Dharmaguptaka Vinaya Khandaka
Thus has it been told to me. In the ancient past, the very first king to appear in the world was named Mahāpuruṣa, and he was chosen by the people. This king had a son who became King Kalyāṇa. King Kalyāṇa had a son named Roci. King Roci had a son called Upoṣadha. King Upoṣadha had a son named Māndhātṛ. King Māndhātṛ had a son named Cāru. King Cāru had a son named Upacāru. King Upacāru had a son named Muci. King Muci had a son named Mucilinda. King Mucilinda had a son called Baihirṣi. King Baihirṣi had a son called Śakada. King Śakada had a son named Ruci. King Ruci had a son named Suruci. King Suruci had a son called Prāṇa. King Prāṇa had a son named Mahāprāṇa. King Mahāprāṇa had a son named Kuśa. King Kuśa had a son named Mahākuśa. King Mahākuśa had a son named Sudarśana. King Sudarśana had a son named Mahāsudarśana. King Mahāsudarśana had a son named Aśoka. King Aśoka had a son named Dīpa. King Dīpa had a son named Līna. King Līna had a son named Meru. King Meru had a son named Maru. King Maru had a son called Vīryabala. King Vīryabala had a son named Dhṛtaratha. King Dhṛtaratha had a son named Daśaratha. King Daśaratha had a son named Śataratha. King Śataratha had a son named Dhṛtadhanu. King Dhṛtadhanu had a son named Daśadhanu. King Daśadhanu had a son named Śatadhanu. King Śatadhanu had a son named Śākyasiṃha. King Śākyasiṃha had a son named *Ciñca.
After King Ciñca there were ten Wheel-turning Universal Monarch clans in succession. The first clan was called *Kanuja; the second *Taruvīdi, the third Aśvin, the fourth Gandhāra, the fifth Kaliṅga, the sixth Campi, the seventh Kaurava, the eighth Pañcāla, the ninth Miśri and the tenth Ikṣvāku.
In the Kanuja clan there were five kings in succession. The Taruvīdi clan had five kings in succession, the Aśvin seven kings, the Gandhāra eight kings, the Kaliṅga nine kings, the Campi fourteen kings, the Kaurava thirty-one kings, the Pañcāla thirty-two kings, the Miśri eighty-four thousand kings and the Ikṣvāku one hundred kings in succession.
In the Ikṣvāku clan, there was a king named Mahāsujāta. King Mahāsujāta had a son called Ikṣvāku. King Ikṣvāku had a son named *Urada. Urada had a son named *Gaura. Gaura had a son named Nirpura. Nirpura had a son named Siṃhahanu. Siṃhahanu had a son named Śuddhodana. Śuddhodana had a son called Bodhisattva, and Bodhisattva had a son named Rāhula.
In the northern borderlands, near the Himālayas, a son was born in the Śākya clan to a noble family in which both parents were of pure lineage. The child was fully endowed with all marks, and after his birth, brahmin fortune-tellers gathered to divine his fate according to his appearance.
They predicted, “Your Majesty, this child is endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great man. Having these marks means that he must follow one of two courses. There is no other way. He will either go forth from the householder’s life or, as a kṣatriya, be anointed as a Chakravartin, the Wheel-turning Universal Monarch. In the latter case, he will conquer all to rule the four continents. He will be known as a righteous king, powerful because he rules for the sake of sentient beings. He will be possessed of the seven treasures: 1. the wheel; 2. the elephant; 3. the horse; 4. the pearl; 5. the queen; 6. the financial minister; 7. the commander of the military. He will have a thousand sons who are heroic and strong, able to defeat all enemies. He will rule and enculturate every region in his kingdom with the power of his dharmic righteousness rather than military force and punitive measures. He will carry out his royal duties in full mastery of his powers, without fear or weakness.”
“Should he go forth from the life of a householder into homelessness, he will become an Arhat, fully enlightened, perfected in wisdom and conduct, well-gone, knower of worlds, incomparable, leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, Buddha, World-honored One. He will personally attain, and freely enjoy, a realization superior to that of all gods and humans, including māras, brahmās, śrāmaṇas and brāhmaṇas. He will teach people the Dharma, well-spoken in the beginning, middle and end, profound in letter and spirit, inspiring people to undertake pure conduct.”
At this time, Bimbisāra, the king of Magadha, was concerned about neighboring countries and sent military patrols to various regions. He heard from those patrols that in the northern borderlands near the Himalayas, a son was born to parents of pure lineage belonging to a noble family in the Śākya clan. The child was endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great man, and fortune-tellers had made the prediction given above.
A member of the patrol approached the king and said, “May it be known to Your Majesty that in the northern borderlands near the Himālayas a son has been born to parents of pure lineage belonging to a noble family in the Śākya clan. The child is endowed with the thirty-two marks of a great man,” and related the above account. He continued, “I recommend that Your Majesty find an expedient way to eliminate him. Otherwise he may bring harm to Your Majesty in the future, resulting in loss of territory and the kingdom’s ruin.”
The king replied, “There is no need to eliminate him. If he does not go forth, he will be anointed as a kṣatriya Wheel-turning Universal Monarch, a Chakravartin. Possessing the seven treasures, he will rule the four continents with ease, acting without fear or weakness. In this case, I shall render service to him as a loyal subject.”
“Should he go forth to pursue the path, he will become an Arhat, fully enlightened. He will teach people the Dharma, which is well-spoken in the beginning, middle, and end. In this case, I shall become his disciple.”
As time passed, the Bodhisattva grew up, becoming endowed with every faculty. Once, while he was in a secluded and quiet place, it occurred to him, “I see that this world is full of suffering due to birth, aging, illness and death. Because of this body, one passes away here and is reborn there, while the end of suffering is never reached. How does one come to the end of this mass of suffering?”
As a young man the Bodhisattva had dark hair and distinguished features. As he reached the prime of his life, he took no delight in sensual pleasures. His parents wept in dismay because they did not want him to go forth to pursue the path. Adamant in his defiance, the Bodhisattva shaved his beard and hair, put on a robe, and went forth from the life of a householder to one of homelessness.
Then the Bodhisattva began his journey. He passed the border of Magadha on his way to the city of Rājagṛha where he spent the night. The next morning, after putting on his robe and taking up his bowl, he entered Rājagṛha for alms. Dignified in appearance, he walked serenely, with calmness in every movement. He proceeded directly ahead, with his eyes cast forward, and did not look to the side. Wearing his robe and holding his bowl, he entered Rājagṛha for alms.
At that time the king of Magadha was on top of a high building surrounded by his officials. In the distance he saw the Bodhisattva entering the city for alms, walking serenely with calmness in every movement, proceeding directly ahead with his eyes cast forward, not looking to the side. Having seen this, the king praised the Bodhisattva in verse to his officials:
“Look at his features
And his most holy conduct.
With marks and signs of great dignity,
He is certainly not an inferior man.
The messengers sent by the king
Followed the bhikṣu
Wherever he went
And wherever he stayed.
The bhikṣu went house to house, begging for food,
With faculties serene and focused.
His bowl filled quickly
And his mind was peaceful.
After his begging rounds,
The holy one went back out of the city
To Mount Pāṇḍava,
Where he stayed.
Having learned of his whereabouts,
One of the messengers stayed nearby,
While the other hastened back
To report to the king.
“Your Majesty,” he said,
“The bhikṣu is residing at Mount Pāṇḍava.
Whether lying or sitting he is like a lion
Or a tiger living in the mountains.”
After hearing the messenger’s account,
The king readied his elephant chariot
And set off to visit the Bodhisattva,
Accompanied by a large retinue.
When the king arrived he paid his respects
And sat at one side.
After mutual courtesies,
The king remarked,
“I see that you are young and strong,
And that your practices are pure.
You are the one who should ride this great chariot
And be obeyed by these ministers.
Your dignified features show
That you are a kṣatriya by birth
Now that we are here together,
Please tell me where you are from?”
He replied, “There is a kingdom ruled by a great king
To the north, in the Himālayas.
The clan name of my father is Āditya
And I was born in the land of the Śākyas.
I was wealthy, and proficient in the arts and skills,
With parents of pure lineage.
I relinquished that life to pursue the path.
I do not delight in the five desires.
I see desire as a source of affliction,
And freedom from affliction as eternal peace.
The quest for the extinction of desire
Is what brings me delight.”
Then the king said to the prince, “You are welcome to stay here. I shall give you half of my kingdom.”
The Bodhisattva replied, “I decline your offer.”
The king further proposed, “I shall give you everything in my kingdom, including the crown from my head. You would have the throne to rule the kingdom, while I would serve as your minister.”
The Bodhisattva replied, “I relinquished the throne of the Wheel-turning Universal Monarch and left the householder’s life to pursue the path of liberation. How could I have greed for the throne of a frontier kingdom and become involved in worldly affairs? Your Majesty, how could one become attached to the water in a cow’s hoofprint after having seen the waters of the vast ocean? Likewise, how could I wish to succeed to the throne of a tiny kingdom after having forsaken that of the Wheel-turning Universal Monarch? That would be unreasonable.”
The king then said, “If you attain unsurpassed enlightenment, please come to Rājagṛha to see me first.” The Bodhisattva agreed to do so. The king got up, bowed at the feet of the Bodhisattva, did three circumambulations, and left.
Ārāḍa Kālāma was renowned by many people as their foremost teacher. He taught his disciples the samādhi of nothingness. When the Bodhisattva visited Ārāḍa Kālāma, he asked, “What method do you teach your disciples that leads them to realization?”
He replied, “Gautama, I teach them the samādhi of nothingness, which leads them to realization.”
Then the Bodhisattva thought, “Ārāḍa Kālāma does not have faith, but I have faith; Ārāḍa Kālāma does not strive, but I strive; Ārāḍa Kālāma does not have intelligence, but I have intelligence. Ārāḍa Kālāma has made realizations using his method. Much more should I be able to realize wisdom using his method of meditation. I shall work hard to realize Ārāḍa Kālāma’s teaching.”
Thereupon the Bodhisattva applied himself, and in a short time came to a realization of that teaching. Then he visited Ārāḍa Kālāma and asked, “Is not the samādhi of nothingness, which you teach to your disciples, your only realization?”
Ārāḍa Kālāma replied, “I genuinely possess this realization, and there is nothing beyond it.”
The Bodhisattva said, “I have also attained the samādhi of nothingness, but I do not teach it to others.”
Ārāḍa Kālāma said, “Gautama, you genuinely possess the samādhi of nothingness, although you do not teach it to others. I have also realized the samādhi of nothingness, which I teach to others. Gautama, you know what I know, and I know what you know. You are like me, and I am like you. Gautama, let us manage my saṅgha together.” At this time Ārāḍa Kālāma was pleased and full of admiration. He wished to honor the Bodhisattva by making him a partner equal to himself.
At this time the Bodhisattva thought, “The samādhi of nothingness is not an extinguishing; it does not eliminate desire; it is not complete extinction; it is not tranquil; it is not complete enlightenment; it is not suited to recluses; it is not the basis for the eternal peace of nirvāṇa. I am not satisfied with this method.” Thereupon he left Ārāḍa Kālāma to seek a superior dharma.
Udraka Rāmaputra was renowned by many, many people as their foremost teacher. After his own master died, he trained the disciples, teaching the samādhi of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. When the Bodhisattva visited Udraka Rāmaputra, he asked, “What method did your master teach his disciples?”
Udraka Rāmaputra replied, “My master taught his disciples the samādhi of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.”
Then the Bodhisattva thought, “Rāma did not have faith, but I have faith; Rāma did not strive, but I strive; Rāma did not have intelligence, but I have intelligence. Even then, Rāma mastered this method and taught it to others. Much more should I be able to have the same realization if I work hard.”
Thereupon the Bodhisattva applied himself, and in a short time came to a realization of Udraka Rāmaputra’s teaching. Then he visited Udraka Rāmaputra and asked, “Is not the samādhi of neither-perception-nor-non-perception your only realization?”
Udraka Rāmaputra replied, “I genuinely possess this realization, and there is nothing beyond it.”
The Bodhisattva said, “I have also realized the samādhi of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.”
Udraka Rāmaputra then said, “You genuinely possess this samādhi. My master Rāma has also realized the samādhi of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. You know what my master knows. Rāma knows what you know. You are like Rāma and Rāma is like you. Gautama, let us manage my saṅgha together.” Then Udraka Rāmaputra was so pleased that he honored the Bodhisattva with a request to lead his saṅgha, treating him as his own teacher.
At this time the Bodhisattva thought, “As I see the samādhi of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, it is not an extinguishing; it is not without desire; it is not tranquil; it is not complete extinction; it is not suited to recluses; it is not the basis for the eternal peace of nirvāṇa. I am not satisfied with this method.” Thereupon he left Udraka Rāmaputra to seek a superior dharma. The dharma that he sought is unequalled nirvāṇa.
From Magadha the Bodhisattva travelled south toward Gajaśīrṣa. He stayed in the village of Senāpati in Uruvilvā. He found a place that was open, flat, and pleasant. The grasses were soft and curved to the right. The place for bathing had fresh, cool water and the forest was lush. Looking around, he saw that the villages to the left and to the right were well-populated. Then he thought, “I am a man of my clan. I seek a suitable place for removing afflictions. This place is good. This is the place where I shall remove afflictions. I shall sit in this place to remove my afflictions.”
Then the five men who were following the Bodhisattva thought, “When the Bodhisattva achieves the way he will teach it to us.”
There were four women in Uruvilvā, named Balā, Upabalā, Sundara, and Jinpoqieluo. All four were very attached to the Bodhisattva. They thought, “Should the Bodhisattva go forth to cultivate the path, we will become his disciples. If he remains a householder, then we will marry him.”
For six years the Bodhisattva did austerities at Uruvilvā. Despite this he was unable to attain the supreme dharma possessed of the highest wisdom. The Bodhisattva then remembered, “In the past when I was sitting under the Jambu tree in the field that belonged to my father the king, I eliminated desire for sensual pleasure, as well as all other evil and unwholesome states; with applied thought, reflection, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness of mind, I attained mastery of the first dhyāna.” The Bodhisattva then wondered, “Might this path bring an end to the origins of suffering?” It occurred to him, “This path will bring an end to the origins of suffering.” Thereupon, on the basis of this insight, the Bodhisattva undertook cultivation with great effort. Through this path he put an end to the origins of suffering.
Then the Bodhisattva wondered, “Is it possible to attain happiness through desire or unwholesome states?” It occurred to him, “It is not possible to attain happiness through desire or unwholesome states.” He then wondered, “Is it possible to attain happiness by cultivating desirelessness and abandoning unwholesome states?” It occurred to him, “Whether or not that is possible, it will not be through such mortification of the body that I shall obtain happiness. I shall take a small amount of rice porridge to restore my strength.”
Then later, having taken some porridge, the Bodhisattva gradually regained his strength. After he began taking small amounts of porridge, the five ascetics abandoned him in disgust. They said to one another, “The recluse Gautama has become deranged and has lost his way. How can this be the true path?”
Now with his strength restored, the Bodhisattva approached the banks of the Nairañjanā River, bathed, and returned to the shore. He then walked toward some Bodhi trees. Not far from those trees, a person named Svastika was cutting grass. The Bodhisattva approached him and asked, “I am in need of some grass, do you have any to spare?” Svastika replied, “Yes, this grass is not cherished,” and handed some to the Bodhisattva.
Taking the grass, the Bodhisattva went to an auspicious tree. He arranged the grass at the foot of the tree, where he sat down. His body was upright and his mind was properly concentrated, maintaining awareness of his thoughts. Having removed desire for sensual pleasures as well as other evil and unwholesome states, the Bodhisattva, with applied thought, reflection, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness of mind, gained mastery of the first dhyāna. This was the Bodhisattva’s first attainment of a higher wholesome state. How was this attained? It was due to his unflagging concentration and awareness.
Then the Bodhisattva eliminated applied thought and reflection, gaining inward faith, joy, happiness, and one-pointedness of mind, now without applied thought or reflection. He gained mastery of the second dhyāna, which was the Bodhisattva’s second attainment of a higher wholesome state. How was this attained? It was due to his unflagging concentration and awareness.
Then the Bodhisattva eliminated joy, feeling happiness in the body known by those possessing holy wisdom as the happiness of equanimity. He gained mastery of the third dhyāna, which was the Bodhisattva’s third attainment of a higher wholesome state. How was this attained? It was due to his unflagging concentration and awareness.
The Bodhisattva then relinquished pleasure and pain, having already removed joy and sorrow. With the absence of pleasure and pain, his equanimity brought about purification. He gained mastery of the fourth dhyāna, which was the Bodhisattva’s fourth attainment of a higher wholesome state. How was this attained? It was due to his unflagging concentration and awareness.
While the Bodhisattva was in this state of meditative concentration, all afflictions were eradicated, his mind was purified, flawless, malleable, and dwelt on firm ground. Then the Bodhisattva realized the wisdom of prior lifetimes. With it he came to know his previous lives: one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births; ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births; one hundred births, one thousand births, one hundred-thousand births; countless hundreds of births, countless thousands of births, countless hundreds of thousands of births; an eon of world-creation, an eon of world-dissolution, countless eons of world-creation, countless eons of world-dissolution, up to countless eons of both world-creation and world-dissolution. He came to know: “I was born in such and such a place, with such a first name and such a family name; such were the foods that I ate; such was my lifespan, in such a way was my lifespan limited, such was my length of time in the world; such were my experiences of pain and pleasure. Having died in that place I was reborn there; and again; having died there, I was reborn here, with such and such an appearance.” Such was his wisdom of previous lives.
This is the first true knowledge (vidyā), which the Bodhisattva attained during the first watch of the night. When ignorance is exhausted, knowledge arises; when darkness ends, there is light—such is the wisdom of prior lifetimes. How did he attain this? It was due to his unflagging effort.
In a state of samādhi concentration, with his mind purified, flawless, without affliction, all defilements eliminated, malleable, and dwelling on firm ground, the Bodhisattva gained knowledge of the birth and death of beings. With his purified divine eye, he saw beings coming into life and dying; he saw their pleasing and detestable forms; their rebirth in good and bad destinations; their nobility and baseness. He learned of the karmic results of their actions. He saw thus: “These beings have engaged in unwholesome physical, verbal and mental conduct. They have held wrong views, denigrated noble ones, and experienced karmic retribution due to their wrong views. With the breakup of their bodies, their lives have come to an end, and they have been reborn in hell, among hungry ghosts or animals.” He further saw, “Other beings have engaged in wholesome physical, verbal and mental conduct. They held right views, did not denigrate noble ones and experienced karmic retribution due to their right views. With the breakup of their bodies, their lives have come to an end, and they have been reborn in a heavenly realm or among humans.” Thus, with the purified divine eye, he saw the birth and death of beings in accordance with the karma they created.
This is the second true knowledge, which the Bodhisattva attained during the second watch of the night. When ignorance comes to an end, knowledge arises; when darkness comes to an end, there is light—such is the wisdom of the divine eye which sees [the karmic retribution of] beings. How did he attain this? It was due to his unflagging effort.
While the Bodhisattva was in a state of purified samādhi, in which afflictions had been eliminated, which was pure, flawless, malleable, and dwelling on firm ground, he gained wisdom of the extinction of taints. Taking this wisdom as his object, the Bodhisattva understood as they are the truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path leading to the end of suffering. Thus were the noble truths established. The Bodhisattva understood, as they are, taints, the cause of taints, the extinction of taints, and the path leading to the end of taints. He understood and saw that his mind was liberated from the taints of sensual desires, existence and ignorance. Having been liberated, he attained the wisdom of liberation: “Destroyed is birth, pure conduct has been established, what has to be done has been done, there is no more basis for rebirth.”
This is the third true knowledge, which the Bodhisattva attained during the last watch of the night. When ignorance comes to an end, knowledge arises; when darkness comes to an end, there is light—such is the wisdom of the extinction of taints. How did he attain this? It was because the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Fully-enlightened One gave rise to this wisdom that he attained unobstructed liberation.
When the World-honored One had exhausted all taints and eliminated all afflictions, he sat in the full lotus position at the foot of the Bodhi Tree, where he experienced the bliss of liberation, remaining motionless for seven days.
When seven days had passed, the World-honored One emerged from his meditative concentration. During those seven days he had taken no food. Not far from the Bodhi Tree, five hundred carts loaded with treasures were passing by. These carts belonged to two merchant brothers named Trapuṣa and Upāli.
A tree spirit, who had met these two merchants on a previous occasion, had sincere faith in the Buddha, and wished for them to gain salvation. He approached the two merchants and said, “Did you know, during the past seven days Śākyamuni Buddha, the Tathāgata, the Fully-enlightened One, has become endowed with all dharmas, but during this time he has eaten nothing? If you make an offering of honey-biscuits to the Tathāgata, you will obtain benefits, security, and happiness during the long night.”
When the two brothers heard what the tree spirit said, they became very pleased. They began walking toward the sacred tree bringing honey-biscuits. From afar they saw the Tathāgata. He was remarkable in appearance, with faculties settled in concentration, utterly serene. He was like an elephant that had been tamed, no longer fierce, or like clear, still water without defilement. As they approached they became delighted. Now before the Tathāgata, they bowed at his feet, and then stood to one side. The two brothers then addressed the World-honored One, saying, “We offer honey-biscuits, may you accept them out of compassion.” Then the World-honored One thought, “Now these two men are offering me honey-biscuits. With what vessel shall I receive them?” He further thought, “Buddhas, World-honored Ones do not receive food with their own hands. What then did the Buddhas, Tathāgatas, Arhats, Fully-enlightened Ones of the past use to receive food?”
At this time, the four heavenly kings, who were standing beside the Buddha, knew what he was thinking. Each went in one of the four directions, brought back a stone bowl, and offered it to the World-honored One, saying, “May you use this bowl to receive the honey and rice from the merchants.” The World-honored One compassionately accepted the bowls offered by the four heavenly kings, and transformed them into one, which he used to receive honey and rice from the merchants. Then having received the honey and rice from the merchants, he gave a blessing in verse to encourage them:
“For whatever reason an offering is made,
That benefit will be gained for sure;
When an offering is made for the sake of happiness,
Happiness will be gained in the future.”
The Buddha said, “May you merchants take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” They accepted the Buddha’s instruction, saying, “I take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” The two merchant brothers, who took the two refuges, were the earliest of the Buddha’s lay followers (upāsakas).
Then the two merchants addressed the Buddha, saying, “We shall soon return to our hometown. After returning, how are we to make merit, and to what shall we pay homage and make offerings?” Understanding their concern, the World-honored One gave them some of his hairs and pieces of his fingernails and said, “You may take these back with you, and make merit by paying homage and making offerings to them.”
Having received the Buddha’s hair and fingernails, the two merchants found themselves unable to worship them with utmost sincerity, thinking, “Hair and fingernails are regarded by people as worthless objects to be abandoned; why did the World-honored One give them to us to worship?”
At this time the World-honored One became aware of their thoughts and said, “Do not be disdainful of the Tathāgata’s hair and fingernails; do not say, ‘Why does the Tathāgata have us worship things that people regard as worthless?’ Merchants, know that the worship of the Tathāgata’s hair and fingernails is widely performed among gods and humans, throughout the heavenly realms, among māras and brahmās, among recluses and brahmins, causing gods and humans, māras and brahmās, recluses and brahmins to gain incalculable merits.”
The merchants asked the Buddha, “What is the basis for worshipping these hairs and fingernails?”
The Buddha replied, “In the remote past, there was a king named Jitaśatru who ruled over Jambudvīpa. At that time, Jambudvīpa had a large population and grain was harvested in abundance. It was a land of extreme happiness, with eighty-four thousand walled cities, five and a half billion villages, and sixty thousand regions.”
“The royal city where King Jitaśatru dwelt was called Padmāvatī. It measured twelve yojanas from east to west and seven yojanas from north to south. The land was fertile, so grain was plentiful and low-priced. The well-populated land enjoyed happiness. There were luxuriant fields and forests, a secure city moat, cool bathing pools, well-arranged streets and all necessary facilities.”
“Merchants, know that King Jitaśatru had a brahmin minister named Dīśaṃpatī. The king had known the minister since childhood and they were close friends. Later, the king bestowed half of his kingdom to the minister, who then built a walled city twelve yojanas in width and seven yojanas in length in his share of the kingdom. In that city grain was abundant and inexpensive. The population was large and the people enjoyed happiness. There were luxuriant fields and forests, a secure city moat, cool bathing pools, well-arranged streets and all necessary facilities. This city, known as Dīpavatī, excelled Padmāvatī.
“Merchants, know that the king of Dīpavatī had no heir. For this reason, he prayed to the gods of springs and streams, mountains and flatlands, rivers and bathing pools; to Pūrṇabhadra, Maṇibhadra, the sun god, the moon god, Śakra, Brahmā, Agni, Vayu, Varuna, Maheśvara, the field god, the forest god, the city god, the crossroads god, and the god of Hārītī city. He prayed for a son at the sites of these heavenly gods and auspicious deities.”
“Later, the king’s principal wife, the queen, became pregnant. Women possess three types of knowledge that are always accurate: first, she knows that she has become pregnant; second, she knows the identity of the child’s father; third, she knows that man’s affection for her. The queen reported to the king, ‘Your Majesty, I am with child.’ The king replied, ‘That is wonderful,’ and ordered that she be supplied with the best food, clothing and beddings, and given everything that she needed in double measure.”
“After ten months, the queen gave birth to a son whose dignified appearance was incomparable, rarely seen in the world. As soon as he was born, he took seven steps without assistance and said, ‘In heaven and the world, I am foremost and most revered, and I will save all beings from the suffering of birth, aging, illness and death.’ He was named Dīpaṅkara Bodhisattva.”
“Merchants, know that the king addressed those brahmins who were skilled in fortune-telling, saying, ‘Know that my queen has given birth to a son with dignified features rarely seen in the world. After his birth, he took seven steps without assistance and said, “In heaven and the world, I am foremost and most revered, and I will save all beings from the suffering of birth, aging, illness and death.” As you are skilled in reading fortunes, divine this child’s destiny.’”
“The fortune tellers then asked the king, ‘May Your Majesty show us the child so that we may read his destiny.’ Thereupon the king himself brought his son out of the palace for the reading. Having read the child’s fate, the fortune-tellers reported this to the king: ‘Your Majesty’s son is endowed with great power, great merit, and every blessing and aspiration. Should he remain a householder, as a kṣatriya, he will become a Cakravartin, the wheel-turning universal emperor, ruler of the four continents, endowed with the seven treasures. He will have a thousand sons, heroic and fierce, who are able to repel all enemies. He will rule and educate people with righteousness, and therefore not need to use weapons and punishments.’”
“‘If he goes forth, he will become the Tathāgata, an Arhat, fully enlightened, perfected in wisdom and conduct, well-gone, knower of worlds, incomparable, leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, Buddha, and World-honored One. He will personally attain, and freely enjoy, realization superior to that of all gods and humans, including Māra and other types of māras, Brahmā, and recluses and brahmins. His preaching of the Dharma will be excellent in the beginning, middle, and end, perfect in word and meaning, inclining others to pure conduct.’”
“Merchants, know that the king bestowed gifts on those brahmins and then dispatched four nurses to care for Bodhisattva Dīpaṅkara. The first was a limb-and-joint nurse; the second was a bathing nurse; the third a wet nurse; and the fourth an entertaining nurse. The limb-and-joint nurse held him, massaged his limbs and joints in order for them to be straight and healthy. The bathing nurse bathed him and did the laundry. The wet nurse breast-fed him whenever necessary. The entertaining nurse arranged for young playmates, with whom he rode elephants, horses, carriages and royal chariots. For Bodhisattva Dīpaṅkara’s entertainment, precious items, musical instruments and turning mechanical contrivances were furnished. Wherever he went, he was followed by someone holding a sunshade made of peacock feathers.”
“Merchants, know that when the Bodhisattva Dīpaṅkara was eight or nine, the king had him learn different arts and technical skills, such as writing, arithmetic, seal-making, painting, comedic arts, singing, dancing, playing drums and stringed musical instruments, elephant-riding, horse-riding, chariot-riding, archery, charioteering and wrestling. Thus he was well-trained in every art and skill.”
“Merchants, know that when Dīpaṅkara reached fifteen or sixteen, the king built winter, summer, and spring palaces for him, equipped with twenty thousand palace maids for his entertainment. Gardens with ponds were built, measuring twenty yojanas in both length and width. The gardens were filled with every kind of flowering tree, fruit tree and fragrant tree available in Jambudvīpa. Rare and exotic trees were also planted in the gardens.”
“Merchants, know that a celestial being of Śuddhāvāsa Heaven (pure abode) came daily to protect Dīpaṅkara. He thought, ‘The Bodhisattva has been at home for a long time, now it would be good for me to arouse disenchantment in him. Once disenchantment has been aroused, he will soon go forth, shave his hair and beard, put on the robe and cultivate the supreme path.’”
“When the Bodhisattva entered the rear garden, the celestial being, who was waiting there, magically created four people: an elderly person, an ill person, a dead person, and a recluse who had left the householder’s life. When the bodhisattva saw these four people, he was filled with sorrow and became disenchanted with the suffering of the world. Looking at the world in this manner, he saw nothing worthy of greed or attachment.”
“Merchants, know that having become disenchanted, the Bodhisattva went forth from the householder’s life and on that same day he attained unsurpassed enlightenment. Merchants, know that Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, who was an Arhat, fully enlightened, looked out at everything, but did not see any beings that could be liberated, for whom he could turn the peerless dharma wheel.”
“Then Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata went to a place not far from the city of Dīpavatī where he magically created a great city. It was vast and tall, splendidly decorated with hanging banners, flags, and murals with images of birds and beasts throughout. The city was surrounded by marvelous clear pools, gardens, and fruit trees. It was superior to the city of Dīpavatī. The forms and faces of the people he created were also superior to those of the people in Dīpavatī. Then he caused them to interact with and become friends with the people of Dīpavatī. Merchants, know that when Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata saw that the faculties of the people of Dīpavatī had become mature, he caused the magically created city to suddenly burn up in flames.”
“When the people of Dīpavatī saw this, they became filled with sorrow and began having thoughts of disenchantment. Over the course of seven days, Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata converted sixty-six nayutas of people and five and a half billion śrāvakas. Merchants, know that Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata had become renowned throughout the ten directions, his name known to all. They all referred to Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata as an Arhat, fully enlightened, perfected in wisdom and conduct, well-gone, knower of worlds, incomparable, leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, Buddha, and World-honored One. He has personally attained, and freely enjoys, a realization that is superior to that of all gods and humans, including Māra and other māras, brahmās, recluses, and brahmins. Then he preaches to people the Dharma, which is good in the beginning, middle, and end, perfect in word and meaning, and leads people to practice pure conduct.”
“Merchants, know that the mundane body of Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata shines for one hundred yojanas; the Dharma body of Buddhas and World-honored Ones shines limitlessly; their reflected light shines for seven feet (chi).”
“Merchants, know that King Jitaśatru then learned that a prince had been born in the palace of King Dīśaṃpatī, that he possessed marks indicating merit and power, that he would attain unsurpassed complete enlightenment on the very day of his renunciation, that he would be widely renowned, known to all as Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, an Arhat, fully enlightened, (up to) leading people to pure conduct. Thereupon King Jitaśatru sent a messenger to tell King Dīśaṃpatī, ‘I have learned of the birth of your son, who has marks indicating merit and power, who attained enlightenment on the very day of his renunciation, (up to) who leads people to pure conduct, and is renowned in the ten directions. Send him here because I wish to see him. If you do not send him, I shall visit you personally.’”
“When King Dīśaṃpatī heard what the messenger said, he became anxious. He gathered his ministers and asked them, ‘I want your opinion. How should I respond? What measures would be agreeable to him?’ The ministers replied, ‘You should consult with Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata. We will faithfully carry out whatever instructions the Buddha provides.’”
“King Dīśaṃpatī and his ministers went to visit Dīpaṅkara Buddha. They bowed at his feet and told him what happened. The World-honored One said to the king, ‘Do not worry, Your Majesty. I shall visit King Jitaśatru.’ Merchants, know that for seven days, King Dīśaṃpatī made offerings to Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata of robes, food, beverages, bedding, and medicine so that the bhikṣu saṅgha lacked for nothing.”
“Merchants, know that after seven days, Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata and the bhikṣus set out on their journey. They stopped near Dragon King Lake on Mount Harita. Merchants, know that Palace of the Dragon King is five hundred yojanas in width and length. While Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata and the bhikṣus were staying there, Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata begin emitting a great light, illuminating the trichiliocosm so that day and night were indistinguishable. Normally, when the utpala, padma, kumuda, and puṇḍarīka lotus flowers are closed and the birds and beasts are silent, we know it is nighttime. If lotus flowers have opened and the birds and beasts are making sounds, then we know it is daytime. This state, in which day and night were indistinguishable, went on for twelve years. King Jitaśatru gathered his ministers and told them, ‘I remember long ago there were both day and night. Now, there is neither day nor night. Why is this? With the opening of flowers and the sounds of birds and beasts we know it is daytime. With the closing of flowers and silence of birds we know it is nighttime. Is my kingdom unjust? Have I been neglectful? Have you committed a fault? Please tell me honestly.’”
“The ministers responded, ‘The king is not in error, the kingdom is not unjust, nor are we at fault. Rather, Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, who is staying at Palace of the Dragon King on Mount Harita, is emitting a great light illuminating the trichiliocosm. It is because of his spiritual powers that day and night have become indistinguishable. As a result we wish for the distinction between day and night, with flowers closing and birds becoming silent at night, and flowers opening and birds singing in the day. The king is without error, the kingdom is not unjust, and we are not at fault. This is due to the spiritual powers of Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata and so there is no occasion for fear.’”
“The king asked the ministers next to him how far it was to Mount Harita. They replied that it was not far, at a distance of thirty li. The king ordered them to prepare the royal carriage, as he wished to pay a visit to Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata. Having received the king’s orders, they prepared the royal carriage and said to the king, ‘The procession is ready and will depart at your command.’ Merchants, know that the king set off in his chariot with his ministers at his side, heading for the Palace of the Dragon King at Mount Harita. When the carriages could travel no further, they dismounted and proceeded on foot until they arrived at the Palace of the Dragon King. Merchants, know that when the king saw Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata’s dignified appearance and concentrated faculties from afar, he became joyful and went directly to where the Buddha was sitting.”
“He bowed at the Buddha’s feet and sat across from him. Then the World-honored One began preaching the profound Dharma to the king, who became pleased. Having listened to the Buddha’s profound explanation of the Dharma and thereby becoming pleased, he said to the Buddha, ‘The time is appropriate, Tathāgata, for you to come to Padmāvatī.’ Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata silently assented to the king’s invitation. Then King Jitaśatru, knowing that the Buddha had assented, got up, bowed at the Buddha’s feet, and departed.”
“Back in his kingdom, the king decreed to his people, ‘Dig a road from here, Padmāvatī, to Mount Harita, and make it as deep as your knees. Tamp the earth to make it firm, then sprinkle the ground with fragrant water. Plant various types of flowers along the left and right sides of the road. Build fences along both sides and place oil lamps on the fences. Make a four-treasure incense burner with gold, silver, beryl and crystal.’ Having received the king’s orders, the people set about carrying them out.”
“Then the king gathered his ministers and told them, ‘Clean and decorate Padmāvatī. Remove all filth, stones, and squalor. Cover the ground with fine clay. Hang flags, put up decorated sunshades, and burn the best types of incense. Put down carpets and scatter the best flowers upon them.’ The ministers received his orders and decorated the city accordingly.”
“King Jitaśatru then told his ministers, ‘Inform the people in my kingdom that no one is to sell incense or flowers. If the sellers persist, then ensure that there are no buyers. If the sellers or buyers still persist, punish them severely. Why is this? It is because I wish to make offerings to Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, the Arhat, who is fully enlightened.”
“At this time there was a great brahmin minister in Padmāvatī named Yajñadatta. He was very wealthy, possessing pearls, amber, mother-of-pearl, agates, crystals, gold, silver, and beryl. He had more rare and unusual treasures than could be counted. For the past twelve years he had been the sponsor of a sacrifice, and this time he was offering many treasures to the wisest of the sacrifice’s participants: a gold bowl filled with silver nuggets, a silver bowl filled with gold nuggets, a golden water-pot, a canopy of the highest quality, sandals, two pieces of the finest fabric, a staff with rows of gems, and his fair daughter Saurāpatī.”
“Foremost among the sacrifice’s participants was the presiding brahmin. He was also one of the king’s ministers and was unsightly in twelve ways: he had a hunchback, a protruding spine, goiter, a sallow complexion, yellow hair, blue-green eyes, teeth that were sawlike and black, crooked hands and crooked feet, and was short, with pointy hips.”
“Merchants, know that the brahmin Yajñadatta thought, ‘The presiding brahmin is unsightly in twelve ways, and further he is one of the king’s ministers. How can I give my treasures and my daughter to such a person?’ It then occurred to him, ‘I shall postpone the sacrifice. If there is another brahmin who is handsome and wise, I will give my daughter and treasures to him instead.’”
“Merchants, know that there was a sage named Ratna who lived south of the Himalayas. He did not enjoy sensual pleasures but delighted in quiet places and his mind had no attachments. He cultivated meditative concentration, through which he obtained five supernormal powers. He taught this to five hundred brahmin disciples, who memorized and recited his instructions. At this time the sage’s best student was named Megha. His parents belonged to a lineage that was pure for seven generations. He himself had five hundred disciples.”
“Merchants, know that the disciple Megha approached the sage Ratna and said, ‘I have mastered my studies. What else is there to learn?’ Thereupon the sage Ratna composed a scripture that was not known by any other brahmin. Having composed it, he told his disciple, ‘Learn and recite this. No other recluse or brahmin has this book. If you learn to recite it, you will be able to surpass all other brahmins.’”
“Merchants, know that when Ratna’s disciple had learned to recite this book proficiently, he approached the sage Ratna and said, ‘I have completed my studies. What else can I learn?’ His master replied, ‘If you have learned to recite this, then as a disciple you should demonstrate gratitude to your master.’ He then asked, ‘How can I demonstrate my gratitude?’ His master replied, ‘I presently am in need of five hundred gold coins.’”
“After hearing his master’s words, Megha gathered his five hundred disciples and set out in the area south of the Himalayas. They went from kingdom to kingdom, village to village, and eventually arrived in Padmāvatī. There they heard that the brahmin Yajñadatta, who had been sponsoring sacrifices to the gods for twelve years, would give the wisest person a gold bowl filled with silver nuggets, a silver bowl filled with gold nuggets, a gold water-pot, a fine canopy, fine fabric, a staff lined with the seven gems, and his fair daughter Saurāpatī. Megha thought, ‘I shall join the sacrifice, and perhaps be able to earn five hundred gold coins.’”
“Merchants, know that when Megha joined the sacrifice, there shone a great and powerful light. At this time the brahmin Yajñadatta thought, ‘When this person joined the sacrifice, a great and powerful light began to shine. I must depose the presiding brahmin and replace him with Megha Māṇava.’ Then he said to the sacrifice’s participants, ‘If Megha Māṇava wins the presiding seat, you must join me in unanimous vocal acclaim, and honor him reverently with music, the scattering of flowers, and the burning of incense.’ They agreed to follow Yajñadatta’s instructions.”
“At this time Megha Māṇava joined them. Beginning with the most junior of them, he asked, ‘Which scriptures can you recite? How many have you memorized?’ In accordance with the number of scriptures he could recite, he replied, ‘I can recite this many.’ He could not compare with Māṇava, who could recite hundreds, thousands, billions of times more scriptures. He then asked two others, three others, up to a hundred thousand others, ‘Which scriptures do you know, how many can you recite?’ In accordance with the number of scriptures they could recite, they replied, ‘We can recite this many.’ They could not compare with Māṇava, who could recite hundreds, thousands, billions of times more than them. Then he asked the presiding brahmin, ‘Which scriptures do you know? How many can you recite?’ In accordance with the number of scriptures he could recite, he replied, ‘I can recite this many.’ Megha Māṇava also surpassed him.”
“At this time Megha Māṇava said, ‘I know and can recite more than you.’ He went on to tell the presiding brahmin, ‘You may step down. I am taking your seat.’ The presiding brahmin said, ‘Please do not unseat me. I will give you twice the amount of offerings, gold, and treasures that I receive in this seat.’ Megha replied, ‘Even if you give me all of the seven treasures in Jambudvīpa, I would not accept them. Your only choice is to give up the seat. Why? Because I have this dharma and I am entitled to sit in this seat.’”
“Merchants, know that when Megha Māṇava took the seat of the presiding brahmin, there were earthquakes of six different types, everyone exclaimed ‘excellent’ in unison, and they made offerings of music, flowers, and incense. Merchants, know that Yajñadatta became joyous beyond measure. He brought a gold bowl filled with silver nuggets, a silver bowl filled with gold nuggets, a golden canopy, a staff decorated with the seven gems, gold and silver water-pots, the finest fabric, and his beautiful daughter to Megha Māṇava. Then he said, ‘I sincerely hope that you receive these valuable gifts and my good daughter.’ Megha replied, ‘I have no need for them.’ He asked, ‘What is it that you need?’ Megha replied, ‘I need five hundred gold coins.’ Thereupon Yajñadatta gave him five hundred gold coins.”
“Merchants, know that after Megha Māṇava received the five hundred gold coins, he got up from his seat and departed. Saurāpatī followed behind. Megha Māṇava turned and said to her, ‘Why do you follow me?’ She replied, ‘My parents sent me to become your wife.’ Megha Māṇava said, ‘I am cultivating pure conduct and do not need you. Only someone having desire would need you.’”
“At this time Saurāpatī returned to her father’s gardens. There was a clear pool in the gardens, and seven lotus plants in the pool. Five flowers grew from one stem and were wonderful in fragrance and color. Two more grew from another stem and were also wonderful in fragrance and color. As she looked at them she thought, ‘These flowers are so beautiful. I shall pick them and give them to Megha Māṇava, who will be pleased.’ She picked the flowers, put them in a vase with water, and left the gardens to find Megha Māṇava.”
“At this time Megha Māṇava was reentering the kingdom of Padmāvatī. He saw that the people of the kingdom had swept the streets and cleaned the city; the best soil was used to fill in uneven places; the ground was covered with flowers and sprinkled with fragrant water; banners were hung; there were canopies and fine carpets. Having seen this he asked a passerby, ‘I see that the city has been decorated and cleaned. Is it for an annual festival? Or an astrologically auspicious date?’ The passerby replied, ‘All of these decorations and preparations have been carried out because Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata is coming to our city.’ Megha Māṇava thought to himself, ‘It would be suitable for me to use my five hundred coins to buy the best flower garlands and incense, hire the best musicians, and buy the best banners and canopy. I will first make offerings to Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, and then look elsewhere for money to give to my master.’”
“Then Yajñadatta’s daughter Saurāpatī, who had watched Megha Māṇava approach from afar, said to him, ‘Young man, why are you in such a hurry? Is there something you need?’ He replied, ‘I need fine flowers.’ She asked, ‘Māṇava, what do you need flowers for?’ He said, ‘I wish to plant seeds for the supreme roots of Buddhahood.’”
“Yajñadatta’s daughter said, ‘These flowers are withered and their color has faded, so they will no longer grow. How can you use them to plant seeds for the supreme roots of buddhahood?’ Māṇava replied, ‘This field is good and fertile. Although these flowers are withered, their color has faded, and although their seeds might be rotten or scorched, they will grow if you plant them.’”
“Yajñadatta’s daughter said, ‘Please take these flowers and use them to plant seeds for the supreme roots of buddhahood.’ Māṇava replied, ‘I will take them only if you accept my payment.’ She said, ‘Māṇava, why do you esteem my goods thusly? My father, Yajñadatta, has much property and many valuables. Māṇava, as you wish to buy my flowers, would you vow to me that you will forever be my husband in every lifetime?’”
“Māṇava said, ‘Because I practice the Bodhisattva path, I esteem nothing. If someone were to beseech me, I would give away everything including those of my own flesh and blood, excepting my parents. I am, however, afraid that you would become a hindrance.’ Yajñadatta’s daughter said to him, ‘Wherever you are born, you are bound to enjoy great prestige and spiritual power. I too will have great prestige and spiritual power. Since you would like to use my flowers to make an offering, pay me as you wish.’”
“Māṇava then bought the five lotus flowers for five hundred gold coins. Saurāpatī gave the remaining two flowers to him, saying, ‘These are my flowers, please offer them to Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata on my behalf. This is because I wish to be with you in every lifetime.’ Merchants, know that Megha Māṇava was so overwhelmed with joy from receiving the flowers that he hurried to the eastern city gate. When he arrived, uncountable billions of people had already gathered. Silk banners, flags and sunshades had been hung, people were holding flowers and incense, and performers played music and demonstrated their skills as they waited to welcome Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata.”
“Megha Māṇava tried to go to the front to scatter his flowers, but was unable to proceed. He turned back and asked King Jitaśatru, ‘Why has Your Majesty renovated the city? Was it for an annual festival or for an astrologically auspicious day that Your Majesty has beautified the land to such an extent?’”
“The king replied, ‘The renovations were done because Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata is coming to visit the city.’ Māṇava asked the king, ‘How can one learn about the thirty-two marks of a Tathāgata?’“The king replied, ‘They are recorded in the brahmin books of prophecy, which is how people learn of them.’ Māṇava said to the king, ‘Such being the case, allow me to recite those books to clarify my knowledge of the marks.’ The king said, ‘Now that you are able to recognize them, please go look at the thirty-two marks, then I shall follow later.’
“Merchants, know that when Māṇava heard the king’s remarks, he became so overwhelmed with joy that he hurried out of the eastern gate. When the people gathered there saw him approach they happily cleared the way for him. Why? Because they were following the king’s orders.”
“Merchants, know that when Māṇava caught sight of the Tathāgata, he became joyful, and scattered the seven flowers into the air above the Tathāgata. Using his supernatural power, the Buddha immediately conjured a canopy of flowers in the air that was twelve yojanas wide, with the stems up and the leaves hanging down. Its fragrance permeated the entire kingdom, and it was such a pleasant sight that one would never tire of it. The canopy followed the Buddha wherever he went.”
“Then people of the city, men and women, removed their new clothes to cover the ground. Māṇava removed one of two deerskin garments from his back and spread it on the ground. But then some people from Padmāvatī snatched it and tossed it away. Māṇava thought to himself that Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata’s kindness did not reach him. Thereupon Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, who read his thoughts, magically changed the ground into mud which no one could cover with their clothes.”
“Merchants, know that Māṇava then concluded to himself, ‘It is out of ignorance and lack of knowledge that people of this city do not cover the places that need to be covered.’ He then spread the deerskin garment onto the mud, and it did not become wet or sink down.”
“Merchants, know that Māṇava had not untied his topknot for five hundred years. He said to the Tathāgata, ‘If you wish, World-honored One, you may pass the mud by treading on my hair.’ The Tathāgata replied, ‘I shall,’ whereupon Māṇava untied his topknot and spread his hair on the mud, vowing to himself, ‘If the Tathāgata does not predict my future enlightenment, I would rather dry up and die right here, never to get up again.’”
“Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata knew that Māṇava’s sincerity was genuine, that he had cultivated roots of wholesomeness in the past and was possessed of every virtue. He passed with his left foot treading on Māṇava’s hair, and said, ‘Get up, Māṇava. In the future, incalculable aeons from now, you will be known as Śākyamuni Tathāgata, an Arhat, fully enlightened, perfected in wisdom and conduct, well-gone, knower of worlds, incomparable, leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of gods and humans, Buddha, World-honored One.’ Having heard this prediction, he immediately jumped into the air to a height of seven Tāla trees, but with his hair remaining on the ground.”
“Merchants, know that Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata, who was an Arhat, fully enlightened, looked to the right in the manner of a great elephant king, and addressed the bhikṣus: ‘Do not tread on Māṇava’s hair. It is the hair of a bodhisattva, on which no śrāvaka or pratyekabuddha is to tread.’ Then, billions of people worshipped the hair with incense and flowers.”
“Merchants, know that when King Jitaśatru’s minister, who was unsightly in twelve different ways, learned that Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata had made the prediction for Māṇava, he sought the king and said to him, ‘I am able to support Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata and the bhikṣu saṅgha with offerings of robes, blankets, food, beverages, bedding, tonics, and medicines for twenty thousand years.’ The king replied to the brahmin, ‘How pleasing your idea is! This is a suitable time to do so.’”
“Thereupon the brahmin, having decided to support Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata and the bhikṣu saṅgha with offerings of robes, blankets, food, beverages, bedding, tonics, and medicines for twenty thousand years, made this vow: ‘I hereby vow to support Dīpaṅkara Tathāgata and the bhikṣu saṅgha with offerings of robes, blankets, food, beverages, bedding, tonics, and medicines for twenty thousand years. However, Māṇava has taken my seat, usurped the offerings due to me, and ruined my reputation. On account of this incident, and by my own merits, I shall humiliate this man in every future lifetime until he realizes the path; never shall we be apart!’”
“Merchants, know that the brahmin Yajñadatta of that time is none other than Daṇḍapāni of the Śākya clan today, do not think otherwise. Saurāpatī of that time is none other than the Śākya lady Gautamī of today. The minister of King Jitaśatru, the brahmin who was unsightly in twelve ways is none other than Devadatta of today, do not think otherwise. The sage Ratna of that time is none other than Maitreya Bodhisattva of today, do not think otherwise. Megha Māṇava of that time is none other than myself, do not think otherwise.”
“Merchants, know that if those who practice the Bodhisattva path are willing to worship my hair and fingernails, they will accomplish the supreme path. Viewing the world with my Buddha-eye, I see that without exception, those who do so will enter the realm of remainderless nirvāṇa, attaining complete cessation, not to mention those who are free from greed, hatred and delusion. [The worship of my hair and fingernails] is the best type of generosity, the highest type of merit, and creates the highest benefit without negative karmic effects.” Then the two merchants, who were brothers, rose from their seats and left the way they came.
The World-honored One ate the rice and honey offered by the merchants, and sat at the foot of the tree in the full lotus position, where he remained motionless for seven days, coursing in the samādhi of liberation with great bliss. After seven days had passed he emerged from this samādhi.
The rice and honey taken by the Buddha gave him wind. The land of Jambudvīpa is named after its jambu trees. Harītakī trees grow close to jambu trees. The harītakī tree spirit, who had deep faith in the Buddha, picked some harītakī fruits to offer to the World-honored One. He bowed down, stood to one side, and said to the Buddha, “World-honored One, the rice and honey have given you wind. May you accept these fruits, which can be taken as food or as medicine to relieve wind.” The World-honored One accepted them out of compassion and replied, “May you take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” The tree spirit assented and thereupon took refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma. The harītakī tree spirit was the first of many deities to take refuge.
Having taken the harītakī fruit, the World-honored One sat at the foot of the Bodhi Tree in full lotus position. For seven days he meditated, remaining motionless. He coursed in the samādhi of liberation with great bliss. After seven days he emerged from samādhi. When it was timely, he put on his robe, took up his bowl and entered the village of Uruvilvā for alms. He eventually arrived at a brahmin house in that village, and stood silently in the courtyard. Seeing the World-honored One standing in silence, the brahmin was gladdened and offered him food. The World-honored One compassionately accepted the almsfood and said, “May you take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” He replied, “Yes, World-honored One, I take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.”
Having taken the food offered by the brahmin, the World-honored One went to a kṣīrikā tree and sat at the foot of it in the full lotus position. For seven days he meditated, remaining motionless. He coursed in the samādhi of liberation with great bliss. Seven days later the World-honored One emerged from samādhi. When it was timely, he put on his robe, took up his bowl and entered the village of Uruvilvā for alms. He eventually arrived at the home of a local brahmin, and stood silently in the courtyard.
Then the brahmin’s wife Sujātā, who was also the general’s daughter, saw the Tathāgata standing silently in the courtyard. Seeing him, she became glad, and hurriedly went out to offer food to the World-honored One. The World-honored One compassionately accepted the almsfood. Having eaten, he said, “May you take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” She replied, “Yes, I take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” The wife of the Uruvilvā brahmin, Sujātā, who was also the general’s daughter, was the first of many female lay disciples (upāsikā) to take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.
Having eaten, the World-honored One returned to the foot of the kṣīrikā tree. He sat in the full lotus position and meditated without moving for seven days. He coursed in the samādhi of liberation with great bliss.
Seven days later the World-honored One put on his robe and took up his bowl when it was timely, and entered the village of Uruvilvā for alms. He eventually arrived at a brahmin house in that village, and stood silently in the courtyard. When the brahmin men and women of Uruvilvā saw the Tathāgata, they were gladdened and went out to offer food to him. He accepted their almsfood compassionately. Having taken the meal, he said, “May you take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” They replied, “Yes, we take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.”
Having eaten, the World-honored One then approached the palace of Mucilinda the dragon king, near the Mucilinda tree by Mucilinda lake. There he sat in the full lotus position without moving and meditated for seven days. He coursed in the samadhi of liberation with great bliss.
During those seven days the weather was cold and rainy. The Mucilinda dragon king emerged from his palace, coiled his body around the Buddha, provided shade with his head, and said to the Buddha, “May you neither be cold nor hot, may you be shielded from the wind and sun, and not bothered by mosquitoes or gadflies.”
After the seven days had passed, the rain stopped and the weather cleared. Seeing that the rain had stopped and the weather cleared, the dragon king uncoiled himself from the Buddha and transformed himself into a young brahmin. He knelt down before the Tathāgata, joined his palms, and bowed at the Tathāgata’s feet.
At this time, at the end of seven days, the World-honored One emerged from samādhi, and spoke the following verses of praise:
Joyful is it to be free from desire;
Joyful is it to observe dharmas.
Joyful is the absence of worldly anger:
One does not harm sentient beings.
Joyful is the absence of worldly desires:
One transcends the Desire Realm.
Most joyful of all
Is it to conquer conceit of self.
At this time, the dragon king Mucilinda approached the Buddha and said, “I did not mean to disturb the Tathāgata when I coiled myself around the Tathāgata and shaded him with my head. I did this because I was afraid the Tathāgata would be disturbed by heat, cold, wind, sun, mosquitoes and gadflies; this was why I coiled myself around the Buddha and shaded him with my head.” Then the Buddha said to the dragon king, “May you take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” The dragon king replied, “Yes, I take refuge in the Buddha and the Dharma.” The dragon king was the first of many animals to take the twofold refuge.
The World-honored One, having stayed under the tree of the dragon king Mucilinda, departed for the Ajapālanigrodha tree. When he arrived, he prepared a seat and sat in the full lotus position. He thought, “I have attained this dharma, which is profound, hard to see, hard to understand, always peaceful, tranquil, subtle, understood only by those with the highest wisdom, not accessed by deluded ones. Beings differ from one another in various ways: they have differing views, capacities for toleration, desires, and lives. As a result of their various views, beings take pleasure in their attachments. Because they take pleasure in attachments, the profound dharma of dependent origination becomes difficult for them to understand. There is something else that is too profound for them to understand: when desires cease and craving is exhausted, nirvāṇa arises. Because this is also hard to see, if I were to preach this dharma, others would not comprehend it, and my effort would be in vain.”
Then the World-honored One spoke the following two verses, which had never been heard, learned, or spoken previously:
My attainment of the path was extremely difficult.
If I were to teach beings who delight in their attachments,
Their greed, hatred, and delusion
Would prevent them from accessing this dharma.
It goes against the currents of saṃsāra,
And is profound, subtle, and difficult to understand.
Those attached to desire see nothing at all,
Shrouded are they by darkness and delusion.