was inclined to the habit
of drinking strong liquors, himself with his people, townsmen and
landsmen. Now, having understood that the king saw no sin in this habit,
and knowing that drinking constitutes a great sin, the Great Being,
affected with great compassion, entered upon this reflection: 'It is a
pity, indeed, how great a misery has befallen this people!

3. 'Drinking, like a lovely but wrong path--for it is a sweet thing at
the outset--leads away from salvation such people as fail to recognise
the evils which it causes.

'What, then, may be the proper way to act here?... Why, I have found it.

4. 'People like to imitate the behaviour of him who is the foremost
among them; this is their constant nature. Accordingly, here the king
alone is the person to be cured, for it is from him that originates the
good as well as the evil of his people.'

Having thus made up his mind, the Great Being took on himself the
majestic figure of a Brâhman. His colour shone like pure gold; he wore
his hair matted and twisted up, which gave him a rather stern
appearance; he had his body covered with the bark-garment and the
deer-skin[130]. A jar of moderate size, filled with surâ, was hanging
down from his left side. In this shape, standing in the air he showed
himself to king Sarvamitra, while he was sitting with his company in his
audience-hall, and their conversation had turned to be such as attends
drinking surâ, âsava, maireya[131], rum, and honeyed liquor. On seeing
him, the assembly, moved by surprise and veneration, rose from their
seats, and reverentially folded their hands to him. After which, he
began to speak in a loud voice, resembling the deep noise of a cloud big
with rain:

     [130] The matted hair, the bark-garment, and the deer-skin are the
     attributes of an anchorite or muni. Cp. Dhammapada, verses 393,

     [131] All of them names of different kinds of spirituous liquor.

  5. 'See, 'tis fill'd up to its neck,
         Flowers laugh around its neck;
      Well 'tis dress'd, a splendid jar;
         Who will buy from me this jar?

6. 'I have here a jar adorned with this bracelet-like wide wreath of
flowers, fluttering in the wind. See how proud it looks, decorated as it
is by tender foliage. Which of you desires to possess it by purchase?'

Upon which, that king, whose curiosity was excited by astonishment,
reverentially fixing his eyes on him and raising his folded hands, spoke
these words:

7. 'Like the morning-sun thou appearest to us by thy lustre, like the
moon by thy gracefulness, and by thy figure like some Muni. Deign to
tell us, then, by what name thou art known in the world. Thy different
illustrious qualities make us uncertain about thee.'

_S_akra said:

8. 'Afterwards you will know me, who I am, but now be intent on
purchasing this jar from me--at least if you are not afraid of the
sufferings in the next world or heavy calamities to be expected still in

The king replied: 'Verily, such an introduction to a bargain as is made
by Thy Reverence, I never saw before.

9, 10. 'The ordinary mode of offering objects for sale among men is to
extol their good qualities and conceal their faults. Surely, that manner
practised by thee is becoming such men as thou, who abhor falsehood. For
the virtuous will never forsake veracity, even when in distress!

11. 'Tell us then, Eminent One, with what this jar is filled. And what
is it, that such a mighty being as thou may desire from our side by the

_S_akra said: 'Hear, mighty sovereign.

12. 'It is not filled with water, either the largess of the clouds or
drawn from a holy stream; nor with fragrant honey gathered out of the
filaments of flowers; nor with excellent butter; nor with milk, whose
hue equals that of the moonbeams awaking the waterlilies in a cloudless
night. No, this jar is filled up with mischievous liquor. Now, learn the
virtue of this liquor.

13. 'He who drinks it will lose the control of himself, in consequence
of mind-perplexing intoxication; as his mindfulness will slacken, he
will stumble even on plain ground; he will not make a difference between
food allowed and forbidden, and will make his meals of whatever he may
get. Of such a nature is the fluid within this jar. Buy it, it is for
sale, that worst of jars!

14. 'This liquor has the power of taking away your consciousness, so as
to make you lose the control of your thoughts and behave like a brute
beast, giving your enemies the trouble of laughing at you. Thanks to it,
you may also dance in the midst of an assembly, accompanying yourself
with the music of your mouth. Being of such a nature, it is worth
purchasing by you, that liquor within the jar, devoid as it is of any

15. 'Even the bashful lose shame by drinking it, and will have done with
the trouble and restraint of dress; unclothed like Nirgranthas[132] they
will walk boldly on the highways crowded with people. Of such a nature
is the liquor contained in this jar and now offered for sale[133].

     [132] The Nirgranthas are a class of monks, especially _G_ain
     monks, who wander about naked.

     [133] Instead of the reading of the printed text, the fourth pâda,
     I suppose, should be read thus: sâ pa_n_yatâm upagatâ nihitâtra

16. 'Drinking it may cause men even to lie senseless asleep on the
king's roads, having their figures soiled with food ejected by their
vomitings and licked from their face by bold dogs. Such is the beverage,
lovely to purchase, which has been poured into this jar!

17. 'Even a woman enjoying it may be brought by the power of
intoxication into such a state, that she would be able to fasten her
parents to a tree and to disregard her husband, may he be as wealthy as
Kubera[134]. Of this kind is the merchandise which is contained within
this jar!

     [134] The strange examples for illustration are occasioned by the
     exigencies of a metrical tour de force, very skilfully executed.

18. 'That liquor, by drinking which the V_ri_sh_n_ayas and the Andhakâs
were put out of their senses to this degree, that without minding[135]
their relationship they crushed down each other with their clubs, that
very beverage of maddening effect is enclosed within this jar!

     [135] It is evident that vismitabandhubhâvâ_h_ is a misprint for

19. 'Addicted to which whole families of the highest rank and dignity,
the abodes of splendour, perished, that liquor which has caused
likewise the ruin of wealthy families, here in this jar it is exposed
for sale.

20. 'Here in this jar is that which makes the tongue and the feet
unrestrained, and puts off every check in weeping and laughing; that by
which the eyes look heavy and dull as of one possessed of a demon; that
which impairing a man's mind, of necessity reduces him to an object of

21. 'In this jar is ready for sale that which, disturbing the senses of
even aged people and making them timid to continue the road which leads
to their good, induces them to talk much without purpose and rashly.

22. 'It is the fault of this beverage, that the old gods, having become
careless, were bereaved of their splendour by the King of the Devas, and
seeking for relief were drowned in the Ocean. With that drink this jar
is filled. Well, take it!

23. 'Like an Incarnation of Curse she[136] lies within this jar, she by
whose power falsehood is spoken with confidence, as if it were truth,
and forbidden actions are committed with joy, as if they were
prescribed. It is she who causes men to hold for good what is bad and
for bad what is good.

     [136] The word surâ is feminine.

24. 'Well, purchase then this madness-producing philtre, this abode of
calamities, this embodied Disaster, this mother of sins, this sole and
unparalleled road of sin[137], this dreadful darkness of mind.

     [137] Kali is here used as an appellative with the general meaning
     it has in Pâli (see Childers' Dict. s. v.).

25. 'Purchase from me, O king, that beverage which is able to take away
a man's senses entirely, so that, without caring for his happiness or
future state, he may strike his own innocent father or mother or a holy

26. 'Such is this liquor, known among men by the name of surâ, O you
lord of men, who by your splendour equal the celestials (surâs). Let him
endeavour to buy it, who is no partisan of virtues.

27. 'People, being addicted to this liquor, grow accustomed to
ill-behaviour, and will consequently fall into the precipices of
dreadful hells or come to the state of beasts or to the attenuated
condition of pretâs. Who then, forsooth, should make up his mind even to
look at this liquor?

28. 'And, be the result of drinking intoxicating liquors ever so
trifling, still that vice destroys the good conduct and the good
understanding of those who pass through human existence. Moreover it
leads afterwards to the residence in the tremendous hell Avî_k_i,
burning with flaming fire, or in the world of spectres[138], or in the
bodies of vile beasts.

     [138] 'The world of spectres' = pit_ri_loke. In Buddhist
     terminology the pitara_h_ are a synonym of pretâ_h_, considered to
     be a class of spectres and ghosts. 'In appearance they are
     extremely attenuated, like a dry leaf.' Spence Hardy, Manual, p.

29. 'In short, drinking this destroys every virtue. It deadens good
conduct (_s_îla), forcibly kills good reputation, banishes shame, and
defiles the mind. How should you allow yourself to drink intoxicating
liquors henceforward, O king?'

By these persuasive words of _S_akra and his strong arguments the king
became aware of the sinfulness of drinking intoxicating liquors. He cast
off the desire of taking them, and addressing his interlocutor said:

30. 'As an affectionate father would deign to speak to his son, or a
teacher to his pupil in reward for his discipline and attachment, or a
Muni who knows the difference between the good and the evil modes of
life, such an import is conveyed in the well-said words thou hast spoken
to me out of benevolence. For this reason I will endeavour to honour
thee, as is due, by a deed.

'In return for thy well-said sentences Thy Reverence will at least deign
to accept from us this honour.

31. 'I give thee five excellent villages, a hundred female slaves, five
hundred cows, and these ten chariots with the best horses harnessed to
them. As a speaker of wholesome words thou art a Guru to me.

'Or, wert thou to desire anything else to be done from my side, Thy
Reverence would favour me once more by ordering so.'

_S_akra replied:

32, 33. 'I do not want villages or other boons. Know me to be the Lord
of the Celestials, O King. But the speaker of wholesome words is to be
honoured by accepting his words and acting up to them. For this is the
way which leads to glory and bliss, and after death to the many
different forms of happiness. Therefore, throw off the habit of taking
intoxicating drinks. Holding fast to Righteousness you shall partake of
my heaven.'

After thus speaking, _S_akra disappeared on the spot, and the king, with
his townsmen and landsmen, desisted from the vice of drinking strong

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, the virtuous, considering the use of intoxicating
liquors an exceedingly bad action, attended by many evils, will keep
back their neighbour from this sin, how much more their own selves. [And
when discoursing about the Tathâgata, this is also to be propounded: 'In
this manner the Lord was careful of the good of the world already in his
previous existences.']


The state of a householder is beset with occupations inimical to
religious conduct and tranquillity. For this reason it does not please
those who long only for the Self[139]. This will be taught by the

     [139] Though the Buddhist lore denies the existence of the
     individual soul, the Self (âtman), Buddhist Sanskrit, as well as
     Pâli, often employs that name, as it is used in pagan and profane
     writings, in such cases as where it may suit to signify that part
     of the individual being, to whose profit or damage the good or evil
     karma will tend.

One time the Bodhisattva was born in a wealthy family, noted for their
virtuous mode of life and good behaviour, so as to be much sought in
alliance and highly esteemed by the people. That family was like a
refreshing well to persons of good birth; they shared the stores of
their treasuries and magazines with _S_rama_n_as and Brâhmans; their
houses were open to friends and kinsmen; the poor and the mendicants
lived by their gifts; the artisans found business and protection with
them; and by their splendid riches they were permitted to bestow their
favour and hospitality on the king. Being born in this family, he grew
up in course of time, and studied such branches of science as are
reputed of much value in the world, while he turned his mind with no
less zeal to various arts, the knowledge of which is optional. Owing to
his accomplished education, his beautiful figure pleasing the eyes of
men, and the knowledge of the world he displayed without infringing the
precepts of the Law, he won the hearts of his fellow-citizens, who
considered him like their kinsman.

1, 2. For it is not on account of their relationship that we honour our
relations, nor do we consider the rest of men as strangers because they
are not related to us. No, men are considered relations or strangers,
according as their virtues or vices make them meet with esteem or

But that Great Being had familiarised himself with world-renunciation.

3. He had had experience of the householder's life, and knew it to be a
state not consistent with the practice of religious duties, since the
pain of seeking after profit is necessarily implied by it. On the other
hand, he understood the happiness of the penance-groves. So his mind
became detached from the pleasures of the home-life.

So, when his father and mother had died, he was utterly alarmed in his
heart, and forsaking his splendid house and estate, an amount of many
hundred thousands, duly bestowed it upon his friends and kinsmen, the
poor, the _S_rama_n_as, and the Brâhmans; after which he abandoned his
home. He passed successively through villages and towns and boroughs,
through kingdoms and capitals of kingdoms, and took up his abode on a
certain woody plateau in the vicinity of a town. There he soon became
conspicuous by his tranquillity, his conversation, and his behaviour.
The calmness of his senses, the result of a long practice of meditation,
was natural and sincere. His language delighted both minds and ears, and
while betraying his wisdom, still was full of modesty; and his
discourses being entirely free from miserable and troublesome hope for
gain, were distinguished by his solid learning, by his softness in
addressing the audience to whom he paid due honour, and by the skill he
displayed in tracing the boundary between actions allowed and forbidden
by the Law. His behaviour, adorned with such practices as are proper to
a homeless ascetic, was quite in accordance with that approved by the
virtuous. And when the people who were curious about his person, became
aware of how he had renounced a high rank in the world, they loved him
the more for it.

4. Virtues obtain a more favourable reception, if found in persons
distinguished by a high birth; in the same way as the beams shooting
from the moon have more loveliness, when coming in contact with any
object of excellent qualities.

Now some friend and companion of his father, having heard he had taken
up his abode in that place, went up to him, moved by a great esteem for
his virtues. After the usual friendly inquiries concerning his health,
the visitor made himself known to the ascetic, and told him of the
paternal relation. Then there ensued a conversation between them, in the
course of which the said friend spoke these affectionate words: 'Your
Reverence is likely to have acted inconsiderately, after all, renouncing
the world in this age without further regard to your family and (the
maintenance of) your lineage.

5. 'For what have you left your rich dwelling, setting your mind on the
forest-life? Those who practise a virtuous life may observe this Law in
their homes as well as in the wilderness.

6, 7. 'How, then, is it that you give yourself up to a life of pain,
embracing this state of incarnate Poverty, as it were? You are
sustaining yourself by alms obtained from the charity of strangers, and
you are not a bit more regarded than a vagabond. Covered with rags and
devoid of relations and friends, you are hiding yourself in this abode
in the midst of the forest. Even the eyes of your enemies would be
filled with tears, if they were to see you in this condition.

8. 'Therefore, return to your paternal house. Certainly, the abundance
of its estate must be known also to you. Living there, you might fulfil
at the same time both your religious duties and your desire of
possessing a virtuous son.

'For such is the saying, indeed, you know:

9. 'Even to a hired labourer his home is comforting, like a well of
fresh water, how much more an easily obtained luxurious residence,
resplendent with wealth!'

But the Bodhisattva's mind was purified by that delicious and comforting
ambrosia, the name of which is detachment. His heart clung to it, for he
knew well the difference between the life of a householder and the
forest-life; and the invitation to enjoy worldly pleasures had the same
effect of discomfort upon him, as talking of a meal would have upon one
who is satiated. So he spoke:

10. 'What you said was spoken out of affection, of a truth, and on this
account your words did not grieve me so much. Nevertheless, do not
employ the term "comfort," when speaking of one who lives in the world.

11. 'The householder's state is a state of great uneasiness, whether he
have money or not. The rich man is vexed by the toil of guarding his
wealth, and the poor one by the labour of earning it.

12. 'Now, since there is no comfort to be found in that state either for
the rich or for the poor, it is mere folly to delight in it. It must
have such consequences as are the result of wickedness.

'As to your statement that a householder, too, may be able to observe
the precepts of the Law, certainly, this is true. But it is a very, very
difficult thing, methinks. The life in the world is crowded with
business quite adverse to the precepts of the Law, and implies a great
amount of toil. Do but consider it well, sir.

13. 'The life of a householder is not suitable for one who desires
nothing, nor for such a one as never speaks a falsehood, nor for him who
never uses violence, nor for such a one as never injures others.

'And he whose heart is attached to the "comfort of home-life," cannot
but strive to put into effect the means by which this is secured.

14. 'If you devote yourself to the Law, you must leave your house, and
inversely, how can the Law exist for him who is attached to his house?
It is tranquillity from which the road of the Law derives its flavour,
but the success of a householder requires him to follow the way of
courageous enterprise.

15, 16. 'Now, as the life of a householder is reprehensible for this
reason, that it is in opposition to the Law, who, then, having got the
true insight of his Self, will keep to it? He, indeed, whom the prospect
of pleasure has once induced to neglect the Law, will feel himself not
at all restrained as to the means of procuring those pleasures. Besides,
they will certainly be followed by the loss of good reputation, by
remorse and misfortune. For this reason the wise do not embrace that
state, which procures pleasures to the detriment of the Law; they rather
look on it as a calamity.

'Further I should think, the statement that living in the world procures
happiness is only supported by belief (not by evidence).

17, 18. 'The pain caused by earning wealth or by guarding it never
ceases for the householder. He is more than anybody else exposed to
murder, captivity, and other calamities. Even if a king, he would not
be satisfied with his riches, no more than the sea may be with showers
of rain. Why can there be happiness in that state, or how, or when, if
man does not attain by it the longing for self-perfection, but on the
contrary in his infatuation fancies happiness is to be obtained by
attachment to sensual objects? Such a person may be compared to one who
tries to heal his wounds by rubbing.

'As a rule, in truth, I dare say,

19. 'As a rule, material prosperity makes the householder arrogant,
nobility of extraction makes him proud, strength makes him insolent. His
anger is roused by grief, and adversity puts him to dejection. At what
time may that state offer an opportunity for tranquillity?

'And for this reason it is that I would persuade Your Honour not to
oppose my determination.

20. 'The house is the home of many and heavy sufferings. It is haunted
by the serpents named arrogance, pride, and infatuation. In it the
lovely happiness of tranquillity comes to ruin. Who then should choose
that abode that tends to dissolution?

21. 'In the forest, on the other hand, that home of the
nothing-desirers, the mind is calm, enjoying the happiness of
detachment. Can there exist so great a contentment in _S_akra's heaven?

22. 'Thus considering I delight in the midst of the forests, although
covered with rags and getting my livelihood through the kindheartedness
of strangers. I do not long for such happiness as is tainted with
unrighteousness. I abhor it like food besmeared with poison; I have got
the insight of my Self.'

These persuasive words did not fail to make an impression on his
paternal friend, who showed his high respect to the Great Being by
entertaining him with a meal in the most distinguished manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, those who long only for the Self abandon the state
of a householder, understanding that it is beset with occupations
inimical to religious conduct and to tranquillity. [When treating of the
virtue of detachment, this is to be propounded: 'Those who have once got
the taste for detachment will not go back to worldly pleasures.']

     The Pâli version of this story is not found in the Pâli _G_âtaka
     nor in the _K_ariyâpi_t_aka. The whole tale is nothing but a plea
     for the virtue of world-renunciation, the naishkrama, roughly
     dressed in the shape of a story, and may serve as a kind of
     introduction to the subsequent tales, where the state of an ascetic
     is glorified.


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka. No, 488, Fausb. IV, 305-314; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
III, 4.)

Those who have learnt to appreciate the happiness of detachment are
hostile to worldly pleasures; they will oppose them, like one opposes a
deception, an injury. This will be taught as follows.

One time the Bodhisattva was born in an illustrious family of Brâhmans,
far-famed for their virtues and their freedom from reprehensible vices.
In this existence he had six younger brothers endowed with virtues
similar to his, and who out of affection and esteem for him always
imitated him; he had also a sister, who was the seventh. Having studied
the Vedas with their auxiliary sciences, likewise the Upavedas[140], he
obtained great renown on account of his learning, and high respect from
the side of the people. Attending on his father and mother with the
utmost piety, yea, worshipping them like deities, and instructing his
brothers in different branches of science like a spiritual teacher or a
father, he dwelt in the world, being skilled in the art of dealing with
worldly affairs, and distinguished by his good manners. In course of
time his parents died, which loss deeply moved his soul. Having
performed the funeral ceremonies for them, after some days spent in
mourning, he assembled his brothers and thus spoke to them:

     [140] The Upavedas are the four sciences of medicine (âyurveda),
     military sciences (dhanurveda), music (gândharvaveda), and
     mechanics (_s_ilpa_s_âstra), which theory attaches to the _Ri_g-,
     Ya_g_ur-, Sâma-, and Atharva-veda respectively.

1, 2. 'This is the necessary order of things in the world and a source
of grief and excessive pain, that Death separates us at last from those
with whom we have lived together for a time, however long. For this
reason I desire to walk homeless on that laudable road to salvation,
before Death, our foe, seizes me while attached to the householder's

'Having thus resolved, I have to advise you this, one and all. Our
Brâhmanical family is in the lawful possession of some wealth obtained
in an honest way. With it you are able to sustain yourselves. Well,
then, you must dwell here as householders in a becoming manner. Let all
of you be intent on loving and respecting each other, take care not to
slacken your regard of the moral precepts and the practice of a
righteous behaviour, keep up the assiduous study of the Veda, be
prepared to meet the wishes of your friends, your guests, and your
kinsmen. In short, above all things observe Righteousness.

3. 'Always continuing in good behaviour, observing your daily
Veda-study, and delighting in almsgiving, you must keep the
householder's state (so) as it ought to be kept.

4. 'In this way not only will your reputation increase, not only will
you extend your virtue and your wealth, the substance of welfare, but
you may expect your entrance in the other life to be happy. Do not
commit, therefore, any inadvertence while living the householder's

But his brothers, hearing him speak of the homeless life, felt their
hearts grieved with the apprehension of separation. Their faces grew wet
with tears of sorrow, and respectfully bowing they spoke to him: 'The
wound caused by the sorrow-arrow of our father's decease is not yet
healed. Pray do not rub it open afresh with the salt of this new assault
of grief.

5. 'Even now the wound is still open which was inflicted on our minds by
the death of our father. Oh! you must retract your resolution, wise
brother, you must not strew salt on our wound.

6. 'Or, if indeed you are convinced that attachment to the house is
unfit, or that the happiness of the forest-life is the road to
salvation, why is it that you desire to depart for the forest alone,
leaving us in this house destitute of our protector?

'For this reason, the state of life which is yours, that will be ours,
too. We too will renounce the world.'

The Bodhisattva answered:

7. 'People who have not familiarised themselves with Detachment cannot
but follow after worldly desires. As a rule they look upon it as the
same thing to give up the world or to fall over a precipice.

'Thus considering, I restrained myself and did not exhort you to adopt
the homeless life, though knowing the difference between both states.
But if my choice please you too, why, let us abandon our home!' And so
all seven brothers, with their sister as the eighth, gave up their
wealthy estate and precious goods, took leave of their weeping friends,
kinsmen and relations, and resorted to the state of homeless ascetics.
And with them, out of affection also one comrade, one male, and one
female servant set out for the forest.

In a certain place in the forest there was a large lake of pure, blue
water. It exhibited a resplendent fiery beauty, when its lotus-beds were
expanded, and offered a gay aspect, when its groups of waterlilies
disclosed their calyxes[141]; swarms of bees were always humming there.
On the shore of that lake they built as many huts of leaves as they
numbered, one for each, placing them at some distance from one another,
hidden in the shadow of the trees in the midst of a lovely solitude.
There they lived, devoted to their self-imposed vows and observances,
and having their minds bound to meditation. On each fifth day they were
in the habit of going to the Bodhisattva in order to listen to his
preaching of the Law. Then he delivered some or other edifying discourse
to show them the way of tranquillity and placidity of mind. In those
discourses he exhorted to meditation, asserted the sinfulness of worldly
pleasures, expatiated on the sense of satisfaction which is the result
of detachment, blamed hypocrisy, loquacity, idleness and other vices,
and made a deep impression on his audience.

     [141] The former happened at daytime, the latter in the nights
     bright with moonshine.

Now, their maid-servant, prompted by respect and affection, did not
cease to attend upon them still in the forest. She was wont to draw
eatable lotus-stalks out of the lake and to put equal shares of them
upon large lotus-leaves in a clean place on the lake-shore; when she had
thus prepared the meal, she would announce the time by taking two pieces
of wood and clashing them against each other, after which she withdrew.
Then those holy men, after performing the proper and usual prayers and
libations, would come to the lake-side one after another according to
their age, and each having taken successively his share of the stalks,
return to his hut. There they would enjoy the meal in the prescribed
manner and pass the rest of the time absorbed in meditation. By this
practice they avoided seeing each other, except at preaching-time.

Such irreproachable morals, way of living, and behaviour, such love of
detachment, and such proneness to meditation made them renowned
everywhere. _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, having heard of their
reputation, came to their abode for the purpose of trying them. Now,
when he perceived their disposition to meditation, their purity from bad
actions, their freedom from lusts and the constancy of their serene
calmness, his high opinion of their virtues grew stronger, and he
became the more anxious to try them.

8. He who lives in the depth of the forest without any desire, only
intent on calmness of mind, such a man causes reverence for his virtues
to arise in the hearts of the pious.

_S_akra, then, the Lord of the Devas, watched the time when the
maid-servant, after gathering her provision of eatable lotus-stalks, as
white and tender as the teeth of a young elephant, washed them and
arranged them in equal portions on lotus-leaves with the green hue of
emeralds, taking care to adorn each share by adding to it some petals
and filaments of the lotuses. After announcing the mealtime to the holy
ascetics, as usual, by the noise of the clashing pieces of wood, she
withdrew. At this moment _S_akra, with the object of trying the
Bodhisattva, made the very first share disappear (from the lotus-leaf).

9. When mishap arises and happiness disappears, then there is
opportunity for measuring the constancy of the virtuous, as it cannot
fail to start into view.

When the Bodhisattva, coming to the place of the first share of stalks,
perceived that the eatable stalks were missing on his lotus-leaf, while
the adornment of petals and filaments was disarranged, he thought:
'Somebody has taken my share of food.' Then, without feeling agitation
or anger in his heart, he went back to his hut, where he entered upon
his practices of meditation, as he was wont to do. Nor did he inform the
other holy ascetics of the matter, to avoid grieving them. And those
again, thinking it to be a matter of course that he had taken his share
of the stalks, took their portions too, as usual, successively and in
due order, and ate them severally, each in his hut; after which they
became absorbed in meditation. In the same manner _S_akra concealed the
Bodhisattva's portion of the lotus-stalks on the second, the third, the
fourth and the fifth day. But the effect was the same. The Great Being
remained as calm in mind as ever, and was entirely free from trouble.

10. The virtuous consider the agitation of the mind, not the extinction
of life, to be death. It is for this reason that the wise never become
alarmed, not even when in danger of life.

In the afternoon of that (fifth) day those _Ri_shis went up to the
leaf-hut of the Bodhisattva, as they were in the habit of doing, in
order to listen to his preaching of the Law. On seeing him, they
perceived the leanness of his body. His cheeks looked hollow, his eyes
were sunken, the splendour of his face had faded, his sonorous voice had
lost its full sound. Yet, however emaciated, he was lovely to behold
like the crescent; for his virtues, wisdom, constancy, tranquillity had
not diminished. Accordingly, after coming into his presence and paying
him the usual homage, they asked him with anxious excitement the cause
of that emaciation. And the Bodhisattva told them the matter as he had
experienced it. The ascetics, who could not suppose any one among
themselves to have done an action so unbecoming as this, and who felt
quite alarmed at his pain, expressed their sorrow by exclamations, and
kept their eyes fixed on the ground for shame. But _S_akra having by his
power obstructed their free movement on the ways in which they could
obtain knowledge, they were unable to come to a conclusion as to the
cause of the disappearance. Then the brother of the Bodhisattva, who was
born next to him, showing both his alarmed mind and his guiltlessness,
made this extraordinary protestation[142]:

     [142] The following set of remarkable protestations are also found
     in the same order and in a substantially identical form in the Pâli
     redaction. They are very old, and not wholly free from corruptions
     and misunderstandings.

11. 'May he who took thy lotus-stalks, O Brâhman, obtain a house
betokening by its rich decoration the wealth of its owner, a wife to his
heart's desire, and may he be blessed with many children and

     [143] The Pâli redaction adds, that the audience on hearing this
     protestation shut their ears, saying: 'Do not speak in this manner,
     friend! thy curse is too tremendous.'

The second brother said:

12. 'May he who took thy lotus-stalks, O foremost Brâhman, be tainted
with a strong attachment to worldliness, may he wear wreaths and
garlands and sandal-powder and fine garments and ornaments, touched by
his (playing) children!'

The third brother said:

13. 'May he who took thy lotus-stalks even once, be a husbandman who,
having obtained wealth in consequence of his husbandry and delighting in
the prattle of his children, enjoys the home-life without thinking of
the time when he must retire from the world![144]'

     [144] The Sanskrit text has vayo 'py apa_s_yan=Pâli vaya_m_
     appassan. I follow the explication of the Pâli commentary.

The fourth brother spoke:

14. 'May he who prompted by cupidity took thy lotus-stalks, rule the
whole earth as a monarch, and be worshipped by kings attending on him in
the humble attitude of slaves, lowering their trembling heads!'

The fifth brother spoke:

15. 'May he be a king's family-priest in the possession of evil-charming
mantras and the like, may he also be treated with distinction by his
king, whosoever he be who took thy lotus-stalks!'

The sixth brother said:

16. 'May he who has been eager to possess thy lotus-stalks rather than
thy virtues, be a famous teacher well-versed in the Veda and largely
enjoy the worship of an ascetic from the people crowding together to see

The friend spoke:

17. 'May he who could not subdue his greediness for thy lotus-stalks
obtain from the part of the king an excellent village endowed with the
four plenties (abounding in population, corn, wood and water)[145], and
may he die without having subdued his passions!'

     [145] The said four plenties are thus explained in the commentary
     on the Pâli _G_âtaka, which proves here of essential help, since
     _k_atu_hs_atam of the Sanskrit text is a wrong Sanskritisation of
     Pâli _k_atussada_m_, and does not suit the context.

The male-servant said:

18. 'May he be the head of a village, cheerfully living with his
comrades, exhilarated by the dances and chants of women, and never meet
with harm from the king's side, he who destroyed his own interest for
the sake of those lotus-stalks!'

The sister said:

19. 'May that person[146] who ventured to take the lotus-stalks of such
a being as you, be a woman of resplendent beauty and figure, may a king
make her his wife and put her at the head of his zenana of a thousand

     [146] Both the Sanskrit and the Pâli redaction have here the
     masculine pron. demonstr. The fault must be a very ancient one. In
     the imprecation of the female servant the grammatical gender is
     respected by _S_ûra, not so in the _G_âtaka.

The maid-servant said:

20. 'May she much delight in eating sweetmeats alone stealthily,
disregarding the pious, and be greatly rejoiced when she gets a dainty
dish, she who set her heart on thy lotus-stalks, not on thy

Now three inhabitants of the forest had also come to that place to hear
the preaching of the Law, namely a Yaksha, an elephant, and a monkey.
They had heard the conversation and were overcome with the utmost shame
and confusion. Among them, the Yaksha attested his innocence, uttering
in their presence this solemn protestation:

21. 'May he who failed against thee for the sake of the lotus-stalks,
have his residence in the Great Monastery, entrusted with the charge of
the reparations in (the town of) Ka_k_aṅgalâ, and make one window every

     [147] This imprecation alludes to the story of a certain devaputra,
     who in the time of the Buddha Kâ_s_yapa dwelt in the said monastery
     and was obliged to do the labour imposed on him, whereby he
     suffered much. A brief account of that tale is given in the
     commentary on the Pâli _G_âtaka, where the speaker of this stanza
     is called a Devatâ, not a Yaksha.

The elephant spoke:

22. 'May he come into captivity from the lovely forest into the company
of men, fettered with six hundred solid chains[148], and suffer pain
from the sharp goads of his driver, he who took thy lotus-stalks, O most
excellent of Munis!'

     [148] I suppose the author of the Sanskrit original did not
     understand the meaning of the text he Sanskritised. The
     corresponding stanza of the Pâli redaction has so ba_gg_hatû
     pâsasatehî _kh_ambhî, where _kh_ambhî is explained in the
     commentary as signifying the six parts of the elephant's body
     fastened by many chains (pâsasatehîti bahûhi pâsehi), viz. the four
     feet, the neck, and the loins.

The monkey said:

23. 'May he who moved by greediness took thy lotus-stalks wear a
flower-garland and a tin collar rubbing his neck, and beaten with a
stick pass before the face of a serpent[149], and with a long wreath
hanging from his shoulder, live in the houses (of men)!'

     [149] In other words, may he be the monkey of a serpent-charmer.

In reply, the Bodhisattva addressed all of them with words both
persuasive and kind, indicating how deep-rooted was his

24. 'May he who falsely said "they have disappeared," though he had
them, obtain to his heart's desire worldly pleasures and die a
householder. May the same be the fate of him who suspects you of a
similar action!'

Those extraordinary protestations of them, indicative of their
abhorrence of the enjoyment of worldly pleasures, roused the
astonishment and respect of _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas. He made
himself visible in his own brilliant shape, and drawing near to those
_Ri_shis, said as if with resentment: 'You ought not to speak so.

25. 'Those enjoyments--to obtain which everybody who longs for happiness
strives after to such a degree as to banish sleep from his eyes and to
undertake any form of penance and toil--you censure, calling them
"worldly pleasures!" Why do you judge so?'

The Bodhisattva spoke: 'Sensual enjoyments are accompanied by endless
sins, sir. Why, hear then, I will tell thee concisely, what the Munis
have in view that makes them blame sensual enjoyments.

26. 'On account of them, men incur captivity and death, grief, fatigue,
danger, in short manifold sufferings. For the sake of them, kings are
eager to oppress righteousness, and consequently fall into hell after

27. 'When the ties of friendship are suddenly loosened, when men enter
the road of political wisdom, that unclean path of falseness, when they
lose their good reputation and hereafter come to meet with
sufferings--is it not sensual enjoyments that are the cause thereof?

28. 'Now, since worldly pleasures in this manner tend to the destruction
of all conditions of men, the highest, the middle and the lowest, both
in this world and in the next, the Munis, O _S_akra, who long only for
the Self, keep aloof from them, as they would from angry serpents.'

Then _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, approved his words, saying, 'Well
spoken,' and as he was propitiated by the greatness of mind of those
_Ri_shis, he confessed that he himself had committed the theft.

29, 30. 'A high opinion of virtue may be tested by trial. Thus
considering, I hid the lotus-stalks in order to try you. And now, how
fortunate is the world in that it possesses such Munis as you, whose
glory is tested by fact. And thou, here, take these lotus-stalks, as a
proof of a constant holy behaviour.'

With these words he handed the stalks over to the Bodhisattva. But the
Bodhisattva reproved his unbecoming and audacious way of proceeding in
terms though modest, yet expressive of noble self-esteem.

31. 'We are no kinsfolk of thine, nor thy comrades, nor are we thy
actors or buffoons. What, then, is the reason for thy coming here, Lord
of the Devas, to play with _Ri_shis in this manner?'

At these words _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, hastily divested himself
of his divine appearance, brilliant with his ear-rings, his
head-ornament, and his lightning, and respectfully bowing to the
Bodhisattva, spoke thus in order to appease him:

32. 'O thou who art free from all selfishness, deign to forgive me the
thoughtless deed I did with the aforesaid purpose; pardon it like a
father, like a teacher!

33. 'It is proper, indeed, to those whose eyes are not yet opened to
wisdom, to offend against others, be they even their equals. Likewise it
is proper to (the wise) who know the Self, to pardon such offences. Also
for this reason, pray do not feel anger in thy heart concerning that

Having thus appeased him, _S_akra disappeared on the spot.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, those who have learnt to appreciate the happiness
of detachment are hostile to worldly pleasures; they will oppose them
like one opposes a deception, an injury[150].

     [150] In the original some lines follow here, bracketed by the
     editor. No doubt, we have here an interpolation, as is also
     indicated by its very collocation after the ethical maxim which
     must be the final part of our tale. This is its translation:

     'And this _g_âtaka has thus been explained by the Lord:

     34-36. "I, the son of _S_âradvatî [viz. _S_âriputra],
     Maudgalyâyana, Kâ_s_yapa, Pûr_n_a, Aniruddha, and Ânanda, we were
     the brothers of that time. Utpalâvar_n_â was the sister and
     Kub_g_ottarâ was the maid-servant. _K_itra the householder was then
     the male slave, Sâtâgiri the Yaksha, Pârileya the elephant,
     Madhudâtar the monkey, Kâlodâyin the _S_akra of that time. Retain
     well this _g_âtaka thus explained."'

     Almost the same verses and names are found in the conclusion of
     this story in the Pâli _G_âtaka.


(Cp. Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 171, Fausb. II, 64, 65.)

An unfounded opinion of their possession of some virtue acts upon the
virtuous like a stirring spur. Considering thus, one ought to strive
after the realisation of virtues; as will be taught in the following.

One time the Bodhisattva is said to have been a king's treasurer,
illustrious for his learning, his noble family and his modest behaviour.
He had lofty aspirations and a clever intellect, loved honest practices
in business, and owing to his thorough study of many branches of
science, attracted notice by his elegance of speech. Compassionate as he
was and in the possession of a large estate, he made the bliss of his
wealth flow in all directions by his great gifts of charity. So he was
considered the jewel of householders.

1. As he was by his nature fond of righteousness, and was adorned by
(acquired) qualities, sacred learning and the like, people were wont to
look upon him as worthy of veneration above all others.

One day, when that Great Being had gone out for some business to the
king's palace, his mother-in-law came to his house to see her daughter.
After the usual welcome and inquiries as to health, there ensued a
conversation, in the course of which, being alone with her daughter, the
wife of the Bodhisattva, she turned to put questions to her such as
these: 'Your husband does not disregard you, my dear, I hope? And does
he know how to show you attention? He does not grieve you by misconduct,
I hope?' And she answered with downcast looks bashfully in a soft tone:
'Virtuous conduct and behaviour such as his are hardly to be met with
even in a mendicant who has renounced the world.' But her mother, whose
hearing and understanding were impaired by old age, did not well catch
the meaning of these words of her daughter, as they were spoken with
shame in a rather low voice, and having heard the mention of a mendicant
who had renounced the world, drew the inference that her son-in-law had
become a religious mendicant. She burst into tears, and overpowered by
the violence of her grief, indulged in lamenting and bewailing her
daughter. 'What virtuous behaviour and conduct is shown by him who
leaves the world in this manner, abandoning his affectionate family?
And what has he to do with world-renunciation, after all?

2. 'What is the reason that such a person as he is, young, handsome,
delicate, accustomed to a life of comfort, a favourite with the king,
should feel a vocation for the forest-life?

3. 'How did it come to pass that without experiencing any wrong from the
side of his family and before the deformity of old age had come, he left
suddenly and without pain his home abounding in wealth?

4. 'He, adorned by a decent behaviour, by wisdom and love of
righteousness, he, full of compassion for others--how is it that he
could come to such a reckless deed without mercy for his own family?

5. 'As he was in the habit of honouring _S_rama_n_as and Brâhmans,
friends and clients, his own family and (that larger family of) the
distressed, and as he considered a spotless conduct his (highest)
wealth, say, could he not attain in the world that which he seeks in the

6. 'Abandoning his chaste and devoted wife, the companion of his
religious duties, how is it that he does not perceive that by excessive
love of the Law he is here transgressing the path of the Law?

7. 'Alas! It is a pity! Fie upon the bad management of Destiny, that men
can leave their beloved relations without being withheld by Compassion,
or that they can be successful even in the slightest part of the
holiness they pursue!'

When the Bodhisattva's wife heard those piteous and sincere lamentations
of her mother on account of her husband having renounced the world, she
grew alarmed (being impressionable) after the nature of women. Her
disturbed countenance expressed the dejection of her mind shaken by the
sudden assault of sorrow and pain. She wholly forgot the subject and the
connection of the conversation, and reflected: 'My husband has forsaken
the world, and my mother on hearing the sad news has come here in order
to comfort me.' Having thus made up her mind, the young, girlish woman
began to lament and to weep, and with a loud cry swooned away. The other
members of the family and the attendants, hearing the matter, became
utterly distressed, and burst into lamentations. On hearing that noise,
neighbours, friends, kinsmen, and other relations, clients, chiefs of
Brâhmanical families, in short, the bulk of the citizens, as they were
much attached to the treasurer, gathered round his house.

8. As a rule, he had always shared the good and the ill fortune of the
people. In consequence thereof the people, as if they had learnt this
behaviour from him, showed him the like sympathy in both fortunes.

Now, when the Bodhisattva on his return from the king's residence
approached his dwelling-place, he heard the lamentations resounding from
his house, and saw the large multitude there assembled. He ordered his
attendant to go and learn what was the matter, who having got that
information came back and reported it to him.

9. 'It has been rumoured, I do not know in what way, that Your Honour
has given up her wealthy home to become a mendicant. This news has
induced this large body of people to crowd here out of affection.'

Upon hearing these words, the Great Being felt something like shame. His
heart of innate pureness was alarmed by what appeared to him like a
reproof. And he entered upon this reflection: 'Oh! how much am I
honoured by this opinion of the people!

10. 'If after obtaining this high opinion of my virtues from the part of
the citizens, I should cling to the home-life henceforward, should I not
be a coward?

11. 'I should make myself reputed as one attached to vice, ill-behaving
and a despiser of virtues; and would consequently lose the esteem I now
enjoy from the virtuous. So living, life would be insupportable to me.

12. 'For this reason, in return for the honour conferred upon me by
public opinion, I will honour them again by realising it, and affected
with a pious love of the forest-groves, detach myself from my home with
its vice-producing evil passions.'

Having thus considered, the Great Being forthwith turned back, and
caused himself to be announced to the king: 'The treasurer wants to see
Your Majesty once more.' After being admitted to the king's presence,
and after the usual salutations, being asked by the king the reason of
his return, he said: 'I desire to renounce the world, and beg you to
grant me your permission, Your Majesty.'

On hearing this, the king was troubled and alarmed, and said these
affectionate words:

13. 'What ails you that, while I am living who love you more than your
friends and kinsmen, you should want to withdraw to the forest, as if I
were unable to relieve you from that pain either by my wealth or my
policy or my great power?

14. 'Are you in want of money: take it from my side. Is it some grief
that makes you suffer: I will cure it. Or is it for any other purpose
that you desire to withdraw to the forest, leaving your relations and
me, who entreat you in this manner?'

To these affectionate and honorific words of the monarch he answered in
a tone of friendly persuasiveness:

15. 'From whence can there arise grief to those whom your arm protects,
or sadness caused by want of wealth? It is, therefore, not sorrow that
induces me to withdraw to the forest, but another reason. Hear what it

16. 'The report is current, Your Majesty, that I have taken the vows of
a religious mendicant. A crowd of people mourn for it, and weep for
sorrow. It is for this reason that I want to live in the solitude of the
forests, since I have been judged a person capable of conceiving this
virtuous purpose.'

The king replied: 'Your Honour ought not to leave us on account of a
mere rumour. The worth of persons like you does not depend on public
opinion, nor do they acquire their illustrious virtues nor lose them
conformably to idle gossip.

17. 'Rumour is the result of unrestrained imagination. Once abroad, it
runs about free and unchecked. Ridiculous is he who in earnest minds
such gossip, more ridiculous is he who acts up to it!'

The Bodhisattva said: 'No, no, Your Majesty; do not speak so! A high
opinion of men must be acted up to. Will Your Majesty deign to consider

18. 'When a man becomes famous for holiness, Your Majesty, that person
ought not to remain behind his reputation, if in fact he is pious, but,
to say nothing more, his very shame must induce him to take upon himself
the burden of that virtue.

19. 'For, if he is seen in any way acting in accordance with that high
opinion of his virtue, the renown of his glory will shine the more,
whereas he will be like a dried-up well in the opposite case.

20. 'By a false reputation of virtue, which will spread up to the time
when subdued by further knowledge it will disappear, the good renown of
men is utterly destroyed. Once destroyed, it is hardly able to shoot
forth anew.

21. 'Thus considering, I am about to abandon my family and property,
since those goods are the root of strife and trouble, and worth avoiding
like black-hooded snakes with wrath-raised heads. It does not become
you, Your Majesty, to oppose my determination.

22. '(Do not supply me with money.) You are accustomed to show your
attachment and gratitude to your loyal servants, as becomes you, I know;
yet what to a homeless mendicant would be the use of money, which of
necessity involves worldly goods and passions?'

So speaking the Great Being persuaded the king to give him his
permission. After which he immediately set out for the forest.

But his friends, relations, and clients met him, and shedding tears and
embracing his feet, tried to prevent him. Some obstructed his way,
placing themselves before him with respectfully folded hands. Some
again endeavoured to lead him in the direction of his house (with soft
violence), by embraces and similar persuasive practices. Others again
were prompted by their affection to address him in somewhat harsh terms,
expressing their blame in some way or other. Some also tried to persuade
him that he ought to have regard to his friends and family, for whom he
should feel compassion. Others, too, directed their efforts to convince
him by argument, combining sacred texts with deductions of reasoning, to
the effect that the state of a householder must be the holiest one.
There were others again who exerted themselves in different ways to make
him give up his design; partly dwelling on the hardships of the life in
a penance-grove, partly urging him to fulfil his obligations and duties
in the world to the end, partly expressing their doubt as to the
existence of anything like reward in the other world. Now when he looked
on his friends thus opposing his world-renunciation and earnestly
endeavouring to hinder his departure for the forest with faces wet with
tears, surely, this thought arose in his mind:

23. 'If a person acts inconsiderately, it is the duty of those who claim
to be his friends to care for the good of their friend, be it even in a
rough manner. Such, indeed, is acknowledged to be the righteous way of
proceeding among the pious. How much the more, if the good they advise
be at the same time something pleasant.

24. 'But as to them, how is it possible that preferring the home-life
and boldly deterring me from the forest-life as from the contact of some
evil, they should express the judgment of a sound mind?

25. 'A dead man or one in danger of death is a person to be wept for,
likewise one fallen from righteousness. But what may be the meaning of
this weeping for me who am alive but desirous of living in the forest?

26. 'Suppose the separation from me should be the cause of their sorrow,
why will they not dwell in the forest with me? If however they prefer
their homes to me, why are they prodigal of their tears?

27. 'But granted that attachment to their family prevents them from
adopting the state of an ascetic, how is it that the like consideration
did not formerly present itself to them on so many battle-fields?

28. 'I have often experienced the heroism of their sincere friendship in
adversity, and now behold that deep-rooted friendship, as it were,
embodied in their tears. Yet, notwithstanding this, it will seem mere
guile to me, since they do not follow my example.

29, 30. 'As surely as it is great regard for their friend deserving
regard, that makes their eyes full of tears, their heads reverentially
bent, their words interrupted with sobs, while they are exerting
themselves to hinder my departure, so surely ought their love to have
the effect of bringing them to the praiseworthy resolution to go and
wander about with me, lest they should appear like actors in a
theatrical performance, to the shame of the pious!

31. 'If anybody be in distress, be he ever so wicked a person, some two
or three friends will keep with him, at least; but for a man, however
excellent by virtue, it will be oh! so hard, to get one single comrade,
when setting out for the forest!

32. 'Those who in battles, when danger was imminent from furious
elephants, used to set an example (of fearlessness) to me, even they do
not follow me now, when I lead them to the forest. Verily am I, are
they, the same as we were before?

33. 'I do not recollect having done them any wrong that could cause the
ruin of their attachment... So this behaviour of my friends may,
perhaps, issue from the care for what they consider my happiness.

34. 'Or is it rather my lack of virtues that hinders them from being my
companions in the forest? For who may possess the power of loosening
hearts that have been won by virtue?

35. 'But why indulge in idle reflections about these persons? Of a
truth, since they are unable to perceive the evils, however obvious,
inherent in the home-life, nor the virtues to be found in the
penance-groves, the eye of knowledge is shut to them!

36. 'They are not capable of parting with worldly pleasures, the cause
of suffering both in this world and in the next, but forsake both the
penance-grove which frees from those sufferings, and me! Fie upon their

37. 'O, those very sins by the delusions of which these friends of mine
and the whole of the creatures are prevented from tranquillity, I will
crush down forcibly whenever I shall have obtained by residence in the
penance-forest the excellent power of doing so!'

Of such a kind were his reflections. And after thus making up his mind,
he put aside the manifold affectionate entreaties of his friends, made
plain to them his firm resolution in kind and gentle terms, and set out
for the penance-forest.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, an unfounded opinion of their possession of some
virtue acts upon the virtuous in the same way as a stirring spur. Thus
considering, one ought to strive after the realisation of virtues. [For
this reason a pious man, being esteemed for his virtues as a monk or as
a lay-devotee, must strive to be in fact adorned with the virtues fit
for that state. Further, this story may be adduced with the object of
showing the difficulty of finding companions for a religious life.]


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 443, Fausb. IV, 22-27; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka II,

     [151] Though _S_ûra does not mention the Bodhisattva's name which
     he bore in this existence, yet it appears from the Pâli redactions,
     that _K_u_dd_abodhi, literally = 'Little Bodhi,' is intended as his
     proper name.

By keeping down his anger a man appeases his enemies, but doing
otherwise he will inflame them. This will be taught as follows.

One time the Bodhisattva, that Great Being, was born in this world in a
certain noble Brâhmanical family, it is said, who enjoyed great renown
for their practise of virtues in a grand style, owned a large and
well-secured estate, were honoured by the king and favoured by the gods.
In course of time he grew up, and having duly received the sacraments,
as he exerted himself to excel in the virtue of learning, within a short
time he became renowned in the assemblies of the learned.

1. The fame of the learned unfolds itself in the assemblies of the
learned, in the same way as jewels get their reputation with jewellers,
as heroes are known on the battle-field.

Now when the Great-minded One, according to his constant observance of
the Law in previous existences and to the enlightenment of his mind by
wisdom, had familiarised himself with world-renunciation, his house no
longer pleased him. He understood that worldly pleasures are the abode
of many evils and sins, since they are attended by a great deal of
discomfort in consequence of strife, quarrel, infatuation, and subject
to (losses of wealth either from the side of) the king, or (because of)
water, or fire, or thieves, or unfriendly kinsmen; so he was convinced
that they can never yield satisfaction. Accordingly, shunning them like
poisonous food and longing for the Self, he parted with his fair hair
and beard, resigned the delusive brilliancy of a householder's dress,
and putting on the vile orange-coloured robes, embraced that glorious
state of the ascetic life disciplined by rules and restrained by vows.
His wife, who loved him much, likewise cut off her hair, and forsook the
care of apparelling her body and beautifying it with ornaments. Then,
only adorned by the natural beauty of her form and virtues, she covered
her limbs with the orange-coloured robes, and followed her husband.

Now, when the Bodhisattva understood her determination of going with him
to the penance-forest, knowing that the delicate constitution of a
woman is unfit for the ascetic life, he spoke to her: 'My dear, truly,
you have now shown me your sincere affection. Yet this be sufficient. Do
not persist in your determination of being my companion in the forest.
It would rather be suitable for you to take up your abode in such a
place, where other women dwell who have forsaken the world; with them
you should live. It is a hard thing to pass the night in
forest-dwellings. Look here.

2. 'Cemeteries, desert houses, mountains, forests infested by ferocious
animals, are the resting-places of the homeless ascetics; they take
their rest in whatsoever place they are when the sun sets.

3. 'Being intent on meditation, they always like to walk alone, and are
averse even to the sight of a woman. Therefore, make up your mind to
desist from your purpose. What profit may you have from that wandering

But she who had firmly resolved upon accompanying him, answered him
something like this, while her eyes grew dim with tears:

4, 5. 'If I should suppose my going with you a matter of weariness
rather than of joy, do you think I should desire a thing which causes
suffering to myself and displeasure to you? But it is because I cannot
bear to live without you, that you must pardon this lack of obedience to
your orders.'

And though he repeated his entreaties, she never would turn back. Then
the Bodhisattva gave up his opposition, and silently suffered her
companionship. As the female _k_akravâka goes after her mate, so she
went along with him in his wanderings through villages and towns and

One day after meal-time he performed the usual rite of profound
meditation (dhyâna) in a lonely part of some forest. It was a splendid
landscape, adorned with many groves of trees affording much shade, and
waited on, as it were, by the sunbeams peeping here and there through
the thick foliage with the softness of the moonlight; the dust of
various flowers overspread the ground; in short, it was a fair spot. In
the afternoon he rose from his profound meditation, and sewed rags
together to make clothes[152]. And at no great distance from him, she,
the companion of his homeless life, embellishing by the splendour of her
beauty the trunk of a tree in whose shade she was seated like a deity,
was meditating on such subject and in such manner as he had enjoined
her. It was the season of spring, when gardens and groves are at their
loveliest. On all sides young and tender shoots abounded; the soft
humming of crowds of bees roaming about was heard, as well as the cries
of joy uttered by the lascivious cuckoos; the lakes and ponds, adorned
with laughing lotuses and waterlilies, were an attraction for the eyes;
there blew soft winds scented with the odours and perfumes of manifold
blossoms. To enjoy that magnificence of spring, the king of that country
made a tour in the groves, and came to that very spot.

     [152] Pâ_m_sukûlâni sîvyati sma.

6, 7. It does, indeed, afford gladness to the mind to behold
forest-regions at spring-time, when their various blossoms and
flower-clusters make them bright, as if that season enveloped them with
its pomp, when the he-cuckoo and the peacock sing, the drunken bees make
their buzzing sound, when soft and fresh grass-plots cover the earth and
lotuses fill up the water-basins. Then the groves are the play-grounds
of the Love-god.

On seeing the Bodhisattva, the king respectfully drew near to him, and
after the usual ceremonial greetings and complimentary words, sat down
apart. Then, on perceiving the female ascetic, that very lovely
apparition, the beauty of her figure perturbed his heart, and though
understanding that she must certainly be the companion of his religious
duties, owing to the lasciviousness of his nature, he reflected on some
contrivance to carry her away.

8. But having heard of the transcendent power of the ascetics, that the
fire of their wrath can shoot a curse as its flame, he refrained from a
rash deed of contempt against him, even though the Love-god had
destroyed the moral checks (that might have restrained him).

Then this thought entered his mind: 'Let me examine the extent of his
penance-obtained power. Then I shall be able to act in a proper manner,
not otherwise. If his mind is ruled by passionate affection for her,
surely, he has no power gained by penance. But if he were to prove
dispassionate or to show little interest in her, then he may be supposed
to possess that sublime power.' Having thus considered, the king,
desirous of proving that penance-power, spoke to the Bodhisattva, as if
he wished his good. 'Say, ascetic, this world abounds in rogues and bold
adventurers. Why, it is not fit for Your Reverence to have with you such
a handsome person as this companion of your religious duties in remote
forests, where you are destitute of protection. If she were to be
injured by somebody, certainly people would censure me, too. Look here.

9, 10. 'Suppose, while living in these lonely regions, some man
disregarding both you, a penance-exhausted ascetic, and Righteousness,
were to carry her off by force, what else could you do in that case but
wail on her account? Indulging in anger, forsooth, agitates the mind and
destroys the glory of a religious life, since it tends to the detriment
of it. It is, therefore, best to let her live in an inhabited place. Of
what use, after all, is female company to ascetics?'

The Bodhisattva said: 'Your Majesty has spoken truth. Yet hear to what I
would resort in such circumstances.

  11. 'Who were to act in such a case against me,
       Should pride incite or thoughtless rashness move him,
       In truth, I would, while living, not release him,
       A rain-cloud like that never will endure dust.'

Then the king thought: 'He takes a great interest in her, he does not
possess penance-power,' and despising the Great Being, was no longer
afraid of injuring him. Obeying his passion, he ordered his attendants
who were in charge of his zenana: 'Go and fetch this female ascetic into
my zenana.'On hearing this order, she, like a deer assailed by a
ferocious animal, showed her fear, alarm, and dismay by her (changed)
countenance, her eyes filled with tears, and overpowered by her grief,
she lamented in a faltering voice somewhat in this manner:

12. 'To mankind, overcome by sufferings, the king is the best refuge, it
is said, like a father. But whose help can be implored by him, to whom
the king himself acts as an evildoer?

13. 'Alas! The guardians of the world-quarters (lokapâlâs) have been
dismissed from their office, or they do not exist at all, or they are
dead, since they make no effort to protect the oppressed. Dharma himself
is but a mere sound, I suppose.

14. 'But why do I reproach the Celestials, while my lord himself is thus
keeping silence, undisturbed by my fate? Are you not bound to protect
even a stranger who is ill-treated by wicked people?

15. 'By the thunderbolt of his curse he might change a mountain into
dust, if he were to pronounce the word "perish," and still, he does not
break silence, whilst his wife is thus injured! And I must live to see
this, wretched woman that I am!

16. 'Or am I a bad person, scarcely deserving pity after coming into
this distress? But ascetics ought to behave with compassion towards any
one in distress. Is not this their proper line of conduct?

17. 'I am afraid you bear in mind even now my refusal to leave you, when
you ordered me to turn back. Alas! Is then this catastrophe the
happiness I longed for through the fulfilment of my own wish though
contrary to yours?'

While she thus lamented--and what else could she do, that female
ascetic, but cry and wail and weep in piteous accents?--the royal
attendants, obeying the orders of the king, placed her on a chariot,
and before the very eyes of the Great Being carried her off to the
zenana. The Bodhisattva, however, had repressed his powerful anger by
the power of his tranquillity, and was sewing his rags just as before
without the slightest perturbation, as calm and serene as ever. To him
the king spoke:

18. 'Threatening words of indignation and anger you uttered in a loud
and strength-betraying voice, but now, on seeing that beauty ravished
before your eyes, you keep quiet and are cast down because you have no

19. 'Why, show your wrath, either by the strength of your arm or by the
splendid power you have accumulated as the result of your penance. He
who, not knowing the compass of his own faculties, takes an engagement
he cannot keep, such a one loses his splendour, you know.'

The Bodhisattva replied: 'Know that I did keep my engagement, Your

  20. 'He who was ready in that case against me
       To act and struggled--I did not release him,
       But kept him down, made him by force be quiet,
       So you must own that I made true my promise.'

That excessive firmness of mind of the Bodhisattva, proved by his
tranquillity, did not fail to inspire the king with respect for the
virtues of the ascetic. And he began to reflect: 'This Brâhman must have
hinted at something else, speaking thus, and I, not understanding his
mind, committed a rash action.' This reflection arising within him,
induced him to ask the Bodhisattva:

21. 'Who was that other who acted against you and was not released by
you, however much he struggled, no more than rising dust is by a
rain-cloud? Whom did you quiet then?'

The Bodhisattva answered: 'Hearken, great prince.

22. 'He, whose forthcoming robs the insight and without whose appearance
a man sees clearly, rose within me, but I repressed him; Anger is the
name of that being, disastrous to his fosterer.

23. 'He, at whose appearance the foes of mankind rejoice, rose within
me, but I repressed him, that Anger who would have caused gladness to my

24. 'Him who, when bursting forth, induces man to nothing good and
blinds the eye of the mind, him I did subdue, O king; Anger is his name.

25. 'Yea, I have destroyed that hideous-looking ferocious monster rising
up within me, that anger, which becomes to him whom it has subdued the
cause of leaving his good and losing even the profit obtained before.

26. 'As fire, by the process of attrition, arises from a piece of wood
to the destruction of that very log, in the same way wrath, breaking out
by the false conceptions it produces in the mind of a man, tends to his

27. 'He who is not able to appease the heart-burning fever of anger,
when fire-like it bursts forth with fierceness, such a man is little
esteemed; his reputation fades away, just as moonshine, that friend of
the waterlilies, fades in the blush of dawn.

28. 'But he who, not heeding insults from the side of other people,
considers anger as his real enemy, the reputation of such a man shines
with brightness, like the auspicious lustre which streams down the disc
of the crescent.

'Further, anger is also attended by other noxious qualities of

29. 'An angry man, though resplendent with ornaments, looks ugly; the
fire of wrath has taken away the splendour of his beauty. And lying on a
precious couch, he does not rest at his ease, his heart being wounded by
the arrow of anger.

30. 'Bewildered by wrath, a man forgets to keep the side by which to
reach the happiness suitable for himself, and runs off on the wrong
road, so that he forfeits the happiness consisting in a good
reputation, as the moon is deprived of its lustre in the dark part of
its menstrual course.

31. 'By wrath he throws himself headlong into his ruin, in spite of the
efforts of his friends to restrain him. As a rule he gets into a stupid
rage of hatred, and the power of his mind being impaired, he is unable
to distinguish between what is good for him and what is bad.

32. 'Carried away by his anger, he will commit sinful actions to be
repented of with many misfortunes for centuries. Can enemies, whose
wrath has been provoked by severe injuries, do anything worse?

33. 'Anger is our adversary within us, this I know. Who may bear the
free course of its insolence?

34. 'For this reason I did not release that anger, although it was
struggling within me. Who, indeed, may suffer himself to overlook an
enemy able to do such mischief?'

These heart-moving words and the marvellous forbearance he had proved by
them to possess, softened and converted the mind of that king who spoke:

35. 'Worthy, indeed, of your tranquillity of mind are these words you
have spoken!... But, why use many words? I was deceived because I did
not understand you.'

After thus praising the Bodhisattva, he went near to him and throwing
himself at his feet, confessed his sin. And he dismissed also that
female ascetic, after obtaining her pardon, and offered himself to the
disposal of the Bodhisattva as his attendant.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner a man by keeping down his anger appeases his enemies, but
doing otherwise he will inflame them. Thus considering, one ought to
strive after the suppression of anger. [This story is also to be told in
connection with such sayings as praise the precept of forbearance, viz.
'in this manner unfriendly feelings are set at rest by friendliness, and
by self-restraint hatred is not allowed to grow,' and 'in this manner he
who banishes anger acts to the benefit of both.' Likewise when
expounding the sinfulness of anger, and treating of the high-mindedness
of the Tathâgata.]


(Comp. Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 533, Fausb. V, 337-354.)

The virtuous, even when in distress, behave in such a manner as cannot
be imitated by the impious; how much less are the latter able to follow
up the conduct of the virtuous, when favoured by fortune! This will be
taught as follows.

One time, it is told, the Bodhisattva was a king of swans. He was the
chief of a large tribe of swans, numbering many hundred thousands, who
lived in Lake Mânasa. His name was Dh_ri_tarâsh_t_ra. The commander of
his army, who was called Sumukha[153], was skilled in the management of
affairs, knowing the right and the wrong policy very well; his keen
intellect encompassed the objects and events over a large extent of
space and time; born of an illustrious family, he embellished the
nobility of his extraction by his talent, his courtesy, his modesty; he
was endowed with the virtues of constancy, honesty, courage, and
distinguished by the purity of his conduct, mode of life, and behaviour;
moreover he was capable of enduring fatigue, vigilant and clever in
military marches as well as in battles, and bore a great affection to
his master. In consequence of their mutual love the grandeur of their
qualities shone the more; and as they were in the habit of instructing
that flock of swans, as a teacher and his foremost disciple would
instruct all his other pupils, or a father with his eldest son his other
sons, inculcating upon their mind a peaceable behaviour towards others,
and such other matters as lead to the benefit of the creatures, they
offered a spectacle for the great admiration of the Devas, Snakes,
Yakshas, Vidyâdharas, and holy ascetics who witnessed them.

     [153] The original text has here this interpolation, 'who was the
     presbyter Ânanda at that time,' of course bracketed by the editor.
     Cp. the note on p. 164.

1. As of a bird in the sky both wings are incessantly occupied in
holding up his body, so these two knew no other business than that of
supporting the body of Salvation for their flock of swans.

Now that tribe of swans, being thus favoured by them, attained a state
of great plenty, in the same way as mankind by the extension of
righteousness and material prosperity. Consequently that lake bore the
utmost beauty.

2, 3. Adorned by that tribe of swans, who by their sound would call to
mind the soft and lovely noise of the anklets of women, that lake was
splendid. When in a mass, the swans resembled a moving grove of lotuses.
When dispersed or divided into separate groups of unequal size, they
made the lake surpass even the beauty of a sky embellished with
scattered banks of clouds.

Enchanted with that exceeding splendour, which was the effect of the
virtue of that lord of swans intent on the good of all creatures, and of
Sumukha, his commander-in-chief, crowds of Siddhas, _Ri_shis,
Vidyâdharas, and deities often and in many places delighted in
conversing on the glory of those two.

4. 'Their magnificent figures resemble pure gold, their voices utter
articulate speech, righteousness is the rule of their modest behaviour
and their policy. Whosoever they may be, they bear but the shape of

5. The fame of those two, spreading through the world by the report of
those superhuman beings who, free from jealousy, celebrated their
virtues, found a general belief to such an extent, that it became a
topic of conversation in the councils of kings, where the account of
their glory circulated like a present.

Now in that time one Brahmadatta[154] was king in Benares. Having often
heard in his council his trustworthy officials and the foremost among
the Brâhmans highly extol the extraordinary qualities of that lord of
swans and of his commander-in-chief, he became more and more affected
with curiosity to see them. So he said to his ministers, who were very
clever, having studied many branches of science: 'Well, sirs, set to
work the cleverness of your minds, and try to devise some means by which
I might obtain at least the sight of those two excellent swans.' Then
those wise ministers let their thoughts range over the road of political
wisdom, and (having discovered by thinking the means wanted) said to the

     [154] Brahmadatta, the king of Benares, is the fabulous prince,
     during whose reign a great number of the stories of the Pâli
     _G_âtaka-book take place.

6. 'The prospect of happiness allures the creatures to withdraw from any
place, Your Majesty. For this reason the rumour of the existence of some
extremely good qualities conducive to their happiness may bring them

'Therefore, let Your Majesty deign to order a beautiful lake, of the
same kind as that where those lovely-shaped swans are reported to live,
but still surpassing it in brilliancy, to be constructed here in one of
your forests; which being done, you must make known by proclamation, to
be repeated every day, that you grant safety to all birds. Perhaps the
rumour of the surpassing excellence of this lake, conducive to their
happiness, may excite their curiosity and draw them hither. Do but
consider, Your Majesty.

7. 'As a rule happiness once obtained loses its charm, and ceases to be
taken into account; but such happiness as rests upon hearsay seems
lovely, and fascinates the mind, because it is remote from the eyes.'

The king accepted their proposal, and had a great lake, which by the
splendour of its magnificence rivalled with Lake Mânasa, constructed in
a short time in a place not too near the park which skirted his capital.
It was a most charming basin of pure water, and very rich in
water-plants, embracing various kinds of lotuses and waterlilies: padma,
utpala, kumuda, pu_nd_arîka, saugandhika, tâmarasa, kahlâra.

8. Flowery trees, bright with their quivering twigs, surrounded its
shore, as if they had taken possession of that place in order to
contemplate that lake.

9. Swarms of bees, as if attracted by its laughing lotuses, which were
rocking on its gently trembling waves, roamed hovering over its surface.

10, 11. Here its beauty was enhanced by its various waterlilies,
sleepless through the gentle touch of the moonbeams, which made them
resemble patches of moonshine piercing through the foliage. There the
pollen of lotuses and waterlilies, conveyed by the finger-like waves,
would ornament its shore as if with gold wires.

12. In many other places, where it was covered with the lovely petals
and filaments of lotuses and waterlilies, it showed a wide-spread
splendour, as if it bore a gift of homage.

13. Another beauty was due to the limpidity and calmness of its water,
which was so transparent as to show the sharp contours and the fair hues
of its crowds of fishes, no less conspicuous while swimming beneath its
surface than they would have been, if moving in the sky.

14. Near such places, where the elephants, dipping their trunks in it,
blew forth cascades of spray glittering like a string of loosened
pearls, it seemed as if the lake carried waves ground to dust after
being driven upon rocks and scattered in the air.

15. Here and there it was perfumed, so to speak, with the fragrances
emanating from the ointments used by bathing Vidyâdhara women, from the
streams of juice of elephants in rut and from the dust of its (own)

16. Being so brilliant, that lake was like a general mirror for the
stars, the wives of the Moon-god. Gay birds abounded, and their warbling
resounded in it.

Such, then, was the lake he had ordered to be constructed, and which he
gave to the whole nation of birds to have the unobstructed use and
enjoyment of it. Accordingly, in order to inspire all birds with
confidence, he ordered a proclamation, by which he granted them
security, to be repeated day after day. It ran in these terms:

17. 'The king is glad to give this lake, inclusive of the groups of
lotuses and waterlilies covering its waters, to the birds, and grants
safety to them.'

One time, when autumn having drawn away the dark curtain of clouds,
dispensed its beautiful gifts, enlarging the horizon clear and pure, the
lakes were lovely to behold, with their limpid water and with the full
brilliancy of their clusters of lotuses disclosed. It was the season
when the Moon, with increased power of rays, as it were, reaches the
highest pitch of loveliness and youthfulness, when Earth, adorned with
the harvest-bliss of manifold crops, offers a fair aspect, and when the
younger among the swans begin to show themselves. Now, a couple of
swans, who belonged to that very tribe of the Bodhisattva, flew up from
Lake Mânasa, and passing over different regions overspread with autumn's
mildness, at last came to the realm of that king. And there they saw
that lake and the wonderful beauty caused by its flowers; for its
lotuses, when expanded, made it glow as with flames, and its
waterlilies, when unclosed, gave it a laughing aspect. They heard the
echoes of the confused sounds of crowds of birds and the humming of the
bees who were busily roaming over its flowers. They smelt the scent of
the dust of its lotuses and waterlilies scattered about by the gentle,
cool, and soft breezes, which seemed to have the task of gliding over
the wreaths of its waves. Though accustomed to Lake Mânasa, those two
swans were touched by the surpassing loveliness and splendour of that
other lake; and this thought entered their mind: 'Oh! our whole tribe
must come here!'

18. Generally people, obtaining some pleasure within the reach of
everybody, will in the first place remember their friends, owing to the
suggestion of their love.

That couple remained there, diverting themselves as they best liked,
till the next rainy season. At the commencement of that period, when
masses of clouds like hosts of the Daityas advance causing darkness, yet
not too thick and interrupted by flashes of lightning glittering like
brandished weapons; when the gay troops of peacocks perform their dances
and display the beauty of their wide-opened feather-tails, while
uttering their loud and continual cries, as if they exulted at the
triumph of the clouds, and also the smaller birds have become
loquacious; when brisk winds blow, fragrant with the flower-dust of
forest trees: the sâl, the kadamba, the ar_g_una, and the ketaka, and
produce a welcome coolness, as if they were the breath of the forest;
when flocks of young cranes, showing themselves in the sky, contrast
with the dark background of the clouds, so as to resemble their rows of
teeth, so to speak; when the tribes of swans are anxious to leave, and
give vent to their longing by soft and gentle cries--on that opportunity
our couple of swans returned to their Lake Mânasa. And paying their
respects to their lord, they told him, first of the regions they had
visited, then gave him an account of the surpassing advantages of that
lake (whence they had just returned). 'Your Majesty, south of Mount
Himavat,' they said, 'there lives at Benares a king of men, named
Brahmadatta, who has delivered to the birds a large lake of marvellous
beauty, possessing delights of indescribable loveliness. All birds may
enjoy it at their free will and wish, and safety is warranted to them by
a royal decree which is made known every day by proclamation. The birds
divert themselves there as unrestrained and fearless as if they stayed
in their homes. When the rains are over, Your Majesty ought to go
there.' On hearing this, the whole tribe of swans were affected with a
strong desire to see that lake. The Bodhisattva, then, fixing his eyes
with an inquisitive expression upon the face of Sumukha, his
commander-in-chief, said: 'What do you think about this?' Sumukha, after
bowing his head, answered: 'I deem it unfit for Your Majesty to go
there. Why? Those delights of charming loveliness are, after all, but a
kind of allurement, and here we are in want of nothing. Generally
speaking, the hearts of men are false, their tender compassion is
deceitful, and under the guise of delusive sweet words and kind
attentions they conceal a cruel and wicked nature. Will Your Highness
deign to consider this.

19. 'Quadrupeds and birds are wont to express their true feelings by the
import of their cries. But men are the only animals skilled in producing
sound meaning the contrary of their intentions.

20. 'Their language, of course, is sweet, well-intentioned, and
wholesome. Merchants also make expenses in the hope of obtaining gain.

21. 'Therefore, Your Majesty, it is unfit at any time to put confidence
(in them) because of something as trifling (as their words). A line of
conduct which is dangerous and wrong, cannot be but unsuccessful, even
if followed in pursuit of some object.

'Should, however, the excursion to that lake be indispensable, it is not
suitable for us to stay there for a long time, or to make up our minds
to resolve to take up our residence there; we have only to go and, after
enjoying its magnificent beauties, return shortly. Such is my advice.'

Now, as the tribe of swans, whose curiosity to see the Benares lake was
ever increasing, did not cease to request the Bodhisattva again and
again to set out for that place, once on a bright autumn night, adorned
with the pure lustre of the moon, the asterisms, and the stars, he
complied with their wishes. And, accompanied by Sumukha and a numerous
crowd of swans, he set out in that direction, resembling the Moon-god
with his attendant band of (white) autumn clouds.

22. As soon as they beheld the charming splendour of that lake, surprise
mingled with gladness overwhelmed their minds. When they entered it,
they added to it no less brilliancy by their gay shapes and the lovely
groups they formed, taking possession of it.

23. Owing to the manifold varieties of its sites, by which it surpassed
Lake Mânasa, they were delighted, and in time their attachment to the
new place of abode effaced Mânasa from their hearts.

They heard the proclamation of safety, perceived the freedom of movement
of the birds residing there, and were gladdened by the display of the
beauty of the lake. Their delight rose to the highest degree when they
wandered over its waters, enjoying the pleasure of one who makes an
excursion in a park.

Now the guardians of that lake reported the arrival of those swans to
the king, saying: 'Your Majesty, two excellent swans, who bear the very
same shape and are distinguished by the very same qualities as those
famous ones are said to possess, have arrived at Your Majesty's lake, as
if to enhance its beauty. Their beautiful wings shine like gold, their
beaks and feet have a lustre which even surpasses that of gold, their
size exceeds the average, and they have well-shaped bodies. A retinue of
many hundred thousands of swans have come with them.' Having been thus
informed, the king selected among his fowlers one who was renowned and
recognised for his skill in the art of bird-catching, and committed to
him the honourable charge of catching them. The fowler promised to do
so, and having carefully watched the places which those two swans were
in the habit of frequenting and haunting, laid down on different spots
strong snares well concealed. Now, while the swans were wandering far
and wide over the lake, with minds cheerful and rejoiced and without
suspecting any mischief, trusting the grant of safety, their lord got
one foot entangled in a snare.

24. Trustfulness, indeed, is pernicious. Aroused by the subtle
contrivances of those who inspire confidence, it first obliterates the
suspicion of danger, then displays carelessness and want of policy.

Then the Bodhisattva, lest a similar misfortune should befall also
anybody else of his tribe, announced by a special cry the dangerousness
of the lake. Upon which, the swans, alarmed at the capture of their
lord, flew up to the sky, uttering confused and dissonant cries of
fear, without regarding each other, like soldiers whose chief warrior
has been killed. Yet Sumukha, the commander-in-chief, did not withdraw
from the side of the lord of swans.

25. A heart bound by affection does not mind imminent peril. Worse than
death to such a one is the sorrow which the miserable distress of a
friend inflicts on it.

To him the Bodhisattva said:

26. 'Go, Sumukha, go; it is not wise to linger here. What opportunity
couldst thou have of helping me who am in this state?'

Sumukha spoke:

27. 'No final death can I incur, if I stay here, nor shall I, if I go,
be freed from old age and death. I always attended on thee in thy
prosperity. How, master, should I be capable of leaving thee in thy

28. 'If I were to leave thee, prince of birds, on account of such a
trifle as the thread of my own life, where could I find a shield against
the rain-shower of blame?

29. 'It is not right, my liege, that I should leave thee in thy
distress. Whatever fate may be thine, I am pleased with it, O lord of

The Bodhisattva spoke:

30. 'What other may be the fate of an insnared bird than the kitchen?
How can that prospect please thee who art in the free possession of thy
mind and thy limbs?

31, 32. 'Or what profit dost thou see for me or thyself or the whole of
our kindred in the death of both of us? And what profit mayst thou
explain to be in giving up thy life on an occurrence, when that profit
is as little to be seen as level and unlevel in the dark?'

Sumukha spoke:

33, 34. 'How, most excellent of birds, dost thou not perceive the profit
in following the path of Righteousness? Honouring the Law of
Righteousness in the right manner[155] produces the highest profit. For
this reason I, knowing the precepts of Righteousness and the profit
arising therefrom, also moved by attachment to thee, my liege, do not
cling to life.'

     [155] Instead of upa_k_ita_h_ in the Sanskrit text, the Pâli
     redaction has apa_k_ito, which no doubt is the true reading. I have
     translated accordingly, comparing also stanza 36 tadar_k_itas tvayâ

The Bodhisattva spoke:

35, 36. 'Verily, this is the law for the virtuous, that a friend,
minding his duty, shall not abandon his friend in distress, even at the
cost of his life. Now, thou didst observe the Law of Righteousness, thou
didst show me thy devoted affection. Grant me then, I pray thee, this
last request. Fly away, I give thee leave.

37. 'Moreover, the affair having taken this turn, it is thy task,
wise-minded one, to fill up the gap caused to our friends by the loss of

38. While they were thus conversing, vying with each other in mutual
affection, lo, the Nishâda[156] appeared, rushing upon them like the God
of Death.

     [156] The fowler belonged to that low class of people.

As soon as they became aware of his approach, the two excellent birds
became silent. Now, the Nishâda seeing that the tribe of swans had flown
away, was persuaded 'certainly, some one of them has been caught;' and
going round the different places, where he had laid down his snares,
discovered those two foremost swans. He was surprised at their beauty,
and thinking both of them to be insnared, shook the snares placed in
their neighbourhood. But when he perceived that one was caught and the
other, loose and free, was keeping him company, his astonishment
increased, and drawing near to Sumukha, he spoke to him:

39, 40. 'This bird, being caught in a strong snare, loses his freedom of
movement. For this reason he cannot mount to the sky, although I
approach. But thou who art not fastened, who art free and strong and
hast thy winged carriage at thy disposal, why dost thou not hastily fly
up to the sky at my arrival?'

On hearing this, Sumukha addressed him with human language in a voice
which distinctly articulated syllables and words, and by its
sonorousness manifested the firmness of mind of the speaker, being
employed to show his (virtuous) nature.

41, 42. 'How is it, thou askest me, that I, being able to go, do not go.
Why, the cause thereof is this. This bird here suffers the misfortune of
being insnared. Thou hast power over him, whose foot is entangled in
this strong snare, but he has power over me by still stronger fetters,
his virtues, by which he has fastened my heart.'

Upon this the Nishâda, affected with high admiration and almost in
ecstasy[157], once more asked Sumukha.

     [157] Literally: on whose body the hairs stood up.

43. 'Being afraid of me, the other swans left him and flew up to the
sky. But thou dost not leave him. Say, what is this bird to thee?'

Sumukha spoke:

44. 'My king he is, my friend he is, whom I love no less than life, my
benefactor he is, and he is in distress. On this account I may never
desert him, not even in order to save my own life.'

And observing the feelings of growing tenderness and admiration which
appeared in the Nishâda, he continued:

45. 'Oh! If this our conversation might lead to a happy end, my friend!
If thou wert to obtain the glory of a virtuous action by setting us free

The Nishâda spoke:

46. 'I do not wish thee harm, and it is not thee I have caught. Why
then, go free and join thy relations who will be glad at the sight of

Sumukha spoke:

47, 48. 'If thou dost not wish my sorrow, then thou must grant my
request. If thou art content with one, well, leave him and take me. Our
bodies have an equal size and compass, and our age is the same, I tell
thee. So, taking me as a ransom for him, thou wilt not lose thy profit.

49, 50. 'Why, sir, do consider it well. O that thou mayst be greedy to
possess me! Thou mayst tie me first, and afterwards release the king of
birds. Thus doing, thou wouldst enjoy the same amount of gain, thou
wouldst have granted my request, thou wouldst also cause gladness to the
tribe of swans and obtain their friendship, too.

51. 'Now then, gladden the host of swans by setting their lord at
liberty, that they may see him again in his resplendent beauty in the
clear sky, resembling the Moon released from the Lord of Daityas

The Nishâda, though accustomed to a cruel trade and hard-hearted by
practice, was much touched by these words of the bird uttered in a firm
yet soft tone and imposing by their import. For they magnified the
attachment to one's master without minding one's own life, and were a
strong manifestation of the virtue of gratitude. Overpowered by
admiration and respect, he folded his hands, and lifting them up to
Sumukha, said: 'Well said, well said, noble being.

52, 53. 'If met with among men or deities, such self-denial would pass
for a miracle, as is practised by thee claiming it thy duty to give up
thy life for the sake of thy master. I will pay thee my homage,
therefore, and set free thy king. Who, indeed, may be capable of doing
evil to him who is dearer to thee than life?'

With these words the Nishâda, without caring for the mandate of his
king, listening to the voice of his compassion, paid honour to the king
of swans, and released him from the snare. And Sumukha, the
commander-in-chief, greatly rejoiced at the rescue of his king, fixed a
glad and kind look on the Nishâda and spoke:

54. 'As thou hast rejoiced me now by the release of the king of swans, O
thou source of gladness to thy friends, mayst thou in the same way be
rejoiced with thy friends and kinsmen for many thousands of years!

55. 'Then, that thy labour may not be fruitless, well, take me and also
this king of swans, and carrying us on thy shoulder-pole, free and
unbound, show us to thy king in his zenana.

56. 'Beholding the king of swans with his minister, this ruler, no
doubt, will show thee his gladness by a gift of riches larger than that
thou didst dream of, a source to thee of great rejoicing.'

The Nishâda acceded to his request, thinking, the king must see at all
events this marvellous couple of swans, and placing them (in baskets) on
his pole unhurt and unbound, showed those excellent swans to the king.

57. 'Deign to see,' quoth he, 'the wonderful present I offer you, my
lord. Here is that famous king of swans, together with his

On beholding those two foremost of swans, who by the glittering
splendour of their lovely figures resembled two solid pieces of gold,
the king filled with amazement and exulting with gladness said to the

58. 'How didst thou obtain possession of those two who remain in thy
hands, unhurt and unbound, though able to fly away from thee who art on
foot? Tell it me at length.'

Being thus addressed, the Nishâda bowing to the king, answered:

59-62. 'I had laid down many snares, O so cruel causes of pain, in pools
and ponds, the places of recreation of the birds. Then this foremost of
swans, moving unsuspectingly, owing to his trustfulness, got his foot
entangled in a hidden snare. The other, though free, was keeping him
company, and entreated me to take him in redemption for the life of his
king, uttering in a human voice articulate and sweet-sounding language.
His ardent request derived its power from his readiness to sacrifice his
own life.

63. 'So great was the effect of his soft words and his strong deeds in
behalf of his master, that I was converted to tenderness, and dismissed
his lord together with my own cruel temper.

64. 'After which, rejoiced at the release of the king of birds, he
returned many thanks and blessings to me, and instructed me to go up in
this manner to you, that my labour, so he said, should not have been a
burden by lack of reward.

65. 'And so it is out of gratitude for the deliverance of his king and
in my behalf, that this most righteous being, whosoever he may be, who
under the outward appearance of a bird roused in one moment tenderness
of mind in the heart of a person like me, has arrived of his own accord
together with his master at your zenana.'

The king was filled by these words with great joy and amazement. He
assigned to the king of swans a golden throne with a footstool, a seat
well becoming a king; for it had brilliant feet glittering with the
lustre of various jewels, was spread with a most costly and lovely
cover, and provided with a soft cushion on its back. To Sumukha he
offered a bamboo seat fit for a chief minister to sit upon. Then the
Bodhisattva, considering that it was now the proper time to make a
complimentary address, spoke to the king in a voice as soft as the sound
of anklets.

66. 'Thy body, adorned with lustre and loveliness, is in good health, I
hope, O health-deserving prince. And so, I hope, is also that other body
of thine which is made up of thy righteousness. Does it frequently emit,
so to speak, its breath of pious discourses and gifts?

67. 'Thou hast dedicated thyself, hast thou not? to the task of
protecting thy subjects, distributing reward or punishment in due time,
so as to make both thy illustrious glory and the people's affection,
together with their welfare, always increase?

68. 'Hast thou not the assistance of affectionate and honest ministers,
averse to fraud and skilled in the management of affairs, with whom to
consider the interest of thy subjects? Thy mind is not indifferent to
this important matter, I hope?

69. 'When the kings, thy vassals, after incurring abatement of their
splendour by thy policy and vigour, entreat thee to show them mercy,
thou wilt generously follow the impulse of pity, I hope, without,
however, indulging in trustfulness, which is nothing but the sleep of

70. 'Are thy actions, tending to secure the unobstructed pursuit of
dharma, artha, and kâma, not applauded by the virtuous, O hero among
men, and wide-spread in the world, so to say, by the effect of thy
renown? And thy enemies have but sighs to hurt them, I hope?'

In reply to these questions the king, manifesting by his gladness the
placidity of his senses[158], spoke to him:

     [158] The placidity of his senses is indicative of his having
     subdued his evil passions, so that he could give a satisfactory
     account of his royal occupations. In the Pâli redactions of our
     story, each question is immediately followed by its answer, which
     is affirmative, of course, and the wording of which exactly
     corresponds to the question.

71. 'Now my welfare is assured in every respect, O swan, for I have
obtained the long wished-for happiness of meeting with your holy

72, 73. 'This man, having captured thee in the snare, did not hurt thee,
I hope, in the exuberance of his joy with his pain-inflicting stick? So
it happens, in fact, when there arises calamity to birds, that the mind
of those knaves, soiled by exulting joy, impels them to sinful actions.'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

74-77. 'I did not suffer, great king, while in that most distressing
condition, nor did this man behave towards me at all like an enemy. When
he perceived Sumukha staying there, though uncaught, out of love for me,
as if he, too, had been caught, he addressed him with great kindness,
prompted by curiosity and astonishment. Afterwards, having been
propitiated by the gentle words of Sumukha, he released me from the
snare, and setting me free, showed respect and honour to me. It is for
this reason that Sumukha, wishing this man's good, told him to bring us
hither. May then our arrival cause happiness also to him!'

The king said:

78, 79. 'Having eagerly longed for your arrival, I bid welcome here to
both of you. The sight of you is a feast to my eyes and causes me
extreme gladness. As to that Nishâda, I will bestow a rich gift upon him
presently. Having shown kindness to both of you, he deserves a high

Then the king honoured the Nishâda by a munificent gift of great wealth.
After which, he again addressed the king of swans:

80. 'Ye have come here to this residence, which is yours, indeed. Pray,
set aside, then, cramping reserve with respect to me, and make known in
what way and how I may serve your wants. For my riches are at your

81. 'A friend expressing his wants in frank speech, causes a greater
satisfaction to a wealthy man, than he could obtain from his riches. For
this reason, unreservedness among friends is a great benefit.'

Then, being also very curious to converse with Sumukha, the king casting
his admiring looks on him, addressed him thus:

82. 'Surely, new acquaintances are not bold enough to speak frankly to
the newly acquired friend, in whose mind they have not yet got footing.
Still, they will use at least kind language, adorned by courteous terms.

83. 'It is for this reason that I beg also Thy Honour to favour me with
thy conversation. So thou wouldst realise my desire of acquiring thy
friendship and increase the gladness of my heart.'

On these words, Sumukha, the commander-in-chief of swans, bowing
respectfully to the king, spoke:

84. 'A conversation with thee who art great Indra's equal, is a kind of
festival. Who, therefore, would not feel that this token of thy
friendly disposition surpassed his wishes?

85, 86. 'But would it not have been an unbecoming act of insolence for
an attendant to join in the conversation of the two monarchs, of men and
of birds, while they were exchanging lovely words of friendship? No, a
well-educated person does not act in that way. How, then, could I,
knowing this, follow that way? On this account, great prince, I was
silent, and if I need thy pardon, I deserve it.'

In reply to these words the king, expressing by his countenance his
gladness and admiration, eulogised Sumukha.

87. 'Justly the world takes delight in hearing the fame of thy virtues.
Justly the king of swans made thee his friend. Such modesty and
accomplished demeanour is displayed by none but those who have subdued
their inner self.

88. 'Therefore I sincerely trust that these friendly relations, now
commenced between us, will never be broken off. The meeting of pious
persons, indeed, produces friendship.'

Then the Bodhisattva, understanding that the king was eagerly desirous
of their friendship and inclined to show them his affection, addressed
him in terms of praise:

89. 'Following the impulse of thy generous nature, thou hast acted
towards us as one should act to one's best friend, although our
acquaintance has only been made just now.

90. 'Whose heart, then, would not be won, illustrious prince, by such
honourable treatment as thou hast shown us?

91. 'Whatever profit thou expectest from relations with me, O lord, or
however important thou mayst deem them, it is a matter of fact that thou
hast displayed thy hospitable disposition by practising hospitality, O
thou lover of virtues!

92. 'But this is no wonder in a self-subdued prince such as thou, who
bearest thy royal duties for the interest of thy subjects, intent on
penance and profound contemplation, like a Muni. Thou, in truth, hadst
but to follow the inclination of thy excellent nature to become a
storehouse of virtues.

93. 'It is virtues that procure to their possessor the satisfaction of
such praise, as I did celebrate of thee. They afford happiness, but in
the strongholds of vice there dwells no bliss. What conscious being,
then, knowing this to be the constant law as to virtue and vice, would
resort to the wrong way which diverges from his good?

94. 'Not by military prowess nor by the strength of his treasury nor by
a successful policy will a prince reach that high rank, which he may
obtain even without exertion and expense, if he but follow the right
path which consists in the cultivation of virtues.

95. 'Virtues are visited even by such bliss, as attends the Lord of the
Devas; the virtuous alone attain humility; virtues alone are the sources
of glory; it is on them that the magnificence of sovereignty rests.

96. 'Virtues alone, possessing greater loveliness than moonshine, are
able to appease enemies, be their mind never so ferocious by indulgence
in jealous anger and pride, be their selfishness never so deep-rooted by
a long continuance of hatred.

97. 'For this reason, O sovereign, whose rule earth obeys with its proud
kings who bow to thy lustre, foster the love of virtues in thy people,
setting them an example by the undiminished splendour of thy modesty and
the rest of thy virtues.

98. 'The good of his subjects is the first care of a king, and the way
leading to it tends to his bliss both (in this world and in the
next)[159]. And this end will be attained, if the king loves
righteousness; for people like to follow the conduct of their

     [159] Or perhaps: tends to the happiness of both (his subjects and

     [160] Cp. Story XIII, stanzas 38, 39.

99. 'Mayst thou, then, rule thy land with righteousness, and may the
Lord of the Celestials have thee in his guard! But though thy presence
purifies those who rest on thee, yet must I leave thee now. The sorrow
of my fellow-swans draws me to them, so to speak.'

The king and all those present approved of the words spoken by the
Bodhisattva. Then he dismissed both excellent swans in the most
honourable and kind terms.

The Bodhisattva mounted upward to the sky, which, adorned by the serene
beauty of autumn, was as dark-blue as a spotless sword-blade, and
followed by Sumukha, his commander-in-chief, as by his reflected image,
joined his tribe of swans. And those, by the very sight of him, were
filled with the utmost gladness.

100. And after some time that swan, a passionate lover as he was of
compassion for his neighbour, came back to the king with his swans, and
discoursed to him on the Law of Righteousness. And the king with
respectfully bowed head in return honoured him.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this way, then, the virtuous, even when in distress, behave in such
manner as cannot be imitated by the impious; how much less are the
latter able to follow up the conduct of the virtuous, when favoured by
fortune! [This story is also to be adduced, when praising pious
language: 'In this manner a pious language conduces to the good of
both[161].' Likewise, when treating of pious friends: 'In this manner
they who possess a pious friend will be successful even in dangerous
circumstances.' Also to exemplify the fact of the presbyter Ânanda
having been a companion (to the Lord) still in previous births: 'So this
presbyter sharing the vicissitudes of the Bodhisattva, cherished
affection and veneration (for the Lord) for a long, long time.']

     [161] Viz. the speaker and the listener.

     This much-renowned tale of the two fabulous swans is thrice told in
     the collection of Pâli _G_âtakas, edited by Fausböll: No. 502
     Ha_m_sa_g_âtakam, No. 533 _K_ullaha_m_sa_g_ât., and No. 534
     Mahâha_m_sa_g_ât. Of them No. 502 is almost an abridgement of No.
     534. These two show another redaction of the tale than that which
     is contained in No. 533. Our author used some recension closely
     related to the redaction of No. 533; some of his stanzas are almost
     identical with the Pâli gâthâs.

     From a note in Tawney's translation of the Kathâsaritsâgara (II, p.
     506) I learn that Râ_g_endralâla Mitra found the story of the
     golden swans in the Bodhisattva Avadâna, one of the Hodgson MSS. It
     is probable that the work quoted is the Bodhisattvâvadânakalpalatâ,
     which is being edited by Sara_k_ _K_andra Dâs, in the Bibliotheca
     Indica. But as the story in question has not yet been published and
     the list of contents in the preface of that work is here of no
     help, I could not find out in which pallava it is told.

     Moreover compare Kathâsaritsâgara 3, 26-35 and 114, 17 foll. The
     self-denial of the commander-in-chief has its counterpart in the
     behaviour of the sârasa bird in the main story of the third book of
     the Hitopadesa.


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 528, Fausb. V, 227-246.)

The compassion of the virtuous for those who once were their
benefactors, does not diminish even by injuries done to them. Such is
their gratitude, and to this extent have they imbibed the virtue of
forbearance. This will be taught as follows.

In the time when the Lord was a Bodhisattva, he was a wandering ascetic,
it is said, named Mahâbodhi[162]. When still a householder, he had made
a regular and thorough study of such branches of learning as are
esteemed in the world, and being curious of fine arts, had also
acquainted himself with them. Afterwards, having renounced the world, as
he was exerting himself for the benefit of the world, he directed his
mind more earnestly to the study of the law-books, and obtained the
mastership in that science. Thanks to his possession of a store of
merit, the loftiness of his wisdom, his knowledge of the world, and his
superior skill in the art of conversing with men, it happened that to
whatever country he went, his company was sought for, and his person
cherished by the learned as well as by such princes as patronized the
learned, by Brâhmans living in the world as well as by other ascetics.

     [162] This name means '(possessing) great wisdom.'

1. Virtues acquire splendour by their appearing on the ground of
meritorious actions[163], but it is by the gracefulness of their
practice, that they will gain the affection of men and partake of the
most distinguished worship even from the side of one's enemies, obliged
to do so by regard for their own reputation.

     [163] Our author never forgets to point out the importance of the
     possession of much pu_n_ya, cp. Story XIV, p. 133, and Story XV, p.

Now that Great-minded One, wandering about with the object of doing good
to men, in villages, towns, markets, countries, kingdoms, royal
residences, reached the realm of a king who, having heard of the
splendour of his many virtues, was rejoiced at the report of his
arrival. Having been informed of it long before, he had a dwelling-place
built for him in a lovely spot in his own pleasure-gardens. At his
arrival, he made him enter his kingdom in the most honourable manner,
going to meet him and showing him other tokens of esteem. He attended on
him and listened to his teaching, as a pupil observes his spiritual

2. To a lover of virtues, the arrival of a virtuous guest, coming
confidingly to his wealth-abounding home, is a kind of feast[164].

     [164] Cp. Story VI, stanza 30.

And the Bodhisattva for his part favoured him with daily discourses on
religious subjects, delightful to both the ears and the heart, by which
he gradually prepared him to walk on the road to salvation.

3. Those who love the Law desire to give religious instruction even to
such people as have not shown them their attachment, they will do so out
of compassion for their neighbour. How should they not teach him who,
like a pure vessel, is eager to accept their instruction and to manifest
his love?

But the ministers of that king, though receiving the honour due to their
learning, and his counsellors, though also treated with respect, could
not bear the constantly increasing honour paid to the magnificence of
the Bodhisattva's virtues. Jealousy had tainted their minds.

4. The glory and renown of a man who shows his ability to fascinate
mankind by the superiority of his virtues, suffices to kindle the fire
of envious feeling in those who are honoured only on account of their
professional skill.

They were unable to vanquish him in open contest in disputes on topics
of the law-books, and at the same time were sorry to see the king's
constant attachment to the Law of Righteousness. Then, in order to rouse
his disaffection towards the Bodhisattva, they proceeded almost in this
manner. 'Your Majesty,' so would they say, 'should not put his
confidence in that wandering monk Bodhi. It is evident that he must be a
kind of spy of some rival king, who having learnt Your Majesty's love of
virtues and inclination towards Righteousness, avails himself of this
clever fellow with his soft, smooth, and deceitful tongue, to entice you
into baleful habits and to be informed of your actions. For this devotee
of Righteousness, as he pretends to be, instructing Your Majesty
exclusively to practise compassionateness and to foster the miserable
feeling of shame, induces you to take upon yourself such vows of a
religious life as are incompatible with your royal and military duties,
prejudicial to the promotion of material interests (artha) and pleasures
(kâma), and subject to the dangers attending a bad policy. Indeed, it is
out of pure charity that, in the way of exhorting you, he suggests the
line of conduct you should follow; nevertheless, he likes to converse
with the messengers of other kings, and is far from being a stranger to
the contents of the manuals of political wisdom which treat of the
duties of kings. Accordingly this matter fills our hearts with
apprehension.' Such language spoken with the intention of causing
estrangement, being often repeated and by many who feigned to have in
view the good of the king, could not fail to have its effect. His
attachment and veneration for the Bodhisattva shrunk under the influence
of his distrust, and his disposition towards him became changed.

5. Whether a succession of loud-roaring tremendous thunderbolts or of
those other thunderbolts, whose name is calumny, pierce the ears of men,
does there exist anybody who can remain unshaken by them, trustful and
firm in the confidence of his own power?

Now, as the absence of trust lessened the king's affection and
veneration for the Great Being, the king was no more, as before, careful
to pay him due honour. But the Bodhisattva, owing to his
pure-heartedness, did not mind it; 'kings are distracted by many
occupations,' so he thought. Still, when he perceived the coolness and
lack of attention from the side of the courtiers, he understood that he
had incurred the king's displeasure, and taking his triple staff, his
waterpot and the other utensils of a wandering ascetic, made
preparations for his departure. The king, hearing his resolution, as he
was partly moved by a remnant of his old affection, partly would not
neglect an act of politeness and civility, went up to him, and in order
to show his trouble and pretended desire to retain him, said:

6. 'For what reason are you determined to go away, leaving us all of a
sudden? Have you perhaps to complain of some lack of attention on our
part, which has roused your fears? If this is the case, you suspect us
without reason, it must have been an omission.'

The Bodhisattva replied:

7. 'My departure has a good reason. Not that so trifling a matter as
ill-treatment has irritated me, but because you have ceased to be a
vessel of righteousness in consequence of your deceitful behaviour, for
this reason I set out from hence.'

At this moment the king's favourite dog came running to the Bodhisattva
in a hostile manner and barked at him with wide-opened mouth. Pointing
at this dog, he said again: 'Why, let this animal bear witness to the
case, Your Majesty.

8, 9. 'Formerly this dog was accustomed to fondle me; then he was
imitating your example. But now he betrays your feelings by his barks,
for he does not know how to feign. Surely, he must have heard from you
harsh words on my account, as will happen when former affection has been
destroyed; and now, forsooth, he is acting up to them, that he may
please you; for such is the behaviour of servants who eat the bread of
their lord.'

This reproof filled the king with shame, and made him cast down his
eyes. The acuteness of mind of the Bodhisattva touched him and moved his
heart. He thought it was not proper to continue his false protestations
of love, and bowing reverentially to him, spoke:

10. 'You were indeed the subject of such conversation as you said.
Audacious people used that language in my council, and I, absorbed in
business, overlooked the matter. You must forgive me, then, and stay
here. Pray, do not go.'

The Bodhisattva said: 'Surely, it is not on account of ill-treatment
that I want to go, Your Majesty, nor am I driven out by resentment. But
considering, it is now no proper time to stay here, Your Majesty, for
this reason I go. Do but take this in view.

11. 'If, either by attachment or from apathy, I should not go of my own
accord now, as I needs must, after the honourable hospitality shown to
me has lost its beauty, having become an ordinary one, verily, would it
not hereafter come to the point that I should be seized by the neck and
turned out?

12. 'Not with a heart sore with hatred am I about to leave you, but
considering this the proper course to follow now. Former benefits are
not effaced from the heart of the pious by the stroke of one affront.

13. 'But an ill-disposed man is not fit to be had for a patron, no more
than a dried-up pond will serve him who is in want of water. If profit
may be gained from the side of such a one, it requires much care to
acquire it, and the result will be meagre and not unmixed.

14. 'He, however, who desires ease and dislikes trouble, must attend
only on such a patron who has composed his mind and by his placidity
resembles a great lake of pure water in autumn. So is the well-known
line of conduct approved of men.

15. 'Further, he who is averse to one intent on showing his attachment;
likewise he who, attending on somebody who dislikes him, afflicts
himself; thirdly, he who is slow in remembering former benefits--such
persons bear only the shape of a man and raise doubts as to their real

16. 'Friendship is destroyed both by lack of intercourse and profusion
of attentions, also by frequent requests. Therefore, desiring to protect
this remnant of our affection from the dangers of my residing here, I
now take my leave.'

The king said: 'If Your Reverence has a strong determination to go,
thinking your departure to be indispensable, pray, deign to favour us by
coming back here again, will you? Friendship ought to be kept safe also
from the fault of lack of intercourse, did you not say so?' The
Bodhisattva replied: 'Your Majesty, sojourning in the world is something
subject to many hindrances, for a great many adversaries in the shape of
various calamities attend it. Thus considering, I cannot make the
positive promise, that I shall come again. I can only express my wish to
see you another time, when there may be some indispensable reason for
coming.' Having in this way appeased the king, who dismissed him in the
most honourable manner, he set off from his realm, and feeling his mind
troubled by intercourse with people living in the world, took up his
abode in some forest-place. Staying there, he directed his mind to the
exercise of meditation and before long came to the possession of the
four ecstatic trances (dhyâna) and the five kinds of transcendent
knowledge (abhi_gñ_â).

Now, while he was enjoying the exquisite happiness of tranquillity, the
remembrance of the king, accompanied by a feeling of compassion,
appeared to his mind. And, as he was concerned about the present state
of that prince, he directed his thoughts towards him, and saw[165] that
his ministers were each enticing him to the tenets of the (false)
doctrine which he professed. One among them endeavoured to win him for
the doctrine according to which there should be no causality, taking for
examples such instances, where it is difficult to demonstrate causality.

     [165] Viz. as the effect of his divine eye (divya_m_ _k_akshu_h_),
     one of the five abhi_gñ_âs.

17. 'What,' said he, 'is the cause of the shape, the colour, the
arrangement, the softness and so on of the stalks, the petals, the
filaments and the pericarps of the lotuses? Who diversifies the feathers
of the birds in this world? In just the same manner this whole universe
is the product of the work of essential and inherent properties, to be

Another, who held a Supreme Being (Î_s_vara) for the first cause,
expounded him the tenets of his lore.

18. 'It is not probable that this universe should exist without a cause.
There is some being who rules it, Eternal and One. It is He who in
consequence of the fixation of His mind on His transcendental volition,
creates the world and again dissolves it.'

Another, on the contrary, deceived him by this doctrine: This universe
is the result of former actions, which are the cause of fortune, good
and ill; personal energy has no effect at all to modify it.

19. 'How, indeed, may one being create at the same time the manifold and
boundless variety of the different substances and properties? No, this
universe is the product of former actions. For even he who is skilled
in striving for his happiness comes into mishap.'

Another again enticed him to be solely attached to the enjoyment of
sensual pleasures, by means of such reasoning as is heard from the
adherents of the doctrine of annihilation.

20. 'Pieces of wood, differing in colour, properties, and shape, cannot
be said to exist as the result of actions, and yet they exist, and once
perished they do not grow up again. Something similar is to be said of
this world. For this reason one must consider pleasures the main object
of life.'

Another, pretending to instruct him in his royal duties, recommended to
him such practices as are taught in the science of the Kshatriyas, and
which, following the winding paths of political wisdom (nîti), are
soiled by cruelty and contrary to righteousness (dharma).

21. 'You must avail yourself of men, as of shady trees, considering them
fit objects to resort to. Accordingly, endeavour to extend your glory by
showing them gratitude, only as long, until your policy ceases to want
their use. They are to be appointed to their task in the manner of
victims destined for the sacrifice.'

So those ministers desired to lead the king astray, each on the path of
his own false doctrines.

The Bodhisattva, then, perceiving that the king, owing to his
intercourse with wicked people and his readiness to allow himself to be
guided by others whom he trusted, was about to fall into the precipice
of false doctrines, was affected with compassion and pondered on some
means of rescuing him.

22. The pious, in consequence of their constant practice of virtues,
retain in their mind the good done to them, whereas the evil they
experienced drops from their mind, like water from a lotus-petal.

Having taken his resolution as to the proper thing to be done in the
case, he created in his own hermitage, by dint of magic, a large monkey,
whose skin he stripped off, making the rest of his body disappear.
Wearing that skin, created by himself, he presented himself at the
entrance-gate of the king's palace. After being ushered in by the
doorkeepers, he was admitted to the royal presence. He passed
successively the guards who were posted outside, and the different
courts filled with officers, Brâhmans, military men, messengers, and
notable townsmen, and entered the audience-hall, the doors of which were
kept outside by doorkeepers with swords and staves; the king was sitting
on his throne surrounded by his assembly of learned and wise men,
magnificently dressed and orderly arranged. The monarch went to meet
him, and showed him every honour and respect due to a guest. After the
usual exchange of compliments and kind reception, when the Bodhisattva
had taken the seat offered to him, the king, who was curious about that
monkey-skin, asked him how he got it, saying: 'Who bestowed this
monkey-skin on the Reverend, procuring by that deed a great favour to

The Bodhisattva answered: 'I got to it by myself, Your Majesty, I did
not receive it from anybody else. While sitting or sleeping on the hard
ground strewed only with thin straw, the body suffers, and the religious
duties cannot be performed at ease. Now, I saw a large monkey in the
hermitage and thought so within myself: "Oh! here is the right
instrument I want to perform my religion, if I had but the skin of this
monkey! sitting or sleeping on it, I shall be able to accomplish the
rules of my religion, without caring even for royal couches spread with
the most precious clothes." In consequence of this reflection, after
subduing the animal I took his skin.' On hearing that account, the king
who was polite and well-educated replied nothing to the Bodhisattva, but
feeling something like shame, cast down his eyes. His ministers,
however, who before that already bore a grudge to the Great Being,
seized this opportunity of declaring their opinion, and looking with
beaming faces at the king and pointing at the Bodhisattva, exclaimed:
'How entirely the Reverend is devoted to the love of his religion which
is his only delight! What a constancy is his! What ability to put into
effect the best means for the realisation of his aims! It is a wonder
that being alone and emaciated by penance, he was able to subdue so
large a monkey, who had just entered his hermitage! At all events, may
his penance be successful[166]!' In reply to them, the Bodhisattva,
without losing his placidity of mind, said: 'Your honours, blaming me,
should not disregard the fair tenets of your doctrines. This is not the
way by which to make the glory of learning shine. Your honours must
consider this.

     [166] The last words are the usual complimentary blessing said to
     ascetics. When asking after their health, it is similarly said: 'is
     your penance successful?'

23. 'He who despises his adversaries with such words as are destructive
to his own doctrine, such a one, so to speak, wishes the dishonour of
his enemy at the cost of his own life.'

After thus reproaching those ministers collectively, the Great Being,
wishing to revile them once more individually, addressed that minister
who denied causality in these terms:

24. 'You profess that this universe is the product of essential and
inherent properties. Now, if this be true, why do you blame me? What
fault is mine, if this ape died in consequence of his nature? Therefore,
I have rightly killed him.

25. 'If, however, I committed a sin by killing him, it is evident that
his death is produced by an (external) cause. This being so, you must
either renounce your doctrine of non-causality or use here such
reasoning as does not befit you.

26. 'Further, if the arrangement, colour &c. of the stalks, petals &c.
of lotuses were not the effect of some cause, would they not be found
always and everywhere? But this is not so, they are produced from seeds
being in water &c.; where this condition is found, they appear, not
where it is not found.

'This, too, I would propound to Your Worship, to consider it well.

27. 'He who denies the agency of cause by means of reasoning with
arguments, does not such a one desert his own tenets[167]? On the other
hand, if he is averse to the use of argument, say, what will he do with
his sole tenet (not supported by argument)?

     [167] As far as using argument by means of reasoning implies
     adherence to causality. Moreover, the word hetu the Bodhisattva
     employs here means both 'cause' and 'reason.'

28. 'And he who, not perceiving the cause in some particular case,
proclaims for this very reason, that there does not exist causality at
all, will not such a one, when he learns the manifest power of causality
in that case, grow angry at it and oppose it with invectives?

29. 'And if somewhere the cause is latent, why do you say with
assurance, it does not exist? Though it is, it is not perceived for some
other cause, as for instance the white colour of the sun's disc is not
seen at sunset.

'Moreover, sir,

30. 'For the sake of happiness you pursue the objects you desire, and
will not follow such things as are opposed to it. And it is for the same
purpose that you attend on the king. And notwithstanding this, you dare
deny causality!

31. 'And, if nevertheless you should persist in your doctrine of
non-causality, then it follows that the death of the monkey is not to be
ascribed to any cause. Why do you blame me?'

So with clear arguments the High-minded One confounded that advocate of
the doctrine of non-causality. Then addressing himself to the believer
in a Supreme Being, he said: 'You, too, never ought to blame me, noble
sir. According to your doctrine, the Lord is the cause of everything.
Look here.

32, 33. 'If the Lord does everything, He alone is the killer of that
ape, is He not? How can you bear such unfriendliness in your heart as to
throw blame on me on account of the fault of another? If, however, you
do not ascribe the murder of that valiant monkey to Him because of His
compassionateness, how is it that you loudly proclaim, the Lord is the
cause of this Universe?

'Moreover, friend, believing, as you do, that everything is done by the

     [168] The Bodhisattva is much helped here by the double sense
     implied by the words sarvam î_s_varak_ri_tam, meaning 'all is
     created by the Lord' as well as 'everything is done by the Lord.'

34. 'What hope have you of propitiating the Lord by praise,
supplication, and the like? For the Self-born Being works those actions
of yours himself.

35. 'If, however, you say, the sacrifice is performed by yourself, still
you cannot disavow that He is the author of it. He who is self-acting
out of the fulness of His power, is the author of a deed, no other.

36, 37. 'Again, if the Lord is the performer of all sins, however many
there are committed, what virtue of His have you in view that you should
foster devotion to Him? On the other hand, if it is not He who commits
them, since He abhors wickedness, it is not right to say that everything
is created by the Lord.

38, 39. 'Further, the sovereignty of the Lord must rest either on the
lawful order of things (Dharma) or on something else. If on the former,
then the Lord cannot have existed before the Dharma. If effected by some
external cause, it should rather be called "bondage;" for if a state of
dependency should not bear that name, what state may not be called

'Nevertheless, if in spite of this reasoning, attached to the doctrine
of Devotion[169] and without having well reflected on its probability or

     [169] The belief in a Supreme Being, Lord (Î_s_vara), is in itself
     of course also a belief in the strong effectiveness of devotion

40. 'You persist in holding the Supreme Being and Lord for the sole
cause of the whole universe, does it, then, become you to impute to me
the murder of that chief of monkeys, which has been decided by the
Supreme Being?'

So reasoning with a well-connected series of conclusive arguments, the
High-minded One struck dumb, so to speak, the minister who was an
adherent of the Lord (Î_s_vara)-supreme cause. And turning to that
minister who was a partisan of the doctrine of former actions, he
addressed him in a very skilful manner, saying: 'No more does it become
you, too, to censure me. According to your opinion, everything is the
consequence of former actions. For this reason, I tell you,

41. 'If everything ought to be imputed exclusively to the power of
former actions, then this monkey has been rightly killed by me. He has
been burnt by the wild fire of his former actions. What fault of mine is
to be found here that you should blame me?

42. 'On the other hand, suppose I did a bad action in killing the ape, I
must be the cause of his death, not his former actions. Further, if you
state, that karma (always) produces (fresh) karma, nobody will reach
final emancipation[170] in your system.

     [170] Final emancipation necessarily implies cessation of actions,
     for it is the same thing as total extinction.

43. 'Verily, if something like this should be seen: happiness enjoyed by
him who lives in circumstances productive of suffering, or sufferings
visiting such a one whose circumstances are instruments of happiness,
then we should have the right to infer, it is beyond question, that good
and evil fortune depend exclusively on former actions.

44. 'But, in fact, this rule as to the appearance of happiness and
sufferings is nowhere seen. Consequently, former actions are not the
sole and entire cause of them. Further, it is possible that there ceases
to be new karma. And this lacking, whence should you get the "old karma"
(indispensable for the maintenance of the Universe)?

45. 'If, nevertheless, you persist in your doctrine of the former
actions, for what reason do you judge me to have caused the death of
that ape?'

In this manner the High-minded One, expounding irrefutable arguments,
put him to silence so that it seemed as if he had made him take the vow
of silence. Next he said smilingly to that minister who was an adherent
of the doctrine of annihilation: 'How extremely eager your honour is to
blame me, if at least you really are a partisan of the doctrine of

46. 'If there does not exist anything like a future existence after
death, why should we avoid evil actions, and what have we to do with the
folly of holding good actions in esteem? He alone would be wise who
behaves according to impulse, as he likes best. If this doctrine be
true, it is right indeed, that I killed that ape.

47, 48. 'If, however, it is fear of public opinion which causes such a
one to eschew bad actions by following the path of virtue, he will,
nevertheless, not escape the criticism of public opinion, because of the
contradiction between his words and his deeds: nor will he obtain the
happiness presenting itself on the road of his destiny, owing to the
same awe of public opinion. Is, then, such a one, allowing himself to be
misled by a fruitless and delusive doctrine, not the meanest of

'As to your statement, when you said:

49. '"Pieces of wood, differing in colour, properties and shape, cannot
be said to exist as the result of actions, and yet they exist, and once
perished they do not grow up again. Something similar is to be said of
this world," pray, tell me, what reason have you for believing so, after

50. 'If, notwithstanding this, you persist in your attachment to the
doctrine of annihilation, what reason is it that you should censure the
murderer of a monkey or a man?'

So the Great Being silenced that adherent of annihilation by means of a
refutation of conspicuous elegance. Then he addressed that minister who
was so skilled in the science of princes. 'For what reason,' he said,
'do you also censure me, if you really consider the line of conduct as
taught in the love of political science to be the right one?

51. 'According to that doctrine, in truth, deeds good or evil are to be
performed for the sake of material profit; having once risen, a man
shall bestow his wealth, indeed, for his benefit on actions of
righteousness (dharma[171]).

     [171] Cp. Story V, stanzas 18-22.

'On this account I tell you.

52. 'If for the sake of personal interest honest proceedings may be
neglected even with respect to affectionate relations[172], what reason
have you to censure me about that ape whom I killed for the sake of his
skin, putting into effect the policy taught also in your books?

     [172] The Pâli recension expresses this by the drastic utterance:
     'the would-be wise advocates of the khattavi_gg_â say: you may kill
     your father or mother or eldest brother, yea your children and
     wife, if such be your interest.'

53[173]. 'On the other hand, if such a deed is to be blamed for its
cruelty, and is certain to have evil consequences, by what means do you
resort to a lore which does not acknowledge this?

     [173] I follow the emendation of the editor mukhena, not the
     senseless reading of the MSS. sukhena.

54. 'Now, if such is the manifestation of what is called "policy" in
your system, say, of what kind may be the error, called "want of
policy"? Oh! the audacious who, despising mankind, propound injustice by
the way of authoritative law-books!

55. 'Nevertheless, if you maintain that false doctrine--is it not
prescribed in the books of your sect in plain terms?--well, it is not I
who should be blamed on account of the death of that ape, since I
followed the path of that policy which is taught in your books.'

In this manner, then, the High-minded One vanquished by a strong assault
those ministers in spite of their influence on the bystanders, in spite
also of their habitual boldness. And when he understood he had won over
the assembly with the king, wishing to expel from their hearts the grief
he had caused them by killing the monkey, he addressed the king, saying:
'In fact, Your Majesty, I never killed any living creature[174]. I did
but put into effect my power of creation. This skin I stripped off a
monkey whom I had created, with the object of using it as the topic of
this very conversation. Do not therefore judge me falsely.' So speaking,
he dissolved the illusion (of the ape-skin) he had produced by magic.
Then, seeing that the king and his assembly were now in apt state of
mind to be converted, he said:

     [174] Vânara_m_ is a gloss, I suppose.

56. 'What person, who perceives that all things produced emanate from
causes; who feels himself acting by his free will; who believes in
another world after this; who maintains right tenets; who cherishes
compassionateness--may kill any living being?

'Do but consider this, great prince.

57. 'How should the believer in the true and rational doctrine commit a
deed which, to be sure, neither the denier of causality, nor the
believer in absolute dependence, nor the materialist, nor the follower
of the lore of political wisdom would perform for the sake of a little

58. 'A man's creed, O best of men, be it the true or a false one, is the
motive which induces him to actions corresponding with it. For people
show the tenets of their belief by their words and actions, since their
purposes comply with the line of conduct, prescribed by their creed.

59. 'And for this reason the excellent lore is to be cherished, but a
bad lore must be abandoned, for it is a source of calamity. One must
take this course in this way: keeping with the virtuous, but keeping
afar from wicked people.

60. 'Indeed, there are such monks--goblins they should rather be
called--who wander about in the dress of the self-restrained, but have
not subdued their senses. It is they who ruin simple people by their
false views, not unlike such serpents as cause harm by the venom of
their looks.

61. 'The discordant voices of the adherents of the doctrine of
non-causality and the rest, disclose their special natures, in the same
manner as jackals are betrayed by their howling. For this reason a wise
man ought not to cherish such persons but should (rather) care for their
good, if he have the power to do so.

62. 'But no one, however illustrious his glory may be in the world,
should make friends with an unfit person, not even for interest's sake.
Even the moon suffers loss of loveliness, when soiled by its conjunction
with a gloomy winter-day.

63. 'Therefore, avoiding the company of those who are avoiders of
virtues and frequenting those who know how to foster virtues, make your
glory shine by rousing in your subjects the love of virtue and
dissolving their attachment to vice.

64. 'Observing the Law of Righteousness, you might cause your subjects,
for the greater part indeed, to be intent on good behaviour and to keep
to the path which leads to Heaven. Now you have to protect your people
and you are willing to exert yourself with this object. Well, then,
betake yourself to the Dharma; its rules of discipline (vinaya) make its
road a lovely one.

65. 'Purify your moral conduct (_s_ila), earn the glory of a charitable
giver, direct your mind to friendliness towards strangers, just as if
they were your relations, and may you rule your land for a long time
with righteousness and an uninterrupted observance of your duties! In
this way you will gain happiness, glory, and Heaven.

66. 'If he fail to protect the peasants, his tax-payers, both the
husbandmen and the cattle-breeders, who are like trees abounding in
flowers and fruits, a king gets into difficulties concerning such wealth
as consists in fruits of the earth.

67. 'If he fail to protect those who live by buying and selling
different merchandises, traders, and townsmen, who gratify him by paying
the customs, he raises difficulties for himself with respect to his

68. 'Likewise a prince who, having no reason to complain of his army,
fails to honour it, and disregards his military men who have shown their
valour on the battle-field and are renowned for their skill in the
science of arms, surely such a king will be deserted by victory in

69. 'In the very same way a king who stains his behaviour by disregard
of the religious men, excellent by morals or learning or supernatural
power (yoga) and illustrious by such virtues as attend on
high-mindedness, will be destitute of the rejoicings of Heaven.

70. 'As one who plucks an unripe fruit kills the seed without finding
juice, so a king raising unlawful tributes, ruins his country without
obtaining profit from them.

71. 'On the other hand, as a tree abounding in excellent properties,
grants the enjoyment of its fruits at the time of their ripeness, in the
very same manner a country, well protected by its ruler, provides him
with the triad of religious and material prosperity and enjoyment.

72. 'Keep attached to yourself faithful ministers, clever and wise in
promoting your interests, likewise honest friends, and your family,
attaching their hearts by words agreeable to them, and by gifts offered
to them in a flattering manner.

73. 'For this reason, then, let Righteousness be always the guide of
your actions, having your mind bent on securing the salvation of your
subjects. May you, while saving your people by administering justice
free from partiality and hatred, secure the worlds for yourself[175]!'

     [175] This term 'worlds' lokâ_h_ is a common appellation of the
     happy state or states after death.

Thus the High-minded One led that king away from the wrong road of false
doctrines and put him and his attendants on the Excellent Path. After
which he directly mounted to the sky, worshipped by the assembly with
heads reverentially bowed and hands folded, and returned to his
residence in the forest.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, the compassion of the virtuous for those who were
once their benefactors does not diminish even by injuries done to them;
such is their gratitude, and to this extent have they imbibed the virtue
of forbearance. [Considering thus, one must not forget a former benefit
because of such a trifle as an injury. Also, when discoursing on the
Buddha, it may be said: 'In this manner the Lord, even before he reached
Supreme Wisdom, defeated the doctrines of other teachers and taught the
Truth.' Further, when censuring erroneous doctrines or inversely when
praising the true faith, this story is to be adduced, saying: 'In this
manner a false doctrine cannot bear strong arguments, because it has no
support, and is to be avoided.']


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 516, Fausb. V, 68-74.)

The virtuous grieve not so much for their own pain as for the loss of
happiness incurred by their injurers. This will be taught now.

There is a blessed region on one side of the Himavat. Its soil, pervaded
with different metallic ores, might be called its body perfumed with
lovely and various ointments; and its magnificent woods and forests
constituted its upper garment, as it were, consisting in a mantle of
dark silk. The slopes and declivities of that landscape were adorned by
their picturesque scenery, which harmonized the inequality of colours
and shapes and combinations, so that they seemed to have been arranged
purposely and with care. In this recreation-ground of the Vidyâdharas,
moistened by the waters of many mountain-streams passing through it,
abounding in deep holes, chasms, and precipices, resounding with the
dull and shrill noise of humming bees and caressed by lovely winds
fanning its various trees with their beautiful flowers, fruits, and
stems, the Bodhisattva was once, it is said, an ape of great size who
lived alone. But even in that state he had not lost his consciousness of
the Dharma, he was grateful, noble-natured, and endowed with great
patience; and Compassion, as if retained by attachment, would never
leave him.

1. The earth with its forests, its great mountains and its oceans
perished many hundred times at the end of the yuga, either by water or
fire or wind, but the great compassion of the Bodhisattva never

Subsisting, then, like an ascetic, exclusively on the simple fare of
leaves and fruits of the forest-trees, and showing pity in various
circumstances and ways to such creatures as he met within the sphere of
his power, the High-minded One lived in the said forest-region.

Now, one time a certain man wandering about in all directions in search
of a stray cow, lost his way, and being utterly unable to find out the
regions of the sky, roamed at random, and reached that place. There,
being exhausted by hunger, thirst, heat, and toil, and suffering from
the fire of sorrow which blazed within his heart, he sat down at the
foot of a tree, as if pressed down by the exceeding weight of
his sadness. Looking around, he saw a number of very tawny
tinduka-fruits[176], which being ripe had fallen off. After enjoying
them, as the hunger which tortured him much made them seem very sweet to
him, he felt a very strong desire to find out their origin; and looking
sharply around on all sides, he discovered the tree from whence they
came. This tree had its roots on the border of the sloping bank of a
waterfall, and hung down its branches, loaded with very ripe fruits
which gave them a tawny hue at their ends. Craving for those fruits, the
man mounted to that slope, and climbing up the tinduka-tree, reached a
branch with fruit overhanging the precipice. And his eagerness to get
the fruit induced him to go along it to its very end.

     [176] The tinduka or tindukî is the diosperos embryopteris, a
     common tree, not tall, evergreen with long, glimmering leaves. See
     Watt, Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, III, pp.
     141-145. 'The fruit is eatable, but excessively sour;' it is a food
     of the poor.

2. Then on a sudden, that branch, hanging down, unable to bear its too
heavy burden, broke off with a noise and fell down, as if hewn with a

And with that branch he fell headlong in a large precipice surrounded on
all sides by steep rock-walls, like a pit; but as he was protected by
the leaves and plunged into deep water, he came off without breaking any
of his bones. After getting out of the water, he went about on all
sides, looking out for some way by which he might escape, but saw none.
As he found no outlet and realised that he must starve there very soon,
he despaired of his life, and tortured by the heart-piercing dart of
heavy sorrow burst into tears, that moistened his sad face. Overwhelmed
by discouragement and painful thoughts, he lamented somewhat in this

3. 'Down I fell into this precipice in the midst of this forest remote
from human approach. Who, however carefully seeking, may discover me,
except Death?

4. 'Who will rescue me out of this place, into which I was precipitated,
like a wild beast caught in a pit-fall? No relations, no friends have I
near, only swarms of mosquitoes drinking my blood.

5. 'Alas, the night within this pit conceals from me the aspect of the
universe. I shall no more see the manifold loveliness of gardens,
groves, arbours, and streams. No more the sky resplendent with its jewel
ornament of wide-scattered stars. Thick darkness, like a night in the
dark half of the month, surrounds me.'

Thus lamenting, that man passed there some days, feeding on the water
and the tinduka-fruits which had come down together with himself.

Now, that great ape wandering through that part of the forest with the
purpose of taking his food, came to that place, beckoned as it were by
the wind-agitated branches of that tinduka-tree. Climbing on it and
looking over the waterfall, he perceived that man lying there and in
want of relief, and saw also his eyes and cheeks sunken, and his limbs
emaciated, pale, and suffering from hunger. The wretched situation of
the man roused the compassion of the great monkey, who setting aside the
care for his meal, fixed his eyes intently on the man and in a human
voice uttered this:

6. 'Thou art in this precipice inaccessible to men. Well, tell me then,
please, who thou art and by what cause thou hast come there.'

Then the man, casting up his eyes to the great ape, bowing his head and
folding his hands as a supplicant, spoke:

7, 8. 'I am a man, illustrious being. Having lost my way and roaming in
the forest, I came into this distress, while seeking to get fruits from
this tree. Befallen by this heavy calamity, while away from my friends
and kindred, I beseech thee, protector of troops of monkeys, be also my

These words succeeded in stirring the boundless pity of the Great Being.

9. A person in distress, without friends or family to help him,
imploring help with anxious looks and folded hands, would rouse
compassion in the heart even of his enemies; to the compassionate he is
a great attraction.

Then the Bodhisattva, pitying him, comforted him with kind words, such
as he could hardly expect in that time.

10. 'Be not afflicted, thinking thou hast lost thy strength by the fall
into this precipice or that thou hast no relations to help thee. What
those would do for thee, I will do it all. Do not fear.'

And after these comforting words the Great Being provided the man with
tindukas and other fruits. Then with the object of rescuing him, he went
away to some other place, and exercised himself in climbing having on
his back a stone of a man's weight. Having learnt the measure of his
strength and convinced himself that he was able to bring up the man out
of the waterfall, he descended to the bottom of it, and moved by
compassion, said these words to the man:

11. 'Come, climb upon my back and cling fast to me, while I shall bring
out both thee and the usefulness of my body.

12. 'For the pious pronounce this to be the usefulness of the body,
otherwise a worthless thing, that it may be employed by the wise as an
instrument for benefiting our neighbour.'

The other agreed, and after reverentially bowing to the ape, mounted on
his back.

13. So with that man on his back, stooping under the pain of the
exceeding heaviness of his burden, yet, owing to the intensity of his
goodness, with unshaken firmness of mind, he succeeded in rescuing him,
though with great difficulty.

14. And having delivered him, he enjoyed the highest gladness, but was
so exhausted, that he walked with an unstable and tottering step, and
chose some cloud-black slab of stone to lie upon, that he might take his

Pure-hearted as he was and being his benefactor, the Bodhisattva did not
suspect danger from the part of that man, and trustingly said to him:

15, 16. 'This part of the forest being easily accessible, is exposed to
the free course of ferocious animals. Therefore, that nobody may kill me
and his own future happiness by a sudden attack, while I am taking my
rest from fatigue, thou must carefully look out in all directions and
keep guard over me and thyself. My body is utterly tired, and I want to
sleep a little while.'

The man promised to do so. Assuming the frank language of honesty, he
said: 'Sleep, sir, as long as you like, and may your awaking be glad! I
stay here, keeping guard over you.' But when the Great Being, in
consequence of his fatigue, had fallen asleep, he conceived wicked
thoughts within his mind.

17. 'Roots to be obtained with hard effort or forest-fruits offered by
chance are my livelihood here. How can my emaciated body sustain life by
them? how much less, recover its strength?

18. 'And how shall I succeed in traversing this wilderness hard to pass,
if I am infirm? Yet, in the body of this ape I should have food amply
sufficient to get out of this troublesome wilderness.

19. 'Although he has done good to me, I may feed on him, I may, for he
has been created such a being. I may, for here the rules given for times
of distress[177] are applicable, to be sure. For this reason I have to
get my provisions from his body.

     [177] The so-called âpaddharma, cp. stanza 8 of Story XII.

20. 'But I am only able to kill him while he is sleeping the profound
and quiet sleep of trustfulness. For if he were to be attacked in open
fight, even a lion would not be assured of victory.

'Therefore, there is no time to lose now.' Having thus made up his mind,
that scoundrel, troubled in his thoughts by sinful lust which had
destroyed within him his gratitude, his consciousness of the moral
precepts, and even his tender innate feeling of compassion, not minding
his great weakness of body, and listening only to his extreme desire to
perform that vile action, took a stone, and made it fall straight down
on the head of the great ape.

21, 22. But, being sent by a hand trembling with weakness and hastily,
because of his great cupidity, that stone, flung with the desire of
sending the monkey to the complete sleep (of death), destroyed his
sleep. It did not strike him with its whole weight, so that it did not
dash his head to pieces; it only bruised it with one of its edges, and
fell down on the earth with a thundering noise.

23, 24. The Bodhisattva, whose head had been injured by the stone,
jumped up hastily; and looking around him that he might discover his
injurer, saw nobody else but that very man who stood before him in the
attitude of shame, confounded, timid, perplexed, and dejected, betraying
his confusion by the ashy-pale colour of his face, which had lost its
brightness; sudden fright had dried up his throat, drops of sweat
covered his body, and he did not venture to lift up his eyes.

As soon as the great ape realised that the man himself was the evildoer,
without minding the pain of his wound any longer, he felt himself
utterly moved. He did not become angry, nor was he subdued by the sinful
feeling of wrath. He was rather affected with compassion for him who,
disregarding his own happiness, had committed that exceedingly vile
deed. Looking at him with eyes wet with tears, he lamented over the man,

25, 26. 'Friend, how hast thou, a man, been capable of doing an action
like this? How couldst thou conceive it? how undertake it? Thou, who
wast bound to oppose with heroic valour any foe whosoever eager to hurt
me would have assailed me!

27. 'If I felt something like pride, thinking I performed a deed hard to
be done, thou hast cast away from me that idea of haughtiness, having
done something still more difficult to do.

28. 'After being brought back from the other world, from the mouth of
Death, as it were, thou, scarcely saved from one precipice, hast fallen
into another, in truth!

29. 'Fie upon ignorance, that vile and most cruel thing! for it is
ignorance that throws the miserable creatures into distress, (deceiving
them) with (false) hope of prosperity.

30, 31. 'Thou hast ruined thyself, kindled the fire of sorrow in me,
obscured the splendour of thy reputation, obstructed thy former love of
virtues, and destroyed thy trustworthiness, having become a mark for
(the arrows of) reproach. What great profit, then, didst thou expect by
acting in that manner?

32. 'The pain of this wound does not grieve me so much as this thought
which makes my mind suffer, that it is on account of me that thou hast
plunged into evil, but that I have not the power of wiping off that sin.

33, 34. 'Well then, go with me, keeping by my side, but mind to be
always in my sight, for thou art much to be distrusted. I will conduct
thee out of this forest, the abode of manifold dangers, again into the
path which leads to the dwellings of men, lest roaming alone in this
forest, emaciated and ignorant of the way, thou shouldst be assailed by
somebody who, hurting thee, would make fruitless my labour spent in thy

So commiserating that man, the High-minded One conducted him to the
border of the inhabited region, and having put him on his way, said

35. 'Thou hast reached the habitations of men, friend; now thou mayst
leave this forest-region with its fearful thickets and wildernesses. I
bid thee a happy journey and wish that thou mayst endeavour to avoid
evil actions. For the harvest of their evil results is an extremely
painful time.'

So the great ape pitying the man, instructed him as if he were his
disciple; after which he went back to his abode in the forest. But the
man who had attempted that exceedingly vile and sinful deed, tortured by
the blazing fire of remorse, was on a sudden struck with a dreadful
attack of leprosy. His figure became changed, his skin was spotted with
vesicles which, becoming ulcers and bursting, wetted his body with their
matter, and made it putrid in a high degree. To whatever country he
came, he was an object of horror to men; so hideous was his distorted
form; neither by his appearance did he resemble a human being nor by his
changed voice, indicative of his pain. And people, thinking him to be
the embodied Devil, drove him away, threatening him with uplifted clods
and clubs and harsh words of menace. One time, roaming about in some
forest, he was seen by a certain king who was hunting there. On
perceiving his most horrible appearance--for he looked like a
Preta[178], the dirty remains of his garments having at last dropped
off, so that he had hardly enough to cover his shame--that king,
affected with curiosity mingled with fear, asked him thus:

     [178] See supra, note on p. 147.--As to the punishment of this
     treacherous man (mitradhruk), cp. a similar punishment of the
     slanderer Kokâliya in Suttanipâta III, 10.

36, 37. 'Thy body is disfigured by leprosy, thy skin spotted with
ulcers; thou art pale, emaciated, miserable; thy hair is dirty with
dust. Who art thou? Art thou a Preta, or a goblin, or the embodied
Devil, or a Pûtana[179]? Or if one out of the number of sicknesses,
which art thou who displayest the assemblage of many diseases?'

     [179] A Pûtana is a kind of ghost looking terrible. They live in
     cemeteries, and like to feed on human flesh.

Upon which the other, bowing to the prince, answered in a faltering
tone: 'I am a man, great king, not a spirit.' And being asked again by
the king, how he had come into that state, he confessed to him his
wicked deed, and added these words:

38. 'This suffering here is only the blossom of the tree sown by that
treacherous deed against my friend. O, surely, its fruit will be still
more miserable than this.

39. 'Therefore, you ought to consider a treacherous deed against a
friend as your foe. With kindheartedness you must look upon friends, who
are kind-hearted towards you.

40. 'Those who adopt a hostile behaviour against their friends, come
into such a wretched state already in this world. From hence you may
infer what will be in the other world the fate of those who, sullied in
their mind by covetousness and other vices, attempted the life of their

41. 'He, on the other hand, whose mind is pervaded with kindness and
affection for his friends, obtains a good reputation, is trusted by his
friends and enjoys their benefits. He will possess gladness of mind and
the virtue of humility, his enemies will consider him a man hard to
offend, and finally he will gain residence in Heaven.

42. 'Thus knowing the power and the consequences of good and evil
behaviour with respect to friends, O king, hold fast to the road
followed by the virtuous. He who goes along on this will attain

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, the virtuous grieve not so much for their own pain
as for the loss of happiness incurred by their injurers. [So is to be
said, when discoursing on the great-mindedness of the Tathâgata, and
when treating of listening with attention to the preaching of the Law;
likewise when dealing with the subjects of forbearance and faithfulness
towards friends; also when demonstrating the sinfulness of evil deeds.]


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 483, Fausb. IV, 267-275.)

Even to him who attempts their life the intensely compassionate show
pity in his distress; they will not disregard such a one. This will be
taught in the following.

One time, it is said, the Bodhisattva was a _s_arabha[180], living in a
remote part of a certain forest. That region, lying beyond the path and
the noise of men, was a dwelling-place of manifold tribes of
forest-animals. Its many roots, trees, and shrubs were immersed in the
thick and high grass which covered its soil, untrodden by travellers and
showing nowhere any trace of vehicles and carriages, the tracks of
whose feet or wheels might have beaten something like a road or
border-line; yet, it was intersected with channels and full of ant-hills
and holes. That _s_arabha had a solid body, endowed with strength,
vigour, and swiftness; he was distinguished by the beautiful colour of
his skin. As he was addicted to practising compassion, he cherished
friendly feelings towards all animals. Possessing the virtue of
contentment, he subsisted only on grasses, leaves and water, and was
pleased with his residence in the forest. So he adorned that part of the
forest, longing, like a Yogin, for complete detachment.

     [180] Not the common deer of that name seems to be meant, but the
     fabulous animal _s_arabha, said to be eight-legged, very strong,
     and a match for lions and elephants.

1. Bearing the shape of a forest-animal, but possessing the intellectual
faculties of a man, he lived in that solitary wilderness, showing, like
an ascetic, mercy to all living beings, and contenting himself, like a
Yogin, with blades of grass.

Now once upon a time it happened that the king who was the ruler of that
country came near that place. Mounted on his excellent horse, holding
his bent bow and arrow in his hand, and being eager to try his skill of
arms on the game, he was pursuing the deer with speed, indulging in the
excitement (of the chase). So he was carried away by his horse, an
animal of extraordinary swiftness, and separated by no small distance
from his retinue, a body of elephants, horse, chariots, and footmen. As
soon as he saw the Great Being from afar, he was resolved on killing
him, and keeping ready his bow strung with a sharp arrow, spurred his
horse to chase the High-minded One. But the Bodhisattva had no sooner
perceived the king on horseback assailing him, than he took to flight
with the utmost swiftness; not because he would have been powerless to
stand and fight his aggressor, but because he had desisted from acts of
violence and anger. While being pursued by the king, meeting with a
large hole on his way, he quickly jumped over it, as if it were a small
puddle, and continued his flight. When the excellent horse, running
after the _s_arabha in the same direction as swiftly as ever he could,
arrived at that hole, he hesitated to risk the leap, and of a sudden
stood still.

2. Then the king, as he was, his bow in his hands, tumbled down from
horseback and fell headlong into the large hole, as a warrior of the
Daityas sinks into the Ocean.

3. Keeping his eyes fixed on the _s_arabha, he had not noticed that
chasm. So he fell by the fault of his want of circumspection, as he lost
his balance by the sudden stopping of his horse from his great

Now, the sound of the trampling of hoofs ceasing, the Bodhisattva began
to think: 'has that king, perhaps, really turned back?' Then, turning
his head and looking behind, he saw the horse without his rider standing
on the brink of that chasm. On perceiving this, his thoughts turned to
this reasoning: 'No doubt, the king must have fallen into this chasm. No
tree is here spreading its thick foliage, the sheltering shade of which
might invite to sit down and rest, nor is here any lake to be found fit
for bathing in its water as blue and as pure as a petal of a blue lotus.
Nor, since he entered this wild forest-region haunted by ferocious
animals, is he likely to have dismounted and left his excellent horse in
some place, that he might either take his rest or continue hunting
alone. No more is there here any jungle in which he might be hidden.
Surely, that king must have fallen into this hole.' After he had
convinced himself of this, the High-minded One felt the utmost
commiseration for him who sought his life.

4, 5. 'But lately this monarch possessed the enjoyments of royalty,
being worshipped like the Lord of the Devas by crowds of people revering
him with clasped hands. His army attended him, a mixed host of chariots,
horsemen, footmen, and elephants, adorned with gay banners, glittering
in their armour and weapons, and marching to the brisk tones of music.
His head was sheltered by the lovely umbrella, and the chowries fanning
him made a beautiful effect with the shine of their (jewelled) handles.

6. 'And now at this moment he is lying below in this large chasm. By the
shock of his fall he must have broken his bones, he has swooned or pines
with sorrow. Alas! To what a distress has he come!

7. 'Common people, whose mind has grown callous with suffering, so to
speak, are not so much afflicted by their sorrows, as men of high rank,
when calamities visiting them plunge them into grief, something new to
such as are accustomed to great delicacy.

'He will never be able to escape from thence by himself. If there is
still some remnant of life in him, then it is not right to abandon him
to his fate.' So considering, the High-minded One, impelled by his
compassion, went to the brink of the precipice and perceived him
struggling there. His armour, covered with dust, had lost its splendour,
his diadem and his garments were utterly disarranged, and the pain
caused by the blows he had got in falling down afflicted his mind, and
brought him to despondency.

8. Having seen the king in that wretched situation, he forgot that it
was his enemy, and affected with pity felt an equal pain to his; tears
welled up in his eyes.

9. And he addressed him with modest and kind language, manifesting his
innate pious disposition and comforting him by the proper and respectful
words he used in a distinct and lovely-sounding voice.

10. 'Thou hast received no hurt, Your Majesty, I hope, coming into this
hell-resembling chasm? Thou hast broken no limb, I hope? Do thy pains
grow less already?

11. 'I am no goblin, O most distinguished of men, I am a forest-animal
living within thy realm, reared upon thy grass and water. So thou mayst
put confidence in me.

12. 'Do not despond, then, because of thy fall into the precipice. I
have the power to rescue thee from thence. If thou thinkest me
trustworthy, then quickly command me and I come.'

This marvellous speech of the animal roused the admiration of the king.
Shame arose within his mind and he began, in truth, to reflect in this

13. 'How is it possible that he shows pity towards me, his enemy, of
whose prowess he perceived himself to be the goal? And how could I act
so unbecomingly to this innocent one?

14. 'Oh! How he confounds me by the sharp reproach of his softness! It
is I who am the animal, the brute, he is some being bearing only the
shape of a _s_arabha.

'He deserves, therefore, to be honoured by my acceptance of his friendly
offer.' Having thus made up his mind, he spoke:

15-17. 'My body being covered by my armour has not been too heavily
injured, and the pain I feel from being crushed in this chasm is at
least bearable. Yet, that grievance caused by my fall does not torment
me so much as my offence against a being so pure-hearted and holy as
thou. Do not mind it, I pray thee, that relying on thy outward shape I
took thee for a forest-animal, not being aware of thy real nature.'

Then the _s_arabha, inferring from these friendly words of the king,
that he agreed to his proposal, exercised himself with the object of
rescuing him, bearing on his back a stone of a man's weight. Having
learnt the extent of his strength, determined upon rescuing the king, he
went down into the hole and drawing near to him, spoke in a respectful

18. 'Pray, put up for a while with the necessity of touching this body
of mine, that, with the object of obtaining my own happiness, I may make
thy face resplendent with contentment and joy.

'Your Majesty, deign therefore to mount upon my back and cling fast to
me.' And he, after declaring his approval, mounted his back, as if it
were a horse's.

19. Then, with the king on his back, he climbed aloft with surpassing
vigour and swiftness, and holding high the forepart of his body,
resembled some (stone-)elephant rising in the air, as is represented on

20. After carrying the king out of that inaccessible place and making
him rejoin his horse, he was much rejoiced and told him the way to his
capital, and himself prepared to retire to his forest.

But the king, moved with gratitude for his kind service, so modestly
rendered, embraced the _s_arabha affectionately, saying:

21. 'This life of mine is at thy disposal, O sarabha. It is, therefore,
unnecessary to add that thou must consider as thy property all that is
within my power. Give me, then, the pleasure of visiting my capital, and
if thou likest it, take up thy residence there.

22. 'Is it not unbecoming to me that I should set out for home alone,
leaving thee in this dreadful forest haunted by hunters, where thou art
exposed to suffering because of cold, heat, rain, and other calamities?

'Well then, let us go together.'

Then the Bodhisattva eulogized him in modest, soft and respectful terms,
answering thus:

23. 'In lovers of virtues, like thee, O most excellent of men, a
behaviour like thine is the proper one. For virtues, constantly
practised by pious persons, turn out to be an essential part of their
very nature.

24. 'But since thou thinkest, that I who am accustomed to the forest
might be favoured by taking up my residence at thy home, pray, no more
of this. Of one kind is the pleasure of men, of another that of the
forest-animals conformable to the habits of their kind.

25. 'If, however, thou wantest to do something pleasant to me, then
desist from hunting, O hero, for ever! The poor beasts of the forest,
being brute and dull of intellect, are worth pitying for this very

26. 'With respect to the pursuit of happiness and the removal of
mischief, the animals, thou shouldst know, are subject to the same
feelings as men. Keeping this in mind, deem it improper to do to others
what would be a cause of displeasure, if done to thyself.

27. 'Understanding that evil deeds entail loss of reputation, censure
by the virtuous, and moreover suffering, thou must extirpate the evil
within thee, considering it thy adversary. It never becomes thee to
overlook it, no more than illness.

28. 'It is by pursuing meritorious actions that thou obtainedst the
royal dignity, a thing highly esteemed by men and the abode of bliss.
That very store of merit thou must enlarge, thou shouldst not enfeeble
the ranks of the benefactors.

29. 'Gather meritorious actions, the instruments of glory and happiness,
by munificent gifts, (taking care) to enhance their charm by
(distributing them at the right) time and in a respectful manner; by a
moral conduct, the right laws of which thou mayst learn by intercourse
with virtuous persons[181]; and by succeeding in making thy dispositions
towards all creatures as well-wishing as to thyself.'

     [181] In the original two short syllables are wanting in the second
     pâda of this stanza. I imagine it should be read thus, _s_îlena

In this manner the High-minded One favoured the king, firmly
establishing him in the matters relating to the future life. And the
king accepted his words. After which he entered his dwelling-place in
the forest, followed with respectful looks by the king.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner the intensely compassionate show pity even to him who
attempts their life, when he is in distress; they will not disregard
such a one. [This story is to be told also when treating of
commiseration, when discoursing on the high-mindedness of the Tathâgata
and on the subject of listening with attention to the preaching of the
Law. Likewise it is to be propounded when demonstrating that enmities
are appeased by means of friendliness, also when treating of the virtue
of forbearance. 'In this way it is seen that the High-minded, even when
in the state of beasts, behave mercifully towards those who attempt
their life. How, indeed, should it become a human being or one who has
taken the vow of a homeless life to be wanting in mercy towards the
animals? For this reason a pious man (ârya) must show mercy to living


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 482, Fausb. IV, 255-263; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
II, 6.)

To the virtuous no suffering exists but that of others. It is this they
cannot bear, not their own suffering, as will be taught by the

One time the Bodhisattva, it is said, lived in the forest as a
ruru-deer. He had his residence in a remote part of a large wilderness,
far from the paths of men and overgrown with a rich, manifold
vegetation. There were a great number of sâls, bakulas, piyâlas,
hintâlas, tamâlas, naktamâlas, of vidula and ni_k_ula reeds and of
shrubs; thickets of _s_im_s_apâs, tini_s_as, _s_amîs, palâ_s_as,
_s_âkas, of ku_s_a-grass, bamboo and reeds encumbered it; kadambas,
sar_g_as, ar_g_unas, dhavas, khadiras, and ku_t_a_g_as abounded in it;
and the outstretched branches of many trees were covered as if by a veil
with the tendrils of manifold creeping plants. It was the abode of a
great many forest-animals: deer of the ruru, p_ri_shata and s_ri_mara
varieties, yaks, elephants, gavaya-oxen, buffaloes, antelopes of the
hari_n_a and the nyaṅku kind, boars, panthers, hyenas, tigers, wolves,
lions, bears, and others. Among them that ruru-deer was conspicuous by
its hue brilliant like pure gold and the very soft hair of his body,
which was moreover adorned and resplendent with spots of different
lovely colours, shining like rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and beryls.
With his large blue eyes of incomparable mildness and brightness, with
his horns and hoofs endowed with a soft splendour, as if they were made
of precious stones, that ruru-deer of surpassing beauty had the
appearance of a moving treasury of jewels. Then, knowing his body to be
a much desirable object and being aware of the pitiless nature of man,
he liked to frequent such forest-tracks as were free from human
intercourse, and in consequence of his keen intellect, was careful to
avoid such places as were unsafe by the artifices of huntsmen, their
traps, nets, snares, holes, lime-twigs, and the seeds and other food
they strew down. Moreover, he warned also the animals who followed after
him to avoid them. He exercised his rule over them like a teacher, like
a father.

1. Where on earth will not people, longing for their happiness, honour
the combination of paramount beauty and paramount intelligence, hallowed
by accomplished good actions?

Now once upon a time it happened that the High-minded One, residing in
that wild part of the forest, heard cries for help uttered by some man
who was being carried away by the current of a rapid stream flowing near
and lately swollen by the rains.

2. 'The rapid and swollen stream carries me away, and there is nobody to
help, no vessel to take me. Come to me, pitiful people; come quickly to
rescue a wretch.

3. 'My arms, exhausted from fatigue, are not able to keep my body on the
water, and nowhere can I find a ford. Help me then and soon, there is no
time to lose.'

These piteous cries of distress struck the Bodhisattva, and as if he
were wounded by them in his heart, he rushed out of the thicket,
exclaiming those comforting words he had been wont to use in hundreds of
previous existences and by which he had banished fear, grief, sadness,
and fatigue. So even now he succeeded in bringing forth the words 'do
not fear! do not fear!' in plain human voice repeatedly and loudly. And
coming out of the forest he saw from afar that man, like a precious
present brought to him by the stream.

4. Then, resolved upon rescuing him and without minding the risk of his
own life, he entered the river that was running with tremendous
rapidity, like a brave warrior disturbing a hostile army.

5. He placed himself across his way, then told him to cling fast to him.
And the man, who was in the paroxysm of fear and had almost lost the
power of his limbs, his strength being exhausted, climbed on his back.

6. Nevertheless, though he was mounted by the man and forced out of his
way by the violence of the current, the paramount excellence of his
nature enabled him to keep his great vigour intact, and he reached the
riverbank according to the wish of that man.

7. Having brought the man to the riverside and dispelled his weariness
and pain, obtaining by this a very great rejoicing himself, he warmed
his cold limbs with the warmth of his own body, then dismissed him.
'Go,' he said, showing him the way.

This marvellous propensity for affording succour, such as is
unparalleled in affectionate relations and friends, touched the man to
the quick, and the beautiful shape of the ruru-deer roused his
admiration and respect. Bowing his head to him, he addressed him with
kind words like these:

8-10. 'No friend from childhood nor kinsman is capable of performing
such a deed as thou hast done for me. This life of mine, therefore, is
thine. If it were to be spent for some matter of thy interest, however
small, I would esteem myself highly favoured. Why, procure me that
favour by ordering me to do something for thee, in whatever respect Thy
Honour thinks me fit for employment.'

In reply to this the Bodhisattva said approvingly:

11. 'Gratitude is not at all to be wondered at in a gentleman. For this
quality proceeds from his very nature. But seeing the corruptness of the
world, even gratitude is nowadays reckoned among the virtues.

'For this reason, I tell thee this. Let thy grateful disposition not
induce thee to relate to anybody, that thou wast rescued by such an
extraordinary animal. My beautiful figure makes me too desirable a prey.
Lo, as a rule, the hearts of men, owing to their great covetousness,
possess little mercy or self-restraint.

12. 'Therefore, take care to guard both thy own good properties and me.
A treacherous behaviour towards a friend never tends to bliss.

'Do not either trouble thy mind by anger because I speak so to thee. I
am but a deer, unskilled in the deceitful politeness of men. Moreover,

13. 'It is the fault of such people as are clever in fallacy and possess
the talent of assuming a show of feigned honesty that even those whose
honesty is sincere are looked at with suspicion.

'So then, thou wilt please me by doing as I said.' And the man promised
to do so, and after bowing to the Great Being and circumambulating him,
set out for his home.

Now at that time there lived in that country a queen of some king who
saw true dreams. Whatever extraordinary dream she dreamt was realised.
One time, being asleep she had this dream about day-break. She saw a
ruru-deer of resplendent brilliancy, shining like a heap of jewels of
every kind, standing on a throne and surrounded by the king and his
assembly, preaching the Law in a human voice of an articulate and
distinct sound. Affected with astonishment she awoke with the beating of
drums which were to arouse her husband from sleep[182]. And she took the
first opportunity to go and see the king, who kindly received her not
only with the honour she deserved but also with solicitous affection.

     [182] It was the custom to awake the king by the sound of music and
     songs. See, for instance, Râmâya_n_a II, sarga 65.

14. Then she, whose bright eyes enlarged with astonishment and whose
lovely cheeks were trembling from gladness, presented her lord with the
account of that marvellous dream as with a gift of homage.

When she had told her wonderful dream to the king, she added this
earnest request:

15. 'Therefore, my lord, pray endeavour to obtain that deer. Adorned
with this jewel-deer, your zenana would be as resplendent as the sky
with the Deer-asterism[183].'

     [183] Viz. M_ri_ga_s_iras, corresponding with the head of Orion.

The king, who trusted by experience the visions of her dreams, readily
complied with her desire, partly that he might do something agreeable to
her, partly because he himself was covetous of obtaining that
jewel-deer. Accordingly he ordered all his huntsmen to search for that
deer, and had this proclamation made public in his capital day after

16. 'There exists a deer gold-skinned and spotted with various colours
shining like hundreds of jewels. It is celebrated in the holy texts, and
some have got the sight of it. Whosoever will show that deer, to him the
king gives a very rich village and full ten lovely women.'

Now the man (who had been rescued by the Bodhisattva) heard that
proclamation again and again.

17. As he was poor, the reflection on the sufferings of poverty
afflicted his heart, but on the other hand he kept in mind the great
benefit he had received from the ruru-deer. Distracted by cupidity and
gratitude, he was moved in both directions as in a swing by different
considerations like these:

'What, then, have I to do now? Shall I have regard to Virtue or Wealth?
Shall I keep the promise to my benefactor rather than the duty of
sustaining my family? Which must I esteem most highly, the other world
or this? Which must I follow, the conduct of the pious or rather that of
the world? Shall I strive after riches or rather after such good as is
cherished by the virtuous? Whether to mind the present time or the time
hereafter?' At last his mind disturbed by covetousness came to this
conclusion. 'If I have once obtained great wealth,' so he thought, 'I
shall be able by means of these riches to gain, while enjoying the
pleasures of this world, also happiness in the other world, being intent
on honouring my kinsmen and friends, guests and mendicants[184].' Having
so resolved, putting out of his mind the benefit of the ruru-deer, he
went up to the king and said: 'I, Your Majesty, know that excellent deer
and his dwelling-place. Pray, tell me to whom I shall show him.' On
hearing this, the king much rejoiced answered him, 'Well, friend, show
him to myself,' and putting on his hunting-dress left his capital,
accompanied by a large body of his army. Conducted by the man, he went
to the aforesaid riverside. Then he encircled the forest adjoining it
with the whole of his forces, but himself bearing his bow, wearing his
finger-guard[185] and surrounded by a select number of resolute and
faithful men, entered the thicket, being shown the way by that man. As
they went onward, the man discovering the ruru-deer who quietly and
unsuspectingly was staying in his forest, showed him to the king,
exclaiming: 'Here, here is that precious deer, Your Majesty. May Your
Majesty deign to look at him and be careful.'

     [184] A similar reasoning is made by _S_akra, when he tries the
     Bodhisattva in his Avishahya-existence, see Story V, stanzas 18-21.

     [185] The finger-guard (aṅgulitrâ_n_a) is a contrivance used by
     archers to protect the thumb and fingers from being injured by the

18. So saying he raised his arm, eager as he was to point at the deer,
and lo, his hand fell down off his arm, as if it had been cut off with a

19. Indeed, when directed at such objects hallowed by their
extraordinary performances, one's actions come immediately to ripeness,
provided that they are of consequence and there is but little to
counterbalance them[186].

     [186] In other words, in such cases the evil karma has so great a
     strength that a considerable amount of good works would be required
     in order to check the rapidity of the development of its fruit.

Then the king, curious to get the sight of the ruru-deer, let his eyes
pass along the way shown by the man.

20. And in the midst of that wood, dark as clouds newly formed, he
perceived a body shining with the lustre of a treasury of jewels, and
saw that deer, dear by his illustrious properties. So does the fire of
lightning appear out of the womb of the cloud.

21. Charmed by the beauty of his figure, the king, eagerly desirous of
catching him, immediately curved his bow, made the arrow bite its string
and went up to him that he might hit him.

But the Bodhisattva, on hearing the noise of people on every side, had
thereby concluded that he must have been surrounded, to be sure.
Afterwards perceiving the king coming up ready to shoot off his arrow at
him, he understood there was no opportunity for running away. Then he
uttered distinct articulate language, addressing the king in a human

22, 23. 'Stop a moment, mighty prince, do not hit me, hero among men!
Pray, first satisfy my curiosity, and tell me this. Who may have
discovered my abode to thee, far as it is from the paths of men, saying
that I, such a deer, dwell in this thicket?'

The king, touched by this wonderful address in a human voice and taking
still more interest in him, showed him that man with the point of his
arrow. 'This man,' he said, 'has disclosed thy extremely marvellous
person to us.' But the Bodhisattva knowing again that man, spoke
disapprovingly: 'Fie upon him!

24, 25. 'It is a true saying, in truth "better is it to take a log out
of the water than to save an ungrateful person from it." In this manner
he returns that exertion made in his behalf! How is it that he did not
see that he destroyed his own happiness, too, at the same time?'

Now the king, being curious to know what he might thus reproach, vividly
said to the ruru-deer:

26, 27. 'On hearing thee censure somebody without catching the meaning
of thy obscure words or knowing with respect of whom thou spokest them,
my mind is somewhat alarmed. Therefore, tell me, wonderful deer, who is
he on whose account thou speakest so? Is it a man or a spirit, a bird or
perhaps a forest-animal?'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

28. 'No desire of blaming prompted me, O king, to this utterance, but
becoming aware of this blame-deserving action, I spoke sharp words in
order to prevent him from attempting to do such a thing again.

29. 'For who would like to use harsh language to those who have
committed a sin, strewing, so to speak, salt upon the wound of their
fault? But even to his beloved son a physician is obliged to apply such
medical treatment as is made necessary by his illness.

30. 'He whom I, moved by pity, rescued, when he was carried off by the
current, is the man who made this danger arise for me, O best of men.
Indeed, intercourse with wicked people does not tend to bliss.'

Then the king, casting on that man a stern look expressive of harsh
reproach, asked him: 'Oh, in truth, wast thou rescued before from such a
distress by this deer?' And the man, who was pale and perspired with
fear, sorrow, and dejection, answered in a low tone of shame: 'Yes, I
was.' Upon which the king revilingly exclaimed: 'Fie upon thee!' and
placing the arrow on the bowstring he continued: 'Do not think it a

31. 'He whose heart was not even softened by an exertion like that
employed in thy behalf, is a vile representative of his fellow-creatures
and brings them into dishonour. Why should this lowest of men live any

With these words he grasped his bow in the middle and bent it in order
to kill him. But the Bodhisattva, overpowered by his great compassion,
placed himself between, saying to the king: 'Stop, Your Majesty, stop,
do not strike one already stricken!

32. 'At the very moment that he listened to the culpable enticement of
Cupidity, his enemy, at that moment surely, he was ruined both in this
world, because of the loss of his good name, and in the next too, his
righteousness being destroyed.

33. 'Yea, in this way, when their soundness of mind has faded away in
consequence of unbearable sufferings, men fall into calamities, being
allured by the prospect of rich profit, like foolish moths attracted by
the shining of a light.

34. 'Thou must, therefore, rather pity him and restrain thy wrath. And
if he wanted to obtain something by so acting, let not his rash deed
lack that reward. For lo, I am standing here with bent head awaiting thy

This merciful and sincere desire to reward even the man who had
ill-treated him excited the highest surprise of the king. His heart
became converted, and looking up with veneration to the ruru-deer, he
exclaimed: 'Well said, well said, holy being.

35. 'Verily, showing such mercy to him whose cruel offence against thee
is evident, thou art a human being by thy properties, we do bear but the
shape of men.

36. 'Further, since thou deemest this knave worth commiseration, and
since he has been the cause of my seeing a virtuous person, I give him
the wealth he coveted and to thee the permission to go freely in this
kingdom wherever it pleases thee.'

The ruru-deer said: 'I accept this royal boon, illustrious king, which
is not given in vain. Therefore, deign to give me thy orders, that our
meeting here may afford thee profit and that I may be of some use to
thee.' Then the king made the ruru-deer mount his royal chariot,
worshipping him like his teacher, and led him with great pomp to his
capital. And having given him the reception due to a guest and invited
him to place himself on the royal throne, he with his wives and the
whole retinue of his officers exhorted him to preach the Law, and
raising his eyes to him with a kind expression of gladness mixed with
reverence, entreated him in this manner:

37. 'There is a great diversity of opinions among men concerning the
Law, but thou possessest the certainty about the Law. Deign, therefore,
to preach it to us.'

Upon which the Bodhisattva raised his voice and preached the Law to the
king and his royal assembly in words distinctly spoken in a soft tone
and elegantly composed.

38. 'Of the Law with the manifold performances depending on it and with
its subdivisions: abstaining from injuring others, from theft, &c.,
this, I believe, is the brief summary "Mercy to the creatures."

'Look here, illustrious prince.

39. 'If mercy to all creatures should make men hold them like themselves
or their own family, whose heart would ever cherish the baleful desire
for wickedness?

40. 'But the lack of mercy is to men the cause of the greatest
disturbance, as it corrupts the action of their minds and words and
bodies no less with respect to their family than to strangers.

41. 'For this reason he who strives for Righteousness ought to keep to
mercy, which will yield rich profit. Mercy[187], indeed, engenders
virtues, as a fructifying rain makes the crops grow.

     [187] In the fourth pâda of this stanza sa is a misprint for sâ.

42. 'Mercy, possessing a man's mind, destroys in it the passion for
injuring one's neighbour; and his mind being pure, neither his speech
nor his body will be perverted. So the love of one's neighbour's good
always increases and becomes the source of many other virtues: charity,
forbearance, and so on, which are followed by gladness of mind and are
conducive to reputation.

43. 'The merciful one does not arouse apprehension in the mind of others
because of his tranquillity. Owing to his mercy, everybody will hold him
a person to be trusted, as if he were their kinsman. No agitation of
passion will seize him whose heart has been made firm by mercy, nor does
the fire of anger blaze within his mind which enjoys the coolness of
water, thanks to mercy.

44. 'Why use many words? For this reason the wise firmly believe that in
Mercy the whole of Righteousness is contained. What virtue, indeed,
cherished by the pious does there exist which is not the consequence of
Mercy? Having this in mind, be intent on ever fortifying thy mercy to
all people, holding them like thy son, like thyself; and winning by thy
pious conduct the hearts of thy people, mayst thou glorify thy royalty!'

Then the king praised these words of the ruru-deer, and with his
townsmen and landsmen became intent on acting up to the Law of
Righteousness. And he granted security to all quadrupeds and birds.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, for the virtuous no suffering exists but that of
others. It is this they cannot bear, not their own suffering. [This
story is also to be told when discoursing on compassion, and may be
adduced when treating of the high-mindedness of the virtuous, also when
censuring the mischievous.]


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 407, Fausb. III, 370-375.)

Those who follow the behaviour of the virtuous win over even the hearts
of their enemies. This will be taught as follows.

In the heart of the Himavat there is a blessed region, whose soil is
covered with many kinds of herbs of different efficacious properties,
and abounds in hundreds of forest-trees with their great variety and
manifold arrangement of boughs, twigs, flowers, and fruits. It is
irrigated by mountain-currents whose water possesses the limpidity of
crystals, and resounds with the music of manifold crowds of birds. In
that forest the Bodhisattva lived, it is said, a chief of a troop of
monkeys. But even in that state--in consequence of his constant practice
of charity and compassion--jealousy, selfishness, and cruelty, as if
they were at war with him because he attended on their enemies (the
virtues), would not enter his mind. There he had his residence on a
large banian tree, which by its height, standing out superior against
the sky like the top of a mountain, might pass for the lord of that
forest, and by the thickness of its branches beset with dark foliage,
resembled a mass of clouds. Those branches were somewhat curved, being
loaded with excellent fruits of a size surpassing that of palmyra-nuts,
and distinguished by an exceedingly sweet flavour and a lovely colour
and smell.

1. The virtuous, even when they are in the state of animals, have still
some remainder of good fortune[188] which tends to the happiness of
their friends, for whose sake they employ it, in the same manner as the
remainder of the wealth of people abroad may serve the wants of their

     [188] In other words it is said, that though their store of merit,
     producing good fortune, must have been exhausted according to their
     being born beasts, yet there is left some remainder, the effect of
     which may assuage them in that low state. Cp. Story XXXIII, stanza

Now one branch of that tree hung over a river which passed by that
place[189]. Now the Bodhisattva, far-sighted as he was, had instructed
his flock of monkeys in this manner: 'Unless ye prevent this
banian-branch from having fruit, none of you will ever be able to eat
any fruit from the other branches[190].' Now it once happened that the
monkeys overlooked one young and for this reason not very big fruit,
hidden as it was in the cavity of some leaf crooked by ants. So that
fruit grew on, and in time developed its fine colour, smell, flavour,
and softness; when it had ripened and its stalk became loose, it dropped
into the river. Being carried down the stream, it stuck at last in the
net-work of a fence (let down in the river by the orders) of a certain
king, who, with his harem, was sporting at that time in the water of
that river.

     [189] In the Pâli redaction that river is the Ganges and the king
     Brahmadatta of Benares.

     [190] Considering the abruptness of the narration, it seems there
     is something wanting in the text. In the Pâli redaction it is told
     that the Bodhisattva, having warned the monkeys that a fruit of
     that tree would fall in the water and bring them mischief, causes
     them to destroy all germs of fruit on that branch in blossom-time.

2. Spreading about its delicious smell of great excellency and
delightful to the nose, that fruit made the different other odours
disappear, that exhaled there from the garlands, the rum, and the
perfumes of the bathing women, however those scents were intensified by
the union of the women interlacing each other.

3. This smell soon enchanted the women; they enjoyed it with prolonged
inhalations and half-shut eyes. And being curious to know its origin,
they cast their eyes in all directions.

And while casting their eyes, stirred by curiosity, all around, the
women perceived that banian fig, surpassing by its size a ripe
palmyra-nut, as it stuck to the net-work of the fence, and having once
discovered it, they could not keep their eyes from it. Nor was the king
less curious to know the nature of that fruit. He had it brought to him,
and after examination by reliable physicians tasted it himself.

4. Its marvellous flavour (rasa) raised the king's amazement, as (in a
dramatic composition) the marvellous sentiment (rasa), ravishing (the
mind of the spectators) by a good representation, rouses their

5. Had its extraordinary colour and smell stirred his surprise before,
now its flavour filled him with the highest admiration, and agitated him
with lust.

Though accustomed to dainties, the king became so eager to enjoy that
relish that this thought came to him:

6. 'If one does not eat those fruits, in truth, what fruit does one
enjoy from his royalty? But he who gets them is really a king, and this
without the toil of exercising royal power.'

Accordingly, having made up his mind to find out its origin, he reasoned
in this way to himself. 'Surely, the excellent tree, whence came this
fruit, cannot be far from here and it must stand on the riverside. For
it cannot have been in contact with the water for a long time, since it
has kept its colour, smell, and flavour intact, and is moreover
undamaged and shows no trace of decomposition. For this reason, it is
possible to pursue its origin.' Having so resolved, as he was possessed
by a strong desire for that delicious flavour, he ceased that
water-sport, and, after taking such measures as were suitable for the
maintenance of order in his capital (during his absence), set out,
accompanied by a great body of armed people equipped for expedition.
With them he marched up the river and enjoyed the different and various
sensations proper to journeying in a forest-region, clearing his way
through thickets haunted by ferocious animals, beholding woodlands of
great natural beauty, and frightening elephants and deer by the noise of
his drums. At last he reached the neighbourhood of that tree, a place
difficult for men to approach.

7. Like a mass of clouds hanging down by the burden of their water, this
lord of trees appeared from afar to the eyes of the king, dominating the
other trees which seemed to look up to it as to their sovereign, and,
though it stood near a steep mountain, resembling a mountain itself.

The exceedingly lovely smell, more fragrant than that of ripe mango
fruits, which was spreading from it and met the army as if it went to
receive it, made the king sure that this was the tree he sought for.
Coming near, he saw many hundreds of apes filling its boughs and
branches and occupied in eating its fruits. The king became angry with
those monkeys who robbed him of the objects so ardently longed for, and
with harsh words as 'Hit them! hit them! drive them away, destroy them
all, these scoundrels of monkeys!' he ordered his men to assail them.
And those warriors made themselves ready to shoot off the arrows from
their bows (strung), and uttered cries to frighten away the monkeys;
others lifted up clods and sticks and spears to throw at them. They
invaded the tree, as if they were to attack a hostile fortress.

But the Bodhisattva had perceived the approach of that noisy royal army
moving with loud tumult and uproar, like the billows of a sea roused by
the violence of the wind; he had seen the assault made on all sides of
his excellent tree with a shower of arrows, spears, clods, sticks, which
resembled a shower of thunderbolts; and he beheld his monkeys unable to
do anything but utter discordant cries of fear, while they looked up to
him with faces pale with dejection. His mind was affected with the
utmost compassion. Being himself free from affliction, sadness, and
anxiety, he comforted his tribe of monkeys, and having resolved upon
their rescue, climbed to the top of the tree, desirous to jump over to
the mountain-peak near it. And although that place could be reached only
by many successive leaps, the Great Being, by dint of his surpassing
heroism, passed across like a bird and held the spot.

8. Other monkeys would not be able to traverse that space even in two
successive leaps, but he, the courageous one, swiftly crossed it with
one single bound, as if it were a small distance.

9. His compassion had fostered his strong determination, but it was his
heroism which brought it to its perfection. So he made his utmost effort
to carry it out, and by the earnestness of his exertion he found the way
to it in his mind.

Having mounted, then, on some elevated place of the mountain-slope, he
found a cane, tall and strong, deep-rooted and strong-rooted, the size
of which surpassed the distance (between the mountain and the tree).
This he fastened to his feet, after which he jumped back to the tree.
But as the distance was great and he was embarrassed by his feet being
tied, the Great Being hardly succeeded in seizing with his hands the
nearest branch of the tree.

10. Then holding fast that branch and keeping the cane stretched by his
effort, he ordered his tribe, making them the signal proper to his race,
to come quickly off the tree.

And the monkeys, as they were bewildered by fear, having found that way
of retreat, hastened to make use of it, wildly rushing over his body
without regard to him, and safely escaped along that cane.

11. While being incessantly trodden by the feet of those fear-bewildered
monkeys, his body lost the solidity of its flesh, but his mind did not
lose its extraordinary firmness.

On beholding this, the king and his men were overcome with the utmost

12. Such a splendid display of strength and wisdom, combined with such
great self-denial and mercy to others, must rouse wonder in the minds of
those who hear of it; how much more did it affect the bystanders who
witnessed it?

Then the king commanded his men in this manner: 'This chief of apes,' he
said, 'having his limbs shaken and bruised by the feet of the multitude
of monkeys who, agitated by fear, ran over his body, and remaining in
that same position for a long time, must be excessively tired. Surely,
he will be unable to retire from this difficult posture by himself.
Therefore, quickly dress a canopy underneath the place where he is,
which being done, the cane and the banian branch must be shot off
simultaneously, with one arrow each.' And they did so. Then the king
ordered the monkey to be gently lifted off the canopy and placed on a
soft couch. There he lay without consciousness, for in consequence of
the pain of his wounds and his exhaustion he had swooned. After his
wounds had been salved with clarified butter and other ointments
suitable for the relief of fresh bruises, his faintness grew less. When
he had recovered his senses, he was visited by the king, who, affected
with curiosity, admiration, and respect, after asking him about his
health, continued thus:

13. 'Thou madest thy body a bridge for those monkeys, and feeling no
mercy for thy own life, rescuedst them. What art thou to them or what
are they to thee?

14. 'If thou deemest me a person worth hearing this matter, pray, tell
it me, foremost of monkeys. No small fetters of friendship, methinks,
should fasten one's mind to enable it to do the like performances.'

In reply to these words the Bodhisattva, in return for the king's wish
to relieve him, made himself known in a proper manner. He said:

15. 'Those, always prompt to act up to my orders, charged me with the
burden of being their ruler. And I, for my part, bound to them with the
affection of a father for his children, engaged myself to bear it; so I

16. 'This, mighty sovereign, is the kind of relation existing between
them and me. It is rooted by time and has increased the friendly
feelings existing between animals of the same species. Our dwelling
together has strengthened it to the mutual affection of kinsmen.'

On hearing this, the king affected with great admiration replied:

17. 'The ministers and the rest of his officials are to serve the
interest of their lord, not the king to serve theirs. For what, then,
did Your Honour sacrifice yourself in behalf of your attendants?'

The Bodhisattva spoke: 'Verily, such is the lore of Political Wisdom
(râ_g_anîti), Your Majesty, but to me it seems something difficult to

18. 'It is excessively painful to overlook heavy and unbearable pain,
even if the sufferer be somebody unacquainted with us. How much more, if
those suffer who, having their minds intent on worshipping us, are like
dear relations to us!

19. 'So, on seeing distress and despair overwhelming the monkeys in
consequence of their sudden danger, a great sorrow overcame me, which
did not leave me room to think of my personal interest.

20. 'Perceiving the bows bent and the glittering arrows fly upward on
all sides, and hearing the dreadful noise of the strings, hastily and
without further consideration I jumped over from the tree to the

21. 'Then--for the distress of my poor comrades, overcome with the
highest degree of terror, drew me back to them--I tied a cane fast to my
feet, a well-rooted reed, suitable for the effort at which I aimed.

22. 'So I jumped once more, leaping from the mountain-side to the tree,
in order to rescue my comrades, and with my hands I attained its nearest
branch stretched out like a hand to meet me.

23. 'And while I was hanging there with extended body between that cane
and that outstretched branch of the tree, those comrades of mine happily
made their escape, running without hesitation over my body.'

The king, perceiving the ecstasy of gladness, which even in that
miserable condition pervaded the Great Being, and much wondering at it,
again spoke to him:

24. 'What good has Your Honour obtained, thus despising your own welfare
and taking upon yourself the disaster which threatened others?'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

25. 'Verily, my body is broken, O king, but my mind is come to a state
of the greatest soundness, since I removed the distress of those, over
whom I exercised royal power for a long time.

26. 'As heroes who have vanquished their proud enemies in battle wear on
their limbs the beautiful marks of their prowess like ornaments, so I
gladly bear these pains.

27. 'Now I have requited them that long succession of prosperity which I
got by the chieftaincy over my tribe, that showed me not only their
reverence and other marks of worship, but also their affectionate

28. 'For this reason, this bodily pain does not grieve me, nor the
separation from my friends, nor the destruction of my pleasure, nor my
approaching death which I have incurred by thus acting. It seems to me
rather the approach of a high festival.

29, 30. 'Self-satisfaction gained by requital of former benefits,
appeasement of the solicitude (caused thereby), a spotless fame, honour
on the part of a king, fearlessness of death, and the approbation which
my grateful behaviour will meet with from the virtuous: these good
qualities, O thou who, like a tree[191], art the residence of excellent
virtues!--have I obtained by falling in with this wretched state. But
the vices opposite to these virtues will be met by such a king as is
without mercy for his dependents.

     [191] This simile is not improper, the speaker being a monkey.

31. 'For, if a king be devoid of virtues, if he have destroyed his good
renown and vices have taken up their abode in him, say, what else may he
expect than to go to the fierce-flaming fires of hell?

32. 'For this reason I have explained to thee, powerful prince, the
power of virtues and vices. Rule, therefore, thy realm with
righteousness. For Fortune shows in her affections the fickle nature of
a woman.

33. 'His army, not only the military men but also the animals of war;
his officials; his people, both townsmen and landsmen; those who have no
protector; and both (classes of religious people) _S_rama_n_as and
Brâhmans; all of them must a king endeavour to endow with such happiness
as is conducive to their good, as if he were their father.

34. 'In this manner increasing in merit, wealth, and glory, thou mayst
enjoy prosperity both in this world and in the next. With this kind of
felicity proper to the holy kings of old (râ_g_arshis) and attainable by
practising commiseration towards thy subjects, mayst thou be
illustrious, O king of men!'

35. After thus instructing the king who, like a pupil, listened to him
with devout attention and set a high value on his words, he left his
body paralysed in its functions by the excess of his pains, and mounted
to Heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, those who imitate the behaviour of the virtuous
win over even the hearts of their enemies. Thus considering, he who is
desirous of gaining the affection of men ought to imitate the behaviour
of the virtuous. [This story is also to be propounded, when discoursing
on the Tathâgata. 'The creatures are not as able to bring about their
own profit, as the Lord was to bring about the profit of others.'
Likewise, when treating of listening with attention to the preaching of
the Law, when discoursing on compassion, and also when instructing
princes, in which case this is to be said: 'In this manner a king must
be merciful towards his subjects.' It may be adduced also, when treating
of gratitude. 'In this manner the virtuous show their gratitude.']


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 313, Fausb. III, 39-43.)

     [192] In the original Kshânti_g_âtakam. Kshânti must here be an
     abbreviation of the name Kshântivâdin; in the Pâli redaction the
     corresponding story bears the title of Khantivâdi_g_âtaka.

Truly, to those who have wholly imbibed the virtue of forbearance and
are great in keeping their tranquillity there is nothing unbearable.
This will be taught as follows.

One time the Bodhisattva, it is said, was an ascetic who had forsaken
the world. He had become convinced that the life in a home, since it is
beset with bad occupations, leaves but little room for righteousness;
for it is visited by many sins and evils and unfit for quiet, inasmuch
as it implies the prevalence of material interest (artha) and sensual
pleasures (kâma); it is exposed to the inroad of defiling passions:
love, hatred, infatuation, jealousy, anger, lasciviousness, pride,
selfishness, and the rest; it involves the loss of the possession of
shame and religion, and is the abode of covetousness and wicked lust. On
the other hand he understood the homeless state, as it avoids material
property and sensual objects, to be an agreeable one, being wholly free
from those evils. Thus knowing, he became an ascetic, eminent by his
conduct, his learning, his placidity of mind, his modesty, and his
self-restraint. As he was in the habit of always preaching forbearance
and teaching the Law from that point of view, in strict conformity with
the vow he had taken to do so, people neglecting his proper name and
that of his family, made him a name of their own invention, calling him
Kshântivâdin (forbearance-preacher).

1. Illustrious domination or knowledge or penance, also an extreme
passion for arts, likewise anomaly of body, language or behaviour are
the causes of giving new names to men.

2. So was the case with him. His true name vanished for the appellation
of Kshântivâdin, because knowing the power of forbearance and desiring
to adorn mankind, like himself, with that virtue he constantly used to
discourse on that topic.

3. The great endurance, which was a part of his very nature and the
firmness of which he showed by his unaltered calm, when injured by
others, as well as his excellent sermons on that subject, gave him the
renown of a Muni.

The residence of the High-minded One was a place in the forest, lovely
by its utter solitude and exhibiting the charming beauty of a garden; it
bore flowers and fruits at all seasons, and encompassed a pond of pure
water embellished by white and blue lotuses. By his dwelling there he
procured for that place the holiness of a hermitage.

4. For where pious persons adorned with excellent virtues, have their
residence, such a place is a very auspicious and lovely one, a sacred
place of pilgrimage (tîrtha), a hermitage.

There he was venerated by the different deities, who were living there,
and often visited by such people as were lovers of virtues and desirous
of their salvation. To that multitude of visitors he showed the high
favour of entertaining them with his sermons on the subject of
forbearance, rejoicing both their ears and hearts.

Now one time in the season of summer it happened that the king of that
country, in consequence of the hot weather, was seized with a great
longing to play in the water, a very desirable thing at that time. So he
went with his harem to that place in the forest, as it was distinguished
by the different delights proper to gardens.

5. While he was rambling in the wood with the beauties of his zenana
spreading about on all sides, he embellished its Nandana-like splendour,
so to speak, by the rich display of the graceful sport of himself and
his wanton retinue.

6. In the arbours and bowers, under the forest-trees with their laughing
dress of flowers, and in the water with its expanding lotuses the king
delighted in the unrestrained expansion of the natural dalliance of the

7. Smilingly he beheld the graceful movements of fear and its beautiful
expression on the faces of some molested by bees, that were allured by
the perfumes of the implements for bathing and anointing mixed with the
fragrance of garlands and the odour of the rum.

8. Though they had adorned their ears with the most beautiful flowers,
and their hair wore plenty of garlands, the women could not have enough
of flowers. In the same way the king could not look enough at their
wanton playing.

9. He beheld those chaplet-like clusters of females, now clinging to the
arbours, now tarrying at the lotus-groups, sometimes hovering like bees
about the flowery trees.

10. Even the bold lascivious cries of the cuckoos, the dances of the
peacocks, and the humming of the bees were outdone by the tattle, the
dances, and the songs of those women.

11. The sound of the royal drums, as strong as the rattling of thunder,
induced the peacocks to utter their peculiar cries and make a
wide-spread circle of their tails, as if they were actors worshipping
the monarch by the virtue of their art.

Then, having enjoyed, with his harem, to his heart's content the
pleasure of walking about in that garden-like wood, as he was tired with
incessant playing and drunkenness overcame his mind, the king laid
himself down on his very precious royal couch in a beautiful arbour, and
fell asleep.

Now, when the women perceived that their lord was no longer occupied
with them, as they were not satiated with the manifold loveliness of the
forest which kept them enchanted, they moved from that place, and
rambled about in groups formed according to their liking, mixing the
confused sounds of their rattling ornaments with the tinkling noise of
their chatter.

12. Followed by the badges of sovereign power, the royal umbrella, the
royal tail-fan, the royal seat &c., which were decorated with golden
ornaments and borne by female slaves, the women walked about, indulging
unrestrainedly in their natural wantonness.

13. Disregarding the entreaties of the female servants, they greedily
laid hands upon the lovely flowers and twigs of the trees within their
reach, prompted by their petulance.

14. Though they had plenty of flowers, both as ornaments and arranged as
wreaths, they left on their way no shrub lovely by its flowers, nor tree
with its waving twigs without stripping them, out of cupidity.

Now in the course of their rambling through the forest, the loveliness
of which had captured their minds, the king's harem approached the
hermitage of Kshântivâdin. But those who were in charge of the royal
wives, although they knew the penance-power and high-mindedness of that
Muni, did not venture to prevent them from entering, on account of the
king's attachment to his darlings, lest he might resent their
intervention. So the royal wives, as if they were attracted by the
splendour of that hermitage, the loveliness of which was enhanced by
(the) supernatural power (of its occupant), entered the hermitage and
saw the eminent Muni sitting there with crossed legs under a tree, a
view auspicious and purifying to behold. His tranquillity gave a soft
expression to his countenance; the exceeding profundity of his mind
inspired awe; his face radiated, as it were, from the splendour of his
penance and, owing to his diligent exercise of dhyâna, bore the
beautiful expression of calm, as is proper to undisturbed senses, even
though the loftiest subjects of meditation were present to his thoughts.
In short, he was like the embodied Dharma. The lustre of his penance
subdued the minds of those royal wives, and the very sight of him was
sufficient to make them abandon their dalliance, frivolity, and
haughtiness. Accordingly they went to him in a humble attitude, and sat
down respectfully in a circle around him. He, for his part, performed to
them the usual salutation, welcoming them and saying to them kind and
courteous things which are agreeable to guests; then availing himself of
the opportunity which their questions procured him, he showed them his
hospitality by a religious discourse, preaching in such terms as were
easily understood by women, and illustrating his exposition of the Law
with examples.

15. 'He who, having obtained the blameless human state, and being born
in the full possession of organs and senses sound and vigorous, without
any defect[193], neglects to do good actions every day from lack of
attention--such a one is much deceived; is he not subject to the
necessity of death?

     [193] Bodily infirmities are the effect of former actions. They are
     with the Buddhists an impediment to proceeding on the way to
     salvation for the same reason, as they entail impurity and
     incompetence to assist at sacrificial performances in Brâhmanism.

16. 'A man may be ever so excellent by his birth, his figure, his age,
his superior power, or the wealth of his estate, never will he enjoy
happiness in the other world, unless he be purified by charity, good
conduct (_s_îla), and the rest of the virtues.

17. 'For surely, he who though devoid of a noble birth and the rest,
abhorring wickedness, resorts to the virtues of charity, good conduct
&c., such a one is hereafter visited by every kind of bliss, as the sea
in the rainy season by the water of the rivers.

18. 'To him who excels by his extraction, his figure, his age, his
superior power, or the wealth of his estate, attachment to virtues is
the most proper ornament already in this world; his golden garlands are
only indicative of his riches.

19. 'Blossoms are the ornaments of trees, it is flashes of lightning
that adorn the big rain-clouds, the lakes are adorned by lotuses and
waterlilies with their drunken bees; but virtues brought to perfection
are the proper ornament of living beings.

20. 'The various differences of men with respect to their health,
duration of life, beauty of figure, wealth, birth may be classed under
the heads of low, middle and high. This triad is not the effect of
natural properties nor caused by external influences, indeed. No, it is
the result of a man's actions (karma).

21. 'Knowing this to be the fixed law of human existence, and keeping in
mind the fickleness and frailness of life, a man must avoid wickedness,
directing his heart to pious behaviour. For this is the way leading to
good reputation and to happiness.

22. 'But a defiled mind acts like a fire, it burns away the good of
one's self and one's neighbour. He who is afraid of wickedness,
therefore, ought carefully to keep off such defilement by cultivating
what tends to the contrary.

23. 'As a fire, however fiercely burning, if it meet a great river,
filled up to its borders with water, becomes extinguished, so does the
fire which blazes within the mind of a man, if he relies on forbearance
that will serve him both in this world and in the next.

24. 'So forbearance is of great benefit. He who practises this virtue
avoids wickedness, for he has vanquished the causes of it. In
consequence thereof he will not rouse enmity, owing to his cherishing
friendliness. For this reason, he will be a person beloved and honoured,
and accordingly enjoy a happy life. At the end he comes to Heaven (as
easily) as if he entered his home, thanks to his attachment to a
meritorious behaviour.

'Moreover, ladies, this virtue of forbearance, I say,

25. 'Is celebrated as the superior degree of a pious nature; as the
highest development obtainable by merit and good repute; as that
purification which is attained without touching water; as the highest
wealth afforded by many affluents of virtuous properties.

26. 'It is praised also as the lovely firmness of mind of the virtuous
which is always indifferent to injuries done to them by others; as
having obtained by its properties its lovely name of kshamâ[194]; as
benefiting mankind; as well acquainted with pity.

     [194] Kshamâ is a synonym of kshânti.

27. 'Forbearance is the ornament of the powerful; it is the highest
pitch of the strength of ascetics; and since it has the effect of a
shower of rain on the conflagration of evils, it may be called the
extinguisher of misfortune both in this world and after death.

28. 'To the virtuous forbearance is a coat of mail, blunting the arrows
which the tongue of the wicked shoots off against them. Mostly it
changes those weapons into flowers of praise, which may be inserted in
the garland of their glory.

29. 'It is stated to be the killer of Delusion, that adversary of the
Dharma, and an easy contrivance by which to reach salvation. Who, then,
ought not to do his utmost to obtain forbearance, that virtue invariably
conducive to happiness?'

In this manner the High-minded One entertained those female guests with
an edifying sermon.

Meanwhile the king, having satisfied his want of sleep, awoke; his
lassitude was gone, but his eyes were still heavy with the dimness of
inebriation, which had not entirely passed away. Desirous of continuing
his amorous sport, he frowningly asked the female servants who were
guarding his couch, where his wives were. 'Your Majesty,' they answered,
'Their Highnesses are now embellishing other parts of the forest, to
admire the splendour of which they walked on.' Having been thus informed
by them, the king, as he eagerly desired to witness the sportive
sayings and doings of the royal wives, how they were laughing and
jesting free and unrestrained, rose from his couch, and accompanied by
his female warriors bearing his umbrella, his chowrie, his upper
garment, and his sword, and followed by the eunuchs of his zenana,
wearing their armour and having reed-staves in their hands, he marched
through the forest after them. It was easy to follow the way they had
taken; for they had traced it out with juvenile wantonness by means of a
multitude of various blossoms, flower-clusters, and twigs, which they
had strewed about, moreover by the red sap of the areca-nut and betel
chewed by them. So then, going after them he went to the hermitage. But
no sooner had the king seen that most excellent _Ri_shi Kshântivâdin
surrounded by the circle of the royal wives, than he was seized with a
fit of wrath. This frenzy overtook him, partly because he was long since
his enemy and bore him a grudge[195], partly in consequence of his
intellect being still troubled by drunkenness and his mind overcome with
jealousy. And as his power of composing himself was small, he lost his
countenance, disregarding the laws of decency and politeness, and
submitted to sinful wrath. So his colour altered, drops of sweat
appeared on his face, his limbs trembled, his brows frowned, and his
eyes tinged reddish, squinted, rolled, stared. The loveliness, grace,
and beauty of his figure had waned. He pressed his hands together, and
rubbing them, squeezing thereby his finger-rings and shaking his golden
armlets, scolded that excellent _Ri_shi, uttering many invectives: 'Ha,
he exclaimed,

     [195] This can be no wonder, for in the Pâli _G_âtaka, that wicked
     king is identified with Devadatta.

30. 'Who is that knave who injures our majesty, casting his eyes on our
wives? Under the disguise of a Muni this hypocrite acts like a fowler.'

These words alarmed and disturbed the eunuchs, who said to the king:
'Your Majesty ought not to speak so. This is a Muni who has purified
his Self by a long life of vows and restraints and penance; Kshântivâdin
is his name.' Nevertheless the king, in the pervertedness of his mind,
did not take to heart their words, and continued: 'Alas! Ah!

31. 'So it is then a long time already since this hypocrite, setting
himself up as the foremost of holy ascetics, has deceived people by his

'Well, then, I will lay open the true nature of that hypocrite, though
he keeps it veiled with his ascetic's dress and well conceals it by
practising the art of delusion and false godliness.' After thus
speaking, he took his sword from the hand of the female guard (who was
bearing it) and rushed on the holy _Ri_shi with the determination of
striking him, as if he were his rival. The royal wives, who had been
informed by their attendants of the king's approach, on seeing his fine
features changed by anger, became much afflicted, and with anxious looks
expressive of their trouble and consternation rose from the earth, and
took leave of the holy _Ri_shi. Then they went to meet the king, and as
they stood near him with their folded hands lifted up to their face,
they had the appearance of an assemblage of lotuses in autumn, when the
brightness of the flowers begins to peep out of the enclosure of the

32. Yet their graceful demeanour, their modesty and comeliness did not
appease his mind incensed with the fire of wrath.

But the queens who commenced already to recover from their first terror,
perceiving that the king in the fierce manner of one whose behaviour is
altered by anger was marching with a weapon in the direction of the holy
_Ri_shi, on whom he kept fixed his adverse looks, placed themselves in
his way, and surrounding him entreated him: 'Your Majesty, pray, do not
commit a reckless act, do not, pray. This man is the Reverend
Kshântivâdin.' The king, however, owing to his heart's wickedness,
became the more angry, thinking: 'Surely, he has already gained their
affection.' He reproved their temerity in requesting by clear signs (of
his discontent), frowning and casting on them angry looks, fierce as the
jealousy which had taken possession of his mind. After which, turning to
his eunuchs and shaking his head so that his royal diadem and ear-rings
trembled, he said with a glance at his wives:

33. 'This man speaks only of forbearance, but he does not practise it.
For example, he was not impassible to the covetousness of the contact
with females.

34. 'His tongue does not at all agree with his actions, still less with
his ill-intentioned heart. What has this man with unrestrained senses to
do in the penance-forest, that he should simulate religious vows and
dress and sit down in the hypocritical posture of a saint?'

Now, the king in his fit of wrath having thus rebuked his queens and
shown his hard-heartedness, they were affected with sorrow and sadness,
for they knew his ferocious nature and his contumacy which made him
inaccessible to persuasion. The eunuchs, who were likewise alarmed,
affected with anxiety, and afflicted, made signs to them with their
hands that they should withdraw. So they went away, lowering their faces
with shame and lamenting over that best of _Ri_shis.

35. 'We are the cause of the king's wrath against that sinless and
self-subdued holy ascetic, wide-famed for his virtues. Who knows what
will be the end of it? In one way or other will the king perform some
unbecoming deed, when he will make his wrath fall down on him, however

36. Yea, this king would be able to destroy his own royal behaviour and
his glory obtained by it, hurting the body of that Muni, as well as the
body of his penance, and grieving our guiltless minds at the same time!'

After the queens thus lamenting and sighing on his account--for what
could they else do for him?--were gone, the king in wrath came up to
the holy _Ri_shi, threatening him with drawn sword, in order to strike
him himself. On seeing that the Great Being, though thus assailed, kept
his calmness unchanged with imperturbable constancy, he became the more
excited, and said to him:

37. 'How skilled he is in playing the holy one, that he looks even at me
as if he were a Muni, persisting in his guileful arrogance!'

The Bodhisattva, however, owing to his constant practice of forbearance,
was not at all disturbed, and as he at once understood from that hostile
proceeding, though not without astonishment, that it was the eagerness
of wrath which caused the king to act in such an unbecoming way that he
had thrown off all restraint of politeness and good manners and lost the
faculty of distinguishing between his good and evil, he pitied that
monarch and, with the object of appeasing him, said, in truth, something
like this:

38. 'Meeting with disrespect is nothing strange in this world; for this
reason, since it may also happen to be the effect of destiny and guilt,
I do not mind it. But this grieves me that I cannot perform towards you,
not even with my voice, the usual kind reception, due to those who come
to me.

'Moreover hear this, O sovereign.

39. 'To such as you, who are bound to put evildoers on the right way and
to act for the interest of the creatures, it never behoves to do any
rash action. You should rather follow, therefore, the way of reflection.

40. 'Something good may be considered evil; inversely, something evil
may appear in a false light. The truth about anything to be done cannot
be discerned at once before inquiring by reasoning into the differences
in the several modes of action.

41. 'But such a king as gets a true insight of his proper line of
conduct by reflection and, after that, carries out his design with
righteousness by the way of his policy, will always effect the thrift of
dharma, artha and kâma in his people, nor will he be devoid of that
threefold prosperity himself.

42. 'For this reason, you ought to purify your mind of rashness, and to
be only intent on such actions as tend to good repute. In fact,
transgressions of a decent behaviour are highly notorious, if they are
committed by persons of a high rank in whom they were not seen before.

43. 'In a penance-forest protected by your mighty arm, you would not
suffer anybody else, in truth, to do what is blamed by the pious and
destructive to good behaviour. How is it that you should be decided to
act in this way yourself, O king?

44. 'If your harem came perchance to my hermitage together with their
male attendants, what fault of mine may be found there that you should
allow yourself to be thus altered by wrath?

45. 'Suppose, however, there is here some fault of mine, forbearance
would become you even then, my lord. Forbearance, indeed, is the chief
ornament of a powerful one; for it betrays his cleverness in keeping
(the treasury of) his virtues.

46. 'Kings cannot so much be adorned either by their dark-blue ear-rings
with their reverberation of dancing shine on the cheeks, or by the
several brilliant jewels of their head-ornament, as they are adorned by
forbearance. Thus considering, pray, do not disregard that virtue.

47. 'Set aside irascibility which is never fit to be relied upon, but
maintain forbearance (as carefully) as your dominions[196]. In truth,
the lovely behaviour of princes showing their esteem to ascetics, is
full of bliss.'

     [196] Literally: as if it were the earth. The comparison
     constitutes a pun in the original, for kshamâ may convey the
     meaning of 'earth' while it also signifies 'forbearance.'

Notwithstanding this admonition by that excellent Muni, the king,
troubled by the crookedness of his mind, persisted in his false
suspicion. So he addressed him again:

48. 'If you are not a mock-ascetic, but really engaged in keeping your
vow of restraint, for what reason then do you, under the pretext of
exhorting me to forbearance, beg safety from my side[197]?'

     [197] Instead of asmâd I read asmân.

The Bodhisattva answered: 'Hear then, great prince, for what reason I
urged you.

49. 'I spoke so that your good renown might not break down under the
blame you would incur because of me, if it were to be said of you "the
king has killed a guiltless ascetic, a Brâhman."

50. 'Death is an invariable necessity for all creatures. For this reason
I am not afraid of it, nor have I anything to fear, when I recollect my
own behaviour.

51. 'But it was for your sake, that you should not suffer by injuring
Righteousness, the source of happiness, that I praised forbearance to
you as the fit instrument for attaining salvation.

52. 'Since it is a mine of virtues and an armour against vices, I gladly
praise Forbearance, for it is an excellent boon, I offer you.'

But the king disdained these gentle flowers of speech which the Muni
offered him. Scornfully he said to that foremost of _Ri_shis: 'Let us
now see your attachment to forbearance,' and so speaking, he directed
his sharp sword to the right hand of the Muni, which was a little
extended towards him, with a prohibitive gesture, having its very fine
and long fingers upward, and severed it from his arm like a lotus from
its stalk.

53. Yet the Bodhisattva did not feel so much pain, even after his hand
had been cut off--so steadfast was he in keeping his vow of
forbearance--as sorrow concerning the cutter, whose future misfortune he
saw, which was to fall terrible and irremediable upon that person
hitherto accustomed to pleasures.

And thinking within himself: 'Alas! he has transgressed the boundary of
his good, he has ceased to be a person worth admonishing[198],' and
commiserating him, as he would do a sick man given up by the doctors,
he kept silent. But the king continued to speak threatening words to

     [198] Cp. Story VII, stanzas 20-26.

54. 'And in this manner your body shall be cut to pieces until death.
Desist from your hypocritical penance, and leave that villainous

The Bodhisattva made no answer. He understood him to be deaf to
admonition and had learnt his obstinacy. Then the king successively and
in the same way cut off the other hand of the High-minded One, both his
arms, his ears and nose, and his feet.

55. Yet that foremost of Munis did not feel sorrow or anger, when the
sharp sword fell down on his body. His knowledge that the machinery of
his body must eventually come to an end, and his habitual practice of
forbearance against everybody made him so strong.

56. In consequence of its habitual friendliness, the mind of that
virtuous one was inaccessible to the sense of sorrow on account of
himself. Even while he saw his limbs being cut off, his forbearance
remained unshaken, but that he saw the king fallen from Righteousness,
made him sore with grief.

57. Verily, the compassionate who are great in retaining their
tranquillity throughout are not so much afflicted by pain arising in
themselves, as they grieve on account of the suffering of others.

58. But the king, after performing that cruel deed, was anon caught by a
fire-like fever, and when he went out of the gardens, earth on a sudden
opened and swallowed him.

After swallowing the king, the earth continued to make a fearful noise,
and fiery flames appeared in the opening. This caused great
consternation all around, and perplexed and alarmed the royal
attendants. The king's ministers, knowing the grandeur of the
penance-power of that Muni and imputing to it the catastrophe of the
king, were affected with anxiety, lest that holy _Ri_shi should burn
down the whole country on account of the king. Thus apprehending, they
went up to the holy _Ri_shi, and bowing to him entreated him with folded
hands to be propitious.

59. 'May that king, who impelled by his infatuated mind has put thee
into this state by an exceedingly rash action, be alone the fuel for the
fire of thy curse. Pray, do not burn his town!

60. 'Pray, do not destroy for his fault innocent people, women and
children, the old and the sick, the Brâhmans and the poor! Rather
shouldst thou, being a lover of virtues, preserve both the realm of that
king and thy own righteousness.'

In reply to this, the Bodhisattva comforted them: 'Do not fear,' he
said, 'sirs.

61, 62. 'As to that king who just cut off with his sword my hands and
feet, my ears and nose, maiming an innocent ascetic living in the
forest, how should a person like me aim at his hurt or conceive even
such a thought? May that king live long and no evil befall him!

63. 'A being subject to sorrow, death and sickness, subdued by cupidity
and hatred, consumed by his evil actions is a person to be pitied. Who
ought to get angry with such a one?

64. 'And should that line of conduct[199] be ever so preferable, O that
his sin might ripen (its unavoidable result) in detriment of no other
but me! For to people accustomed to pleasure meeting with suffering,
even for a short time, is keen and unbearable.

     [199] Viz. indulging in anger and cursing that king. The curse of a
     _Ri_shi, who has obtained supernatural power by his penance, is a
     dreadful weapon.

65. 'But now, as I am unable to protect that king who annihilated in
this manner his own happiness, for what reason should I give up that
state of powerlessness of myself and indulge in hatred against him?

66. 'Even without a king's intervention, everybody born has to deal with
sufferings, arising from death, &c. Therefore in this (series of evils),
it is birth alone which one has to oppose[200]. For this not being, what
suffering may there arise and from whence?

     [200] In other words, one has to strive for final extinction.

67. 'For many kalpas I have lost my worthless body in manifold ways in
numbers of existences. How is it that I should give up forbearance on
account of the destruction of that frame? Would it not be as if I were
to give up a jewel of the first water for a straw?

68. 'Dwelling in the forest, bound to my vow of world-renunciation, a
preacher of forbearance and soon a prey to death, how should I feel the
desire of revenge? Do not fear me any longer, then, peace be to you,

69. After thus instructing and at the same time admitting them as
disciples in the Lore of the pious, that foremost of Munis, who kept his
constancy unshaken owing to his relying on forbearance, left his earthly
residence and mounted to Heaven.

       *       *       *       *       *

So then, indeed, to those who have wholly imbibed the virtue of
forbearance and are great in keeping their tranquillity there is nothing
unbearable. [Thus is to be said when discoursing on the virtue of
forbearance, taking the Muni for example. On account of the vices of
rashness and wrath, taking the king for example, this story is also to
be told, and when expounding the miserable consequences of sensual
pleasures, saying: 'In this manner sensual pleasures lead a man to
become addicted to wicked behaviour which brings him into ruin.' It may
also be told with the object of showing the inconstancy of material

     This story is also extant in the Avadânakalpalatâ, in pallava 38,
     as appears from the Anukrama_n_î, verse 15 (ya_h_ kshânti_s_îla_h_
     _s_ântyâbhû_k_ _kh_innângo 'py avikâravân), but this part of the
     work has as yet not been published nor is it found in the Cambridge


Since the tenets of unbelief are blameable, those who are possessed by
the vice of clinging to a false belief are especially worth
commiserating by the virtuous. This will be taught as follows.

One time the Bodhisattva, our Lord, having gathered by a constant
practice of dhyâna a store of good karma, obtained, it is said, a birth
in the Brahmaloka, in consequence of the ripening of that merit.
Nevertheless, owing to his having always been conversant with
commiseration in his former existences, that high happiness of the
Brahmaloka, which he had obtained as the effect of the excellence of his
dhyâna, did not destroy in him his longing for the task of benefiting

1. By indulging in sensual pleasures, however material, worldly people
become utterly careless. But a frequent absorption in the delight of
meditation, however ideal, does not hide the desire for benefiting
others from (the mind of) the pious.

Now one time it happened that the High-minded One was passing his looks
over the Region of Sensuality[201] below (his Brahma-world), where
Compassion finds its proper sphere of action, since this is the region
visited by hundreds of different forms of sufferings and calamities, and
containing the elements for moral illnesses, disasters, injuries against
living beings, and sensual pleasures. And he perceived the king of
Videha, named Aṅgadinna, erring in the wilderness of a wrong belief,
partly by the fault of his intercourse with bad friends, partly also in
consequence of his being ardently attached to false thoughts. That king
had got this persuasion: 'there is no other world after this; how could
there be anything like result ripening out of good or evil actions?' and
in conformity with this belief his longing for religious practices was
extinguished, he was averse to performing the pious works of charity,
good conduct (_s_îla), &c., felt a deep-rooted contempt for such as led
a religious life, and owing to his want of faith, bore ill-will to the
religious law-books. Being inclined to laugh at tales concerning the
other world, and showing but little respect and honour to _S_rama_n_as
and Brâhmans, whom he held in little esteem, he was exclusively given up
to sensual pleasures.

     [201] The Brahmaloka or Brahma-world is in Buddhist cosmology the
     world superior to the region of sensuality, the kâmadhâtu (see
     Burnouf, Introduction, &c., p. 604) or kâmâva_k_ara (see Hardy,
     Manual, pp. 3, 261). Cp. Kern, Geschiedenis van het Buddhisme, I,
     pp. 290, 291. Cp. Story XXX, stanza 21, where we have this series
     of happiness: 1. royalty on earth, 2. heavenly bliss, 3. Brahma's
     world, 4. final extinction (Nirvá_n_a).

2. He who is firm in the belief 'surely, there is a world hereafter
where good and evil karma produce their fruit of happiness and mishap,'
such a one will avoid evil actions and exert himself to cultivate pious
ones. But by absence of faith a man follows his desires.

Now that king, whose disastrous attachment to a false lore must have
mischievous consequences and become a source of calamities to his
people, roused the compassion of that High-minded Devarshi. One time,
when that king, always directed by his indulgence in sensual pleasures,
was staying in a beautiful and lonely arbour, he descended in his
flaming brilliancy from the Brahma-world before his eyes. On beholding
that luminous being who blazed like a mass of fire, shone like an
agglomeration of lightnings, and spread about a great brilliancy of
intense light like a collection of sun-rays, the king, overwhelmed by
that lustre, was alarmed and rose from his seat to meet him reverently
with folded hands. Respectfully he looked up to him (who stood in the
air) and said:

3. 'The sky makes thee a resting-place for thy feet, as if it were the
earth, O thou being with lotus-like feet; thou shinest far and wide,
bearing the lustre of the sun, so to speak. Who art thou, whose form is
a delight to the eyes?'

The Bodhisattva replied:

4. 'Know me, O king, one of those Devarshis who attained Brahma's world,
having by the power of their mind's strong and assiduous attachment to
religion vanquished love and hatred[202], those two proud foes, like two
haughty chiefs of a hostile army in battle.'

     [202] Love, viz. sensual love and covetousness, and hatred (with
     anger) are the two great divisions of vyasanâni (vices, evil
     habits), not only with Buddhists. See, for instance, Manu VII, 45

After these words the king offered him the hospitable reception due to a
worthy guest, water to wash his feet and the arghya-water[203],
accompanying this act (of homage) with kind words of welcome and the
like. Then, casting admiring looks at his face, he said: 'Very
wonderful, O Great _Ri_shi, is thy figure. Indeed, thy power is

     [203] The arghya is the name of a worshipful offering of water to a
     worthy guest, given with the other ceremonial marks of hospitality:
     vish_t_ara, padya, madhuparka.

5. 'Without clinging to the walls of a building, thou walkest in the sky
as easily as on earth. Tell me, O thou whose brightness has the lustre
of a flash of lightning, how didst thou obtain this supernatural power?'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

6. 'Such superhuman power is the result, O king, of meditation (dhyâna),
spotless good conduct (_s_îla), and an excellent restraint of the
senses, which I have so practised in other existences that they became
essential elements of my nature.'

The king said: 'Does there exist in earnest anything like a world
hereafter?' The Brahman[204] said: 'Verily, Your Majesty, there is a
world hereafter.' The king said: 'But, my dear sir, how should I too be
able to believe so?' The Bodhisattva said: 'This is a tangible truth,
Your Majesty, which may be proved by reasoning with the ordinary modes
of proof (pramâ_n_a): perception by the senses and the rest[205]. It is
exemplified by the declarations of reliable persons, and may be tested
by the method of accurate examination. Do but consider this:

     [204] The inhabitants of Brahma's world are called Brahmans.

     [205] The others are inference and analogy; for it is unlikely that
     the Brahman would think of persuading a disbeliever by means of the
     fourth mode of proof, revelation.

7. 'The heaven, with its ornament of sun, moon and stars, and the
many-shaped variety of animals, are the world hereafter in a concrete
and visible form. Let not thy mind be benumbed by scepticism so as not
to perceive this truth.

8. 'Further there are now and then persons who, owing to their practice
of dhyâna and the vividness of their memory, remember their former
existences. From this it must likewise be inferred, there exists a world
after this. And myself, do I not give thee the evidence of a witness?

9. 'Moreover, thou must infer its existence also from this. The
perfection of the intellect presupposes a previous existence of that
intellect. The rudimentary intellect of the fetus is the uninterrupted
continuation of the intellect in the preceding existence.

10. 'Further, it is the faculty for catching matter of knowledge that is
called intellect (buddhi). Therefore there must be a sphere of
employment for the intellect at the beginning of existence[206]. But it
is not possible to find it in this world, because of the absence of the
eyes and the other (organs of sense). By inference, the place where it
is to be found, is the other world.

     [206] In other words, in the state of the fetus.

11. 'It is known by experience that children diverge from the nature of
their fathers and show discrepancies of conduct and the like. Now, since
this fact cannot arise without a cause, it follows that we have to do
here with habits acquired in other existences.

12, 13. 'That the new-born child, though his mental powers are wholly
rude and his organs of sense in a torpid state, makes an effort to take
the breast without being instructed so and almost in a state of deep
sleep, this proves his having in former existences exercised himself as
to the fit ways of taking his food. For practice, perfecting the mind,
sharpens its faculty for acquiring knowledge for different special

'Perhaps, since thou art not accustomed to the idea of the existence of
another world, thou mayst still be doubtful about the last statement.
(Should this be the case and shouldst thou reason in this way:)

14. '"Then the lotuses shutting and opening themselves are also a proof,
indeed, of their having already practised those movements in other
existences. Otherwise, this not being admitted, why dost thou affirm
that the suckling's effort of taking the breast is the effect of
exertion made in previous births?"

'then thou art obliged to put aside that doubt by the consideration that
in one case there is compulsion, in the other freedom, and exertion is
not made there, but that it is made here.

15. 'In the case of the lotuses, their opening and shutting depend on
time, but the effort to take the breast not so. Moreover, there is no
exertion in the lotus, but in the case of the suckling it is evident
there is. It is the power of the sun that is the cause of the lotuses

'In this manner, then, Your Majesty, by a close and careful examination
it is possible to have faith in the world hereafter.'

But the king, as he was deeply attached to the false lore he professed,
also because the extent of his sin was large, felt uneasy on hearing
that account of the other world, and spoke: 'Why, great _Ri_shi,

16. 'If the next world is not that (well-known) bugbear for children, or
if thou judgest it fit for me to believe in it, well, lend me five
hundred nishkas[207] here, and I shall give thee back one thousand in
the next existence.'

     [207] A nishka is a gold coin, whose value varied at different

Now when the king, according to his habitual boldness, had uttered
without scruple this unbecoming language, which was as it were the
vomiting of the poison of his wrong belief, the Bodhisattva answered him
in a very proper way.

17. 'Still in this world those who wish to employ their money, in order
to augment it, do not make any loan at all to a wicked person or a
glutton or a blockhead or a sluggard. For wealth going to such persons,
tends to their ruin.

18. 'But if they see one bashful, with thoroughly subdued senses, and
skilled in business, to such a one they offer a loan, even unwitnessed.
Such a bestowal of money produces bliss.

19. 'The very same line of conduct must be followed, O king, with
respect to a debt payable in the world hereafter. But it is not suitable
to contract such a loan with thee who art a person of a wicked behaviour
because of the evil doctrine thou professest.

20. 'For, at the time when, being precipitated into hell by thy own
cruel actions originating in the sin of a wicked lore, thou wilt lie
there, sore with pains and paralysed in thy mental powers, who would
then call upon thee for a debt of one thousand nishkas?

21. 'There the regions of the sky do not shine in their full feminine
beauty[208] by the beams of sun and moon, the destroyers of their veil
of darkness. Nor is the firmament there seen with its ornament of crowds
of stars, like a lake embellished by unclosed waterlilies.

     [208] The di_s_a_h_ belong grammatically, and for this reason also
     mythologically, to the females. Hence they are spoken of as women

22. 'The place where the unbelievers dwell in the next world, is
encompassed with thick darkness, and an icy wind prevails there,
penetrating to the very bones and extremely painful. Who, being wise,
would enter that hell in order to obtain money?

23. 'Some wander for a long time on the bottom of the hell, which is
wrapt in dense obscurity and dull with pungent smoke; they are afflicted
there, drawing along their rags fastened with leather thongs, and crying
with pain as often as they tumble over each other.

24. 'Likewise others are running with wounded feet again and again in
all directions in the Hell _G_valatkukûla [ = Flaming Chaff], longing
for deliverance from thence, but they do not attain the end of their
sin nor of their life.

25. 'Terrible servants of Yama carve like carpenters the limbs of
others, having them fastened in different manners, and delight in
shaping them by cutting with sharp knives, as if they wrought in fresh

26. 'Others again are entirely stripped off their skin, groaning with
pain, or are even bereaved of their flesh, living skeletons, but they
cannot die, kept alive by their own evil actions. Likewise others who
are cut to pieces.

27. 'Others draw flaming chariots for a long time. They wear broad
flaming bits in their mouth and submit to harnesses and goads of a tawny
hue, being fiery. The grounds on which they draw are of iron, heated by
an unceasing fire.

28. 'Some have their bodies crushed, when they meet mount
Sa_m_ghâta[209], and ground to dust by its incursion; nevertheless, even
in that great suffering of the most intense degree, they cannot die
before their evil karma is annihilated.

     [209] Sa_m_ghâta is the name of a kind of infernal Symplegades. Cp.
     Journal Asiatique, 8^e S., tome XX, p. 184 foll.

29. 'Some others are being ground to dust with big and flaming brazen
pestles in troughs incandescent by fire during a succession of full five
hundred years, and yet they do not lose life.

30. 'Others again are hanging with their heads or even feet to trees
made red-hot like corals and of a rough surface, being beset with
flaming thorns of sharp iron. They are beaten by demons, attendants of
Yama, who chide them with harsh cries.

31. 'Others enjoy the fruit of their conduct, lying on large heaps of
burning coals, flaming and resembling molten gold. (Helpless) they are
exposed to their fate, they can do nothing but lie and moan.

32. 'Some howl with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, while
their bodies are overcome by heavy pains caused by hundreds of sharp
spears on a ground illuminated by garlands of flames rising out of it.
In that time they are made to believe that there exists something like a
world beyond this.

33. 'There are others whose heads are encircled with flaming diadems of
brass; others are boiled out in pots of brass. Of others the bodies are
wounded by sharp stings of showers of weapons, and devoured by crowds of
ferocious animals, who gnaw them off to the bones.

34. 'Others again, exhausted by toil, enter the salt water of the
Vaitara_n_î, but that water is painful to touch like fire, and their
flesh wastes away from their limbs, when in it, but not their life, kept
up by their evil actions.

35. 'And those who afflicted because of the intense torment caused by
burning, have resorted to (the hell named) A_s_u_k_iku_n_apa [the hell
of unclean corpses] as to a pond of fresh water, meet there with
unparalleled pain. Their bones are brought to decomposition by hundreds
of worms.

36. 'Elsewhere others undergo the pain of being burnt for a long time.
Surrounded by fire, their bodies flame like iron staves surrounded by
flames. Yet they do not burn to ashes, being kept alive by their

37. 'There is sawing of others with fiery saws, cutting of others with
sharp razors. Of others the heads are crushed with hammers quickly
swung, so as to make them yell with anguish. There is roasting on a
smokeless fire of others, fixed on broad iron-spits which pierce through
their bodies. Others again are compelled to drink liquid brass looking
like blazing fire, which makes them utter raw cries.

38. 'Some are assailed by spotted dogs of great strength who with their
sharp-biting teeth tear off the flesh from their limbs; they fall on the
ground with lacerated bodies, crying loudly with pain.

39. 'Of such a nature are the tremendous torments in the different
hells. If thou, impelled by thy karma, shalt once have reached that
state[210], who then would think of calling upon thee for that debt at
that time, while thou art sore with sorrow and thy mind is afflicted
with exhaustion and sadness?

     [210] The second pâda of this stanza is wanting an iambus in its
     middle part. I think it is thus to be supplied: prâpto bhavishyasi
     (yadâ) svak_ri_tapranunna_h_.

40. 'It may happen that thou art staying in the hell of brazen jars
filled with the corpses of wicked people and hard to approach because of
the fire-flames, which heat them and make thee move helplessly exposed
to the suffering of being boiled. Who then would think of calling upon
thee for that debt at that time?

41. 'Or thou mayst lie with tied limbs on flaming iron pins or on the
earth made red-hot by a blazing fire. While thou wilt be weeping
piteously, thy body burning away, who then would think of calling upon
thee for that debt at that time?

42. 'Who would require that debt from thee, when thou wilt have reached
that wretched state of humiliation, undergoing terrible sufferings and
not even able to make any answer?

43. 'Or suppose thy bones to be pierced by the icy wind which destroys
even the power of groaning, or thy voice uttering roaring cries of pain,
when thou wilt be torn asunder, who would dare ask thee for that money
in the other world?

44. 'Or, if rather thou wert to be exposed to the injuries of Yama's
attendants, or to lie in the midst of fiery flames, or if dogs and crows
were to feast on thy flesh and blood, who would urge thee with a call
for money in the other world?

45. 'Besides, when thou wert to undergo an uninterrupted torture by
striking or cutting or beating or cleaving, by burning or carving or
grinding or splitting, in short, by the most different modes of tearing
up (thy body), how shouldst thou be able to give back that debt to me at
that time?'

This extremely fearful account of the hells missed not its effect upon
the king. Hearing it, he became alarmed and left his attachment to the
false lore. And having obtained faith in the world hereafter, he bowed
to that illustrious _Ri_shi and spoke:

46. 'After being apprised of the tortures in the different hells, my
mind almost dissolves from fear, on the other hand I feel a burning
sense of anxiety, considering how I may take shelter from that terrible

47. 'For, short-sighted as I was, I walked on the wrong road, my mind
being perverted by a wicked doctrine. Now then, let Thy Reverence be my
guide here. Thou knowest the right way. Thou art my authority and my
refuge, O Muni.

48. 'As the rising sun dispels darkness, so thou hast dispelled the
darkness of my false opinions. In the very same manner, O _Ri_shi, thou
must teach me the road, going on which I may not attain misery after

Then the Bodhisattva, perceiving his emotion and understanding that he
had changed his opinion for the better and had now become a vessel fit
for accepting the Law, instructed him--for he pitied him, like a father
his son or a teacher his pupil--in this way.

49. 'The glorious way leading to Heaven, is that by which the old kings
went, who displayed their love of virtues, behaving like good pupils
towards _S_rama_n_as and Brâhmans, and manifested their compassion for
their subjects by their own behaviour[211].

     [211] The following stanzas are of a very ingenious composition. In
     stanzas 50-54 each pâda ends in two homonymous syllables put twice
     in different functions, and from 55 the simile of the chariot is
     elaborated with great skill.

50. 'Therefore, subdue injustice which is very difficult to subdue, and
overcome vile covetousness which is very difficult to overcome! So thou
mayst mount a luminous being to the city of the Lord of Heaven, that
city with golden gates resplendent with the most excellent jewels.

51. 'May thy approval of the lore cherished by the virtuous, and which
thou acceptedst in a mind accustomed to a wicked lore, be steadfast.
Renounce the latter, which is a system of injustice proclaimed by people
intent on gratifying the fools.

52. 'For thou hast taken the (right) road, O king, now, in that very
moment, when desiring to walk on it with the pious behaviour prescribed
by the True Lore, thou destroyedst within thy heart the harsh feeling
against virtues.

53. 'Let, therefore, thy wealth be an instrument for obtaining virtues,
and to thy people exercise mercy, which is an auspicious thing and will
increase thine own happiness. Be also constant in keeping the excellent
restraint of senses and good conduct. In this way thou mayst incur no
calamity in the next world.

54. 'Let thy rule, O king, derive its entire brilliancy from the lustre
of thy meritorious actions; let it be relied upon by those who practise
good actions, and be lovely by its purity. So ruling thou wilt strive
for thy true happiness together with thy material interest, and
exterminate the anguish of the creatures, increasing thereby thy glory
in a lovely manner.

55. 'Thou art here (on earth) standing on thy royal war-chariot. Let
worship of the pious be thy charioteer. Let thy own body, engendering
virtues, be thy chariot. Let friendliness be its axle, self-restraint
and charity its wheels, and the earnest desire for gathering merit its

56. 'Control thy horses, the organs of sense, with that splendid bridle
named attentiveness. Make prudence thy goad and take thy weapons from
the store of sacred learning. Let shame be the furniture of thy chariot,
humility its lovely pole, forbearance its yoke. (Standing on that
chariot,) thou wilt drive it skilfully, if thou art firm in courageous

57. 'By keeping down bad words thou wilt make it go without rattling of
the wheels; if thou usest lovely language, the sound of them will be
grave and deep. Never breaking thy self-restraint will preserve thy
chariot from looseness of its constituent parts. Thou wilt keep the
right direction, if thou avoidest going astray on the winding paths of
wicked actions.

58. 'Using this vehicle (yâna), brilliant with the lustre of wisdom,
adorned by the flag of good renown and the high-floating banner of
tranquillity, and followed by mercy as its attendance, thou wilt move in
the direction of the Highest Âtman (paramâtmâ) and never shalt thou
descend to the infernal regions, O king.'

Having thus dispelled by the brilliant beams of his words that darkness
of false lore that lay upon the mind of the king, and shown him clearly
the road to happiness, the High-minded One disappeared on the spot. But
the king, having got a thorough knowledge concerning the matters of the
next world, embraced the True Lore with his whole heart, and himself as
well as his officials, his townsmen, and landsmen became intent on
exercising charity, self-command, and self-restraint.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, those who are possessed by the vice of clinging to
a false belief are especially worth commiserating by the virtuous; for
the tenets of unbelief are blameable. [This story may also be adduced
with this conclusion: 'In this manner listening to the preaching of the
Excellent Law (saddharma), fills up with overflowing faith.' Or with
this: 'In this manner hearing the Law preached by another, rouses faith
productive of right belief.' And when adducing it in a discourse on
praise of the virtuous, likewise on the subject of forbearance, this is
to be said: 'In this manner the virtuous will parry even a hostile
attack by counselling their enemy for his good, and they will do so
without harshness in consequence of their being accustomed to
forbearance.' Also when treating of sa_m_vega[212], it is to be said:
'In this manner emotion of the mind makes a man inclined to care for
his salvation.']

     [212] Sa_m_vega is the emotional state which prepares the mind to
     accept spiritual instruction or to take the vow of a religious

     Of this _G_âtaka no Pâli recension has been edited as yet, nor am I
     aware of its occurring in other texts of the Northern Buddhists.
     Yet, at least stanza 16, which contains the pointe of the tale,
     must be founded on some old traditional verse, one of those sacred
     sayings, of which the _G_âtaka-class of the Holy Writ is made up.


If they may cause by it the happiness of others, even pain is highly
esteemed by the righteous, as if it were gain. This will be taught by
the following.

Once the Bodhisattva, it is said, was a huge elephant. He had his
residence in some forest suitable for elephants, which had for its
ornament, so to speak, the young offshoots of its excellent trees, whose
tops were conspicuous by their twigs, flowers, and fruits. Its bottom
was hidden under manifold kinds of shrubs and trees and grasses. It was
beset with mountain-ridges and plateaus that made the effect, as if they
were detained there by the charming beauty of the forest and would not
long for another place. That wood was the abode of forest-animals, and
contained a lake of abundant and deep water. It was far remote from the
habitations of men, being surrounded on all sides by a large desert,
where there was no tree, no shrub, no water. There he lived a solitary

1. Like an ascetic he stayed there, pleased with leaves of the trees,
lotus-stalks and water, and with the virtues of contentment and

Now one time, when the Great Being was wandering near the border of that
forest, it happened that he heard a noise of people from the side of the
wilderness. Then this thought entered his mind: 'What may this be? First
of all, there is in this direction no road leading to any country; nor
is it likely, a hunting-party should have crossed a wilderness so large
as this. Still less can there be question of an attempt to catch my
fellow-elephants, on account of the heavy toil with which it would be

2, 3. 'Surely, this people are either astray, their guides having lost
their way, or have been banished in consequence of a king's anger or of
their own misconduct. Such is the nature of the noise I hear, which is
not made up of the strong tones of joy, cheerfulness, and merriment, but
rather low-spirited sounds, as of people weeping under the overwhelming
power of a great grief.

'At all events, I will know what it really is.' Thus reflecting, the
Great Being impelled by his compassion, hastened forward in the
direction from whence the noise of that multitude came. When he heard
more distinctly those sad and piteous accents of lamentation, unpleasant
to the ears, the High-minded One, understanding that they were cries for
help uttered by people in distress, ran with still greater swiftness,
his mind being filled with the yearning of compassion. After leaving the
thicket, owing to the naked desert destitute of vegetation, he saw
already from afar that body of persons who cried for assistance, keeping
their eyes in the direction of the forest. They numbered seven hundred
men, and were exhausted with hunger, thirst, and fatigue. And those men,
on the other hand, saw the Great Being coming up to them, resembling a
moving peak of a snow-covered mountain, or a condensed mass of white
fog, or an autumn-cloud driven towards them by a strong wind; and as
they were overcome with sorrow and utterly dejected, this sight
frightened them much. In their fear they thought: 'Alas! now we are
certainly lost!' but they could make no effort to run away; hunger,
thirst, and fatigue had destroyed their energy.

4. Powerless by hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and being in low spirits,
they made no preparations for flight, though the peril seemed imminent.

The Bodhisattva perceiving their anxiety, exclaimed: 'Be not afraid! Be
not afraid! You have nothing to fear from my part,' and so comforting
them, drew nigh, uplifting his trunk and showing its tip broad, soft,
and dark-red as copper. Moved by compassion he asked them: 'Who are you,
sirs, and how are you come to this state?

5. 'Your pale faces betray the effect of dust and sun, meagre you are
and suffering from sorrow and dejection of mind. Who are you and by what
cause have you come here?'

On hearing him utter in a human voice these words not only indicative of
a peaceful disposition, but of the desire to succour, the men recovered
their confidence, and the whole assembly bowed to him. Then they spoke:

6. 'An outburst of the king's anger blew us away to this region from the
very eyes of our kinsmen, who sorrowful must behold that banishment, O
lord of elephants.

7. 'Yet, forsooth, there must be still some remnant of our good fortune
and some favour of Fortune towards us that we have drawn the attention
of Thee, who art better than friends and kinsmen.

8. 'By the auspicious sight of Thee we know we have crossed our
calamity. Who, in truth, having seen even in his dreams such a being as
Thee, would not be saved from distress?'

Then that eminent elephant spoke: 'Well, how many are you, sirs?' The
men said:

9, 10. 'We numbered one thousand men, O fair-figured being, when the
king left us here, but many of us, being unacquainted with adversity,
have perished overcome by hunger, thirst, and sorrow. And now, O lord of
elephants, we estimate the number of those still alive to be seven
hundred, who being about to sink down in the mouth of Death, look up to
Thee as the embodied Comfort come to us to help.'

By these words the Great Being, as he was in the habit of compassion,
was moved to tears, and commiserating them said, to be sure, something
like this: 'Alas! alas!

11. 'Oh! How averse to tenderness, how devoid of shame, how little
anxious about the next world the mind of that king is! Oh! How his
senses, caught by his royal splendour, something as fickle as lightning,
are blind to his good!

12. 'Oh! He does not understand that Death is near, I suppose, nor has
he been taught the unhappy end of wickedness! Alas! Oh! Those poor and
helpless kings who, owing to the weakness of their judgment, are
impatient of listening to words (of counsel).

13. 'And, verily, this cruelty towards living beings is performed on
account of one single body, a perishable substratum of illnesses[213]!
Alas! Fie upon ignorance!'

     [213] I surmise that pâda 2 of this line is to be read rogibhûtasya

Now, while letting his eyes full of pity and tenderness go over that
people, this thought appeared to the chief of elephants: 'Being so
tortured by hunger, thirst and fatigue, and their bodies having become
so weak, how may they overcome that wilderness of an extent of many
yo_g_anas, where they find neither water nor shade, unless they have
wholesome food? Nor does the forest of elephants contain proper food for
them, not even for one day, without much trouble. Nevertheless, if they
were to take their provisions from the flesh of my limbs and to use my
bowels instead of bags, putting water in them, they would be able to
cross this desert; not otherwise.

14. 'Let me, therefore, in their behalf employ my body, the abode of
many hundreds of illnesses, that it may be for this multitude of men
overwhelmed by suffering, like a raft to get across their misery.

15. 'Being born a man is the proper state for reaching happiness, either
heavenly bliss or final extinction, and it is difficult to attain that
state. May then this advantage not be dissolved to them!

16. 'Further, since they are come within the compass of my dominion, I
rightly may call them my guests. And they are in distress and destitute
of relations; hence I have to show the more pity to them.

17. 'And this vessel of many infirmities, this substratum of manifold
toil caused by everlasting illness, this assemblage of evils, whose name
is "body," will now, after a long time, have at last its proper
employment, serving to relieve others.'

Then some of them, who suffered intensely from the pain of hunger,
thirst, fatigue, and heat, after bowing to him with folded hands and
eyes wet with tears, in the manner of supplicants, asked him for water
by means of signs with their hands. Others spoke to him piteous words:

18. 'To us who are destitute of kindred, Thou art a kinsman, Thou art
our recourse and refuge. Deign to shelter us in such a way as Thou
deemest best, Illustrious One!'

Others again who had more energy of mind, asked him to show them some
place where to find water and the way to get out of that dreadful

19, 20. 'If there is here some pond or river with cold water, or perhaps
some waterfall, if a shady tree may be found here on a grass-plot, tell
it us, O chief of elephants. And since thou thinkest it possible to get
out of this desert, show us mercy and point out the direction to us.

'It is a good many days that we have been staying in this wilderness.
For this reason, pray make us, O lord, get across it.'

Then the High-minded One who felt his heart growing still more wet with
pity by their piteous requests, uplifting his trunk as big as the coils
of a mighty serpent, showed them the mountain, beyond which they could
make their escape from the wilderness, and spoke: 'Underneath this
mountain there is a large lake adorned with lotuses, white and red, and
containing pure water. Go, therefore, by this way. With the water of
that lake ye may quench your thirst, and dispel your fatigue and (the
vexation of) heat. Then, continuing your way, not far from that place
ye will meet with the corpse of an elephant, fallen down the
mountain-plateau. The flesh of its limbs ye must take to serve for
provisions on the journey, and provide yourselves with water, putting it
in its bowels instead of bags; after which ye have to go farther in the
very same direction. So ye will overcome this wilderness without much
hardship.' With such comforting language the High-minded One induced
them to set out, but himself, running quickly by another way, ascended
to the top of that mountain. Standing there, about to give up his own
body for the purpose of rescuing that body of people, he strengthened
his determination[214], truly, by representing to his mind something
like this.

     [214] This 'strong determination' is the pra_n_idhi, also called
     pra_n_idhâna. By it he who performs some extraordinary meritorious
     action with the object of attaining some definite result in a
     future existence proclaims his design before carrying out his
     performance. Its counterpart in the ritual of Hinduism is the
     so-called sa_m_kalpa preceding the ceremony and contributory to its
     success. For other instances of it, though the name of pra_n_idhi
     is not used there, see Story I, stanzas 30-32; VIII, stanzas 53-55.

21. 'This performance does not tend to the attainment of a high state
for myself, neither the magnificence of a king of men, the possessor of
the royal umbrella, nor Heaven with the singular flavour of its
surpassing enjoyments, nor the bliss of Brahma's world, nor even the
happiness of release[215];

     [215] Viz. 'final extinction' or nirvâ_n_a.

22. 'But if there be any merit of mine in thus striving to help those
men lost in the wilderness, may I become by it the Saviour of the World,
of those creatures erring in the wilderness of _S_a_m_sâra!'

Having thus resolved, and not minding because of his gladness, the
painful death he would suffer by being crushed down that deep descent,
the High-minded One gave up his body according to his design by
precipitating himself down that steep mountain.

23. While falling, he shone like an autumn-cloud or like the moon
sinking with reversed disc behind the mountain of setting, or like the
snow-cover of the peak of that mountain, cast down by the violent
swiftness of the wind moved by the wings of Garu_d_a.

24. With the heavy noise of a whirlwind he precipitated himself, shaking
not only the earth and the mountains, but the mind of Mâra possessed by
the infatuation of sovereignty[216]. And in his fall, he bent both the
forest-creepers and the forest-deities.

     [216] In the original _k_a put twice in the second pâda of this
     stanza is hardly right. In the latter place, I suppose that it
     should be changed to sa.

25. No doubt, on that occasion the Celestials, residing about that
forest, were affected with the utmost astonishment. From the ecstasy of
their gladness the hairs on their body bristled, and they swung their
arms in the sky, their fine fingers turned upwards.

26. Some overspread him with a thick shower of flowers sweet-scented and
tinged with sandal-powder. Others covered him with their upper garments,
wrought of (celestial) unwoven stuff and resplendent with golden
decorations; others with their ornaments.

27. Others again worshipped him with hymns they had devoutly composed,
and with the reverence of the a_ñg_ali, their folded hands resembling
opening lotus-buds. Or they honoured him with bent heads, lowering their
beautiful head-diadems, and with prayers of veneration.

28. Some fanned him with an agreeable wind, such as arranges garlands
(of foam) on the waves and is perfumed with the scents borrowed from the
dust of flowers. Others held a canopy of dense clouds in the sky over
his head.

29. Some were prompted by devotion to make Heaven echo his praise with
the sounds of the celestial drums. And more, others enamelled the trees
with an untimely outburst of new twigs, flowers, and fruits.

30. The sky assumed the lovely splendour of autumn, the sun's rays
seemed to become longer, and the Ocean trembled and shook its
wave-surface as from impatience to go and visit him out of gladness.

Meanwhile those men, following the way pointed out to them, had reached
the lake; and after refreshing themselves and recovering from heat,
thirst, and fatigue, going on as the High-minded One had instructed
them, they saw at no great distance from that place the body of an
elephant that had died not long before. And they reflected: 'What a
strong likeness this elephant has to that chief of elephants!

31. 'Is he perhaps a brother to that mighty being, or some kinsman of
his, or one of his sons? In fact, it is the self-same beautiful figure
equalling a snow-peak that we behold in this body, even though it be

32. 'It looks like a condensation of the lustre of many groups of
waterlilies, like the concrete form of moonshine, or rather like His
image, reflected in a mirror.'

But some among them who had a keener judgment of the matter began to
reflect thus: 'As far as we see, this animal, whose surpassing beauty
rivals the elephants of the world-quarters, is that very elephant,
indeed, who has thrown himself from this plateau, in order that He might
save us from distress who are without relations and friends.' (And
having understood so, they said:)

33. 'That noise we heard, as of a whirlwind, as of an earthquake, was
caused by His fall, to be sure.

34. 'This body, in truth, is His. It has the same yellowish-white hue of
a lotus-root, and is covered with similar hairs as white as moonbeams
and adorned with fine spots. These are the same tortoise-like feet with
white nails. And this is the same backbone gracefully curved in the
guise of a bow.

35. 'Also this is the same face long and full, embellished by the
furrows of his wind-perfuming juice. And this is the same head, tall,
auspicious, never touched by a driver's goad, standing on a strong neck.

36. 'This is the same couple of tusks of a honey-colour; they boastingly
bear the token (of his glory), being covered with the red dust of the
mountain-slope. And this is that trunk with long, finger-like tip,
wherewith He showed us this way.

'Oh! This is, in truth, a wonder of surpassing strangeness!

37. 'Ah! So great a friendship has He shown to us, without first
inquiring into our family, our conduct and faith, to us broken by
misfortunes and never heard of by Him before! How great must His
goodness be for His friends and relations!

'In every way veneration be to Him, that Illustrious One!

38. 'Assisting the likes of us, distressed people, overcome with fear
and sorrow and desponding, He, bearing the shape of an elephant, holds
up, as it were, the sinking behaviour of the pious[217].

     [217] I have not adopted the ingenious conjecture of Professor
     Kern, sishatsatâm, as I now think the text of the MSS. gives a good
     sense, if but the complex of aksharas sîdatsatâm is divided into
     two words. Accordingly I read sîdat satâm udvahatîva v_ri_ttam.

39. 'Where has He been taught this extraordinary propitiousness? At the
feet of what teacher may He have sat in the forest? The popular saying:
'no beauty of figure pleases without virtues' is exemplified in Him.

40. 'Oh! How He has manifested by the splendid loftiness of His nature
the auspiciousness to be expected of (his auspicious figure)! Verily,
even in His dead body, His self-satisfaction appears in His complexion
shining like the Snow-mountain, as though it laughed with joy!

'Who, therefore, will allow himself to feed on the body of this
exceedingly virtuous being, who, surpassing by his goodness affectionate
relations and friends, was thus inclined to help us, thus ready to
sacrifice even his own life for our benefit? No, it becomes us rather to
pay him our debt of gratitude by the cremation of his body with the
proper rites and worship.' Thus considering, they were inclined to
indulge in mourning, as if a family-disaster had befallen them; their
eyes grew dim with tears and they lamented in a faltering voice. But
some of them who had a stronger frame of mind, perceiving their attitude
and understanding the difference of the cases, spoke to them: 'Verily,
by doing so this excellent elephant would be neither worshipped nor
gratified. For aught we know, it is by the accomplishment of his design
that we ought to honour him.

41. 'For it was with the object of rescuing us, that he, a stranger to
us, yea, not even knowing us, abandoned in this manner his body dear to
him, to his guests, still dearer to him.

42. 'For this reason it is proper to fulfil his design. Otherwise, would
not the exertion of that being be made fruitless?

43. 'He has offered affectionately his whole property, indeed, to
entertain his guests. Who, then, would render his hospitality fruitless
by not accepting it?

44. 'We are therefore bound to honour him by accepting it like the word
of a teacher, whereby we will secure also our own welfare.

45. 'After surmounting our adversity, it will be the fit time to worship
him either conjointly or severally, and to perform for this excellent
elephant the whole of the funeral rites due to a deceased kinsman.'

Accordingly those men, keeping in mind that that chief of elephants had
taken his determination with the object of rescuing them from the
wilderness, obeyed his words. They took their provisions from the body
of the Great Being, and filled his bowels with water, using them as
water-bags. Then following the direction he had pointed out to them,
they safely crossed that wilderness.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner the righteous highly esteem even pain, as if it were
gain, if they may cause by it the happiness of others. [So is to be said
when praising the righteous. Likewise, when discoursing on the Tathâgata
or on the subject of listening with attention to the preaching of the
Law. When treating of how to acquire an auspicious nature, this is to be
said: 'In this manner an auspicious nature obtained by exercise (of
virtues) comes back in new existences.' This story may also be told,
when demonstrating the virtue consisting in habitual charity. 'So the
habit of abandoning material objects makes it easy to give up even
self-love.' And on the words spoken by the Lord at the time of His
Complete Nirvâ_n_a, when He was attended with celestial flowers and
celestial music: 'Something like this, in truth, is not the right
manner, Ânanda, to gratify the Tathâgata,' this story may serve as the
comment, by taking it for example: 'In this manner worship consists in
fulfilling the design (of the person honoured), not in offerings of
perfumes, garlands, and the like.']

     In the Avadânakalpalatâ this tale occurs in pallava 96, 9-15, where
     the Lord tells it succinctly. The elephant is called Bhadra
     (friendly; 'auspicious') there. Cp. supra, stanzas 39, 40, where
     his atibhadratâ, respecting bhadratâ, is praised. Concerning the
     Bhadra-elephants cp. Kielhorn, Indian Antiquary, 1890, p. 60.


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 537, Fausb. V, 456-511, and _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
III, 12[218].)

     [218] Compare Professor Kern's interesting paper on the
     Old-Javanese poem Sutasoma in the Verslagen en Mededeelingen der
     Kon. Akademie van Wetenschappen afd. Letterkunde, 3^{de} Reeks, dl.
     V. pp. 8-43, especially note on p. 21. This Javanese poem, composed
     by Tantular, a manuscript of which belongs to the Leiden University
     Library, is based on some unknown work named Bauddhakâvya, not
     mentioned in Bunyiu Nanjio's Catalogue.

Meeting with a virtuous person, in whatever way it may have been
occasioned, promotes salvation. Thus considering, he who longs for
salvation must strive after intercourse with virtuous persons. This will
be taught as follows.

In the time when our Lord was a Bodhisattva, he happened to be born, it
is said, in the illustrious royal family of the Kauravas, that dynasty
wide-famed for its glory, who owing to their intentness on possessing
virtues, possessed the deep-rooted affection of their subjects, and the
splendour of whose power had put their proud neighbours to vassalage.
His father gave him the name of Sutasoma, for he looked as lovely as
Soma (the Moon-god), his face being irradiated by the nimbus of his
hundreds of virtues. Like the moon in the bright half of the month, his
loveliness and grace increased every day. Having in course of time
attained skill in the Vedas with their Aṅgas and in the Upavedas, and
having been also initiated in the worldly arts and sciences (kalâs),
including the additional ones (uttarakalâs), he became an object of
esteem and love to his people and might be called a kinsman of virtues,
so to speak. For he was inclined to be a decided helper of virtues[219],
his regard for them was ever increasing, and he kept himself under
restraint to preserve them carefully.

     [219] So elsewhere the pious are called 'partisans of virtue'
     (gu_n_apakshapâtina_h_). See, for instance, Story VII, stanza 31.

1, 2. Good conduct (_s_îla), learning, charity, mercy, self-control,
splendour, forbearance, wisdom, patience, humility, modesty, shame,
judgment, loveliness, renown, civility, retentiveness, strength,
pureness of mind, these and such were the excellent properties which
dwelt with him. Embellished by his youth, as it were, and deriving an
additional charm from the holiness and loftiness of his person, they
were like his constituent parts, as the (sixteen) kalâs of the

     [220] The exactness of the comparison would appear more, if the
     number of virtues of young Sutasoma were also sixteen. But I count

And for this reason the king, his father, raised him to the illustrious
rank of heir-apparent, judging him the proper person for ruling his
subjects, for he knew his high aspirations and the holiness of his

3. But as he was fond of learning, he was a great lover of religious
sentences well-turned, and paid the most distinguished reward to those
who attended him with well-said sentences.

Once it was the season of spring, and the power of the month of flowers
had decorated the suburban parks. The young offshoots of shrubs and
trees overspread them with a soft brilliancy; the opening flowers gave
them a charming and laughing aspect; fresh grass-plots, like smooth
woollen carpets, extended all around over their grounds; their
water-basins with unstained and blue water were covered with the petals
of lotuses white and blue; the humming noise of numbers of roaming bees
was heard in them; crowds of bold cuckoos and peacocks showed
themselves; and breezes, agreeable by their mildness, fragrancy, and
coolness, blew over them. The splendour of those gardens roused gladness
in the minds of men. So the High-minded One, walking about escorted by a
small body of guards, went out to one of those pleasure-grounds in order
to divert himself.

4. Its groves resounded with the chants of the he-cuckoo; its various
trees were bending under the weight of their flowers; and the grace of
the gardens was enhanced by their charming arbours, artfully arranged.
Rambling through his groves in the company of his wives, he resembled
one enjoying the fruit of his merit in Nandana.

5. There he delighted in the songs of the females blending with the soft
tones of musical instruments, in their dances charmingly executed with
exciting coquetry and graceful[221] gesticulation, in their brilliant
amorous play in consequence of their excitement by liquors, but no less
in the loveliness of the forest.

     [221] Professor Kern writes to me, that lulitaº in the printed text
     ought to be changed into lalitaº, the reading of the MSS.

Now, while he was staying there, a certain Brâhman who professed to be a
speaker of well-said sentences, called on him. After being received with
due respect, he sat down in that place, absorbed in the contemplation of
the prince's beautiful figure. So the Great Being, though he was
enjoying at that time the sport allowed to his age and fallen to his
share as the effect of the power of his rich store of merit, was
nevertheless filled with great regard for that Brâhman. Before the
Brâhman could reap the profit of his coming by reciting some well-turned
sentences, there suddenly arose a confused noise, checking the sounds of
song and music, destroying the merriment of the company engaged in
playful occupation, and rousing fear and anxiety in the females. On
hearing this uproar, he kindly bade the guardians of his harem inquire
about the matter. Then his doorkeepers hastily went to him, alarmed and
with saddened faces expressive of their fear and anxiety. They reported
to him: 'Your Majesty, this is the man-eater Kalmâshapâda, the son of
Sudâsa, the cruel disposition of whose mind exceeds even that of the
Râkshasas. It is he, who, as if he were an incarnation of the God of
Death, is in the habit of destroying hundreds of men. Looking terrible
and dreadful like a Rakshas, that embodied Terror of the World, so to
speak, of superhuman strength, vigour, and insolence is coming up to
this very place. Our guards are dispersed. Terror has devoured the
courage of the warriors, consternation has dissolved their ranks, and
put also the chariots, horse, and elephants into disorder. Therefore
Your Majesty must be on your guard for your defence, or reflect on the
proper measures to be taken.' Then Sutasoma, though knowing it well,
asked them: 'Who is that man whom you call the son of Sudâsa?' And they
said to him: 'Is it then unknown to Your Majesty that there was a king
of the name, who having gone out a hunting, carried away by his horse
penetrated into the very heart of the forest? There he cohabited with a
lioness, who having become pregnant, after some time was delivered of a
male human child. Some foresters took up that boy, and brought him to
Sudâsa, who being childless, brought him up as his son, and when he
passed away to the city of the Celestials[222], left him as his
successor. So he came to the possession of his legitimate royal dignity,
but by the fault of his maternal origin he was fond of raw flesh. Once
having tasted human flesh and liking its relish surpassing any other
flesh, he commenced to kill and eat the very inhabitants of his capital.
Then the townsmen prepared to put him to death. The son of Sudâsa, being
afraid of them, made this promise to the goblins who are wont to enjoy
offerings of human flesh and blood: "If I am saved from this peril, I
will perform a sacrifice of one hundred royal princes to the goblins."
So he was saved from that peril of his life. And now he carried off by
force many, many royal princes, and he is also come here in order to
carry away[223] Your Majesty, too. You have heard the matter; we await
your orders, Your Majesty.'

     [222] In other words, 'when he died.'

     [223] Upahartum is of course a misprint for apahartum.

Now the Bodhisattva, who was formerly aware of the aberration of mind of
the son of Sudâsa and his wicked behaviour, felt compassion for him. So
he set his mind on the design of curing him; and since he trusted
himself to possess the qualities adapted to the extinction of the
monstrous abnormity of his conduct, the information about Sudâsa's son
drawing near, like welcome news, made him feel the sense of gladness.
And, indeed, he spoke in this manner:

6. 'This man who, dispossessed from his royalty because of his fondness
for human flesh, acts like a madman utterly unable to govern himself,
having left his royal duties and destroyed his (former) good repute and
merit, such a person, I suppose, is in a state deserving commiseration.

7. 'This being so, what opportunity is there for me to use force now, or
what room for alarm and fear from the side of such a one? Rather will I
utterly destroy his wickedness without employing effort, violence, and

8. 'And now this man who would deserve commiseration from my side, if
even he went away from me, comes himself to the place, where I am
staying. For this reason it befits me to show him hospitality. For it
is in this way that the virtuous act towards guests.

'Therefore, it suffices that each of you mind his ordinary duty.' So he
instructed the guard of his harem. And turning to his female
life-guards, who with eyes great and bewildered with anxiety and with
throats almost choked by agitation, prepared to bar the way of the
monster, he made them desist from that purpose, addressing them with
comforting words, and went forward in the direction of that alarming
noise. And he saw his royal army dispersed and in flight, pursued by the
son of Sudâsa, whose appearance was dreadful. His soiled garments,
loosely kept together with a girdle, hung around his body; his hair
dressed with a diadem of bark and coarse with dust, was dishevelled and
hanging down his face wholly covered with a thick, rugged beard which
lay upon it like darkness; his eyes rolling with wrath and anger looked
tremendous; he brandished his sword and shield. The prince fearless and
free from anxiety, called out to him: 'Hallo, here I am, I, Sutasoma.
Turn to me. Why are you troubling yourself to assail those poor people?'
These words of challenge stirred the pride of the son of Sudâsa, and
turning from thence like a lion, he perceived the Bodhisattva (waiting
for him) alone, unarmed, and placidly looking according to his nature.
On seeing him he exclaimed, 'You are the very man I am seeking,' and at
once without delay went hastily and with impetuosity to him, and placing
him on his shoulder ran off. And the Bodhisattva, considering with
solicitude that his mind was still troubled with agitation, and his
heart infatuated by wrath and arrogance kindled by the insolence of his
rejoicing at the royal forces put to flight, thought it was no proper
time now for admonition, and persisted in his attitude of unconcern. On
the other hand, the son of Sudâsa having obtained his wish and thinking
to have made a capture of importance, entered much rejoiced the
stronghold where he had his residence.

9, 10. That unholy dwelling, when appearing from afar to the eyes of the
travellers, caused them to be frozen with horror; for it offered an
aspect as dreadful as the dancing-place of giants and spectres[224]. It
was encumbered with corpses of slain men, and wet with blood horribly
moistening its ground; it seemed to threaten every one (approaching)
with the cries of jackals roaring there most inauspiciously; and the
trees standing on its area, exposed to the discolouring smoke of many
funeral piles, bore dark-red leaves, the ferocious abode of vultures and

     [224] In other words, 'as dreadful as a cemetery.'

Having set down the Bodhisattva in that place, he took his rest for a
while, his eyes intently fixed on the face of his victim, charmed as he
was by his exceeding beauty. Meanwhile the Bodhisattva remembered that
poor Brâhman who had come to him in order to get some present for his
sentences, whom he had not yet paid the due honour, and who must still
be waiting for his return to the gardens with hope in his heart. And
this thought entered in his mind: 'Alas! ho!

11. 'That Brâhman came to me from afar, bringing to me the present of
his sentences and filled with hope. What will he do now on hearing of my

12. 'Afflicted with a burning sorrow on account of the destruction of
his hope, and vexed with fatigue felt the keener because of his despair,
he will either sigh, commiserating my fate, or chide his own destiny.'

While the Great Being was reflecting in this manner, and his mind
accustomed to commiserate (the sufferings of others) was sore with grief
on account of that Brâhman, tears welled up in his eyes. The son of
Sudâsa, seeing those tears, began to laugh aloud, and said: 'Do leave

13. 'You are renowned for your wisdom proved by many different virtues.
But having come into my power, you too shed tears!

'Verily, this is a true saying:

14. 'In calamities constancy has no effect, and in sorrow learning is of
no use. No being is to be found, indeed, who does not shake, when

'Therefore, tell me the truth.

15. 'Do you bewail your life dear to yourself, or your wealth, the
instrument of pleasures, or your relations, or perhaps your royal rank?
Or is it the recollection of your father who loves his son so much, or
that of your own children who now weep for you, which makes these tears
burst from your eyes?'

The Bodhisattva said:

16. 'It is not the thought either of my life or my parents, children,
relatives, and wives, or the recollection of the pleasures of royalty,
that moves me to tears; but some Brâhman who came to me hopeful, relying
on the well-said sentences he brings with him. Forsooth, hearing that I
have been carried off, he must grieve with despair. This I remembered,
and hence my eyes are wet with tears.

17. 'For this reason you ought to let me go in order that I may refresh
the heart of that Brâhman, now distressed with the grief of
disappointment, pouring on it the water of honourable reward, and on the
other hand, that I may take from him the honey of sentences he offers

18. 'After thus paying my debt to that Brâhman, I will come back to you
again, that I may be also free from debt with respect to you, and afford
gladness to your eyes beholding me returning here.

19. 'Do not, however, suspect me, troubling your mind with the thought
this may be some contrivance of mine to go off. Men like me, O king,
follow a way different from that on which other people are wont to

The son of Sudâsa spoke:

20. 'What you say, as if it were something worth regard, is a thing
which utterly exceeds belief. Who, indeed, being released from the mouth
of Death and having recovered his freedom of movement, would go to meet
it once more?

21. 'If, having passed the danger of death hard to overcome, you are in
safety in your brilliant palace, say, what reason does there exist that
should induce you to come back here to me?'

The Bodhisattva spoke: 'How? Does Your Honour not understand the motive
of my returning here, though it is a strong one, to be sure? Have I not
promised to come back? For this reason, do not suspect me any longer,
taking me for an equal of the villain. Am I not Sutasoma?

22. 'It is true that some, out of cupidity and fear of death, leave
veracity, as if it were a straw. But to the virtuous veracity is their
property and life; therefore they do not give it up even in distress.

23. 'Neither life nor the pleasures of this world will preserve from
mishap him who has fallen from veracity. Who, then, would leave veracity
for the sake of these objects? that virtue which is a rich mine of
praise, glory, and happiness?

24. 'Nevertheless, in a person who is seen walking on the road of sin or
in whom there does not appear any effort to lead a holy life, a pious
behaviour becomes a matter of disbelief. Now, what of the kind did you
perceive in my person that you should suspect even me?

25. 'If I had really been afraid of you, or if my mind had been attached
to pleasures, or my heart were devoid of compassion, do you not think I
should have met an adversary so famous for his ferocity as you, in full
armour and prepared to fight, as becomes one proud of his valour?

26. 'But it may be that I did even desire that conversation with you.
Why, after satisfying the labour of that Brâhman, I will come back to
you of my own accord. Persons like me, in truth, do not utter an

Now these words of the Bodhisattva irritated the son of Sudâsa, as if
they spoke of something fanciful, and he entered upon this reflection:
'Verily, he does greatly boast of his veracity and righteous behaviour.
Well then, I will see them, both his attachment to truth and his love of
righteousness. What matters his loss to me, after all? I have already my
full number of one hundred royal princes whom I subdued by the
overwhelming strength of my arm; with them I may perform my sacrifice to
the goblins according to my desire.' After thus considering, he said to
the Bodhisattva: 'Well then, go. We wish to see your faithfulness in
keeping your promise and your righteousness.

27. 'Go, and having done for that Brâhman what he longs for, return
soon; meanwhile I will dress your funeral pile.'

And the Bodhisattva promised him he would do so. Then he set out for his
palace, where he was welcomed by his household. Having sent for that
Brâhman, he learnt from him a tetrad of gâthâs. The Great Being, to whom
the hearing of those well-said sentences procured an intense gladness,
praised the Brâhman with kind words and marks of honour, and valuing
each gâthâ at the rate of one thousand (pieces of gold), rewarded him
with the wealth so much desired for.

Now his father, intending to avert him from expenses out of place and
extravagant, availed himself of this opportunity, and admonished his son
in friendly terms. 'My dear,' he said, 'when you reward well-said
sentences, you should know the limit, should you not? You have to
maintain a large retinue; besides, the splendour of kings depends on the
affluence of their treasury. For this reason I tell you this.

28. 'Rewarding a well-said sentence with one hundred is a very high
estimation. It is not fit to exceed this limit. If a man, however
wealthy, be too liberal, he will never retain the splendour of his
riches for long.

29. 'Wealth is the chief instrument of success and an effective one; for
no pleasure is attainable in defiance of Wealth. Fortune, indeed, like a
harlot, disregards a king who lacks an abundant treasury.'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

30. 'If it were at all possible to settle a limit to the value of
well-said sentences, Your Majesty, I would not incur your reprehension,
to be sure, if I were to give up even my royal rank to purchase them.

31. 'Verily, such sayings by hearing which a man gains placidity of
mind, his love for salvation is strengthened, and the darkness (of
ignorance) disappears (from his intellect) by the increase of his
wisdom--ought they not to be bought even at the price of one's own

32, 33. 'Holy texts are a light which destroys the darkness of delusion
(moha); they are the highest wealth, a wealth beyond the reach of
thieves and the rest[225]; the weapon to hurt that enemy whose name is
infatuation; the best counsellor and adviser as to a man's course of
conduct; an unalterable friend even in time of distress; the painless
medicine of the disease called sorrow; a mighty army strong enough to
crush the army of vices; the highest treasure of glory and bliss.

     [225] Compare note to Story III, stanza 21.

34-37. 'Moreover, the splendid possession of holy texts (_S_ruti) is
also the principal cause of eloquent speech. When meeting with virtuous
persons, this possession affords the opportunity of making a present of
great value; in the assemblies it conciliates the favour of the learned;
in disputes and controversies it casts its light like the sun, and
destroys the arrogance and fame of envious adversaries. Its superiority
is exhibited by the expression of delight and the high colour in the
eyes and on the faces of even common people, when they are enraptured
with ecstasy and applaud by clapping of hands. Further it enables its
possessor to demonstrate a matter with plain argument and in a graceful
way, owing to his quotations from manifold treatises and sacred books.
By its softness, its culture, and its loveliness, eloquence may be
compared to a string of unfaded garlands or to the blazing lustre of a
tempered lamp[226], and (finally) it forcibly gains glory for its owner.
So making use of sacred texts is a pleasant way to success.

     [226] I read vinîtadîpapratibho_gg_valasya.

38. 'And those who have heard them will betake themselves to the road
leading to the threefold prosperity, and free of obstructing vices; and
conforming their behaviour to the precepts imported by those texts, and
making it excellent, they will easily cross the dangerous passage
through existences.

39. 'For so many excellent properties holy texts are famous. Now then,
having got them like a present, how should I, being able to reward the
giver of them, not honour him in return? Or, (on the other hand,) how
should I transgress your order?

40. 'I will go, therefore, to the son of Sudâsa. I do not want either
the toil of royalty or that other anxiety I should incur by following
the way of wickedness, if I were to transgress my duty of keeping my
engagement to come back.'

These words alarmed his father, who moved by his affection replied with
earnest entreaty: 'Verily, it is but for your good, my dear, that I
spoke so. You must not take offence at it, will you? May your enemies
come into the power of the son of Sudâsa! In fact, you made him the
promise to return to him, and for this reason you, being wont to keep
your faith, wish to accomplish your promise. Nevertheless, I will not
allow it. No sin is incurred, truly, by following the way of untruth, if
one may thereby save one's own life and also for the sake of one's
parents and other venerable persons. Why should you exert yourself to
avoid this precept, which is prescribed by the Veda? Besides, those who
are skilled in the science of politics proclaim the attachment to
righteousness (dharma) in such cases as where it evidently causes damage
to material interests (artha) and pleasures (kâma), to be mismanagement
and an evil habit in kings. No more, then, of that determination,
wherewith you grieve my heart and disregard your own interest.--But you
will object, my dear, that acting thus is dishonourable and in
contradiction to righteousness, and that it is for this reason you
cannot decide to break your promise, having never been accustomed to do
anything like this. Yet, why should you break your promise? Here I have
an army of footmen, chariots, horse, and elephants, prepared for war,
and ready to march to your rescue. They make up an excellent body of
warriors attached to your person, yea, a legion of heroes skilled in
arms and having distinguished themselves in many battles. In short,
these forces are dreadful, like a violent stream of water. Well, come to
him, surrounded by that army, and bring him either to submission or to
death. In this manner you will have fulfilled your promise and at the
same time saved your life.'

The Bodhisattva replied: 'I am not able to promise one thing, Your
Majesty, and perform another; nor can I strike at such people as deserve
pity, who being immersed in the mud of wicked habits and moving in the
direction of Hell, and whom I reckon my friends after their relations
have abandoned them and there is nobody to protect them. Moreover,

41. 'That man-eater performed for me something generous and difficult to
be done (by others), since he dismissed me out of his power, relying on
my faith.

42. 'So it is thanks to him that I got those holy stanzas, father. For
this reason he is my benefactor, and is especially entitled to be an
object of my commiseration.

'Cease also to be afraid of any misfortune threatening me, Your Majesty.
How should he be capable of injuring me when I come back to him, as I
went?' So speaking the High-minded One persuaded his father to give him
leave. Then declining the entreaties of his friends and his faithful
army, who were eager to prevent his going away, he set out for the
dwelling of the son of Sudâsa, alone and free from fear and sadness, for
he was keeping his faith, and marched with the aim of softening his
heart, to the happiness of men.

As soon as the son of Sudâsa saw the Great Being approaching from afar,
he became exceedingly astonished, and his esteem and liking for him
increased. Not even his cruelty, however long practised and deep-rooted
in his defiled mind, could prevent him from entering, indeed, upon a
thought like this: 'Ah! Ah!!!

43. 'This is the wonder of wonders, to be sure, the marvel of marvels!
That prince's lofty veracity exceeds all that may be expected of men and

44. 'To me, a person as cruel-natured as Death, he comes back of
himself, subduing fear and anxiety! Ah! What a constancy! Bravo for his

45. 'Justly, indeed, the renown of his truth-speaking is wide-spread, as
he now gave up his life and royal state to keep his faith!'

While he was thus affected with amazement and admiration, the
Bodhisattva drew near, saying:

46. 'I have obtained that treasure of well-said sentences, I have
rewarded the indigent man who presented me with it, and gladness has
been procured to my mind, thanks to you. Now I am back here. Eat me, if
such is your desire, or use me as a victim at your sacrifice.'

The son of Sudâsa spoke:

47. 'I am not in a hurry to eat you; moreover, this funeral pile is
still smoky, and flesh gets its proper relish only when roasted on a
smokeless fire. Let us hear meanwhile these well-said sentences.'

The Bodhisattva replied: 'Of what use is it to you, in such a state, to
listen to holy sentences?

48. 'You adopted this mode of living merciless to your subjects for the
sake of your belly. Now these stanzas praise righteousness.
Righteousness does not go together with injustice.

49. 'Following the wicked manner of life of Râkshasas and having left
the way of the pious[227], you do not possess faith, still less
righteousness. What will you do with holy texts?'

     [227] In other words, 'having transgressed the precepts of
     morality.' Instead of sa_m_tyaktârthapathasya, I read

This contempt roused the impatience of the son of Sudâsa. He answered:
'Do not speak so, sir.

50. 'Where is that king, say, who does not kill with his bent bow in his
park the mates of the hinds of the forest? If I in a similar way kill
men for my livelihood, I am the unjust one, so it is said, not those
killers of deer!'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

51. 'Neither do those stand on the ground of righteousness, whose bent
bows are directed against the frightened and fleeing deer. But by far
more reprehensible than those is a man-eater. Human beings, indeed,
occupy by their birth the highest place (in the scale of creatures), and
are not allowed to serve as food.'

Now, though the Bodhisattva had spoken very harsh words to the son of
Sudâsa, the friendliness of his nature exercised such a power that it
outweighed the ferocious nature of the man-eater. So he quietly heard
this reproof, only he laughed aloud at it, then he spoke: 'Say,

52. 'After being released by me and having reached your home and lovely
residence resplendent with the lustre of royalty, you came back to me.
For this reason you are not skilled in political wisdom, I suppose.'

The Bodhisattva said: 'You are wrong. On the contrary, I am skilled in
political wisdom, and therefore I do not put it into effect.

53. 'What, in truth, is the worth of skill in an art, resorting to which
brings about the certain fall from righteousness without bringing about

'Moreover, I tell you,

54. 'Those who are wise in directing their actions along the way of
political wisdom, commonly get into calamities after death. Therefore I
put aside the winding paths of artful politics and keeping my faith,
came back.

55. 'Also by this I show it is I who am skilled in politics, that,
leaving untruth, I delight in veracity. For no action is declared by
competent judges in the science of politics to be well-managed which is
not attended by good reputation, satisfaction, and interest.'

The son of Sudâsa spoke:

56. 'What is that interest you perceive to be attained by holding on
veracity, that giving up your own dear life, your relations who shed
tears at your departure, and the charming pleasures attendant on
royalty, you returned to me, in order to keep your faith before all?'

The Bodhisattva spoke: 'Many kinds of virtues rest on veracity. Hear but
the succinct account of them.

57. 'Veracity surpasses splendid garlands by its lovely grace and every
sweet flavour by its sweetness; and inasmuch as it produces merit, that
excellent good, without toil, it is superior to every kind of penance
and the troublesome pilgrimages to tîrthas.

58. 'Affording to glory the opportunity of spreading among men, veracity
is the way to its penetrating the three worlds. It is the entrance-door
of the abode of the Celestials, the bridge to cross the swamps of

Then the son of Sudâsa exclaimed: 'Excellent! right!' and bowing to him
and casting an admiring look on him, said again:

59. 'The other men come into my power, are paralysed by affliction, and
fear robs them of their courage. In you, on the contrary, I see a
splendid imperturbation. I suppose, you are not afraid of death, my

The Bodhisattva spoke:

60. 'Of what use is cowardous fear, the most unfit means of prevention,
against a thing which cannot be avoided even with great effort?

'Nevertheless, and though knowing the natural course of things in the
world, people are poltroons against death.

61. 'It is the vexation of their mind in consequence of their
wickedness; it is because they were wanting in exerting themselves to
perform good actions; it is their apprehension of sufferings in the
other world. That conscience makes them torpid from anxiety that they
must die.

62. 'But I do not remember having done anything that should torture my
conscience, and consequently I have imbibed pure actions into my very
nature. Who, clinging to Righteousness, should be in fear of death?

63. 'Nor do I remember having made gifts to the indigent, which did not
tend to the gladness of both the mendicants and myself. Who, having in
this manner obtained contentment by his gifts, clinging to
Righteousness, should be in fear of death?

64. 'Even when reflecting for a long time, I never recollect having
taken any step towards evil, not even in my thoughts. So the path to
Heaven is cleared for me. Why should I conceive fear of death?

65. 'On Brâhmans, on my relations and friends, on my dependents, on the
poor, on ascetics who are the ornaments of their hermitages, I bestowed
much wealth, giving according to the worthiness of the recipients; what
each of them was in want of, that was done for him.

66. 'I built hundreds of magnificent temples, hospitals, court-yards,
hermitages, halls, and tanks, and by this I obtained satisfaction.
Therefore I do not fear death. Why, dress me for your sacrifice or eat

On hearing this language, the son of Sudâsa was moved to tears of
tenderness, the hairs on his body bristled, the darkness of his wicked
nature vanished, and looking with reverence up to the Bodhisattva, he
exclaimed: 'Beware! May the evil be averted!

67. 'Verily, may he who should wish evil to such a being as you, O
foremost of princes, take the poison Hâlahala knowingly, or eat a
furious serpent or flaming iron, or may his head, also his heart, burst
asunder into a hundred pieces!

'Therefore you may tell me also those holy sentences. Touched to
tenderness as I am by the flower-shower of your words, my curiosity to
hear them grows stronger. Attend also to this.

68. 'Having beholden the ugliness of my conduct in the mirror of
Righteousness, and being touched by emotion may I not, perhaps, be a
person whose mind craves for the Law?'

Now the Bodhisattva, considering the eagerness of his desire to hear the
Law, knew him to have become a fit vessel. He spoke: 'Being then
desirous of hearing the Law, it is right that you listen to its
preaching in the proper attitude suitable for that act. Look here.

69, 70. 'Sitting on a lower seat, which betokens illustrious modesty;
enjoying the honey of the (sacred) words with eyes expanding from
gladness, so to speak; bending one's mind calm and pure to the most
intense reverential attention--in this way one must listen devoutly to
the preaching of the Law, as a sick man to the words of a doctor.'

Then the son of Sudâsa covered a slab of stone with his upper garment,
and having offered this higher seat to the Bodhisattva, himself sat down
on the naked earth before the visage of the Bodhisattva. After which,
keeping his eyes fixed with attention on his face, he invited the Great
Being: 'Speak now, sir[228].' Then the Bodhisattva opened his mouth and
filling as it were the forest with his voice deep and sonorous, like the
lovely sound of a new-formed rain-cloud, spoke:

     [228] This formula (brûhîdânî_m_ mârsha) and the whole of this
     ceremonial shows a striking likeness to the observances prescribed
     for the instruction in the Veda of a pupil by his spiritual

  71. 'Meeting a virtuous person but once and by chance will suffice for
       Friendship strong and for ever, not wanting repeated assurance.'

On hearing this gâthâ, the son of Sudâsa exclaimed, 'Well said! well
said!' and nodding his head and waving his fingers said to the
Bodhisattva: 'Go on, go on.'

Then the Bodhisattva uttered the second gâthâ.

  72. 'From virtuous persons thou shouldst never keep remote,
       But follow those; to worship them thyself devote.
       Their fragrance-spreading virtues uncompelled must
       Attain him who stands near them, as does flower-dust.'

The son of Sudâsa spoke:

73. 'You employed your wealth in the right manner, indeed; rightly you
did not mind trouble, that you did your utmost, O virtuous one, to
reward well-said sentences!

'Go on, go on.'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

  74. 'The cars of kings, with jewels shining and with gold,
       With their possessors lose their beauty, growing old.
       But not to pious conduct has old age access.
       So strong a love of virtues pious men possess[229].'

     [229] Cp. Dhammapada, verse 151.

(The other replied): 'This is as a shower of ambrosia, to be sure. O how
great a satisfaction you give me! Go on, go on.'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

  75. 'How distant Earth from Heaven is, the East
       How far from Sunset, and both Ocean's shores
       From one another. Greater distance keeps
       Of virtue sever'd and of wrong the lores.'

Then the son of Sudâsa, who in consequence of his gladness and surprise
was filled with affection and reverence for the Bodhisattva, said to

76. 'Lovely are the gâthâs I heard from you. The elegance of their words
is still surpassed by the brilliancy of their contents. By reciting
them you have procured me gladness. Let me honour you in return by
offering you four boons.

'Therefore, choose whatever you desire from my side.'

Then the Bodhisattva, astonished at this offering, and esteeming him for
it, spoke: 'Who are you that you should bestow boons?

77. 'You have no power over yourself, being dominated by a passion for
sinful actions. Say, what boon, then, will you give to another, you,
whose heart is averse to pious conduct?

78. 'It might be that I were to declare the boon I would ask, but
that your mind would be disinclined to give it. Who, being
compassionate[230], would like to provoke such a calamity? Enough,
enough have you done for me.'

     [230] Inasmuch as by his naming the four boons he would bring about
     for the man-eater an opportunity of breaking his faith, he might
     become the involuntary cause of infernal punishment to his
     neighbour. Cp. Story XXIV, stanza 32.

On these words the son of Sudâsa was somewhat ashamed, and lowering his
face, said to the Bodhisattva: 'I beg Your Honour not to have so mean an
opinion of me.

79. 'I will give you your boons, even if it were to cost my life.
Therefore, choose freely, prince, be it what it may be that you desire.'

The Bodhisattva spoke: 'Well then,

80. 'Give me these four precious boons. Take the vow of veracity; give
up injuring living beings; release all your prisoners, nobody excepted;
and never more eat human flesh, O you hero among men!'

The son of Sudâsa said:

81. 'I grant you the first three, but choose another fourth boon. Are
you not aware that I am unable to desist from eating human flesh?'

The Bodhisattva spoke: 'Ah! Indeed! There you are! Did not I say "who
are you that you should bestow boons?" Moreover,

82. 'How can you keep the vow of veracity and refrain from injuring
others, O king, if you do not give up the habit of being an eater of
human flesh?

'Fie upon you!

83. 'Did not you say before, you were willing to give these boons even
at the risk of your life? But now you act quite otherwise.

84. 'And how should you abstain from injury, killing men in order to get
their flesh? And this being so, what may be the value of the three boons
you did grant me?'

The son of Sudâsa spoke:

85. 'How shall I be able to give up that very habit, because of which I
renounced my kingdom, bore hardship in the wilderness, and suffered
myself to kill my righteousness and destroy my good renown?'

The Bodhisattva replied: 'For this very reason you ought to give it up.

86. 'How should you not leave that state because of which you have lost
your righteousness, your royal power, your pleasures, and your good
renown? Why cling to such an abode of misfortune?

87. 'Besides, it is but the vilest among men who repent having given.
How, then, should this meanness of mind subdue a person like you?

'Cease then, cease following after mere wickedness. You ought to stir up
yourself now. Is not Your Honour the son of Sudâsa?

88. 'Meat examined by physicians and dressed by skilful (cooks) is at
your disposal. You may take the flesh of domestic animals, of fishes
living in water-basins, and also venison. With such meat satisfy your
heart, but pray, desist from the reprehensible habit of eating human

89. 'How do you like to stay in this solitary forest and prefer it to
your relations and children and your attendants (once) beloved? how
prefer it to enjoying the melodious songs at night, the grave sounds of
drums reminding you of water-clouds, and the other various pleasures of

90. 'It is not right, O monarch, that you allow yourself to be dominated
by your passion. Take rather that line of conduct which is compatible
with righteousness (dharma) and interest (artha). Having, all alone,
vanquished in battle kings with their whole armies, do not become a
great coward now, when you have to wage war with your passion.

91. 'And have you not to mind also the next world, O lord of men? For
this reason you must not cherish what is bad, because it pleases you.
But rather pursue that which is favourable to your renown and the way to
which is a lovely one, and accept what is for your good, even though you
dislike it, taking it as medicine.'

Then the son of Sudâsa was moved to tenderness and tears, which barred
his throat with emotion. He threw himself before the Bodhisattva, and
embracing his feet exclaimed:

92. 'Justly your fame pervades the world in all directions, spreading
about the flower-dust of your virtues and the scent of your merit. For
example, who else but you alone, in truth, could have felt compassion
for such an evildoer as I was, accustomed to a cruel livelihood, which
made me resemble a messenger of Death?

93. 'You are my master, my teacher, yea, my deity. I honour your words,
accepting them with (bowed) head. Never more will I feed on human flesh,
Sutasoma. Everything you told me I will accomplish according to your

94. 'Well then, those princes whom I brought here to be victims at my
sacrifice, and who vexed by the sufferings of imprisonment have lost
their splendour and are overwhelmed by grief, let us release them
together, none excepted.'

The Bodhisattva, having promised him his assistance, set out with him to
the very place where those royal princes were kept in confinement. And
no sooner had they seen Sutasoma, than understanding that they were set
at liberty, they became filled with extreme gladness.

95. At the sight of Sutasoma the royal princes became radiant with joy,
and the loveliness of laughter burst out on their faces, in the same way
as in the beginning of autumn the groups of waterlilies burst open,
invigorated by the moonbeams.

And the Bodhisattva, having come to them, spoke to them comforting and
kind words, and after making them take an oath not to do harm to the son
of Sudâsa, released them. Then together with the son of Sudâsa and
followed by those royal princes, he set out for his kingdom, and having
there made to the princes and the son of Sudâsa an honourable reception
according to their rank, he re-established them each on his royal

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner meeting with a virtuous person, in whatever way it may
have been occasioned, promotes salvation. Thus considering he who longs
for salvation must strive after intercourse with virtuous persons. [This
story may also be told when praising the Tathâgata: 'So Buddha the Lord
always intent on doing good was a friend even to strangers still in his
previous existences.' Likewise it is to be told, when discoursing on
listening with attention to the preaching of the excellent Law: 'In this
manner hearing the excellent Law tends to diminish wickedness and to
acquire virtues.' Also it is to be told when extolling sacred learning:
'In this manner sacred learning has many advantages.' Likewise when
discoursing on veracity: 'In this manner speaking the truth is approved
by the virtuous and procures a large extent of merit.' And also when
glorifying veracity, this may be propounded: 'In this manner the
virtuous keep their faith without regard for their life, pleasures, or
domination.' Likewise, when praising commiseration.]

     Dr. S. d'Oldenburg has pointed out in his paper, quoted in my
     Introduction, p. xxii, another redaction of the story of Sutasoma
     in chap. 34 of the Bhadrakalpâvadâna, the contents of which are
     given in the translation of that paper, Journ. Roy. As. Soc, pp.
     331-334. In some parts the account in that text is fuller, but for
     the most part, according to Dr. S. d'Oldenburg, it closely follows
     our _G_âtakamâlâ, the verses of which it 'mostly copies word for
     word[231].' Nevertheless the extract shows one difference, I think,
     in a capital point. In the tale, as it is told by _S_ûra,
     Kalmâshapâda has already got his hundred princes, when he comes to
     carry away Sutasoma, but in the said extract of the
     Bhadrakalpâvadâna Sutasoma is the very hundredth one.

        [231] In 1894 Dr. S. d'Oldenburg more fully dealt with the
        Bhadrakalpâvadâna in a Russian book on Buddhistic Legends in
        Bhadrakalpâvadâna and _G_âtakamâlâ. As to Sutasoma, cp. pp.
        83-85 of that book.

     In the Mahâbhârata the legend of Kalmâshapâda Saudâsa, the
     man-eater, is told, I, adhy. 176 and 177. It is very different from
     the Buddhistic fashion, yet both versions must be derived from one


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 510, Fausb. IV, 491-499; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
III, 3.)

     [232] That ayog_ri_ha is the name of the prince, not an
     appellative, appears from the Pâli recensions. He was named so,
     since he was brought up in the 'iron house' (ayog_ri_ha).

To those, whose mind has been seized by emotion[233], even the
brilliancy of royalty does not obstruct the way to salvation. Thus
considering, one must make one's self familiar with the emotional state
(sa_m_vega), as will be taught in the following.

     [233] Sa_m_vignamânasâm; compare note on p. 280.

At that time, when our Lord was still a Bodhisattva, seeing the world
exposed to the assaults of hundreds of calamities: diseases, old age,
death, separation from beloved persons, and so on, and understanding
that it was woe-begone, without protector, without help, without
guidance, He was impelled by His compassion to take the determination of
saving the creatures according to His exceedingly good nature, bringing
about again and again the good and the highest happiness even to people
averse to him and unknown to him. At that time, then, he once took his
birth, it is said, in a certain royal family distinguished for their
modest behaviour and their surpassing lustre, which, in consequence of
their intentness on possessing the affection of their subjects, was
manifested by their increasing prosperity and riches without hindrance,
as well as by the submissiveness of their proud vassals. His very birth
adorned both that court and that capital, always sympathising with their
princes in weal and woe, with the brilliant show of a festival day.

1, 2. (At the court) a large distribution of gifts filled the hands and
satisfied the minds of Brâhmans, and the attendants were proud of their
very brilliant festival garments[234]. (Outside the palace) the streets
resounded with the tones of many instruments and with the blending noise
of singing, jesting, laughing, as the gladness of the hearts manifested
itself by various merriment, dancing, and wantonness. Everywhere people
meeting told each other with exultation and embraces the happy news,
which gave them the same contentment as a present, and they magnified
the felicity of their king.

     [234] Apparently the attendants had received that new attire as a

3. The doors of the prisons were opened, and the prisoners set at
liberty. Flags floating at the tops of the houses decorated the places,
and the ground was covered with fragrant powders and flowers, and
moistened with spirituous liquors. So adorned, the town bore the lovely
and bright appearance of a festival.

4. From the splendid dwellings of the wealthy abundant showers of
different goods: clothes, gold, jewels &c. poured down, so that it
seemed as if Felicity, doing her best to pervade the world, with lovely
sport imitated Gaṅgâ in madness[235].

     [235] The presents strewed about are compared either with the
     cascade of the Ganges at Gaṅgâdvâra, where the river rushes into
     the valley, or with the mythological account of Gaṅgâ hurling down
     from heaven to earth at the instance of Bhagîratha.

Now at that time it happened as a rule that every prince born to the
king soon died. Supposing that rule to be the effect of
goblin-power[236], he ordered, with the object of saving the life of
that son, the building which was to serve for lying-in chamber to be
wholly constructed of iron, (though) ornamented with magnificent figures
wrought of jewels, gold, and silver. The preservative rites destructive
of goblins were performed there according to the precepts expounded in
the Science of Spirits and ordained by the Veda; and likewise the
different customary auspicious ceremonies which have the effect of
securing prosperity. As to his son, he had the _g_âtakarma[237] and the
other sacraments performed to him in that iron-house, and let him grow
up there. Owing to that most careful guard, but no less to the excellent
goodness of his nature and to the power of his store of merit, no
goblins overpowered the Great Being. In course of time, after the
sacraments and initiatory rites had been performed, he was instructed by
teachers illustrious for their knowledge of the sacred texts, their
extraction, and behaviour, who were renowned and honoured as scholars,
and attached to the virtues of tranquillity, modesty, and discretion.
Having learnt from them many branches of science, and being favoured by
the loveliness of youth, which made his figure grow fuller day by
day[238], further displaying that attachment to modesty which was innate
in him, he became an object of the greatest love both to his relations
and the people at large.

     [236] In the Pâli redaction the new-born children are in fact
     carried away by a goblin, a Yakkhinî.

     [237] The king had those sacraments performed by his purohita, the
     king's constant and customary representative in sacrificial and
     ceremonial matters.

     [238] It is plain that the image of the crescent moon is present to
     the author's mind.

5. People go after a virtuous person, though no relation nor
acquaintance of theirs, with the like joy as if they honoured a friend.
It is the brilliancy of his virtues which is the cause thereof.

6. In the season of autumn, when the moon freely shooting his beams all
around is the laugh of Heaven, say what kind of relation does there
exist for the people to Him?

So then the Great Being was enjoying the bliss that had fallen to his
share as the effect of the power of his merit. He was petted with plenty
of objects of celestial brilliancy standing at his disposal, and his
father, who loved him much and bore him high esteem, was no more anxious
about him, trusting he would be safe. Now once on the occasion of the
Kaumudî-festival recurring in course of time, it happened that the
Bodhisattva was desirous of contemplating the lovely beauty and the
display of brilliancy in his capital. Having obtained the permission of
his father, he mounted the royal chariot to take a drive. This chariot
was embellished with fair ornaments of gold, jewels, and silver; gay
flags and banners of various colours were floating aloft on it; its
horses well-trained and swift, were adorned with golden trappings; it
was driven by a charioteer distinguished for his dexterity, skill,
comeliness, honesty, modesty, and firmness, and followed by a retinue
adorned with a picturesque and brilliant attire and armour. Preceded by
the delightful tones of musical instruments, the prince with his train
passed through the capital in many directions, and let his eyes roam
over the spectacle of the streets crowded with townsmen and landsmen in
their lovely festival array, who with looks agitated by curiosity, were
wholly intent on seeing him, and all along his way received him with
praise and worship, folded hands and bent heads, and pronounced
blessings over him. Nevertheless, though the contemplation of this
beautiful spectacle was a proper occasion for conceiving a great
rejoicing within his mind, he regained by it the remembrance of his
former births. So familiar to his nature was the feeling of sa_m_vega.

7. 'Alas' (he thought), 'piteous is the state of the world and
displeasing because of its unsteadiness. The brilliant splendour of this
Kaumudî-day, how soon will it exist but in the memory!

8. 'And yet, such being the condition of all creatures, how heedless of
danger men are, that they hurry after rejoicings with untroubled minds,
though every way around them is obstructed by death!

9. 'Disease, old age and death, three enemies of irresistible strength,
stand near ready to strike, and there is no escape from the dreadful
world hereafter. How then may there be opportunity for merriment to an
intelligent being?

10. 'The clouds, that poured out streams of water with tremendous noise,
almost in anger, imitating, as it were, the uproar of great seas, the
clouds with their golden garlands of flashing lightnings, being born of
agglomeration come again to dissolution.

11. 'The rivers, that flowing with increased rapidity carried away trees
together with the river-banks, upon which they had their roots,
afterwards and in course of time assume again a mean appearance, as if
they were burnt away by sorrow.

12. 'The violence of the wind, too, blowing down peaks of mountains,
dispersing masses of clouds, rolling and stirring up the waves of the
ocean, becomes extinguished.

13. 'With high and blazing flame sparkling about, the fire destroys the
grass, then it abates and ceases. By turns the different beauties of the
groves and forests appear and disappear, as time goes on.

14. 'What union does there exist which has not its end in separation?
what felicity which is not liable to mishap[239]? Since inconstancy,
then, is proper to the course of worldly things, that mirth of the
multitude is a very thoughtless one.'

     [239] This sentence is expressed in a similar way in a _s_loka,
     recurring several times in Divyâvadâna (ed. Cowell, p. 27; 100;

        sarve kshayântâ ni_k_ayâ_h_ patanântâ_h_ samu_kkh_rayâ_h_
        sa_m_yogâ viprayogântâ mara_n_ânta_m_ _k_a _g_îvitam.

     Cp. also supra, Story VI, stanza 7.

In this manner the High-minded One reasoned within himself. Utterly
touched with emotion, his heart became averse to that rejoicing and
festival mirth; he paid no longer attention to the groups of people,
however picturesque, flocking to embellish the capital. In this
disposition of mind he perceived that he had already returned to his
palace. His emotion increased still by this, and considering that there
is no other refuge but Righteousness, since it is unconcerned with
sensual pleasures, he made up his mind to embrace the state of a
virtuous life. At the first opportunity he visited the king, his father,
and with folded hands asked leave to set out for the penance-forest.

15. 'By taking the vow of world-renunciation I wish to bring about the
good of my Self, and I want your leave which I shall hold for a favour
and a guidance to this (goal).'

16. On hearing this request of his well-beloved son, the king, as if he
were an elephant wounded by an empoisoned arrow or a deep sea shaken by
the wind, was seized with shivering, for his heart was sore through

17. And desiring to withhold him, he embraced him affectionately, and in
a faltering voice obstructed by his tears spoke: 'My son, why have you
made up your mind to leave us so suddenly?

18. 'Who is that man who, being a cause of displeasure to you, causes
his own ruin, rousing in this manner Death (against himself)? Say, whose
relations have to wet their faces with tears of sorrow?

19. 'Or do you perhaps apprehend, or have you heard of, any improper act
of mine? Then, tell it, that I may put an end to it. But I myself do not
perceive anything of the kind.'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

20. 'What improper act may be found in you, being thus intent to show me
your affection? And who would be capable of assailing me with grief?'

'But why then do you want to leave us?' replied the king with tears.
Then the Great Being answered: 'Because of the peril of death. Do but
consider, Your Majesty.

21. 'From the very night when a man obtains his residence in the
maternal womb, he moves towards death, O hero among men, marching
without interruption in that direction day after day.

22. 'May a man be ever so skilled in the management of his affairs, ever
so strong, nobody escapes Death or Old Age, both of whom infest every
place in this world. For this reason I will resort to the forest to lead
a virtuous life.

23. 'Haughty princes vanquish by bold attack whole armies in splendid
battle-array of footmen, horse, chariots, and elephants; but they are
powerless to defeat that enemy named Death, though he is alone.
Therefore I am resolved on taking my refuge in Righteousness.

24. 'Guarded by their forces made up of brisk horses and elephants and
footmen and chariots, princes succeed in making their escape from their
enemies; but all princes since Manu, together with their armies,
succumbed helplessly to the superior power of that enemy whose name is

25. 'Furious elephants crush in battle with their pestle-like tusks the
gates of towns, the bodies of men, chariots, and other elephants. Yet
the same tusks that were victorious even over town-walls will not push
back Death, when that foe rushes on them.

26. 'Skilled archers pierce their enemies with their arrows in battle,
though distant and sheltered by shield and armour strong and artfully
wrought; but they never hit that enemy of old, named Death.

27. 'Lions may abate the martial lustre of elephants, plunging their
cutting claws in their frontal globes, and with their roarings they may
pierce the ears and frighten the hearts of their adversaries; but when
they encounter Death, their insolence and strength are broken, and they
fall asleep.

28. 'Kings inflict punishment on their enemies having sinned against
them according to the measure of their guilt; but if that enemy whose
name is Death has greatly sinned against them, they do not think of
enforcing their law-sentences upon him.

29. 'Likewise kings may conquer a foe who has offended them by means of
the (well-known) expedients: conciliation and the rest; but Death, that
ferocious enemy, whose insolence is strengthened by the long duration of
his hatred, is not to be subdued with such craft.

30. 'Serpents in wrath bite men, and the poison of their pointed teeth
has the burning effect of a fire blazing awfully, kindled as it is by
their anger; but against Death, though always clever in doing harm and
therefore deserving of punishment, their effort of biting is deficient.

31. 'If a man has been bitten by serpents, however furious, medical men
will appease the poison by means of charms and medicines; but Death is a
serpent with imperishable teeth and irresistible poison, his power
cannot be put down by charms, medicines and the like.

32. 'Garu_d_as will stir up the abode of crowds of playing fishes,
shaking with the flapping of their wings the water out of the seas with
a thunderlike dreadful noise, then seize the serpents with their
outstretched fangs; yet they are unable to destroy Death in that
boisterous manner.

33. 'Tigers by their surpassing swiftness overtake the deer of the
forest running away with fear, and easily crushing them upon the earth,
as if playing, with the thunderbolt of their unequalled claws, drink
their blood; but they have no skill to proceed in the same way with

34. 'It may happen perchance that a deer having come within the reach of
a tiger's mouth with its tremendous teeth, makes his escape even then.
But who, having; reached the mouth of Death with the big teeth named
disease or old age or grief, can become sound again?

35. 'Demons (grahas), deformed and ferocious-looking, drink up the vital
strength and absorb the lives of the men they hold with a strong
grasp[240]; but when time has come for them likewise to wage war with
Death, they will lose their insolence and ferocity.

     [240] In the Pâli redaction these demons are specified by the names
     of yakkhâ, pisâ_k_â, and petâ (= Sans, pretâ_h_), different classes
     of goblins.

36. 'Such as are masters in magic arts may subdue those demons, if they
come up to do harm to godly persons, by the use of penance-power,
evil-averting spells, and medicinal herbs; but against that demon, whose
name is Death, there is no remedy at all.

37. 'Such as are skilled in the art of bringing about magical illusions,
perplex the eyes of a great assembly[241]. Yet Death, too, must have
still some power, that his eye is not bewildered even by those.

     [241] Jugglers may effect illusions of the kind. The fourth act of
     the Ratnâvalî affords an instance of that indra_g_âla.

38. 'Both those who by their penance-powerful charms checked the
virulence of poison, and the excellent physicians who extinguished the
diseases of men, even Dhanvantari and such as he, have disappeared.
Therefore my mind is bent on practising righteousness in the forest.

39. 'The Vidyâdharas, owing to their might made up of manifold spells
and powers, make themselves visible and again invisible, go through the
air or descend to the earth. Nevertheless, when they meet Death, they
too have lost their might.

40. 'The lords of the Celestials (the Devas) drive back the Asuras in
spite of their haughtiness, and themselves in turn in spite of their
haughtiness are driven back by the Asuras. Yet, even both armies
combined, a host that would march with just pride against any adversary,
are not able to vanquish Death.

41. 'Understanding this ferocity of the nature of Death, our enemy, and
his irresistibleness, I am no longer pleased with the life at home. It
is not from anger that I leave nor in consequence of diminished
affection, but I have resolved upon a life of righteousness in the

The king said: 'But what hope do you set upon the forest-life, the
danger of death being thus irremediable? what hope on taking the vow of
a holy life?

42. 'Shall not Death, our enemy, attain you also in the forest? Did not
the _Ri_shis die who kept their vows of righteousness in the forest? In
every place the course of life you wish to adopt is practicable, indeed.
What profit, then, do you see in leaving your home and resorting to the

The Bodhisattva spoke:

43. 'No doubt, Death equally visits those at home and those in the
forest, the righteous as well as the vicious. Yet the righteous have no
reason for remorse, and righteousness is nowhere easier to be attained
than in the forest, to be sure.

'Will Your Majesty deign to consider this?

44. 'The house is an abode of carelessness (about one's moral and
religious duties), of infatuation, sensual love, concupiscence, hatred,
of everything contrary to righteousness. What opportunity of applying
one's self to it may be found at home?

45. 'A householder is distracted by many bad occupations; the care of
earning and guarding his goods agitates his mind, which is also troubled
by calamities arising or approaching. At what time may a householder
take the way of tranquillity?

46. 'In the forest, on the other hand, after leaving that multitude of
bad occupations and being freed from the troublesome care of worldly
goods, a man is at his ease and may strive for tranquillity exclusively
and with a satisfied mind. So he will come to happiness and
righteousness and glory.

47. 'Not his wealth nor his power preserves a man, nothing but his
righteousness. It is righteousness that procures him great happiness,
not the possession of a large estate. And to a righteous man death
cannot but procure gladness. For no fear of mishap exists for him who is
devoted to a holy life.

48. 'And as good and evil are distinguished by their different
characteristic marks and separated from each other by the discrepancy of
the actions belonging to each, in the same way the result, too, of
wickedness is mishap, but that of beautiful righteousness a happy

In this manner the Great-minded One persuaded his father. He obtained
his father's permission and renouncing his brilliant royal bliss, as if
it were a straw, took up his abode in the penance-grove. Having acquired
there dhyânas of immense extent and established mankind in them, he
mounted to Brahma's world.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner even the brilliancy of royalty does not obstruct the way
of salvation to those, whose mind has been seized by emotion. Thus
considering, one must make one's self familiar with the emotional state
(sa_m_vega). [This is also to be told, when expounding the right
conception of death: 'So the thought that one may die soon causes the
sense of sa_m_vega.' Likewise, when expounding that death should always
be present to our mind, and when teaching the temporariness of
everything: 'So all phenomena[242] are perishable.' Also, when
inculcating the tenet of taking no delight in the whole Universe: 'So
nothing which has form (sa_m_sk_ri_ta)[243] is reliable.' And also with
this conclusion: 'So this world is helpless and succourless.' Also this
may be propounded: 'In this manner it is easy to obtain righteousness in
the forest, but not so for a householder.']

     [242] Anityâ_h_ sarvasa_m_skârâ_h_, one of the most popular sayings
     of the Lord.

     [243] Properly speaking, the sa_m_sk_ri_ta is the phenomenon, and
     the sa_m_skârâ_h_ are the 'fashions' or 'forms' of the perceptible
     objects as well as of the perceiving mind. But the latter term is
     not rarely likewise indicative of the things or objects (see
     Childers, Dictionary, s. v. sa_m_khâro), and the former is here
     nearly a synonym of nâmarûpa.


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 278, Fausb. II, 385-388; _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
II, 5.)

Forbearance deserves this name only if there exists some opportunity for
showing it, not otherwise. Thus considering, the virtuous appreciate
even their injurer, deeming him a profit. This will be shown by the

The Bodhisattva, it is said, one time lived in some forest-region as a
wild buffalo-bull of grim appearance, owing to his being dirty with mud,
and so dark of complexion that he resembled a moving piece of a
dark-blue cloud. Nevertheless, though in that animal-state, in which
there prevails complete ignorance and it is difficult to come to the
conception of righteousness, he in consequence of his keen
understanding, was exerting himself to practise righteousness.

1. Compassion, as if it had a deep-rooted affection for him in return
for his long service, never left him. But some power too, either of his
karma or his nature, must be taken into account to explain the fact that
he was so.

2. And it is for this reason, in truth, that the Lord[244] declared the
mystery of the result of karma to be inscrutable, since He, though
compassion was at the bottom of his nature, obtained the state of a
beast, yet even in this condition retained his knowledge of

     [244] In his Buddha-existence, of course.

3. Without karma the series of existences cannot be; it is also an
impossibility that good actions should have evil as their result. But it
must be the influence of small portions of (evil) karma that caused him
now and then, notwithstanding his knowledge of righteousness, to be in
such (low) states[245].

     [245] This apology is not superfluous, indeed. Though fables of
     animals have been adapted of old so as to form part of the stock of
     sacred lore of the Buddhists, the contradiction between the low
     existences of the most virtuous ones and the doctrines about the
     karma is as great as possible.

Now some wicked monkey, knowing his natural goodness which had
manifested itself in course of time, and understanding from his habitual
mercy that anger and wrath had no power over him, was in the habit of
vexing the Great Being very much by different injuries. 'From him I have
nothing to fear,' so he thought.

4. A rascal is never more eager to insult and never displays greater
insolence than towards people meek and merciful. Against those he
performs his worst tricks, for he sees no danger from their side. But
with respect to those from whence a suspicion of danger, however slight,
strikes him, he will behave, oh! so modestly, like an honest man; his
petulance is quieted there.

Sometimes, then, while the Great Being was calmly asleep or nodding from
drowsiness, that monkey would of a sudden leap upon his back. Another
time, having climbed on (his head), as if he were a tree, he swung
repeatedly (between his horns). Sometimes again, when he was hungry, he
would stand before his feet, obstructing his grazing. It happened also
now and then that he rubbed his ears with a log. When he was longing to
bathe, he would sometimes climb on his head and cover his eyes with his
hands. Or having mounted on his back, he would ride him perforce, and
holding a stick in his hand counterfeit Yama[246]. And the Bodhisattva,
that Great Being, bore all that unbecoming behaviour of the monkey
without irritation and anger, quite untroubled, for he considered it a
benefit, as it were.

     [246] The common representation of Yama is sitting on the back of a
     buffalo with a staff in his hand. See, for instance, Varâhamihira
     B_ri_hatsa_m_hitâ 58, 57 da_nd_î Yamo mahishaga_h_.

5. It is the very nature of the wicked, indeed, to walk aside from the
way of decent behaviour, whereas forbearance is something like a benefit
to the virtuous, owing to their habitual practice of going that way.

Now of a truth, some Yaksha who was scandalised at those insults of the
Great Being, or perhaps wished to try his nature, one time when the
wicked monkey was riding the buffalo-bull, placed himself in his way,
saying: 'Be not so patient. Art thou the slave of that wicked monkey by
purchase or by loss at play, or dost thou suspect any danger from his
part, or dost thou not know thine own strength, that thou sufferest
thyself to be so abused by him as to become his riding animal? Verily,
my friend,

6. 'The thunderbolt of thy pointed horns swung with swiftness could
pierce a diamond, or like the thunderbolt, cleave huge trees. And these
thy feet treading with furious anger, would sink in the mountain-rock as
in mud.

7. 'And this body of thine is, like a rock, solid and compact, the
splendid strength of its muscles makes its beauty perfect. So thy power
is well-known to the vigorous by nature, and thou wouldst be hard to
approach even for a lion.

8. 'Therefore, either crush him with thy hoof by an energetic effort, or
destroy his insolence with the sharp edges of thy horns. Why dost thou
suffer this rogue of a monkey to torment thee and to cause pain to thee,
as if thou wert powerless?

9. 'Where is it ever seen that an evildoer is brought to reason by a
cure consisting in a virtuous behaviour towards him, modesty, and
kindness? This treatment being applied to such a one who is to be cured
by pungent and burning and harsh remedies, his insolence will wax like a
disease arising from the phlegm[247].'

     [247] Indian medicine divides the diseases into three classes,
     according to their origin from one of the three humours: phlegm
     (kapha), wind (vâta), and bile (pitta).

Then the Bodhisattva looking at the Yaksha spoke to him mild words
expressive of his adherence to the virtue of forbearance.

10. 'Surely, I know him a fickle-minded one and always fond of iniquity,
but for this very reason it is right, in truth, that I put up with him.

11. 'What forbearance is that, practised towards somebody of greater
strength, against whom it is impossible to retaliate? And with respect
to virtuous people standing firm in honesty and decent behaviour, what
is there to be endured at all?

12. 'Therefore we ought to endure injuries by a feeble one, though
having the power of revenge. Better to bear insults from such a one than
to get rid of virtues.

13. 'Ill-treatment by a powerless one is the best opportunity, in truth,
for showing virtues. With what purpose, then, should the lover of
virtues make use of his strength in such cases so as to lose his
firmness of mind?

14. 'Besides, the opportunity for forbearance, that virtue always of
use, being difficult to obtain inasmuch as it depends on others, what
reason could there be to resort to anger just then, when that
opportunity has been afforded by another?

15. 'And if I did not use forbearance against him who disregarding the
damage of his own righteousness (dharma), acts as if to cleanse my sins,
say who else should be ungrateful, if not I?'

The Yaksha spoke: 'Then wilt thou never be delivered from his

16. 'Who may be able to chastise the ill-behaviour of a rascal having no
respect for virtues, unless he sets aside humble forbearance?'

The Bodhisattva spoke:

17. 'It is not suitable for him who longs for happiness to pursue
comfort or prevention of discomfort by inflicting grief on another. The
result of such actions will not tend to the production of happiness.

18. 'My persistence in patient endurance is, in fact, an admonition to
awake his conscience. If he does not understand it, he will afterwards
assail others of a hasty temper who will stop him in his pursuit of the
wrong way.

19. 'And having been ill-treated by such a one, he will no more do these
things to such as me. For having received punishment, he will not act in
this (unbecoming) manner again. And so I will get rid of him.'

On these words the Yaksha, affected with faithful contentment,
amazement, and respect, exclaimed: 'Well said! well said!' and moving
his head and shaking his (extended) fingers, magnified the Great Being
with kind words such as these:

20. 'How is it possible that beasts should possess a conduct like this?
How didst thou come to this degree of regard for virtues? Having assumed
with some purpose or other this animal-shape, thou must be somebody
practising penance in the penance-forest!'

After thus eulogising him, he threw the wicked monkey off his back, and
taught him a preservative charm; after which he disappeared on the spot.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, forbearance deserves this name only, if there
exists some opportunity for showing it, not otherwise: thus considering
the virtuous appreciate even their injurer, deeming him a profit. [So is
to be said, when discoursing on forbearance. And this may also be said:
'In this manner is shown the imperturbable tranquillity of the
Bodhisattvas, even when in the state of a beast; how, indeed, should it
become a human being or one who has taken the vow of a homeless life to
be deficient in it[248]?' This story is also to be told, when praising
the Tathâgata and when discoursing on listening with attention to the
preaching of the Law.]

     [248] Cp. the conclusion of Story XXV.


(Cp. the Pâli _G_âtaka, No. 308, Fausb. III, 25-27.)

Even though provoked, a virtuous person is incapable of betaking himself
to wickedness, having never learnt to do so. This will be taught as

The Bodhisattva, it is said, lived in some place of a forest as a
woodpecker distinguished by his beautiful and lovely feathers of
manifold colours. But though in that state, owing to his habitual
compassion, he did not follow the way of living of his kind, a sinful
one since it involves injuries to living beings.

1. With the young shoots of the trees, with the sweet and delicious
flavours of their flowers, and with their fruits of different hue,
scent, and relish he kept such diet as was dictated by his contentment.

2. He manifested his care for the interests of others by preaching to
others the precepts of righteousness on proper opportunities, by helping
the distressed according to his power, and by preventing the base-minded
from immodest actions.

The whole multitude of animals in that part of the forest, being thus
protected by the Great Being, thrived and were happy; for in him they
possessed a teacher, as it were, a kinsman, a physician, a king.

3. In the same degree as they, being well protected by the greatness of
his mercy, increased in virtues, in the very same degree his protection
endowed them, though making up a collection of substances, with increase
of their qualities[249].

     [249] The point of this stanza is lost in translation. The term
     sattvakâya admits of two acceptations, according to its being
     applied to the philosophical and to the ordinary use of the word
     sattva. So the same compound may signify 'a body of animals' and 'a
     collection of substances.' Similarly the term gu_n_a means 'virtue'
     as well as 'quality.'

Now one time, when the Great Being, according to his pity for the
creatures, was rambling through parts of the forest, it happened that he
saw in some part of the wood a lion who overcome by an exceedingly heavy
pain was lying on the earth, as if he were hit with a poisonous arrow,
having his mane disarranged and dirty with dust. And drawing near to
him, moved by compassion, he asked him: 'What is the matter, king of the
quadrupeds? Thou art seriously ill, indeed, I see.

4. 'Is this illness caused by exhaustion after indulging too much in
boldness against elephants? or in excessive running after deer? or art
thou hit with an arrow by a hunter? or has some disease seized thee?

5. 'Say then, what ails thee, if at least it may be told to me. Likewise
tell me what may be done for thee in this case. And if perhaps I possess
some power for the benefit of my friends, thou must enjoy the profit I
may bring about by it and recover thy health[250].'

     [250] The last pâda of this _s_loka looks corrupt in the original,
     yet without encumbrance of the main sense which is evident.

The lion spoke: 'Thou, virtuous and best of birds, this illness is not
the effect of exhaustion nor is it caused by disease nor occasioned by a
hunter's arrow. But it is the fragment of a bone that sticks here in my
throat and, like the point of an arrow, causes grievous pain to me. I
can neither swallow it down nor throw it up. Therefore, it is now the
time of assistance by friends. Now, if you know the way to make me
sound, well, do it.' Then the Bodhisattva, owing to the keenness of his
intellect, thought out some means of extracting the object which was the
cause of his pain. Taking a piece of wood large enough to bar his mouth,
he spoke to the lion: 'Open thy mouth as wide as ever thou canst.' After
he had done so, the Bodhisattva having placed the log tightly between
the two rows of his teeth, entered the bottom of his throat. With the
top of his beak he seized that fragment of bone sticking athwart in it
by one edge, and having loosened it, took it by another edge, and at
last drew it out. And while retiring, he dropped the log which barred
the lion's mouth.

6. No wound-healer, however skilled in his art and clever, would have
succeeded even with great effort in extracting that extraneous
substance, yet he pulled it out, thanks to his keen intellect, though
not exercised by professional training[251], but proper to him through
hundreds of existences.

     [251] Cp. the beginning of Story XIV, p. 125.

7. After taking away together with the bone the pain and anguish caused
by it, he felt no less gladness at having relieved his suffering
fellow-creature, than the lion at being released from the pain-causing

This, indeed, is the essential property of a virtuous person.

8. A virtuous person having effected the happiness of another or stopped
his mischief even with difficulty, will enjoy a greater amount of
excessive gladness, than he would on account even of prosperity
happening to himself and easily obtained.

So the Great Being having relieved his pain, was rejoiced in his heart.
He took leave of the lion, and having received his thanks went his way.

Now some time after, it happened that the woodpecker flying about with
his outspread wings of exquisite beauty, could nowhere get any suitable
food, so that he was caught by hunger which burnt his limbs. Then he saw
that same lion feasting on the flesh of a young antelope fresh killed.
His mouth and claws and the lower end of his mane being tinged with the
blood of that animal, he resembled a fragment of a cloud in autumn,
immersed in the glow of twilight.

9. Yet, though he was his benefactor, he did not venture to address him
with words of request, disagreeable to the ear; for however skilled in
speech, shame imposed upon him a temporary obligation of silence.

10. Nevertheless, as his wants required satisfaction, he walked up and
down before his eyes in a bashful attitude. But that scoundrel, though
well aware of him, did not at all invite him to join in the repast.

11. Like seed sown on a rock, like an oblation poured out on ashes that
have lost their heat, of that very nature is, at the time of fruit, a
benefit bestowed on an ungrateful person, and the flower of the

Then the Bodhisattva thought: 'Surely, he does not know me again,' and
approaching him with a little more confidence, asked him for a share,
supporting his demand with a proper benediction after the manner of

12. 'Much good may it do thee, lord of the quadrupeds, who procurest thy
livelihood by thy prowess! I beg thee to honour a mendicant, which is an
instrument for thee to gather good repute and merit.'

But the lion disregarding this kind blessing, unacquainted as he was
with the behaviour of the pious (ârya), owing to his habitual cruelty
and selfishness, fixed a sidelong look on the Bodhisattva, as if he were
willing to burn him down with the flame of the anger blazing out of his
fiery eyes, and said: 'No more of this.

13. 'Is it not enough that thou art alive, after entering the mouth of a
creature like me, a devourer of fresh killed deer who does not know of
unmanly mercy?

14. 'Is it to insult me that thou darest molest me thus another time
with a demand. Art thou weary of thy life? Thou wishest to see the world
hereafter, I suppose.'

This refusal and the harsh words expressing it, filled the Bodhisattva
with shame. He flew directly upward to the sky, telling him in the
language of his extended wings he was a bird, and went his way.

Now some forest-deity who was indignant at this injury, or who wanted to
know the extent of his virtuous constancy, mounted also to the sky, and
said to the Great Being: 'Excellent one among birds, for what reason
dost thou suffer this injury inflicted by that scoundrel on thee, his
benefactor, though thou dost possess the power of revenge? What is the
profit of overlooking that ungrateful one in this manner?

15. 'He may be ever so strong, thou art still able to blind him by a
sudden assault on his face. Thou mayst also rob the flesh of his repast
from between his very teeth. Why then dost thou suffer his insolence?'

At that moment the Bodhisattva, though having been ill-treated and
insulted, and notwithstanding the provocation of the forest-deity,
manifested the extreme goodness of his nature, saying: 'Enough, enough
of this manner of proceeding. This way is not followed by such as me.

16. 'It is out of mercy, not with the desire of gain, that the virtuous
take care of a person in distress, nor do they mind whether the other
understands this or not. What opportunity for anger is there in such a

17. 'Ingratitude cannot but tend to the deception of the ungrateful one
himself. Who, indeed, wishing a service in return, will do good to him a
second time?

18. 'As to the benefactor, he obtains merit and the result of it in the
world hereafter in consequence of his self-restraint, and an illustrious
renown still in this world.

19. 'Moreover, if the benefit has been performed in order to practise a
righteous action, why should it be regretted afterwards? If done with
the purpose of receiving something in return, it is a loan, not a

20. 'He who because of the ingratitude of his neighbour prepares to do
him harm, such a one, in truth, after first earning a spotless
reputation by his virtues, will subsequently act after the manner of

21. 'If my neighbour by the infirmity of his mind does not know how to
return the benefit, he will also never obtain the lovely lustre inherent
in virtues; but, say, what reason should there exist for a sentient
being to destroy, on account of that, his own lofty renown?

'But this seems to me most becoming in this case.

22. 'He in whose heart a service done by a virtuous person did not rouse
a friendly disposition, such a one is to be left, but gently, without
harshness and anger.'

Then the deity, rejoiced at his well-said sentences, praised him,
exclaiming repeatedly: 'Well said! well said!' and adding many kind

23. 'Though exempt from the toil caused by matted hair and a bark
garment, thou art a _Ri_shi, thou art a holy ascetic knowing the future!
It is not the dress, truly, that makes the Muni, but he who is adorned
by virtues is the real Muni here.'

After thus distinguishing him and honouring him, he disappeared on the

       *       *       *       *       *

In this manner, then, a virtuous person is incapable of betaking himself
to wickedness, even though provoked, having never learnt to do so. [So
is to be said when eulogising the virtuous. And when discoursing on
forbearance, this is to be propounded: 'In this manner a man practising
forbearance will rarely meet with enmity, rarely with reproach, and will
be beloved and welcome to many people.' When praising adherence to
tranquillity, this is to be said: 'In this manner the wise being great
in preserving their tranquillity preserve their own lustre of virtues.'
Likewise, when glorifying the Tathâgata and praising the cultivation of
an excellent nature: 'In this manner a good nature being always striven
after does not pass away, even when in the state of a beast.']



_* Indicates a very close and partly verbal agreement._

II. _S_ibi_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 499.

    _G_âtakamâlâ.                     Pâli _G_âtaka.

  Stanza 10-12                           Stanza 1-3
    "    13, 14                            "    5, 6
    "    15-18                             "    7-9
    "    21-23                             "    10, 11
    "    25                                "    12
    "    26, 27                            "    13
    "    28                                "    14
    "    *32, *33                          "    *20, *21
    "    35, 36                            "    23
    "    37                                "    24, 25
    "    44-49                             "    26-31

III. Kulmâshapi_nd_î_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 415.

  Stanza 4, 5                            Stanza 1, 2
    "    6, 7                              "    3
    "    10-13                             "    4-7
    "    14-16                             "    8-10
    "    17                                "    11, 12

IV. _S_resh_th_i_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 40.

  Stanza 18                              Stanza 1

V. Avishahya_s_resh_th_i_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 340.

  Stanza 9                               Stanza 1
    "    *11                               "    *2
    "    26, 27                            "    3, 4

VI. _S_a_s_a_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 316

  Stanza 26-29                            Stanza 1-4

VII. Agastya_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 480.

  Stanza 12                              Stanza 2
    "    14, 15                            "    4
    "    17, 18                            "    6
    "     20-22                          Stanza 8, 9
    "     24-26                            "    10
    "     28, *29                          "    12, *13
    "     30, 31                           "    14
    "     34                               "    16, 17
    "     36-38                            "    19-21
  Stanzas 13, 16, 19, 27, 32 and
  33, 35 are different embellishments
  of one stereotyped verse                 "    3, 5, 7, 11, 15, 18

XII. Brâhma_n_a_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 305.

  Stanza  *13, 14, *15                   Stanza *1, *2.

XIII. Unmâdayantî_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 527.

  Stanza  12                             Stanza 5
    "     *17, 18                          "    15
    "     *19                              "    16
    "     22                               "    17
    "     26, 27                           "    18, 19
    "     29                               "    29, and cp. 24 and 26
    "     30, 31                           "    30, 32
    "     32                               "    35 and cp. 33
    "     33                               "    41
    "     34                               "    34
    "     36                               "    36
    "     39                               "    48-51

XIV. Supâraga_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 463.

  Stanza  12, 13                         Stanza 1, 2
    "     14, 15                           "    5, 6
    "     16, 17                           "    3, 4
    "     18, 19                           "    7, 8
    "     20, 21                           "    9, 10
    "     22, 23                           "    11, 12
    "     *30, 31                          "    13

XV. Matsya_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 75.

  Stanza  14                             Stanza 1, cp. _K_ariyâpi_t_aka
                                                   III, 10, 6

XVI. Vartakâpotaka_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 35.

  Stanza  7                              Stanza 3 = 34 of Ekanipâta

XVII. Kumbha_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 512.

  Stanza  7, 11                          Stanza 1-3
    "     12, 13                           "    4, 5
    "     14                               "    6 and 8
    "     15                               "    7
    "     16                               "    9 and 22
    "     18                               "    25
    "     19                               "    13 and *14
    "     22                               "    26
    "     25                               "    15-17
    "     27                               "    18
    "     30, *31                          "    28, *29
    "     32, 33                           "    30, 31

XIX. Bisa_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 488.

  Stanza *11, *12, 13                    Stanza *1, *2, 3
    "    14, 15, *16                       "    4, 5, *6
    "    *17, *18                          "    *7, *8
    "    19, 20                            "    9, 10
    "    *21, *22, *23                     "    *11, *12, *13
    "    *24, 25, 26-28                    "    *14, 15, 16 and 17
    "    29, 30                            "    18
    "    *31                               "    *19
    "    *32, 33                           "    20

XX. _S_resh_th_i_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 171.

  Stanza *18                             Stanza *1

XXI. _K_u_dd_abodhi_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 443.

  Stanza 9, 11                           Stanza 1, 2
    "    18, 20, 21                        "    3, 4, 5
    "    *22, *23, *24, *25_a_        "    *6, *7, *8, *9_a_
    "    25_b_-_d_, 26           "    9_b_-_d_, 10, 11
    "    27, 28                            "    12, 13

XXII. Ha_m_sa_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 533.

  Stanza 26                              Stanza 1, cp. No. 534, 1-3
    "    27, 29                            "    2, 4
    "    *30, *31, *32                     "    *5, *6, *7
    "    *33, *34                          "    *8, *9
    "    *35                               "    *10 identical.
    "    *36, *37, *38                     "    *11, *12, *13
    "    39, 40                            "    19 (read disa_m_)
    "    43, 44                            "    20, 21, cp. No. 534, 15
                                                and 16
    "    45-48                             "    25-28
    "    *49, 50, 51                       "    *29, 30, 31 (stands in
                                                a wrong place, as 31,
                                                being spoken by Sumukha,
                                                must immediately
                                                follow 30)
    "    54                                "    35 = 49
    "    55, 56                            "    37, 39
    "    57, 58                            "    41, 42
    "    59-62                             "    43, 44, 46
    "    63, 64                            "    47-53
    "    65                                "    54, 55
    "    66, 67                            "    58
    "    68                                "    60
    "    72, 73                            "    65
    "    *74, 75-77                        "    *66, 67-69
    "    78, 79                            "    70
    "    80                                "    72, 73
    "    83                                "    74
    "    85, 86                            "    75-77
    "    *89                               "    81

XXIII. Mahâbodhi_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 528.

  Stanza 13, 14                          Stanza 7, 8
    "    15                                "    10
    "    16                                "    11, 13
    "    66-69                             "    53-56
    "    70                                "    49, 50
    "    71                                "    51, 52

XXIV. Mahâkapi_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 516.

  Stanza 11                              Stanza 21

XXVI. Ruru_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 482.

  Stanza 22, 23                          Stanza 5
    "    24                                "    7
    "    26, 27                            "    8
    "    30                                "    9

XXVII. Mahâkapi_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 407.

  Stanza 13                              Stanza 1
    "    15                                "    2
    "    20 _d_, 21-23                "    3-5

XXVIII. Kshânti_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 313.

  Stanza 59                              Stanza 1
    "    61, 62                            "    2

XXXI. Sutasoma_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 537.

  Stanza 47, *48, *49                    Stanza 54, *55, *56
    "    52                                "    59
    "    *54                               "    *60
    "    61-66                             "    64-71
    "    67                                "    72
    "    71, 72                            "    40, 41 = 74, 75
    "    74, 75                            "    42, 43 = 76, 77
    "    76, 77                            "    78, 79
    "    *78                               "    *80
    "    93, 94                            "    102

XXXII. Ayog_ri_ha_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 510.

  Stanza 21, 22                          Stanza 1, 2
    "    23, 24                            "    3, 4
    "    25, 26                            "    6, 7
    "    27 and 33                         "    17
    "    28, 29                            "    14, 15
    "    30, 31                            "    19, 20
    "    35, 36                            "    12, 13
    "    37                                "    18
    "    38, 39                            "    21, 22
    "    47, 48                            "    23, 24

XXXIII. Mahisha_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 278.

  Stanza 19                              Stanza 3 = _K_ariyâpi_t_aka II,
                                                5, 10

XXXIV. _S_atapattra_g_âtaka = Fausb. No. 308.

  Stanza *13                             Stanza 2
    "    *22                               "    4


  abhig_ñ_â, page 206.

  Abhipâraga, 116, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123.

  Act of Truth, 16, 132, 136, 137, 141.

  Agastya, the story of, VII. 46-55.

  Agni, 140.

  Agnihotra, 49.

  Agnimâlin, 129.

  A_g_ita, 4.

  Almsgiving, eulogy of, 24.

  Andhakas, 145.

  Angels, charged with the care of rain, 94, 135.

  Anger, sermon on, 178-180.

  Aniruddha, 164.

  Annihilation, doctrine of, 207, 213.

  Aṅgadinna, 269.

  Aṅgas, see Vedâṅgas.

  Ape, 38, 45; for the rest cp. Monkey.
    Story of the great, XXIV. 218-227.

  Apsaras(as), 17, 97, 115, 117.

  arghya, 271.

  Arhat, 22, 105.

  artha, a means for attaining dharma, 27-29.

    --9, 95, 195, 202, 253, 264, 302, 312.

  Asuras, 105, 322.

  A_s_u_k_iku_n_apa, 276.

  avabh_ri_tha, 95, 97.

  Avadânakalpalatâ, see Bodhisattvâvadânakalpalatâ.

  Avadâna_s_ataka, 37.

  Avishahya, 30, 31.

    Story of, V. 30-37.

  Avî_k_i, 147.

  Ayog_ri_ha, story of, XXXII. 314-324.

  Âdityas, 131.

  Ânanda, 164, 181, 199, 291.

  âpaddharma, 111, 223.

  Âryasthavirîyanikâya, 139.

  Bauddhakâvya, 291.

  Benares, 183, 186, 187, 245.

  Bodhi (proper name), 202.

  Bodhi, see Buddhahood.

  Bodhisattva, 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 18, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
    31, 32, 33, 35, 39, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 71, 74,
    78, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 104, 109, 111, 112,
    113, 114, 124, 125, 128, 132, 134, 136, 137, 138, 140, 141, 148,
    151, 154, 156, 157, 158, 159, 162, 163, 165, 166, 167, 169, 173,
    174, 175, 176, 178, 180, 181, 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 190, 195,
    197, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, 207, 208, 209, 210, 219,
    221, 222, 224, 227, 228, 229, 232, 234, 235, 236, 239, 240, 241,
    243, 244, 245, 248, 250, 251, 253, 263, 265, 266, 267, 269, 270,
    271, 273, 278, 281, 282, 291, 295, 296, 297, 299, 300, 301, 303,
    304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 319, 325,
    327, 328, 329, 331, 332, 333.

  Bodhisattvas, 125, 329.

  Bodhisattvâvadânakalpalatâ, 8, 19, 20, 37, 41, 71, 78, 93, 200, 268,

  Brahma (n.), 43, 68.

  Brahmâ (m.), 98.

  Brahmadatta, 182, 186, 245.

  Brahmaloka, 269, 270, 271, 286, 324.

    Story of the inhabitant of the, XXIX. 268-281.

  Brâhman, majestic figure of a, 143; Brâhmans abhor falsehood, 144; the
    Brâhman with the four well-said sentences, 293, 294, 297, 298, 299,
    300; the Brâhman who asked the Bodh.'s eye, 11, 12, 13, 15; the
    Brâhman in the shape of whom _S_akra tried the hare, 42, 43,

  Brâhman, story of the, XII. 109-114.

  Brâhma_n_î, A, 85.

  B_ri_haspati, 123.

  Brothers, the six, of the Bodhisattva, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160.

  Buddha, 1, 8, 67, 218, 313, 325.

  Buddhas, 21.

  Buddhahood, 1, 56, 69.

  Buddha-virtues, 5.

  Buddhayâna, 5.

  buddhi, 272.

  Buffalo, story of the, XXXIII. 324-329.

  Bhadra, 291.

  Bhadrakalpâvadâna, 313, 314.

  bhakti, doctrine of, 211.

  Bharuka_kkh_a, 125, 134.

  bhâvanâs, 3.

  Celestials, celestial gods, see Devas.

  Charity praised, 19, 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 35, 36, 45, 54, 60, 72,
    73; excess of, 75.

  Childless one, story of the, XVIII. 148-154.

  Comrade, the, of the Bodhisattva, 156, 160.

  Curse, the effect of penance-power, 176, 267;
    strong liquor, an embodied Curse, 146.

  Dadhimâlin, 129.

  Daityas, 54, 105, 186, 192, 229.

  Dânavas, 105.

  Delusion (= mâyâ) 259;

    (= moha) 301.

  Demoness, 117.

  Demons, 105, 106, 107, 108, 126, 128;

    (= graha) 320, 321.

  Destiny, 14, 123, 166.

  Detachment praised, 151, 156, 253.

  Devadatta, 260.

  Devaputras, 55, 161, and see Angels.

  Devarshi, 270.

  Devas, 7, 14, 44, 63, 90, 92, 96, 97, 106, 107, 108, 119, 136, 182,
    287, 322.

    City of the, 24; hall of the, 45; Lord of the, see _S_akra;
      rank of the, 28; world of the, 38, 45, 96; sovereignty of the,
      113; old, 146.

  Devil, the embodied, 226.

  Devî, 131.

  Diti, 104.

  Divyâvadâna, 8, 20, 56, 318.

  dîkshâ, 95, 102.

  dîkshita, 95, 102.

  Dog, a, 204.

  Dhammapada, 21, 139, 143.

  Dhanvantari, 322.

  dharma, 9, 27, 69, 95, 195, 207, 211, 214, 216, 259, 263, 302, 312,

  Dharma (personified), 94, 177, 257.

  Dh_ri_tarâsh_t_ra, 181.

  dhyâna, 55, 174, 206, 257, 269, 271, 272, 324.

  Elephant, 161, 162; a white, 73, 74, 75, 78.

    Story of the, XXX. 281-291.

  Elephants of the world-quarters, 288.

  False doctrines, 206, 207, 209-214, 216, 218.

  Fear of Death, 306, 307; discourse on the, 319-323.

  Fish, story of the, XV. 134-138.

  Five, the (first followers of the Lord), 71.

  Forbearance, praise of, 258, 259, 264, 265, 328.

  Forest-deity, 333-335.

  Gandharvas, 7, 92.

  Ganges, 245, 315.

  Ga_n_as, 17.

  garbhâdhâna, 109.

  Garu_d_a(s), 287, 321.

  gâthâs, tetrad of, 300, 308, 309.

  Goblins, 57, 58, 63, 295, 300, 315, 316.

  Goldland, 125.

  grahas, 321.

  Gruel, story of the small portion of, III. 20-25.

  Guild, story of the head of a, IV. 25-30.

  guru, the, of Ârya_s_ûra, 2.

  _G_âlin, 82, 86.

  _G_âtaka, the Pâli, 8, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 30, 37, 46, 71, 93,
    104, 109, 114, 124, 125, 126, 130, 132, 133, 134, 137, 138, 141,
    154, 159, 160, 164, 172, 181, 182, 190, 195, 200, 214, 218, 227,
    234, 244, 245, 253, 260, 268, 291, 314, 324, 329.

    Commentary on the, 160, 161, 162. _g_âtakarma, 2, 46, 109, 316.

  _G_valatkukûla, 274.

  Ha_m_sa, the supreme, 44. For the rest, cp. Swan.

  Hare, story of the, VI. 37-45.

  Hâlahala, the poison, 307.

  Hells, description of, 274-277.

  Himalaya or Himavat, 36, 141, 186, 218, 244, 289.

  Hitopade_s_a, 200.

  Hospitality praised, 39-44, 49.

  Indra, 16, 68, 196.

  Î_s_vara, 206, 211, 212.

  Jackal, the friend of the hare, 38, 42, 45.

  Jar, story of the, XVII. 141-154.

  Jewels (the three), or Triratna, 2.

  Kailâsa, 73.

  Ka_k_aṅgalâ, 161.

  kalâs, 2, 292.

  Kalmâshapâda, see the son of Sudâsa.

  karma, 269, 275, 276; doctrine of, 206, 212, 325; result of, 148, 258,
    270, 325; harvest of, 225, 239; evil, 239.

  Kathâsaritsâgara, 20, 124, 200.

  Kaumudî, 1 17.

  Kaumudi-festival, 116, 317.

  Kauravas, 291.

  Kâlodâyin, 164.

  kâma, 9, 95, 195, 202, 253, 264, 302.

  kâmadhâtu, 269.

  kâmâva_k_ara, 269.

  Kârâ, 47.

  Kâ_s_yapa, 51, 53;(another) 164.

  Kâ_s_yapa, the Buddha, 161.

  King's duties, a, 216, 217, 250, 252, 278-280.

  Kirî_t_avatsa, 118.

  Ko_s_ala, 20.

  K_ri_sh_n_â_g_inâ, 82, 86, 87.

  K_ri_ta Yuga, 9, 99, 101.

  kshamâ, 259, 264.

  kshânti, 253, 259.

  Kshântivâdin, 253,254, 256, 260, 261.
    Story of, XXVIII. 253-268.

  Kshemendra, 8, 93.

  Kubera, 31, 56, 68, 145.

  Kub_g_ottarâ, 164.

  Ku_s_amâlin, 130.

  Khuramâlin, 128.

  _K_andra, 45.

  _K_ariyâpi_t_aka, 8, 37, 46, 71, 93, 134, 137, 138, 154,
    172, 234, 291, 314, 324.

  _K_itra, 164.

  _K_u_dd_abodhi, story of, XXI. 172-181.

  Leprosy a punishment for treachery, 225, 226.

  Lion, 330-333.

  Lioness, 294.

  Liquors, sin of drinking strong, 142, 148; discourse on the sin of
    drinking, 144-147.

  Lokapâlas, 80, 177.

  Lotus stalks, story of the, XIX. 154-164.

  Love-god, 91, 117, 119, 175, 176.

  Madrî, 78, 79, 81, 82, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92.

  Madhudâtar, 164.

  Magic, the power of, 15, 44, 207, 215.

  Mahâbodhi, story of, XXIII. 200-218.

  Mahâraurava, 27.

  Maitrîbala, story of, VIII. 55-71.

  Maṅgala Buddha, 93.

  Man-eater, the, see Kalmâshapâda.

  Manmatha, 7, 118.

  Manu, 320.

  Mare-mouth, the, 131, 132.

  Maruts, 131.

  Maudgalyâyana, 164.

  Mânasa, Lake, 181, 183, 185, 186, 187.

  Mâra, 26, 27, 29, 30, 91, 287; hosts of, 5.

  Mâtali, 106, 107.

  Mercy, discourse on, 243, 244.

  Merit and Meritorious actions, 8, 23, 24, 25, 26, 39, 40, 45, 68, 233,
    245, 279; power of, 9, 20, 30, 39, 133, 136, 200, 201, 316, 317;
    result of, 19, 22, 23, 94.

  Meru, 4, 58, 66, 69.

  Milinda Pa_ñ_ha, 93.

  Monastery, the Great, 161.

  Monkey, 43, 161, 162, 207, 208, 215, 244, 245, 247, 248, 249; the
    wicked, 325, 326, 327.

    Story of the great, XXVII. 244-253.

  Monks, false, 215.

  Mountain, the golden, see Meru; the snow-bright, see Himâlaya.

  Muni, epitheton of the Buddha, and the Bodhisattva, 1, 55, 262, 265,
    278; foremost of Munis, 266, 268; Lord of Munis, 141.

  Muni, a, 23, 48, 94, 112, 116, 144, 163, 198, 254, 263, 335.

  naishkrama, 47, 154.

  Nalamâlin, 130, 133.

  Nandana, the park of the Devas, 255, 293.

  Narakântaka, 28.

  naya = nîti, 76.

  Nirgranthas, 145.

  Nirvâ_n_a, 269, 286.

  Nishâda, 190, 191, 192, 193, 196.

  nîti, see Political wisdom.

  O_g_ohâras, 56, 57.

  Otter, 38, 42, 45.

  paraloka, see World hereafter.

  paramâtman, 280.

  Par_g_anya, 137.

  pâramitâ, 93.

  Pârileya, 164.

  Pâtalâ, 126.

  Pi_s_â_k_as, 57, 61.

  Pitaras, 147.

  Political wisdom, the science of princes, 40, 59, 74, 75, 105, 163,
    203, 207, 213, 214, 215, 250, 302, 305, 306.

  poshadha, 20, 39.

  pramâ_n_a, 271.

  pra_n_idhâna, pra_n_idhi, 286.

  prasâda, 67.

  Pratyekabuddha, 26, 27, 30, 55.

  Preaching of the Law, 39, 157, 159, 161, 237, 243, 330; listening with
    attention to the--of the Law, 8, 71, 108, 227, 253, 280, 290, 313,

  Pretas, 147, 226.

  pu_m_savana, 109.

  pu_n_ya, see Merit.

  purohita, 94, 97, 98, 160, 316.

  purushamedha, 97.

  Pûr_n_a, 164.

  Pûtana, 226.

  Quail's young, story of the, XVI. 138-141.

  Rakshas = Râkshasa, 294.

  Rati, 115.

  râ_g_arshi, 16, 252.

  Râhu, 192.

  Râkshasas, 32, 57, 58, 61, 294.

  Recollection of former existences, 20, 22, 23, 272, 317.

  Rudras, 131.

  Ruru-deer, story of the, XXVI. 234-244.

  _Ri_shi, 162, 163, 182, 260, 261, 262, 263, 265, 278, 323, 335.

  Sabbath-days, 20, 39, 73.

  Sacraments, 2, 109, 173, 316.

  Sacrifice, story of the, X. 93-104.

  Sacrificial fee, 122.

  sa_kk_akiriyâ, see Act of Truth.

  sambodhi = Supreme Wisdom, 6, 15.

  Sa_m_ghâta, 275.

  Sa_mg_aya, 71, 75, 76,92.

  Sa_m_sâra, 4, 24, 46, 286, 306.

  sa_m_skâra and sa_m_sk_ri_ta, 324.

  Sa_m_vega, 280, 314, 317.

  Saṅgha, 25.

  Sarvamitra, 142, 143.

  sattra, 31, 97, 102.

  Saviour of the World, 15, 286.

  Sâgara, the Ocean, as a god, 131.

  Sâtâgiri, 164.

  sâtmîbhâva, 135, 232.

  Servant, the male, and the female, of the Bodhisattva, 156, 161.

  Siddhas, 77, 182.

  Sister, the, of the Bodhisattva, 156, 161.

  sîmantonnayana, 109.

  Snakes, 7, 126, 136, 182.

  Snow-mountain, see Himâlaya.

  Soma, 292.

  Soma-sacrifices, 97.

  Southern Ocean, 47.

  Stars, the, the wives of the Moon-god, 184.

  strîdhana, 79.

  Sudâsa, 294; the son of, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298, 299, 302, 303, 304,
    305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313.

  Sudharmâ, 45.

  Sumeru, 11, 90.

  Sumukha, 181, 182, 186, 187, 189, 190, 191, 192, 194, 195, 196, 197,

  Sunanda, 118.

  Supâraga (the man), 125, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133.

    The story of, XIV. 124-134.

    (the town), 125.

  Suppâraka, 125.

  Sutasoma, 292, 294, 296, 299, 305, 312, 314.

    The story of, XXXI. 291-314.

  Sûpâraga, 125.

  svastyayana, 58.

  Swans, the story of the holy, XXII. 181-200.

  _S_akra, the Lord of the Devas, 2, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
    32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53,
    54, 55, 58, 67, 68, 70, 83, 90, 91, 92, 103, 104, 106, 107, 131,
    136, 138, 142, 144, 146, 147, 148, 153, 157, 158, 159, 162, 163,
    164; the riches, (brilliancy, realm) of, 14, 68, 198; city of, 278.

    Story of, XI. 104-108.

  _S_arabha, story of the, XXV. 227-234.

  _S_a_s_âṅka, 45.

  _S_atakratu, 103.

  _S_ataya_g_van, 103.

  _S_âkya prince, 93.

  _S_âradvatî, 164.

  _S_âriputra, 164.

  _S_ibis, the, 8, 9, 19, 71, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 85, 92, 114, 123.

    Story of the king of the, II. 8-19.

  _S_râddha, 96.

  _S_rî, 67, 115.

  _S_ruti, praise of, 301, 302.

  _S_ûra, 1, 93.

  Tantular, 291.

  Tathâgata, 19, 55, 71, 92, 104, 108, 141, 148, 181, 227, 233, 252,
    290, 291, 313, 329.

  Tathâgatas, 132.

  Tigress, story of the, I. 1-8.

  tîrtha, 254, 306.

  trayî, 71.

  Treasurer, story of the, XX. 164-172.

  Triad of dharma, artha, kâma (trivarga), 9, 27, 76, 95, 123, 195, 217,
    263, 302.

  Triad of low, middle, high, 163, 258.

  Trivarga, see Triad of dharma, &c.

  Unmâdayantî, 115, 117, 118, 122; story of, XIII. 114-124.

  Upavedas, 154, 292.

  Utpalâvar_n_â, 164.

  Va_d_avâmukha, see Mare-mouth.

  Vai_g_ayanta, 45.

  Vaitara_n_î, 276.

  Vaṅka, Mount, 77, 81, 83, 93.

  Vasus, 131.

  Vâsava = _S_akra, 52, 92.

  Vedas, 46, 71, 95, 96, 109, 154, 155, 160, 292, 302, 308, 316.

  Vedâṅgas, 46, 292.

  Veracity, praise of, 306; power of, 17, 133, 138.

  Vetâlapa_ñk_avi_ms_ati, 124.

  Videha, 269.

  Vidhi, 14.

  Vidyâdharas, 182, 184, 219.

  vinaya, 216.

  Virtues, praise of, 198, 292; lover of virtues, partisan of virtues,
    54, 292, 328; property of a virtuous person, 332, 334.

  Vi_s_vakarman, 83.

  Vi_s_vantara, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 93; story of, IX.

  V_ri_sh_n_ayas, 145.

  Wisdom, supreme, see Buddhahood.

  Woodpecker, story of the, XXXIV. 329-335.

  World hereafter, proof for its existence, 271-277.

  World-renunciation, 3, 4, 47, 149-153, 156, 166-172, 253, 268, 319.

  Worldly pleasures censured, 159-163, 173.

  Yakshas, 7, 57, 61, 81, 83, 119, 136, 161, 164, 182, 327, 328, 329;
    the five, in story VIII. 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67,
    68, 69, 71.

  Yakshi_n_î, 315.

  Yama, 275, 277, 326.

  yâna, the three, 5, 6, cp. 280.

  yoga, 4, 217.

  Yogin, 228.

  yuga, 219.




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