"From Brahma's heaven,"--This story the Master told while dwelling in Jetavana, about the defilement of the sanctified. The circumstances have already been given. Here again said the Master, "Women cause defilement even in sanctified souls," and then told this story of the past.
"Once upon a time in Benares--here the story of the past is to be expanded as in the Culla-Palobhana Birth. Now once again the Great Being came down from Brahma's world as the King of Kasi's son, and his name was Prince Anitthi-Gandha, the Woman-hater. In the hands of a woman he would not be; they must needs dress as men to give him the breast; he dwelt in a closet of meditation, and never a woman he saw."
To explain this, the Master repeated four stanzas.
"From Brahma's heaven a god came down, and here upon this earth
"To Brahma's heaven no deed of lust, no mention, ever came:
"Within the palace he had made a closet all his own,
"The King, grown anxious for his son, laments to know him there:
The fifth stanza describes the king's lamentation:
"O who can tell me what to do! O is there no device?
The next stanza and half a stanza, are those of perfect wisdom:
"A girl there was, of graceful shape, of fair and lovely skin:
"The other line is spoken by the young girl:
"'I will entice him, if thou wilt in marriage grant him me.'
"The king made answer to the maid, and thus and thus said he:
"'Do but succeed in tempting him, thy husband he shall be.'
"The king now gave orders that all opportunity should be afforded her, and sent her to attend upon the prince. In the morning, taking her lute she went and stood just without the prince's sleeping chamber, and touching the lute with her finger-tips tried to tempt him by singing in a sweet voice."
To explain this, the Master said:
"The maiden went within the house, and where she stood apart,
"There as the maiden stood and sang, the prince, who heard the sound,
"'What is that sound of melody that comes to me so clear,
"'A maid, your highness, fair to see, of dalliance infinite:
"'Ho, hither, nearer let her come, and let her sing yet more,
"She who had sung without the wall stood in the chamber there:
"He felt the joy of love, and lo! see jealousy full-grown:
"'No other man, but I alone!' he cries; and then away--
"The people shouting in alarm all to the palace fly:
"Him did the warrior King arrest, and banish from his face:
"He took his wife and traveled on till by the sea he stood
"A holy hermit flying came over the ocean high,
"The woman tempted him:--now see how vile a thing was done!
"The evening came; the prince returns, and from his gleaning brings
"The hermit sees the prince approach: down to the shore goes he,
"But when the prince beheld the sage down-sinking in the sea,
"'Hither not sailing on the sea, by magic power you came,
"'Seducing traitresses, they tempt the holiest to his fall:
"'Soft-speaking, hard to satisfy, as rivers hard to fill;
"'And whomsoever they may serve for gold or for desire,
"The hermit heard the prince's word; he loathed the world so vain:
"No sooner had the prince beheld how in the air he rose,
"Then, turned religious, wholly quelled his lust and hot desire;
This discourse ended, the Master said, "Thus, Brethren, for woman's sake even sanctified souls do sin;" then he declared the Truths: (now at the conclusion of the Truths, the backsliding Brother achieved sainthood:) after which he identified the Birth, saying, "At that time I myself was Prince Anitthigandha."