52.



In a previous state of existence the Future Buddha was reborn as a woman named Rupavati. One day Rupavati came upon a starving woman who was about to devour her new-born child, whereupon she cut off her own breasts and gave them to the woman for food. When her husband learned of her act, he performed the following Act of Truth: "If it be true that so wonderful and marvelous thing has never been seen before or heard of before, then may your breasts be restored." Straightway her breasts were restored.

Indra, fearing that by the merit of her sacrifice Rupavati might thrust him from his seat, went in disguise to Rupavati and asked her: "Is it true that you sacrificed your breasts for the sake of a child?" "It is true." "Did you not, either in the act, or after the act, regret so doing?" "No." "Who will believe you?" Rupavati replied: "Then I will make an Act of Truth.

"'If it be true that neither in the act nor after the act had I any feeling of remorse or regret; if it be true that I acted, not for the sake of dominion, not for the sake of heaven, not that I might become an Indra or a Universal Monarch, but solely and only that I might attain Supreme Enlightenment: thereby to subdue the unsubdued, to emancipate the unemancipated, to console the unconsoled, to enable them that have attained not Nirvana to attain unto Nirvana;--if all this be true, then may I cease to be a woman and become a man.'" Straightway she ceased to be a woman and became a man, Rupavata.

Reborn as the Brahman Chandra-Prabha, the Future Buddha one day came upon a starving tigress about to devour her young. He thereupon resolved to give his own body and blood to the tigress for food. So calling upon the deities of various ranks to witness, he announced his intention of making the highest and most sublime of all sacrifices; namely, the sacrifice of his own body and blood. Then, making an Act of Truth in terms identical with the preceding, he drew his sword, cut his own throat, and flung his body to the tigress.