"Show no intelligence,"--This story the Master told at Jatavana concerning the great renunciation. One day the Brethren seated in the Hall of Truth were discussing the praises of the Blessed One's great renunciation. When the Master came and inquired of the Brethren what was the topic which they were discussing as they sat there, on hearing what it was, he said, "No, Brethren, this my renunciation of the world, after leaving my kingdom, was not wonderful, when I had fully exercised the perfections; for before, even when my wisdom was still immature, and while I was still attaining the perfections, I left my kingdom and renounced the world." And at their request he told them a story of the past.
"Once upon a time a king Kasiraja ruled justly in Benares. He had sixteen thousand wives, but not one among them conceived either son or daughter. The citizens assembled as in the Kusa Jataka, saying, 'Our king has no son to keep up his line'; and they begged the king to pray for a son. The king commanded his sixteen thousand wives to pray for sons; but though they worshiped the moon and the other deities and prayed, they obtained none. Now his chief queen Candadevi, the daughter of the king of the Maddas, was devoted to good works, and he asked her also to pray for a son. So on the day of the full moon she took upon herself the Uposatha vows, and while lying on a little bed, as she reflected on her virtuous life, she made an Act of Truth in these terms, 'If I have never broken the commandments, by the truth of this my protestation may a son be borne to me.' Through the power of her piety, Sakka's dwelling became hot. Sakka, having considered and ascertained the cause, said, 'Candadevi asks for a son, I will give her one'; so, as he looked for a suitable son, he saw the Bodhisattva. Now the Bodhisattva, after having reigned twenty years in Benares, had been reborn in the Ussada hell where he had suffered for eighty thousand years, and had then been born in the world of the thirty-three gods, and after having stayed there his allotted period, he had passed away therefrom and was desirous of going to the world of the higher gods. Sakka went up to him and said, 'Friend, if you are born in the world of men you will fully exercise the perfections and the mass of mankind will be advantaged; now this chief queen of Kasiraja, Canda, is praying for a son, do you be born in her womb.' He consented, and came attended by five hundred deities, and was himself conceived in her womb, while the other deities were conceived in the wombs of the wives of the king's ministers. The queen's womb seemed to be full of diamond; when she became aware of it, she told it to the king, who caused every care to be taken for the safety of the unborn child; and at last she brought forth a son endued with auspicious marks. On the same day five hundred young nobles were born in the ministers' houses. At that moment the king was seated on his royal dais, surrounded by his ministers, when it was announced, 'A son is born to thee, O king'; at hearing it, paternal affection arose, and piercing through his skin reached to the marrow in his bones; joy sprang up within him and his heart became refreshed. He asked his ministers, 'Are you glad at the birth of my son?' 'What art thou saying, Sire?' they answered, 'we were before helpless, now we have a help, we have obtained a lord.' The king gave orders to his chief general, 'A retinue must be prepared for my son, find out how many young nobles have been born to-day in the ministers' houses.' He saw the five hundred and went and told it to the king. The king sent princely dresses of honor for the five hundred young nobles, and he also sent five hundred nurses. He gave moreover sixty-four nurses for the Bodhisattva, all free from the faults of being too tall, and other things, with their breasts not hanging down, and full of sweet milk. If a child drinks milk, sitting on the hip of a nurse who is too tall, its neck will become too long; if it sits on the hip of one too short, its shoulder-bone will be compressed; if the nurse be too thin, the babe's thighs will ache; if too stout, the babe will become bow-legged; the body of a very dark nurse is too cold, of one very white, is too hot; the children who drink the milk of a nurse with hanging breasts, have the ends of their noses flattened; some nurses have their milk sour, others have it bitter, and other things. Therefore, avoiding all these faults, he provided sixty-four nurses all possessed of sweet milk and without any of these faults; and after paying the Bodhisattva great honor, he also gave the queen a boon. She accepted it and kept it in her mind. On the day of naming the child they paid great honor to the Brahmans who read the different marks, and inquired if there was any danger threatening. They, beholding the excellence of his marks, replied, 'O king, the prince possesses every mark of future good fortune, he is able to rule not one continent only but all the four,--there is no danger visible.' The king, being pleased, when he fixed the boy's name, gave him the name Temiyakumaro, since it had rained all over the kingdom of Kasi on the day of his birth and he had been born wet.
"When he was one month old, they adorned him and brought him to the king, and the king having looked at his dear child, embraced him and placed him on his hip and sat playing with him. Now at that time four robbers were brought before him; one of them he sentenced to receive a thousand strokes from whips barbed with thorns, another to be imprisoned in chains, a third to be smitten with a spear, the fourth to be impaled. The Bodhisattva, on hearing his father's words, was terrified and thought to himself, 'Ah! my father through his being a king, is becoming guilty of a grievous action which brings men to hell.' The next day they laid him on a sumptuous bed under a white umbrella, and he woke after a short sleep and opening his eyes beheld the white umbrella and the royal pomp, and his fear increased all the more; and as be pondered 'from whence have I come into this palace?' by his recollection of his former births, he remembered that he had once come from the world of the gods and that after that he had suffered in hell, and that then he had been a king in that very city. While he pondered to himself, 'I was a king for twenty years and then I suffered eighty thousand years in the Ussada hell, and now again I am born in this house of robbers, and my father, when four robbers were brought before him, uttered such a cruel speech as must lead to hell; if I become a king I shall be born again in hell and suffer great pain there,' he became greatly alarmed, his golden body became pale and faded like a lotus crushed by the hand, and he lay thinking how he could escape from that house of robbers. Then a goddess who dwelt in the umbrella, and who in a certain previous birth had been his mother, comforted him, 'Fear not, my child Temiya; if you really desire to escape, then pretend to be a cripple, although not really one; though not deaf, pretend to be deaf, and, though not dumb, pretend to be dumb. Putting on these characteristics, show no signs of intelligence.' So she uttered the first stanza,
"'Show no intelligence, my child, be as a fool in all men's eyes,
"Being comforted by her words he uttered the second stanza,
"'O goddess, I will do thy will,--what thou commandest me is best,
"and so he practiced these three characteristics. The king, in order that his son might lose his melancholy, had the five hundred young nobles brought near him; the children began crying for their milk, but the Bodhisattva, being afraid of hell, reflected that to die of thirst would be better than to reign, and did not cry. The nurses told this to Queen Canda and she told it to the king; he sent for some Brahmans skilled in signs and omens and consulted them. They replied, 'Sire, you must give the prince his milk after the proper time has passed; he will then cry and seize the breast eagerly and drink of his own accord.' So they gave him his milk after letting the proper time pass by, and sometimes they let it pass by for once, and sometimes they did not give it to him all through the day. But he, stung by fear of hell, even though thirsty, would not cry for milk. Then the mother or the nurses gave him milk, though he did not cry for it, saying, 'The boy is famished.' The other children cried when they did not get their milk, but he neither cried nor slept nor doubled up his hands nor feet, nor would he hear a sound. Then his nurses reflected, 'The hands and feet of cripples are not like his, the formation of the jaws of the dumb is not like his, the structure of the ears of the deaf is not like his; there must be some reason for all this, let us examine into it'; so they determined to try him with milk, and so for one whole day they gave him no milk; but, though parched, he uttered no sound for milk. Then his mother said, 'My boy is famished, give him milk,' and she made them give him milk. Thus giving him milk at intervals they spent a year in trying him, but they did not discover his weak point. Then saying, 'The other children are fond of cakes and dainties, we will try him with them'; they set the five hundred children near him and brought various dainties and placed them close by him, and, telling them to take what they liked, they hid themselves. The other children quarreled and struck one another and seized the cakes and ate them, but the Bodhisattva said to himself, 'O Temiya, eat the cakes and dainties if you wish for hell,' and so in his fear of hell he would not look at them. Thus even though they tried him with cakes and dainties for a whole year they discovered not his weak point. Then they said, 'Children are fond of different kinds of fruit,' and they brought all sorts of fruit and tried him; the other children fought for them and ate them, but he would not look at them, and thus for a whole year they tried him with various kinds of fruit. Then they said, 'Other children are fond of playthings'; so they set golden and other figures of elephants, and other things, near him; the rest of the children seized them as if they were spoil, but the Bodhisattva would not look at them, and thus for a whole year they tried him with playthings. Then they said, 'There is a special food for children four years old, we will try him with that'; so they brought all sorts of food; the other children broke them in pieces and ate them; but the Bodhisattva said to himself, 'O Temiya, there is no counting of the past births when you did not obtain food,' and for fear of hell he did not look at them; until at last his mother, with her heart well nigh rent, fed him with her own hand. Then they said, 'Children five years old are afraid of the fire, we will try him with that'; so, having had a large house made with many doors, and having covered it over with palmleaves, they set him in the middle surrounded by the other children and set fire to it. The others ran away shrieking, but the Bodhisattva said to himself that it was better than the torture in hell, and remained motionless as if perfectly apathetic, and when the fire came near him they took him away. Then they said, 'Children six years old are afraid of a wild elephant'; so they had a well-trained elephant taught, and, when they had seated the Bodhisattva with the other children in the palace-court, they let it loose. On it came trumpeting and striking the ground with its trunk and spreading terror; the other children fled in all directions in fear for their lives, but the Bodhisattva, being afraid of hell, sat where he was, and the well-trained animal took him and lifted him up and down, and went away without hurting him. When he was seven years old, as he was sitting surrounded by his companions, they let loose some serpents with their teeth extracted and their mouths bound; the other children ran away shrieking, but the Bodhisattva, remembering the fear of hell, remained motionless, saying, 'It is better to perish by the mouth of a fierce serpent'; then the serpents enveloped his whole body and they spread their hoods on his head, but still he remained motionless. Thus though they tried him again and again, they still could not discover his weak point. Then they said, 'Boys are fond of social gatherings'; so, having set him in the palace-court with the five hundred boys, they caused an assembly of mimes to be gathered together; the other boys, seeing the mimes, shouted 'bravo' and laughed loudly, but the Bodhisattva, saying to himself that if he were born in hell there would never be a moment's laughter or joy, remained motionless as he pondered on hell, and never looked at the dancing. Thus trying him again and again they discovered no weak point in him. Then they said, 'We will try him with the sword'; so they placed him with the other boys in the palace-court, and while they were playing, a man rushed upon them, brandishing a sword like crystal and shouting and jumping, saying, 'Where is this devil's-child of the King of Kasi? I will cut off his head.' The others fled, shrieking in terror at the sight of him, but the Bodhisattva, having pondered on the fear of hell, sat as if unconscious. The man, although he rubbed the sword on his head and threatened to cut it off, could not frighten him and at last went away. Thus though they tried him again and again, they could not discover his weak point. When he was ten years old, in order to try whether he was really deaf, they hung a curtain round a bed and made holes in the four sides and placed conch-blowers underneath it without letting him see them. All at once they blew the conchs,--there was one burst of sound; but the ministers, though they stood at the four sides and watched by the holes in the curtain, could not through a whole day detect in him any confusion of thought or any disturbance of hand or foot, or even a single start. So after a year had past, they tried him for another year with drums; but even thus, though they tried him again and again, they could not discover his weak point. Then they said, 'We will try him with a lamp'; so in the night-time in order to see whether he moved hand or foot in the darkness, they lighted some lamps in jars, and having extinguished all the other lamps, they put these down for a while in the darkness, and then suddenly lifting the lamps in the jars, created all at once a blaze, and watched his behavior; but though they thus tried him again and again for a whole year, they never saw him start even once. Then, they said, 'We will try him with molasses'; so they smeared all his body with molasses and laid him in a place infested with flies and stirred the flies up; these covered his whole body and bit it as if they were piercing it with needles, but he remained motionless as if perfectly apathetic; thus they tried him for a year, but they discovered no weak point in him. Then when he was fourteen years old, they said, 'This youth now he is grown up loves what is clean and abhors what is unclean,--we will try him with what is unclean'; so from that time they did not let him bathe or rinse his mouth or perform any bodily ablutions, until he was reduced to a miserable plight, and he looked like a released prisoner. As he lay, covered with flies, the people came round and reviled him, saying, 'O Temiya, you are grown up now, who is to wait on you? are you not ashamed? why are you lying there? rise up and cleanse yourself.' But he, remembering the torments of the hell Gutha, lay quietly in his squalor; and though they tried him again and again for a year, they discovered no weak point in him. Then they put pans of fire in the bed under him, saying, 'When he is distressed by the heat, he will perhaps be unable to bear the pain and will shew some signs of writhing'; boils seemed to break out on his body, but the Bodhisattva resigned himself, saying, 'The fire of the hell Avici flames up a hundred leagues,--this heat is a hundred, a thousand times preferable to that,' so he remained motionless. Then his parents, with breaking hearts, made the men come back, and took him out of the fire, and implored him, saying, 'O prince Temiya, we know that thou art not in any way crippled by birth, for cripples have not such feet, face, or ears as thou hast; we gained thee as our child after many prayers, do not now destroy us, but deliver us from the blame of all the kings of Jambudipa'; but, though thus entreated by them, he lay still motionless, as if he heard them not. Then his parents went away weeping; and sometimes his father or his mother came back alone, and implored him; and thus they tried him again and again for a whole year, but they discovered no weak point in him. Then when he was sixteen years old they considered, 'Whether it be a cripple or deaf and dumb, still there are none, who when they are grown up, do not delight in what is enjoyable and dislike what is disagreeable; this is all natural in the proper time like the opening of flowers. We will have dramas acted before him and will thus try him.' So they summoned some women full of all graces, and as beautiful as the daughters of the gods, and they promised that whichever of them could make the prince laugh, or could entangle him in sinful thoughts should become his principal queen. Then they had the prince bathed in perfumed water and adorned like a son of the gods, and laid on a royal bed prepared in a suite of royal chambers like the dwellings of the gods, and having filled his inner chamber with a mingled fragrance of perfumed wreaths, wreaths of flowers, incense, unguents, spirituous liquor, and the like, they retired. Meanwhile the women surrounded him and tried hard to delight him with dancing and singing and all sorts of pleasant words; but he looked at them in his perfect wisdom and stopped his inhalations and exhalations in fear lest they should touch his body, so that his body became quite rigid. They, being unable to touch him, said to his parents, 'His body is all rigid, he is not a man, but must be a goblin.' Thus his parents, though they tried him again and again, discovered no weak point in him. Thus, though they tried him for sixteen years with the sixteen great tests and many smaller ones, they were not able to detect a weak point in him. Then the king, being full of vexation, summoned the fortune-tellers and said, 'When the prince was born ye said that he has fortunate and auspicious marks, he has no threatening obstacle; but he is born a cripple and deaf and dumb; your words do not answer to the facts.' 'Great king,' they replied, 'nothing is unseen by your teachers, but we knew how grieved you would be if we told you that the child of so many royal prayers would be all Ill-luck; so we did not utter it.' 'What must be done now?' 'O king, if this prince remains in this house, three dangers are threatened, namely to your life or your royal power, or the queen; therefore it will be best to have some unlucky horses yoked to an unlucky chariot, and, placing him therein, to convey him by the western gate and bury him in the charnel-ground.' The king assented, being frightened at the threatened dangers. When the queen Candadevi heard the news she came to the king, 'My lord, you gave me a boon and I have kept it unclaimed, give it to me now.' 'Take it, O queen.' 'Give the kingdom to my son.' 'I cannot, O queen; thy son is all Ill-luck.' 'Then if you will not give it for his life, give it to him for seven years.' 'I cannot, O queen.' 'Then give it to him for six years,--for five, four, three, two, one year. Give it to him for seven months, for six, five, four, three, two months, one month, for half a month.' 'I cannot, O queen.' 'Then give it to him for seven days.' 'Well,' said the king, 'take your boon.' So she had her son adorned, and, the city being gaily decorated, a proclamation was made to the beat of a drum, 'This is the reign of prince Temiya,' and he was seated upon an elephant and led triumphantly rightwise round the city, with a white umbrella held over his head. When he returned, and was laid on his royal bed she implored him all the night, 'O my child, prince Temiya, on thy account for sixteen years I have wept and taken no sleep: and my eyes are parched up, and my heart is pierced with sorrow; I know that thou art not really a cripple or deaf and dumb,--do not make me utterly destitute.' In this manner she implored him day after day for five days. On the sixth day the king summoned the charioteer Sunanda and said to him, 'To-morrow morning early yoke some ill-omened horses to an ill-omened chariot, and having set the prince in it, take him out by the western gate and dig a hole with four sides in the charnel-ground; throw him into it, and break his head with the back of the spade and kill him, then scatter dust over him and make a heap of earth above, and after bathing yourself come hither.' That sixth night the queen implored the prince, 'O my child, the King of Kasi has given orders that you are to be buried to-morrow in the charnel-ground,--to-morrow you will certainly die, my son.' When the Bodhisattva heard this, he thought to himself, 'O Temiya, your sixteen years' labor has reached its end,' and he was glad; but his mother's heart was as it were cleft in twain. Still he would not speak to her lest his desire should not attain its end. At the end of that night, in the early morning, Sunanda the charioteer yoked the chariot and made it stand at the gate, and entering the royal bedchamber he said, 'O queen, be not angry, it is the king's command.' So saying, as the queen lay embracing her son he pushed her away with the back of his hand, and lifted up the prince like a bundle of flowers and came down from the palace. The queen was left in the chamber smiting her breast and lamenting with a loud cry. Then the Bodhisattva looked at her and considered, 'If I do not speak she will die of a broken heart,' but though he desired to speak, he reflected, 'If I speak, my efforts for sixteen years will be rendered fruitless; but if I do not speak, I shall be the saving of myself and my parents.' Then the charioteer lifted him into the chariot and saying, 'I will drive the chariot to the western gate,' he drove it to the eastern gate, and the wheel struck against the threshold. The Bodhisattva, hearing the sound, said, 'My desire has attained its end,' and he became still more glad at heart. When the chariot had gone out of the city, it went a space of three leagues by the power of the gods, and there the end of a forest appeared to the charioteer as if it were a charnel-ground; so thinking it to be a suitable place, he turned the chariot out of the road, and stopping it by the roadside he alighted and took off all the Bodhisattva's ornaments and made them into a bundle and laid them down, and then taking a spade began to dig a hole. Then the Bodhisattva thought, 'This is my time for effort; for sixteen years I have never moved hands nor feet, are they in my power or not?' So he rose and rubbed his right hand with his left, and his left hand with his right, and his feet with both his hands, and resolved to alight from the chariot. When his foot came down, the earth rose up like a leather bag filled with air and touched the hinder end of the chariot; when he had alighted, and had walked backwards and forwards several times, he felt that he had strength to go a hundred leagues in this manner in one day. Then he reflected, 'If the charioteer were to set against me, should I have the power to contend with him?' So he seized hold of the hinder end of the chariot and lifted it up as if it were a toy-cart for children, and said to himself that he had power to contend with him; and as he perceived it, a desire arose to adorn himself. At that moment Sakka's palace became hot. Sakka, having perceived the reason, said, 'Prince Temiya's desire has attained its end, he desires to be adorned, what has he to do with human adornment?' and he commanded Vissakamma to take heavenly decorations and to go and adorn the son of the King of Kasi. So he went and wrapped the prince with ten thousand pieces of cloth and adorned him like Sakka with heavenly and human ornaments. The prince, decked with all the bravery of the King of the gods, went up to the hole as the charioteer was digging, and standing at the edge, uttered the third stanza:
"'Why in such haste, O charioteer? and wherefore do you dig that pit?
"The charioteer went on digging the hole without looking up and spoke the fourth stanza:
"'Our king has found his only son crippled and dumb,--an idiot quite;
"The Bodhisattva replied:
"'I am not deaf nor dumb, my friend, no cripple, not e'en lame am I;
"'Behold these arms and legs of mine, and hear my voice and what I say;
"Then the charioteer said, 'Who is this? It is only since I came here that he has become as he describes himself.' So he left off digging the hole and looked up; and beholding his glorious beauty and not knowing whether he was a god or a man, he spoke this stanza:
"'A heavenly minstrel or a god, or art thou Sakka, lord of all?
"Then the Bodhisattva spoke, revealing himself and declaring the law,
"'No heavenly minstrel nor a god, nor Sakka, lord of all, am I;
"'I am the son of that same king under whose sway you serve and thrive,
"'If 'neath a tree I sit and rest while it its shade and shelter lends,
"'The sheltering tree--it is the king--; I am the branch that tree has spread;
"But though the Bodhisattva said this, the man did not believe him. Then the Bodhisattva resolved to convince him, and he made the woods resound with his own voice and the applause of the gods, as he commenced these ten gathas in honor of friends.
"'He who is faithful to his friends may wander far and wide,--
"'Whatever lands he wanders through, in city or in town,
"'No robbers dare to injure him, no warriors him despise;
"'Welcomed by all he home returns,--no cares corrode his breast,
"'He honors and is honored too,--respect he takes and gives;
"'He is by others honored who to them due honor pays,
"'Like fire he blazes brightly forth, and sheds a light divine,
"'His oxen surely multiply, his seed unfailing grows,
"'If from a mountain-top he falls or from a tree or grot,
"'The banyan tree defies the wind, girt with its branches rooted round,--
"Even though he thus discoursed, Sunanda did not recognize him and asked who he was; but as he approached the chariot, even before he saw the chariot and the ornaments which the prince wore, he recognized him as he looked at him, and falling at his feet and folding his hands spoke this stanza:
"'Come, I will take thee back, O prince, to thine own proper home;
"The Great Being replied:
"'I do not want that throne or wealth, I want not friends nor kin,
"The charioteer spoke:
"'A brimful cup of welcome, prince, will be prepared for thee;
"'The royal wives, the princes all, Vesiyas and Brahmans both,
"'Those who ride elephants and cars, foot-soldiers, royal guards,
"'The country folk and city folk will gather joyously,
"The Great Being spoke:
"'By parents I was left forlorn, by city and by town,
"'My mother gave me leave to go, my father me forsook,--
"As the Great Being called to mind his own virtues, delight arose in his mind and in his ecstasy he uttered a hymn of triumph:
"'Even to those who hurry not, th' heart's longing wins success;
"'Even by those who hurry not, the highest end is won;
"The charioteer replied:
"'Thy words, my lord, are pleasant words, open thy speech and clear;
"The Great Being spoke:
"'No cripple I for lack of joints, nor deaf for lack of ears,
"'In an old birth I played the king, as I remember well,
"'Some twenty years of luxury I passed upon that throne,
"'My former taste of royalty filled all my heart with fear;
"'My father took me on his lap, but midst his fondling play,
"'Hearing such threats well might I try crippled and dumb to be,
"'Knowing that life is short at best and filled with miseries,
"'Who on another for its sake would let his vengeance light,
"Then Sunanda reflected, 'This prince, abandoning all his royal pomp as if it were carrion, has entered into the wood, unwavering in his resolve to become an ascetic,--what have I to do with this miserable life? I too will become an ascetic with him'; so he spoke this stanza:
"'I too would choose th' ascetic's life with thee;
"When thus requested, the Great Being reflected, 'If I at once admit him to the ascetic life, my father and mother will not come here and thus they will suffer loss, and the horses and chariot and ornaments will perish, and blame will accrue to me, for men will say, "He is a goblin,--has he devoured the charioteer?" So wishing to save himself from blame and to provide for his parents' welfare, he entrusted the horses and chariot and ornaments to him and spoke this stanza:
"'"Restore the chariot first, thou'rt not a free man now;
"The charioteer thought to himself, 'If I went to the city and he meanwhile departed elsewhere his father and mother on hearing my news of him would come back with me to see him; and if they found him not they would punish me; so I will tell him the circumstances in which I find myself and will get his promise to remain here'; so he spoke two stanzas:
"'Since I have done thy bidding, prince, I pray,
"'Stay till I fetch the king,--stay here of grace,
"The Great Being replied:
"'Well, be it as thou sayest, charioteer;
"'Go and salute my kindred all, and take
"The man took the commands:
"'He clasped his feet and, all due honors paid,
"At that moment Candadevi opened her lattice and, as she wondered whether there were any tidings of her son and looked on the road by which the charioteer would return, she saw him coming alone and burst into lamentation.
"The Master has thus described it:
"'Seeing the empty car and lonely charioteer,
"'The charioteer comes back,--my son is slain;
"'Our bitterest foes may well rejoice, alack!
"'Dumb, crippled,--say, could he not give one cry,
"'Could not his hands and feet force thee away,
"The charioteer spoke:
"'Promise me pardon, lady, for my word,
"The queen answered:
"'Pardon I promise you for every word;
"Then the charioteer spoke:
"'No cripple he, he is not deaf,--his utterance clear and free;
"'In an old birth he played the king as he remembers well,
"'Some twenty years of luxury he passed upon that throne,
"'His former taste of royalty filled all his heart with fear;
"'Perfectly sound in all his limbs, faultlessly tall and broad,
"'If you desire to see your son, then come at once with me,
"But when the prince had sent the charioteer away, he desired to take the ascetic vow. Knowing his desire, Sakka sent Vissakamma, saying, 'Prince Temiya wishes to take the ascetic vow, go and make a hut of leaves for him and the requisite articles for an ascetic.' He hastened accordingly, and in a grove of trees three leagues in extent he built a hermitage furnished with an apartment for the night and another for the day, a tank, a pit, and fruit-trees, and he prepared all the requisites for an ascetic and then returned to his own place. When the Bodhisattva saw it, he knew that it was Sakka's gift; so he entered into the hut and took off his clothes and put on the red bark garments, both the upper and under, and threw the black antelope-skin on one shoulder, and tied up his matted hair, and, having taken a carrying pole on his shoulder and a walking staff in his hand, he went out of the hut. Then he walked repeatedly up and down, displaying the full dress of an ascetic, and having shouted triumphantly 'O the bliss, O the bliss,' returned to the hut; and sitting down on the ragged mat he entered upon the five transcended faculties. Then going out at evening and gathering some leaves from a kara tree near by, he soaked them in a vessel supplied by Sakka in water without salt or buttermilk or spice, and ate them as if they were ambrosia, and then, as he pondered on the four perfect states, he resolved to take up his abode there.
"Meanwhile the King of Kasi, having heard Sunanda's words, summoned his chief general and ordered him to make preparation for the journey, saying:
"'The horses to the chariots yoke,--bind girths on elephants and come;
"'Let the hoarse tomtom fill the air, let rattling drums raise echoes sweet,--
"'Let palace-ladies, every prince, vesiyas and Brahmans every one,
"'Let elephant-riders, royal guards, horsemen and footmen every one,
"'Let country folk and city folk gather in crowds in every street,
"The charioteers thus ordered yoked the horses, and having brought the chariots to the palace-gates informed the king.
"The Master has thus described it:
"'Sindh horses of the noblest breed stood harnessed at the palace gates;
"The king spoke:
"'"Leave all the clumsy horses out, no weaklings in our cavalcade,"
"The king, when he went to his son, assembled the four castes, the eighteen guilds, and his whole army, and three days were spent in the assembling of the host. On the fourth day, having taken all that was to be taken in the procession, he proceeded to the hermitage and there was greeted by his son and gave him the due greeting in return.
"The Master has thus described it:
"'His royal chariot then prepared, the king without delay
"'With yakstail fan and turban crest, and royal white sunshade,
"'Then did the king set forth at once, his charioteer beside,
"'When Temiya beheld him come all brilliant and ablaze,
"'Father, I hope 'tis well with thee, thou hast good news to tell,
"'Yes, it is well with me, my son, I have good news to tell,
"'I hope thou drinkest no strong drink, all spirit dost eschew,
"'Oh yes, strong drink I never touch, all spirit I eschew,
"'The horses and the elephants I hope are well and strong,
"'Oh yes, the elephants are well, the horses well and strong,
"'The frontiers, as the central part, all populous, at peace,
"'Now welcome to thee, royal Sir, O welcome now to thee!
"The king, out of respect for the Great Being, would not sit upon the couch.
"The Great Being said, 'If he does not sit on his royal seat, let a couch of leaves be spread for him,' so he spoke a stanza:
"'Be seated on this bed of leaves spread for thee as is meet,
"The king in his respect would not accept even the seat of leaves but sat on the ground. Then the Bodhisattva entered the hut of leaves, and, taking out a kara leaf, and inviting the king, he spoke a stanza:
"'No salt have I, this leaf alone is what I live upon, O king;
"The king replied:
"'No leaves for me, that's not my fare; give me a bowl of pure hill rice,
"At that moment the queen Candadevi, surrounded by the royal ladies, came up, and after clasping her dear son's feet and saluting him, sat on one side with her eyes full of tears. The king said to her, 'Lady, see what thy son's food is,' and put some of the leaves into her hand and also gave a little to the other ladies, who took it, saying, 'O my lord, dost thou indeed eat such food? thou endurest great hardship,' and sat down. Then the king said, 'O my son, this appears wonderful to me,' and he spoke a stanza:
"'Most strange indeed it seems to me that thou thus left alone
"The prince thus replied:
"'Upon this bed of leaves strewn here I lie indeed alone,--
"'Girt with their swords no cruel guards stand sternly looking on,--
"'Over the past I do not mourn nor for the future weep,--
"'Mourning about the hopeless past or some uncertain future need,--
"The king thought to himself, 'I will inaugurate him as king and carry him away with me'; so he spoke these stanzas inviting him to share the kingdom:
"'My elephants, my chariots, horsemen, and infantry,
"'My queen's apartments too I give, with all their pomp and pride,
"'Fair women skilled in dance and song and trained for every mood
"'The daughters of thy foes shall come proud but to wait on thee;
"'Come, O my first-born and my heir, in the first glory of thine age,
"The Bodhisattva spoke:
"'No, let the young man leave the world and fly its vanities,
"'No, let the young man leave the world, a hermit and alone;
"'I watch the boy,--with childish lips he "father" "mother," cries,--
"'So the young daughter in her flower grows blithe and fair to see,
"'Men, women all, however young, soon perish,--who in sooth
"'As night by night gives place to dawn life still contracts its span;
"'This world of ours is smitten sore, is ever watched by one,
"'"Who sorely smites this world of ours? who watches grimly by?
"''Tis death who smites this world, old age who watches at our gate,
"'As when the lady at her loom sits weaving all the day,
"'As speeds the hurrying river's course, on with no backward flow,
"'And as the river sweeps away trees from its banks uptorn,
"The king, as he listened to the Great Being's discourse, became disgusted at a life spent in a house, and longed to leave the world; and he exclaimed, 'I will not go back to the city, I will become an ascetic here; if my son will go to the city I will give him the white umbrella,'--so to try him he once more invited him to take his kingdom:
"'My elephants, my chariots, horsemen, and infantry,
"'My queen's apartments too I give, with all their pomp and pride,
"'Fair women skilled in dance and song and trained for every mood
"'The daughters of thy foes shall come proud but to wait on thee;
"'My treasures and my treasuries, footmen and cavalry,
"'With troops of slaves to wait on thee, and queens to be embraced,
"But the Great Being replied by showing how little he wanted a kingdom.
"'Why seek for wealth,--it will not last; why woo a wife,--she soon will die;
"'What are the joys that life can bring? beauty, sport, wealth, or royal fare?
"'This thing I know,--wherever I go, Fate watching never slumbereth;
"'Do what thou hast to do to-day, who can ensure the morrow's sun?
"'Thieves ever watch to steal our wealth,--I am set free from every chain;
"The Great Being's discourse with its application came to an end, and when they heard it not only the king and the queen Canda but the sixteen thousand royal wives all desired to embrace the ascetic life. The king ordered a proclamation to be made in the city by beat of drum, that all who wished to become ascetics with his son should do so; he caused the doors of his treasuries to be thrown open, and he had an inscription written on a golden plate, and fixed on a great bamboo as a pillar, that his treasure jars would be exposed in certain places and that all who pleased might take of them. The citizens also left their houses with the doors open as if it were an open market, and flocked round the king. The king and the multitude took the ascetic vow together before the Great Being. An hermitage erected by Sakka extended for three leagues. The Great Being went through the huts made of branches and leaves, and he appointed those in the center for the women as they were naturally timid, while those on the outside were for the men. All of them on the fast-day stood on the ground, and gathered and ate the fruits of the trees which Vissakamma had created, and followed the rules of the ascetic life. The Great Being, knowing the mind of every one, whether he indulged thoughts of lust or malevolence or cruelty, sat down in the air and taught the law to each, and as they listened they speedily developed the Faculties and the Attainments.
"A neighboring king, hearing that Kasiraja had become an ascetic, resolved to establish his rule in Benares, so he entered the city, and seeing it all adorned he went up into the palace, and, beholding the seven kinds of precious stones there, he thought to himself that some kind of danger must gather round all this wealth; so he sent for some drunken revellers and asked them by which gate the king had gone out. They told him 'by the eastern gate'; so he went out himself by that gate and proceeded along the bank of the river. The Great Being knew of his coming, and having gone to meet him, sat in the air and taught the law. Then the invader took the ascetic vow with all his company; and the same thing happened also to another king. In this way three kingdoms were abandoned; the elephants and horses were left to roam wild in the woods, the chariots dropped to pieces in the woods, and the money in the treasuries, being counted as mere sand, was scattered about in the hermitage. All the residents there attained to the eight Ecstatic Meditations; and at the end of their lives became destined for the world of Brahma. Yea the very animals, as the elephants and horses, having their minds calmed by the sight of the sages, were eventually reborn in the six heavens of the gods."
The Master, having brought his lesson to an end, said, "Not now only but formerly also did I leave a kingdom and become an ascetic." Then he identified the Birth: "the goddess in the umbrella was Uppalavanna, the charioteer was Sariputta, the father and mother were the royal family, the court was the Buddha's congregation, and the wise Mugapakkha was myself."
After they had come to the island of Ceylon, Elder Khuddakatissa, a native of Mangana, Elder Mahavamsaka, Elder Phussadeva, who dwelt at Katakandhakara, Elder Maharakkhita, a native of Uparimandakamala, Elder Mahatissa, a native of Bhaggari, Elder Mahasiva, a native of Vamattapabbhara, Elder Mahamaliyadeva, a native of Kalavela,--all these elders are called the late comers in the assembly of the Kuddalaka birth, the Muga-Pakkha birth, the Ayoghara birth, and the Hatthipala birth. Moreover Elder Mahanaga, a native of Maddha, and Elder Maliyamakadeva, remarked on the day of Parinibbana, "Sir, the assembly of the Mugapakkha birth is to-day extinct." "Wherefore?" "I was then passionately addicted to spirituous drink, and when I could not bring those with me who used to drink liquor with me I was the last of all to give up the world and become an ascetic."