"The wise, far-seeing man"--This discourse the Blessed One uttered, while at Jivaka's Mango-grove near Rajagaha, concerning the Elder whose name was Roadling the Younger.
Now here it ought to be explained how Roadling the Younger came to be born. The daughter of a wealthy house in Rajagaha, they say, had contracted an intimacy with a slave, and being afraid that people would find out what she had done, she said to him, "We can't stay here. If my parents discover this wrongdoing, they will tear us in pieces. Let us go to some far-off country, and dwell there." So, taking the few things they had, they went out privately together to go and dwell in some place, it did not matter where, where they would not be known.
And settling in a certain place, they lived together there, and she conceived. And when she was far gone with child, she consulted with her husband, saying, "I am far gone with child; and it will be hard for both of us if the confinement were to take place where I have no friends and relations. Let us go home again!"
But he let the days slip by, saying all the while, "Let us go to-day; let us go to-morrow."
Then she thought, "This silly fellow dares not go home because his offence has been so great. But parents are, after all, true friends. Whether he goes or not, it will be better for me to go."
So, as soon as he had gone out, she set her house in order, and telling her nearest neighbors that she was going to her own home, she started on her way. The man returned to the house; and when he could not find her, and learned on inquiry from the neighbors that she had gone home, he followed her quickly, and came up to her halfway on the road. There the pains of labor had just seized her. And he accosted her, saying, "Wife, what is this?"
"Husband, I have given birth to a son," replied she.
"What shall we do now?" said he.
"The very thing we were going home for has happened on the road. What's the use of going there? Let us stop!"
So saying, they both agreed to stop. And as the child was born on the road, they called him Roadling. Now not long after she conceived again, and all took place as before; and as that child too was born on the road, they called the firstborn Great Roadling, and the second Little Roadling. And taking the two babies with them, they went back to the place where they were living.
And whilst they were living there this child of the road heard other children talking about uncles, and grandfathers, and grandmothers; and he asked his mother, saying, "Mother, the other boys talk of their uncles, and grandfathers, and grandmothers. Have we no relations?"
"Certainly, my dear! You have no relations here, but you have a grandfather, a rich gentleman, at Rajagaha; and there you have plenty of relations."
"Then why don't we go there, mother?" said he.
Then she told him the reason of their not going. But when the children spoke to her again and again about it, she said to her husband, "These children are continually troubling me. Can our parents kill us and eat us when they see us? Come, let us make the boys acquainted with their relatives on the grandfather's side."
"Well, I myself daren't meet them face to face, but I will take you there."
"Very well, then; any way you like: the children ought to be made acquainted with their grandfather's family."
So they two took the children, and in due course arrived at Rajagaha, and put up at a chowltrie (a public resting-place) at the gate of the town. And the mother, taking the two boys, let her parents know of her arrival. When they heard the message, they sent her back word to the following effect: "To be without sons and daughters is an unheard-of thing among ordinary people; but these two have sinned so deeply against us, that they cannot stand in our sight. Let them take such and such a sum, and go and dwell wherever they two may like. But the children they may send here." And their daughter took the money her parents sent, and handing over her children to the messengers, let them go.
And the children grew up in their grandfather's house. Little Roadling was much the younger of the two, but Great Roadling used to go with his grandfather to hear the Buddha preach; and by constantly hearing the Truth from the mouth of the Teacher himself, his mind turned towards renunciation of the world. And he said to his grandfather, "If you would allow it, I should enter the Order."
"What are you saying, my child?" answered the old man. "Of all persons in the world I would rather have you enter the Order. Become a monk by all means, if you feel yourself able to do so." So, granting his request, he took him to the Teacher.
The Teacher said, "What, Sir, have you then a son?"
"Yes, my Lord, this lad is my grandson, and he wants to take the vows under you."
The Teacher called a monk, and told him to ordain the lad: and the monk, repeating to him the formula of meditation on the perishable nature of the human body, received him as a novice into the Order. After he had learnt by heart much scripture, and had reached the full age required, he was received into full membership; and applying himself to earnest thought, he attained the state of an Arhat. And whilst he was thus himself enjoying the delight which arises from wise and holy thoughts, and wise and holy life, he considered whether he could not procure the same bliss for Little Roadling.
So he went to his grandfather, and said: "If, noble Sir, you will grant me your consent, I will receive Little Roadling into the Order!"
"Ordain him, reverend Sir," was the reply. The Elder accordingly initiated Little Roadling, and taught him to live in accordance with the Ten Commandments. But though he had reached the noviciate. Little Roadling was dull, and in four months he could not get by heart even this one verse--
"As a sweet-smelling Kokanada lily
For long ago, they are told, in the time of Kassapa the Buddha, he had been a monk, who, having acquired learning himself, had laughed to scorn a dull brother as he was learning a recitation. That brother was so overwhelmed with confusion by his contempt, that he could neither commit to memory, nor recite the passage. In consequence of this conduct he now, though initiated, became dull; he forgot each line he learnt as soon as he learnt the next; and whilst he was trying to learn this one verse four months had passed away.
Then his elder brother said to him: "Roadling, you are not fit for this discipline. In four months you have not been able to learn a single stanza, how can you hope to reach the utmost aim of those who have given up the world? Go away, out of the monastery!" And he expelled him. But Little Roadling, out of love for the religion of the Buddhas, did not care for a layman's life.
Now at that time it was the elder Roadling's duty to regulate the distribution of food to the monks. And the nobleman Jivaka brought many sweet-scented flowers, and going to his Mango-grove presented them to the Teacher, and listened to the discourse. Then, rising from his seat, he saluted the Buddha, and going up to Great Roadling, asked him, "How many brethren are there with the Teacher?"
"About five hundred," was the reply.
"Will the Buddha and the five hundred brethren come and take their morning meal to-morrow at our house?"
"One called Little Roadling, disciple, is dull, and makes no progress in the faith; but I accept the invitation for all excepting him."
Little Roadling overheard this, and thought, "Though accepting for so many monks, the Elder accepts in such a manner as to leave me out. Surely my brother's love for me has been broken. What's the good of this discipline to me now? I must become a layman, and give alms, and do such good deeds as laymen can." And early the next day he went away, saying he would re-enter the world.
Now the Teacher, very early in the morning, when he surveyed the world, became aware of this matter. And going out before him, he remained walking up and down by the gateway on the road along which Little Roadling would have to pass. And Little Roadling, as he left the house, saw the Teacher, and going up to him, paid him reverence. Then the Teacher said to him, "How now, Little Roadling! whither are you going at this time in the morning?"
"Lord! my brother has expelled me, so I am going away to wander again in the ways of the world!"
"Little Roadling! It was under me that your profession of religion took place. When your brother expelled you, why did you not come to me? What will a layman's life advantage you? You may stay with me!"
And he took Little Roadling, and seated him in front of his own apartment, and gave him a piece of very white cloth, created for the purpose, and said, "Now, Little Roadling, stay here, sitting with your face to the East, and rub this cloth up and down, repeating to yourself the words, 'The removal of impurity! The removal of impurity!'" And so saying he went, when time was called, to Jivaka's house, and sat down on the seat prepared for him.
But Little Roadling did as he was desired: and as he did so, the cloth became soiled, and he thought, "This piece of cloth was just now exceeding white; and now, through me, it has lost its former condition, and is become soiled. Changeable indeed are all component things!" And he felt the reality of decay and death, and the eyes of his mind were opened!
Then the Teacher, knowing that the eyes of his mind were opened, sent forth a glorious vision of himself, which appeared as if sitting before him in visible form, and saying, "Little Roadling! be not troubled at the thought that this cloth has become so soiled and stained. Within thee, too, are the stains of lust and care and sin; but these thou must remove!" And the vision uttered these stanzas:
"It is not dust, but lust, that really is the stain:
"It is not dust, but anger, that really is the stain:
"It is not dust, but delusion, that really is the stain:
And as the stanzas were finished. Little Roadling attained to Arhatship, and with it to the intellectual gifts of an Arhat; and by them he understood all the Scriptures.
Long ago, they are told, he had been a king, who, as he was once going round the city, and the sweat trickled down from his forehead, wiped the top of his forehead with his pure white robe. When the robe became dirty, he thought, "By this body the pure white robe has lost its former condition, and has become soiled. Changeable indeed are all component things!" And so he realized the doctrine of impermanency. It was on this account that the incident of the transfer of impurity brought about his conversion.
But to return to their story. Jivaka, the nobleman, brought to the Buddha the so-called water of presentation. The Teacher covered the vessel with his hand, and said, "Are there no monks in the monastery, Jivaka?"
"Nay, my Lord, there are no monks there," said Great Roadling.
"But there are, Jivaka," said the Master.
Jivaka then sent a man, saying, "Do you go, then, and find out whether there are any monks or not at the monastery."
At that moment Little Roadling thought, "My brother says there are no monks here; I will show him there are." And he filled the Mango-grove with priests--a thousand monks, each unlike the other--some making robes, some repairing them, and some repeating the Scriptures.
The man, seeing all these monks at the monastery, went back, and told Jivaka, "Sir, the whole Mango-grove is alive with monks."
It was with reference to this that it is said of him, that
"Roadling, multiplying himself a thousand fold. Sate in the pleasant Mango-grove till he was bidden to the feast."
Then the Teacher told the messenger to go again, and say, "The Teacher sends for him who is called Little Roadling."
So he went and said so. But from a thousand monks the answer came, "I am Little Roadling! I am Little Roadling!"
The man returned, and said, "Why, Sir, they all say they are called Little Roadling!"
"Then go and take by the hand the first who says 'I am Little Roadling,' and the rest will disappear."
And he did so. And the others disappeared, and the Elder returned with the messenger.
And the Teacher, when the meal was over, addressed Jivaka, and said, "Jivaka, take Little Roadling's bowl; he will pronounce the benediction." And he did so. And the Elder, as fearlessly as a young lion utters his challenge, compressed into a short benedictive discourse the spirit of all the Scriptures.
Then the Teacher rose from his seat and returned to the Wihara (monastery), accompanied by the body of mendicants. And when the monks had completed their daily duties, the Blessed One arose, and standing at the door of his apartment, discoursed to them, propounding a subject of meditation. He then dismissed the assembly, entered his fragrant chamber, and lay down to rest.
In the evening the monks collected from different places in the hall of instruction, and began uttering the Teacher's praises,--thus surrounding themselves as it were with a curtain of sweet kamala flowers! "Brethren, his elder brother knew not the capacity of Little Roadling, and expelled him as a dullard because in four months he could not learn that one stanza; but the Buddha, by his unrivaled mastery over the Truth, gave him Arhatship, with the intellectual powers thereof, in the space of a single meal, and by those powers he understood all the Scriptures! Ah! how great is the power of the Buddhas!"
And the Blessed One, knowing that this conversation had arisen in the hall, determined to go there; and rising from his couch, he put on his orange-colored under garment, girded himself with his belt as it were with lightning, gathered round him his wide flowing robe red as kamala flowers, issued from his fragrant chamber, and proceeded to the hall with that surpassing grace of motion peculiar to the Buddhas, like the majestic tread of a mighty elephant in the time of his pride. And ascending the magnificent throne made ready for the Buddha in the midst of the splendid hall, he seated himself in the midst of the throne emitting those six-colored rays peculiar to the Buddhas, like the young sun when it rises over the mountains on the horizon, and illumines the ocean depths!
As soon as the Buddha came in, the assembly of the mendicants stopped their talking and were silent. The Teacher looked mildly and kindly round him, and thought, "This assembly is most seemly; not a hand nor foot stirs, no sound of coughing or sneezing can be heard! If I were to sit here my life long without speaking, not one of all these men--awed by the majesty and blinded by the glory of a Buddha--would venture to speak first. It behoves me to begin the conversation, and I myself will be the first to speak!" And with sweet angelic voice he addressed the brethren: "What is the subject for which you have seated yourselves together here, and what is the talk among you that has been interrupted?"
"Lord! we are not sitting in this place to talk of any worldly thing: it is thy praises we are telling!" And they told him the subject of their talk. When he heard it the Teacher said, "Mendicants! Little Roadling has now through me become great in religion; now formerly through me he became great in riches."
The monks asked the Buddha to explain how this was. Then the Blessed One made manifest that which had been hidden by change of birth.
"Long ago when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, in the land of Kasi, the Bodhisattva was born in a treasurer's family; and when he grew up he received the post of treasurer, and was called Chullaka. And he was wise and skillful, and understood all omens. One day as he was going to attend upon the king he saw a dead mouse lying on the road; and considering the state of the stars at the time, he said, 'A young fellow with eyes in his head might, by picking this thing up, start a trade and support a wife.'
"Now a certain young man of good birth, then fallen into poverty, heard what the official said, and thinking, 'This is a man who wouldn't say such a thing without good reason,' took the mouse, and gave it away in a certain shop for the use of the cat, and got a farthing for it.
"With the farthing he bought molasses, and took water in a pot. And seeing garland-makers returning from the forest, he gave them bits of molasses, with water by the ladle-full. They gave him each a bunch of flowers; and the next day, with the price of the flowers, he bought more molasses; and taking a potful of water, went to the flower garden. That day the garland-makers gave him, as they went away, flowering shrubs from which half the blossoms had been picked. In this way in a little time he gained eight pennies.
"Some time after, on a rainy windy day, a quantity of dry sticks and branches and leaves were blown down by the wind in the king's garden, and the gardener saw no way of getting rid of them. The young man went and said to the gardener, 'If you will give me these sticks and leaves, I will get them out of the way.' The gardener agreed to this, and told him to take them.
"Chullaka's pupil went to the children's playground, and by giving them molasses had all the leaves and sticks collected in a twinkling, and placed in a heap at the garden gate. Just then the king's potter was looking out for firewood to burn pots for the royal household, and seeing this heap he bought it from him. That day Chullaka's pupil got by selling his firewood sixteen pennies and five vessels--water-pots, and such-like.
"Having thus obtained possession of twenty-four pennies, he thought, 'This will be a good scheme for me,' and went to a place not far from the city gate, and placing there a pot of water, supplied five hundred grass-cutters with drink.
"'Friend! you have been of great service to us,' said they. 'What shall we do for you?'
"'You shall do me a good turn when need arises,' said he. And then, going about this way and that, he struck up a friendship with a trader by land and a trader by sea.
"And the trader by land told him, 'To-morrow a horse-dealer is coming to the town with five hundred horses.'
"On hearing this, he said to the grass-cutters, 'Give me to-day, each of you, a bundle of grass, and don't sell your own grass till I have disposed of mine.'
"'All right!' cried they in assent, and brought five hundred bundles, and placed them in his house. The horse-dealer, not being able to get grass for his horses through all the city, bought the young man's grass for a thousand pence.
"A few days afterwards his friend the trader by sea told him that a large vessel had come to the port. He thinking, 'This will be a good plan,' got for eight pennies a carriage that was for hire, with all its proper attendants; and driving to the port with a great show of respectability, gave his seal-ring as a deposit for the ship's cargo. Then he had a tent pitched not far off, and taking his seat gave orders to his men that when merchants came from outside he should be informed of it with triple ceremony.
"On hearing that a ship had arrived, about a hundred merchants came from Benares to buy the goods.
"They were told, 'You can't have the goods: a great merchant of such and such a place has already paid deposit for them.'
"On hearing this, they went to him; and his footmen announced their arrival, as had been agreed upon-- three deep. Each of the merchants then gave him a thousand to become shareholders in the ship, and then another thousand for him to relinquish his remaining share: and thus they made themselves owners of the cargo.
"So Chullaka's pupil returned to Benares, taking with him two hundred thousand. And from a feeling of gratitude, he took a hundred thousand and went to Chullaka the treasurer. Then the treasurer asked him, 'What have you been doing, my good man, to get all this wealth?'
"'It was by adhering to what you said that I have acquired it within four months,' said he: and told him the whole story, beginning with the dead mouse.
"And when Chullaka the high treasurer heard his tale, he thought, 'It will never do to let such a lad as this get into any one else's hands.' So he gave him his grown-up daughter in marriage, and made him heir to all the family estates. And when the treasurer died, he received the post of city treasurer. But the Bodhisattva passed away according to his deeds."
It was when the Buddha had finished his discourse that he, as Buddha, uttered the following verse:
"'As one might nurse a tiny flame,
It was thus the Blessed One made plain what he had said, "Mendicants! Little Roadling has now through me become great in religion; but formerly through me he became great in riches."
When he had thus given this lesson, and told the double story, he made the connection, and summed up the Jataka by concluding, "He who was then Chullaka's pupil was Little Roadling, but Chullaka the high treasurer was I myself."