Sacred Books of the East/Volume 21/Chapter 22
ANCIENT DEVOTION OF BHAISHAGYARÂGA.
Thereupon the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña spoke to the Lord as follows : Wherefore, O Lord, does the Bodhisattva Bhaishagyarâga pursue his course in this Saha-world, while he is fully aware of the many hundred thousands of myriads of kotis of difficulties he has to meet? Let the Lord, the Tathâgata, &c., deign to tell us any part of the course of duty of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Bhaishagyarâga, that by hearing it the gods, Nâgas, goblins, Gandharvas, demons, Garudas, Kinnaras, great serpents, men, and beings not human, as well as the Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas from other worlds here present, and these great disciples here may be content, delighted, overjoyed.
And the Lord, out of regard to that request of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, told him the following: Of yore, young man of good family, at a past epoch, at a time (as many) iEons ago as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges, there appeared in the world a Tathâgata, &c., by the name of Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî, endowed with science and conduct, a Sugata, &c. &c. Now that Tathigata, &c, Aandravimalasfiryaprabhisairl had a great assembly of eighty kotis of Bodhisattvas Mahisattvas and an assembly of disciples equal to the sands of seventy-two Ganges rivers. His spiritual rule was exempt from the female sex, and his Buddha-field had no hell, no brute creation, no ghosts, no demons ; it was level, neat, smooth as the palm of the hand. Its floor consisted of heavenly lapis lazuli, and it was adorned with trees of jewel and sandal-wood; inlaid with a multitude of jewels, and hung with long bands of silk, and scented by censors made of jewels. Under each jewel tree, at a distance not farther than a bow-shot, was made a small jewel-house, and on the top of those small jewel-houses stood a hundred ko/is of angels performing a concert of musical instruments and castanets, in order to honour the Lord Aandravimalasilryaprabhisairt, the TathAgata, &c., while that Lord was extensively expounding this Dharmaparyiya of the Lotus of the True Law to the great disciples and Bodhisattvas, directing himself 3 to the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva Sarvasattvapriyadanana. Now, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the lifetime of that Lord Aandravimalasdryaprabhdsa^rl, the Tath&gata, &c, lasted forty-two thousand iEons, and likewise that of the Bodhisattvas Mah&sattvas and great disciples. It was under the spiritual rule of that Lord that the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva Sarva-
Sarvasatvapriyadarjanatfi—adhishM&naw krrtv; Burnouf has 'en commencant par le B. M. S.' sattvapriyadarrana applied himself to his difficult course. He wandered twelve thousand years strenuously engaged in contemplation. After the expiration of those twelve thousand years he acquired the Samâdhi termed Sarvarûpasandarcana (i. e. the sight or display of all forms). No sooner had he acquired that Samidhi than satisfied, glad, joyful, rejoicing, and delighted he made the following reflection: It is owing to this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law that I have acquired the Samâdhi of Sarvartipasandanrana. Then he made another reflection: Let me do homage to the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasri and this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law. No sooner had he entered upon such a meditation than a great rain of Mandârava and great Mandârava flowers fell from the upper sky. A cloud of Kâlânusârin sandal was formed, and a rain of Uragasâra sandal poured down. And the nature of those essences was so noble that one karsha of it was worth the whole Saha-world.
After a while, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana rose from that meditation with memory and full consciousness, and reflected thus: This display of magic power is not likely to honour the Lord and Tathâgata so much as the sacrifice of my own body will do. Then the Bodhisattva Mahdâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana instantly began to eat Agallochum, Olibanum, and the resin of Boswellia Thurifera, and to drink oil of Kampaka. So, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana passed twelve years in always and constantly eating those fragrant substances and drinking oil of Kampaka. After the expiration of those twelve years the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana wrapped his body in divine garments, bathed it in oil, made his (last) vow, and thereafter burnt his own body with the object to pay worship to the Tathâgata and this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law. Then, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, eighty worlds equal to the sands of the river Ganges were brightened by the glare of the flames from the blazing body of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana, and the eighty Lords Buddhas equal to the sands of the Ganges in those worlds all shouted their applause, (and exclaimed): Well done, well done, young man of good family, that is the real heroism which the Boddhisattvas Mahâsattvas should develop; that is the real worship of the Tathâgata, the real worship of the law. No worshipping with flowers, incense, fragrant wreaths, ointment, powder, cloth, umbrellas, flags, banners; no worshipping with material gifts or with Uragasâra sandal equals it. This, young man of good family, is the sublimest gift, higher than the abandoning of royalty, the abandoning of beloved children and wife. Sacrificing one s own body, young man of good family, is the most distinguished, the chiefest, the best, the very best, the most sublime worship of the law. After pronouncing this speech, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, those Lords Buddhas were silent.
The body of Sarvasattvapriyadarrana continued blazing for twelve thousand years without ceasing to burn. After the expiration of those twelve thousand years the fire was extinguished. Then, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana, having paid such worship to the Tath&gata, disappeared from that place, and (re)appeared under the (spiritual) reign of that very Lord Aandravimalasfiryaprabh&sa^rf, the Tathagata, &c, in the house of king Vimaladatta, by apparitional birth, and sitting cross-legged. Immediately after his appearance the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana addressed his father and mother in the following stanza:
1. This, O exalted king, is the walk in which I have acquired meditation; I have achieved a heroical feat, fulfilled a great vote by sacrificing my own dear body.
After uttering this stanza, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahdsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarcana said to his father and mother: Even now, father and mother, the Lord Aandravimalastiryaprabh&sairi, the Tathdgata, &c, is still living, existing, staying in the world, the Lord by worshipping whom I have obtained the spell of knowing all sounds and this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law, consisting of eighty hundred thousand myriads of £otis of stanzas, of a hundred Niyutas, of Vivaras, of a hundred Vivaras, which I have heard from that Lord. Therefore, father and mother, I should like to go to that Lord and worship him again. Instantaneously, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarcana rose seven tilas high into the sky and sat cross-legged on the top of a tower of seven precious substances. So he went up to the presence of that Lord, and having approached him humbly saluted him, circumambulated him seven times from left to right, stretched the joined hands towards the Lord, and after thus paying his homage addressed him with the following stanza:
2. O thou whose face is so spotless and bright; thou, king and sage! How thy lustre sparkles in all quarters! After having anciently paid thee homage, O Sugata, I now come again to behold thee, O Lord.
Having pronounced this stanza, the Bodhisattva Mahsattva Sarvasattvapriyadanrana said to the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî, the Tathâgata, &c.: Thou art then still alive, Lord? Whereon the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî, the Tathâgata, &c., replied: The time of my final extinction, young man of good family, has arrived; the time of my death has arrived. Therefore, young man of good family, prepare my couch; I am going to enter complete extinction. Then, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî said to the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana: I entrust to thee, young man of good family, my commandment (or mastership, rule); I entrust to thee these Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas, these great disciples, this Buddha-enlightenment, this world, these jewel cars, these jewel trees, and these angels, my servitors. I entrust to thee also, young man of good family, my relics after my complete extinction. Thou shouldst pay a great worship to my relics, young man of good family, and also distribute them and build many thousands of Stilpas. And, Nakshatrarâgasankusumitdbhi^a, after the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî, the Tathâgata, &c., had given these instructions to the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana he in the last watch of the night entered absolute final extinction.
Thereupon, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana, perceiving that the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî, the Tathâgata, &c., had expired, made a pyre of Uragasâra sandal-wood and burnt the body of the TatMgata. When he saw that the body was burnt to ashes and the fire extinct, he took the bones and wept, cried and lamented. After having wept, cried and lamented, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana caused to be made eighty- four thousand urns of seven precious substances, deposed in them the bones of the Tathigata, founded eighty-four thousand Stûpas, reaching in height to the Brahma-world, adorned with a row of umbrellas, and equipped with silk bands and bells. After founding those Stilpas he made the following reflection: I have paid honour to the Tath&gata-relics of the Lord Kandravimalasûryaprabhâsasrî, but I will pay to those relics a yet loftier and most distinguished honour. Then, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana addressed that entire assembly of Bodhisattvas, those great disciples, those gods, Nigas, goblins, Gandharvas, demons, Garudas, Kinnaras, great serpents, men, and beings not human: Ye all, young men of good family, unanimously vow to pay worship to the relics of the Lord. Immediately after, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarcana, in presence of those eighty-four thousand Sttipas, burnt his own arm which was marked by the one hundred auspicious signs, and so paid worship to those Sttipas containing the relics of the Tathâgata, during seventy-two thousand years. And while paying worship, he educated countless hundred thousands of myriads of kotis of disciples from that assembly, in consequence whereof all those Bodhisattvas acquired the Samâdhi termed Sarvarûpasandarsana.
Then, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña,the entire assembly of Bodhisattvas and all great disciples, seeing the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarcana deprived of a limb, said, with tears in their eyes, weeping, crying, lamenting: The Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana, our master and instructor, is now deprived of a limb, deprived of one arm. But the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarsana addressed those Bodhisattvas, great disciples, and angels in the following terms: Do not, young men of good family, weep, cry, lament at the sight of my being deprived of one arm. All the Lords Buddhas who be, exist, live in the endless, limitless worlds in every direction of space, have I taken to witness. Before their face have I pronounced a vow of truth, and by that truth, by that word of truth shall I, after the sacrifice of my own arm in honour of the Tathâgata, have a body of gold colour. By this truth, by this word of truth let this arm of mine become such as it was before, and let the great earth shake in six different ways, and let the angels in the sky pour down a rain of flowers. No sooner, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, had the Bodhisattva Mahisattva Sarvasattvapriyadarcana made that vow of truth, than the whole triple macrocosm was shaken in six different ways, and from the sky aloft fell a great rain of flowers. The arm of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana became again as it was before, and that by the power of knowledge and by the power of pious merit belonging to that Bodhisattva Mahâsattva. Perhaps, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, thou wilt have some doubt, uncertainty or misgiving, (and think) that the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadanrana at that time, and that epoch, was another. But do not think so; for the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Bhaishagyarâga here was at that time, and that epoch, the Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Sarvasattvapriyadarcana. So many hundred thousand myriads of ko/is of difficult things, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, and sacrifices of his body does this Bodhisattva Mah&sattva Sarvasattvapriyadanyana accomplish. Now, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the young man or young lady of good family striving in the Bodhisattva vehicle towards the goal and longing for supreme, perfect enlightenment, who at the Tathfigata-shrines shall burn a great toe, a finger, a toe, or a whole limb, such a young man or young lady of good family, I assure thee, shall produce far more pious merit, far more than results from giving up a dom, sons, daughters, and wives, the whole triple world with its woods, oceans, mountains, springs, streams, tanks, wells, and gardens. And, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the young man or young lady of good family, striving in the Bodhisattva- vehicle for the goal, who after filling with the seven precious substances this whole triple world should give it in alms to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, disciples, Pratyekabuddhas, that young man or young lady of good family, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, does not produce so much pious merit as a young man or young lady of good family who shall keep, were it but a single verse from this Dharmapary&ya of the Lotus of the True Law. I positively declare that the accumulation of merit of the latter is greater than if a person, after filling the whole triple world with the seven precious substances, bestows it in alms on all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, disciples, or Pratyekabuddhas.
Just as the great ocean, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, surpasses all springs, streams, and tanks, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmaparyiya of the Lotus of the True Law surpasses all Stitras spoken by the Tathigata. Just as the Sumeru, the king of mountains, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, all elevations at the cardinal points 2 , horizon circles and great horizons, so,
Or, the Tathdgatas. The same alternative in the sequel. All Sutras in the world have their source in the Tathdgata, of course: ; just as all Vedas, ItMsas, &c. are the breathing out, the uttering of the sentient principle, the dtman ; »Satapatha-Br&hma»aXIV, 5, 4,1 3.
Kdlaparvata, literally, 'time mountain,' because the points of rising and setting are called parvata, giri, &c, mountain in Sanskrit. Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmapary«tya of the Lotus of the True Law surpasses as a king all the Sfltrdntas spoken by the Tathagita. As the moon, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, as a luminary, takes the first rank amongst the whole of the asterisms, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmapary&ya of the Lotus of the True Law ranks first amongst all Siltrdntas spoken by the Tath&gata, though it surpasses hundred thousands of myriads of kotis of moons. As the orb of the sun, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, dispels gloomy darkness, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmapay&ya of the Lotus of the True Law dispels all the gloomy darkness of unholy works. As Indra, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, is the chief of the gods of paradise, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmaparyiya of the Lotus of the True Law is the chief of Stitr&ntas spoken by the Tathdgata. As Brahma Sah&mpati, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, is the king of all Brahmak&yika gods and exercises the function of a father in the Brahma world, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmaparydya of the Lotus of the True Law exercises the function of a father to all beings, whether under training or past it, to all disciples, Pratyekabuddhas, and those who in the Bodhisattva-vehicle are striving for the goal. As the Srota&panna, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, as well as the Sakrzd4g£min, Anigimin, Arhat and Pratyekabuddha, excels the ignorant people and the profanum vulgus, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâ-
Terms denoting the four degrees of sanctification, answering to the Prathamakalpika, Madhubhftmika, Pra^na^yotis, and Atikrdntabh&vaniya in the Yoga system ; Yogaxdstra III, 50, commentary. Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, the Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law must be held to excel and surpass all Sûtrântas spoken by the Tathigata; and such as shall keep this king of Stitras, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, must be held to surpass others (who do not). As a Bodhisattva is accounted superior to all disciples and Pratyekabuddhas, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmapary&ya of the Lotus of the True Law is accounted superior to all Stitrintas spoken by the Tath&gata. Even as the TathSgata is the crowned king of the law l of all disciples, Pratyekabuddhas, and Bodhisattvas, so, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmapary&ya is a TathSgata in respect to those who in the vehicle of Bodhisattvas are striving to reach the goal. This Dharmaparyiya of the Lotus of the True Law, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, saves all beings from all fear, delivers them from all pains. It is like a tank for the thirsty, like a fire for those who suffer from cold, like a garment for the naked, like the caravan leader for the merchants, like a mother for her children, like a boat for those who ferry over, like a leech for the sick, like a lamp for those who are wrapt in darkness, like a jewel for those who want wealth, like the ocean for the rivers, like a torch for the dispelling of darkness. So, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, this Dharmapary&ya of the Lotus of the True Law delivers from all evils, extirpates all diseases, releases from the narrow bonds of the mundane whirl 2 . And he who shall hear this Dharmapary&ya of the Lotus of the True
Dharmar&^a^ pa//abaddhah, i.e. properly the legitimate crowned king.
In other words, this Dharmaparyfya is Death or Nirv&ia. Law, who shall write it and cause it to be written, will produce an accumulation of pious merit the term of which is not to be arrived at even by Buddha-knowledge; so great is the accumulation of pious merit that will be produced by a young man of good family or a young lady who after teaching or learning it, writing it or having it collected into a volume, shall honour, respect, venerate, worship it with flowers, incense, fragrant garlands, ointment, powder, umbrellas, flags, banners, triumphal streamers, with music, with joining of hands, with lamps burning with ghee, scented oil, Kampaka oil, jasmine oil, trumpet-flower oil, Vârshikâ oil or double jasmine oil.
Great will be the pious merit, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, to be produced by a young man of good family or a young lady striving to reach the goal in the Bodhisattva-vehicle, who shall keep this chapter of the Ancient Devotion of Bhaisha^yarclf a, who shall read and learn it. And, Nakshatrarâga, should a female, after hearing this Dharmaparylya, grasp and keep it, then this existence will be her last existence as a woman. Any female, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, who in the last five hundred years of the millennium shall hear and penetrate this chapter of the Ancient Devotion of Bhaishagyarâga, will after disappearing from earth be (re)born in the world Sukh&vatl, where the Lord Amitâyus, the Tath&gata, &c, dwells, exists, lives surrounded by a host of Bodhisattvas. There will he (who formerly was a female) appear seated on a throne consisting of the interior of a lotus; no affection, no hatred, no infatuation, no pride, no envy, no wrath, no malignity will vex him. With his birth he will also receive the five transcendent faculties, as well as the acquiescence in the eternal law, and, once in possession thereof, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, he as a Bodhisattva Mahâsattva will see Tathâgatas equal to the sands of seventy-two rivers Ganges. So perfect will be his organ of sight that by means thereof he shall see those Lords Buddhas, which Lords Buddhas will applaud him (and say): Well done, well done, young man of good family, that after hearing this Dharmaparyâya of the Lotus of the True Law which has been promulgated by the spiritual proclamation of the Lord Sâkyamuni, the Tathâgata, &c., thou hast studied, meditated, examined, minded it, and expounded it to other beings, other persons. This accumulation of thy pious merit, young man of good family, cannot be burnt by fire, nor swept away by water. Even a thousand Buddhas would not be able to determine this accumulation of thy pious merit, young man of good family. Thou hast subdued the opposition of the Evil One, young man of good family. Thou, young man of good family, hast victoriously emerged from the battle of mundane existence, hast crushed the enemies annoying thee. Thou, young man of good family, hast been superintended by thousands of Buddhas; thine equal, young man of good family, is not to be found in the world, including the gods, with the only exception of the TatMgata; there is no other, be he disciple, Pratyekabuddha, or Bodhisattva, able to surpass thee in pious merit, knowledge, wisdom or meditation. Such a power of knowledge, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, will be acquired by that Bodhisattva.
Any one, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, who on hearing this chapter of the ancient devotion of Bhaishagyarâga approves it, will emit from his mouth a breath sweet as of the lotus, and from his limbs a fragrance as of sandal-wood. Such temporal advantages as I have just now indicated will belong to him who approves this Dharmaparyâya. On that account then, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, I transmit to thee this chapter of the Ancient Devotion of the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Sarvasattvapriyadarrana, that at the end of time, the last period, in the latter half of the millennium it may have course here in Gambudvlpa and not be lost; that neither M&ra the Fiend, nor the celestial beings called Mirak&yikas, N&gas, goblins, imps may find the opportunity of hurting it. Therefore, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, I bequeath this Dharmaparyâya; it is to be like a medicament for sick and suffering creatures in Gambudvipa. No sickness shall overpower him who has heard this Dharmaparyâya, no decrepitude, no untimely death. Whenever a person striving to reach the goal in the vehicle of Bodhisattvas happens to see such a monk as keeps this Sûtrânta, then he should strew him with sandal-powder and blue lotuses, and reflect thus: This young man of good family is going to reach the terrace of enlightenment; he will spread the bundle of grass on the terrace of enlightenment; he will put to flight the party of Mâra, blow the conch trumpet of the law, beat the drum of the law, cross the ocean of existence. Thus, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña, should a young man of good family, striving to reach the goal in the vehicle of Bodhisattva, reflect when seeing a monk who keeps this Sûtra, and he will acquire such advantages as have been indicated by the Tathâgata.
While this chapter of the Ancient Devotion of Bhaishagyarâga was being expounded, eighty-four thousand Bodhisattvas attained the spell connected with skill in all sounds. And the Lord Prabhûtaratna, the Tathâgata, &c., intimated his approval (by saying): Well done, well done, Nakshatrarâgasaṅkusumitâbhigña; thou hast done well in thus questioning the Tathâgata, who is endowed with such inconceivable qualities and properties.
- Pûrvayoga; cf. foot-note, p. 153.
- I. e. moon-bright and illustrious by (or like) the radiance of the sun.
- Thus Camb. MS.; Burnouf has eighty hundred thousand myriads of kotis.
- Ratnadhâmaka. I am not certain of the correctness of my translation; Burnouf renders it by 'char fait de pierreries.'
- In the story of Sarvasattvapriyadarsana it is easy to recognise a Buddhist version of the myth of the Phœnix. the noble bird collects the sweetest herbs, blossoms, and perfumes; similarly verse 652. He feeds upon mildew, verse 260.
- In the Old English poem of the Phœnix, verse 192, we read that
- The Phœnix bathes twelve times in the well before the sun's arrival, and as many times sips the cool water.
- According to the reading of the Camb. MS., asîtir Gaṅgâ°; Burnouf has 'sables de 80 Ganges,' which seems preferable.
- Here the same remark as in the preceding note.
- In the Old English poem, verse 355 seq., we read that hosts of birds flock together from all points of space 'to celebrate in song the hero and saint.' Further on, verse 590, the birds are identified with the released souls accompanying Christ.
- This comes rather unexpected; of the Phœnix in the Old English poem, verse 131, we read that 'the sound of the bird's song is sweeter and more beautiful than all other singer-craft, and more delicious than any other tune.'
- Equal to a thousand billions. The cyphers being noughts, the whole number=1. Eighty is the number of intermediate kalpas in one Mahâkalpa or Great Æon, i. e. one day and night. The turn (paryâya) of the True Law is the regular revolution of the sun.
- Equal to a hundred thousand billions. As cyphers must be left out of account, all the numbers specified come to one.
- The height of a palm-tree, or a span.
- It is sufficiently clear that the Nirvâna of this Tathâgata is the end of a day of twenty-four hours, and that Sarvasattvapriyadarsana is the new day.
- In the Phœnix myth it is the bird himself that, after his resurrection, collects the relics; verses 269-272. Both versions come to the same, for the sun of to-day is essentially the same as yesterday's.
- Exactly the same number of monasteries was erected by Asoka, according to the Dîpavamsa VI, 96. The king was induced to build so many monasteries because there were eighty-four or, optionally, eighty-four thousand towns in India, a number precisely coinciding with that of the sections of the Law. Notwithstanding the difference in details, it may be assumed that there is some connection between the two tales, especially because Asoka was a namesake of Sarvasattvapriyadarsana, one of his epithets being Priyadarsana.
- Âtmabhâvaparityâgâms ka. The Phœnix in the poem, verse 364 seq., repeatedly, every thousand years, dies in the flames to arise anew from his ashes, and to be reborn.
- Bahutaram khalv api.
- The whole horizon is also an apparent elevation and therefore likewise called parvata, &c.
- Another name of Amitâbha.
- Or, to seventy-two times the sands of the river Ganges.
- Marditasatrukathaka (sic; cf. Pâli kanthaka).
- In the margin are added the words, also found in Burnouf's translation, 'including Mâras, Brahmans, and ascetics.'
- This is an allusion to the bundles of grass the Bodhisattva received from Svastika, the grass-cutter, when he was on his way to occupy his seat at the foot of the Bo tree; see Lalita-vistara, p. 357; Gâtaka I, p. 70 (English translation by Professor Rhys Davids, p. 95).